Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Visitors to the Garden

During a much needed break from bar preparation, our friends Kate and Becca came with us to help weed the garden.  In addition to weeding, we had quite a few things to pick including onions, red beats, cucumbers, zucchini, and potatoes.

We also had our first two ripe cherry tomatoes and our tomato plants have even more buds on them than last week.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Graduation Gift?

So in order to make weeding a little bit easier, my parents purchased Miguel and myself a graduation gift... in the form of a rear tine tiller.
It actually makes weeding a great deal easier, and when we start to do the second round of plantings, this will help tear up the ground much easier and in a more precise manner than the tractor or by hand.
Miguel is just demonstrating... I'm the one that actually uses it.  ;-)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Cup o' Joe

Sometimes Miguel needs a little pick me up in the mornings...
Apparently picking potatoes works just as well....

A Different Perspective

Sometimes it's hard to describe exactly how big our garden is this year.  One way of describing it is that it's twice as big as last year.  That's only helpful if you saw it last year.  So in order to help visualize here is a picture.
That's me and our car at the far end of the garden.  Part of the reason the garden is bigger is the addition of new types of plants.  Last year we only had tomatoes, peppers, beans, zucchini, pumpkins, and cucumbers.  This year, we have branched out into mammoth sunflowers (apparently they grow to be 12 feet tall)...
Corn (yellow, white, and bi-color)....
Potatoes (pictured are our blue potatoes that we purchased at Wegman's because Adam saw that the eyes were growing so he thought they may be good seed potatoes... they were)...
Tomatillos (pictured below).
Squash (such as spaghetti squash pictured below)...
and eggplants.
Another reason the garden is so large is that some of our plants got destroyed after a hail storm.  On the day of Adam's graduation from law school, Carlisle had a big hail storm and some of our plants that we had in containers got hit pretty hard.  So as soon as graduation was over Adam started some more plants from seeds.  Turns out our original plants were just fine and those are the ones giving us vegetables now.  The ones Adam started after the storm are just now giving us vegetables so it looks like we (and our friends and family) will be eating well all summer long.

 Below are some pictures of the hail after it stormed that day.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Some Recent Meals

We recently had an opportune day where there was a nice variety of vegetables ready.
So we decided to have a feast.
Our delicious meal included grilled zucchini and yellow squash; cucumber, tomato, and onion salad; roasted new potatoes; and zucchini bread for dessert.

Earlier in the week.......
Raspberry Ice Cream with fresh raspberries from Adam's parents' house.
Potatoes and Sugar Peas cooked in milk.

My Bad.....

Jack was upset that we left him out and wants everyone to know that he helps out too.

Father's Day

Even on his special day he still helps out in the garden.
 So does Adam's mom.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Sugar Snap Peas with Sesame and Sauteed Swiss Chard with Bacon

Heres my a picture of dinner with fresh peas (prepared with sesame seeds and dark sesame oil) and swiss chard (sauteed with garlic & red pepper flakes) from my garden. Salmon was poached on top of the swiss chard and a delicious salad of mixed greens with a sweet cider vinaigrette was prepared with goat cheese wrapped in bacon! I can't wait to for more fabulous veggies to be ready....especially those 90 tomato plants! 

Recipes at:

Sugar Snap Peas with Sesame

Sauteed Swiss Chard with Bacon

Careful the way you weed, onions can fall over!

So last week I started weeding around the onions and learned that you have be careful the way you weed, your onions can be start to fall over or worse, you can actually uproot them!  I had to act quickly and build mounds around them to make sure they stay alive!

Damn Groundhogs!

So we have our first loss for the year:  Brussel Spouts!  It took a while to figure out who the culprit was but after some investigating, we've concluded that it was either one or a family of GROUNDHOGS!  At first we thought deer, but we couldn't see any tracks. Next we thought it was rabbits trying to make their way to cabbage patch.  But then we had some confirmed sightings of a family of groundhogs living under an old car on the property. 
Adam's dad came out with his gun one day to try and find these jerks for eating all of brussel sprouts but he couldn't find anything but this trail leading underneath the car.  We wanted to find a way to keep these pests out but unless we fumigated their hole or shot them the only (organic) way of keeping them out would be to keep our dog Jack tied up overnight.  He does love a good hunt and everytime he gets near that car, he goes nuts!  But it is what it is, right! I guess they're part of the natural balance of things.  I wish I knew exactly how pests like that contribute to natural order of an ecosystem.  Aside from Googling the benefits these guys have, I'm going to let go.  I guess I'll have to wait to plant again in July I guess. 

The Three Amigos!

   I can't believe it's already June!  We have added a few extra things in the garden like corn, sunflowers, blue potatoes, and more pumpkins.  Adam's grandmother told us about an old Indian technique called "The Three Sisters".  We planted our corn in a block and then put pumpkins between.  You can also put beans in the mix which is where the number three comes into play but we left at just 2.  As the corn grows, the beans/peas have a trellis on which to climb and the pumpkins provide the perfect ground cover to keep the soil moist and shaded to kill off weeds.  It really is a perfect idea! 
   Adam's Aunt Martha gave us two kinds of  seeds for the pumpkins (Jack-O-Lantern & Longneck) and we found three kinds of corn at Butchers Farm Market.    We're hoping regular sized pumpkins will      work out better this year than the giant ones Adam attempted last year.  Last year's pumpkins only reached Jack-o-lantern size. 
   Hopefully this year our pumpkins will make it all the way into October!