Friday, April 26, 2013

Blooms Galore! Today in Our Spring Garden #GardenCuizine #gardenchat

Click on the photo for full view
Today In Our Garden
South Jersey
USDA Zone 7a (formerly zone 6b)
April 26, 2013

With the first round of Spring blooms behind us, we say goodbye to cheery yellow forsythia, hyacinths and daffodils and hello to the second burst of Spring here in South Jersey. April sprouts and blooms include (shown photo collage):
  • Aucuba japonica (shown left)
  • Helleborus
  • Pansies
  • Lilacs
  • Tulips
  • Helleborus 
Get outside and enjoy the view. And, now is a great time to sow some cool weather veggies like lettuce, mizuna and arugula. 
 Happy Spring!

Photos and blog post Copyright (C)2013 Wind. All rights reserved.  Kitty in the photo collage - our sweet Snoops guarding the indoor seedlings.  

Monday, April 22, 2013

Daikon never looked so good! #GardenCuizine @EatRight

Japanese Daikon Radish
Chefs add the crisp, mild flavor of Japanese daikon radish to salads, stir-fries, sushi and recipes - often sliced thin and marinated. The salad shown above was served at Lambertville Station in Lambertville, NJ - featuring Lobster​ claw, colossal crab, baby watercress, chopped plum tomato, topped with daikon radish and scallions on a bed of boston bibb lettuce. Orange peppercorn vinaigrette complimented the salad.  

Try Daikon sliced raw or pickled. Combine daikon radish with carrots for a winning combination. Grow Daikon radish (Raphanus sativus) in your garden: direct sow; prefers full sun. The thick white roots grow 2 to 3-inches wide and up to 24-inches long. Daikon greens are edible too. Harvest in late fall or early winter. We plan to grow daikon and burdock root this year. 
  • Enjoy Daikon radish as a good source of Vitamin C
Related Links
Daikon Radish Nutrition 

Photo and blog post Copyright(C)2013 Wind. All rights reserved.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Orchards of pink peach blooms now throughout New Jersey! #GardenCuizine

Throughout New Jersey, early April is when you start to see Peach trees beginning to show off their blooms. Fields of pink blossoms caught my attention on my way to work last week as I traveled south on Route 55 through Gloucester and Cumberland counties. Today, we decided to take a family drive through some of those areas in South Jersey to see some peach orchards and enjoy the beautiful spring day.

As we followed our self-guided tour, we managed to see several breathtaking fields of pink peach blooms with vibrant yellow forsythia scattered throughout the landscapes. We followed a tour map provided by Rutgers NJ Agriculture Experiment Station several years ago. We noticed that due to increased housing developments, sadly there was a decline in acreage dedicated to growing peaches. Farms still exist, even though they were somewhat sandwiched in between new homes and commercial businesses built on what used to be exclusive NJ farmland.

The NJ Peach Promotion Council reported in 2010 that the US census listed around 6,600 acres of New Jersey land dedicated to Peach farming. New Jersey, produces 68,000,000 pounds annually. And, of that, about 65% of the acreage is located in Gloucester County.

According to the NJ Peach Promotion Council, New Jersey ranks 4th among the top peach producers - following California, South Carolina and Georgia. I'm always amazed at the wide variety of cultivars among common fruits and vegetables. There are 40+ varieties of Jersey Peaches!
What are your favorite recipes using peaches? 
A nutritious fruit to look forward to this summer.  
Jersey peach season starts late July through September.
GardenCuizine Peach Nutrition data: coming soon...
Related Links
NJ Peach Promotion Council 
A History of the NJ Peach 
South Jersey Self-Guided Peach blossom tour map
Peach Facts courtesy of Colorado State University Extension
Top 10 Ways to Enjoy Peaches 
Buy some Just Peachy Salsa support the Food Bank of SJ
Photos and blog post Copyright (C)2013 Wind. All rights reserved.