In Our Summer 2016 Issue

By Jon Gast | Last Updated June 01, 2016
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edible door summer 2016


Eat Your Veggies: The Geology of Lake Michigan Gardening

It’s summer time and that means one thing around the Gast household – the battle with the soil has begun.

Well, actually, we don’t really have soil but rather we have sand. My wife Leslie and I live on the shore of Sturgeon Bay that is an inlet off Green Bay that is an inlet off Lake Michigan. It’s one of the grand freshwater seas with a remarkable history, one that I’m sure has something to do with the poor condition of my soil.

At some time in the geologic history of the area, my house was probably submerged which ultimately led to the formation of a beach as the water receded. We know things grow on beaches but it’s just not the variety of vegetable and fl ower that Leslie would prefer to have. A nice palm tree would be nice, but Wisconsin’s current climate is not appropriate for coconut production.

Research has shown that lake levels have been hundreds of feet higher and lower than at present. As a result, shorelines have changed drastically and, unfortunately for us, it hasn’t been for the better.

Grass is the predominant plant along the shoreline, its basic job being to hamper erosion and look nice and green. As long as Mother Nature cooperates, we have a nice lawn. A week or so without rain and the grass begins to go dormant which is another way of saying it quits. It’s our lawn but it is maintained by the city as a scenic byway, which means it has to deal with the temperamental turf.

I try spout-to-blade resuscitation by way of my sprinkler on the lawn closest to my house only to remind myself that I’m watering a beach.

So for the last few years, Leslie has experimented with some of the latest fads regarding alternative beds so she can actually grow some fruits and vegetables on the beach.

She built a raised bed garden in the backyard that has produced nicely especially since the house protects it from wind and sun that are normally associated with a beach. But space is limited and the house is only so big, so we won’t be visiting the farmers market with excess produce. Actually, a nice meal or three constitutes a celebration of the harvest.

To augment that production, Leslie has tried a couple of more unconventional approaches to raising vegetables, each of which required a little hunting.

For those of you into the alternative methods to conventional gardens, straw bales and pallets probably aren’t all that surprising. But based the reaction she’s received from many of those who have seen these beds, it’s still not widely accepted.

The pallet garden made a lot of sense to me. The spaces between the wood slats provide perfect alignment for the rows and rich, black soil can be inserted in them to insure healthy and happy plants. Then I read about how pallets with untreated lumber should be used because, well, treated lumber and food doesn’t seem particularly appetizing. I’m pretty sure she’s using untreated wood this year and splinters are always a hazard.

As for the bales, it all seems a bit too bizarre for me and I don’t believe she’s had any success to date with producing a consumable product. But it’s worth a try since the beach wasn’t dong any better and it makes a heck of a conversation piece.

Thank God for the farmers market.

Jon Gast, Co-Owner/Editor of Edible Door

From Church Picnics to Death's Door BBQ Competition

Becky and Tom MacIntosh winning Deaths Door BBQ competition
If anyone living in Appleton who had become accustomed to the mouth-watering aromas from Tom and Becky MacIntosh’s home and were wondering...

Strawberries, The Other Red Fruit

Do you know which Door County red fruit is ready for harvest around the 4th of July? This “other red fruit” is often overshadowed by the Door County cherry, yet it’s the luscious strawberry that...

In Good Taste: Strawberry Recipes

Strawberry Ricotta Pancakes
Edible Door asks its advertisers to share some of the recipes that are featured on their menus, come from their markets or are the particular favorites of retailers. This issue the spotlight is on...

Bartending as a Craft

Tony Oczus
There’s a resurgence of bartending as a craft in bigger cities now moving to this area, according to Tony Oczus, master bartender at The Libertine in downtown Green Bay.

Presto! It's Pesto

corn parmesan cheese and pesto
Pesto is the perfect summer condiment. It’s colorful, made with fresh summer produce and a snap to prepare. And the best part? You don’t have to heat up your kitchen on a hot August day to make it...

Cold Climate Farms Created on a Clean Slate

Sarah McCarty and Ben Blohoweak in their barn at Cold Climate Farms
After seven years of living, studying and working in Madison, Benjamin Blohoweak and Sarah McCarty decided to return to Ben’s roots and start a sustainable small farm operation called Cold Climate...

Top of Their Game (And Peninsula): Mary and Mike Mead of Shoreline Restaurant

Shoreline’s stunning view
At the Shoreline, the Meads have food and service down pat. They also nail the three other must-haves for restaurant success-location, location, location.

Reflections on a Quieter Time at Clark Lake

John Propsom, Judy Nash and Roger Nash
Like many new visitors to Door County we were immediately enamored with the glitzier Bay side and Clark Lake. What we didn't realize at first was that there was a lot more to the story of this...

The Beauty & Diversity of Aprons

Renny Lea and Dorothy Wickman
The apron has been with us dating back to Biblical times, but it really wasn’t until the past century that the apron became a fashion accessory, worthy of passing down from one generation to the...

Fresh Greens on the Site of Old Greens

hydroponic facility at Riverview Garden
With acres of fertile land and an abundant yield of fresh food, you might feel as though you’re miles outside of Appleton, but you’re right in the heart of it.

New Lambeau Field Restaurant Finding Niche on Green Bay Culinary Scene

1919 Kitchen and Tap lobby
Any time you come across one of those restaurants with a name that is a number you immediately assume it has something to do with its address. What else could it be? Maybe the uniform number of a...

Music Has Taken Root at the Farm Market

Crowds in Downtown Appleton are certain to swell this summer with the farmers market and the Mile of Music.
The crowd gathers around The Music Mission’s teen-aged founder and President-in-Training Leah Whitthuhn. Her non-profit focuses on the distribution of purchased or donated musical instruments to...

Taking Recycling to the Next Level: Organic Matter

brown county recycling logo
Composting has been the “in” gardening activity for a while now, with many a home-gardener carefully tending a pile of “black gold.” For conscientious residents of Brown County who do not want...

Tall Ship Musters Tall Order from the Galley

El Galeón Andalucia spanish galleon
El Galeón Andalucia is a 170-foot, 495-ton wooden replica of a galleon that was once part of Spain’s West Indies fleet more than 500 years ago. Built in Huelva, Spain in 2009, it is the only...

Relax, Enjoy, & Color: The Creative Side of Food

strawberry plant coloring image
Coloring books for adults are all the rage these days. They provide hours of entertainment, allow us to relax and explore our creative side. For all food lovers comes Edible Paradise: A Coloring Book...

Strawberry Chia Scones

Courtesy of Sunflour Bakery, Sturgeon Bay

Strawberry Ricotta Pancakes

Strawberry Ricota Pancakes
Recipe courtesy of Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.

Strawberry Smoothies

Strawberry Smoothies
recipe courtesy of Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board

Strawberry Balsamic Grilled Cheese

Strawberry Grilled Cheese
Courtesy of Grasse’s Grill, Fish Creek

Carrot Top Pesto

carrot top pesto
Don’t throw away those carrot tops. Transform them into a carrot top pesto. This delicious and colorful pesto is great used as a dip or a topping on your favorite cracker.

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Puff Pastry Bites

sun dried tomato pesto bites
These sun-dried tomato pesto puff pastry bites are great for an appetizer spread. Choose to top it with fresh basil or oregano leaves for garnish.

Beet Pesto Flatbreads

beet pesto flatbread
Though pesto ingredients are usually used in the raw form, beets are best roasted for this recipe. Use pre-made flatbread or make your own with this yeast-free flatbread recipe.

What’s happening near you

May 26 | 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM


Peninsular Agricultural Research Station
Sturgeon Bay
June 01 - 03


Doyle Park
Little Chute
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