Sunday, May 24, 2015

Things Are In Full Swing

The other day, my mother asked me if I had planted my garden yet this year. Uh... weeks ago!!! So I guess it is time for a little update as to what is 'growing' on around here:

Arugula that was started from seed is ready for harvesting. 


Seed started baby radishes will be hitting a salad near me soon. 


Red Leaf Lettuce started from seed. 


Parsley, the flat leafed Italian kind.



My family isn't a big fan of Cilantro, so I use the Italian Parsley in my Black Bean and Corm Salad. It is a great dish for summer picnics and pot luck suppers. It is always a big hit and it is super easy. I never have leftovers and I always get asked for the recipe. 



Ingredients:
  • 2 cups of frozen corn, thawed
  • ½ cup of finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tbs of seasoned rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbs of olive oil
  • 1 tbs of lime juice
  • ¼ tsp of sea salt
  • ½ tsp of ground black pepper
  • 2 cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 chopped red bell pepper

Directions:
In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, olive oil, lime juice, salt and pepper to make a dressing. Add beans, corn, onion and pepper and toss until coated.


Cover and chill for about 2 hours before serving. 


Sunday, March 29, 2015

I am back!!!!!!!

We had a very long, very cold winter here in the northeast. But even so, for about the past month, I have been thinking about my little garden. I watched from the kitchen window, patiently waiting for the snow to melt away.

The month of March would give me hope with a warm day in the 40s, only to have a cold front sweep in and deliver snow and 20 degree weather for a few more days. But the days are getting longer and the sun is moving across the sky, shining into my windows in the morning and on to my little patch of earth.

In a few more days, it will be April. March and all its weather madness will be gone.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Today's Harvest!

The warm sunny afternoons and the rainy evenings have been a garden delight. The replanted beds of lettuce are coming up. The new spinach and arugula squares are starting to sprout. And the tomatoes, cucumbers and squash are happy!


Friday, July 18, 2014

Summer is in Full Swing at the Square Foot Garden

Summer is in full swing right now and so is my garden. The spring lettuce has had it's run and now the fall planting is starting to make its appearance. 



Our cabbage is ready to harvest, but it looks so nice, that I hate to take it so soon...


The bell peppers that were just tiny little buds last week are almost full size.



 My summer squash is coming showing a lot of growth. There are also many blossoms on the vines, so I am expecting many more!

And here is the beginnings of a little tiny cucumber. Cucumbers have been one of my favorites, ever since I was a little girl, and nothing can compare to the freshness of a garden cucumber. 


I replanted several of my squares this week with the beginnings of what will be my fall crops. I have new carrots, a batch of spinach and two new lettuces that took over the squares where the onions, broccoli and the old lettuce had been. More on them to come! 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers


These little beauties will soon be covered in olive oil and garlic salt and hitting the frying pan.



And my mint is ready for a nice herbal tea... or some hemp oil and tea tree soap. 


And last but not least, this little bud is what will soon be an eggplant. I love eggplant. 


Monday, June 30, 2014

You are never too old to learn something new!

Since this is my first year as a serious gardener, I have had to supplement my produce with a few other items that I didn't start early enough to grow or that I didn't have enough boxes to be able to plant this summer or that just weren't practical. I have been going to a local farmer's market to get sweet corn, strawberries, cherries and fingerling potatoes.

Last week when we were getting the last of the season's strawberries, I saw the little cute cucumbers that are used to make pickles. I have three children that ADORE pickles. They would eat them everyday if I let them. Maddie was with me and said.... Can we PLEASE make pickles?

So I decided that, yes, we would make pickles.


It was much easier than I anticipated. All we had to do was slice up the pickles, put them in the jars and then pour the vinegar and spice mixture over them. 


They got put into a simmering bath for 20 minutes.


And voile, we had three pints of pickles. 

Of course it was so easy that Maddie wants to go get a whole case of jars and a giant basket of cucumbers and make a LOT more. I was thinking that I could make tomato sauce, salsa and apple sauce. I might even do some peaches in August just like my mom used to do when I was growing up. 

A Beautiful Quiche

Many years ago, more years than I care to remember at this time, when I had just Leo and he was small, I belonged to an organic vegetable co-op. For an investment of a few hundred dollars prior to the beginning of the growing season, you could buy a share of the upcoming season's crop. It introduced us to all kinds of locally grown organic produce that I would have never seen normally.

One of the nicest things that they would do would be to include a few recipes in the share boxes to teach you how to use all the new and wonderful items that you were receiving. One of my all time favorite recipes from this experience was for a zucchini pie. It is actually a quiche that has zucchini, onions, a bunch of herbs, cheese and of course, eggs.

In keeping with this summer's theme of "it has to come from the garden or the chickens" I made two of these creations over the weekend.


Of course the boys are much bigger now and have a developed a much greater appreciation for vegetables. There were no leftovers this time. Both were devoured in one sitting.