Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Birds and the Bees...

First off today, I want to thank my parents for the wonderful time that I'm having with the camera that they gave us. I am having a blast in the backyard especially. Look at my latest favorites:

It's feeling like a little paradise oasis with butterflies, bees, birds, squirrels(grrr...)I'm a little upset with the squirrels right now. But..not at upset as Kerri Lydell is with her chickens!!!
The squirrel are always leaving presents from other yards on the steps.

Friday, May 25, 2012

First Garden Salad

I made my first salad from the garden lettuce last night. I just needed jumbo shrimp, shallots for the dressing and Champagne vinegar to make a grilled shrimp salad with Champagne vinegrette. There was only regular shrimp, no shallots and no Champagne vinegar so I used regular onion and white wine vinegar. Oh well, it turned out well so here's how I made the dressing:
1/4 C. of white wine vinegar
1/2 C. of olive oil
about 1/4 of an onion finely diced
1 T. dijon mustard
juice of 1 lime
about a T. of honey
a little kosher salt and black pepper
Put it all in a blender and blend about 30-45 seconds
It tastes so much better than it looks~~~
Here is the finished salad- Overload!!!

There is actually a generous amount of lettuce under all this. That's a good thing because the lettuce is growing at an amazing rate. The garden will be 4 weeks old tomorrow and this is the 3rd "harvest". The first two had a poor ending. TIP: Don't wash and spin your lettuce until you are ready to use it. You can put it in the fridge, but once you wash it, use it up. 
This was washed and refrigerated overnight, uncovered. My bad.
******UPDATE 6/11/12
Guess what? You can wash it, dry it however you like, and store it in a plastic bag for days. Who knew? The trick is to cover it. Huh.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Sophie Uliano's Veggie Cleaner Spray

If you can't buy organic produce, you need to make sure you wash it thoroughly. Use this spray to make sure your fruit and vegetables are squeaky clean.
1 cup water
1 cup distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon baking soda
20 drops grapefruit seed extract*
Combine all ingredients in a large container. Then, transfer to a spray bottle with a pump. Spray mixture on produce, and rinse thoroughly after 5 to 10 minutes.
*Grapefruit seed extract is available at your local health food store.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Whistling While He Works!

Is he whistling while he works?

I love that "we" are cleaning up the backyard. Here's the arrangement lately: I am the "idea man" so to speak. I get the brilliant ideas and my soo good natured husband carries them out. Of course I supervise.
Today "we're" cleaning up this little corner near the garden so that we can put some chairs and a table and maybe plant some morning glories.
We're trying to help the rest of the yard catch up to the loveliness of the garden. It's becoming more and more inviting!

In Farmers We Trust

Go for it this weekend, Malin, at the California Biosafety Alliance conference!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day in the Garden

It's Mother's Day in the garden and look what my daughter surprised me with!Solar powered garden ornaments, and they light up and change color at night. So very cool!

Yesterday we had organic gardening class and learned what to expect from our plants over the summer.

We planted 12 beans, 2 in each hole and every one sprouted. That means we have to thin them. I don't like that but I'll do it.

Green Beans Day 12

Green Beans Day 15, thinned to 1 plant in each hole.
We were also told that if we pull off the flowers and fruit from the peppers and chiles for the first couple of weeks that they will produce more. Lord knows want need all the chiles that we can grow, so we'll do that, too.

Friday, May 11, 2012

It's been 13 days since planting and the growth is so rewarding. At this point, what's happening in the afternoon is often a big change from the morning. These beans sprouted 5 days ago.

Green Beans



The carrots, cilantro and radishes all sprouted this week. Everything is bigger.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Seeds Are Growing

I'm trying to tell you about my garden in chronological order but I can't contain my excitement about the seeds sprouting. Spoiler Alert! Planting day was last Saturday, so it's been exactly one week.

I came outside yesterday and saw tiny green things! By late afternoon they had broken through and were about 1/1/2" tall green beans. 

It's almost like if I stood still long enough, I could watch them grow. At they other end of the bed there is something else sprouting. It's either carrots, radishes or cilantro. Or, something uninvited. Time will tell.