Sunday, August 28, 2011

A good day in the garden

Not only is it feeling like Autumn, it is LOOKING like Autumn too
With soccer done and school on the horizon,  I finally have a bit of free time to putter in the gardens.
Today's harvest took me a little by surprise (the dog and cat were most interested too!)
 A half bushel of beans, a basket of tomatoes, a small box of cherry tomatoes, a green pepper, 4 large hidden zucchini and just one- a sample- of this years purple carrots.
The cherry tomatoes have been left out in a glass bowl on the table and have been eaten by anyone who passes by. I already had a basket of tomatoes so I skinned and cut them for the freezer.

( Thanks Crafty Gardener for the idea! )
This tray was mostly the 'Big Early' variety which was quite pulpy and seedy. The tomato in the top left corner on the tray was a 'Big Beef' and is clearly a better slicing tomato.
I was quite surprised that the center of the purple carrot was orange!
It sure was tasty!
The Basil did very well this year
I'm really not too sure how to preserve this. Freeze? Dry?
The new freezer is getting packed up with my excess garden pickings.
One question I keep asking myself about my freezer purchase...
What took me so long???

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Flaunt your Flowers - August 25

Days are getting noticeably shorter and it is feeling more like Autumn every day.
My garden seems confused and some things are re-blooming.
This Wisteria bloomed months ago, and while the seed pods hang on one side
there are loads of buds forming on the other side.

This Dianthus bloomed early this spring
Clematis blooming again too
This was the first Phlox to bloom early this summer and it is blooming again 
This Potentilla has been blooming since mid June 
This Dahlia puts out new blooms every once in a while too
Salvia - one of my favorite annuals - always looking good
Rose re-blooming too

 Morning Glory
My favorite Hosta, night blooming Plantaginea
Join in with Tootsie's Fertilizer Friday and see some great gardens!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Heading for the deep freeze...

I've been talking about it for years and it finally happened...
I bought a chest freezer!
While not full sized, I'm convinced that it is large enough to hold the garden produce and more.
Yesterday I grated zucchini and packaged it in 3 cup bags - the amount I use in my zucchini bread recipe. I also sliced a few for other things.
I also bagged some beans, and rhubarb.
This got me to thinking about next years vegetable garden...I could really become self sufficient in the veggie department if I do it properly.
You know what they say ... there is no garden as good as next years garden!

Tree Tomato - Fruit at last!

I picked the first 3 ripe Tree Tomato's today.
They were small, but perfectly ripened and suddenly I was craving an open faced tomato sandwich!
I cut into was quite seedy, but very juicy
This is the fruit of the 'Big Early' tomato's that came with the Tree Tomato's
Less seeds, but just as juicy
So I did a taste test...both sliced on Rye with a bit of butter, salt and pepper
So while the Tree Tomato's didn't come through for me with it's claims of tomato's "over 1 foot all around", "up to 60 lbs of extra large tomatoes per plant", and "grows up to 8 feet tall", I found the small tomato's delicious . And while they didn't live up to the claims,
I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt because I had trouble with damping off in the spring and had to start over - they were smaller than the other tomato's when they were put outside.
Would I plant them again? Yes, but I won't go looking for them.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Flaunt your Flowers - Fertilizer Friday August 18th

4 O'clocks

Sweet Peas
Anise Hyssop

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tree Tomato Update - August 17

Well, the tree tomato's are continuing to be a disappointment.
While the other varieties are big, green and bushy and already producing, the Tree Tomato's are slow.
The potted Tree Tomato, while clearly NOT a tree, is loaded with fruit. There are 24 tomato's on this little plant and I will probably pick the first one later today.  I might add they are not the size of grapefruits as advertised on the original package.
The other variety from the package- 'Big Early'- are barely as tall as the tomato cages but loaded with oddly shaped fruit. They remind me of the heritage varieties you see so I'm hoping they will taste better than they look.
I have a few of these ripening on the window sill
All I need now is some bacon  :)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A trip to the veggie patch

Busy, busy week it has been!
First a trip to the compost to empty my under the counter container.
Outside the door are a few planters, one of them being my 'Tiny Tim's' in a Tub
The Basil is looking good too!
 Today I also cleaned out the fruit bowl so there are a few apples to share with the neighbors horses. Nina spotted me from across the field and came to see me with her colt in tow. He's getting so BIG and is the spitting image of his mother-and just as sweet!
After getting rid of my bruised apples, I took notice of how large my mystery compost vine is getting
But it is no longer a mystery - Acorn Squash I think!
Out in the garden, I had to step over this almost ripe pumpkin. My son will be bugging for pumpkin pie as soon as he sees this!
I am so impressed with these 'Royal Burgundy' Beans! The just keep producing more and more beans and have out preformed the regular green ones again.
These tomato plants are the volunteers that I moved here.
I keep a lot of volunteers and this year I have 70 tomato plants!
I sacrifice a few tomato plants every year for these guys...
The Zucchini and having their second wind
The plants are loaded with I pick them I find young ones hiding below them
Does anyone else have trouble with mice in their cucumbers? I have only been able to pick one field cucumber and none of my special Italian round ones
 I planted mixed colored carrots this year and thought I would test one.
It came out forked, which was no surprise with our clay soil.
Still tasty though!
Here is my zucchini collection today - after I gave away 16 earlier this week
That is 30!!
 Zucchini anyone?