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Monthly Archives: August 2012

Seven year old boy humor

He saw the hippos and he giggled.  Then chortled.  Then had a gut busting laugh.  Then he begged me to take this picture.  Seven year old boy humor.  I totally get it because I laughed too!

 

Garden aerial and plans

My garden, like yours, is ever changing.  Here is a screenshot of Google Maps for my house.  This was taken sometime last fall.

 

When I moved into the house in 2008, there was minimal landscaping around the edge of the house and deck.  The shed was there, as well as the rocked in corner behind the shed.  That was it.  It was pretty plain.

What the Google maps picture doesn’t show you is how the yard slopes downhill to the northeast.  It’s a pain to mow.  I wanted to make that slope go away so I have slowly been adding gardens along the fence.  The plan is to have them creep up and in towards the middle of the yard.

I planted lilacs in the northeast corner in 2009.  In the picture above they are surrounded by framed out chicken wire to protect them from the bunnies.  Die bunnies DIE!  er excuse me… In 2010 I added half of the back fence bed.  I only had enough grass and leaves to do that much.  I hadn’t yet graduated to sneaking the neighbors yard waste bags into the trunk of my car in the dead of night.  I finished the other half of the back fence bed in 2011 and that brings us to the picture above.

This year we are adding a new bed along the north fence.  Want to see?

I was leaning out the bedroom window with my arms stretched up above my head so I could clear the pergola. Forgive the blurriness.

There is the brand new bed!  Well, the beginning of it anyway.  I have been layering grass clippings and compost.  The junk boards are just an outline, when it gets a little cooler we will outline the bed with brick.  Then it will match the rest of the yard.  This is a fairly slim bed compared the the back fence, but I will expand it over the years.  Right now I am thinking this will be a “tomato alley” of sorts for next summer.
Here is what I want the yard to look like.  Eventually.  Some day.  It’s a slow process, I’ll give you that.

In the August Garden

August, you are a welcome relief after the hottest and driest July on record.  The weather has been absolutely lovely.  I have had the windows open every night this week, the dog has been able to be out all day without fear of heatstroke, and I can walk barefoot to the mail box without causing intense pain because I’m too lazy to slip my sandals on.  I digress.  Back to the garden…
I ripped out the cucumbers early in the month.  Quite frankly I was sick of them.  I keep getting 2 or 3 in the CSA bag each week and I am the only one who eats them.  I think I am just not going to plant them anymore.  No cucumbers is sacrilege right?

The Tomatoes are still bonkers.  The three that I have carefully staked, pruned, watered regularly are pretty pathetic.  I know the heat, drought, etc. are most likely to blame.

I have to wonder how much they are affected by these things when I look at the Roughwood Golden Plum which I have totally neglected since day one.  It’s awesome.  I pull 6-8 tomatoes every day off of it.

The peppers are loving this weather of course.  I have made two batches of jalapeno jelly so far.  I have also roasted and frozen a handful of bell peppers and cubanelles.  Check out this red bell, it can’t decide if it’s half green or half red!

As much as I cuss the pumpkins, they sure are pretty!  Both plants have cross-pollinated with each other AND the butternut squash.  I’ve never planted all three at once before.  This was quite the experience.  I didn’t know cross-pollination was an issue.  Good thing I just don’t care if my pumpkins look odd.  They were mostly for the kids anyways.

I will leave you with my harvest from Sunday.  This is my first link up with Daphnes Dandelions and her Harvest Monday!

I’m a locavore!

I have been gardening for about 10 years and I love eating what I produce.  I have also been buying local produce for quite a while.  It’s really easy to do here when there is a corn stand on every corner all summer long.  What I didn’t realize is that I now fit into a rather trendy category, I’m a locavore.  Nothing has really changed for me, it just took me this long to realize it.  Derrr!
So, in celebration of adding another label to my title, I whipped up this dish.

The recipe is as follows:

Bacon fat saved from the local grass fed bacon from the farmer’s market-I can’t remember the farm.

1 bell pepper*

2 cubanelles*

1 onion*

1 clove garlic-farmers market find

handful of cherry tomatoes*

1 yellow roma tomato*

feta cheese from Flatwater Creamery

* I grew it

I melted the bacon fat in a cast iron skillet.  Then I sauteed the onion and garlic.  I diced up all of the peppers and threw those in.  I sauteed until everything was soft and starting to brown.  Then I chopped up the yellow tomato and threw that in.  I put the cherry tomatoes in last and let those get soft and squishy.  I had some leftover quinoa, so I put that in a bowl and spooned the veggies on top.  I topped it off with feta cheese.  It was delish!

Butternut Squash Harvest

I picked/harvested butternuts the last two Saturdays.  This is what I got.  There are about a million more out in the garden.  We are going to turn orange people.  ORANGE!