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Posts Tagged ‘vegetables’

Today’s bounty

Here is a shot of a few things I harvested today….a departure from the usual lettuce, kale and tomatoes.

Can anyone name the purple little gem??

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A lot has changed in the garden since Day 5, my last update on our expanded growing area. All of the seeds we planted in containers have been moved into the ground. We needed to wait until about September 15 when the weather started to cool enough here in Florida so the soil wasn’t too warm. Unfortunately we lost a few we planted because the sun literally baked them once transplanted. And the black weed barrier we have down around the plants didn’t help, I’m sure.

I took a few shots this afternoon, including one of our friendly neighborhood hawk. I’ve affectionately dubbed him “mascot”, number two only to our pup Morgen.

This was the only shot I could get as he and his 2′ wing span flew away before I could get my larger lens.

Ok, back to the garden. This year, my husband expanded our garden by double, so now we have a total of 760 square feet of growing space.  Here’s our original little piece of land, the left side of the garden that has Southern Peas, tomatoes, green and yellow beans, giant Caesar lettuce and sweet peppers.

Here is some of the giant caesar, which looks really hearty so I’m excited to see how this does.

 

 

 

Green and yellow beans already needed stakes after being in the ground for only a week. The flowers are already starting to bloom on these! We usually have really good luck with these beans and hopefully this year will be no different.

 

Below is the new section Ryan cleared out over a period of weeks. The grass that used to live here had mostly gone to weed, so he had to pull all of that out and mix in the good compost. A LOT of sweat on 95 degree days – backbreaking labor! Now that the plants are in we need to put some mulch down to keep the moisture in and keep the weed barrier from baking any more of the plants.

 

Sweet peppers are looking really good too. We have about 12 of these plants.

 

 

And my favorite plant this season – the cucumber. It’s normally a very difficult vegetable to grow for us, but I think we have the problem sorted out. Instead of growing these on the ground, we’ve decided to stake them. They seem super happy already, with blooms appearing and the little tendrils curling around the bamboo stakes. Hopefully this solves the problem!

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For my birthday, super-hubby gave me a new juicer! It’s a Breville. Don’t ask me the model number – that would require me to get up out of my chair, which I’ve consequently melted into since I took a hot yoga class this evening. I’ll save that one for another post.

Back to juicing. I have to say, this beauty does much better than my all-purpose blender that previously wrote about. What a pathetic first try at juicing, but hey…you live and learn right?

The Before…

The After… 

Honestly, juicing is not what the Ninja was made for and I still love using it for other things in the kitchen, like homemade apple cobbler which we inhaled a couple nights ago after dinner.

It even sounds like a jet engine when you start it up! Here’s our current favorite recipe. This only makes enough for two juice glasses, so double or triple it if you want more. I’ve occasionally thrown in some ginger and that adds a nice kick.

2 green apples
2 stalks of celery
4 carrots

Want to know the surprising things I’ve learned as I’ve started my juicing journey?

1. If you don’t put the pusher-downer thing into the fruit chute, whatever you stuff in there will surely come back to visit you…and your walls, cabinets and nice new blouse your wearing. Ok, so maybe that’s not so surprising when you think about it.

2. Celery juice has a much more pungent taste than you’d imagine. Use it sparingly if you’re not that into it.

3. Use a plastic bag to line the can that catches all the cast off material once the fruits/ veggies have been juiced. Then you can dispose of it in your composter. What works perfectly are the bags from your daily newspaper (do people actually still get those things??), or your last trip to Target when you went back to school shopping and you of course forgot your reusable bags and now have 20 of them staring back at you waiting for their encore.

4. This is a GREAT way to use those just-overripe fruits and vegetables. It reduces waste and gives you a great energy boost that is healthy!

Bottoms up!!

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In Florida, we’re lucky to have two planting seasons – Fall and Spring. Now that it’s August, we’re in the midst of some of the hottest weather all year and it’s time to start thinking about what we’ll plan for our Fall vegetable garden. Hard to think about going outside and preparing the soil!

I wasn’t able to post how bountiful our spring/summer harvest of tomatoes were – partially because we were so busy picking everything! My husband planted 17 tomato plants – 8 Roma, 8 Better Boy and 1 “100s” (grape). We easily harvested about 800 tomatoes, and were to the point that we couldn’t give them away fast enough! Once the really intense heat hit, the tomatoes just dried out right on the vine so we pulled everything out about 3 weeks ago. We had so many, I wanted to try canning them, but that seemed so work-intensive. So we gave them away – even leaving bowls full at the front desk of our YMCA.

Below is an example of what we were able to harvest almost every day – it was amazing!!

Now I’m excited to think about all of the Autumn-season vegetables we’ll plant. Here’s a list of what I ordered from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange:

  • Whippoorwill Southern peas
  • Eggplant
  • Collards
  • Dinosaur Kale
  • Cabbage
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
In a few weeks, we’ll take our regular visit to South Seminole Farm and Nursery or the local hydroponic store where we’ll stock up on some compost and:
  • Sweet potato
  • Green beans
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Bok choy
  • Strawberries
  • Lettuce

Where are you at in your gardening season? Just winding down, or planning what’s next?

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No, I haven’t exactly created a drink using the green means you may have thought. This green drink is the recipe from Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Diet blog and I tried it tonight. I think my body craved something green to balance out all the tomatoes we’ve been pounding the past 3 weeks.

Let’s just say this is acquired taste – and while I didn’t finish all of it, I will be giving it another go in the morning. My daughter, Z, tried it and loved it! You never know what kids are going to eat – just glad she tried it.

I’ve also decided that I need to invest in a juicer. While I love my Ninja, it’s not really meant for juicing.

Any suggestions on juicers?


I love breakfast for dinner!!

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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October 30 Harvest

We were able to pick our second batch of beans and decided to picked “Big Green” as he was starting to turn yellow.

Note the lovely bamboo fence that now lines the garden! Thanks to our friends Doug and Lucy who gave us their bamboo for this project.

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It’s been a couple weeks since my last garden update, and wow…what a difference that time can make! We’ve had many many hot sunny days – dusty and dry. But the plants have loved it! Last night, we had a nice drenching downpour and when I checked out the garden this morning, I was amazed to see what the rain had done for our small plot.

As I looked around today, I noticed a peculiar pattern on the edges of some of the bean plant leaves. It looks as though a critter has been munching on them! Can you identify what this could be? And when I say critter, I’m thinking opossum, raccoon…that kind of critter! Can you imagine!! Ewww!

Almost every tomato plant has blooms on it now, which means that in a few weeks, we’ll hopefully have a delicious bunch of tomatoes to add to our meals!

Affectionately called “Big Green”, our first cuke is thriving. Is that bad when you start naming your vegetables before you pick them? I would be in a world of trouble if I actually had a farm with livestock!

My girls put mulch around our lettuce last weekend and somehow that has made them double in size!

And last but certainly not least, we were able to pick our first bunch of green beans that we cooked and ate with dinner!

(photo disclaimer: shadows and poor lighting need to be worked on in my shots…just so excited about the garden!)

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