My class and I drove over to the greenhouse where we first met Pat. Pat is in charge of growing the vegetables at Monticello and tends to a few acres of land. While at the greenhouse, Pat showed how she collects seeds for use in future growing. Through a creative and innovative method of using various sieves, Pat has been able to extract delicate seeds that will eventually be used to fill the Monticello gardens with beautiful and tasty vegetables.
Gabriele Rausse discusses the benefits of cold frames.
Next, Gabriele arrived to show us the greenhouse and to explain how he plants and transplants various seedlings. Gabriele took us through the greenhouse and pointed out the various seedlings that were growing and further showed us the surprises within the cold frames outside. After the tour of the greenhouse, Pat and Gabriele showed us the vegetable gardens on the other side of the land.
'Gardening in Winter' students tour the Monticello Vegetable Garden.
Pat Brodowski reveals sea kale (Crambe maritima) grown under a clay blanching pot.
During our tour, Pat tried to test our "great" plant identifying skills. In one quiz, Pat looked to her right, picked up a leaf of one of the plants, turned around and grinned. She suddenly asked, "Ok Nick, since you are a chef-to-be, you should be able to get this, what is this plant?" I grabbed a piece of the leaf and sniffed it. The strong, somewhat mildly spicy aroma truly was familar, and brought me back to my days of making homemade honey mustard. Immediately, I shouted out "horseradish." The sound of Pat saying "Ding! Ding! Ding!" put a smile on my face because I was right! I had never seen horseradish before that was not already processed and jarred. Seeing the green color, I then quickly asked, "Hey Pat, if this is horseradish, then how does it become the creme colored product that you see in bottles at grocery stores?" Pat quickly replied, "they use the root, and the leaves are not really used for eating." All I could say to this piece of information was, "wow, I never knew that."
'Tennis Ball' lettuce finds shelter under rosemary.