Friday, September 4, 2015

The Edible, Drinkable Landscape

The Atlanta Botanical Garden's annual Alston Lecture Series kicks off on Tuesday, September 15 at 7 p.m. with "The Edible, Drinkable Landscape," an evening with Nan Chase. Nan is the author of a number of books on home gardening, including most recently Drink the Harvest: Making and Preserving Juices, Wines, Meads, Teas, and Ciders. Join us for an enjoyable, informative event as Nan shares some of her favorite and most productive plants for spaces of all sizes. You'll look at your yard and its bounty with fresh eyes.

This event is free and open to the public; no reservation is required. The Philip and Elkin Alston Lecture Series is made possible by the generous support of the Charles Loridans Foundation.

-Julia da Silva, Interpretation Coordinator

Thursday, August 6, 2015

From plant to plate and back again

A movement towards more sustainable food options is burgeoning throughout the United States, and here in Atlanta many farm-to-table eateries are thriving and serving locally grown, ecologically sound food. Just steps from the source, produce from our own Edible Garden enriches the plates of both our weekend chef demonstrations and the offerings a the Café at Linton's in the Garden.

While thoughtful ingredient sourcing gets a lot of attention, the less glamorous side of sustainable food systems is the management of waste generated in the culinary process. With an eye towards waste reduction in the Outdoor Kitchen, when using disposable dishware and utensils, we choose those made from paper, bamboo, and corn. These are then sent to be composted at the commercial facility where we send out kitchen scraps and garden clippings. An earth-friendlier alternative to plastics, these items help sustain the ecological cycle by keeping waste out of landfills, and instead turning it into a valuable resource for the next growing season.

-Heather Rice, Programs Assistant

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Blueberries in the Garden!

'Premier' Blueberry
Vaccinium ashei

Nothing says summer quite like fresh blueberries, which can currently be seen ripening throughout the Edible Garden. These seasonal favorites thrive in well-drained, acid soils, and the Southeastern native rabbiteye blueberry (Vaccinium ashei) tolerates the Georgia heat especially well. We have planted varieties that bloom around the same time near each other, including two rabbiteye cultivars, which encourages cross-pollination and consequently produces bigger berries. If left long enough to fully ripen, tart berries soon turn a deep blue that signals that they are sweet and ready to harvest. Rich in antioxidants and other beneficials, blueberries make a healthy addition to your summer meals. Our Garden Chef campers have been taking full advantage of their bounty, adding them to refreshing smoothies, topping yogurt parfaits, and enjoying them as a straightforward snack.

-Heather Rice, Programs Assistant

Friday, June 12, 2015

Downy serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea) is a deciduous, small tree or shrub in the rose family (Rosaceae). It is also commonly known as Juneberry, Shadbush and Sarvistree. The "service" in the common name serviceberry refers to the plant usually being in flower around Easter. Serviceberries can be eaten raw, cooked in puddings, pies and muffins, or used in combination with other berries as an extender. The berries can also be dried and used to replace raisins in recipes.

Serviceberry Jam

4 cups serviceberries
2 oranges 1½ cups water
½ cup lemon juice
2 cups sugar

Prepare jar lids. Put serviceberries through food chopper with a medium-fine blade. Juice the two oranges and put the peel through the food chopper. Combine berries, orange peel and water in a large saucepan; boil gently until fruit is tender. Add juice from oranges, lemon juice and sugar. Boil 20 minutes or until the desired consistency is reached.

– Moe Hemmings, Edible Garden Horitculturist

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Currently, the Edible Garden is supporting The Café at Linton’s in the Garden by providing fresh winter crops such as cabbage & swiss chard that have appeared in salads and paired with delicious local meats.

One exciting plant added to the Edible Garden includes Musa ‘Super Dwarf Cavendish’ a strain of the cavendish banana that is stated to produce fruit at a manageable height of just 3’ or less often after one year. Another exciting addition is a pink blueberry... yes, you read that right! Vaccinium ‘Pink Lemonade’ is a mid to late season blueberry that has bright, showy pink fruit with a mild flavor. The fruit turns deep pink when ripe. This plant provides four seasons of interest, with leaves putting on a display of color in the fall, and winter twigs that turn a reddish-brown. 

With such diverse additions to the Edible Garden the overall look will be a feast for the stomach and for the eyes!

– Moe Hemmings, Edible Garden Horitculturist