Monday, May 18, 2015

Companion Planting

Ever had a friend who brought out the best in you? It turns out, plants have those friends too! 

It's called companion planting - and it happens when two plants provide some benefit to each other when planted together. The benefits can range from pest control to improved taste, from helping counter soil disease to providing a place to trellis. 

Take the classic example of 3 Sisters - corn, beans and squash! 

As the corn grows tall, the pole beans trellis up its stalk, providing support they need to grow. At the same time, the beans fix nitrogen into the soil, which the corn needs large quantities of to stay healthy. And finally, the squash vines its giant leaves around the base of the corn and the beans, creating a living mulch to keep moisture in the ground and out-compete weeds. 

The 3 Sisters are just one companion system though - there are many more! 
Tomatoes and marigolds, carrots and onions, cucumbers and nasturtiums...
To learn more about all of these plant companions, click here

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Garden Fresh Pesto

Pesto is a delicious and versatile way to pack in tons of greens in one meal. There's no need to wait for basil season, you can make pesto with all kinds of greens and fresh herbs. Use pine nuts, sunflower seeds, walnuts or no nuts. Go vegan, and omit the cheese! Make a big batch during the summer and freeze it for a lovely hit of green in the dead of winter.  Here are some recipes, but feel free to experiment.  This week in the pantry, our pesto features chives, baby spinach and kale leaves, freshly harvested from the Hub Gardens.