Friday, July 30, 2010

My First Habaneros! And other garden updates.

Last year I had no success with peppers at all! I just couldn’t get the plants to produce and they were limp and weak and I just didn’t get much of anything except maybe a few Serrano Peppers. I am very excited to say that last night I picked the first orange Habanero!
This is a picture of them a couple of days ago beginning to turn orange! Feels like I have been waiting for ever, going out to the pepper garden daily, waiting for that first hint of orange. And then, it still took forever for them to turn completely.
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I have to admit, I was ready to make some salsa today, so I didn’t wait for the second one to completely turn orange. It’s a little larger than the first one!
Today, I experimented! We’ll see how it turns out. Dh will have to try a little when he gets home. I used my own salsa recipe and used habaneros instead of serranos and added peaches, and cooked and canned it! He’ll have to tell me if it needs something or changing. Fruity salsa just doesn’t sound good to me.
Here are some more of my peppers, Kaleidoscope. I am very thrilled about these as well! There are some other varieties with peppers on the plants but these are the biggest so far. I am telling you, this is the first luck I have had with peppers. I planted early, and fertilized heavily, as well as trying them in both very sunny and partly sunny locations. All seem to be doing ok, but the ones in full sun have more peppers. I think the fertilizer is doing the trick and getting them going early and watching them closely to protect them from critters!
Ah, my first Butternut squash, I hand pollinated it myself the other day! I hope it worked! It appears to be doing well!
The large pot had my first 4 strawberry plants in it that I got last year. There are tons of runners, so I am taking advantage and potting up more plants! I have been rooting them in the pots beneath the big pot, and then separating them and putting them in smaller pots. I got one of those Topsy Turvey strawberry planters that I am going to put some in and see how that goes. But you have to keep that thing watered every single day, so I am not sure how that is going to go, cause I don’t get out there every day! But I really hope to have more edible strawberries next year!
I also found my first Ambrosia melon had fallen off the vine. It was quite small, not much bigger than a large tomato. I am not having much luck growing the cantaloupes/watermelons either. The one and only watermelon out there is about the size of a baseball and doesn’t seem to be getting any bigger!
Well, I cut this one up anyway, and it looked fine, so I gave it to the kids, and it didn’t last five minutes! I tried one bite. It was good but not great. Not as sweet as I would like. This is about the same size as the one and only one I got last year too. I wonder if I just picked varieties that don’t get very good sized.
I think for next year I might try ordering some new varieties of all kinds of stuff. I have been reading some of your blogs and some of the stuff just looks and sounds so cool I think I have to try it. I really want to try some White Habaneros like momma_s, and some white tomatoes like Robin. I also found some Early Purple Sprouting broccoli that looks really nice too! I think I may also try some of those Black Cherry tomatoes that Granny and a couple others have had good things to say about. Hmmm, there are just so many choices!  And only about 7 months or less to make my final choices! It isn’t even fall yet!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Harvest Monday July 26, 2010

The tomatoes are coming in daily now and the zucchini is almost gone. There is one more plant out there with an 8 ball or 2 on it. I was really hoping to show off some Habaneros today. I am seeing orange, but they are not fully orange yet. So maybe a couple of more days. The sugar pumpkins are getting pretty orange too, and it won’t be long until I can pick a couple of those. One of them though is getting SVB frass on the bottom of it and it makes me very MAD!!!! It is the biggest one too!
The harvest this week has been good. Lots more beans! 4 quarts this week.
Here we have Prudens Purple tomato, Big boy and pink girl. A Genuine American Cucumber, some basil, juliets and cherry tomatoes.
More Beans! The first hot peppers, 5 Jalapenos!  The first onions I have picked! Bunching onions to the top, and yellow onions to the bottom. The yellow onions are small, they were pretty packed in there. I am hoping now that I have picked some they will grow some more!
Last Black beauty of the season! A few more carrots, beans and Juliet and cherry tomatoes.
Ha, more beans! Some nice tomatoes too!IMG_2055_1
Did I mention we are getting beans around here? So glad I planted so many more this year. I am happy to get to freeze some of them for later use! Some of them have been used for baby food too. I also found a fallen pepper, and I think that it may be a Habanero but I am not positive. Guess I will find out when I cut it open and see if there is any burn to it!
I did make my first big bowl of salsa this week, and I think half is gone already! DH really likes it, plus I think he took some to work to share. I was really proud that the only store bought ingredients this year was cilantro and garlic. My cilantro wasn’t ready yet. But next year, just maybe I will be able to make the entire recipe completely from my own garden! I am hoping to start Garlic in October! According to the Oldham Co Coop Ext, should be ready for KY next August! Wow that is a long time!
Harvest Totals 2010
Lemon Cucumber 4 ea
American Genuine Cucumber 7 ea
Oregano 1 baggie dried
Spicy Bush and Reg Basil 6 baggies dried
Sebring Zucchini 5 ea
8 Ball zucchini 14 ea
Black Beauty Zucchini 21 ea
Bush Beans 21 quarts
Lettuce (mixed pckg) 2-4 lbs
Bright Lights Chard 8 Bunches
Cabbage (mixed pckg) 4 ea
Evergreen Bunching Onion 10 plus a few cuttings
Broccoli 4 heads
Juliet Hybrid Grape Tomato 149 ea
Red Cherry Tomato 77 ea
German Johnson Tomato 3 ea
Pink Girl Tomato 23 ea
Prudens Purple 2 ea
Rutgers Tomato 2 ea
Strawberries 2 ea
Cosmic Purple Carrot 4 ea
Sweet treat hybrid/Petite ‘n Sweet carrots 20 ea
Jalapeno Pepper 5 ea
Purple Beauty Bell Pepper 1 ea
Habanero Pepper 1 ea (?)
Lincoln and Alaskan Peas 2 cups 1/4 cup
In other gardening news. I plan to do some more planting this week to fill up those empty squares where the zucchini was. I have also moved a couple things around that weren’t doing well in their current spot, like Acorn Squash and a couple of pitiful pepper plants. Hopefully they will perk up and start doing something for us! The butternut squash plant is growing well, but nothing seems to be pollinated, so I made sure to hand pollinate one I noticed was open this morning! Yay! I hope I get one soon!  And, once the Habaneros start coming, I am afraid we are going to have Habaneros coming out of our ears! There are a bunch!
Happy Harvesting!
And thanks to Daphne for hosing Harvest Monday! 

Monday, July 19, 2010

Mondays Harvest 7/19

I have had a pretty good harvest this week. We even picked the big zucchini which isn’t any bigger than the other one but it just didn’t look like it was growing anymore. I was thinking about getting seeds out of it if I figure out how to save zucchini seed. I assume it is from a large one like this.

Pictured here is the large zucchini, sebring zucchini, Juliet tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, carrots, and a pink girl tomato.


Eli really enjoys playing with these big ole zucchini. He gets a pretty big grin on his face when I give it to him. And then I have to wait for him to toss it aside and forget about it before I can snatch it up and put it out of reach. It’s all in good fun. Oh and he is crawling now!!! And getting his first teeth to munch on those yummy fresh from the garden veggies!


Pictured here is a whole bunch more beans, juliet tomatoes,  a bit of basil, 8 ball zucchini, black beauty zucchini, carrots including a cosmic purple, cherry tomatoes, and probably a pink girl.


Here I have some lemon cucumbers, American Genuine Cucumbers, beans, Juliet, cherry, Rutgers, and Pink Girl tomatoes, and a black beauty zucchini.


Here I have black beauty zucchini, beans, juliet, cherry, and pink girl tomatoes and a lemon cucumber.


Our first ever sunflower bloomed this week. There are two more right behind it! Thinking about getting seeds from it to eat, but I must learn about that first!


In other gardening this week, every bit of squash and pumpkins is showing terrible signs of SVB damage. I hope the pumpkins can hold on until they turn color! This one looks like it might turn soon and it is the largest one. It is a sugar pumpkin. There are 2 or 3 more of them.


The zucchini have been very good to us this year giving us over 40 summer squash! But sadly, they just looked terrible from the SVBs and just weren’t producing much more. I have 2 left that each have a zucchini on them and as soon as they are done I will be pulling them! I am gonna burn all these buggers! I don’t feel like going thru and digging out SVB’s out of each and every one to make sure they are all dead! So they will burn!


Oh, if only the picture were good enough to show how many and how pretty all these little Habaneros look! I just wish they would turn orange already! Man they take a long time! The tomatoes are waiting! These Habaneros are the ones I planted from seed and the plant is full. The other plant that I bought is back in the corner garden that gets a bit of shade. It has some Habaneros on it that have been there even longer than these, but there are not as many.


I am going to make and can some of my salsa for the first time this year. I think I am going to make Hot, Hotter, and Hottest! No mild stuff around here! Dh is very excited that I am going to try to make some Habanero/Peach salsa! Just waiting on those peppers to get ripe!

Harvest totals 2010

Lemon Cucumber 4ea
American Genuine Slicing Cucumber 6 ea
Oregano 1 baggie dried
Spicy Bush Basil/reg basil 5 baggie dried
Sebring Zucchini 5 ea
8 Ball Zucchini 12 ea
Beans all together 17 quarts
Lettuce (a mixed pckg) 2-4 lbs
Bright Lights Chard 8 bunches

Cabbage (a mixed pckg) 4 ea
Evergreen Bunching Onion (a few cuttings off the top)
Broccoli 4 heads
Juliet Hybrid Grape Tomatoes 79ea
Cosmic Purple Carrot 4ea
Strawberries 2ea
German Johnson Tomato 3ea
Pink Girl Tomato 19 ea
Lincoln Peas 2 cups 1/4 C
Black Beauty Zucchini 20 including the monsters
Red Cherry Tomato 57 ea
Purple Beauty Bell 1 ea

Rutgers Tomato 2
Sweet Treat Hybrid Carrot or Petite 'n Sweet Carrot 15

Hope everyone is having a great Harvest Monday, check out Daphne’s Dandelions for more weekly harvest updates!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Update on Harvests.

Since I had so much harvesting going on yesterday already, I didn’t get to give an update of the weeks harvest. So I will play catch up.

This is the weeks harvests. There are a couple of very small carrots in their. I wanted to see how they were doing, and while they were small, they really were very good. Much better than the Cosmic Purple ones were small. We had the first Lemon cucumber and it was quite good too. But there really isn’t much sign of getting another one soon. Cucumbers just don’t seem to be doing well.


This is today’s, though not technically part of last weeks harvest I will add it in anyways.

2 Pink Girl tomatoes, 2 German Johnson Tomatoes, 1 cucumber, 1 zucchini, 5 Juliet and 7 cherry tomatoes, 1 quart bush beans, mostly royal burgundy, and a little spicy basil!


This weeks harvest! Hopefully I haven’t missed anything!

Bush Beans: about 14 quarts

Lettuce: 16 heads about 2- 4lbs?

Strawberries: 2

8 Ball Zucchini: 11

Black Beauty Zucchini: 15

Alaskan and Lincoln Peas: 2 1/4 cups

Oregano: 1 baggie dried

Basil: 5 baggies dried

Bright Lights Chard: 8 bunches

Broccoli: 4 heads

Cosmic purple carrot: 3

cabbage: 3 head

American Genuine Slicing Cucumber: 4

Lemon Cucumber: 1

Purple Beauty Bell: 1

Sebring Zucchini: 3

Pink Girl Tomato: 3

German Johnson tomato:3

Red Cherry Tomatoes: 22

Juliet Grape Tomato: 25

Carrots (Sweet Treat Hybrid or Petite and Sweet): 2

Green onion tops: 4

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Day Full of Harvest!

This is not the control monster zucchini that my children are trying to grow as big as they can…this is another zucchini that I found hidden. We are still letting the other one get bigger! But, Eli really liked this one. He did not like it when I took it away! He thought it was a cool new toy or something to sleep with. The zucchini is getting a bit out of control around here. Tomorrow I am making some Zucchini Chocolate cupcakes to send with DH to work for their July birthday party! I think I better make a bunch!
Well, today, we went out to the farm again to pick Blueberries and Raspberries. The kids enjoyed “dressing up” like fruits and vegetables.
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We took our tractor ride out to the fields and we had our buckets ready for picking! And yes, I was crazy enough to take 4 year old twins and a baby!  My friend brought her 1 and 2 yr olds! Not the easiest, but we did it and we had fun and wore ourselves out! I am sure we looked like quite the bunch.
Once again, the kids ate more than they brought back in their buckets. They just couldn’t help themselves!
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The plants were just loaded!
And we had a lovely friend following us around.
When I returned home to my own garden, I was surprised to find the royal burgundy beans just full! I think I got about 2 quarts of just royal burgundy. I also got a Sebring Zucchini, and 8 ball, 13 cherry tomatoes, 7 Juliet grape tomatoes, 2 American genuine cucumbers, the first Lemon Cucumber of the season, and a handful of basil! The Lemon cucumber and some of the tomatoes are gone already!
It was quite a busy day harvesting all these fruits and vegetables! I’d like to say I picked the peaches too, and I was tempted cause we were right there in the orchard, but I did not want to hold up the tractor! So, I got them back at the farm market. But I got 2 lbs of raspberries and 3 lbs of blueberries!
Let me tell you, I am more bound and determined now than ever that I am going to grow some raspberries! These things are so AWESOME! They just DON’T taste like that from the store! I had forgotten how good and yummy fresh raspberries were! I ate a whole plate!
Well we are all wore out from the busy day of harvesting! I hope you had great harvests today as well!
Visit Daphne's Dandelions to see other harvests!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

What am I doing with some of that produce?

After struggling to puree some green beans the other night with my husband’s mini blender for the baby’s dinner, he  surprised me with a new gadget for my kitchen counter! A Magic Bullet. My mom has one and after using it, I knew I just had to have one for making baby food. It purees so smooth and creamy! Takes a bit of getting use to though, because you can easily over blend stuff, like I did with Guacamole the other night! It was still good, but very creamy!

I love it. Green beans from garden to steamer to Bullet!

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I also pureed up a pluot with some zucchini from the garden and coconut yogurt. He loves it, as he loves most stuff I make for him.


As for the tomatoes I am getting, this is the Pink Girl. Ribbit wanted to see it cut up. So here it is! It was tasty on a big BLT!


This is my first German Johnson Tomato. It went into some Bruschetta.


Along with all the Juliet grape tomatoes and cherry tomatoes.

Diced tomatoes, garlic, basil, salt and pepper on a slice of toasted Italian Bread lightly brushed with olive oil! MMMMMM Good! This is my favorite summer snack!


Now, my husbands favorite snack is the Fresh Garden Salsa

He could finish off one big bowl in maybe one or two days! But we haven’t gotten enough slicer sized tomatoes or fully ripened peppers yet. Though, we will be having a LOT of Habanero peppers any day! As soon as they turn orange!

As for the zucchini, it is still coming along. The plants are showing signs of stress from the SVB’s and the squash bugs, but they are still giving me plenty of zucchini. I sent a basket to work with my husband, which disappeared quickly. I have also made more bread and more zucchini coins, which my husband really likes as well. And after that monster zucchini, my children wanted to grow another monster! So, we are letting one go to see how big we can get it! I think we may pick it in a day or two! It’s already about the size of the other one! And I do believe it is time for another batch of chocolate zucchini cupcakes! Wow, that is a lot of zucchini!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Harvest Monday! July 5, 2010

It’s Harvest Monday at Daphne’s Dandelions.
Thanks Granny for telling me how to do a little photo collage! I love my IrfanView! Here is a view of this weeks harvests!
This basket here is todays! I had a good day. 2 Black Beauty Zucchini, 1 8 Ball Zucchini, 1 Sebring Zucchini, 2 American Genuine Slicing Cucumbers, about a pint of bush beans and I decided to pick my purple beauty bell since it appeared to be turning green! And I thought my kiddos would enjoy it more PURPLE!
So far today, my daughter has enjoyed the funky shaped cucumber, some pepper, and I made up some coleslaw from some cabbages I still had in the fridge! I even added a one an only cosmic purple carrot that I had in there!
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And I am very happy to be putting my foodsaver to some use by freezing up a bunch of my green beans! I have about 5 bags in the freezer this size. Hopefully just enough for the 4 of us to enjoy for a few dinners!
So far I have had 1 slicing size tomato and  4 cherry tomatoes. My daughter ate the cherry ones, but I have not sliced up the Pink Girl yet. But there are signs of more red out there in the tomato bed. Looks like will will have some ginormous Juliet grape tomatoes soon! Looking back, I got my first slicing tomato in August, so I am happy to have had my first one earlier this year. Looking for more though! And I cannot wait for some Bruschetta! My favorite summer snack!
My total harvest so far this year:

Bush Beans: 10 quarts
Lettuce: 16 heads about 2- 4lbs?
8 Ball Zucchini: 8
Black Beauty Zucchini: 10
Alaskan and Lincoln Peas: 2 1/4 cups
Oregano: 1 baggie dried
Basil: 4 baggies dried
Bright Lights Chard: 8 bunches
Broccoli: 4 heads
Cosmic purple carrot: 3
cabbage: 3 head
American Genuine Slicing Cucumber: 2
Purple Beauty Bell: 1
Sebring Zucchini: 2
Pink Girl Tomato: 1
Red Cherry Tomatoes: 4

Saturday, July 3, 2010

I’m Seeing Red!

I got my first tomatoes today! There really isn’t any sign of any other ones turning red yet, but I am sure it won’t be long! There are tons of cherry and grape tomatoes. Not quite so much for the others.
This is a Pink Girl and 3 Red Cherry Tomatoes (Sesame street pack!).
This is my first Pink Girl so we will see how she tastes.
These are the Red Cherry tomatoes.
And this little bugger I need to look up. I don’t think it is a Lady Bug. It looks a little different and bigger. Some kind of Bean Beetle maybe? He was dead when I found him today anyway. He has been hanging around the cucumber and squash plants though.
(ETA: after doing some reading, I believe this is a Squash Lady Beetle...kind of like a mexican bean beetle. Not good for the squash! COME ON! Anyways, found my info here)
I also need to get out to the pumpkin plants again! I am seeing FRASS!!! Stupid SVB’s!! I have caught them mating on my plants, I swatted them so hard and fast with my flip flop I am sure I splatted at least one of them…there was some body’s guts on the shoe! It has been a disappointing week for my pumpkins. First, my first pumpkin turned to mush for some reason. Don’t know why. Then, the neighbor dog thought my other one was a ball hanging on the fence and he destroyed it! And it was the only Atlantic Giant I had!!!!  Once again, pumpkins are not doing so well in our yard! This is very discouraging!
But, I am still HAPPY to be seeing RED!