Garden pics

Zucchini, tomatoes, and cabbage

Green beans, beets, swiss chard, and peas

Where I wish I was!

The garden is doing pretty good.  Vegetables other than what are listed are rutabagas, lettuce, carrots, dill, cucumbers, kale, potatoes, onions and kohlrabi.  The radishes are finished and the lettuce is about done too.  The peas and beans are just starting to bloom.  The tomatoes are all in bloom and there are some small green ones.

I tried to grow more vegetables that will last the winter and less vegetables that are eaten fresh only.  We really like having fresh lettuce from the garden so I think I’m going to put in another seeding where the radishes were.

The last couple days I’ve been watering.  We could really use some rain.  Watering helps the garden survive but it really doesn’t thrive like it does with rain.

How is your garden doing?  I’d love to see pictures!

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Greenhouse


Okay, so it’s not the greenhouse I always dreamed of having. 😀

All these years I have been starting my bedding plants on the living room window sill. Difficult to do now that I have 2 cats in the house. I thought this solved the problem beautifully! And at a minimal cost and effort. I have it sitting on the deck on the south side of the house where it is sheltered from the wind and gets lots of sun all day long. I put a cement block tight against it at the base to help make it more secure in case a really strong gust of wind decided to try to move it. Fairly common here on the prairies. 😉

The vegetables I started are tomatoes, cabbage, butternut squash, and leeks. Herbs: parsley, basil and dill. And some ornamental sunflowers. These are just from seeds I had. I didn’t think I’d be starting bedding plants this year until I found this greenhouse so that’s why I only started a few things. The rest I will purchase for this year. Next year I’ll do more. 🙂

Garden update

It’s been a very wet summer in the garden.  It all started at the end of May and just kept raining.  Before the garden could really dry up, it would pour again and then again and again.  The water has taken it’s toll on my cabbage and green peppers which are at the low end of the garden. I won’t get much from them.

As you move away from the low end of the garden towards the higher end, things improve gradually.  Next to the cabbage are the green beans.  The plants are yellowish and small but they have produced a few green beans.  At the far end of the garden are the tomatoes which are doing wonderfully.  The plants are loaded with tomatoes!  I can’t wait for them to start turning red.  All that manure I took time to spread last fall has really helped the garden.

We’re eating lots of lettuce salads with dill.  We’ve had swiss chard, green beans and fresh peas.  Still waiting for the tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots and other things to ripen.

How is your garden doing?

Too much rain

Flooded garden

Was I welcoming the rain not too long ago? We’ve been getting a LOT of rain the past 2 days. Too much! Yesterday was the worst, there was thunder and lightning, high winds. We tried pumping the water away from the garden but it was difficult to get the water from flowing back. I took this picture this morning. Now the rain has stopped and the sun is peeking through so the water is receding slowly. I have my cabbage, green peppers, jalapenos, zucchini and green beans planted at that end of the garden so I’m HOPING they survive.

There is a lot of water laying around. We don’t have as much as others, though. The forecast for the week is clear weather so let’s hope there’s no more flooding! And it dries up before the mosquitoes find it!

The garden is planted!

That picture just looks like a lot of dirt and some weeds. 😀  I planted the seeds a week ago and things are actually starting to come up!  The last frost date for our area is May 31st but the long range forecast for this week is looking warm and rainy so I decided to go ahead and put the bedding plants in yesterday.

The seeds I planted: green beans, radishes, beets, lettuce, carrots, peas, swiss chard, rutabagas, onions, kohlrabi, zucchini and cucumbers.  The bedding plants: tomatoes, cabbage, brussel sprouts, green peppers, and jalapenos.

I planted a few flowers near the house too.  Petunias and marigolds. 🙂

First frost

We had our first frost last night.  It came so suddenly! Two days ago it was 27C.  This is when we usually experience a frost but September was so warm it felt like summer was going to go on and on.  Sunday the weather took a sudden turn to ‘seasonal norms’ and the rest of this week is looking the same.  Now I expect the leaves will be turning soon.  Of course a forecast of frost sends me out to my garden to save anything growing above ground.  garden_bountyThis is picture shows the result.  I can pace myself with canning as long as the veggies are in the garden, now I have to take care of them all right away.  It’s not too bad, really.  First the reddest tomatoes and the cucumbers, while the green tomatoes ripen.  I can make a few quarts of dill pickles and I will can most of the tomatoes.  The peppers didn’t do very well because most of the summer was too cool and they like heat, but I think I have enough to make some salsa.  Also pictured is more green beans and a small head of cabbage.  What you don’t see is me contending with all the fruitflies. ugh.  I wasn’t sure if the butternut squash could tolerate a frost?  So I picked them just in case.  It was the first time I grew them, and I’m really looking forward to having them! Yum! 

Garden update

My pumpkin and squash vines spread like crazy!  Snooping through today I see there are LOTS of little pumpkins!  Those big leaves sure do hide them well. I don’t know if they will all ripen in time but it would be nice to get a few.  There aren’t as many butternut squashes as pumpkins but again, I’m hoping for a few.

The cucumbers are finally starting to produce.  I’ve picked a few for making pickles, they wait in the fridge until I have enough to do a recipe.  I’ve sliced some for eating as well.  The plants look a little yellow from all the rain we got last month.

Tomatoes are coming steady.  We’re really enjoying them.  Nothing like a homegrown tomato.  I’ll can up some for the winter and make sauce.

The lettuce has bolted, it’s finished.  I still cut some for the goats, chickens and turkeys.  They don’t care if it’s bitter. The green beans are about done too.  I might find a few more out there but probably not enough for a meal.  The cabbage has all been picked.  The broccoli is still giving side shoots.

That’s about all there is to tell about the garden.

Bread and tomatoes

Bread: This week I made bread and buns.  I used to make it all the time a few years ago when I was involved in the local Farmers Market. I used the same recipe but I tried soaking the flour a day ahead but I could only soak about 1/3 of the recipe as the rest I had to work in dry. Not sure how I’m going to overcome that problem. 

Sourdough Starter: I also tried making sourdough starter this week.  I think it might have worked?!  It was a really warm windy day and I set it outside. By the end of the day, it was all bubbly. 🙂  I had to put it in a larger jar.

Gazpacho: I used a recipe at cheeseslave.com but modified it a bit to suit what I had.  When we went to Spain we had gazpacho and I loved it!  My attempt at it didn’t quite taste like what we had there but it was still good.  I tried to make it smooth but turned out more like a smoothy than a soup.  Still tasted good.  It’s a good food to put in hubby’s lunchbox.

Shrimp Pasta Sauce:  This is a dish I created based on pasta dishes we would have in Italy.  Saute chopped onion in coconut oil, add sliced mushrooms, lots of minced garlic and lots basil.  When the mushrooms are just about done, add chopped tomatoes and shrimp.  Heat and serve over whole wheat pasta.  You can substitute the shrimp for any seafood.

Chokecherry Wine: Not pictured but I started a batch of chokecherry wine.  Not sure how “real” this is as I used sugar, but I did use an old fashioned recipe, the way grandpa would have made it.  Doesn’t the fermentation eat up the sugar?

This post is part of Tuesday Twister blog carnival hosted by GNOWFGLINS.com

Shift in thinking

This has been an interesting 3 weeks for me in terms of food and cooking.  Ever since I joined in on Wardeh’s Tuesday Twister blog carnival, I have been focusing on the real food my family eats.  If you had asked me a month ago if we eat a lot of real food, my answer would have been YES.  BUT I’ve been doing a lot of reading on the net.  If you haven’t checked out foodrenegade, I recommend it.  The responses are as interesting as the articles themselves.  I’m not the sharpest crayon in the box but it’s slowly being absorbed.  I’ve come to the realization that we do not eat as well as I thought.

~I’ve become painfully aware of the processed foods in my house~

We are all feeling the effects of those foods, though I was not aware of it until now.  I’m talking to my family, letting them know the things I am reading and hopefully getting them on the same page, and on the road to change.

It’s not easy!  How do you change something so ingrained?  I’ve been cooking this way for 23 years.  The answer: Little by little.

Keeping that in mind, onto what was cooking in my kitchen this week:

My tomatoes have finally started ripening! This week’s meals have been full of tomatoes and green beans from the garden.

I’m really proud of my tossed salad this week!  Everything came from my garden, all grown organically.  Lettuce, green onion, carrots, tomatoes, and dill.

We really like salmon filets.  I seasoned them with a (prepackaged-sorry) mixture of sea salt, black pepper, chili, onion, garlic, rosemary, oregano, thyme and sage.  Yes, I read the label.  I like cooking salmon because it’s so fast!  We had beef liver this week too (not pictured) which I also love making because it’s so quick ~ real fast food.

The sandwich, granted wasn’t completely real but it could have been. 😀  Toasted whole wheat bread, salmon with chopped onion and mayo, fresh sliced tomato from the garden.

The change isn’t going to be overnight and it’s not going to be easy.  When life gets stressful, I tend to revert back to my old ways.  I need to do this for my health and the health of my family!

Real. Simple.

I’m going to bore you with this week’s real food.  We’ve been eating from the garden.  As far as I’m concerned there is no better way to enjoy fresh garden produce except cooked simply or served raw.  Simple. This is how we generally eat.

Green Beans: The green beans are ready which means we’ve been enjoying them fresh as much as possible… baked, boil and fried!  I mean that literally.  Baked on the BBQ in tinfoil, boil on the stovetop, and fried with cream.  I might also include steamed and simmered in soup.

Cabbage: My most favourite way of having cabbage is creamed!!  All the better if I had Mrs. Penner’s cream (a lovely Mennonite woman that lives near my mom and has grass-fed dairy cows.).  It’s so good, I was wishing for more!  Slowly simmer chopped cabbage in a skillet until tender, then add cream and salt and pepper to taste.  Heat and serve.

Carrots: The carrots are just maturing so we’re enjoying steamed baby carrots.

Lettuce: we’re still enjoying lots of tossed salads with green onions, dill and some of those baby carrots.

Still to come: Tomatoes are starting to ripen. Cucumbers are blooming profusely!

This post is part of Tuesday Twister hosted by GNOWFGLINS