Archive for the ‘My Gardens’ Category

Today’s Harvest Basket 9/16/14


2014
09.17

Today’s Harvest Basket, September 16, 2014.

Bunnies are always hiding in my garden. Today, I also discovered carrots.

Big long, straight carrots.

Big long, straight carrots.

I was planning a journal entry called “Garden Cleanup.” While I was tidying up the herb garden, I discovered these giant carrots. This is a new vegetable in my garden, it is only the second year to grow carrots. I was never inclined to grow carrots because I didn’t especially like them.

Carrots

Carrots was not a crop grown in Grandmother’s garden. Her Ozarks garden was red clay and very rocky, making it impossible to grow carrots. I had no idea where carrots came from.

The 10″ long carrots were masquerading as it’s cousins: parsley, cilantro, and chervil. All of these herbs are members of the carrot family. The flowers look like Queen Ann’s Lace.

Sitting behind the harvest basket are water-filled jars of parsley, cilantro, or chervil. The parsley will go into tabouleh. Cilantro will be frozen into a pesto-like condiment, ready to drop into bean dishes, chili, enchilada sauce or salsa.

Chervil on potato salad

Chervil on potato salad

Chervil has only been in the garden for a couple of years. I will use chervil in potato dishes like potato salad.

It is one of the herbs in the fines herbes blend. (pronounced “feen erb.”) 

Fines Herbes

My recipe for fresh fines herbes

• 3 Tablespoons chervil
• 3 Tablespoons chives
• 3 Tablespoons parsley
• 2 Tablespoons tarragon

Finely chop all these herbs and mix together. Use fresh or store in the refrigerator in a zip lock or small air tight container for a couple of days.

I have all these herbs growing in the garden now. Usually, chervil is available only in the cool season. I will mix fines herbes into an herb herb butter to freeze.

Lacy chervil in part shade.

Lacy chervil in part shade.

Try chervil or fines herbes:

GBBD 9/15/14


2014
09.17

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day September 14, 20014

Finally, cooler weather.

Since the weather has cooled down, some flowers are busy blooming and making seeds.

Our house is nearly 170 years old.

Crape Myrtle are a bright spot in late summer.

Our house is nearly 170 years old. The one acre lot has plenty of room for experimenting with a variety of trees and shrubs. Birds will love as these seeds made from so many flowers this fall.

Last echinacea or coneflower of the year.

Bird food

Last of the sunflowers.

Last of the sunflowers.

 

I’ve been collecting vegetable and herb seed for next year. Flower seeds will be collected by the birds.

 

Night blooming Datura.

Night blooming Datura.

 

 

 

 

 

 

These Datura flowers will often self seed. The plants get huge and take up a lot of space.

 

Nicotiana are blooming nonstop.

Nicotiana are blooming nonstop.

 

Morning coffee on the patio.

Morning coffee on the patio.

Why does coffee taste better on the patio in the morning? For me, it’s the best time to write. It’s cool and quiet except for the beautiful soundtrack provided by the songbirds. My brain is not crowded with the with the activities of the day.

IMG_2691

Privacy screen on the patio.

I tried to grow morning glories for a couple of years before I finally got them to grow. Grandpa Ott’s Morning Glories are now as out of control as dandelions and grass. Still the hummingbirds love the morning glories that create a privacy screen on the North side of the patio.

“We can have flowers nearly every month of the year.” ~ Elizabeth Lawrence.

Carol at May Dreams Gardens started Garden Bloggers Bloom Day. What’s blooming in your garden? Share with other garden bloggers on the 15th of each month. Leave a link in Mr. Linky and the comments of May Dreams Gardens.

 Thank you for visiting my blog: Oh Grow Up!

Todays Harvest Basket 9/8/14


2014
09.11

Today’s Harvest Basket September 8, 2014

Mild Habanero Peppers, “Suave”

So many peppers.

Sun Gold cherry  tomato, Arkansas Traveler, Giant Martian and, paste tomatoes.

Paste tomatoes are ripe ripe every day. I'm freezing them whole to process later.

Some paste tomatoes are ripe every day. I’m freezing them whole to process later.

Top right corner is the Black Brandywine, much smaller than the other Brandywines. Below the black tomato is a regular Brandywine, weighing in at just over a pound. I picked it early and a little green to keep it from breaking the vine.

Those cute little green and yellow wrinkly peppers are a new mild Habanero pepper, “Suave”. They turned complexly yellow by the next day. They are said to be flavorful but bot as hot a true habanero pepper. It’s a new and exclusive variety from Renee’s Garden Seed. With the break in heat, the plant has perked up and is blooming non stop. The plant is loaded with peppers.

These are bright Goldfinch yellow when ripe. I’m letting the rest of these peppers ripen in the vine. Their beautiful color is reason enough to grow them.

Much of the heat has been removed from this pepper, but it still has heat. The Chili Pepper Institute at New Mexico State University has created this milder version of the habanero.

Mild Habanero pepper, “Suave” are 800 on the Scoville scale.

For comparison, a Sweet bell pepper is 0; Pimento is 100-500; Pepperoncini,100-500 and TABASCO® brand Sweet & Spicy Pepper Sauce is 100-600.

Ancho and Poblano register between 1,000–2,000. (This is the chili relleno pepper.)

Jalapeno and the Original TABASCO brand pepper sauce are 2,500 – 5,000.

Ghost peppers exceed one million Scoville units.

I am already thinking of what kind of tomatoes to plant next year.  Some tomatoes, I can use the seed leftover from this year. A number of my favorite tomatoes are on HubPages.

 

This is my last zucchini cake of the season. Here come the apples!

One recipe makes three cakes zucchini, carrot or apple

The orchards are loaded with apples.

The orchards are loaded with apples.

Make applesauce your first home canning project. Try a simple small batch canning recipe.

Apples as a first canning project

 

 

Todays Harvest Basket 9/6/28


2014
09.07

Today’s Harvest Basket September 6, 2014

Potatoes, peppers

 

Potatoes and peppers

Potatoes and peppers

Clearly, the potatoes are not grown to help us through the winter. This is my third year attempt at growing potatoes. For one pound of seed potatoes, the return was 7 1/2 pounds.

It’s my best yield so far. Uncle Ebb came to the rescue and  helped figure out what went wrong last year. I left the potatoes in the ground too long. The year before that produced only a hand full of potatoes.

So I am getting better. Who knows what yields I’ll get if I actually pay attention and regularly fertilize and water them?

Growing potatoes in a bag makes for an easy, back saving harvest.

Growing potatoes in a bag makes for an easy, back saving harvest.

I used this bag to grow potatoes. It was sitting on the ground and a few of the roots grew through the bag, down into the soil. The potato plants were drawing moisture from the ground.

If all the conditions are just right, I could expect to harvest 10 pounds of potatoes for every pound of seed potato planted. That is a guideline in row crops. Who knows what to expect using a grow bag fabric planter?

I like to grow varieties that are available to gardeners and not usually found in grocery stores. These, I think, are Yellow Finn potatoes. I’m hoping the yellow potatoes will  fool me into using less butter.

Potatoes are the fourth-largest food crop in the world. (After rice, wheat, and maize.) This is an old European gourmet variety. They are said to have a buttery, sweet, yellow flesh.

The grow bag allows for excellent drainage and aeration. Plants respond much like they do in raised beds. You can start plants earlier than you can sow directly in the ground.

These fabric bags also last a long time. I’ve used it for three years with a variety to crops and It shows no signs of wear and tear.  It will be in service next year.

Golden salsa, made with yellow tomatoes.

Golden salsa, made with yellow tomatoes.

Oh, by the way, those lovely peppers are a variety of jalapeno that are supposed to be milder than the original. Still, half of one is enough for my canned salsa. Since I started making our own salsa, we use a lot more of it.

Jeff says that is because I make such good salsa. But it’s probably because of the roasted garlic, peppers and tomatoes. It’s an extra step, but it makes for a richer and sweeter salsa.

 

 

 

 

Todays Harvest Basket 9/3/14


2014
09.07

Today’s Harvest Basket September 3, 2014

Tomatoes and Peppers galore! Bell, Jalapeño, Habanero, Felicity peppers

Hot and sweet peppers. Photo: Patsy Bell Hobson

Hot and sweet peppers. Photo: Patsy Bell Hobson

 Chile, “Classic Jalapeño” Pepper, hot

Felicity, sweet pepper, no heat.

Red Bell Pepper, sweet

Arkansas Traveler, Martian Giant, Brandywine and assorted cherry tomatoes.

Brandywine tomato

One slice will cover the bread on a BLT.

One slice will cover the bread on a BLT.

Big old Brandywine was so heavy, it dropped off, stripping the vine’s exterior by several inches.

From an old line of Brandywines, known as the Sudduth’s strain.

Sudduth’s strain comes from tomato collector Ben Quisenberry in 1980. He got it from Dorris Sudduth Hill whose family grew it for over 100 years.

Big pink beefsteak-like fruits can grow up to 2 pounds on indeterminate vines.

This is the tomato by which all others are measured for taste. Brandywine is a consistent winner in tomato taste contests. The intense tomato flavor is the perfect balance of acid and sweet taste.

Today’s Harvest Basket 8/30/14


2014
08.31

Tomatoes, peppers

Today’s Harvest Basket August 30, 2014

Every tomato plant has ripe, sun warmed tomatoes.

Every tomato plant has ripe, sun warmed tomatoes. Photo PBH

Plus, four cups of cherry tomatoes. The neighbor’s tomato garden is about to run down for the season, not many more tomatoes will ripen. He has planted seed for a fall garden already.

In the upper left photo, may be the last of the Gold Medal tomatoes in my garden. Blight has cut the tomato season short. There is a Gold Medal tomato plant in a container on the deck. There may be as many as a half-dozen tomatoes on that plant. Blight is also overtaking the plant on the deck.

One pound and one ounce. Brandywine. Photo: PBH

One pound and one ounce. Brandywine. Photo: PBH

As the  “Italian Pompeii” plum tomatoes ripen, they go into a freezer bag. Sometime this winter, on a cold snowy day, I’ll pull those tomatoes out of the freezer and make some amazing sauces or chili. I learned this tip from Renee’s Garden.

To learn more about this beautiful, meaty plum tomato – Pompeii – Italian tomato from seed

or,  Grow a spaghetti sauce theme garden in a 4′ x 4′ raised bed

Capellini Pomodoro made with plum tomatoes.

Capellini Pomodoro made with plum tomatoes. Photo: Patsy Bell Hobson

 

Pomodoro is a simple tomato sauce made from plum tomatoes. A quick, light tomato sauce fresh made.

Literally, apple of gold, pomodoro is an indication the first tomatoes were yellow, not red.

It is time to plant lettuce and radishes.

 

 

Today’s Harvest Basket 8/29/14


2014
08.30

Green beans, eggplant, onions, tomato

Today’s Harvest Basket, August 29, 2014

About a pound and a quarter of fresh green beans

About a pound and a quarter of fresh green beans

Green beans

are a favorite vegetable to grow and freeze for later use.  It has been a good year for green beans. The bean plants are a collection of seeds, the end of a couple of different seed packets. These bush beans are about 5 1/2″ long and straight.

With a long rainy spring, the first planting of beans was later than usual. Planting too early is a waste of seed. Beans do not like cool, wet soil and will rot.

These straight, skinny beans are tender and need very little cooking.

These straight, skinny beans are tender and need very little cooking. Photo: Patsy Bell Hobson

We’ve been planting short rows of beans, every 2 or 3 weeks. That has made for plenty of fresh green beans all summer. There is enough to freeze a few packages now and then.

I like the idea of freezing a couple of packages of beans when there are fresh green beans. It sure beats, having to set aside a full day for canning a big batch.

Green beans almondine – A quick and easy way to prepare fresh green beans is green beans almondine. Simply steam beans, toast sliced or slivered almonds. Brown butter, toss beans in the butter and sprinkle with almonds.

2 quarts of cherry tomatoes. This is two days worth of picking.

The invasion of the cherry tomatoes. Photo:pbh

Today’s Harvest Basket 8/24/14


2014
08.24

Today’s Harvest Basket August 24, 2014

Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes, peppers, tomatoes

 

Basket duo

Basket duo

It is no surprise that tomato season is at its peak. Two of the tomatoes that are big producers, in my garden this year, are Arkansas Traveler and Martian Giant.

 

The Arkansas Traveler variety will produce, even in the hottest climates. The plants have produced pink 8 oz. fruits nonstop all summer. Once these plants start producing, it seems like I have picked tomatoes every day or every other day all summer long.

 

Martian Giant is a beefsteak-type slicer that produces a heavy crop of juicy, red, 12 ounce tomatoes. I bought these seed

Too many tomatoes?

Too many tomatoes?

because of the name. I was curious what Martian Giants looked and tasted like. They are a good, meaty tomatoes that you can’t tell from most midsize tomatoes. This is not a giant tomato. Nor is it from Mars. It is just plain good.

 

Cherry tomatoes

This is a basket of over 200 cherry tomatoes, just over four pounds. All of these are headed to the dehydrator. In a day or two, they will be sun-dried tomatoes. Dry and ready for storage in a quart size zip lock bag and stored in the freezer.

There were more cherry tomatoes but I ate them while getting them ready for the fruit dryer.

There were more cherry tomatoes, but I ate them while getting them ready for the fruit dryer.

Also, in the basket are some sweet peppers that look like a big jalapeno. But they aren’t hot. They are sweet in either the green or red stage.

Today’s Harvest Basket 8/22/23


2014
08.24

Eggplant, chard, green beans – Today’s Harvest Basket August 22, 2014

Pinks and purples make  this outstanding plant ideal for containers,  and any where you need a vibrant splash of color.

Pinks and purples make this outstanding chard and eggplant ideal for containers, and any where you need a vibrant splash of color.

Tomatoes and peppers sometimes seem to reign supreme over August. All those reds, oranges, yellows seem to take over. These are the container grown vegetables  the deck.

Peppermint stick

Peppermint stick chard has beautiful, vibrant green leaves, with bold peppermint stick colored stalks. It is pretty enough to be seen in the flower gardens and in container plantings. Peppermint stick chard is a new offering and an Exclusive from Renee’s Garden.

Peppermint stick chard is as good in the peppermint stick chard is as good in the ornamental garden as it is in the vegetable garden.

Peppermint stick chard is as good in the peppermint stick chard is as good in the ornamental garden as it is in the vegetable garden.

This variety is bolt resistant and has been growing in containers all summer.

Baby leaves have served as a substitute for lettuce in a sandwich and salad. It is best combined with other greens to make a mixed greens salad bowl. Add some of these leaves to a spinach salad.

Any dish that calls for cooked spinach will work with chard. The full size leaves make an excellent green rice casserole. Saute the chopped stems and add them to the dish.

Some variety of chard is growing in my garden most of the year. In the hottest part of summer, chard does well in the shade of taller plants. When container grown flowers are gone for the summer, poke a few chard seed in the pots for color.

Over the years, I’ve grown all seven of the varieties that Renee’s Garden offers. I like to combos in the Neon Glow and Bright Lights chard. But the one that really stands out and seems to do best in my garden is the Pot of Gold.

Those yellow stems are the color of gold finches. Plant just a few seed in the shade of caged tomato plants or trellised vines. When a little chard is handy, it’s easy to incorporate into a lot of dishes.

Green beans

I grow green beans differently than my grandmother. Her goal was to process a lot of food for winter eating. My goal is to have fresh green beans for as long as possible. Plant a few feet of the row every two weeks.

green beans are always best fresh.

green beans are always best fresh.

Here, at the end of August, I am still harvesting and planting beans. I’ll plant a few beans the first couple of weeks in September. I might even end up with fresh green beans for your Thanksgiving table.

Those late beans could freeze. That’s OK. The frost-killed plants are still good for the soil. I may have wasted a few pennies worth of seed.

The big payoff is that I’ll be picking fresh green beans, long after most folks have quit gardening for the year.

 

 

 

Today’s Harvest Basket 8/19/14


2014
08.20

Tomatoes, squash, peppers

Today’s Harvest Basket

August 19, 2014

Peppers, zucchini, tomatoes, are in high production.

Peppers, zucchini, tomatoes, are in high production.

Find a lot of answers and information about tomatoes on the  Tomato Pages

 

Today in the kitchen

Made a small batch of Honey-Cinnamon Canned Peaches. Each jar has a small piece of cinnamon, a few whole allspice, cloves and a little ginger.

The peaches recipe is on my Saving Summer on Pinterest.

 

Choose your favorite anti-pasta ingredients to make a no cooking summer supper.

Add sun warmed cherry tomatoes, peppers. baby vegetables from the garden

Add sun warmed cherry tomatoes, peppers. baby vegetables from the garden

Oh, time to visit the Hill in St Louis for a few Italian cured meats, then on to shop for marinated artichokes, garlic stuffed olives, spicy peperoncini, all the things that make a good anti-pasta plate. This and a plate of sliced tomatoes with  mozzarella make the perfect summer supper.

Anti-pasta light supper or party platters is in your fridge

If you do check out this recipe, please leave a comment. I’d love to know you visited my HubPages.

 

In the garden

Today, we tore out the cucumber vines and the zucchini plants that were covered with squash bugs.

As the Gold Medal tomatoes give it up to the tomato blight, these Bradywines are just about to start producing.

Looming sunflowers growing above the Brandywine tomato plants.

Looming sunflowers growing above the Brandywine tomato plants.

 

 

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