Mushrooms at Slide Ranch and in your garden

We hope people are enjoying the return of the wet weather. Here in the slide garden, the rains are bringing another round of mushrooms. The fruiting bodies of the root-like network of mycelia that run throughout the garden are always a joy to see. They bring many different colors, textures, and even smell to the garden.

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AuthorEmily Haber
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Jeremy's Garden Tips - February 2016

Now is a great time to get the home garden going for the year. Reenergize beds with a dose of compost and start seeding!

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AuthorEmily Haber
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Jeremy's Garden Tips - January 2016

We hope you all are enjoying the rain as much as we are. Our cover crops of bell beans, vetch and oats are getting nice and tall and you can practically hear the grass grow.

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AuthorEmily Haber
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As I was weeding the herb spiral in the lower garden at Slide Ranch on Friday, I said to myself in a partially silly, partially serious way: “Can thyme save us?

The herbs in the Slide Ranch garden are a great way to invite children and other visitors to deepen their experience with the outdoors and connect to home-grown food. Intensely aromatic scents of rosemary, thyme, sage, basil, savory, marjoram, and oregano all speak to senses and are part of some of our favorite culinary dishes, and they remind us that every satisfying pleasure sources from primary elements like sunlight, water, soil, seeds… and, of course, time.

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This connection is one reason our camp cooking projects are so exciting. Campers can follow their noses in our organic garden and harvest herbs to add their wood-fired pizza, scallion pancakes, lemon verbena tea, mint lemonade, and more. Through this farm to fork experience, campers of all ages see how a small amount of herbs can make a big impact in any dish. It plants the seed that one potted thyme, basil or mint plant can provide a large quantity of herbs for a huge array of homemade dishes, and the best news is that this fresh produce can be grown at home in pots on a porch or in window boxes.

What a great way to empower children to participate in creative meal preparation at home. Let them follow their noses the next time you’re wondering what those potatoes need. Perhaps a bit of dill or cilantro or rosemary… or maybe it’s thyme that will save them.

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AuthorEmily Haber

Last week, our Slide Ranch team celebrated Summer Solstice with bountiful bouquets and words of the season read at sunset. As a gardener, it is most relevant to be aware of this lightest time of year and maximize growing potential on either side of it, as each annual crop demands a certain amount of exposure to the sun’s radiant glory! As the time of greatest light slowly wanes, however, both air temperature and ground temperature will tend to be warmer than during the time leading up to the Solstice (hence thinking of summer as the time from mid-June to mid-September); most plants benefit from this as well, so long as they’re receiving due water!

At Solstice, we also celebrated completion of the first week of camp! With campers, carrot seeds were sown, rhubarb crisp was made, and teas of mint, raspberry, and lemon soaked in the sun! Walking through the Slide Ranch garden, campers and visitors are always welcome to taste the myriad herbs and even flowers that live there: from oregano to calendula and rosemary to nasturtium. As a community, we also harvested lettuce, collards, kale, and artichokes—all of which love generous doses of summer water. As new carrot seeds went in, our first carrot crop emerged bright, orange, and sweet! We gobbled them up in no time, and additionally, we’ve just begun to enjoy a summer crop of zucchini, squash, radishes, and amaranth greens—did you know that the foliage of amaranth is edible? They are an excellent source of Niacin, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Zinc, Copper, and Manganese and can be prepared just as you would kale, chard, and other leafy greens.

Stay tuned for more updates from the garden!

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AuthorEmily Haber