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June 18, 2016

Saturday Gardening Thread: Father's Day 2016 Edition [KT]

Think Dad might like a money tree for Father's Day? You may not have high-powered Wall Street connections, but you could still give him one of these:

Chinese Money Tree

Historically, houseplants were for the rich.

This plant is actually a Malabar chestnut tree that in the wild can get to be 50 feet [15 meters] tall, but in the houseplant world we usually see them as desktop plants or maybe a 4-5 foot [1.2-1.5 meter] specimen . . .

Braided Money Tree Bonsai

Sweet Corn

When I was growing up, both my parents gardened. But I think of my father when I think of sweet corn. He seemed to be in charge of this crop, somehow. I am allergic to corn now, but I still remember corn on the cob. I especially liked the bicolors, extra young.

What’s the difference between field corn and sweet corn?

Years ago, it was a ritual to get a pot of water boiling before pickiing your corn, because the sugars in the corn immediately start to turn to starch when corn is picked. Time from ear to table is no longer as critical as it once was. Purdue's extension service has an informative pdf on growing sweet corn. It includes a good summary on genetic advances in sweet corn breeding.

Cultivars from different breeding lines tend to be similar to each other. The first
Sugary Supersweets were VERY sweet, with crisp kernels and sometimes tough skins. They had to be planted in warm soil. Sugar Enhanced types tend to be very tender with a creamier texture.

In case your Dad has become a raw food vegan, I have a recipe (well, an ingredient list) for raw corn salad. You can make this on site at a picnic if you want to. You can also use cooked leftover corn on the cob.

Sweet corn cut from the cob
Diced tomato
Diced bell pepper or mild chiles (optional)
Avocado, diced
Lemon juice
Fresh-ground black pepper or red pepper

Mix avocado with lemon juice and smoosh it up a little. Toss with veggies and seasoning.

Farm and Produce News

Broccoli Rabe now has its own PR and marketing teams. Will it be "the next kale"? Expect an unusual number of recipes and stories about Broccoli Rabe in popular media in the coming months. And remember that you may be able to grow some yourself. It is one of the easier cole crops to grow (in a friendly climate). If you have never grown it before, you may need some guidance on know when to harvest it. I recommend timing harvest for cool weather. The warmer the weather, the stronger the flavor will be.

Why, here's a recipe now! Dedicated to fathers!

Slow-roasted pork sandwich with broccoli rabe and provolone

Happy Father's Day to all the fathers and other fatherly guys out there.

leftovers removed in editing.

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posted by Open Blogger at 12:25 PM

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