Wednesday, August 31, 2011


I know it's hard to tell from the angle in this photo but those bees are dangling from the edge of the front hive ledge.  It does look like they are just resting on the cinder blocks and I should have taken a picture from the side but hindsight is 20/20.  We came home late one night last week to find the bees had formed a waving, dangling mass on the hive.  Each bee is hanging onto the one above it and next to it.  It was quite interesting.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Continuing to Can

I have been continuing to do plenty of canning.  Thankfully with the beans producing again I have put more away.  I wish I could say the tomatoes are mine but they aren't.  They are from the farmers market and I prefer the idea of buying now from the farmers, preserving it, and then getting to continue to use local ingredients stored at the peak of their ripeness even in the middle of winter over buying canned store items.

Monday, August 29, 2011


This is most likely my only Spaghetti Squash for the year.  There was another but it started to rot on the vine since I didn't know when it was ready to harvest.  Also another was growing/ripening but when I was removing dead squash vines I unfortunately also ripped out it's vine.  I have left it outside to see if it might ripen anyways but I doubt it will happen.  We also got a nice thinning of Kale and the eggplants continue to keep on coming! 

Sunday, August 28, 2011


There is nothing like fresh pesto.  I grow basil specifically just to make pesto.  Yesterday it was time for a massive pruning of the basil and I made the first big batch.  I ended up with almost 5 cups that got frozen in plastic baggies in 1/4 cup amounts.

I don't have an exact recipe I just eyeball it because I have been making it for so long.  But I can give you my ingredient list of basil, parmesan, pine nuts, garlic, extra virgin olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon juice. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Summer Eating

The best Summer meals are simple and straight from the garden.  This meal is exactly that.  We have a glutton of eggplant and many of our meals have been planned around using it.  I grilled the eggplant on a hot cast iron grill with just a little bit of olive oil and salt  Grill until you get char marks and the eggplant is tender.

I used English muffins from Blue Oven Bakery which took arriving at the farmers market 25 minutes early to get in line to be able to get my hands on these delectables.  I spread goat cheese on the bottom, topped with the warm eggplant, tomato slices, basil then drizzled with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  Delish!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Lookie What I Did

Yep that's a recycling bin.  Some of you might be thinking, "So What?"  But this is our first recycling bin in our home.  I haven't had a recycling bin since living at home in high school.  In college and then living in an apartment with friends we just never thought about it.  Then I got married and bought a house.  We didn't have to sign up for trash service because it gets billed to us with our water.  And since then it's just been pure procrastination in calling and paying for recycling service.  With how granola I have turned in the last two years everyone is always surprised when I tell them we don't recycle when they want to know where the recycling is.  I'm not proud that it took us over two years to finally sign up but I am proud that we finally did.  We have finally joined the 21st century and most Americans in the simple act of recycling.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fall Garden Chores

*Pull out all over grown marigolds
*Plant new lettuce seed (I'm might be a bit late, whoops)
*Thin out Kale seedlings
*Pull dead and dying squash vines
*Plant cabbage seedlings

To Do
*Clean out weeds
*Plant Garlic
*Find anything to put in empty spots
*Amend Soil
*Put in Garden Bed Stakes

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Despite the fact that our zucchini plants gave out a long time ago we have been the beneficiaries of a large zucchini donation.  When you have lots of over sized zucchini you shred it.  I don't like freezing shredded zucchini because once thawed it loses too much moisture.  So I baked it into bread, sauteed it in fritters and mixed it into pasta bakes, all put into the freezer for Winter.  I also made some more soup and decided to try freezing cubes to see how it dethaws.

Monday, August 22, 2011


Beans have once again entered my harvests which means that cutting the bushes back by half has been successful.  That is also the one and only watermelon.  There was another but I had no idea when they were ripe and I left it on too long to rot.  We are in a tomato lull.  There are plenty of small green tomatoes that need to grow and ripen but few that in the ripening stage.

Old Harvests
These had to cure properly and I just forgot to take a picture beforehand.  I actually pulled these a few weeks ago.  This week I finally cut off the leaves and roots, I am storing them in a mesh bag that I bought lemons in.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Every Winter without a doubt I have learned that Andy gets a craving for canned peaches.  We go to the store and he becomes enticed by the gourmet kitchen, sparkling jars on the shelves.  Of course he never wants or is quite satisfied by the store brand cans.  So this Summer I decided to take advantage of the season and can some now for his winter cravings.  I ordered a crate of peaches which ended up being 38 pounds.  That turns out to be ALOT of peaches.  So what do you do with that much?

Well it seems it's enough to can slices, make salsa and peach butter. 

Make a cobbler with blackberries.

Bake a pie and eat plenty fresh.

Then once we had a handle on the copious amounts of peaches, my Dad's wife stopped by and brought me a bag of . . . peaches!  We are enjoying swimming in the bounty of Summer.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Putting Up

Lately I have been doing all sorts of storage methods of the incoming produce  You will definitely be seeing more of it here.  Some of my recent undertakings have been my first ever attempt at pickles, tomato basil herb simmer sauce, another eggplant lasagna, and freezing of corn and carrots.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Morning Glories

Look who finally took off!  I'm not sure if I will do them again next year but I am glad they finally showed up!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

In The Garden

Everything looks like a big green mass so you might not be able to tell but the tomatoes have gotten really tall.  When I put the cages and stakes in I knew based on past experience it was necessary but it did seem almost ridiculous at the time.
This one is a good foot taller than the stake and is most likely about 8-9 feet tall.

My cucumber has seen it's final days.  I think bacterial wilt got the best of it.

The eggplant is basically a bush. It is hard to tell but it is bigger than the tomato plant to the right, it is about 4 feet tall and 3 feet across.  It is this year's garden workhorse.
There are always a couple of fruit ready to pick and lots of little ones on the way.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pie Pans

With the regular tomato theft I decided to attempt some action.  One of my cousins told me that pie pans hung in the garden will deter squirrels.  After a bit of research some people say it will also deter deer.  Supposedly the sound that the pie pans make when clanging together or in this case against the tomato cage will scare off the varmits.  So I cut some pie pans in half and tied them to cages in spots that might catch the wind or will rustle when brushed in an attempt to steal more tomatoes.  I find the look unattractive but if it works then this $2 experiment will look really attractive.

Update:  Andy came home late last night after it was already dark.  This morning as he was eating breakfast and looking out the kitchen window as he always does he said to me: "It looks like some trash flew into the garden."  I knew what he was talking about but asked anyways and he said, "Those silver plate things."  Of course I explained but it made me laugh.  He doesn't think it looks good, I would agree but neither do deer and squirrels eating the loot in my garden.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


In my harvests the last couple of weeks there haven't been beans.  That's because the beans have slowed to a stand still.  There were still some blossoms and tiny beans but nothing was moving anymore.  So over a week ago I ripped out half of the beans and replanted them.  But I also heard that if you cut the current bushes in half that they would again start to produce.  I figure we will see which one works better.  It's getting to be about time to thin out the new seedlings and the old bushes are starting to produce again.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


This weekend I probably looked crazy to any of my neighbor's who happened to gaze out their windows around 8am on Saturday.  I was making coffee getting ready to go help a friend move.  When I looked out my window and saw what ever gardener dreads of . . . a deer in the middle of my tomatoes eating.  I did what any normal person would do screamed and then ran out the back door, after fumbling with the locks, yelling at the deer to scram while in my pjs.  Andy was in the shower and missed the whole debacle, but it was a sight to be seen.

Friday, August 12, 2011


I have always grown "traditional" eggplant.  When I say always I mean just for the two years I have been growing them.  I don't know why I was resistant to trying different types, but I was.  Last week my Dad gave me some of the Japanese varieties from his garden to take home.  I have heard that they are wonderful just sauteed and have no bitterness.

Last year I struggled cooking traditional eggplant because unless I covered it in lots of sauce and cheese it tasted bitter, most likely I was letting them get too big.  This year I have been picking them smaller and they have been much tastier.  So to try out these new varieties I sauteed them with a little bit of olive oil and just a pinch of salt.  I cautiously took my first bite preparing for bitterness and they were delicious with no hint of bitterness.  I am thinking I might just have to grow one of these different varieties next year. 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thinking About Fall

While we are in the dog days of Summer it seems too hot to start planting for Fall but it is definitely time to start.  In fact the kale, cilantro, and dill below were planted the first week of July.  I have also planted some lettuces and need to get going on planting more weekly.  My Summer lettuce has been bitter so I should just pull it and replant now.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Family Gardens

Over the weekend while we were in Bowling Green I had the opportunity to spend some time in my Dad's and Uncle's gardens.  I am jealous of all the space they have something we are short on around here.