Posts Tagged vegetables

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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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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flowers, flowers everywhere, but not a veggie to pick

 Week 3
It’s been perfect veggie growing weather at my house.  Not much rain unfortunately, but low to mid 80s for the past week and my plants are loving it!  So far everything is looking nice and healthy – no diseases or bugs that I can see.  Here’s the pics for the week – I’ll let them do the talking.
The tomato zone, week 3. Lots of growth this week, and lots of little tomatoes popping up.

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here’s my garden – week 1

  • So far I haven’t been very good about this blogging thing.  I started the blog more than 2 months ago when I couldn’t wait for spring, and have only blogged twice.  Well, spring is in full swing and my garden is planted, so it’s time to start documenting it!  My plan is to take pictures and post at least once a week.  I’ll call this week one since it’s my first post, even though most of my plants have been in the ground for several weeks already.
  • view of garden from the tomato forest. That huge green mass in the middle is lemon balm from last year - what am I going to do with all of that?!

  • view from the other end of my garden, looking at the tomato and pepper area

  • Here’s what I’m growing this year:
  • Tomatoes:  Brandywine, grape, red pear, black krim, green zebra, pink german, homestead, early girl, sun leaper, cheroke purple and one mystery tomato that popped up randomly in the middle of my onions    
  • this tomato, along with about 50 others, popped up in this one little area of my garden. I have no idea what type it is - what a fun surprise!

  • Peppers:  jalapeno, poblano, red and orange bell, giant Marconi, garden salsa and one other that is missing its tag and I can’t remember what it is.
  • jalapeno and a random marigold

  • Garlic
  • Carrots
  • I planted these from seed about a month ago - don't remember the variety.

  • potatoes and onions
  • this is where my rogue tomatoes were popping up everywhere. I've pulled most of them so the potatoes and onions have room to grow.

  • Zucchini
  • I planted this from seed about a month ago

  • Watermelon
  • planted this from seed also. I also planted cantaloupe seeds, but they never sprouted 😦

  • Corn
  • planted these seeds a month ago. I feel like it should be bigger by now, but I've never grown corn before. That's my HUGE mint plant in the back.

  • Green beans
  • lovely holes in my bean rows where some seeds didn't sprout 🙂

  • Herbs:  basil, thyme, lemon balm, cilantro, spicy oregano, chamomile, golden sage, TONS of mint, rosemary, chives

I didn’t take any pics of my herbs today, but the lemon balm is in the first picture above (it’s out of control big), and my cilantro is also ridiculous.  Ok by me – I love cilantro.  I planted the cilantro seeds last fall, and the little plants grew very slow all winter, and then took off about 2 months ago.  I’ve never had luck with the transplants, but the seeds sure did work. 

And here’s my mystery plant.  I had a field of these popping up in this one area of the garden, so I transplanted one of them.  Not sure exactly what it is, but can’t wait to see what grows! 

  • this little guy popped up in the middle of my onions. I think it's either a cantaloupe, zucchini or cucumber. We'll see when it gets bigger!

Happy gardening!

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my newly discovered green thumb

I didn’t always have a green thumb.  My thumb just recently turned green, and it’s still a very light shade of green at that.  Just 4 short years ago when my husband and I bought our house, one of the reasons I liked our house was because the landscaping would not need any maintenance.  There were no plants in the backyard, and only bushes in the front.  I thought I couldn’t grow anything, and everything I had every ‘tried’ to grow before died.  Well, that’s because every plant will die if you neglect it.  You see, I used to think gardening wasn’t for me, it was for my parents. 

Something changed about 2 years ago, and at the rip ol’ age of 26, I planted my first vegetable garden.  My dad helped me pick out the tomato and pepper plants and we chose the perfect spot in our ridiculously sunny backyard.  My hubby and I got to work tilling up our little spot and planted 5 tomato and 4 pepper plants.  They grew like crazy all summer and turns out I LOVE growing stuff.  Who knew?! 

Last spring we dug up about 1/3 of our yard to make a bigger veggie garden.  I wanted to grow all kinds of stuff.  And we did.  Last year our garden produced 9 kinds of tomatoes, 8 varieties of peppers, lettuce, spinach, eggplant, 2 kinds of squash, TONS of basil, carrots, green beans, onions, garlic, 1 cantaloupe, and more okra than I ever wanted. 

Now it’s finally March, and I am chomping at the bit to start our garden.  We had one nice day and I practically ran to the garden center and bought onions, potatoes, garlic and shalots.  Too bad my veggie plot is in awful shape and not ready for any veggies yet. 

I love to talk about my garden, and love to hear what other people are planting and how they are doing.  Maybe I get it from my dad, who plants veggies wherever he has sun in his yard.  I’m still learning, but am passionate about growing stuff and have big plans for this year.  Just not sure where I’m going to put all of those plants yet….

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