Friday, July 31, 2009

Cooking with tomato leaves?

I'll do this post in green since that is ALL I SEE when I look at my tomato plants ;) I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one in my general area whose tomatoes have yet to ripen (or umm...grow much fruit yet). Seeing as I have a whole lot of tomato leaf right now, I was pretty happy to happen upon this article in the NY Times. It got me thinking; I've always heard that tomato leaves are toxic. But now? I'm going to have to play a bit with them now that I know I can. I'll be back with my findings. In the mean time, I thought you might like to play too. I'd love to hear if you end up with something fabulous!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Making a mountain from a mole hill; A garden salad.

It is summer and we had yet eaten a decent summer salad from our own garden. Or at all? I just can't get myself to buy lettuce or the lettuce mixes anymore, they always disappoint. When one has had a taste of the good freshy-fresh stuff from the garden, it's hard to go back to anything that isn't fresh picked. I decided to make a fun project out of creating a salad from anything edible in our yard. I thought it would be interesting seeing as I never got around to planting actual lettuce. We ended up with a really awesome lettuceless salad.

The greens: amaranth, borage, purslane, French sorrel, baby beet and chard.

Baby crookneck squash and blooms

Borage and sunflower petals

Baby carrots

I also threw in some basil and oregano blooms. It's worth noting the borage leaves were quickly blanched and then thrown into an ice bath. They are prickly little suckers!

Dressed up with a simple vinaigrette. Delicious!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Hot damn!

Persimmon Tomato

Taxi Tomato

I went to the garden last night for a few moments in search of solace. It had been a rather noisy day with my 3 year old and 7 week old baby. I watered a few things that were dry, topped up the water for the chickens, milled around and inspected things and found: GREEN TOMATOES! They were really fun to find in my teeny tiny snippet of quiet.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Fun with felt

Where the garden is lacking in blooms I'm making up for it inside. I'm working on a project for a special little girl's birthday and while I'm not going to give out all the details I want to leave a little teaser! HOW CUTE ARE THESE? Even Colven wants some! I'll be back to post the full finished project.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The sun is shining. Here's what is going on in our garden.

The heat is on. At last. Finally. It's garden weather. After a dreary and tedious start to the season,
summer is on us like a lion.
Our garden has for the most part faltered this year, but not for lack of intent. It has been a busy one. Between a pregnancy and new child, the dismal weather, the bother of marauding birds and gophers, and life in general it's a wonder we have a green sliver of anything poking through the grains of ever improving soil in the garden at all.
There are bare patches and empty beds....

And while I do tend to the garden on an almost daily basis I am adorned with new life so even though the visits may be daily they tend to be short and not altogether productive.Watering starts looking like the above picture. Convenient.

I can not complain. The bare patches do give way to shining glories sprinkled about, and it's clear my garden loves me because it does amazing things and tries so hard to please me. For example, every sunflower I planted disappeared. Birds. Only few seeds of corn grew, despite three (yes, three) planting sessions. Birds. Most of the flower seeds I planted for the children's canopy were pilfered. Birds. Then some that did manage to survive the birds were destroyed by: Gophers.
So here are a few little lovelies who manged to beat all odds, just for me ;)

Here we have our FIRST young pomegranate! This is reinforcing my theory I was over-loving this tree in previous years and all the food and water I gave it all summer was preventing it from setting fruit. I'm glad I read up on it this year and decided to experiment and show it no love (except occasional sonnets and other tender words of encouragement haha!)

The fig tree is filling out. Our 3 year old makes mental notes of its progress every visit.

Despite all the encouraging things I've been reading about tomatoes all over the place, we haven't a single fruit to date. All are still in the flowering stage. The plants are vigorous and (as yet) untouched by the gophers. My amazing husband managed to hook up a drip system for them. Hence they are alive! ha!
Our melons are just starting to spread out, still not a single flower.
The pumpkins are just getting started as well...
As I said above, my fantastic idea about a big canopy of blooming loveliness gave way to the ever impossible migratory birds, so just a few of the countless seeds we put in remained long enough to bloom. And then there is the gopher problem.... oh the gopher problem.

And then the hen and her babes.
Oh how they love the garden.

As evidenced by all their scratching around. I keep reminding myself they are helping by eating insects. Really. Look at all this mess!(this used to be potatoes)
Leeks and carrots, anyone? Oh yes! says the hen and her chicks.
Yet through all the trials and tribulations I can still squint my eyes a bit and look in just the right direction with just the right background and all is good.
Thank you garden for giving back some love when I need it the most!