Posts Tagged homegrown

melons everywhere!

 

here it is, my very first cantaloupe of the season

So my melon plants are turning out to be the big surprise success of the season.  They are truly a surprise since I didn’t plant any of them – they all came up from seed.  I have 2 plants in seperate parts of the garden that I let go when I saw them pop up, and they are flourishing.  One is a cantaloupe, and I’m not sure what variety the other is.  I should be finding out very soon since there are at least 4 big melons on it right now.  The cantaloupe has about the same, and I’ve already picked 2.  

i ate the melon this week...didn't turn out to be as sweet as I hoped, but still tasty.

 I wrote earlier in the season about how there was a vicious clawed creature going into my garden and ripping the baby melons from the plants (the horror!).  Turns out the mystery animal stealing my melons was none other than our dog Kenji.  Joey caught him red-handed over the weekend with 2 melons, and just yesterday I left him alone for 5 minutes and came back to find a baby melon still attached to the vine in the middle of the yard.  He is on a close watch now. 

Kenji, the vicious melon eating dog

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now we’re talkin’

This week I finally have a decent amount of tomatoes.  This is closer to what I expected from my plants this year, but still nowhere near the amount I had last summer.   Still, I am excited to have this many ripe, juicy tomatoes and have been putting them in everything (ever tried boxed mac n’ cheese with fresh cherry tomatoes?  you should).  Most of these are destined to become marinara by the weekend.  I’d better make it an extra tasty batch since I may only have enough tomatoes left on the plants for one more big bowl full. 

tomatoes harvested week of June 21

 

The varieties in this bowl include:  early girl (most of the big ones), sun leaper, green zebra, red pear, large red cherry, and grape tomatoes.

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tomatoes, finally!

This is the extend of the tomatoes I’ve harvested so far.  I managed to get to the big one (early girl) before the birds, and there are a few dozen more on that plant still, so I’ll be racing the birds for those too.  This time last year I had literally bowls of tomatoes, so I’m disappointed with my plants this year.  I have 2 plants still with no tomatoes on them.  What’s up with that?  On the bright side, this is my first green zebra tomato to pick, and I really like that variety.  They are very tasty, and I love that the birds can’t tell they are ripe because they are green.  Dumb birds.  Maybe next year I’ll fill my garden with green variety tomatoes.

 

Here’s an update on how my tomato plants are doing as well.  Lots of growth – they are getting huge, just not lots of tomatoes.  They are also turning yellow from the bottom up – not looking all that healthy. 

Today I went on the hunt for compost tea so I can make a batch of Garrett Juice for them, but Home Depot and the other local garden store didn’t have it, and the lady working at Home Depot looked at me like I was speaking Greek when I asked her about it.  Sigh.  Tomorrow I’ll try the organic gardening center Green Mama’s – I’m sure they will have compost tea and lots of other fabulous things too.

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potatoes and carrots and tomato, oh my!

Well, its harvest time for the root veggies at my house!

This was our first time growing potatoes and I had no idea how they would do, but I’m pleasantly surprised.  It was kind of fun digging them up….it was like digging for buried treasure.  Ok, I didn’t actually do the digging, I just supervised as Joey dug, but he really enjoyed it 🙂

This is about half the carrots from the garden.  We didn’t do a great job of thinning them after they first sprouted, so lots of these are pretty small.  The rest now have plenty of room to get nice and plump.

And in other garden news, this early girl tomato is under extreme surveillance as it begins to ripen. I just know the birds are already eyeing it.  It’s a race against the birds to pick this before they peck it – I’m determined to win.

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my onion harvest

This is my first time to grow actual onions, with the bulbs and everything, so I was pretty excited.   All of the tops of the white onions I planted fell over and started to look dead, and the bulbs were sticking out of the ground, so I figured they were done.  I pulled them up and let them sit in the garden for 2 days.

onions in the garden after just being harvested

Then I brought them in and cleaned them.  Most are pretty small, but I’m pretty proud of the couple of medium sized onions.  Too bad it’s only a small bowl full, because I love onions and will go through these in no time.

me holding the onion harvest

I still have some red onions in the ground, so we’ll see how those turn out.

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pasta with garden veggies

Turns out I had a few other things ready for pickin’ in my garden this week:  1 small white onion, 1 garden salsa pepper (hot!) and fresh basil.

white onion, garden salsa pepper and fresh basil

Only missing a few ingredients to make a killer pasta dish.  Since my tomatoes are still ripening, canned will have to do today.  But I still feel satisfied to have 3 of my own grown ingredients in this dish.  Here’s the breakdown for this easy dinner:

  • 1 small-medium yellow or white onion, chopped (or whatever is growing in your garden – this recipe is very flexible)
  • 1 pepper, chopped – again, your choice of variety.  We like spicy (and the garden salsa pepper made this dish spicy!)
  • handful of fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine (I used pinot grigio)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 8 oz. turkey sausage (optional, and could also use chicken – whatever you like)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 7 oz pasta – whatever shape you like

Bring a pot of water to a boil for your pasta.  Cook pasta per package directions.  Saute onion, garlic and pepper in a medium skillet in a little olive oil until soft, about 5 minutes.   Then add wine and simmer until half the wine is evaporated.

Pour a glass of wine for yourself, and sip while you finish making dinner.

Add the can of tomatoes (with juice), sausage, chopped basil and salt and pepper

Let this simmer for about 10 minutes – it will thicken slightly.  Drain the pasta once cooked and add to the pan with the sauce.  Mix well.

Sprinkle with parmesan cheese (or not, it’s your dinner after all), and dig in. 

bon apetit!

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look at all those beans

Yesterday I harvested the first veggies from my garden for the year – green beans.  These are some good-looking beans if I do say so myself (and I do).  They’re from my bush bean plants.  I think I have about 6 bush bean plants, which is half of what I planned to have, but the seeds didn’t all sprout.  So, looks like I’m going to need some new bean recipes.  Recipes that only require 6 or 8 beans instead of an entire bowl full. 

Without further ado, here they are, the fabulous, organic, green beans from my backyard garden. 

yup, 8 big bad green beans. I am QUITE the gardener.

TA-DA!  Impressive, huh?

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