I think I canned! I think I canned! I think I canned!

Canning is kind of addictive.  I think it is addictive because you really feel a sense of accomplishment when you start seeing jars of food that you grew AND preserved sitting in your fridge and pantry.  You have complete control over flavor profiles of the items you intend on storing.  But today, we are just talking about pickles.  I should let you know that I really like balanced pickles.  I am actually very pickle picky as I had a bad run in with some old pickles as a child and it took decades to recover from that.  If I’m going to eat a pickle, it must be crisp and have a well-rounded flavor, no one super strong predominate taste.  So here’s what we learned after tasting batch #1 and giving a go to round #2.

Three jars from our latest round of canning.

Three jars from our latest round of canning.

Continue reading

Asian Glazed Sautéed Veggies

With 2 little people running around the house, getting dinner on the table is never an easy thing.  But getting a quick AND healthy dinner on the table, well, somedays, it almost seems like a mythical creation.  And yet … it happened.  It is an incredibly proud moment when a significant part of dinner for your family came straight out of your garden.  I love making veggie medleys because they can be prepped ahead, they can be whatever veggies your family likes and they come together really fast.  Because of this, I’m leaving the recipe fairly loosey-goosy for you to decide on what your family enjoys.

ASIAN GLAZED SAUTÉED VEGGIES

asian veggie saute Continue reading

Gad-ZUKES (and squash) and good-bye!

Squash overload!  Zucchini up to your eye balls!  Freezing them, canning them, baking them, giving them away!  Yeah, these things didn’t happen in our little garden this year.  Our first go with summer squash and zucchini was cut violently and prematurely short.  But in gardening, these things do happen.   Luckily we were able to learn some about these versatile beauties before our run was up.

Male squash blossom with nearby female yellow squash.

Male squash blossom with nearby female yellow squash.

Continue reading

In a pickle!

With a few small bags of cucumbers from the garden building up in the fridge, I recently decided to start trying to can.  And where better to start than pickles.  Crunchy, salty, touch of sweet, cold … a perfect summer time snack, and low calorie to boot!  Perfect.

Cumin lime pickles fresh out of the water bath

Cumin lime pickles fresh out of the water bath

Continue reading

A boring monster heartache.

I’m convinced that one of the hardest things to learn as a gardener/farmer is that no matter how hard or long you try, you will fail at growing something at some point in time.  And it appears that it doesn’t matter how good at growing you are, failure will happen.  But if this is the case, then why does it still hurt so much?  Maybe because more often than not, the flop was totally out of our control.  Mother Nature got the better of our garden.  Maybe its because we only had a small number of the plants leaving us empty handed in the wake of the loss.  Or possibly its the time and energy and nurture we give to tending our garden babies in hope of a delicious and prolific reward at the end.  Whatever the reason is for you, you aren’t alone.  Operator errors and Mother Nature disasters happen to all of us, and most recently it happened to the one zucchini plant (and one squash plant) I was growing.

svb zuke wilt

Wilted zucchini plant

Continue reading

Glorious Okra Flower

Couldn’t resist quickly sharing this. Finally caught an okra flower fully open and in all it’s glory! Pollinated too! Enjoy!

20140707-121935-44375668.jpg

“The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature. To nurture a garden is to feed not just on the body, but the soul.”
-Alfred Austin

Someone dear to me sent this quote to me this week.  And it meant the world to me.