Sunday, July 31, 2011

Today's harvest

After being on vacation for two weeks, I felt like I needed to go out to the garden with one eye closed and one barely open.  I was scared to see what condition the garden would be in.  I knew that it had been horribly hot, and goodness knows how well weeds love the heat!  Needless to say, the weeds had definitely found home, and we will be working to reclaim a tidy garden for awhile.  I did have some nice harvests though.  I pulled some of the broccoli plants and will have to pull the rest as well.  It has been way too hot for them.  The peas are gone and need pulled as well.

We have plenty of tomatoes to start canning and eating.  There were some cherry tomatoes that did not make it to the picture.  Amazing how good they taste after eating nasty tomatoes the rest of the year.  I may never buy another hothouse tomato again. 

Beets!  They were a bit bigger than I would have liked, but they grew extra long while we were on vacation.  According to what my husband weighed before and after holding the bucket and cutting the stems down, there were nine pounds.  We ended up with eight pints minus what I ate while peeling them.  Yum!  Now to get a second planting in.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Homeward bound

After two weeks spent vacationing out west, we are headed home. We were gone for the majority of the Midwest heat wave, so I am not sure what condition I will find my garden in when I look tomorrow. I am sure the weeds have thrived. The tomatoes are probably turning red and my summer squashes are probably as big as ball bats.
I have so many pictures to go through from our trip with many of them flowers that I will share here. The Yellowstone area was absolutely beautiful!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Oh, tomato!

Roma tomatoes....lots of Roma tomatoes.  I see canning in my future which is great!  I am hoping to get enough this year that I am able to make sauce.  I haven't ever done that before.  It takes such a large quantity of tomatoes.
 Close up of the Roma tomatoes.  So many bunched together!
 Viva Italia tomato plant

 These are the mystery tomatoes that got accidentally dumped on the floor of my shed in the seeding/early growth stages.  All of my markers were knocked out and I didn't know what was what.  I was hoping most of all that I would get at least one Black Krim plant out it all.  I think that I have been successful.  It was the only large type tomato in the bunch. 

 Italian Heirloom

Gold Medal

 Pink Brandywine
German Pink

Friday, July 15, 2011

Why Gardening Is Good For Your Health

We have a social networking site at work that I am part of, and one of the groups that I follow is, of course, Gardening.  This article from CNN was posted and I thought I would share it.  I have often said that gardening is a big stress reliever for me.  There is nothing quite like digging in the dirt!


Just when I was starting to think that I had planted mutant broccoli or had a serious soil nutrient deficiency, I finally have gotten some broccoli!  I harvested 3 plants for a total of 1.7 lbs.  I looked back through my blog, and I planted my plants on May 1st.  The harvest time is 60-80 days from setting out plants, so actually I was doing okay.  Next year, I need to get my plants out earlier.  A very crazy spring work schedule delayed that this year.  With it being so hot now, as well as very dry, I may not get much more.  Perhaps I can start some more plants and get a fall crop.....there's a thought.  :)

Our faithful prowler of the yard, Riley.  :)  He needed photo credit as well since he came out with me to pick the broccoli.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Thank you!

Thanks so much to Annie's Granny at Annie's Kitchen Garden for the Harvest to Date widget for my blog!  I have to say that garden bloggers are some of the best souls for helping each other out.  A common bond brings people together in the best ways!  :)

Monday, July 4, 2011

July 4th

Happy Independence Day!  Proud to be married to a Gulf War veteran.  Thanks to all our service men and women that help to keep us safe and free!

2 1/4 oz of pea pods (total 15 3/4 oz.) and 9 1/2 oz. of red raspberries today (total 1.8 pounds).  No pictures....figured there are only so many ways to display the same thing over and over.  More of a post just to help me keep track.  :)  I have seen other blogs that have a way that they keep track of their harvests in the sidebar of their blog.  Does anyone know if this is a widget of some sort?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Saturday's harvest

We are still on a raspberry and pea pod stretch here.
10 1/2 oz of red raspberries to add to my yogurt.  The Japanese beetles are still around, but doing only minimal damage to the leaves.  The fruit is untouched, so I have left them alone.  We have a lot of crop dusting in our area unfortunately, and while driving on the highway it sounds like rain hitting your car with all of the beetles hitting it.  Yuck!  The only good thing is that they are dead beetles!
11 oz. of freshly blanched pea pods...minus the pods that made it to my tummy prior to the photo.  These are going into the freezer for future stir fries.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Farmer's Market trip

Bill, Lauren and I went to a couple of the Farmer's Markets in Peoria this morning.  Of course, I totally forgot my camera which bummed me out.  I was hoping to get some good pictures. 
The first market was at the Metro Centre.  I was disappointed at the amount of vegetables and fruits that were there that were not locally grown.  I felt like I was at the grocery store with all the stickers on the produce.  We did find two booths that had locally grown produce.  One was entirely organic which I really liked.  We saw a lot of onions, broccoli, cabbages, beets, and squashes.  We picked up some small cucumbers and some summer squash (which will be going on the grill tonight).  Ours are not ready yet.  A bakery was there selling fresh baked pretzels which Lauren loved and Bill and I each had a wonderful cheesy biscuit type bread that had cheddar and asiago cheeses as well as green onions and garlic.  I think they were called Zorbas?  I will have to get another one next time and double check the name. 
The other was the Peoria Riverfront Market .  We picked up some Ropp Jersey cheese there,  all natural cheeses from their own cows, that I really like.  Tomato basil garlic cheddar and bacon green onion cheddar.  
Pekin also has one on Thursday nights that we will try to visit this week.  I hope I remember my camera.  :)