Home & Garden

From the Garden to the Party

4d28b531f81cc34f0a8b_Nasturtium_in_salad.jpg
Add a bit of color and interest to salads with edible flowers like nasturtium. Credits: Melinda Myers, LLC
4d28b531f81cc34f0a8b_Nasturtium_in_salad.jpg

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - Make every meal a special event by bringing the garden to the table. Serve your favorite dishes made from homegrown ingredients. Then allow guests to add their own herbal seasonings right from the garden or container.

Start by growing the ingredients for your favorite recipes and beverages. Consider those, like tomatoes, that taste best fresh from the garden.  Or create a salad bar by filling window boxes and raised beds with greens, hot peppers, green onions and more. Just hand your guests a plate and let them create their own fresh salad.

Dress up the table or balcony with a few containers of herbs on your patio, deck or near the grill.  Use small herb containers as edible centerpieces. Just include a pair of garden scissors and allow your family and guests to season the meal to their taste.

Sign Up for E-News

Add a bit of color to your meal with edible flowers.  Try nasturtium and daylily blossoms stuffed with cream cheese, calendula petals sprinkled on your salad and mint leaves a top a slice of chocolate cake.

Include a few herbs and vegetables that can be blended, muddled or added to your favorite beverage. Use the hollow stems of lovage as a straw for your tomato juice or bloody Mary.  You’ll enjoy the celery flavor this edible straw provides. Or pluck a few mint or rosemary leaves to flavor iced tea and lemonade.

Just be sure the vegetables and flowers you select are free of pesticides. Remove the bitter tasting pollen from edible flowers.

Start your party preparation in the garden.  Once you compile your list of favorites prepare your garden and containers for a productive growing and entertaining season. 

In the garden, add several inches of organic matter such as compost to the top eight to twelve inches of soil. You’ll improve drainage in clay soil and increase the water holding ability in sandy soils. This is also a good time to incorporate an organic nitrogen fertilizer, like Milorganite (milorganite.com) into the soil. This slow release fertilizer provides needed nutrients for six to eight weeks. Then be sure to add a mid-season boost to keep your garden healthy and productive.

For container plantings, select a pot with drainage holes and fill it with a quality potting mix. This is also a good time to add an organic nitrogen fertilizer which will eliminate the need for weekly feedings. Just give containers a second application mid-season.

Mulch the soil with shredded leaves, evergreen needles or other organic matter to suppress weeds and conserve moisture. As the mulch breaks down it improves the soil for future plantings.

Harvest regularly to keep your plants looking good and producing. Cut the outer leaves of leaf lettuce when four to six inches tall and it will keep growing new leaves.  Pick peppers and tomatoes when fully ripe, so the plant continues flowering and forming new fruit.

And dress up the table with a bouquet of your favorite garden flowers. Pick a few extras to send home with your guests and they’ll surely remember your special gathering filled with homegrown flavor and beauty.
 

Gardening expert Melinda Myers has more than 30 years of horticulture experience and has written over 20 gardening books, including Small Space Gardening and the Midwest Gardener’s Handbook. She hosts The Great Courses “How to Grow Anything: Food Gardening For Everyone” DVD set and the nationally syndicated Melinda’s Garden Moment TV & radio segments. Myers is a columnist and contributing editor for Birds & Blooms magazine and spokesperson for Milorganite. Myers’ website is www.melindamyers.com.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Union

Construction Update on Vauxhall Ave. Bridge, Chestnut St. Bridge and Morris Avenue Work

June 19, 2018

UNION, NJ – A CodeRed alert about road construction, the resulting congestion, and what can be expected, was sent to residents Tuesday morning.

The message said the work on these state roads is being performed by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.  The message outlined the following work scheduled for June and July:

The Vauxhall Bridge over Route 22.  Work ...

The Week Ahead in Union

UNION, NJ - Happenings in Union this week:

Monday, 6/18

Union Township Active Retirees (Monday Club), 10:00 a.m., Senior Center
Adult Coloring, 1:15 p.m., Vauxhall Public Library
Construction Zone, 3:30 p.m., Union Public Library
Read to Waldi, 4:15 p.m., Union Public Library
Connect, Explore & Discover Digital Resources, 7:00 p.m., Union Public Library

Tuesday, ...

The Week Ahead in Union

UNION, NJ - Happenings in Union this week:

Monday, 6/11

Union Township Active Retirees (Monday Club), 10:00 a.m., Senior Center
Adult Prize Bingo, 1:15 p.m., Vauxhall Public Library
Construction Zone, 3:30 p.m., Union Public Library
Career Coach, 6:00 p.m., Vauxhall Public Library
Donuts with Your Dude,6:00 p.m., Vauxhall Public Library

Tuesday, 6/12

Senior Citizens ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_415aacf78687dcb7fab9_rock_painting

Mon, June 25, 1:00 PM

Union Public Library, Union

Let's Create Rock Art

Carousel_image_ec9461df1cd0015cf41f_mini_magick20180620-4048-snbre5

Mon, June 25, 3:30 PM

Union Public Library, Union

Construction Zone

Carousel_image_62d6e8e01b2ca6b48806_flagship

Tue, June 26, 7:00 PM

Union Public Library, Union

The History of Route 22

Carousel_image_1745e208dced874ffd8b_e6e6158b48ac79ad3add_chair_yoga__1_

Wed, June 27, 10:15 AM

Union Public Library, Union

Chair Yoga in the Library

Jordan Moass of Union has been named to the Spring 2018 Dean's List at the University at Albany

June 23, 2018

ALBANY, NY - Jordan Moass from Union has been named to the Spring 2018 Dean's List at the University at Albany. Students named to the Dean's List earned at least a 3.5 GPA.

About the University at Albany

A comprehensive public research university, the University at Albany-SUNY offers more than 120 undergraduate majors and minors and 125 master's, doctoral, and graduate ...

Taylor Heggins Named to Spring 2018 Dean's List at American International College

SPRINGFIELD, MA - Taylor Heggins, of Union, has been named to the Spring 2018 Dean's List at American International College (AIC) in Springfield, MA. Dean's List students are full-time students with a grade point average between 3.3 and 4.0.Heggins is majoring in Health Science at AIC.

Founded in 1885, American International College (AIC) is a private, co-educational, doctoral granting ...

Union Residents Make Dean's List at the University of Delaware

NEWARK, DE - Students from Union have been named to the University of Delaware Dean's List for the Spring 2018 semester:

Natalie Caggiano 

Julia Hayes 

Steven Medina 

Maria Rocha 

To meet eligibility requirements for the Dean's List, a student must be enrolled full-time and earn a GPA of 3.33 or above (on a 4.0 scale) for the semester.

 

Fatal shooting in Plainfield under investigation

June 24, 2018

TAPinto Plainfield received this release from the Union County's Prosecutor's office:

PLAINFIELD, NJ  A shooting that left a man dead and a woman seriously injured in Plainfield overnight is under investigation, acting Union County Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan announced Sunday.

The deceased victim has been identified as Michael Welsh, 34, of Plainfield.

Plainfield ...

Video: Union County Celebrates Pride Month with CommUNITY PRIDE Day Picnic

RAHWAY, NJ - Parents, children, friends, and all family members came out on Saturday afternoon to Rahway River Park for the Union County CommUNITY PRIDE Day Picnic.

The family-friendly celebration hosted by the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, was a day of fun activities of arts and crafts, family lawn games, inflatable bounce houses, playground fun and more, along with music by the ...

Honey Bees Found in Dumpster Relocated

UNION COUNTY, NJ – The County found themselves in a sticky situation last week when a swarm of honey bees were discovered at a construction dumpster at the County Administration building.

A social media post by the County said a pair of beekeepers from the nonprofit organization Groundwork Elizabeth came to the scene on Friday, and the bees were relocated to the Elmora Public Library, as ...

Boundless Talent on Display at Hannah Caldwell School

June 15, 2018

UNION, NJ –Talent was on full display last week as over 40 students participated in Hannah Caldwell School’s Talent Show, with singing, dancing, musical instrument performances, and even a comedian.

“This is a special performance because the children are in control.  All of the acts in the show were prepared outside of school by the students,” said music teacher ...

Battle Hill and Hannah Caldwell Students Celebrate Reading Accomplishments

UNION, NJ – Young readers in Hannah Caldwell and Battle Hill Elementary Schools enjoyed the fruits of their labor on Wednesday when they celebrated their accomplishments in this year's Olympic Reading Programs.

Librarian Karen Franciosa said, “I couldn't be more proud of the students who worked diligently throughout the year to accomplish their personal reading ...

Linden Man Arrested After Explosion in Cranford

June 22, 2018

CRANFORD - On Wednesday, June 20, 2018 at 7:06 p.m. the Cranford Police Department received
information that an explosion was heard in the area of Raritan Road and Summit Terrace. Through
a joint investigation with the Union County Prosecutor's Office and Linden Police Department, the
Cranford Police Department Detective Bureau identified a suspect through surveillance video ...

Cranford High Student Competes at U.S. Junior Amateur Sectional Qualifier

SCOTCH PLAINS - Cranford soon-to-be senior Johnny Bush took his shot to qualify for a USGA championship on Wednesday.

Bush shot a 6-over-par 76 (38-38) to finish in a five-way tie for 21st place in a U.S. Junior Amateur Sectional Qualifier at the par 70, 6,558-yard Shackamaxon Country Club in nearby Scotch Plains.

65 golfers, including 54 from the Garden State, took a ...

Charges Pending Against Roselle Man Found with More than 40 Dogs Living in Squalor

ROSELLE, NJ - A Roselle man will be charged with multiple criminal offenses after more than 40 dogs were discovered living in severely unsanitary and inhumane living conditions in his home last week, according to the Union County Prosecutor’s Office and New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

According to the authorities, members of those two agencies, the ...

Westfield High School Sophomore Dies; Counselors on Hand at School

WESTFIELD, NJ — Carthoris “Carter” Uziel, a sophomore at Westfield High School, died Sunday night, according to Westfield Public Schools and a letter sent to parents by Principal Dr. Derrick Nelson.

“Words cannot convey the grief we feel in the Westfield Public Schools community over the death of Carthoris ‘Carter’ Uziel, a sophomore at Westfield High ...

Register Today for Summer Youth Courses Offered at Union County College

June 23, 2018

CRANFORD – This summer the Office of Continuing Education at Union County College is expanding its course offerings for youth ages 11-18. Classes are taught by NJ-certified teachers and subject matter experts that specialize in delivering high-quality youth programs. Classes begin the week of June 25 and run through August 23.

Classes offered include Introduction to Musical Theater, ...

Shakespeare in the Park Returns to Union County, Sunday, July 8

LINDEN, NJ -- The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce the return of Shakespeare in the Park this summer. The first performance will be presented on Sunday, July 8 at 7:00 p.m. at the Raymond Wood Bauer Promenade in Linden.

The Shrew Mechanicals Troupe from The Shakespeare Theatre of New jersey will present an hour long performance of “Powerful Trouble,” ...

June 22 Concert Moved Indoors Due to Weather Forecast

Due to the weather forecast, tonight’s concert originally located at Echo Lake Park is now MOVED INDOORS to the Main Stage of the Union County Performing Arts Center, at 1601 Irving Street in Rahway.

Come an enjoy an evening with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra at this beautifully restored 1920's era former vaudeville hall. Concert begins at 7:30 sharp (sorry, no yoga ...

Reminder: Eligible Seniors Can Receive $25 in Free Vouchers for Farmer’s Markets, Starting June 25

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders reminds income-eligible senior residents age 60 and over that they can apply for a total of $25 in free vouchers to purchase fresh produce. The vouchers may be used only at Farmer’s Markets in Union County that display a yellow and black WIC sign.

“Farmer’s Markets are a feature of community life throughout Union County in the ...

Columns

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast Episode 17

On this week’s AtlantiCast, it’s National Men’s Health Month, so check out important health tips for you or the men in your life, learn about groundbreaking research into breast cancer treatment that could mean an end to chemotherapy for some patients, meet a local sports hero who’s living his baseball dreams thanks to Goryeb Children’s Hospital and much ...

'Half Time' delivers with sterling cast

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other talents.

The musical centers on an effort to have seniors perform a dance number during ...

'Half Time' lights up Paper Mill stage

‘Half Time’ turns the tables on aging in gleeful production

By Liz Keill

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other ...

Could Monmouth Park's Haskell Invitational Be on Justify's Agenda?

June 13, 2018

ELMONT, NY — Triple Crown winner Justify came out of his stall to meet the media bright and bouncing on the morning after his gate-to-wire win in the 150th running of the Belmont Stakes.

When asked to assess his colt's win, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert reported, “We were watching replays of the race. He could have gone around again.”

The brilliantly colored ...

Letters to the Editor