Re: [gardeners] Tuesday in the garden

Ron Hay (
Wed, 08 May 2002 08:05:10 -0700

Hello, again, Penny,

I have no idea whether calcium nitrate is formulated for local soils. I
do know that my friend in Venice with the macadamia tree went to 4
nurseries and could not find it; but our local one did and the results
have been spectacular.

With large artichokes, one can separate the leaves a bit and fill the
spaces between the leaves with herby bread crumbs and olive oil and
steam them. A large one like that can serve two.

Our favorite way, requiring the least fuss, is to pressure cook them for
12-15 minutes, depending on the size (12 minutes for the smaller ones),
then dip the leaves, hearts, either in mayonnaise or, my personal
favorite, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, with a little salt and
pepper...which is really a vinaigrette.

When the big ones are pressure cooked, the stems are almost entirely
edible, so I cut long portions of the stem, which tastes just like the

Most of the recipes I see call for removing the outer leaves and
utilizing only the inner portion, the heart and bottom. I find that a
horrendous waste, as we love scraping the goodies off the leaves with
our teeth.

One of these fine days, I will remove the leaves and proceed as
directed, but will reserve the leaves to steam, another day.

Well, I am off to battle mildew another week. It seems like this
May-June for bank has been with us for most of April, and the result is
persistent mildew. I have tried Funginex, neem oil and E-Rase (Jim D's
personal choice, IIRC), all with moderate effectiveness. What we need is
warm sunny days, days not so hot as to fry the roses, but warm enough to
give them a fighting chance. It seems that even at one of the local
country clubs, where a neighbor works, with its fleet of professional
landscapers, are unable to do any better than we at holding the line
against mildew.

Onward and upward!

Be well and enjoy your garden!