Wednesday, July 25, 2012

How Does Your Garden Grow? {July 25, 2012}

One would think that having a weekly feature on Tuesdays would mean that it arrives on Tuesdays. Apparently this is impossible to do when you spend Monday trying to get an issue out for your online magazine AND spend the rest of the day harvesting and tending to your garden.
WHAT?!? I spent time in the garden?!? What a wild concept.

First things first, I wrote this little diddy up for Bonbon Break about Berry Freezer Jam. Yes, I did have it on here last year, but there is a new twist now since I have learned a bit since I wrote it up last year. So check 'er out. This recipe is so easy, you can make it with your kids and once you try it, you will never buy another jar of jam.

Onward to the garden...
The onions were about to reach out and grab us they were getting so large. As I was reading about onion harvesting, I found that you can really harvest onions anytime from green onions up to the big kahunas. The one recommendation is that you pick them on a hot day so they can be set outside and the roots can dry out in a couple of hours. Do they know where I live? We have had some pretty stormy weeks and I was hoping for "clear" vs. "hot". I found my day and we harvested, but wouldn't you know it, three hours later it started to rain again. So I chopped off the greens and set them in our drying rack . 

Here is Lil Miss with the onion octopus. They really are quite large and I cannot wait to get them on the grill / sautee / stir fry / eat them! These are Walla Wallas and their taste is so mild and sweet. I can already feel all of my onion recipes coming on. Last year, I did an onion recipe roundup and I didn't make it all the way through. There is always this year!
I harvested over 60 onions and I didn't bruise one. Last year, I was a little too rough with them and lost a couple. I am proud to say that none of them were MUSH either. Last year, I waited a little too long to harvest and some of them were mushy...ewwww. 

We also harvested our first zucchini (and know how it is with zucchini!). Of course our first one was the one that looked a little odd. Two-for-one deal? Siamese twins? Genetic anomaly? Whatever it was, we ate it.

A friend has said that I am going to scar my children with all of the zucchini in their life. So be it. There are few things that taste as good as roasted or grilled fresh-from-the-garden zucchini. Yum.

We are reaching the end with our snap peas, which is so sad. Hear Lil Miss point to the garden and say, "Peas! Peas! Peeeeeeeeeeeeeeeas!" kind of makes my day. Lately, when the house gets quiet in that scary kind of way, I can look out the window and see my littles foraging for peas. 

Here is the BIG news for the week in my garden besides the fact that we are now eating garlic, onions, zucchini, raspberries and a few peas... I  U N L E A S H E D the garden this week. I couldn't take trying to weed and tend the garden through the chicken wire. It was breaking my little garden spirit down. Deer be damned, my garden is free. It allowed me to notice that the sunflower and corn want to spring up up up and the green beans are using them as trellises...a little experiment I put in place. I hope the corn and sunflowers keep on growing faster than those  beans!

So, there it is...everything is growing and I have a new found love for the color the nasturtiums are bringing to the garden. Love them. is YOUR garden growing?!?


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

How Does Your Garden Grow? {July 17, 2012}

This week is a very special week. Bonbon Break Media (that's Kathy and I) have launched our new magazine!

And..."How Does Your Garden Grow?" is featured in the Backyard! So please hop on over and enjoy yummy garden fast food like this:

....and ENJOY! Please share your garden links in the Backyard. See you there!

How Does Your Garden Grow? @ Bonbon Break


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

How Does Your Garden Grow? {July 10...oops 11, 2012}

My garden is being so tolerant this summer. The morning's fog hides the sun so the plant's thirst won't get the best of them. Lately I have been seeing my garden like this:

The view from my computer
And it hurts to see that the weeds are winning in some places. While on business calls, I pull and throw, pull and throw the tall thistles and toss them into the bucket and I feel like I am gaining some ground, only to come out the next morning and find some that have grown knee high. How DOES that happen?

We are now enjoying our garlic and we are still snacking on peas and strawberries. I really need to plant some more lettuce. Perhaps when I pull the peas.

I need to use our chard and kale. We do have a chard "tree" now (top right). The red stem is a nice addition.

Yesterday I roasted broccoli and garlic from the garden with sesame oil, olive oil and soy. It is so simple, yet so tasty. The kids asked for seconds. I really should grow more broccoli because we are a broccoli house. 

I did fail to report that our corn WAS knee high on the 4th of July....actually waist high, but that is only because the beds are 2 feet tall. Ha. 

It is interesting, this year we have a very TALL garden. Sunflowers. Corn. Green Beans. Even our zucchini is shooting straight up toward the sky....and the nasturtiums....oh the nasturtiums. They are BOOMING. The variegated variety that we planted is absolutely gorgeous. I know they will just become deer food at this point, but it might keep the deer away from our tomatoes. MAYBE.

Our onions are almost ready. I remember doing a rapid harvest on our way out the door to a camping trip last year. 
Last year's first onion
My sweet little onion harvester
We have little baby zucchini as of yesterday and I know to keep an eye on them or they will turn into baseball bats if I blink for too long. Get ready for the long long long list of zucchini recipes!

For now, here are some of my favorite summer posts for preserving this wonderful summer harvest. you see that fancy button on the top right? That is our site. Bonbon Break. Monday is our HUGE day. What an experience this has been. Please join us next week for our first issue AND How Does Your Garden Grow will be featured in the Backyard! Pictures and everything....I promise. 

So....HOW is YOUR Garden Growing?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

How Does Your Garden Grow? {July 3, 2012}

Dear Garden,
Please don't fail me now. The garlic has been harvested, before it turned to mush. Our lettuce has been consumed (by us). But I know you know you are being neglected both by the weather (lots of rain and low temps) and by your caretaker who is working on her *little* project. Thank you for the strawberries, peas, lettuce, chard, kale, garlic and radishes you have offered us thus far. Please tell your gardenmates that there will be better conditions ahead.



P.S. I got a new macro lens for my iPhone today. Super cool. Just beware that the magnet isn't very strong that holds it on and when it pops off somewhere between the garage and the front yard, you will have to consider yourself very lucky when you find it on the third visual sweep.