Comments by Caroline Lewis

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Brownies by Caroline Lewis on Jul 22, 2012 at 5:21 PM PDT

I’ve been making these for years, and they’re definitely better with 3/4 cup of flour. It was a good change.

High yield, high benefit by Caroline Lewis on Jun 28, 2012 at 6:22 PM PDT

Absolutely - I love growing green onions. I often just need one or two, so buying a whole bunch doesn’t make sense. And you can leave them in for months, which means great flexibility in very little space. Thanks for your comment!

Preparing to plant by Caroline Lewis on Mar 6, 2012 at 10:03 AM PST

Hi Laura--

The best way to prevent this issue is to avoid having grass grow up against the sides of your raised beds. When we install raised bed frames, we remove all sod to a foot or so away from the edges of the beds, then put down landscape fabric and a pathway material, such as crushed gravel or bark mulch. If you were to do this now, you could probably dig out some of those obnoxious roots that have worked their way into your frames. It is extremely difficult to remove grass once it’s grown up into your beds, as you’ve learned. The cardboard trick won’t really help long term because cardboard will eventually break down, plus of course the grass will just work its way in around the edges of the cardboard if you allow the grass to grow right up against the edge of the frames.

Hope that helps, and happy gardening!

--C

Tomato tips by Caroline Lewis on Sep 21, 2011 at 1:05 PM PDT

Yes, absolutely. We aren’t watering them at all at this point in the season.

Tomato tips by Caroline Lewis on Aug 24, 2011 at 3:28 PM PDT

Ugh, late blight definitely can be an issue. We usually rip out plants when we realize we have it, as there’s no way to stop it and it spreads to other, healthy plants. Worse, the longer you leave plants in place, the more likely you are to have it next year. So I would pull off the healthy green tomatoes and get those plants out of there. Do NOT put them in your compost - they’ll have to go in the trash. Green tomatoes will ripen on your kitchen counter but they’ll never have as much flavor as vine-ripened tomatoes. Try chutneys or pickles, as suggested above, or slow-roast counter-ripened tomatoes with olive oil, garlic and herbs to concentrate their flavors.

In defense of shelling peas by Caroline Lewis on Apr 10, 2011 at 9:34 AM PDT

Honestly, I’ve never seen them in any of our gardens. We garden in raised beds and keep them meticulously clean, doing a major end-of-season cleanup. I read that the adult weevils over-winter in plant debris in the soil, so that could be an issue for some people. Our biggest issue with peas is this very cold, wet weather this year as well as last year. The sugar snaps have so much sugar in them, the seeds tend to rot before they germinate!

In defense of shelling peas by Caroline Lewis on Apr 9, 2011 at 5:07 PM PDT

I’m sorry, but we don’t have pea weevils here, so I can’t be of much help with that one.

Culinary herb primer by Caroline Lewis on Jun 9, 2010 at 9:22 PM PDT

My husband looked it up to confirm, and said no, they are definitely not poisonous. Good to know!

Culinary herb primer by Caroline Lewis on Jun 9, 2010 at 8:46 PM PDT

I’ve never heard that! I don’t know for sure, but find it very hard to believe.

Culinary herb primer by Caroline Lewis on Jun 9, 2010 at 11:26 AM PDT

I love sage, but agree it might be overpowering. How about thyme with the parsley? It’s delicious with mushrooms; make sure there’s a bit of garlic in the filling, too, as it is so good with mushrooms.

The beauty of vertical gardening by Caroline Lewis on May 3, 2009 at 8:38 PM PDT

Yes, if it’s a vining type. Our grower, Gales Meadow Farms (Hollywood and Hillsdale farmers markets) has one, zucchini a fiore, that we’re growing vertically.

The beauty of vertical gardening by Caroline Lewis on Apr 27, 2009 at 7:28 PM PDT

I’m not entirely sure, but it’s likely you can get away without having additional support. You can simply add extra support if you think the plants need it by paying attention to the stems and whether or not they’re looking stressed. Enjoy!

Early Spring Soupe au Pistou by Caroline Lewis on Mar 30, 2009 at 11:12 AM PDT

I never use canned chicken broth because it doesn’t taste as good as homemade, and I don’t know what went into it. However, using homemade broth may not be practical for everyone. Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, and probably a number of other stores do offer organic broth that would be fine to use.

Raised-bed gardening by Caroline Lewis on Mar 25, 2009 at 8:45 AM PDT

I see no reason to add sandy loam. There’s nothing wrong with Mel’s Mix, although we do use more compost than he specifies. As for chicken manure, it’s a wonderful thing to add, but make sure it’s well composted. Fresh manure will burn your plants.

Transitioning to spring by Caroline Lewis on Feb 19, 2009 at 12:03 PM PST

Raquel - Here’s a link to Giada De Laurentiis’ version of chicken Vesuvio. She uses (ugh) lima beans or frozen artichoke hearts; I like your idea of fresh garden peas a lot more! http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/chicken-vesuvio-recipe/index.html

Transitioning to spring by Caroline Lewis on Feb 19, 2009 at 11:40 AM PST

Yum - that does sound delicious! I’ll have to experiment with that one.

Behold, this green thumb by Caroline Lewis on Feb 18, 2009 at 10:09 AM PST

Kim--

You do need a spot of full sun to be successful, even if it’s a very small one. And if you build yourself a raised bed, you won’t have to deal with weeds or back-breaking digging! Sun is the only “must have” requirement.

Cooks’ gardens by Caroline Lewis on Feb 17, 2009 at 9:42 PM PST

Dianne--A lot of seed companies have great information on their websites about growing specific types of vegetables. One of our favorites is territorialseed.com. They are a wonderful company in southern OR. Their seeds and plant starts are great, and their website is well done. You’ll find a lot of good general information on growing, for example, lettuce, in addition to the specific varietals’ descriptions and growing information.

Cooks’ gardens by Caroline Lewis on Feb 12, 2009 at 5:17 PM PST

Hey, thanks for the offer!

Cooks’ gardens by Caroline Lewis on Feb 12, 2009 at 3:15 PM PST

Caleb--

The tiered planter is primarily decorative, but it does have some other advantages. Its extra height allows us to grow some cascading herbs and flowers, such as Wave petunias and trailing rosemary. And it works well for folks with limited mobility who don’t want to have to do too much bending.

Raised beds have numerous advantages over conventional row gardens, primarily that the soil warms much more quickly (important in our short growing season) and the organic soil mix we create is much more friable and rich than any “normal” garden soil, even when amended with compost.

Of course we’re not growing eggplants and basil now (you have sharp eyes!). That photo was from last summer when we first started planting that particular container. Right now we’re growing garlic and shallots; we’re also harvesting overwintering crops such as kale, mustard, and spinach.

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