Tag Archives: Vegetables

The View from My Window

View from my living room window.

This is the view from my window this morning. It is raining, so this is a day for indoor undertakings. I have laundry going. It is a light rain, so I am not worried about the extra water it adds for the sump pump. This also makes it blogging time.

The view out the living room window shows the top of the ancient azalea which is currently in peak bloom. At the far top of the photo are our burning bushes. We originally purchased six that were 10 inches high. The originals are now taller than me, a scant 5″4″. The oldest bushes are over 6 feet tall. All the other burning bushes in the line are offspring of the originals. They sprout in various places around our property. When they reach transplantable size, my husband moves them to the line of burning bushes along the edge of the road. This provides us a nice green screen from the passing cars and trucks in the warm months and once the leaves fall, they still act as a snow fence during the winter.

There is a new addition this year. We are in the process of fencing in our vegetable garden. If you look closely, you may see that the fence has three sides. We haven’t put up the fourth yet because we want to take the rototiller in one more time to mix in some new topsoil. Then we will install the last section. We are also going to have a gate. That is so shorties like me don’t have to hop over the fence!

We have had wild rabbits for years. They nibbled a few sprouts here and there but there was enough food for all of us. Last year the number of bunnies increased and some of them are huge. They did so much damage to the garden that we hardly had enough of several different types of vegetables to harvest. They especially liked the green beans. I replanted multiple times, but the tops got chewed off and we only had beans a few times. The sugar snap peas were a joke. Not surprisingly, bunnies love them. We only got a handful. So, this year, a fence it is! I also have to deal with crows eating the seeds I plant. Usually, replanting them once will take care of this. Since we will have the fence this year, I may hang some old CD’s or pie tins from the top wires and hope for the best.

I can tell you one thing. I have renewed respect for those who make their living as farmers. Putting up a little fence sounds so simple. Pound in some stakes, put up rolled fencing. Ha! It’s not cheap either. First you have to figure out which length of stakes you need and then how many. Same with the fencing. How high? What gauge? What spacing for the holes? Ok, you’re done with that. The rest is easy, right? Again, ha! You must measure and decide where to pound the stakes, so they are evenly spaced. And don’t forget to account for a gate. If you are off by two inches, you won’t have enough fence. Did you know you have to bury rabbit fencing, so they won’t dig under it? I didn’t. That means digging a trench for the fence and filling it in once the fence is up. Hanging the fence on the post will be easy now, I thought. Well, it still takes two people. One to hold the roll of fencing and keep it stretched tight. If you let it sag, it looks terrible and again, you won’t have enough fencing unless you bought extra. And those pesky little tabs on the stakes that are made to hold the wire? A lot of them are full of dried paint from the factory and you have to open them up with the flat blade of a screwdriver. Finally, we prevailed, hot, sweaty, and covered in dirt!

We are hoping for a good year in the vegetable garden. My husband took the Master Gardener course from the County Extension Office last year. We tested our soil and found that we were deficient in almost everything. Hubby has added nutrients, some topsoil, mulched leaves, and tilled them in. Time will tell how successful we were.

You can see in the photo that the near, right-hand side of the garden is grassy. That is where our asparagus patch is, so we can’t get the tiller in. I try to weed it in the spring, but it is hard to keep up with. Once we let the asparagus go for the season, it grows into beautiful, lacey fronds that outgrow any weeds. The garden is not exactly square anymore because the asparagus keeps moving farther out into the yard. I’m not quite sure what to do about this. If I dig it up and replant it back in the garden, I almost certainly will lose that portion of the asparagus crop for a year or two.

And so, on this rainy day I am happy to stay inside and work on other things. I am going for another cup of coffee, but I will leave you with this close up shot of our magnificent old azalea.

Our old azalea. Isn’t it glorious?

A Summer Garden Dinner

Garden plate
Garden Plate

Late summer suppers are wonderful!

My meal this evening consisted of the following. The main entree was a fried green tomato sandwich with pine nut hummus and Lacey baby Swiss cheese on Asiago peppercorn bread from the bakery. My sides were all fried veggies from our garden. Some okra, a Japanese eggplant, and the obligatory zucchini. I did add a wedge of freshly sliced tomato too.

We go above and beyond on getting our daily allotted servings of vegetables in the summer. I haven’t bought vegetables from the grocery store in weeks. And we’ve been giving friends and family some of the excess which makes us popular.

We haven’t resorted to sneaking vegetables into strangers cars yet, but I can’t say I haven’t considered it!

Veggie Season

It’s that time!

We get this many cucumbers, zucchini, and yellow squash every three days.

We also have more than sufficient amounts of green beans, Roma beans, turnips, snow peas, and tomatoes.

I am trying all kinds of new veggie recipes looking for some variety. We have had Mediterranean pickled turnips, Thai cucumbers, old fashioned refrigerator pickles, zucchini fritters, and all the usual standbys too.

We can only eat so much. Time to freeze veggies!

Abundance

Vegetables in the garden are ripening at an increasing rate.

Each meal now we must make the choice between turnips, beets, Romano beans, Slenderette green beans, sugar snap peas, cucumbers, zucchini, or yellow crook neck squash. Sometimes we have multiple vegetables.

This evening it was green beans pan fried with minced garlic and a dash of sea salt.

And none of our six kinds of tomatoes are even ripe yet. Summer can be glorious.

Vegetable Garden Planting

Icicle Radishes

We spent most of the day yesterday putting in our vegetable garden. We tilled one row and planted it with seeds for icicle radishes, turnips, and beets, less than a week ago. All of them are up already.

Yesterday morning hubby gave the rest of the garden it’s final tilling. I made hills and planted the cucumber, yellow crookneck squash, and zucchini seeds, while hubby planted green bean and Romano bean seeds.

We worked together planting four types of tomatoes that we purchased as plants. We chose lemon boy, Romas, pineapple, and Mr. Stripey varieties. Mr. Stripey is my all time favorite tomato. I search it out every year. It has the perfect, slightly sweet tomato flavor. Since it is a combination yellow and red tomato, it is lower in acid, but still has great flavor.

At this point, hubby had to go mow the yard before the rain set in. So, I finished up planting sugar snap pea, a mixture of lettuce, and spinach seeds. I watered all the vegetable plants after that. Hubby watered them again before dark.

I watered all again this morning, and mulched the tomatoes with grass clippings. Garden 2020 is off to a good start.

And then before coming in for the evening, the smell of the lilacs and lily-of-the-valley was so sweet, I had to bring a few sprigs inside so I could continue to enjoy them!

Lilac and Lily-of-the-Valley

Random Gifts

It’s that time of year. This was yesterday’s harvest from our vegetable garden. We get this much every second or third day. There are zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, tomatoes and turnips. We also have basil plants that are the size of shrubs.

We are fortunate to have such gifts from the garden. I have already made two batches of zucchini bread. One year we had so many yellow squash that I used them to make scads of muffins for grandma’s 90th birthday party. No one realized they weren’t zucchini muffins.

My coworkers will soon be gifted with vegetables. In fact, if you see me coming, you may want to keep your car windows up, lest you return to find produce on your seat!