A victory in the garden, no matter the size, is still a win!

One thing I’ve noticed in my first year of growing produce is that it is incredibly easy to get caught up in the failures.  My corn didn’t work, my squash was attacked prematurely, broccoli was eaten by cabbage worms, the weeds grow faster than I can pull…the lists go on and on.  I know on the blog I am mostly positive, but I think we all have moments of letting ourselves feel defeated.  Sometimes it feels overwhelming and you can’t help but think “Why did I think I could do this?”.  So today I want to take a step back and help remind myself of things I have accomplished this year so far.

Garden Jewels

Jewels from the garden. Red beets, chioggia beets, rainbow carrots and parsnips prepped for roasting.

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Pickled this…don’t do that!

We all make mistakes and I think it’s important to be honest about that, otherwise how will any of us learn?  So during one of our pickle adventures, we had some leftover watermelon radishes in the fridge and decided to give pickling radishes a go.  I’m going to cut to the chase and let you know that this was a horrific flop (in case you couldn’t tell already).  I’m not sure if it was the radishes or the recipe … but something went badly wrong for our taste.

With color, like this, they have to taste good, right? WRONG!

With color, like this, they have to taste good, right? WRONG!

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Garden Update 8/8/14

These past 2 weeks have been all about getting my left raised bed ready to start a fall/winter crop.  Some new seeds were ordered (let’s be honest, ordering seeds is addictive) and the plans are shaping up.  Most of my summer crops are chugging along happily so I’m not ready to pull them.  Lost a few battles, but really, who doesn’t in the full heat of summer?  Anyhow, here is what has been going on.

FLOWERING:

Had to vine my heirloom tomatoes over to my vertical trellises to keep them supported.

Had to vine my heirloom tomatoes over to my vertical trellises to keep them supported, growing and producing.

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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.

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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