Friday, November 16, 2012

Fall crops

I'm really not sure where the time goes. But I always mean to post what is coming out of the garden. It just never happens some how.

Yesterday my mom picked 2 beautiful green bell peppers and 2 eggplant for the green curry we had for dinner. And today when I went looking around I came in with 2 Beets, a basket full of super sweet 100 tomatoes and a couple of patio tomatoes, 3 immature zucchini and a lone strawberry.

Lately the garden has been the pepper zone. All peppers all the time. Sounds like I need to do some pepper experimenting!

We are waiting for peas to get taller, fava beans, more beets, and some greens. I don't think our arugula or lettuces are going to grow well with hungry bunny rabbits and birds outside. But I can always try again I guess.

Well, now that those beautiful beets have been picked, looks like I have to figure out what to do with them! Happy gardening :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Thank You Annie's Granny!

Oh snap. She is a darn amazing woman! I came out of the garden on Friday with a monster zucchini (really, who hasnt at some point or another?)  I really didn't feel like baking a stuffed zucchini today.  Plus I have been hearing all about zucchini bread, zucchini muffins, chocolate zucchini bread, etc.

A quick site search and bam! got my project for the day (nope, not cleaning, running, gardening or anything else that needed to get done).  Let's face it, who doesn't want an excuse to eat some chocolate muffins? Annie's Granny has a recipe for zucchini fudge cake that I have been meaning to try out for a while. But I didn't want a whole cake, and muffins are just easier to divide up and give away to friends.

Ok, into the kitchen! I followed the recipe (go figure) and baked the muffins for 20 minutes (closely monitored by my sous chef). Barely managed to allow them to cool before cracking one open. Delicious! Didn't even need the frosting. Just the cake/muffin was sweet enough for me. (and obviously the middle.child as well as he inhaled one quickly).  The question is, will any make it to my running group today?

Happy gardening all! Now go eat your zucchini!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Hearing the sizzle outside

Holy bells and whistles. It is hot out. Our estimated temperature for yesterday was supposed to be 93, and the hubs kept getting texts from the office notifying him of ever increasing temps. At the peak yesterday it was 103. Today we reached 104. What happened????

I did go for an extremely short and hot run after dropping the boys off at their schools yesterday, I did 2 miles and I was so glad to be done. Today I gladly gave up my alone time yo the hubs so he could play basketball, it was 96 degrees at 930!

I managed to sneak outside this morning to check on the plants. Last night the fava bean seedlings were flopped over and the mint looked like someone had tried to dehydrate them in the pot. The mint rebounded, but the favas might be a goner....

I also found an abandoned zucchini on the plant. Oops!

I didn't realize I lived in an oven. Gasp!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Fridge Challenge

Michelle over at From Seed To Table asked to see my fridge. And I'm not sure why, but here they are.

The indoor fridge
 The top shelf in the indoor fridge is mainly made up of misc condiments that we 'need'. The first large shelf contains some super old aloe juice that I drank when I was pregnant to help alleviate my blood pressure (turns out it was the fact that my legs were dangling off the exam table that caused it to be so high....thanks Doc for freaking me out) [and yes, my daughter is 4 months old, so that should really be tossed], 2 blocks of tofu (we love the stuff!), more condiments, half a watermelon, fridge pickles, some chicken..... and the lower self contains eggs (it is really amazing how quickly we go through eggs!), leftovers from the week and fruit. The two drawers are jam packed with veggies (store bought) and whatever we have managed to bring in from the garden.  The bottom skinny drawer is mainly my guilty pleasure drawer, cured meats, cheeses, pate..... yummy stuff that I couldn't eat when pregnant but love. And a fruitcake. I LOVE fruitcake....

The garage fridge
This was supposed to be the husband's beer and work lunch fridge. I commandeered it. And this is before I added milk, eggs and strawberries to it!  This is the fridge that I make sure is mostly empty when my Mom comes to visit, because one trip to the Asian market and out fridges are overflowing.

So I showed you mine....

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Harvest Monday, August 27,2012

Ok, I know it is actually Tuesday, but I still wanted to post my harvests. I didn't weight anything, and I'm sure there were actually some that escaped photographing, but here is most of what we harvested this past week.

Most of the things coming in from the garden are arriving out of necessity, which I am very proud of. I usually give away most of our yummies and hardly use any, I have no idea why.  I think I am just too used to making grocery lists and using what I buy that way and forgetting that I have a kind of nice garden outside. The eggplant and tomatoes were immediately cooked up in a Rogan Gjost that I have been craving. The eggplant were wonderfully sweet and melt in your mouth good. And the home grown tomatoes added a depth to the meal that is usually absent in store bought tomatoes.

Another night I did use store bought tomatoes to make a dish called chicken Nartaya with the jalapenos and bell peppers from the garden. Yum, yum, yum!

And this whole lot almost escaped being photographed.  I finally got my mommy morning to run sans stroller and brought these to my friends. The box of tomatoes went to the nice lady who volunteered to watch baby girl while I ran my 7 miles. I figured I could be away from her about an hour, but not the usual 4 hours I am gone on Saturday morning with driving, running, gabbing and grubbing. It worked out well, I got almost free childcare!  The same lady is coming over this Friday to watch all three kiddos while we go to see Les Mis with some friends. Wish her luck!

I spend a good amount of time pulling out still productive plants that were covered in buggies and removing roots from areas that (hopefully) will be planted soon. More on that later!

I hope your gardens are all doing well, and hope on over to Daphne's Dandelions to see what others are harvesting today (ok, yesterday).

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Garden helpers?

I was working on some summer garden clean up  to make way for the fall plants and came across some interesting critters.

Ok, I did a search and saw that the leaf bugs aren't too bad for the garden, and the Praying Mantis is good (ish) for the garden because it will eat the bad bugs (but doesn't discriminate so might eat the good guys too), but what about those other things? They are all over my eggplants

Thursday, August 23, 2012


This one is for you RG. The once we started in on the figs they were gone pretty fast! I did manage to get a picture of one in half.

They did not disappoint, they were sweet, juicy and delicious. We are looking forward to the rest of the harvests this year!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Late again!

We are late for harvest Monday, again. And forgot to take several pictures. I will blame it on baby brain.  Here is the only picture I remembered to snap.

There are the fleshy Thai Chilis, some patty pan squash, a huge zucchini that somehow escaped pickings earlier in the week, banana peppers, pimento de patron peppers, Black Prince tomatoes, 1 Pineapple tomato, a couple of SS100's tomatoes, an eggplant, some cucumbers, and the first of the figs!

Our weekend was pretty busy, we went out to America's Finest City half marathon to cheer on some friends and lots of strangers.  The course is pretty neat and an overall downhill grade, but nearly the last mile is a pretty yuck uphill, with no shade coverage in a notoriously hot part of the year.  My friends and I brought water and waterguns to spray the hot runners. Unlike previous years, we handed out absolutely no water bottles, but used the bottles to pour over hundreds of hot folks. Note to self, next year get a super soaker and a cooler full of ice water! Everyone really seemed to appreciate the cool down and R even enjoys being out cheering people on.  Maybe I can get him to come to my race in September. Or maybe not....

Have you ever had the marinated garlic at your grocery store from the deli section?  My husband loves it, and we try to have some on hand for nights when we do al fresco dinners with salami, prosciutto, mozzarella, and fruit (and wine!). But the store sells it for $8.99 a pound. And some times we have trouble finding it. What's a girl to do?  Try making my own! So for two days I spend my "free" time peeling garlic. And after we returned home from the race, I made some pickled garlic. I can hardly wait the two weeks to taste how they turned out. I really hope they are yummy.

A couple of days of warm weather have shown awesome growth to the watermelon and my little bittermelon. Now I have to get out there and sling that yummy watermelon before he gets much bigger.

 I hope your garden is as productive and happy today!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

My (mostly) container garden today

I recently found out that my little brother was interested in growing plants. I honestly didn't know that he had interests outside of work, video games and his girlfriend. But you learn something new every  day.  Unfortunately he only has a small balcony and a few things in pots. But I wanted to show him that it's ok to grow stuff in containers, most of my plants are in containers.  You just have to water them more and remember to replenish the nutrients in the soil. So here is my "garden" tour. (Sorry, lots of pictures)

My potted cucumbers (pickling).

My pimiento de padron grown from seed saved from nursery plant.


Thai Chilis (seeds from Renee's Garden). Some of the pods are rather large and fleshier than normal thai chilis.

The remains of one Super Sweet 100 plant, sun burnt leaves removed. Looks really scraggly and
should be replaced with a new volunteer that sprouted up, but I just can't give up on it!

My small patch of asparagus just gathering lots of energy for next spring.

Rosemary plant in need of a trim in my strawberry bed that needs to be replanted.

My border bed containing bush beans, more cucumbers, patty pan squash and bittermelon.

The bittermelon I have my eye on right now. Its about the size of a pinky.... I'm so excited!

Potted Asian herbs.

A Super Sweet 100 plant just waiting for a home (It sprouted up out of a
Cala Lilly plant, kind of weird).

My Dwarf lime plant, looks like we might actually get a lime this year!

My Pineapple Tomato plant in a smart pot.

Store bought basil (I had terrible germination issues this year) and a mystery
tomato plant (my tags go stolen by one of the two boys or they may have
worked in conjunction, but highly unlikely).

Another picture of the basil (photo makes it look a little off color doesn't it?).

Thai Chili bought from Lowes, pods look more like regular thai chili, hope they are hot!

Hot Banana Peppers, they have been yummy so far.

My only raised bed, contains 2 huge eggplant, 1 small Japanese eggplant, a zucchini, kale,
misc arugula, lettuce (bolted and needs to be pulled), bell peppers, jalapenos, habaneros,
Serrano's, a couple of misc scallions, and my attempt to grow wintermelon from seeds
saved from store bought melon.

Zucchini and a hidden scrawly tomato plant.

My fig tree.

My first fig of the season.

Corn being grown for looks and to hid the hole in the fence the dog
keeps trying to visit the neighbors dog through. Looks like we may get enough corn for 2 dinners.

My mom's favorite plant, my lemon grass.

Watermelon plant, planted in April, but languished and did absolutely nothing until very recently.
Good thing we have a LONG growing season.

Horseradish in a pot (I am so lazy, and digging the horseradish out last year was hard work.....)

A pot of green garlic and some thyme.

My Super Sweet 100 plant that is not doing well, horrible powdery mildew.

Chives and garlic chives.

So that's where the magic happens.... I wish that we had more space that received good sunlight to have more beds, but we make due with what is around. My main struggle on a day to day basis in the backyard is keeping the grass and palm trees alive (and keeping the dog out of freshly amended soil... but that is a whole different issue!).  Now it is time to turn my thinking to the fall/winter plants that I would like to see in the garden. We really don't get a frost here in SoCal, so I really do not have an excuse to not have a wonderful harvest every week.

What is going on in your garden today?

Monday, August 13, 2012

We're back!

I hope! Ok, we took a bit of a break after saying that we were back last time, but I'm still to lazy to get the camera out and boot up the computer. So I'm lazy blogging on my phone (hence the poor picture quality and lack of tags). Sorry!

Let's see.... We took a family trip to Las Vegas to visit with my husband's fathers best friend from Hong Kong who was visiting the US.  I think I'm ok never visiting Vegas in the summer with kids again. Ever.... It was miserable hot. We're talking 110 in the shade, fry an egg on the sidewalk hot! Yuck! But the kids loved it and we had a lovely time visiting the Hoover Dam and seeing the sights of Vegas.

The boys both started school. R started public kindergarten and G started pre-k, so I get 3 days to spend with the baby and either nap or do housework that might never get done. So far the housework has won out, but a nap is looking darn good.

Things in the garden are starting to ramp up. We are flush with zucchinis (my friends are avoiding my calls), the cucumbers are coming in so fast I forget to take pictures, our super sweet 100 cherry tomatoes are a big hit this year (we can barely keep a bowl full in the house), peppers are starting and my first bittermelon is growing!

And being lazy, nothing has been weighed at all this year. But we are eating well, so that is awesome. What is coming out of your garden today?

See what other gardeners are growing around the world at daphnes dandelions. Happy gardening all!