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Posted on 11 September 2010 by


loofah_lBy Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

This year my loofahs have set the garden on fire.

They have grown up my shed onto my fence and across my clothesline.

The secret to my success is two-fold.

One, I started my seeds indoors in February. This gave my loofahs plenty of time to grow since they require a long growing season to be exact at least 180 says of warm weather. The second secret to my loofah success is something I cannot take credit for that is Mother Nature. This year’s weather was just perfect for loofah production.

But while I am ecstatic about my loofah crop I am at the same time wondering what to do with all these loofahs. One thing I am trying this year is cooking with them. To my surprise the small ones are excellent in stir-fries and salads. The recipe below is one I created using zucchini but since I have a surplus of loofahs I substituted loofahs for zucchini and boy did it turn out great.

Mindy’s Zucchini or Loofah Stir-Fry

Serves 4


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Posted on 24 November 2008 by

Preserving the Harvest – Pumpkins

By Cindy Naas

I have grown pumpkins a number of times in my small city garden, and once we even grew them in containers.

My front yard had two giant pumpkins in the middle for a couple of months, which made for an interesting landscape feature.

This year, we didn’t grow our own, but I did manage to go out and buy a number of them to store.

Pumpkins are easily stored. I have a root cellar where it is dark and much cooler than the rest of the house. If you don’t have a place which can be used as a root cellar, consider using plastic storage bins with plenty of ventilation holes, and keep the bins in the coolest part of your house.

When you bring your pumpkins in, Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 25 October 2008 by

UGC Reader Question: How to Grow Garlic on Your Porch

By Cindy Naas

Reader Question:

Hi, I live in Boston, Mass. and I would like to grow garlic on my back porch this fall. The time is approaching for the actual planting, but I’m still unsure of what I should plant my garlic in, i.e. how large, how deep,etc. I know that garlic should be about 3 inches below the surface, but how much more depth do I need to accommodate for root growth? Any suggestions for containers? I appreciate any info you can provide. Thanks – Lindsey

Lindsey, that’s an excellent question.

The allium family are all well suited for container growing, and garlic is an especially useful plant to grow in a small garden space.

Not only are the garlic bulbs easy to grow, the greens can be harvested and eaten once before allowing them to finish growing. They are delicious and a very healthy addition to stir-fries or salads.

The most important thing to remember about garlic is Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 15 October 2008 by

Preserving the Harvest – Squash (and Recipe)

By Cindy Naas

Although our gardens are slowing down now (at least in some parts of the country) there are still vegetables waiting to be picked and stored or used.

I love this time of the year, and storing squash is one of the great pleasures of the fall garden.

Filling my root cellar with various types of squash makes me feel ready to settle in for the long winter.

Squash don’t need to be brought in right away unless you live in a rainy area, in which case you’ll need to get them off the ground. Preventing mildew is really the only reason to bring squash in before the first frost. If you grew them nestled in straw, this won’t be a worry.

Harvesting – Use a sharp knife and cut them from the vine leaving about 1 inch of vine attached to the squash. Rinse squash off outside to Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 01 September 2008 by

What to Do With Too Much Zucchini, Tomatoes, and Swiss Chard?

By Cindy Naas

Even small gardens can produce staggering amounts of some veggies.

Here are some suggestions and recipes to use up all of the zucchini, chard and tomatoes your garden might be producing right now.

Assuming that all of your neighbors have stopped answering the door when they see you approach with a bag of fresh veggies, you can still use up your harvest without eating the same thing every night.


Zucchini can be blanched and frozen in slices, or steamed, pureed and frozen pre-measured for making zucchini bread later this year. Or, try these recipes:

Zucchini Cranberry Muffins


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