(See most recent blog below for background)

Well, I dragged myself out of bed before 6 on Saturday, got to the Oahu Urban Garden Center Arbor Day plant giveaway and sale at 6:30 (it opens at 7) and they weren’t kidding when they said people line up. There must have been 75-100 people, individuals, couples and families already in line!


The event was in two segments: a free fruit or flowering tree to each family, held in a fenced off section, and a very inexpensive plant sale in a nearby sheltered carport space. I didn’t want a tree so I headed directly to the sale and found what I wanted: Portuguese cabbage ($1 each), nioi (Hawaiian chili peppers) (2 for $1), flat-leaf parsley ($1) and mint ($1). All were small starts. Then I saw this guy walk by with a fully grown nioi plant with peppers on it. He said he got it in the free enclosure. I practically ran over there but the nioi was already gone (it was 7:10) as were many of the fruit trees and flowering plants. By 7:15, I was back on the road.

If you want to check out the next sale, they hold a Master Gardener day 7 a.m. second Saturday of each month. Check their Web site for schedule in case it changes: www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/ougc/

Here’s an idea for when you’ve got a flat-leaf parsley, green onions and mint in your garden. A recipe from Portugal…

Salsa verde (Green sauce)

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/3 cup finely chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped mint
1/4 cup capers, drained, rinsed, chopped
1 tablespoon grated fresh lemon peel (about 1 lemon)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic.
Combine all ingredients. Pour over a butterflied leg of lamb or pork roast, marinate 1 hour, then roast as usual. Or place in heavy-bottomed saute pan or frying pan and saute shrimp in the sauce just until shrimp turn pink. Serve immediately.