Thursday, August 25, 2016

Peas, peas and more peas...please.

by Michelle L. Dauberman

When I was a very small child, growing up in central PA, I remember how accessible home vegetable gardens were and in the beautiful garden that my parents planted I recall running through rows of string beans, potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, cabbage, radishes, beets, peas and even several 30’ rows of sweet corn.

I bring up the past in today’s post because I remember with fondness how close we were to our food (literally and figuratively) and I recall, with a wink, how I would help with the harvest and by harvest I mean picking and immediately eating the yields, especially the sweet peas.

In this year’s PSU Edible Demonstration Garden you will find some tasty and tempting peas as well.  Sugar Snap Peas to be exact.  To get these wonderful green peas and pods plant them in average garden soil, full sun, don’t let them dry out completely and remember to support your plants.  As it is with most plants in the pea family they are climbers and welcome the support.  For vegetable gardeners with limited space you can grow your peas in pots and containers but make sure that you get the bush-style variety.

Enjoy your peas and I don’t know about you but I can’t wait for the harvest!

For more information on peas check out this PSU Extension publication:

HortLine New email address for all Philadelphia Gardeners

Penn State Extension Philadelphia Master Gardeners' Horticultural Hot Line -- HortLine -- has a new email address.

Send your questions about flowers, vegetables, fruits, trees, soil health, pruning and all other horticultural topics to this email address. A qualified and knowledgeable Master Gardener will answer your email and help to solve your problem, or find someone who can.If you have photos to illustrate your problem, please send these, too.

Not a Philadelphia County gardener…….check you local or state Extension for their Hot Line. Master Gardeners are always ready to help with your questions.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Kalette - A New Addition to the Garden

 By Michelle L. Dauberman

As I was walking through the PSU MG Edible Demonstration Garden this week I noticed an unfamiliar plant tag.  At first I wasn’t sure if I was reading it correctly but there it was plain as day, “Kalette.”  Hmm, Kalette.  Now if you’re a plant geek like me a name like this rates high on the curious meter so off I went to do some research.

This is what I found:  Kalette is the brainchild of British seed house Tozer Seeds and it is a hybrid cross between the Brussels Sprout and English Kale thus making it a very interesting vegetable indeed.  According to the plant’s website (yes, Kalette has its own website - sponsored by Tozer Seeds America) it is sweet and nutty and it can be sautéed, roasted, grilled or eaten raw.  Sounds pretty good, right.

Truly what’s not to like yet the appearance of this new vegetable lead my thoughts to GMOs.  These days when anyone mentions GMOs an ominous tone of dread sets in and I had to curtail my kneejerk reaction upon learning about this hybrid and recall that gene crossing through traditional, non-GMO, hybridization and open pollination has a rich, deep, safe and tasty history in the garden.
A history that is alive and well and it is showing up in the form of plants like the Kalette.

Want to learn more about other, traditional, non-GMO hybridizations (like the apple tree and a couple canopy trees)?  Check out this PSU Extension online publication: