Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Harvest Pics

First harvest from earlier this month. I've harvested so much since then...but keep forgetting to take pictures!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Swiss Chard

I've decided to plant some Swiss Chard. I'm pulling out my cilantro and probably most of the lettuce and would like to plant something that will still grow for awhile. I've seen SO much information on Swiss Chard lately! It seems that everyone has Swiss Chard in their garden. I've even seen pictures of Swiss Chard used as a flower arrangement (which, to a super-allergic gal like me, is a fantastic idea)!

Let me know if you have any yummy Swiss Chard recipes that you think I should try!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Bye-Bye Cilantro

So I won't be growing cilantro next year. I'm so sad. But it just didn't turn out as I'd hoped. When I was thinking about planting my garden I had the idea of growing everything I'd need to make my own salsa: tomatoes, onions, and cilantro. What I didn't think about was how long each of these thing took to grow and their harvest times. My tomatoes are just starting to appear and my onions won't be ready until late July and my cilantro has bit the dust! How sad! I noticed a weird, lacy, wispy type of leaves growing out of the cilantro a few weeks ago. I clipped them out and hoped it was nothing to worry about. I had asked if anyone knew what it was and Katie replied that it was the cilantro bolting and starting to flower and seed. The flavor of the cilantro changes once it flowers so, I've decided to pull it out and plant something else in it's place. What a shame! I didn't even get to use one single sprig!

Here you can kind of see the difference between the leaves on the bottom and the leaves on the top.

I've also decided not to plant SO much lettuce next year! 4 squares was WAY too much! We've done our best to eat as much as we can but it just keeps coming back! Another problem was that I tried a mix of red and green leaf salad mix and was not terrifically happy with the results. Some of the lettuce had a bitter, sort of spicy flavor (sort of similar to arugula--which I DO NOT LIKE!!) and we just weren't happy with it. Next year I'm going to stick with romaine and buttercrunch. They're so mild and tender and wonderful so I know I can't go wrong with those.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Garden Pics!

Here are the latest pictures from my garden. I have baby tomatoes and baby sugar snap peas and TONS of lettuce!! We ate the peas for dinner tonight. It was a teeny harvest but SO worth it! They were the sweetest, yummiest sugar snap peas I've ever had! I blanched them in a little bit of water for just a minute or two and then lightly salted them. They tasted like I'd dipped them in sugar! SOOOOO good!

Potatoes and onions

Baby Husky Cherry Red tomatoes

Baby Yellow Pear tomatoes

Herbs, lettuce, tomatoes and peppers (they're even bigger now...maybe more pics tomorrow. I seem to be a blog slacker so I'll try to be better in the future!)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

What a busy last few weeks we've had! No time to garden; no time to blog about gardening. Luckily, my garden had a busy few weeks too...busy growing that is!! I now have flowers on my potato plants (which are totally huge by the way) and the peas that I thought weren't growing have flowers also. My lettuce has grown out of its box and i have teeny baby tomatoes! I'm so excited! We've been having tons of lettuce salads and they have been fantastic!

My raspberries (at least that's what I think they are) have had a few flowers and I am hoping that they will soon turn to berries. I'm so excited to try them!

Here are some pictures from a couple of weeks ago. Hopefully I'll have more current ones up tomorrow.
Oh, a couple of questions:

1. The cilantro I planted has really taken off but it has some weird non-cilantro-like things growing out the center of the plant...anyone have any idea what that is?

2. I planted Sugar Ann Snap Peas and the card that came with it said they grow in a bush. Do I still need to make a trellis for them to grow on? They sort of seem to be attacking my onion stalks and attaching their little tendrils to them!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

New Stuff

My garden is finally taking shape! Before I left town to go visit our families I planted strawberries (Ozark Beauties and Sequoias), tomatoes (Husky Cherry Red and Celebrity), peppers (Sweet Yellow Bell, Jalapeno, Hot Yellow Banana), Peas (Sugar Ann Snap) and more lettuce (Buttercrunch and Romaine). So far they are doing great. I've got 2 flowers on my Cherry Red tomato and the rest of the newbies are looking good.

My already existing plants are doing FANTASTIC! I have a pictures of the garden when I left--right after I planted--but have yet to take a picture of what they look like now. My potatoes went totally crazy after I left and are now probably 3 time as big as they were! I'll post those tomorrow.

Tonight we ate lettuce from out back! It was the first time we've picked any. I was so excited to just run out back, tear off a few leaves and run back in to wash them! We ate it on our tacos so it wasn't just a lettuce salad...but I'm pretty sure the lettuce MADE the tacos :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Rosemary Cookie Recipe

1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cream of tarter
2 cups flour
1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary

Cream butter and sugars. Add vegetable oil and mix until combined. Mix in egg and vanilla. Stir together baking soda, cream of tarter and flour. Add to wet mixture. This dough is really sticky. Add flour by Tbsp until it's a firmer consistency. (I think I added about 4 extra Tbsp of flour when I made it the last time). Gently stir in rosemary by hand. Roll into small balls and place on parchment covered cookie sheet. Flatten each cookie with the bottom of a glass dipped in sugar. Bake for 6 minutes, turn pan and bake 2-4 more minutes until firm and the edges are slightly browned.

This makes A LOT of cookies! I got 7 dozen out of one batch! I only baked a dozen and froze the rest. I rolled and flattened all of them and froze them on cookie sheets one layer at a time. Once they were pretty firm and almost frozen through (which doesn't take long since they're pretty tiny) I removed them from the sheet and just tossed them in baggies. This way, I can just grab a couple of cookies and bake them up fresh whenever I need them!

I've tried rosemary and mint but think lavender would be good too...that's what I'm going to try next. I also think maybe some with orange zest dipped in dark chocolate might be excellent!!

Also, the first time I made them I used dried rosemary which is stronger than the fresh stuff. If you're using fresh herbs I'd probably use 2x the amount. The rosemary is strong so you might not have to use quite 2 Tbsp but if you do the mint I'd use at least that much!

Enjoy...and let me know if you try any other crazy variations :)