Baby Gabriel, Sandra, Amber, and Angie planting vegetable starts in February. Here they're planting beets. The weather we've been getting lately here on Mare Island, CA is unpredictable --sometimes it's frosty, once in a while it rains, and sometimes it's very warm. Some of our vegetables don't know what to do. Our broccoli, spinach, and lettuce are bolting, though we've had good results so far with celery and cabbage--red, green and savoy cabbage.

Vegetable starts to plant in February: leeks, onions, beets, turnips, carrots, radishes, sugar snap peas, green beans.

Pulling weeds is a chore that never ends. And if you're new to gardening, like Arthur and Bob at left, the hardest part is figuring out which are weeds and which are not. A weed is a plant growing where it is not wanted and having a harmful impact. For us, it's bermuda and crab grass.

February 11, 2012

The last day for the Flyway Festival is today. What's the Flyway Festival you ask? Check them out:
Here's Vilma at the Flyway Festival spreading the word about the Vallejo People's Garden.
Darren presenting the unusual vegetable during this month's board meeting--daikon. Daikon radishes are spicy relatives of the more familiar red round or French breakfast radishes and can be used in many of the same recipes. Daikons are great grated or sliced thinly in salads or slaws, boiled in teas, steamed, sauteed, or boiled and mashed with your favorite potatoes. They are low in calories and rich in vitamin C.
Darren brought two yummy dishes using the following recipes:

Glazed Daikon:
2-3 daikons, sliced in rounds
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups maple syrup
Salt and pepper to taste

Place single layer of daikon slices in bottom of large saute pan. Add butter, maple syrup, salt, pepper, and enough water to cover the daikon halfway and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes. Uncover and raise heat back to a boil until liquid reduces and daikon is tender. The longer you reduce them, the sweeter the daikon will be.
Easy Daikon Salad:
2 cups julienne cut daikon radish
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
2 tsp granulated sugar
1 tsp sweet rice wine
optional: crushed peanuts

Place the daikon in a colander over a bowl or sink and sprinkle with salt. Mix well. Let sit for 30 minutes. Squeeze out excess water and then rinse well with cold water. Drain.
In a small saucepan, combine the seasoned rice vinegar, sugar and rice wine. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves.

Transfer the daikon to an airtight container and pour the rice vinegar mixture over. Shake or stir well to combine. Chill for 20 minutes before serving. Enjoy. Serves four.

February 2, 2012

Three-year old Ezra trying out our newly installed water fountain that was donated to us by Nature's Path Organic.

We made a gray water system with this water fountain: Excess water not used goes into a five-gallon bucket which then is used to water the California natives volunteers have planted around the garden's perimeter.

Mare Island K-8 School taking their snack break at the Vallejo People's Garden.