Write On Rubee

An Arizona-based food, beverage and travel writer since 2008, I launched this website in 2015 to document my culinary adventures, beverage escapades, gardening endeavors, and travel in the Phoenix area and beyond. Also find a comprehensive calendar of Phoenix-area food and drink-related events on my Events page.

Filtering by Category: Vegetable Gardening

Fall Vegetable Gardening

Though it's still oppressively hot and the autumn cool-down seems far away, I started prepping my vegetable beds for fall planting.  This weekend I weeded, cut back herbs, pulled out plants that didn't survive the summer, and top dressed with BioFlora Dry Crumbles, a favorite organic, granular fertilizer. I'm all set for some Vilardi Gardens plants.  

My friend Suzanne, owner of Vilardi Gardens, has a fantastic variety of plants that are available at the local farmers markets - look for them at Roadrunner Farmers MarketDeSoto Central Market and Ahwatukee Farmers Market.  After meeting up for lunch recently, I came home with some new additions of sesame (black, tan, and white), tomatoes (Indigo Rose, Cream Sausage, Violet Jasper, Tasmanian Chocolate, Dwarf Beryl Beauty, Punta Banda, and Taxi), Hibiscus sabdariffa, purple and Genovese basil, and Lunga Violetta eggplant.  I can't wait to get them planted this week.  

I'm especially excited to try growing capers for the first time.  

Atomic Red Carrots

I've tried sowing carrots in the fall the last few years but didn't have any success.  They sprouted, but seemed to stall or become woody.  Finally, this year, I had my first batch of fresh, crunchy carrots.  I'm not sure if it was the variety (Atomic Red), the watering schedule, or location, but I hope I have the same crop next spring.  With carrots as sweet as these, I simply toss with extra-virgin olive oil, sprinkle with garlic-herb salt, and roast for 15-20 minutes at 425 degrees.  

Fushimi peppers

I love these Japanese peppers I got as starts locally from my friend, owner of Vilardi Gardens. From the Kitazawa Seed Company description: "This sweet Japanese pepper is thin-walled and glossy bright green. The fruits are slender, tapered and grow to 6" in length. It is very easy to grow, produces good quality and prolific harvests."  I serve them simply pan-roasted with a sprinkle of togarashi seasoning.