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Raised "garden"

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Melissa Mead View Drop Down
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    Posted: 17 July 2010 at 19:34
I'm thinking of turning an unused deck into a wheelchair-accessible "garden" by laying boards across sawhorses and putting plants in pots (I almost said "pot plants" Embarrassed) on top. I figure herbs, tomatoes and salad greens are good candidates. What else grows well in pots? I suppose potatoes are out... 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hoser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 July 2010 at 02:56
I also grow herbs in pots on my deck all summer...right now I have dill, chives, rosemary, parsley, sage and cilantro.

The varieties that are doing best for me this year are chives (can't kill them!), sage, rosemary dill and parsley. I also have basil growing in an adjacent area.

Click here to get a view of some of the member's grilling areas
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Melissa Mead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 July 2010 at 07:53
I have chives EVERYWHERE- even in the lawn! And mint growing into the shrubbery...

Would that work for bell peppers too?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 July 2010 at 11:03
If you have large pots and supports for them, bell peppers should work. You might look for a variety that is compact; some get really tall.
 
I also grow lavender, rosemary, tarragon, and lemon balm in pots--ideally, the perennials should come in in the winter, but my cats would have them uprooted, so I keep them outside in a sheltered place.
 
Potatoes . . . I think you could do it, but it would be such a small crop that it might not be worth the trouble. Maybe radishes would work.
 
Let us know how it works out--I'd love to see some pictures of your "pot garden" when you get it started! :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Melissa Mead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 July 2010 at 14:44
Thanks! I have lavender that winters over by my dryer vent, but I've never tried to cook with it.

Every year I try to grow radishes, but they only grow leaves, even with fertilizer.
This year I have tomatoes, dill and basil in pots. I also planted beans, peas and kohlrabi, but a woodchuck munched them down to nubs. Cry

Anyone know a good recipe for woodchuck? Evil Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 July 2010 at 18:56
A woodchuck has small scent glands under the forearms and in the small of the back that must be removed. The insulating fat under the skin should also be removed. A dressed woodchuck does not require soaking, though many people recommend soaking overnight in salted water. As with all game, the meat of older animals is tougher and has a stronger, gamier flavor than a young animal. This recipe may also be made with the boned meat of one large or two small rabbits.
 
Woodchuck au Vin
 
The gardener who created this dish notes that the herbs and vegetables in this recipe are available fresh from the garden because they have not been eaten by the dish’s main ingredient.
 

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil

1 woodchuck, dressed and cleaned of scent glands, boned and cut into strips or bite-size chunks

2 shallots, chopped

2 large carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup beef stock or water

2 cups dry red wine

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons white vermouth

2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1 fresh or dried bay leaf

2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

1 1/2 cups pitted Cerignola olives, very coarsely chopped

2 to 3 tablespoons flour

Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Salt.

1. Place a Dutch oven over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add olive oil. When the oil is hot, add woodchuck meat and sauté until lightly browned on all sides. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

2. Add shallots and carrots to pan and sauté until lightly browned. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add stock or water, red wine and 3/4 cup of vermouth. Stir with a wooden spoon, scraping bottom of the pan. Return meat to pan, and add pepper, thyme, bay leaf, and 1 tablespoon of the rosemary. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Add olives and remaining 1 tablespoon rosemary. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until meat is tender, about 45 minutes.

4. Discard bay leaf. Raise heat and boil uncovered until liquid is slightly reduced. In a small bowl, mix remaining 2 tablespoons vermouth with enough flour to make a soupy paste. Thicken sauce to taste by adding paste a tablespoon at a time, simmering for a minute after each addition; all of the paste may not be needed. Stir in parsley, and season with salt if needed. If desired, serve over rice or egg noodles, or with boiled potatoes.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Melissa Mead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 July 2010 at 19:01
Wow! We should've caught the little sonofagun after all!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kiwi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 July 2010 at 21:37
I hear that anything is good fried LOL Considering you're here for the stories, I thought I'd spin a yarn for you about eating the local critters.

This is a Brushtail Possum:

Some muppet brought them here from Australia, thinking they'd be a good little fur industry. As happens in such cases, they went out of control, fast. At one point there were 90 million possums in NZ, (so if every kiwi went and killed 30 odd possums each it wouldn't be a problem), but now we've got it down to around 30m, due to possum control on oh, say 13 million hectares of vegetated land.

They spread tuberculosis and wreck the native ecosystem by killing off native trees and eating birds / eggs, none of which have evolved to deal with mammalian predation. But on to the story....

I spend a lot of time in the bush. A few years back I was walking up the Coupland Valley, which leads to a traverse of the main divide of the south island of NZ. It's a great spot, rugged country though.

(yours truly on the right)
And it has natural hot springs halfway up (awesome):


Sitting on the way to these pools at night, I heard a possum - they have this horrible, choked sounding growl sound. So, being a good and responsible kiwi, I strolled back to the hut, grabbed an axe and a headlamp, found the possum again, and ended the pest's existence with the time honoured back-of-the-axe-to-the-head method, which ranks only just below the swerve-across-the-road-and-hit-the-bastard method in terms of efficacy. I threw the possum deep into the bush and thought no more of it.

The next day we tried (and failed due to hypothermia, as it turned out) to climb the peak in background of the last pic. It was pretty hard going at times:

And we ended back up at the hut with the hot pools instead of going on.

There we bumped into a trio of batshit crazy Americans that had grown up in the Rockys. For some reason they thought that if they'd brought along a rifle, they were going to be eating seared venison backstraps every night. I guess they weren't used to NZ conditions, because when we found them they'd been eating goat twice a day for four days straight, not really having any food with them. We were running low on food as well but shared what we could with them, and gave them some whisky, which seemed to improve their world a bit.

Later in the evening, the vegetarian in our party told them of my encounter with the possum the previous night. She was expecting them to be a bit horrified (like she was) but instead they pricked up their ears and asked me what I'd 'done with it'. after asking directions, they retrieved the carcass, gutted it, and tried to roast it over fire on a spit. Man, they must have been desperate, because everything was against them on this one-
  • As you can see in the above pic, dry wood is rare to non existent in that part of the world, making the fire, well, crap.
  • The possum was a very large male
  • The carcass had sat ungutted in the bush for 24 hours, and hadn't been bled
But, I have to hand it to them, they were keen. I warned them about the Tuberculosis risk, but they persisted, saying that the liver had looked 'ok'. After trying to nurse a struggling fire for about an hour, in the rain, they decided that the beast was 'more or less done', and ate some. I tried a little too, so as not to lose man-points. It was horrific; bloody, mostly raw and partially burnt, sort of like mutton but way stronger (in a bad way). They went back to eating goat after that, and I resolved not to eat mammals smaller than a lamb ever again LOL
kai time!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hoser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 July 2010 at 02:21
A terrific anecdote Kiwi...thanks so much for sharing LOL I've eaten a few rodents in my time, but never a marsupial...not too keen on starting at this point, either.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kiwi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 July 2010 at 02:28
Well, I highly recommend eating Australia's national icon if you ever get the chance. Seriously. It's great. Very lean but suprisingly tender, and packed with flavour.
kai time!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hoser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 July 2010 at 03:12
Never seen any "Roo" meat over here Kiwi, but I'd give it a chance at your recommendation.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote craftsmaster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 July 2010 at 21:15
Wheelchair-accessible "garden"? That's a great idea Mellisa. Consider Lavender.  If you insist on trying your hand at starting lavender from seed, then grow the seeds in small pots early in the spring.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Boilermaker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 July 2010 at 21:25
Originally posted by Rivet Rivet wrote:

A woodchuck has small scent glands under the forearms and in the small of the back that must be removed. The insulating fat under the skin should also be removed. A dressed woodchuck does not require soaking, though many people recommend soaking overnight in salted water. As with all game, the meat of older animals is tougher and has a stronger, gamier flavor than a young animal. This recipe may also be made with the boned meat of one large or two small rabbits.
 
Woodchuck au Vin
 
The gardener who created this dish notes that the herbs and vegetables in this recipe are available fresh from the garden because they have not been eaten by the dish’s main ingredient.
 

2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil

1 woodchuck, dressed and cleaned of scent glands, boned and cut into strips or bite-size chunks

2 shallots, chopped

2 large carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup beef stock or water

2 cups dry red wine

3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons white vermouth

2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1 fresh or dried bay leaf

2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

1 1/2 cups pitted Cerignola olives, very coarsely chopped

2 to 3 tablespoons flour

Chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Salt.

1. Place a Dutch oven over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add olive oil. When the oil is hot, add woodchuck meat and sauté until lightly browned on all sides. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

2. Add shallots and carrots to pan and sauté until lightly browned. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add stock or water, red wine and 3/4 cup of vermouth. Stir with a wooden spoon, scraping bottom of the pan. Return meat to pan, and add pepper, thyme, bay leaf, and 1 tablespoon of the rosemary. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Add olives and remaining 1 tablespoon rosemary. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until meat is tender, about 45 minutes.

4. Discard bay leaf. Raise heat and boil uncovered until liquid is slightly reduced. In a small bowl, mix remaining 2 tablespoons vermouth with enough flour to make a soupy paste. Thicken sauce to taste by adding paste a tablespoon at a time, simmering for a minute after each addition; all of the paste may not be needed. Stir in parsley, and season with salt if needed. If desired, serve over rice or egg noodles, or with boiled potatoes.


Dave,

When I was growing up in Indiana the local farmers all welcomed me to shoot their woodchucks, know as groundhogs in Hoosier Speak, a couple of groundhogs can destroy a soybean crop in short order.  My uncle used to like to eat them so when I shot a young one I would give it to him and he would stuff them with apple slices, onions, garlic, carrots, little potatoes, etc and roast them.  That was quite good and I would guess that "Woodchuck au Vin" would be good as well.  They are much like a squirrel, they eat good things and they themselves are quite tasty.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hoser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 July 2010 at 04:38
If they taste like squirrel, I'd love them...I just about grew up eating squirrel , trout and perch. I'm originally from Michigan, and we lived right on the big lake, so we had access to lots of fish and other wildlife as well.

Doggone it! now you folks have got me craving squirrel LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hoser Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 July 2010 at 04:42
Originally posted by Melissa Mead Melissa Mead wrote:

Thanks! I have lavender that winters over by my dryer vent, but I've never tried to cook with it.


I use lavender  in my recipe for Herbs De Provence Melissa, they are an important ingredient. Or, you could just make a sachet to keep the kitchen smelling nice.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Melissa Mead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 July 2010 at 09:03
I've been using it for the scent before this. I even put some (dried) in my pocketbook.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Melissa Mead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 July 2010 at 09:05
Originally posted by Hoser Hoser wrote:

If they taste like squirrel, I'd love them...I just about grew up eating squirrel , trout and perch. I'm originally from Michigan, and we lived right on the big lake, so we had access to lots of fish and other wildlife as well.

Doggone it! now you folks have got me craving squirrel LOL


When my husband was a kid, he ate squirrel in spaghetti sauce. Said it wasn't bad.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Melissa Mead Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 July 2010 at 09:09
Originally posted by craftsmaster craftsmaster wrote:

Wheelchair-accessible "garden"? That's a great idea Mellisa. Consider Lavender.  If you insist on trying your hand at starting lavender from seed, then grow the seeds in small pots early in the spring.



Lavender is one of the few things (along with mint and chives) that I haven't managed to kill yet. ;) I bought a small pot marked "Lavender, annual," and planted it by my dryer vent. Not only did it winter over, it got bigger!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote daniel77 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 September 2010 at 13:16
I'm late to this party, but the potatoes thing is a REALLY good idea in pots. You'll make more potatoes in a LARGE pot than you can imagine. The trick is to use a really large container. I'm a landscaper, so getting large pots is easy for me. I use 20-30 gallon pots that we buy trees in. They would be around the same size as half a whiskey barrel. You start off with only about 8-12" of good soil in the bottom of the pot. You want fairly loose soil for anything that grown underground (onions, peanuts, carrots, whatever) as really hard or compacted soild will not allow for the fruit to expand and grow easily and result in stunted fruit. Once your potatoes have sprouted and become well established, you begin to add soil in 6" increments. You will be covering up a row or two of newly emerging branches each time you add soil. These branches will become roots, and you will wind up growing potatoes in layers. The ones at the top will be new potatoes and probably won't have time to get very large. I've done this with several varieties of both red and white potatoes. This really is a good way to go about growing them, however, the fully filled container will be quite heavy, so on a deck or boards may not be the best place to try this. Good luck.
If what you're serving comes on a cracker, you'd better have a lot of it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DIYASUB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 September 2010 at 17:12
 A little off topic from the original post, but as long as we're mentioning growing potatoes in containers i have to tell you that I've been using discarded tires. It's the same method Daniel is using, and they grow quote well. The only difference is at harvest time when rather than trying to overturn a large container, I just flip tires off the stack one by one and rake out the soil to collect the spuds.
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