New in the Garden

We have some new vegetables that are ready!

Little cherry red tomatoes are hiding out at the bottom of our tomato plants. Everyone knows how delicious these are to pick and pluck right into your mouth (no washing necessary other than a little rub off on your t-shirt). There are at least six of these plants in our gardens, so I’m anticipating several hundred of these this season. But I’m not counting! They disappear too quickly.

Peas are ready to pluck. They’ve grown fat and juicy, and we don’t usually harvest these at one time. We usually leave them on their vines for snacking for those who visit the gardens. Jude and Rex have some nice ones waiting.

Tonight, I picked our first green beans of the season. There are many mini ones dangling, and they’ll be ready for supper in about two days. I have the majority of the bean plants in my garden; they fill the middle. All three boys have at least one row in their gardens, as well.

Cucumber Count 3 & 4

July 15

Cucumber Count = 21

Morris’s cucumber measured 14” !!!

Zucchini Count = 6 whoppers!

July 17

Cucumber Count = 26

All 5 from Rex’s Garden!

Food Stations

With zucchini and cucumbers aplenty, it’s time to make some food!

At Station 1, Jude thinly slices cucumbers for vinegar cucumbers: 3 cucumbers, diced onions, ¼ white vinegar, ¼ sugar, water to taste, herbs (I used pepper and dill.). Grandpa gets the large container – it’s his favorite – and we eat the small one.

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At Station 2, Morris cuts zucchini, which we steam with a little olive oil and butter. Then we add salt, pepper, and Italian herbs. Parmesan cheese really makes it yum.

At Station 3, Rex grates zucchini for chocolate zucchini bread. 2 cups zucchini, 1 cup sugar, 2 cups flour, 1 cup vegetable oil, ¼ cup chocolate powder, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tsp cinnamon, ¾ cups chocolate chips.

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Zucchini Contest: Mo vs. Mom

Morris and I are ready to pick some zucchini. I know we’re not supposed to let them get too large, but they haven’t seemed ready to pick…until tonight.

Look what we got!

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And then, we needed to compare. Morris and I each had two giants!

Here are Morris’s:

Giant 1: 2 lbs., 3 oz.   / 12” (1 foot) / 3” diameter

*Giant 2 : 3 lbs., 1 oz. / 12 “  / 3.5” diameter (WOWZERS!)

Here are Mine:

Giant 1: 2 lbs., 08 oz / 12”

Giant 2: 2 lbs., 14 oz / 12”

MORRIS WINS!!!!

Rex’s Japanese Eggplant

This Japanese Eggplant is the most unique vegetable we’re growing this season. It’s also the first time we’re growing this variety. We’ve tried the globe eggplant before, but we only ended up with two, smallish eggplant.

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The Japanese Eggplant is supposed to have thinner skin and less seeds, and it’s long and thin, almost like a giant green bean.

It’s been fun to watch it grow, and we wonder how many will come off this one plant.

Cucumber Count

July 5

We have 12 cucumber plants: 6 for Jude, 3 for Rex, 3 for Morris. So far, we’ve picked 10 cucumbers. 

Cucumber plants cost about $3.00. So, 12 x $3.00 = $36 spent on cucumber plants.

Cucumbers at the grocery store are $1.00 each, so we’ve made back $10 / $36. 

I’m not so sure we’ll pick 36 cucumbers, but we sure enjoy hunting for them among the vines…

The Burpless are very long and thin with a softer skin. The Marketmore are more traditional: fat, thick, seedier.

A Bad Choice

Morris and I are growing a zucchini plant in our gardens. Bad choice. As you can see, it’s taken over about one-sixth of the entire bed, and it threatens to expand more. Each of us has about six to eight mini-zucchini growing, and then it will be even larger. 

The square foot gardening guides I used said we could plant one plant per square foot…but I don’t know how this can be right. They’re giants!

We’re having some issues in other areas, as well. The tomato plants are huge, thankfully we planted on per square foot. The cucumber are vining all over the place. Again, thankfully we planted one per square foot.

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I’m not sure if it’s our new garden soil mix, complete with compost that’s growing extra hardy plants this year, or if it was all the rain and now all the sunshine. In years past, our gardens have had more shade, so maybe we positioned our gardens in just the right spot to receive lots and lots of sunshine. Maybe it’s simply a happy garden.

Morris’s Radishes

Today, we noticed red tops peeking out from the dirt. They weren’t little, but ready-to-be-picked radish tops. Morris started pulling, and the large, bright red bulbs came out, bigger than what you find at the grocery store. Hopefully, they’re not too large, as they grow bitter if left in the earth too long. 

Morris enjoyed pulling out about ten radishes. It’s amazing how big and how fast they grew. The seeds are some of the tiniest we planted; they’re black and about the size of the tip of a pencil. In about six weeks, some have grown two inches long and an inch and a half in diameter. Wow!

We’ll eat them as they are, no fancy recipe needed. All my boys love them!

 

Our Gardens are Growing

It’s the end of June and the boys’ gardens are thriving! The tomato plants are filling their cages, and itty-bitty cherry tomatoes are forming. I barely noticed the blossoms before I noticed the little orbs. There are cucumber plants a-plenty – 12 total! – and yellow blossoms are scattered all over the plants, whose tendrils are curling and climbing up the trellises. There are even some small cucumbers growing.

Morris and I probably made a mistake planting a zucchini in our planters, as they are the beasts of the gardens. Their blooms cover my basil and Mo’s carrots.  There are no blooms yet, but I’m hoping they get started soon, as we love grilled zucchini and pan-cooked zucchini, and zucchini in stir fries and zucchini bread… and then we don’t like zucchini anymore.

Rex was a little bummed his mint transplant didn’t take… nor did his chives. He doesn’t know if he wants me to buy the plants or not this year.

The boys are not very interested in their gardens right now. Things get interesting when there are vegetables to pick. Until then, I have to bring the boys out once a week to take a look. But, they are growing beautifully, impressively. We’ve even had a little herb harvest.

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