The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Dinner for 2 from the Pots

  • Pin It
dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Dinner for 2 from the Pots

We love salads so it’s not unusual for us to grow our own when we can.  We grow them in pots which makes it easy.  For the two of us, we have two 12”  planters of red romaine, one 12” pot of spinach and one 24” planter for mescaline, arugla, and the green lettuces.  That is enough for us to have salad every night just by trimming off the larger leaves of each every night. 

 

The 14” pot of Swiss chard is included because it is going on its 3rd year of continuous production! There are 5 plants in the pot; 2 red, one yellow and 2 white.  It is the best producing pot of all time.  We put Swiss chard in everything since this pot is so prolific.

 

We also grow tomatoes in huge pots - 2 plants per pot.  Since we are not doing but one heirloom tomato this year we already have over 80 tomatoes on 6 plants with the heirloom only having 10.

 

If you live in AZ where the produce is so unbelievably cheap and where much of the winter veg for the US is grown, the rest of the salad fixings are a snap and inexpensive to boot.

 

Now with a very inexpensive two recycled food can pot smoker, you can smoke and grill some ungodly good BBQ chicken to go with the salad with some bakes steak sweet potato and russet fries and some BBQ baked beans out of the mini oven - a little slice of culinary heaven is yours for the taking.

It helps to have a bass playing garden frog to protect the veggies from insects and watch the sunsets with too!

 

Comments

gmagmabaking2's picture
gmagmabaking2

That is the answer to "how does your garden grow?" Very well... just getting ours started this year.. but starting well, have lots of things under the soil right now, will send pictures as it progresses... last year was awesome... question about the Swiss Chard... do you think I could transplant it from a part of my neighbors plant... hers is getting HUGE... and we wondered if we dug down and thinned it if it would grow elsewhere>???? 

Happy Gardening! Diane

 

plevee's picture
plevee

You're growing mescaline?! Well that would explain the relationship with your apprentice!

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

mushrooms more than worms in the bottom of the bottle but it isn't her fault.  She came from a broken home and was separated from her mother and father at 8 weeks old.   Tragic really :-)

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

divide them or you need to do a cutting.   The Internet will know or possibly a Fresh Loafian Horticulturist?  Good luck with your garden  Last year's all heirloom tomatoes were a disaster.  This year is a little more promising.

I have some kind of cucumber or squash flowering right now.  Forgot to label the pot and 5 out of 6 died so I hope it is Yellow Crookneck.  I trasplanted the living one into the ground.  Cucumbers are 9 for 99 cent here so we hope it is some kind of squash:-)

Happy baking too

Alpana's picture
Alpana

Nice frog :). Not to mention the green harvest, sunset, chicken & smokers!

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

He keeps the volume down so not to make the neighbors mad but he is getting a little rusty now a days and doesn't play as much aw he used too when he was a little less stiff  :-)  We love our gas regeneration smoker /grill that was made out of two cans -   a large #10 can of hominy and and 80 oz can of beans. It makes the best chicken, pork and fish but the smoked  burgers are to die for and we grind up skirt steak for them. Here was the post on the smoker

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/27605/ive-been-working-new-home-made-gas-regeneration-bbq-smokerhttp://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/27605/ive-been-working-new-home-made-gas-regeneration-bbq-smoker

pepperhead212's picture
pepperhead212

My greens were just put out just over a week ago, under cover, so rabbits would net get to them (I put down a double 38' row, with T-tape for irrigation, and the lightest agribon over all).  Looking today, some have already trippled in size, and many are ready well before 30 days, so I don't have that long to wait!  

Does that Swiss chard re-seed itself the second year, and that's what you mean by "continuous production", sort of like having a continuous flat of parsley  - another biennial?  I never heard of doing that with chard.

Sorry, Diane, but chard does not divide, nor can you root it's stalks.  Often it seems you can divide them, because each of their seed pods has a few seeds in it, so when direct seeded and not thinned, there are usually a bunch together.  Grows fast from seeds, however, though not as fast as many brassicas.

Dave

 

   

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

yours we would be drowning in veggies.  You must have a large family.  I started the Swiss chard in February 2011 and it has been in the same pot since then.  It has never flowered or gone to seed.  In teh summer I move the pot to the shade adn in the winter, if it is going to freeze I move it inside. We strip off the outer largest leaves to eat and it just keeps on going.  Never had a veggie go that before either.  With 5 plants in the pot I give it a little Miracle Grow with every watteringh now that we are getting hotter is twice a day.  It wilts up and collapes with the lettuce by 11 AM but it itin the shade with them in the afternoon and when i water them at that time and at 3 PM they are all perky again.  I take a picture today to show you the collapse.   

gmabaking's picture
gmabaking

Your plants are so pretty and green and vibrant and, and, well-they are there! Mine still languish within their paper cocoons of seed packets and dream of the day the temperature may reach 50 degrees. Twice I have gone out to plant the cold weather seeds and retreated from a leftover March wind that made the 41 degrees seem much less hospitable. By next week we are scheduled to return to our early Spring weather so it will be planting time at long last. Only consolation in reading about you early gardeners is that sometimes ours can last well through September and even into early October for flowers and the more hardy vegetables.

Your smoker set up is both ingenious and beyond me so today I am going to the big box store and buy one. Then I will look up those pastrami directions that people were posting last summer. My apprentice loves the cool weather and keeps asking me what disgusting cat must have said "If winters here then Spring can't be far behind?"

Looking forward to seeing more salad and sunset pictures!

Grenage's picture
Grenage

Awesome stuff! I think I planted around 400 seeds last year, and none made it past 1cm; the slugs and snails were like a plague from hell.

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

can eat - if you are French!  Slugs don't make it in AZ for very long something about 115 F gets them thank God.  My apprentice would probaly eat them though!

pepperhead212's picture
pepperhead212

I'm guessing that those chard are that old because they never get cold! LOL  You noted that you bring them in if it will freeze, and that must be what triggers the bolting hormone for the next season. 

I like greens so much that a couple of years ago I started growing Asian greens in a 6' hoop house, and first tried 18 varieties, plus chard, lettuce,  and kohlrabi.  Lettuce and chard were the first to die off when it was down in the teens, but komatsuna, mitzuna, and senposai lived through an entire winter with temps down in the single digits.  Kohlrabi lived, but didn't grow bulbs until spring came.   I would cut the things back when I woudl hear a bad cold snap was coming, figuring they were gone, and they would come back!   Like chard and leaf lettuce, they are "cut-and-come-again", and produce incredible amounts of greens.

@Greenage - to control slugs and snails next time you plant, try some Sluggo.  It is an organic iron phosphate pellet treatment, that slugs and snails eat, then die!  I sprinkle it around right after tilling the row, then again just before planting the greens, and have few problems with them. It used to be available in Home Depot under another name, but it seems to be gone here - just remember iron phosphate pellets.

Some people like to put around bowls of beer to kill the slugs, but I figure, why waste beer?

Dave   

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

When it is hot and they haven't been watered.  Water then at 11 AM then the  sun goes behind the wall at noon, water them again at 4 PM and they are fine for dinner.

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

willing to do with my beer is drink it and then step on the slugs.

isand66's picture
isand66

You are killing me DA!  I'm so ready to start my gardening when I get home.   I have a ton of work to do to get ready for the season but I can't wait.  My wife has already told me jet lag or not she's dragging me to the nurseries as soon as I get home next weekend!

Anyway, your veggies look great so far and hopefully both of us will have a bountiful tomatoe harvest.  Last year was terrible for me.

Regards

Ian

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

much better than last year's heirloom disaster.  Over 90 F and they won't set and it was 87 F yesterday.  Now it just a trail of not a tribulation to keep the plants alive and wet  long enough so they don't spontaneously combust before the tomatoes turn red although roasted tomatoes sound pretty good :-)

You always have such beautiful gardens.  Wish we had the cool weather for them.

pepperhead212's picture
pepperhead212

Was that your problem last year, Ian? I get a lot of tomatoes until it hits 95°, then they drop blossoms. I got a lot of new types (13 new this year) in trades this year when telling others I need heat resistant types - I'll let you know if any work out. Last year Aussie did fairly well - figured how could NJ be hotter than down under?

Good luck with all of your plantings!

Dave

isand66's picture
isand66

Hi Dave

we grow our own seedlings in our mini pop up greenhouse.  The plants were doing great after transplanting bit a lot of the fruit ended up dying and the plants along with them.  Not sure what the problem is.  We will hope for a better crop this year.  Look forward to hearing how yours do.

cheers

Ian

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

see the bell peppers?   7 boxes in all with two round pots out of view... 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

Very pretty flowers Mini :-)  Do you have any other veg besides bells?

isand66's picture
isand66

Beautiful garden!  What a view you must have as well.

pepperhead212's picture
pepperhead212

A lot better than mine!  But then, I only grow edibles, and the closest thing to ornamentals I grow are different colored peppers, bright purple eggplants, bright lights chard, and lemongrass.   One year, my Mom asked me when I started growing ornamentals when she saw the lemongrass, which, late in the season,  does look a little like ornamental grasses.  I told her she knows me better than that, and explained what it was.  She gets a laugh every year when she sees them out there.

Dave   

 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

three kinds of lettuce, parsely, chives, basil, edible geraniums, a little avocato tree, radishes, and a sprinkling of flowers to make everyone happy. The salads are going to seed now, I cut some of them down but the romaine behind the bell peppers are just beginning to bloom yellow so I left them.  The pot has green romaine and the endive is just behind some of the parsely.  The market is plum full of vegetables!  There is a little old lady two doors down on the street that sells onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, avocatoes, bananas, apples and lemons and and and out of her little store.  Easy to find what I need.  

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

a good market close by to get what ever is in season.  Nothing like a salad to get the digestive juices flowing.  Its going(to be 94 tomorrow so the end is near for the salad veggies.  The arugula starter blooming yesterday :-(  Soon it will be market time for the veg except the tomatoes if I don't kill them off like last year.

Your garden and what is in it is beautiful