Friday, July 21, 2006

First Tomato

I finally had my first ripe tomato today -- just cherry-sized, but it was good. We're going to Michigan for 5 days -- they'll all be sure to ripen when I'm gone. As well as these cute little peppers. They are the Golden Baby Belles that I started from seed -- so cute. I've been harvesting tons of giant jalapenos and have put them to good use making poppers. I found a recipe that bakes them instead of deep frying. I also made a nice yellow squash soup and a salad nicoise -- I have many green beans to use.
I have my automated sprinkler set up and need to move all my potted plants into the garden so they don't die. Of course it is coming down buckets right now. I'll probably come back to an overgrown weed patch full of club-like squash and tough beans, but what are you gonna do. Be back on Thursday!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Things that fly

My butterfly bushes are finally in bloom and are attracting many butterflies and enormous bees. Until I saw the antennae I thought this one was a tiny hummingbird. I do wish I had one with more colorful flowers -- but they were here when I got here. It's 90 degrees and incredibly humid, so I didn't get into the garden today. I had pulled onions and picked some more peppers last night, so I made the green salsa today. It was quite good and extra spicy -- I used about a dozen jalapenos (or is it jalopenos) and a few green tomatos (or is it tomatoes?) an onion, 3 cloves of garlic and a (sadly) store-bought red pepper for color. You cook it all up with some cider vinegar and salt then hot water process the jars. I made 2 jars and actually ate one warm without the water processing. A bit of sour cream mixed in cut the heat. Might have been a little vinegar-y. The second jar might be a bit mellower if I can stand to wait and let the flavors set up. I am a fool for salsa so I don't know if I'll make it.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Veggie Overload

Well I made it through a week as a Girl Scout day camp counselor relatively unscathed. Actually, I probably had more fun than Bailey did -- you're not allowed to have your own kid in your unit. Each unit leader was given pretty free reign outside of a few scheduled activities so we did a lot of hiking and creek walking. It was tiring though, I was also a bus monitor and had to be at the bus by 7:45 a.m. and couldn't leave until everyone was picked up in the afternoon. It was hectic, hot and humid. The camp, Camp Shanituck in Bullitt County, Ky, just south of Louisville was pretty and mostly shady. Anyway -- my garden didn't suffer too much from the neglect. I got a chance to pick beans and cucumbers in the evenings. I also made my yellow squash with the oregano and chicken broth for dinner one night -- this time I added some grape tomatos and tossed it with pasta.

I froze green beans and edamame today. I also made 2 little containers of pesto and froze one of those. I'm not sure that I like my basil. I have 3 sizes of basil in my basil patch -- normal large-leaf basil that volunteered from plants 2 years ago, small leaf Summerlong basil (I liked it better last year, it seems the leaves were slightly bigger) and some mutant basil with leaves that are so tiny it's ridiculous. The small leaves are very time consuming to strip -- my pesto had more than a few stms processed in. I've never dried basil before -- I may give that a try -- maybe with the oregano as well. I'm still steadily adding cucumbers to my refrigerator pickle crock. I was looking in a Mediterranean cookbook I have and may try some Tzitliki (?) Greek cucumbers in a yogurt and garlic sauce. It's hard to figure out what to do with all this bounty. I also found a couple of intriguing zucchini recipes - one for zucchini lasagna - using long strips of zucchini instead of noodles - and one for a zucchini and basil muffin.

My next challenge is to figure out what to do with all my jalapenos. I wound up with 4 jalapeno plants out of my 7 pepper plants because I couldn't remember which was which when 2 bit the dust and I wanted to make sure I had some for salsa. Unfortunately timing is not my friend this year since my tomatos are about 3 weeks behind I usually pick the first one by the second week in July. I looked up a recipe for green tomato and jalapeno salsa that I may try. I'm also dying to get some cream cheese and make some poppers. Now my question is -- will the tomatos ripen before the plants keel over entirely -- they look pretty sad.

I did get out there and weed some this evening. We had quite a storm last night so the ground was wet and it was pretty easy to pull the quickweed that had taken over. I have some Swiss Chard and Yellow Beet, as well as more carrot and Heatwave lettuce I'd like to put in, but I'm not sure if I should wait til it's a bit cooler.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

So many Daylilies

I'm not sure exactly what the deal is this year -- but I seem to have many more varieties of daylilies. I spread them around quite a bit this year -- it may just be that I just now able to see them. Previously I just had a few light pink, many bright yellow some with the rust and yellow and your standard orange. This year there are red, pale yellow, I saw one purple, and some new multicolor ones from 3 "bonus" plants I received with an order from Wayside Gardens a couple of years ago - blooming for the first time. There is a huge Daylilies-only nursery here in town -- I should check it out.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Edamame Yum!

I just had my first batch of edamame beans from my garden -- actually from anywhere - I've never eaten, much less grown them. At any rate -- so good. The variety I planted is Beer Friend. They are so sweet and nutty. There's mo pic because I gobbled them all up. I boiled them in salted water for 5 mins then popped them out of the shells and salted them a bit more. Excellent.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

happy fourth

It's hot and humid with a thunderstorm on the horizon for the Fourth here. Luckily we did a few fireworks last night. Still getting ready for a party at the neighbor's today though it may be a wash out.
In the garden, my Kwintus Pole Beans are starting to come in -- they are actually Romano beans. I've never made them before but I found a nice recipe on an organic farm's websiteRomano bean ragout. I made it again today as a salad to take to the party.

This pic's for you Meredith. My dad and brother were visiting for the weekend so I could make some of the stuff I'd been making for myself for a more appreciative audience. Dad will eat anything. Aside from the beans I also made the golden beets and greens and some pickles. He also took home a big bag of herbs, beans, cucumbers and garlic.

Aside from the visit I've been distracted from gardening -- the kids found a "fishing hole" a spring-fed part of the creek full of little fish and have caught and released quite a few -- monitoring this has kept Nola and I busy - her son Anthony is the other fisherman involved. Maggie helps. Otherwise - the Japanese Beetles have started munching on the beans, I have a few yellow squash starting to set fruit, the green beans are producing steadily, we are picking a few blackberries and I've picked a few jalapenos -- though one of my plants fell over.

1) Weed
2) Weed
3) Weed