Posts Tagged ‘strawberries’

Half time score: 6 completed  resolutions,  2 failed , and  3  in process, or at least a chance of still doing them!

On to the second half:

12. Plant in guilds and polycultures, like the 3 sisters guild. I did this and am pretty sure I like it, though there are some drawbacks. Sure looks pretty, though!

Corn with squash, beans haven’t emerged yet.

The beans are in there – can you see them? Maybe I planted too close…

Greens, broccoli, chard…the root vegies didn’t do so well.

A mosaic of greens…it was beautiful while it lasted!

13. Plant more cold weather crops. Broccoli, kale, corn salad, turnips, beets, kohlrabi, leaf lettuce, mustard greens, peas, radishes, spinach, chard…all in and waiting for the fall!  I also planted most of these in spring.

Spring broccoli

14. Figure out out to successfully grow tomatoes here – lots of nasty tomato diseases lurking everywhere. This remains to be seen…they look pretty good for now, though.

Ripening at last!

15. Do compost right. After someone in my family weeded and put all the nasty weeds with their ripe seed heads on my compost pile while we were away on vacation, I have almost given up on this one. Deep breath…start again.
16. Construct an herb spiral. This was based on the load of rocks we were going to get for free (!) from a demolished house, but alas, never materialized. This on goes in the fail column for this year.

17. Try broccoli and cauliflower. Yes – yummy- and no. But I am trying Brussels sprouts…I count this one accomplished.
18. Find and grow Jerusalem artichokes. After a long internet search, failure…
19. Plant edible flowers. I’m going to say no here even though I have a few in the garden. I didn’t really keep this in mind for planting and want to do more.


20. Get better at succession planting. Reseeded polycultures and started seeds for planting next month. I say this one counts.
21. Preserve more food. Well, this remains to be seen, but we have 5 pints of strawberries and 7 jars of pickles so far…

Babička’s pickles

22. Figure out what I can grow on the steep slopes in our yard. Still a challenge. Right now it’s squash, but the weeds are a hassle. I went through and weeded in the last 2 days, so it looks good now, but since it’s a slope, I can’t put down cardboard and mulch – it just slides right off. Any suggestions greatly appreciated!

Too much bare soil…

Spacing was better here and s the squash trail, they cover the ground.

Weeds took over this spot.

So by my count, out of 22 resolutions, that’s  10 completed successfully, 7 failed, and 5 in progress. I’d be happy with a 50-50 split. After all, 22 resolutions is a bit much, don’t you think? It’s still anyone’s game, then I guess.

Read Full Post »

Summer vacation and the liven’ is easy! We’re having wonderful weather and enjoying our days in the garden. Tonight’s dinner comes mainly from the garden, a necessary reminder of why I do it!

Today’s harvest

Menu 25 June 2012

radish* top soup

spring vegetable paella-otto with broccoli*, snap peas*, carrots°, mushrooms° and onions*

raspberries* and strawberries* with sweetened yogurt

Radish Top Soup

Radish leaves

This recipe comes from Marian Morash’s The Victory Garden Cookbook, which I love because the chapters are arranged by vegetable. When I have a glut of almost anything, Marian usually comes to my rescue!

I’m sure that following her recipe exactly yields wonderful results, but here’s what I do:

  1. Sautee some onions or leeks in butter and oil. I use about one medium onion.
  2. Add cubed potatoes, water and bouillon. One large potato, vegetarian bouillon.
  3. When potatoes are almost cooked, add radish tops. I use about 2 bunches worth of greens.
  4. Puree, adding milk or cream if you like. Season with salt and/or pepper.

It would be good peasant style, too I think, but I puree it.

Spring Vegetable Paella-otto

Once again, I must say that a real recipe would probably help tremendously, but I believe I’ve noted that if you want perfection you’re going to have to find it elsewhere.

So, here’s what I did:

  1. Cook rice in bouillon in more or less normal way. I couldn’t find any brown rice in the cupboard (I swear we bought some) so I used risotto rice, thus paella-otto.
  2. Sautee chopped onions, broccoli, and carrots in a big pan. I used my wok.
  3. Remove vegetables and then add mushrooms. I got daring and when mushrooms were almost done, decided to finish it all off at once instead of bit by bit. I added minced garlic, thyme and a little saffron (I recommend adding it to the rice cooking water, but I didn’t think of it until this point.)
  4. I added in the cooked rice and the rest of the vegetables and mixed it all together.
  5. It needs salt! And maybe more garlic. And regular rice, not sticky arborio rice. But it tastes good. You can really taste the flavor of each of the vegetables.


Berries with Sweetened Yogurt

The lots on either side of ours are empty, apart from the legion of weeds just waiting to invade. They send in advance troops in by seed, runners under the fence, with birds and the cat. Though I win some battles, they are winning the war, for now. Occasionally, though, they send me something I can use. Dandelions and nettles have come in and I’m happy about that (yes, happy – here’s why). But the other day we discovered a major encroachment onto our plot by raspberry bushes! Lots of them! Happy day!

It isn’t easy to get the girls to refrain from devouring every ripe berry they see whenever they see them, but they managed to pick a small bowlful today. I mixed them with the last few strawberries and served them with yogurt.

Read Full Post »

Monday Menu

Back after missing last Monday (or has it been 2 weeks?!). Not that I was away or anything…just slightly more busy than usual with last Girl Scout meeting of the year Tea Party, daughter #1’s dance performance, daughter #2’s dance performance, 4th grade music class performance, a Monday night board meeting at my church, working like crazy in the garden, etc, etc..

Tonight I took my basket into the garden and picked things for dinner. (I don’t actually have to use a basket, but it’s such a lovely, romantic thing to do!) I picked mint for some iced mint tea, savory to flavor the beans I have soaking, chard and strawberries. My poor girls had their Czech exams today and I wanted to make a special dinner… Now, you may think that beans for dinner is not that special, but when I first made this dish, they decided to name it “Yummy Plate of Beans” though I made it with kale, not chard. And though it is better with kale, what I have is chard. Lovely, rainbow chard.

I also have beautiful strawberries and some leftover couscous… Tonight’s menu, then is:

Yummy Plate of Beans with Swiss Chard*


Sofie’s favorite corn bread

iced mint* tea

strawberries* with yogurt and chocolate chips

Maybe it does’t look like much…

…but everyone had 2 helpings!

The strawberries for dessert were sublime…Honestly, after growing my own strawberries and eating them within minutes of picking them, I just can’t eat store-bought strawberries anymore. I mean, why bother? They just can’t live up to the ones we grow ourselves.

Read Full Post »

The garden is doing great and tonight we had our first strawberries and the best spinach I’ve ever grown. Our soil is just too heavy for spinach to do well, but last fall I added lots of shredded leaves and good soil to a bed to make it nice and light and it seems to have made a world of difference to the spinach. The other inspiration for tonight’s dinner was the hunk of cheese and bag of mushrooms I bought at the farmer’s market last week.

Menu for Monday, 28 May

crustless mushroom° quiche

spinach* with tomatoes

toasted bread

yogurt with sliced strawberries*

elderflower* cordial

The crustless quiche was a sort of improvisation since I didn’t feel like making crust. And since the crust is just slightly sweet, it made the tangy quiche even tangier.

Crustless Quiche

Sautee sliced mushrooms° and let cool. Place on bottom of quiche dish. Mix 1 1/2 cups of yogurt with 2 eggs°, 2 tablespoons of flour, a bit of salt and some shredded cheese°. Pour over mushrooms and bake at 350F for 30 minutes. I tucked a little left over asparagus° into one end – a little treat for me.

Spinach and tomatoes

My husband bought some really awful looking tomatoes – you know, the hard orange balls that don’t really look, smell or taste much like real tomatoes. Well, the only way to deal with those is cook them down, which I did with some garlic and olive oil. Then I added the spinach until wilted. The spinach was so good it even made these tomatoes taste alright!

Yogurt topped with strawberries

Can’t wait until the strawberry:yogurt ratio is reversed!

Elderflower cordial

An experiment inspired by the Urban Farm Handbook foraging challenge and all of the elders flowering right now everywhere you look.

I found the recipe here and made a batch over the weekend.

I think it turned out too lemony and sour, but over ice with a bit of dandelion honey to sweeten it, YUMMMMMMY! We will definitely be making more of this.

Read Full Post »