Monday, June 28, 2010

Fresh food for the baby,tots and Monday's harvest.

Yesterday I went to the fruit market and loaded up on fresh fruits and vegetables. I really like to try to get the baby to try all kinds of different things to give him a wide variety of tastes! So, when I saw some figs I decided to pick them up and make baby puree with them.
Oh, he absolutely LOVED it! He couldn’t eat it fast enough. However, I didn’t want to give him too much because they are high in fiber and sugar, so it was gone quickly and he was still hungry for more…next up, Avocado! He eats practically any food or mixture of food I put in front of him. Applesauce/Avocado, Peaches/Avocado, Zucchini/Applesauce/sweet potato, Sweet Potato/Applesauce, anything I can think of to mix, I do it. Even if it doesn’t sound good to me. He can get a wide variety of nutrients in this way and broaden his palate for different tastes. I already have one picky eater and one good eater, maybe he will be even better! I made fresh baby food for them too, but I didn’t try as many varieties or mixtures on them as I have tried on Eli.
Today for them, I made Zucchini Coins with the Sebring Zucchini and a zephyr zucchini I found at the market. They were very good, though I think next time I will cook them a little less than the 20 minutes recommended.  I let them help make them too and they really enjoyed that. Wish they enjoyed eating them as much as they enjoyed making them…oh, well, I think they are good and we need more variety for our zucchini! We can’t have cake and zucchini bread all the time, as much as I would love to!
Today from the garden I picked about a quart of green beans and about a pint of royal burgundy beans and a nice pile of basil. Both spicy globe and a regular variety. I am getting about 2 quarts of beans almost every other day now. And I decided to plant some yellow beans the other day after all! Now I will really have a colorful variety! I have decided to freeze some of the beans and make baby food with it as well.
My total harvest so far this year:
Bush Beans: 6-7 quarts
Lettuce: 16 heads about 2- 4lbs?
8 Ball Zucchini: 4
Black Beauty Zucchini: 8
Alaskan and Lincoln Peas: 2 1/4 cups
Oregano: 1 baggie dried
Basil: 3 baggies dried
Bright Lights Chard: 8 bunches
Broccoli: 4 heads
Cosmic purple carrot: 3
cabbage: 3 head
Sebring Zucchini: 1

Head on over to Daphne's Dandelions for Harvest Monday

Friday, June 25, 2010

Granny’s Chocolate Zucchini Cake

We actually made Cupcakes like Ribbit did. Granny, these are DELICIOUS!

We had these little cupcake kits that their aunt sent for their birthday that needed to be used, as well as some zucchini!

Daisy’s kit was all flowery with little dolls that went on top and Jacob’s kit was a Pirate kit!


And then they also had a little kit to help little ones frost cakes easier. They seem pretty handy! I could use these things myself!


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They are proud of their cupcakes and they love them! Daisy keeps running around yelling “YUMMY!”


And yes, they are four, they like to pick out their own mismatched pajamas! But at least his pirate p.j.’s go with his pirate cupcakes!

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And this is what I have picked in the garden since Harvest Monday. I used the giant ones in the middle to make the cupcakes! So I have picked 6 more Black Beauty Zucchini, and 2 more 8 balls, I forgot to take a picture of Wednesday’s harvest which was 2 Black beauty, one 8 ball, and a pind of beans. I shared most of it with some friends.

June 25 Garden harvest

Today, I plan on getting some more jars at the grocery and trying my hand at some more canning. Bush beans. So, I guess I am getting a little hooked on this canning thing. I never thought I would try it again after the first time, but, here I am trying to do more canning!

Here is a link to Granny’s Chocolate Zucchini Cake if you wanna try it.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Pumpkin, squash bugs, SBV’s…the battle continues!

The squash vine borer has been doing its work around the garden. So today I took a toothbrush out to brush the vines off. It was a bit tedious! Then I sprayed the vines down with some BT in hopes that if I missed any, which I am sure I did, that it will ingest a little BT on the way in and DIE!
As I was working my way around the vines I found this little SVB entrance! (Click on the pic for a larger view). I think and hope that I found it early enough to take care of! I injected this area with BT!
The hole for the SBV was only about a half foot away from my precious pumpkin! I do not want to lose them this year, but this is quite a task trying to battle these little buggers.
I found SVB eggs on the buds a lot, and some on the stems. But they were pretty scattered around, which makes them difficult to find and get them all! But I am trying!
I was sharing some garden talk with one of my friends who seems to be inspired to start her own garden when they buy their next house here soon. I was telling her the bug stories, and trying to explain to her the squash bugs, so when I found some today I thought I would take a picture, and apparently I think I caught them in the act! Well, they are no longer…
Last year I had caught a shot of some eggs and nymphs, they went crazy after I got too pregnant to tend to the garden. I was afraid they would be just crazy this year. So far it isn’t too bad, but I am watching for those eggs! I do not intend for it to get any worse!
I also found my first spotted cucumber beetle in the garden today. I have to say, I feel very good that I have not resorted to any harsh chemicals last year or this year. And it makes me feel good about the food I am giving to my family, especially homemade baby food. Eli really seems to enjoy his green beans!  It is very satisfying!

Monday, June 21, 2010

I Think I’ll get in on this Harvest Monday!

I have had a pretty nice harvest the past couple of days and thought maybe this time I will show it off in Daphne’s Dandelions Harvest Monday!

Today I harvested 2 more Black Beauty Zucchini, a small lettuce, an 8 Ball Zucchini, a small bunch of Basil, and another bunch of beans, Royal Burgundy, Provider, and Tender Improved Green Bean.


Some of it is going into a crock pot for dinner tonight with a roast along with some of yesterdays.IMG_1794_1 I took some of yesterdays harvest and made baby food for little Eli. Green beans in the bowls and zucchini in the ice tray! This will be his first green beans tonight…strait out of the garden! I am so proud!


My total harvest so far this year:

Bush Beans: 2 quarts

Lettuce: 9 heads about 2- 4lbs

8 Ball Zucchini: 2

Black Beauty Zucchini: 4

Alaskan and Lincoln Peas: 2 1/4 cups

Oregano: 1 baggie dried

Basil: 2 baggies dried

Bright Lights Chard: 8 bunches

Broccoli: 4 heads

Cosmic purple carrot: 2

cabbage: 1 head

Cauliflower: 1 very nasty one, but Daisy liked it, so it counts! She ate it!

Well, I haven’t noticed any more squash bugs, that doesn’t mean they aren’t there, I have noticed a few squash vine borer moths flying around, grrrrr, and Japanese Beetles seem to be terrible this year. They weren’t this bad last year. May have to get out their with a bowl of soapy water if I ever get time! Bet Jacob would love to help me swat beetles into a bowl of soapy water! As I was swatting them away while I was picking earlier, he told the neighbor’s dog, Sarge, that he needed to eat all the bugs! If only! I’m just glad he hasn’t eaten any of my plants so far! Just an insect net or two!

I do have a very small pumpkin that appears to be on the Dills Atlantic Giant vine. It is about 3 inches or so and looks like I may need to put something under it real quick! I sure hope it turns out to be a big one and that the SVB’s don’t destroy it this year!

I do think I am going to have summer squash growing out of my ears before the SVB’s kill them off though! At least they are fast growers! I may have to freeze some or something. Hmm, what is the best tasting way to preserve a summer squash?

On a silly note, I would like to introduce you to my fam…


Ha Ha! Yesterday was Eli’s baby dedication, and we didn’t have any family coming, so a friend made us a family! That’s us in the front row! Ha Ha, Those are Dh’s parents on the left, and mine on the right! It got a pretty good laugh from everyone! Fun stuff! (And yes, those are balloon people!)

Happy Harvest Monday!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Nice Harvest Day

Not a bunch of pictures but I sure am satisfied with what I got today!

I was pleasantly surprised to find a ton of beans ready to be picked, and there may be more to pick tomorrow! Zucchini too.


I got 2 Black beauty zucchini and an 8 Ball Zucchini in this basket about 7 inches, which made for some awesome zucchini bread below! I also picked a nice head of cabbage! Tomorrow’s menu will include a Roast, Royal Burgandy, Provider, and one other kind of bean and a cabbage!



I got this Zucchini bread recipe from my gramma a long time ago, and have no idea where the original came from, but I will share it.

3 c flour

2c ground zucchini ( I grind it up skin and all)

3 eggs

1 tsp baking soda

1 tbs cinnamon

1/2 c  Raisins

2 c sugar

1 c oil

1 tsp baking powder

1 tbs vanilla

1/2 c walnuts

Beat eggs, add sugar, oil, vanilla. Stir in Zucchini. Add Chopped raisins and nuts and all dry ingredients. Makes 2 Loaves. Bake 325 for 1 hour.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Huber Farm and the Goods!

A Classic Car show was going on at Joe Huber’s last weekend. We got to enjoy a few, but there was just so much to do, we didn’t have time to see many.


The tractor ride out to the strawberry fields.


A view of the apple orchard. One of them anyways…


Kids in the strawberry fields having a good ole time!

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Here we are pickin…


The goods…


Playtime! The kids really enjoy this 40 ft slide from the top of the barn.


My first attempt at making preserves and canning by myself! I made a big mess!


But it smelled SO good!


I am so proud of myself that 11 of the 12 jars sealed!  We decided to just use the 12th jar. It does taste really good, but they turned out a bit soupy. Still, I feel proud for my first try!


Some other goods from the farm, cantaloupe , corn, small red potatoes,  and these peaches which I cooked and pureed for baby! He loves them. I pureed some cantaloupe too and he liked it as well!

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From my own garden, I have cleaned it up a bit and harvested a few things. I cleaned out the peas after one last little bit for Daisy. She inhaled them.

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I also took out about 8 bunches of Chard and the rest of the broccoli and some cauliflower. We had the Chard for dinner tonight and it was good. I have one more bag left for another meal.


My daughter ate up all the broccoli and cauliflower, and I am glad she liked it cause the cauli was NASTY! Don’t know if it is cause it has gotten too hot and it is about to bolt or what, but it was gross. But she ate practically every bit! It also isn’t too appetizing when you find a dead worm in it either! EWWWWW! Glad to know the BT works, but wish they wouldn’t be stuck in the heads. I thought I washed it good, but apparently not good enough. Glad she didn’t find it! The broccoli was good though.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Beans are coming!

My beans seem to be overcoming their problems, whatever they were! They are outgrowing their box. And even though the two basil plants in the top and bottom corner are quite large as well, we will have to wait it out and see who wins. It’s Beans vs Basil in this bed!


And look at those ity bity beans! Cute huh? The flowers are quite nice as well!


As all the other lily petals are fallen off and done for the season, I had one more surprise bloom! A beautiful crisp white one! I love it and can’t wait for it to multiply! This was a new one, I planted the roots after the others had already come up out of the ground.


And the tomatoes are showing up all over in my little tomato jungle. Very exciting. Except I have some thick cottony mold growing on the dirt around the plants. So I am gonna try granny’s idea to spray them with some water that had soaked in corn meal all night and hope it helps!


There are several Black Beauty and 8 Ball zucchini’s showing up, but as you can see by the bottom one, not all are getting pollinated!  But I think some are. I hope!


And, though he is not pictured here, I spotted and hopefully killed my first squash bug yesterday hanging out by the pumpkin plants. The war begins!


Thought I would try picking a carrot to see if they were close to being ready. Not so sure, looks fine, but small and not great tasting.  Think I need to wait longer! Even though after I pulled the first one, little Daisy thought she would try her hand at pulling a carrot. She was quite proud of herself, this is hers! At least she didn’t pull a bunch of them!


On Saturday we took a trip to the Farm for strawberry pickin and playing. It was a fun day. That’ll be a whole other post, along with my adventures trying to make Strawberry preserves and canning them. Not so pretty! Though I am proud that I got seven out of eight of them to seal! Woo Hoo!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Gone for just one week…


And I can’t believe all I came home to.

First, I thought I would miss the Lilies in bloom, but they are looking great!

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Here are some lilies surrounding my Pomegranate Achillea. They look so nice together I think! I really like this new Pomegranate color in my garden.


Now the biggest shock is the vegetable garden. Everything went from this:


to this:


Yes that is the same bed, 1 week! I love the garden!




And last week this bed looked like this:


And tomatoes now:


That will be one very full bed of tomatoes! Some of the plants have gotten just HUGE in one week! They are hanging over the other side.

And my first pepper of the season, a Purple Beauty Bell! How nice!


Now, this little plant seems to just take a beating and keeps on going! I have practically killed this Gloxinia off several times since I bought it last season. It appears it likes a dryer and shadier site. But I am glad it is coming back and can’t wait for a bloom!


And I had a small harvest! These are my first peas EVER! I got about 2 cups worth out of this pile and will be adding it to a Homemade Chicken Pot Pie! And this was the largest head of broccoli I had out there, but I have 3-4 more, and some heads of cabbage forming as well. I’ll have to check the Cauli tomorrow!


As for our trip, we had a great time in Denver visiting family. We went to Tiny Town, The Denver Aquarium, had a nice family brunch on Memorial day and it was a LONG drive with two 4 year olds and a 7 mo old! But they did really well!



And we enjoyed a lovely garden at a local park