Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Garden Blues

I have been on a cooking kick for some time now, but I am really missing my fresh ingredients from the garden. My parents cleared out the garden so now it is bare and without fresh tomatoes and herbs. It's so sad to see it so bare, but I know this is the time of year for composting and planning for the upcoming garden. Next year my goal is to learn how to can everything so I will have these fresh ingredients all winter long.
Does anyone know of some good canning blogs that I could follow?

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cooper's Rock in the Fall

One of my favorite places. Fall just makes it even better.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Look what I found in the garden...

This long holiday weekend brought me home to my garden and as it turns out, I had a visitor. My dad was hosing the plants because they were in some desperate need of water. He noticed a fairly large insect climbing on the tomato plants. He started yelling for me to come take a look. I couldn't believe my eyes; a praying mantis swiveled its head around to see what I was up to. I didn't bring my camera home this weekend so I had to quickly find my mom's camera and take a few pictures of this guy (or girl).

Click on these pictures to make them larger. You can really see some intricate details on the praying mantis.

He (or she) eventually mad his (or her) way over to the grapes.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Garden in Full Swing

The fall semester has begun, and it is time to say goodbye to my garden. Everything is looking great. The sunflowers are taking over the tiny sidewalk the mailman must somehow use to reach our mailbox. I like to picture Bobby Mac (the mailman) slashing his way through a jungle in order to deliver our mail. We are getting so many tomatoes now that my mom can't wait for me to be home on the weekends so I can take some back with me to school.

I hate being away from the garden when it is looking so wonderful and really putting out a lot of fruit, but it is that time of year again. It is sad to know that the cold weather is approaching and that soon the plants will be gone, but at the same time, this is when the anticipation for next year's garden begins. Time for seed saving and composting. Time to sketch out next year's garden. Time to figure out how I am going to fit those last couple of plants and seeds into a tiny, over-crowded garden. Time to share seeds with my fellow gardeners.

You can never have too many pictures of sunflowers.

two little friends munching on some sun...

intense color

hello, down there

There are just so many of these. I am completely satisfied with these sunflowers. I hope next year's garden can live up to these guys.

Praise the Lord. God really knows that he's doing.

Lemon Queen opening at her own pace. Beauty takes time.

Blinking. I like to take sunflower photographs on overcast days because somehow they seem even happier than usual. (if that is even possible)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Relay for Life at the Good Lake

So many people lose their lives to cancer. I do not know anyone who has not been affected in some way by this terrible disease. A friend, a family member, a spouse...

Thank you for the memories.

My cousin Keifer and Tara

The memory bags around the lake.

If you have never gone to a Relay for Life, get on the American Cancer Society website or Google Relay for Life. Find an event in your area and experience the miracles that go on in one night with a community of people that know what it is like to lose a loved one to cancer. These people give so much back to those who are still fighting the battle.

Celebrate the survivors and remember those who lost the battle.
Share the love.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Yellow Canary

I do not have a picture to show it, but a yellow canary has been eating the seeds out of one of my red sunflowers (the chianti hybrid). I saw that something had been eating the seeds earlier this morning. I was a little upset, because I was hoping that I could let the seeds dry out while they remained in the sunflower to be kept for next year. Now that I realize the red sunflower seeds are attracting a canary I have no problem with a little munching. I hope he or she returns for dinner!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Weird Stuff Growing on a Stump

If anyone has any idea what this stuff is, I would love to get some feedback. I just noticed it yesterday, but I assume it has been growing on there for some time.

This is probably the best picture. Look at the little red flower-like structures.

Today's Harvest

I had quite a lot of picking to do today:

basket #1
A bunch of tomatoes decided to ripen all at once. YUM!

Basket #2
I decided to cut off the sad little sunflower in the top top right corner. I am going to dry it out and keep the seeds for next year.

I hadn't even noticed the gigantic zucchini until today. Somehow they get so large so fast and yet stay hidden.

What I am most excited about today are the peppers. Bell peppers are my second favorite thing from the garden. (sorry peppers, you'll never out-taste the tomato) I use peppers in everything I cook, so this is a good day.

The sweet banana peppers are also going to be a nice edition to some salsa or a chicken fajita.

This is one of my giant scarlet runner bean pods. I probably should have picked them when they were smaller so I could prepare them like a green bean, but I wanted to see those little pink beans. And man, are they pink!

The closer you look at where they are actually attached to the pod, the hotter the pink coloring.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

My Newest Sunflower

This little guy just opened up yesterday:

I love sunflowers!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Indy is Indy Drain!!

Well it appears my mom caught Indy and me napping together. I found Indy in a drain on the Fourth of July aka Independence Day (Independence = Indy). My grandma thought I named him Indy because he was In The Drain =INDY Drain. Anyway, he's the newest edition to the garden crew. My best friend's family will be holding on to him for this school year until I get a different apartment down at school. Thank goodness for such wonderful people in this world.

The Alien Tomato

It appears to be a normal unripe tomato..right?

No, definitely not normal...I feel like it's looking at me.

If anyone knows why my tomato looks like this, it would be greatly appreciated.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Mystery Solved

My friend Claire confirmed that the berries are blackberries. I can't wait to see how they turn out.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Garden Updates and the Mystery Berry

The garden is growing like crazy! I've been finding so many new fruits and veggies. Take a look:

This here is the mystery berry. I found it near the plot of land behind my house that recently had a house demolished and trees taken down (this is also the same sight of my wishful thinking for a community garden). I thought at first that it was a wild strawberry, but I found some that had completely ripened and turned black/purple.

Obviously this one isn't ripe just yet.

Any ideas on what this may be?

This is my red sunflower. I'm excited to see just how deep of a red it will really be.

I'm so excited about my green beans.

One of my first green peppers!

Here is our broccoli. It finally looks like the real thing.

These are my yellow cherry tomatoes. My grandma, NaNa, is always going on and on about how much she loves yellow tomatoes because they are less acidic. So this year, I have taken her advice and grown some. I can't wait to see her face when she gets her hands on these.

Bush Goliath has been hanging on to these tomatoes for quite some time. I'm excited that one is finally starting to turn orange/pinkish.

If anyone is discouraged about starting a garden just read this book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. It can make anyone want to eat their home grown veggies. It made me want to be a better locavore.