Always a tricky thing of when to harvest garlic – since it’s underground. We usually use the general rule of waiting for some of the green stack above die off and turn brown. Right around July 4th we start keeping a closer eye on things. But we also harvest some bulbs to use are green garlic. It’s excellent raw is razor thin slices (think Godfellas), strong and bright garlic flavor, but not an intense are aged garlic.

(kids love harvesting garlic)


The greenhouse and the wind

Our quick greenhouse experiment ended last week when several days of high winds got the best of it. It’s just as well as it worked well for our starts and as a template for how we can improve.

It’s a little tricky this year because we are in the process of moving to a new house with more land and so the garden has been a start and stop affair.

We’ve planted rows of rainbow chard, lots of basil and tomato. Also the garlic scapes are ready to be clipped so the plants can refocus their energy on growing the bulb.

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First days of Summer

June 19, 2013

Elderflowers are blooming again and we’re making the ephemeral cordial that lasts only as long as the flowering bushes. It’s also strawberry picking time, which make the perfect accompaniment for the cordial.



Garden – late sping 2013

June 3, 2013

New starts of rainbow chard and cukes. The greenhouse was a first this year and lacks proper ventilation for delicate vegetables but will be good to tomatoes.

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May 1, 2013

There are lots of ferns that have a fiddlehead. It’s the Ostrich Fern that you want to looks for right now. They are one of our areas largest ferns and there is a simple way to distinguish this delicious edible from those that are not.

Ostrich ferns grown in moist wooded areas and along road sides, so driving the back country roads to a great way to look for them. In the New York area the most common look-alike is the Cinnamon fern which, while in it’s fiddlehead stage is covered to a white, gauzy fur – not something you want to eat. The Ostrich fiddlehead on the other hand is startling green and has a distinct groove down it’s stalk – much like a celery stalk.


(Cinnamon Fern)                                                                (Ostrich Fern)

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May 3 2013

Common blue and white violets are flowering for the next few weeks. Look for them along the grassy edges stream beds and lawns. They’re pretty and fun to eat.

NEK green salad 2013

Cattail Shoots

May 1, 2013

The new shoots that are found where ever cattails grow (ensure they grow in a clean water area) can be colleted this time of the year. Like leeks, use only the lower, tender white parts, as garnish and for a nice spring crunch.


Ramps 2013

April 22, 2013

We are sustainably harvesting ramps this years from 3 different large colonies around the Hudson Valley. Last week was our first trip into the woods looking for them. Very exciting to come across large groupings as these.We harvest only the stem and leaves, leaving the bulbs intact and undisturbed.


NK Ramps 20131


Spring gardening

April 8, 2013

This year we we built a quick green house 10 x 40 feet from locust posts that we had (a great wood to use as they are rot resistant). We covered the structure with single layer 6mil plastic. The temp is easily 15 degrees warmer inside on sunny days.

Greenhouse 1

The idea was to get a jump on greens but also to have a more reliable place to start tomatoes. It didn’t take long to fill it up. Currently we have spinach, winter lettuce, arugula, radish, shell peas and several varieties of tomato


We also have coming up of garlic, which we planted last autumn and insulated with leaves.

Garlic 2013







It’s March in the Hudson Valley

What is there is forage in the wild in March in the Hudson Valley – not much to me honest. The first trout lily shoots and nettles are still hidden in the cold earth. There is still snow on the ground in many places. Fiddle heads and ramps are still a month away but there are still some exciting things happening. We’ve tapped a few sugar maples – the sap is running. We’re also collecting black birch sap and twigs – the sweet wintergreen flavor will be used at the bar for spring cocktails.

We’re getting our garden in order. Our garlic that we planted last fall is coming up in our cold frames and our greenhouse is almost ready  for radish, cress and  microgreens……….more to come