Tag Archives: BFCG

What’s New in Jenna’s Garden? Week 13

By Jenna Howard

Week 13

"Now that we are coming to the end of the season, I’m looking for ways to maximize the crops in my garden. I grew lots of herbs over the past few months– basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary, parsley and more! I’m drying all my herbs so that I can use them through the winter. Here are some simple instructions for drying your fresh herbs (long-stemmed & short stemmed)."

How to dry long-stemmed herbs

Harvest herbs in the early morning hours just after the dew has dried off the leaves. (Picking them early in the day will result in a more pungent flavor!)  Remove dirt by gently rinsing cut stems in cool water, then shake off excess water. Gently pick off and remove dead or discolored leaves with your fingers. Gather the stems into small bunches and tie cut ends together with string or rubber bands. Hang bunches upside down in a warm, dark, dust-free, well-ventilated area such as a closet or cabinet. (If dust is difficult to avoid, poke a hole at the bottom of a brown paper bag and place over bundle while drying herbs.) Take down bunches in two to three weeks – when herbs are dry and brittle. Strip leaves from stems and store dried leaves in small jars or plastic bags.

How to dry short-stemmed herbs

It is best to use two clean window screens when drying short-stemmed herbs. Simply place the herbs between the two screens using a brick to keep them together. Follow the same cleaning instructions above for long-stemmed herbs. Choose an area that has good air circulation and does not receive direct sunlight. Turn the leaves periodically to ensure the entire leaf is exposed to air. This process will take about 7 to 10 days. These herbs can be stored in a glass jar or plastic bag as well.

What’s New in Jenna’s Garden? Week Seven

What’s New in Jenna’s Garden?

Jenna Howard headshot

Pleasant Street resident Jenna Howard is providing updates on the chard, cauliflower and other vegetables growing in her plot at the new Burnham’s Field Community Garden. The reports and photos allow GoodMorningGloucester viewers to follow the garden’s progress with a weekly answer to the question, “What’s New in Jenna’s Garden?”

By Jenna Howard

Week Seven

Over the past few weeks I’ve been doing a lot of “housekeeping” in the garden. As you may have read in last week’s update, I had to re-stake the tomato plants and remove the squash from the garden. This left a lot of free space and possibilities for new additions.

On the right side of the garden you will see a small fence. This is simply three sticks (that I took from my yard) tied together with twine. This structure was made for the green beans with hopes that as they grow they will climb the fence. This should keep them from interfering with any of their neighbors!

green beans

The newest additions to the garden are Bright Lights Swiss Chard, cauliflower, Romaine Lettuce and Wooly Thyme. While the far end of the garden is looking very mature with 6+ foot tall tomato plants, the middle of the garden is filled with young plants that are just starting to grow.

You may also notice the wild-looking vine growing at the foot of the plot. That is a pumpkin that I grew from a seed! (Yes, I’m very proud to have successfully grown something from a seed!) It has been doubling in size every week. And this week I was so excited to see that a small green pumpkin has appeared!

new stuffpumpkinWeek 7

What’s New in Jenna’s Garden? Week 6

GMG Series: What’s New in Jenna’s Garden?

There’s been some drama this week in Pleasant Street resident Jenna Howard’s plot in the Burnham’s Field Community Garden. Read on for the photos and details.

By Jenna Howard

Week Six

Last week was a week full of lessons! If you read my week five update, you already know that I made the horrible mistake of cutting dry leaves off my squash. I’m sad to report that the squash did not make it! Unfortunately, in just a matter of a few days most of the squash’s big, beautiful leaves dried up and left the fruit completely exposed to the sun. I had to pull the squash from the garden because it was clear that there was no reviving it. Fortunately I did get five healthy Patty Pan squash from the plant.

I also had a great learning experience with my tomato plants this week. After a few days of high winds, I found all three of my tomato plants lying on their sides. I realized it was not only due to the strong winds but also the fact that my tomato cages were not tall enough. At this point it would be impossible to take the cages off the tomatoes, so I had to come up with another way to secure the tomatoes and keep them upright. I did that using giant stakes and then tying the stalk of the plants to the stakes. I also used gardeners’ Velcro and ties to keep all the stray branches in place.

It was a week of lessons learned! Luckily, the garden is looking much better but I can’t help but feel like there is something missing now that my giant squash is gone.

For Weeks 1-5 click here

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What’s New in Jenna’s Garden? Week 5

Pleasant Street resident Jenna Howard has agreed to provide updates on the squash, peppers and other vegetables growing in her plot at the new Burnham’s Field Community Garden. The reports and photos will allow GoodMorningGloucester viewers to follow the garden’s progress with a weekly answer to the question, “What’s New in Jenna’s Garden?”

By Jenna Howard

Jenna Howard headshot

Week Five

After a week of high heat some of the veggie plants were looking a little wilted — especially the giant squash leaves. I made the unfortunate mistake of pruning some of its dry leaves. I learned a very important lesson when I later read that you should NEVER cut off squash leaves! There are three important reasons why you should not do this:  First, it opens the plant’s vascular system up to bacteria and viruses. Second, the squash leaves also act as a natural sunscreen for the fruit. Without the leaves they are susceptible to sun scald (like a plant sunburn). Lastly, the leaves not only shade the fruit, they also block the sun and make it hard for weeds to grow around the plant. So the moral of the story is: Don’t cut the leaves from your squash not matter how dry or wilted they look. I had to learn this lesson the hard way. I just hope it doesn’t affect my squash too badly!
On a positive note, we have an eggplant! Well, at least the very beginning stages of one.

Week 1

Week 2

Week 3

Week 4

Week 5

GMG Series: What’s New in Jenna’s Garden? Week 4

Pleasant Street resident Jenna Howard has agreed to provide updates on the tomatoes, squash and other vegetables growing in her plot at the new Burnham’s Field Community Garden. The reports and photos will allow GoodMorningGloucester viewers to follow the garden’s progress with a weekly answer to the question, “What’s New in Jenna’s Garden?”

Jenna Howard headshot

By Jenna Howard

Week Four

This week was THE week for tomatoes! The tomato plants are growing like wild — literally. I had to use gardener’s Velcro to keep the tomato plants in their cages and stop them from shading the other veggies. Lots of cherry tomatoes appeared this week. But even more exciting was the sight of the tomatillos. For those who aren’t familiar with the tomatillo, it is basically a tomato that grows in a green husk. Pretty cool, right? And these tomatoes are perfect for making salsa! Tomatillos are "self-incompatible," which means they need another tomato plant nearby for proper pollination. Lucky for my tomatillo there are plenty of others around which is probably why we already have so much fruit.

Here is a yummy salsa recipe using tomatillos. Enjoy!

Tomatillo Salsa Verde

Ingredients: 1 1/2 lb tomatillos, 1/2 cup chopped white onion, 1/2 cup cilantro leaves, 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon sugar, 2 Jalapeño peppers (stemmed, seeded and chopped), salt to taste

First remove the papery husks from the tomatillos and rinse well. To roast the tomatillos: Cut in half and place cut side-down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Place under a broiler for 5-to-7 minutes to lightly blacken the skin. Put tomatillos, lime juice, onions, cilantro, chili peppers and sugar in a food processor and pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped and mixed. Season to taste with salt. Cool in refrigerator and then eat up!!

What’s New in Jenna’s Garden? Week 3

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Pleasant Street resident Jenna Howard is providing updates on the beets, radishes and other vegetables growing in her plot at the new Burnham’s Field Community Garden. The reports and photos will allow GoodMorningGloucester viewers to follow the garden’s progress with a weekly answer to the question, “What’s New in Jenna’s Garden?”

By Jenna Howard

Week Three:

"Over the past few weeks the Burnham’s Field Community Garden has evolved into something amazing. Everyday that I visit, I’m surprised to see the growth of all the gardeners’ plots. Our little garden has transformed into a jungle! This week the growth in my garden resulted in the harvest of more veggies — Bib Lettuce, Golden Beets and Radishes! The garden is ever-changing. With the free space I was able to plant some more herbs. The newest additions to my garden are Oregano, Thyme and Rosemary. But the most exciting addition to the garden was the very first strawberry that appeared this week. That strawberry didn’t stand a chance, as I couldn’t wait to eat it. And it was delicious!"

Jenna

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GMG Exclusive Series: What’s New in Jenna’s Garden?

Novice gardener and Pleasant Street resident Jenna Howard has agreed to provide updates on the squash, peppers and other vegetables growing in her plot at the new Burnham’s Field Community Garden. The reports and photos will allow GoodMorningGloucester viewers to follow the garden’s progress with a weekly answer to the question, “What’s New in Jenna’s Garden?”

Jenna Howard headshot

By Jenna Howard

Week Two:

"The squash is taking over! It seems that every time we go to water our garden the squash has doubled in size yet again. Its leaves are now about 24 inches in diameter and it has started producing flowers and fruit! Did you know that squash blossoms are edible? Yup, that’s right, those pretty yellow flowers that you see growing from squash plants are not just a decoration. I’ve heard that they make for a tasty treat when battered and fried in a little oil—and they can also be eaten raw!"

Jennas garden week two June 26, 2011

Burnham’s Field Gardener – Barb Collins

Burnham’s Field is the largest green space in central Gloucester. Recently there’s been a resurgence of pride in Burnham’s Field, including a new 20-plot garden. GoodMorningGloucester is now running a series of video profiles of the Burnham’s Field Community Gardeners. Here are their stories.

By John McElhenny

Burnham’s Field Gardener – Barb Collins

Barb Collins, who grew up on a farm in Excelsior, Minnesota, describes what she’ll grow in her Burnham’s Field garden and why she’s excited about it. This video was shot a few weeks back when the garden was first created. The plants are about 100 times bigger now than they were then!

New GMG Series: What’s New in Jenna’s Garden?

At Joey C.’s request, novice gardener and Pleasant Street resident Jenna Howard has agreed to provide updates on the tomatoes, peppers and other vegetables growing in her plot at the new Burnham’s Field Community Garden. The reports and photos will allow GoodMorningGloucester viewers to follow the garden’s progress with a weekly answer to the question, “What’s New in Jenna’s Garden?”

By Jenna Howard

Week One:

"Three continuous days of rain followed by lots of sunshine proved very beneficial to the Burnham’s Field Community Garden! I was surprised to find that some of our plants had doubled in size in just a few days. We even had to harvest our first batches of kale and spinach because they were shading some of the smaller plants! And we noticed that something seems to be eating the radishes. Hmm, wonder what it could be …”

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