This year in the Display Gardens, the Commercial Flower Growers of Wisconsin sponsored the largest petunia variety trial in the country. Nearly 350 petunia varieties (over 4,000 plants) were on display, side-by-side for direct comparisons. There was an amazing variety of color and growth habits among the varieties. Here is the list of varieties, sorted from best to worst, evaluated monthly for three months this summer ….2018_CFGW_petunia_data-final
Scientifically classified as Brassica rapa ssp. chinensis, Pak choi is generally grouped together with a few other B. rapa subspecies referred to as “Chinese Cabbage”. Pak choi (often spelt as Bok choy, Pak choy, or Bok choi) was transliterated from the Cantonese word for “white vegetable”. Like many other Brassica plants, pak choi, is a biennial plant (a biennial plant grows vegetatively for one season and then flowers and sets fruit the following season) that is grown as an annual from seed and cultivated during its vegetative year.Gardeners who adore pak choi for its culinary uses often prefer to harvest the plant when it is small and tender (approximately 6 inches tall or shorter), yet I used larger plants for my recipe and they were still detectably delectable!
Miso Soup with Pak Choi and Tofu
1/2 Block Tofu
1 Large Head or 2 Smaller Heads Pak Choi
1/2 Cup Onion
1/2 Cup Basil
1 Medium-Sized Carrot
2 1/2- 3 Tbsp Miso Paste of Choice
2 Cloves Garlic
1 Ginger Piece Sliced Thin
1 Tbsp Grapeseed Oil
Approx. 1 Tbsp Tamari Soy Sauce
2-3 Cups Water
Note: Mushrooms would make an awesome addition to this dish. If you choose to use some sliced crimini mushrooms, toss them to the the cooking pan at the same time as the onions.
Combine coarsely chopped basil with peeled garlic and ginger into one bowl and set aside. Cube tofu and place cubes on a clean kitchen towel. Press tofu with towel in order to squeeze out excess moisture (this allows the tofu to fry up quicker and take-on a crispier texture). Chop of the root and the very bottom of the pak choi in order to free the leaves. Diagonally Slice each leaf (including its stalk/petiole) of pak choi into two or three pieces. The carrot can be thinly sliced with a knife or a mandolin and combined with the pak choi into a bowl separate from the other ingredients.
1. Briefly fry basil, garlic, and ginger in grapeseed oil until the basil wilts.
2. Move basil to the side of the frying pan or cooking pot to make room for tofu.
3. Add cube tofu to pan and drizzle tamari soy sauce over tofu. Cook for about one minute and allow tofu to gather up a “crust” on one side before flipping it over.
4. Add chopped onion to the pan and continue to fry tofu until golden brown on each side.
5. Add carrots and pak choi plus two Tbsp water. Cover frying pan/ soup pot with a lid and allow the vegetables to steam for one minute.
6. Add two cups of water or enough water to almost cover ingredients in the pan.
7. Allow vegetables to simmer in the water until tender.
8. Turn off the stove top burner and mix in miso paste.
9. Keep soup covered for about one minute more.
10. Gently stir soup and serve.
Final Dish Serves 2-3 Portions.
-Madeline Wimmer, WMARS Intern
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This summer, the Commercial Flower Growers of Wisconsin hosted the largest display of impatiens in the Midwest here in our display gardens. 179 cultivars of SunPatiens and New Guinea Impatiens were transplanted June 1st and evaluated once a month, for three months, and rated 1-5 on foliage, blooms, pest and weather resistance, width and height and overall aesthetics. Most SunPatiens filled their space and were spectacular all summer while there was quite a range in vigor and sun tolerance among the New Guinea Impatiens. Click on the link below to see the overall results.
Thinking of expanding your garden? See how different plant varieties perform specifically in the Madison area. We evaluate flowers and vegetables on a number of criteria and make that information available to you! The data is also used to help seed companies ensure they are putting out top-notch products.
In 2016, the Commercial Flower Growers of Wisconsin selected over 150 ornamental flowers for evaluation in the Display Gardens. The results of monthly and overall ratings are posted here: