Sunday, September 11, 2022
Wednesday, August 31, 2022
Tuesday, August 30, 2022
Monday, August 29, 2022
When we can't keep up with eating fresh produce I usually do 3 things: share with a friend, freeze or can. Freezing Green Beans is the fastest way to preserve your garden produce if you have the space. Simply break off the ends, blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes, cool for several minutes in cold ice water to preserve freshness and color, drain and then package in your favorite freezer bags to store in the freezer (6 mo to a year). I love using a food saver machine because the bags and sucking out the extra Oxygen help protect the food long term and from freezer damage.
What is your favorite way to use Green Beans?
Our cuc vines have been pushing out some great cucumbers this year. These Sweet Success Cucumbers are so mild and sweet that they have quickly become a summer favorite. Sometimes when cucumbers get too big they become bitter to the taste but even when these sneaky cucumbers don't want to be found until they are giants we have been surprised to find they still have plenty of juice, crunch and continued mild flavor.
Thursday, August 18, 2022
Usually when late summer hits I start to experience a bit of burnout with gardening. It takes a lot of work to keep those plants beautiful and thriving. The thought of planting a fall crop seems exhausting but I had the space and time this year and decided to give it a try. Two of the most important things to think about if you are considering planting a fall crop is to know the first expected frost date for your zoned area and to know which plants have the shortest and fastest growing season so that your vegetables will have time to mature before cold weather sets in. One of the easiest ways to do this is to check your packets for an approximate expected harvest date. Radishes are one of the quickest growing vegetables and can mature in as little as 23 days. You will want to find other vegetables that can mature around 45-60 days. All vegetables have different varieties that will mature in shorter or longer amounts of times so don't expect all cucumber seeds to mature at the same rate. Some have significantly longer growing seasons. These are some of the vegetables I decided to take a stab at growing this fall. Since we can't predict the weather, it's not always a guarantee that we will make it to a harvest date for every vegetable but practicing is half the battle! All of these vegetables listed their harvest dates in less than 60 days. Our weather currently has been hot but we've had a lot of cloud cover which I think has helped significantly with keeping the soil wet enough to germinate seeds. I planted a week and a half ago and everything is popping up nicely. Fingers crossed that we have a mild fall and everything will keep producing!
Wednesday, August 10, 2022
One complication I have been working on is where my herbs can thrive. Some herbs are super temperamental in how much water and sunlight they like to receive each day. This year I have had a lot of success with keeping most herbs in individual pots on the west side of our garden. Other taller vegetable plants have given them extra shade and they have thrived on the extra hot summer days. This dill plant has been a god-send when we decided to can pickling cucumbers last week.
Sunday, March 20, 2022
Have you started your indoor garden seeds yet for Spring? Now is the time! We are a little late in getting some things off to an earlier start but that's ok! It's all about trying. Some things we succeed at and other times it ends up being a fail. That's why it's super important to try again and again and if all else fails, then run to the local garden center for a plant! Just like artichokes.
We should've started from seed around January 5th. Last year was our first try at growing artichokes. I found some beautiful plants at a local garden center and decided to give it a try. Some things I learned.....they take up a lot of space! Artichokes have large beautiful green pokey leaves that require quite a bit of room to spread out and grow. Also, be patient. You get to look at those large beautiful green pokey leaves for quite a long time before an Artichoke will begin to emerge. Lastly, we got several artichokes off from each plant. I think we would've had more if our growing season was longer. Hopefully we will have success again this year!
It's important to find out what zone you live in so you can plant at the appropriate times and actually get a crop. I live in an area of USDA Hardiness Zones 6b and 7a so these are the things we planted from seed this week:
Radish seeds can currently be planted in your garden outside. Also this week we will be trying to get Peas, Spinach, Carrots, Dill, and Pak Choi seeds in the ground. I will keep you updated with our progress. What are your favorite things to grow?
Slice each Brussel Sprout 2-3 times. Add to skillet and sprinkle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and cook over medium heat for 10+ minutes, stirring often. If Brussel Sprouts are too thick it also helps to add a lid for a few minutes to help steam/cook the veggies. Brussel Sprouts are ready to eat when they have cooked thru and have a nice brown caramel coloring on the sides.
1/2 c. chopped onion
1-15 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
1-4 oz. can chopped green chilies, drained
1-4 oz. can chopped olives, drained
1 c. frozen corn
1 T. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 Jiffy cornbread box, mixed according to package directions
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
Sour cream, optional
freshly chopped cilantro for garnish, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an oven safe baking dish, approximately 9 or 10 inch with cooking spray.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Brown ground beef and onion and cook until no longer pink. Drain excess grease from pan.
Next add diced tomatoes, green chilies, olives, corn, chili powder, salt and garlic powder and stir until well combined. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
Top beef mixture with prepared cornbread mix. Sprinkle cheese over the cornbread. Bake uncovered for 40-50 minutes. Take out of oven and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Serve with sour cream, cilantro or any of your other favorite toppings.
Monday, March 7, 2022
marshmallows, any size
Lay marshmallows out on dehydrator trays, spacing them apart so they don't touch each other. Small marshmallows take approximately 2-4 hours to dry and larger marshmallows about 3-5 hours. Test to see if they are hard and crunchy. These store great in air tight containers for up to 6 months or if you blow through them fast like us we keep them in gallon ziplock bags. Great for adding to hot chocolate, homemade desserts, trail mixes, or just a sweet little handful to snack on.
Sunday, March 6, 2022
Have you ever tried adding a slice of pepper with your cheese and apple snack? Delicious and healthy!
sharp cheddar cheese, sliced (or your favorite cheese)
green bell pepper or jalapeño, sliced
Slice apples, cheese and pepper. Assemble and eat away!