Monday, August 30, 2010

Last Harvest Monday of August 2010

I am away from my garden until tomorrow, so pictures will have to do for today’s Harvest Monday.  Thanks to Daphne at Daphne’s Dandelions for hosting Harvest Monday!

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Meet My Friend

I was ripping out the cucumbers the other day and found quite a few surprises. One of them being this strangely colored Praying Mantis! I put him in the bug house until I was done and then relocated him to the pepper and bean bed. It needs help. But I bet he was after these little buggers below!IMG_2385 Pretty sure these are Leaf-Footed Bug nymphs. After looking at a lot of different bugs, what led me to believe that this is what they are is 1)they tend to hang together! I found them all hanging on two lemon cucumbers, one with a hole in it that almost made it look like their little house!IMG_2386
And 2)the presence of adults in the garden. But I did research before I squished the little buggers. By the time I went back out to get them, they were once again all over the two lemon cucumbers. Every one of them….which made it easy to get them!
I sure was hoping these were good guys, like an Assassin nymph or something, but no. I am fairly positive after my reading that they are not. Such fun with bugs in the garden this time of year! My daughter surprisingly really liked the praying mantis. She wanted to go find it again today, but I can’t seem to find him in our little jungle of a garden. But I’m sure he is there! There is plenty for him to eat! I just hope he doesn’t eat the frogs! I need them too, but they aren’t much bigger than the squash bugs right now! Cute little buggers!
Now, off to research another new one I have been seeing. It looks like a white, or albino squash or stink bug! Weird!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Harvest Monday August 23, 2010

It’s Harvest Monday at Daphne’s Dandelions! Come join the fun!
It seems like the only thing producing well in the garden this week are the Habaneros and Juliet grape tomatoes. I think I may cut off the Juliet! It is just taking up way too much room and producing more than I want or can use! So, I might just trim it up real good to make room for the other tomatoes to try to do something cause they are having a real lull right now! Every day I go out hoping to bring in a bucket of slicers, and most days I am quite disappointed! Especially if the ONLY ripe one out there has a worm hole in it! I’m also not patient enough to wait for the tomatoes to fully ripen on the vine and so all my tomatoes have to be pictured upside down so that you will see that they have begun to turn pink! Ha!
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Oh, I only have one cilantro plant out there. Don’t know why they haven’t germinated, but I have picked off a couple of sprigs this week out of need for it, but it has not been nearly enough. Grow Cilantro! Grow!
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Picked another pumpkin. Made cookies the other day, which I posted the recipe for, and they were YUMMY! The kids ate the rest of it, pureed! What good eaters! Such a healthy treat! Also had a Serrano showing a bit of red here. It was fully red when I gave it to a friend.
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Great Habanero harvest this week. After I moved the plant from the somewhat shady spot over to the sun, it had orange peppers on it practically the next day! They look quite different from the other Habaneros I have been picking. The ones shaped like saucers are from Seeds I planted. The smaller more orange ones are from a plant I bought at the garden center. Seems like the saucer shaped ones might be some kind of Scotch Bonnet Habanero maybe.
I was very tempted to pick these Butternut squash today, but I wasn’t sure if they were ready. I haven’t grown Butternut before. So If someone has some tips about when I should pick them, let me know! They have turned tanish, they might have a few greenish veins in them still. These are my only two so far. Still hoping for more!
Harvest Total 2010

Variety This Weeks Total Season Total
Lemon Cucumber 3 23 ea
American Genuine Cucumber 1 11 ea
Oregano 1 baggie dried + 1 quart
Spicy Bush and Reg Basil 1 baggy 7 baggies dried +2qt
Sebring Zucchini 5 ea
8 Ball zucchini 17 ea
Black Beauty Zucchini 21 ea
Bush Beans 1 pt 25 quarts, 1 pt
Lettuce (mixed pckg) 2-4 lbs
Bright Lights Chard 8 Bunches
Cabbage (mixed pckg) 4 ea
Evergreen Bunching Onion 6 26 plus a few cuttings
Yellow Onion 12 70 ea (small)
Broccoli 4 heads
Juliet Hybrid Grape Tomato 78 435 ea
Red Cherry Tomato 45 202 ea
German Johnson Tomato 3 6 ea
Pink Girl Tomato 28 ea
Prudens Purple 26 ea
Rutgers Tomato 1 22 ea
Big Boy Tomato 1 21 ea
Strawberries 2 ea
Cosmic Purple Carrot 4 ea
Sweet treat hybrid/Petite ‘n Sweet carrots 7 61 ea
Jalapeno Pepper 5 ea
Purple Beauty Bell Pepper 1 ea
Habanero Pepper 17 39 ea
Serrano Pepper 2 5
Lincoln and Alaskan Peas 2 cups 1/4 cup
Ambrosia Melon 3
Harvest Princess Pumpkin 1
Small Sugar Pumpkin 1 4
Cilantro 2 sprigs 2 sprigs

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Oatmeal Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

The kids and I were searching our cookbooks looking for an Oatmeal Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookie…who’d a thought! But it just sounded good.  Well, of course we did not find one so we converted one!
We took the recipe for Oatmeal Raisin Cookies from the book Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld and made it what we wanted out of it. They turned out quite good. They really didn’t have as much pumpkin flavor as I was hoping, but they were still good and probably as healthy as you can get for an Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookie!
Adapted Recipe:
Mix following dry ingredients
1 1/4 Cup of 100% whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cup Old fashioned oats
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp ground cloves
Set aside
Mix each of the following ingredients one at a time
3/4 C Brown Sugar
6 tbs tub margarine
1 C pumpkin puree (we used fresh from the garden)
1 large egg white
Add dry ingredients from above
Bag of Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Chocolate Chips
drop by the spoonful on cookie sheets
Bake at 350 for about 12 minutes

In other gardening news I found a new  (mostly) beneficial in the garden today that I had not seen before.
Goldenrod Leatherwing, Chauliognathus pennsylvanicus
(AKA Pennsylvania Leatherwing)
Cookies and bugs, how ‘bout that!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

What do we do with all those Habanero Peppers?

Yesterday I decided we needed to get to using those Habaneros a little bit faster or get them frozen. So I did a little bit of both.

The first time I made Enchiladas using Habaneros was last summer at my moms. I wanted to make them my yummy chicken enchiladas and the only hot peppers they had were Habaneros. Well, we like hot stuff, so when they told me to only use one, I thought they were joking. I usually use about 7 serranos for a bowl of salsa! So, I used 2! Well, I learned my lesson. They were pretty spicy. I did alright with them, and DH loved them, but most everyone else at the table were gasping for breath, begging for milk or water and practically in tears! Ha! Not everyone can stand the heat!

Well, what did I decide to make for dinner last night? Enchiladas of course. Now, I didn’t feed these to my children, I made them plain ole quesadillas. They probably most definitely would cry, and we might get a visitor at our house for child abuse!  Well, maybe not that far. But I did only use one Habanero this time.

First, I diced up some habanero and onions from the garden and sautéed them up. I used habanero, but any spicy pepper will do!


After that I added the ground meat. We have used anything from Hamburger, pork, chicken, or turkey for ground meat. After the meat was browned, I added Enchilada sauce and Cream of Chicken.


Poured some into each tortilla with a bit of cheese and rolled them over.


Then covered them with the rest of the meat sauce and topped with cheese. Mmmmm! Good!


Oh ya! Ready to eat! Covered with Avocado, Salsa, and Black Olives with a side of beans. Mmmm! Good stuff!


Dh helped me use up some more Habanero by making a concoction for his lunch the next day. A sort of stir fry with Broccoli Slaw, green onions, yellow onions, chicken, and Habanero all sautéed together.


A little soy sauce added and honey. And here’s lunch!


I also made up some salsa for the Enchiladas using my tomatoes, Habanero, green onions, yellow onions and not enough cilantro from the garden! And garlic from the store.


In other garden stuff, yesterday I moved some pepper plants and I hope they make it and start producing something for me! These were over in the corner rock garden that had a bit of shade. The Black Beauty Pepper, an Orange Bell, Jalapeño, Habanero, and Serrano.


See the pumpkin vine traveling along in front of the peppers. Yes another carving pumpkin has shown up! We’ll see if we can get something out of this one! This part of the plant looks quite nice and healthy, but at the other end, where it was planted, it is shredded by svb damage. I decided to bury a couple of spots where it sent out shoots to try to encourage more rooting. Hope it works.

Yesterday I had a picture of some of these little buggers and eggs on my tomato plant. Well, yes, I do believe these are squash bug nymphs! ON MY TOMATOES! Grrr! They need to be taken care of and evicted from my garden! I thought they might look like it but was not quite sure since they were on my tomato plant. Unless someone suggests something else, I’m going with squash bug!


Well this is long enough already! If you read this far, Happy Gardening and Thanks!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Bugs, bugs, bugs…

Twenty One Spotted Lady Beetle
He is very small compared to other Lady Beetles. I have seen several different kinds in the garden lately. So far this year I have seen a Squash Lady Beetle. Not so good, several cucumber Beetles spotted and striped, also not good. But there are several red varieties out there as well. Amazing all the varieties of Lady Beetles.  But this one, the Twenty Spotted Lady Beetle, seems to like fungus. Guess that is why he is on my plant loaded with Powdery Mildew! He has been hanging out on these plants for a few days. Not really sure if he actually does anything good. He is on the left and a red lady bug is on the right. Small isn’t he?
I have been running across several of these around the pumpkin and squash plants. I believe these are the pupae that the SVB has emerged from. And I was hoping that these things would be gone by now, but no. I keep seeing them hanging around my squash and cucumber plants. And I have still seen some eggs.
And these little buggers are just tearing up my beans! I have these solid ones and some with rectangle spots as well. These are bean leaf beetles.
Lady Beetle Larvae! I hope he eats a bunch of bad buggers for me!
This morning I spent most of Eli’s naptime killing Squash bugs! A bunch of them! I took EG’s tips from last year and sprayed the plants with some water to get them to come up to the tops. Sure enough, a bunch of them did. Nymphs and adults! Killed a bunch I tell ya! There are squash bug remains all over the pumpkin plants!
A lovely worm hiding in my tomato plants. I am assuming it is a Tomato Fruitworm, but not positive. All I know is he is eating my tomatoes. I have also found some holes in some of my tomatoes made by similar worms. He has a few eggs there with him too. All have now seen the same fate as the squash bugs!
I found these down by the ground on the tomato branch. The eggs look like the squash bug eggs. So, I wonder if these little bugs are attracted to them or if they are hatching from them, but they do not look like squash bug nymphs. I did not kill these since I did not know what they were yet. I’ll be sure to edit this to add whatever information I find out.
It seems my good bugs are out numbered by my bad bugs! I think next year I am going to try to do a bit more companion planting. I didn’t plant any flowers at all in the garden this year. Last year I had some marigolds and not much else. Anyone have any luck with companion planting? What varieties?
Those are my bugs this week! Ha!
Happy Gardening!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Havest Monday

It's Harvest Monday at Daphne's Dandelions! Join in the fun!

Like most folks the tomatoes seem to be taking a break with all the heat and lack of rain. But, for the past 3 or 4 days we have had at least one good downpour every day so hopefully the plants and especially the seedlings are enjoying it. And the temperatures are suppose to go down a bit this week. Hopefully the tomatoes will pick back up again! Although, I have found more tomato worms this year than I have in the past 4 years since I have been in this house. Uhg! It is so disappointing to see that you have a nice red tomato ready to be picked only to pick it and find the bottom or other side half gone!
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I cooked up the 3rd pumpkin and froze most of it, but I kept some out for some more Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies. Mmmmm. There Gone! I have about 9 cups frozen with 3 pumpkins on the vine.
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I also keep coming in with random onions or carrots! That is because every time I go out to pick at least one kid proudly presents me with their bounty! 1 onion. They keep telling me they are ready and I keep telling them I’M NOT! Ha!
On this day, my boy decided that their one and only carving pumpkin was ready to be picked! Between squash bugs, SVB’s, squash lady bugs, and kids….we’ll never have a carving pumpkin. Guess this one is bound to be fall decor!
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And since most days when I pick my harvests the Habaneros are still green, I thought I would show a basket of them all bright and full of color! They sure are pretty!
Total Harvest 2010

Variety This Weeks Total Season Total
Lemon Cucumber 4 20 ea
American Genuine Cucumber 10 ea
Oregano 1 baggie dried + 1 quart
Spicy Bush and Reg Basil 1 pt 6 baggies dried +2qt
Sebring Zucchini 5 ea
8 Ball zucchini 17 ea
Black Beauty Zucchini 21 ea
Bush Beans 1 pt 25 quarts
Lettuce (mixed pckg) 2-4 lbs
Bright Lights Chard 8 Bunches
Cabbage (mixed pckg) 4 ea
Evergreen Bunching Onion 2 20 plus a few cuttings
Yellow Onion 11 58 ea (small)
Broccoli 4 heads
Juliet Hybrid Grape Tomato 51 357ea
Red Cherry Tomato 41 157 ea
German Johnson Tomato 3 ea
Pink Girl Tomato 4 28 ea
Prudens Purple 2 26 ea
Rutgers Tomato 3 21 ea
Big Boy Tomato 4 20 ea
Strawberries 2 ea
Cosmic Purple Carrot 4 ea
Sweet treat hybrid/Petite ‘n Sweet carrots 21 54 ea
Jalapeno Pepper 5 ea
Purple Beauty Bell Pepper 1 ea
Habanero Pepper 16 22 ea
Serrano Pepper 3
Lincoln and Alaskan Peas 2 cups 1/4 cup
Ambrosia Melon 3
Harvest Princess Pumpkin 1 very small 1
Small Sugar Pumpkin 3

Planted this week: Bush Beans, Peas, carrots, Lettuce, Chard, Spinach.