Listen to this podcast on the best ways to can tomatoes to preserve them in winter.     Growing up an Italian-American in Waterbury, I have fond memories of my mom canning tomatoes in late summer. It always seemed to be a hot day when she canned and her boiling water bath just added to the stickiness in the air. But those tasty canned tomatoes made for great sauce all winter. Mom is done canning, but I still like to do it. While I also freeze whole tomatoes for cooking, […]

Learn how to care for your vegetable garden in summer. This video includes information on fertilizing, thinning root crops, and watering your vegetables. For more garden videos, check out the National Gardening Association Transcript Hi I’m Charlie Nardozzi of the National Gardening Association, today I’d like to talk to you about maintaining the vegetable garden. You know we spend a lot of time and energy building the soil and planting seeds and transplants in spring. But often by midsummer we forget about the vegetable garden. We really shouldn’t. There’s a […]

Learn how to grow carrots including information on good varieties to try. Listen to Podcast: podcast transcript When I first traveled to northern India 20 years ago, I was amazed to see red, yellow, white, and purple colored carrots (Daucus carota), but no orange carrots. In fact, those are the native colors of carrots and it was the Dutch in the 1700s that popularized the color orange (after their national flag) as the modern color of carrots. We’ve been eating orange carrots ever since, but now those old colors have […]

Learn how to grow cauliflower including information on varieties. Listen to podcast: podcast transcript I love the taste of cauliflower (Brassica oleracea), but now I love the look of it, too. I grew a purple-headed variety, ‘Graffiti’ a few years ago and the neon colors in the garden blew me away. There are now green and orange colored varieties as well. What used to be a boring, white, cool season vegetable, has gotten a fashion overhaul. The colors also mean a nuttier flavor and higher nutrition. Serve cauliflower raw in […]

I love the taste of celery, but not the fussing required to grow it. That’s why I was excited to discover celeriac (Apium graveolens) a number of year ago. Celeriac, or celery root, is grown not for the leaves, but the brown, round, knobby root. Inside the root is a moist, white flesh that tastes just like celery. Celeriac is great roasted with other root vegetables, mashed, sauteed, added to soups, or shredded raw in salads. Celeriac is much more tolerant of the vagaries of the weather than celery and […]

If you’re up for a challenge, try growing celery (Apium graveolens dulce). It’s worth the effort. Home grown celery has a stronger, full flavor and each crunch is loaded with juiciness. Although not the easiest of vegetable to grow at home, you just need a long (up to four months) growing season, cool temperatures, and moist soil. That sounds like a lot of places in the Northeast to me. Beside eating celery raw in salads and for dips, it’s great in soups, stews, and sauces. Since it’s mostly water and […]

When I talk about growing collards (Brassica oleracea) in Vermont, people think I’m a transplanted southerner. While collards are known as a southern green, there’s no reason you can’t grow them in the North, too. You might win over some southern friends if you invite them over for diner and serve collards greens and bacon. Think of the collard as a headless cabbage. You grow them the same way, but instead of waiting for a head to form, you eat the large, flat, green leaves. Unlike other greens, though, this […]

Learn about companion planting, including what plants grow well next to other plants and which to avoid. Listen to Podcast: Gardening is known for its folklore. Some of these old wives tales have some truth to them and others, not so much. I often get asked about companion planting for insect control. Although many say plants such as onions, marigolds and rue can deter pests, scientifically, few of these folklore remedies have been proven. It might happen that you get fewer pests on your tomatoes if onions are growing nearby, […]

Learn about composting your garden waste in the garden instead of moving it to a compost pile. Listen to Podcast: Like many gardeners, for years I would diligently clean up the veggie and annual flower gardens this time of year, pulling out dead plants and adding them to my compost pile. But in the last few years I’ve decided to compost in place. Instead of feeding the compost pile, I feed the garden soil in the beds directly. Here’s how it works. Instead of pulling out old broccoli, cabbage, pepper […]

Learn how to control squash bugs in the vegetable garden. Listen to Podcast: podcast transcript How to Grow: Summer Squash You’ve got to watch out when growing summer squash (Cucurbita pepo) and zucchini. When it’s ready to harvest, you’ll get so many fruits so fast you’ll be begging neighbors to take it away. I’ve even heard of people dropping extra zucchinis through opened windows in unattended cars just to move the stuff. Yes, summer squash and zucchini has a reputation for being prolific. That’s a good thing for a new […]

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