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Monday, April 4, 2011

A Whirlwind Weekend and Lebanese Flatbread

Phew.. another weekend come and gone, and it just flew by! I spent Sat and Sunday afternoon at the Spring Ideal Home Show, where I gave a handful of seminars.. thanks to everyone who came out! It was a lot of fun and I loved answering your gardening questions and hearing about some of the fun things that you're doing in your own gardens! I tell you - spend 5 min with a gardener and you'll come away with a whole bunch of new tips and ideas!!

I've also been starting more seeds indoors for the second flush of cool season crops like cabbage, broccoli and kohlrabi. And, after 3 weeks, my first Mexico Midget tomato seed has germinated - see.. isn't it adorable?! (something only a gardener would think!) I was warned they were slow to germinate, but I was getting a bit worried! My Chapis Wild tomatoes haven't sprouted yet either, so fingers crossed.. Everything else is doing well though - tomatoes, peppers (what am I going to do with 40 pepper plants!?), parsley (Italian and curly), zaatar, among many others.

In case you haven't heard of zaatar, which I bought from www.kitchengardenseeds.com, it's a Lebanese thyme-like herb that's used to flavour a flatbread breakfast dish called 'Manouchi' (spelling will vary widely). It's a traditional Lebanese breakfast and I make it for the kids a few times a week.. they love it (and so do I!).. you can buy a bag of dried zaatar (not the seed) at your local middle-east grocery stores (look for the green type, not reddish) and it's a mix of the zaatar herb, along with sumac and sesame seeds. Just mix it with some olive oil until it's a slurry (not too oily, but not too dry) and spread it over your favourite pizza dough. Bake like pizza until the bottom crust is golden and eat! Delicious!!

On a side note, just found that top photo of some of the tomatoes from last summer - had to include it as a bit of inspiration as to why we grow our own tomato transplants.. just try finding seedlings for Black Cherry, Costoluto or Sungold tomatoes at your local nursery - I dare you! :)

Happy Gardening - another gorgeous day!

6 comments:

  1. I am starting my own tomatoes, peppers and melons this year to plant in my first ever home garden. Prior to this I had only grown tomatoes on the patio and helped my mother out with her garden.
    Some friends have a fantastic garden and last year introduced me to a wide variety of tomatoes, most of which I will not be able to find at the garden centre. They are also generous enough to share many seeds with me so I can start my own plants without investing so much in a large bunch of seeds of different varieties.
    I planted the seeds 10 days ago, and havent seen anything yet. I'm trying to wait patiently!

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  2. So glad I made it to the 3:00 presentation. Good group..Home show could have used/provided way more seats))).

    Your tomato seedlings are not leggy like mine((((...

    I thought Zataar was the actual mix and not just the herb. It's pretty wonderful, I will say that..who knew Sumac seeds could be eaten?

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  3. Dear Niki,
    Enjoyed your presentation at the home show very much! We are building new cold frames- where do you get the lexan, how thick is it and do you buy just the lexan brand? Was in to Halifax Seed and they said the lemon cuc seeds didn't come in- do you know another Canadian supplier? Thanks!

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  4. Thanks so much for your wonderful questions!! I would have answered sooner, but my internet has been a bit 'sulky' the past day.. all seems good now (nothing a swift kick couldn't fix!!).

    Garden Girl - thanks for your kind comments!! I bought the lexan from Halifax Seed.. it's 8 mil thick and was the lexan brand. I think it's about $1.95 per square foot (it was last year)?? sometimes they have 'damaged' pieces too and you can get them cheaper.. It might also be worth a phone call to a building supply place like happy harry's to see if they have any too..

    Darn - out of lemon cukes!! annoying.. try www.westcoastseeds.com.. will see if i can find more suggestions too..

    Alicen - I hope your seeds have now germinated! Great you're growing your own - you will love it! Start small, with just a handful of favourite crops and enjoy!! Keep me posted - I'd love to see photos too! :)

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  5. Thought of one more for Lemon Cukes - Richter's herbs - www.richters.com (i think - internet problems again..)

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Please feel free to leave comments. I welcome your tips, questions, thoughts and ideas (and suggestions for new veggies to grow!)