Here is a picture of Alessandra’s feta cheese from last Home Grown New Mexico’s Sunday’s cheese class. Diane Pratt and Alessandra Haines did a wonderful job prepping and presenting how to make these 2 great cheeses. Diane did the chèvre cheese and showed people how to make different flavors while Alessandra showed how to make feta cheese which takes longer. Everyone got to taste both cheeses (and different flavors of chèvre) on Diane’s freshly baked home-made bread and take home some chèvre curds to finish off at home. Hats off to both instructors for a great class! Many thanks!
Don’t be caught off guard if you’ve already planted, even cool season crops are in danger with the cold nights coming. To protect your plants, put row cover over them at night. It will add between 4-6°F protection and may help them endure the cold. You can get row cover at Agua Fria, Plants of the Southwest and Paynes Nurseries.
Here is the temperature (lows) forecast for the next 5 nights:
Tomorrow night-Thursday 26°F
What is chitting potatoes? Why do we want to chit potatoes? Basically it is ‘prespouting’ the potato ‘seeds’ to force healthy new sprouts before you plant the them. It will knock off a couple of weeks to harvest time so you’ll get be able to harvest sooner. Potato seeds are not seeds at all but the actual small potatoes. We keep potatoes we want to eat in the dark so they won’t turn green and quite often they start to develop smaller flimsy white sprouts while in the dark but what you want is thicker healthier sprouts that are either green or purple. If you missed the opportunity to chit the potatoes, it’s ok to just plant them when the time is right. This year I’m growing fingerlings-French fingerlings.
Here’s how to ‘chit ‘ them (sounds southern doesn’t it?!)
1. Get a couple of egg cartons so you can stand the potatoes with the pointed side down. The blunt side generally produces more sprouts so keep that side up. The egg cartons make it easy to support them this way. Sometimes there is no pointy side which you should then just look at your potato and put the side with the most ‘eyes’ or sprouts up.
2. Put them in a cool space that gets good indirect light in your house and they will develop thick sprouts in 2-4 weeks instead of those flimsy one that grow in the dark.
3. Plant them outdoors when the soil is 50°F or warmer. Use a compost therometer to see how warm the soil temperature is. There are many ways to plant potatoes which you can research on the net but if you plant in a bed, dig a deep trench about 10 inches deep in heavily amended fluffy soil.
4. Place the presprouted (or chitted) potatoes with the sprouts up-the sprouts become the leaves, not sideways and bury them 4 inches deep depending on the size of the potato. BE CAREFUL NOT TO BREAK OFF THE SPROUTS. Spacing them 12 inches apart and rows 12-24 inches apart.
5. After the leaves come up, start filling more dirt around the plants till they are almost covered. Bury the whole plant-leaves and all except leaving the top 3 inches of plant exposed. Continue doing this every time they get about 6 more inches tall Basically till you run out of soil. The potatoes will grow up above the potato seeds in the dirt above it. Below the potato seed the roots will grow for the plant.
6. You should see sprouts/leaves come up through the dirt in a couple of weeks. If it is still freezing at night, I will cover the plants with row cover.
7. Potatoes will start producing tubers when they flower.
8. Fingerling potatoes should be ready to harvest when the plants die back in about 90 days. Other potatoes may take less time or more. Leave them in the ground 2 weeks to harden off before harvesting. In fact, you can leave them in the ground until just before a hard freeze happens. That way you can harvest a few as you go and the rest in late fall. Don’t leave in over winter.
For more information on growing and buying good potato seed go to: http://www.irisheyesgardenseeds.com/growers10.php
Here is the first cheesemaking class of this 2015!! We had so many wait-listed to get into this class last year that we decided to offer it again and show you how to make Feta cheese as well. So you get 2 classes in one. Everyone takes home a little bit, so sign up now before the class is full!
Sun. April 19
Cheesemaking-Greek Feta and French Chèvre!
Learn to make Feta and Chevre cheese using goat’s milk
Time: 12 pm-2 pm
Instructors: Diane Pratt & Alessandra Haines
Location: 3229 Rodeo Road (Rodeo Grounds/Large Annex building Master Gardener classroom)
Cost: $5 donation
Space is limited to 25 people- register now!!
SORRY CLASS IS FULL. CHECK OUT OUR MOZARELLA CHEESEMAKING CLASS ON AUGUST 16. It’s in the top menu bar under ‘2015 HOMEGROWN CLASSES/EVENTS’ snd scroll down to August to find it and sign up early!
Learn how to make feta cheese so you can do it at home! Diane and Allesandra will show you how to do this delicious and easy to make cheese.
Feta is first recorded in the Byzantine Empire and was associated specifically with Crete. Traditionally, feta has been made by peasants in all of Greece from sheep’s milk, although goat’s milk has been used in more recent times. Feta is used as a table cheese, as well as in salads and pastries.
Learn how to make Chèvre goat cheese as well. Many people were wait listed for this class last year so we are offering it again. In France and Italy goat cheese goes back hundreds of years and it is no less popular today. In the New World, Laura Chenel introduced her version of fresh goat cheeses to Alice Waters at Chez Panisse in Berkeley. Chèvre, the French term for goat, has come to mean mild, fresh goat cheese in the United States.
Come learn how to make these 2 great goat cheeses in one class!
Diane and Allesandra have been milking goats and making their own goat cheese for over 20 years. They belong to 2 different goat tending Co-ops and milk their goats once a week. They use fresh goats milk to produce delicious chèvre, ricotta, feta and other artisan cheeses for their family and friends.
Become a 2015 Member for only $35 – includes all classes, potlucks and tour. TAX DEDUCTIBLE!
Well, it looks like many of you are chomping at the bit like I am to get out and start our gardens! 48 people signed up for the class and 45 showed up! Biggest class ever and what a great day it was to get out in a garden and see how to prep the garden beds, go over what plants do well here in Santa Fe and we actually planted some cool season crops-lettuces, kale and chard in Duskin’s plot at Milagro Community Garden. Thanks to all for supporting the class, it was good to see our friends.
Here are the handouts if you missed the class:
Starting Cool Season Crops Outside
WINTER:EARLY SPRING HARDY VEGETABLES
soil temperatures for veggie seeds
PRESPOUTING SEEDS Starting Cool Season Crops Outside
The next class of ours should be fantastic -Making Chevre and Feta cheese on April 19! Don’t wait too long to sign up as that class is limited to 25 lucky people who will learn how to make both cheeses and get to take home some of the cheese as well.
This is the first of many classes being offered by Home Grown New Mexico this year. It is coming up on Sunday, March 29 and should be a great class. Come out and learn how to plant outside in early spring!!
Sunday, March 29-CLASS
Starting Cool Season Crops Outside-DEMO
Come learn how to plant cool season crops outside in spring
Time: 12:00 pm-2:00 pm
Instructor: Jannine Cabossel
Location: Milagro Community Garden • 2481 Legacy Court (Off Rodeo Road east of Sam’s Club-Turn north onto Legacy Court-Garden is behind the church, ‘Church of the Servant’ on corner) • Santa Fe
Jannine Cabossel, a Master Gardener and ‘The Tomato Lady’ at the Santa Fe Farmers Market will teach a class on the basics of starting cool season crops outside in spring: Last year’s class we concentrated on seed starting indoors. This year we will be doing a demo in a garden outside. Come learn how to transplant seedlings, what amendments to add to the soil, when to transplant, how to get the very finicky spinach to germinate, how to add mycorrhizal for bigger root systems, and basic cold weather protection for plants during spring’s transitional period from cold to cool to summer. Plus learn varieties that do well in our cold climate in spring. Spring is a great time to grow many varieties that we struggle with once the heat is here!
Jannine has extensive experience in growing vegetables on her 4000 square foot garden using all organic methods. Follow her blog at giantveggiegardener.com
This class free! Become a 2015 Member for $35 – includes all classes, potlucks and tour. TAX DEDUCTIBLE!
The Seed exchange this year was a big success. At any given time we had over 20 people there bringing and taking seeds. Probably had about 150 people there overall. Many seeds were gone by the end. Many thanks to the Master Gardeners, Seedbroadcast and Poki Pottin from Gaia Gardens for coming and sharing. Always a fun event and a great kick off for this season’s gardening. This event and the great weather we’ve been having makes me want to get out in the garden!