Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Happenings in my garden in July

Somehow I seem to miss harvest Mondays in July.  We are usually visited by family during the month, my oldest son and my husband are both July babies and we have family in to celebrate both birthdays. And even though you would think I would have more time to blog with someone to help wrangle the kids, I have less time than normal! So this is to play catch-up.

The first Japanese eggplant is nearly ready.  The ones we planted out first were chewed down to the nubs and haven't bounced back very well. This one was planted in our raised bed filled with city compost.  And if you were wondering, city compost sucks.  The plants we put in the raised bed kind of stalled out and I had to heavily trench fertilize everything to get growth jump started.

First Japanese Eggplant

The cucumbers we started from seeds are almost ready to give us some snackers, and maybe some pickles as well!  Our nursery bought cukes were heavily cut back due to powdery mildew. We will see if they survive.

Pickling cucumbers sizing up.

Our beans in the raised bed are also WAY behind schedule. But we have our first sightings of baby beans!  I have dreams of beans.... no, not really. But I can't wait to eat some home grown ones. We planted Roma beans, Yellow wax, Asparagus long, and Royal burgundy. Not to mention the Fava, Edamame and Scarlett Runner beans...

Roma Beans

Volunteer Runner beans need to be picked

The Little Gem lettuce is FINALLY sizing up.

Little Gem Lettuce

 My figs have been taunting me for weeks.  Still no ripe figs.  Our tree is heavily loaded this year and I can't wait!  I have prosciutto just waiting in the fridge for "go time."

Brown Turkish Figs

But wait, it isn't all taunting and teasing, we also ate good stuff from the garden this week too.   We had an unexpected night in for dinner and absolutely nothing planned. I think we were planning on going to "Wine Wednesday" at a local restaurant, but Ryle started acting up and we didn't want to have deal with him in public. So I had to punt for dinner. We had a pasta with shrimp, tomatoes, lemon juice, garlic, and fava greens. The greens were so good. It was my first time tasting them, and they did great in the pasta.

Oh, and we had some fresh basil for the pasta as well.

Another night we had black beans and rice.  And a lovely heirloom (Cherokee Purple) tomato salsa made with home grown tomato, jalapeno, onion, garlic, and pimiento de patron (since the jalapeno was not the slightest bit hot). And since there was just one tiny heirloom tomato, I made up a second batch with a store bought "vine ripened" tomato. The comparison was interesting.  The store bought tomato made a bland salsa, the Cherokee Purple was so sweet and complex simply amazing.  I cannot wait to make more.

Salsa fixings (sans Pimiento de patron - it was an after thought)

Rosemary - used to poach chicken

zucchini - that big one ended up being over 2 pounds

Zucchini and first crook neck squash

All in all it was a good week in the garden. I can't wait to start planning for my fall garden.  Well, today is a garden day for me, so I hope it will be productive!  Happy gardening all.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Harvest Monday 7/18/2011

Harvest Monday, hosted by Daphne's Dandelions, is an opportunity to see what gardeners around the world are growing.

This week we managed to have a lot of green come from the garden. Our main harvests consisted of Fava Beans, zucchini, and our first Super Sweet 100 tomato.  We have used about half of the zucchinis and gave away a fair amount, due to the fact that we had to consume the mammoth Ambassador zucchini that the husband brought home.

Zucchini (duh)

Favas, SS100 tomato, pollinated and unpollinated zucchini

More favas

 I forgot to photograph it, but we are also including 13 1/8 oz of garlic into the harvest this week. I can't wait to use up the store bough garlic and try our home grown ones. YUM!

Happy Gardening all!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Mom's visit.... and what is that???

My Mom recently came to visit us from Florida. The boys had an absolute BLAST with her. It was awesome, she cooked every day, she loved on the boys and spoiled us all. I can't wait for her to come back.  We did lots of cooking, saw Shrek the Musical, and went to Disneyland. She screamed so loudly on the Star Tours ride....

Mom, me and Gray
 Mom brought me a fabulous present, a Kefir lime tree.  It is a highly aromatic leaf that we use for cooking.
I have lemon grass growing and now with the kefir tree we are almost at a full contingent for herbs necessary for proper Thai cooking.  Mom smuggled the plant in her suitcase, for real.  She cracks me up with what she deems necessary for suitcase travel. I'd love to see the bag inspectors faces when they scan her suitcase.

Kefir Lime tree

My first plumeria bloomed this week, it reminds me of Hawaii. Ah, I'm going to sneak away with a book and sit next to this and smell this heavenly flower while I relax.

My friend sent home a zucchini with the hubs. That is a ruler next to it.... it weighed in at 4 pounds 7 oz....  it was MAMMOTH.  We stuffed it and baked it. It was YUMMY.... and fed six adults with leftovers.  She let me know that it was not even the largest one in her garden.  They are going away for a week, I hate to see the size of the zukes when she gets home.

Mammoth Ambassador zucchini

So that's what we have been up to in the week since the last post, at least some of it was gardening related =)

Happy gardening all!!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Pests of all kinds

My daily inspection of the various plants have lately revealed a wonder of icky things.

This photo was not staged, I actually found 3 of these buggers on a single leaf!

Aphids on my Scarlett Runner Beans

More aphids

Apparently something managed to get through my "fool proof" protection

And I keep finding these little things on my tomato plants. Any idea what they are?  I've been smooshing them.

Lot and lots of yucky cut worms and lots and lots of tomato horn worms.   And my Mom amazed me by knowing what a tomato horn worm was!  Who knew she knew???? Mom is loving the garden and is amazed by how great the squash look, yay!

The heat has kicked it up a notch and the plants love it. I'm wilting, and really wanting to turn on the A/C, but still holding strong and seeing how long we can hold out before cranking that bad boy on. I think we need to increase the amount of time we water the plants, they are looking a bit droopy today.

Happy gardening all! I can't wait to show you what my Mom brought me from Florida   =)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Harvest Monday, July 4, 2011

It's FINALLY here!!! Or should I say they are finally here?  This weekend marked the first of the zucchini flush.  We picked 3 on Saturday and had 2 grilled with dinner. Yum!


Zucchini: 1 pound 7 1/8 oz.

And it looks like tomorrow we will have more. I <3 zucchini time!

Remind me of that when I start whining and complaining about the zucchini and squash coming out of our ears.  I may have gotten a little over zealous about the squash/zucchini.... I went through and counted, currently we have 6 summer squash plants in the garden.  6.... Regular zucchini, crook neck yellow squash, and patty pan squash.  That does not include luffa gourd/squash, the kabocha squash, and pumpkin..... Oh, and the 4 more in reserve in case we need them. Yeah, I went over board. What was I thinking?  I am going to have to start handing them out as hostess presents.

But enough of that!  Join Daphne to see what everyone is harvesting around the globe, you know you want to.  Happy Gardening and hope you had a great 4th!