Omelets and Greens

gARDEN 041Today I harvested lots of greens from the indoor planter box. In the pile of greens contains baby swiss chard, lettuce, basil, spinach, and cilantro.

I used the baby basil and spinach to make a 3 egg omelet.  The taste of the spinach and basil was amazing.  The crispness of the spinach and spiciness of the basil went nicely together.  I turned the rest of the greens into a side salad for my eggs.

gARDEN 042To make the omelet I used 3 fresh Larry Schultz’s organic eggs.  I will let one of the masters of french cooking take it from here!

Starting Seeds

I have been thinking about the up coming growing season and what I should start my seedlings in.  I want to use the most environmentally friendly containers possible.  I was thinking of using plastic cups, or buying small containers.   However, these options seem expensive and over time they will have to be thrown out in the trash.

One option is making my own out of newspaper.  I found what is called the pot maker.  Has anyone used this or have any other ideas about making containers?

It is sunny in MSP today so some day dreaming about gardening is in order today!

Spacing in the Garden

Spacing out your garden is very important for the productivity and health of your garden.  If you plant to close together your plants will not have the room to grow.  On the other hand if they are to far apart your garden is not going to be as productive as it could be.  I found this website which can help with design and organization of your plants. Good luck.

Off to the restaurant to work with more root vegetables.  I am thinking of Thousand Hills grass feed New York with parsnip-potato puree, brussel sprouts, bacon lardons, and smoky blue cheese from Carr Valley creamery.  All components are local gown!!!


Planter Box Update

gARDEN 039I have been getting a lot of growth in my planter box during the last couple of weeks.  I had my first harvest of baby greens.  The spinach, swiss chard and cilantro made a nice salad.  I tossed the greens with some balsamic vinegar.  According to growingyourgreens you should eat greens when they are young and tender.

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O.K. after the harvest this is what is going on currently in the box.  gARDEN 026

I removed the rosemary that was growing to make room for some basil plants.  I put the rosemary in a pot to see if it will keep growing.  I don’t use rosemary very often when I cook because it is a harsher tasting herb.  If it lives great if not oh well.

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The basil is still small, but they where growing in one small area and needed to be thinned.  Fresh basil is one of my favorite herbs.  I just love the smell and taste. gARDEN 029


After the harvest for my salad, the swiss chard is still going strong with plenty of small shoots coming up.

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The spinach on the other hand is coming back a little slower than the swiss chard.  On this end of the box there is a small draft from the window.  This could be the cause of lack of growth.  However, eating the baby spinach taste great.

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The cilantro is growing nicely.  This herb is one of Megan’s favorite.  The seeds are called coriander and the plant is called cilantro. I use both at the restaurant“Just Thinking” feat. Chali 2na will put this post to a close.  Spring is coming soon!

Planter Box Update

AGRIDUDE-2-7-13 011I final purchased a grow light for my planter box that I built last summer.  It has two T5 high out blubs,  and it is about 4 feet long.  I have it on a timer with 10 hours on and 14 hours off.  AGRIDUDE-2-7-13 002



I have planted swiss chard, spinach, cilantro, basil, and some random left over seeds.  The problem that I am having is keeping the planter box warm during this time of year.  However, seeds are starting to germinate.

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I built the stand that the light is on from PVC pipping and buried it the box.

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Here are some up close pictures of what I have growing.  Off to work!

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Natura Farms in Sacandia MN

Last Wednesday Aidan went to one of the farms that I use at the restaurant.  The name of the farm is Natura Farms.  They practice all organic farming.  However, they can not afford to be certified by the Federal Government to be USDA organic.  There produce is out of this world!!


The farm is about 57 acres and they grow just about everything.  On the property they have three green houses where they start seeds before they transfer to the fields.









Out in the fields we found all sorts of different kinds of greens, gourds, and peppers.  They also have to huge patches of strawberries and raspberries.  Here are some pictures of the produce we saw.  It was fun!

This row of swiss chard is grown under black plastic.  They run hoses under the plastic in the spring to water through out the summer.  It helps with controlling the weeds.

Mixed and greens and lettuces seems to go on for ever.  For insect control they plant a wide range of items which welcomes good insects to eat the bad ones.

The red cabbage row is as long as the greens in the previous pictures.  We had and great time learned a lot plus we got to pick any fresh vegetables we wanted for free!!  Stay tuned for recipes from the farm.


If anyone remembers earlier this grow season my hop plant nearly died on me.  However, it is back with full strength.

Hops are used to bitter beer.  I found this link that provides information on hops and uses.  It is getting about time to get the Brown Bottle Brewery up and running again.  Stay tuned for pictures of the brewing process.  I thinking in about two weeks I should have a batch going.


Here is a picture of my plant producing buds.  They should double in size before harvesting.










Off to the Muff to cook for the people. Check this song out from Trampled By Turtles.  Go Duluth MN!

Smoked BBQ Ribs

Yesterday I smoked some baby back ribs on the grill, aka Smoked BBQ ribs.  I have a Weber grill that is 22.5 inches across.

I gave my ribs a bath in a brine (find the recipe here) for about 4 hours.  I add some fresh basil and rosemary from the garden.  While the ribs where taking a flavorful bath I made a dry rub.







Above are the ribs out of there bath and rubbed with the dry rub.  I let the ribs come to room temperature before putting them on the grill.  This is a great time to start the grill.

I started the chimney with about 50 charcoal bricks.  On the left there are 25 more charcoal bricks.  These will help keep the fire going during the long cooking process.




I have two pans of water in the grill.  One next to the coals and one on top of the coals.  This will help keep the meat moist.  I am cooking with indirect heat, by placing the ribs away from the coals. I added some wood chips for smoke and closed the lid.  I checked them and rotated the ribs every 45 minutes .

About three hours later they were done.  I add some bbq sauce and let them sit on the grill for about ten more minutes.  Serve with your favorite garden vegetables.  Enjoy!!


Dry Rub For BBQ Ribs

I use this dry rub for my smoked BBQ ribs.  You can use this dry rub for chicken as well.  I make a recipe and save it in an air tight container for later use.  Add fresh herbs from the garden to make it your own.

Dry Rub:

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/2 cup paprika

1/3 cup garlic salt

2 tablespoons onion salt

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 1/2 teaspoons white pepper

1 teaspoon cumin