She Gardens: First Harvest!

I harvested our first fruits from the garden this year: peppers. I picked 1.3 ounces of jalapenos (on the right in the photo below) and 2.6 ounces of serrano peppers (left). They look very yummy! Now to consider some dishes to use them in this week. 🙂

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She Gardens: A Late Start

As the title says, we got a late start with the garden this year due to a cold, wet spring. And my memory is a little hazy about most details, so forgive me for that! I think we got the plants in before May. We planted 6 jalapeno plants and 6 serrano pepper plants and two or three dozen onion starts. We also have four cucumber vines growing. And we planted about 120 tomato plants.

Yes, I did type “120.”

No, it was not a mistake.

Yes, we planted that many intentionally.

We know that there will be a lot of tomatoes, but in all fairness, they probably won’t produce as heavily as you might predict. Our garden does not get full sun, which will reduce their production. And we are sort of counting on having the squirrels get some of them, like they did last year. (It would seem I never wrote about that problem, but I can sum it up for you: the squirrels ate our tomato plants last year. Not just the fruit, but the entire plant, chowed to the ground. They would hang their fat little bodies upside down by their toes from the tomato cages and just munch away!) And we did have a slight problem with blossom-end rot and birds last year as well, so we are expecting to lose some those ways.

We really love tomatoes, though. I buy them canned a variety of ways: paste, sauce, crushed, diced. We consume a lot of salsa, and Nate really loves tomato juice to drink.

If we can more than we need for one year, we may not have to grow any next year. Knowing I will have a toddler next year makes that prospect very appealing.

And if we are still swimming in tomatoes after canning all we could possibly use in a reasonable amount of time, well… we have lots of friends and family who may like some. And there is a farmer’s market in town… maybe we would have to look into selling there. 🙂

I don’t have an overview picture of how the garden is doing, but I hope to take one soon. As I write this, Nate is tilling in the remaining clover, grass, and weeds between rows. That will make for a nicer picture anyway.

Garden, Pregnancy, and a Sneak Peek!

I know I haven’t been blogging very much lately. We haven’t been sitting around like vegetables, though–there is plenty to say, but words are failing me. I’m well into my second trimester (nearly 16 weeks now), and I have been feeling better. I still get nauseous sometimes, but I have more energy and my appetite is slowly returning. I had enough energy last weekend to help Nate with the yard and garden work. I pruned all of our bushes/small trees (wisteria, crepe myrtle, etc.) while he mowed the back yard. Then I tilled the garden while he mowed the front. After tilling, we seeded the garden with clover as a winter cover-crop. We hope the clover will increase the nitrogen in the soil and will keep weeds (and grass!) down over the winter.

tilled and seeded

tilled and seeded

Mojo has gotten so much bigger–here’s a complimentary photo (with a tail-wag-blur!):

so happy!

so happy!

Around the hosta (what’s left of it, in some places, anyway), some red spider lilies are popping up:

I have been knitting and crocheting, but both are secret projects. One is a Christmas gift, so you won’t see it for a long time. The other will be revealed Monday, but here’s a sneak peek!

ladybug!!!

ladybug!!!

Final Harvest, 2013

We had a good time getting dirty as we harvested the final crop from our garden: carrots! We did not thin our carrots, so we had some very fat ones and some teeny-tiny ones. In all, we harvested about 5 pounds. We gave nearly a pound of the prettiest to a good friend who cannot grow carrots (a meek offering, but one that was appreciated all the same), and the remaining 4 pounds were put up in 6 pint jars.

I’ll tell you, I had my day planned out yesterday. I thought, surely I could get those carrots canned by lunch and then have time in the afternoon to shop for groceries. Bzzt! wrong-o! I didn’t even get the little suckers cleaned before lunch time and didn’t get them jarred and in the canner until 4 pm! But I know when I pop the seal on one of those jars in a few months, the memory of the toil will fade quickly. (Don’t worry–we didn’t go hungry! I had resources for tomato soup and grilled cheese for supper.)

Harvests This Week
Sunday — 5.01 lbs carrots

This Week  5.01 lbs
This Month (August)  5.01 lbs
This Year  18.02 lbs

Harvest Friday Week 7, 2013

My, oh, my! where has the time gone? I can’t believe another week has flitted away. Well, the sad news is that only tomatoes are left. Mojo pulled up our pepper plants early this week. The good news is that the tomatoes are doing great! We have not gotten a very large harvest yet, but they have been trickling in slowly. Last week, I had accumulated enough to put up one and a half quarts of tomatoes. 🙂 Happy day.

Nate dug up a carrot earlier this week to check on it, and he seemed to think they were still too small. Hm. We aren’t sure what we’ll do about that… don’t want to dig them up too soon, but don’t want to lose what we could get from them if we dig them now. Decisions, decisions.

Harvests This Week
Monday — 1.11 lbs tomatoes
Wednesday — 0.21 lbs tomatoes
Thursday — 0.37 lbs tomatoes
Friday — 0.41 lbs tomatoes

This Week  2.10 lbs
This Month (July)  5.88 lbs
This Year  13.01 lbs

Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos for you this week. I was picking tomatoes on my way inside from walking the dog, always forgetting the camera, and then eating the ‘matoes before I could get a shot of them. You can expect a similar harvest next week–that’s my expectation based on the green beauties hanging on the plants. 🙂 I’ll try to remember the camera!