I'm a Southern woman with family roots in farming. An Appalachain State University graduate, married, and the mother of two grown, and very nice, children. I am recently retired with a long-time hobby of growing flowers, vegetables and houseplants. Now a Master Gardener intern, earned in April 2017, I am excited to give to my community through gardening and gardening related events.
To learn more about the North Carolina State University sponsored Master Gardener program contact your county North Carolina Cooperative Extension office.
But, you don't have to be have certifications to be a good or even great gardener. Nor do you need a class to have fun and have a beautiful garden. Just go outside dig a hole and pop in some seeds and life will happen! Just do it!
It's when you, the gardener, take potatoes out of storage in a cool dark place, give them sunlight and they begin to sprout. It supposedly gives the plants a head start on production. Potatoes bought for garden plantings will begin to sprout right away when given sleight because they have not been treated with chemical to inhibit growth. Store bought potatoes are some of the most heavily chemically treated produce, along with apples and tomatoes. That's why you grow your own if you can. Also. Fresh potatoes have not converted their energy to starch yet. They have a very different taste from store bought a sort of nutty sweetness about them. The same is true for brassicas-cabbage, broccoli and turnips. They are sweet when freshly picked without that gacky sulfur taste of store-boughts. Garden grown gives a different eating experience.
This Fall I planted cabbages, broccoli and kale in The Middle Garden. The broccoli was taken out by extreme cold and I learned my lesson about picking. As in, pick, even though things aren't perfect. Savoy cabbage has a well earned reputation for being cold hardy and kept going and growing through temperatures in the teens. They were very nice. So nice that our dog ate three of them just as they were forming heads before we wised up to her greedy ways.
Today, knowing that it is going to be in the single digits for the next two nights I went a'harvesting. I ate pea shoots straight from the garden (yummy). Tonight there will be Japanese chicken soup with soba noddles. Kale stands in as seaweed. Elephant garlic in for leeks. Tomorrow there will cabbage casserole. And then we will start eating down turnips and sweet potatoes. Did I mention I try to cook what's currently growing in the garden and what I've saved.
Spinach has withstood so far. We had as much as I could pick in a salad last night with pretty little pansies as garnish. Under the row covers the mache, bok choi, turnips and peas are just up. They were planted weeks ago when we had a warm spell. In the house there are lettuces, broccoli and kale sprouts waiting on warmer days to be transplanted. Potatoes are chitting, lined up in egg cartons on the kitchen windowsill. Hurry spring! Cold winter can't last. Me? I am having trouble lasting also.