Thursday, July 19, 2012

Note to Myself

Gardening note to myself: Tomatoes in the ground grow so much bigger and produce so much more then my old containers. Space more apart and 13 tomato plants is too much Tomato cages rock Yellow cherry tomatoes, so yummy
Zucchini is a weed, so is summer squash and spaghetti squash, give them room to grow. Lettuce, plant earlier and closer, they do not need much space and bolt quickly in a hot Jersey summer Figure out some trellising or something for cucumbers, they grow much taller then my bamboo rods and need more support. Several plants is the perfect amount, cucumbers and pickle cucumbers grow fast and plenty. Mulch more, weed more. Watch out for slugs, they do damage quick.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Growing and Growing

This is my first garden as a SAHM, an adult and homemaker. Because of this I have made some mistakes, mostly in my spacing. Man does zucchini grow like a weed. And who knew my tomato plants would grow so big. I am already getting an abundance of cucumbers and zucchini, and am already getting a little sick of it. I'm can't wait till my tomatoes ripen to make some yummy salads, with cucumbers and zucchini, but not as the star. I have 1 staple recipe for zucchini that is so easy and simply delicious. I just saute it with butter, a little salt and pepper. So far I have also added shredded zucchini to a lasagna, in some omlettes and made some yummy baby food for Ev. I also have been munching on an old family recipe for cucumber salad Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of celery salt over about 3 cucumber cut very thin. Let sit a minimum of 1 hour, preferable 2 or more. Drain the water out.
Mix 1 cup white vinegar and 1/2c sugar or to taste. Add the cucumbers with 1/2 cut up onion and green pepper. You can add dill if desired. Let sit in the fridge, store in mason jars. This recipe tastes better the next day and lasts up to a month stored in the fridge. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Around the Garden

Since become a SAHM and/or "radical" homemaker I have added some hobbies or other homemaking skills to my repertoire, knitting, crocheting, baking, canning and my most recent obsession, gardening. I used to garden with my parents as a child, my father owns a nursery and my mother always had a fondness for Jersey fresh produce. But this is my first garden on my own. My 2 almost 3 year old daughter helps a lot, which is why carrots are sprouting up every where. She helps me water and loves to help me harvest. She is not so big on tasting them, but I hope she will eventually cave. We so far have been enjoying cucumbers, zucchini and a few cherry tomatoes. We also have blueberry bushes that we eat as they ripen. We just can't seem to wait for a bunch, they are just too fresh and good. What I love most about this hobby is how it brings people together, people talking and bonding over food and gardening. When I knit, cook, bake or can I am limited to who I can talk with this about. Only 1 of my friends crochets, none knit, no one cans and a few bake, but not like I do. They like the back of the box or fancy food dye sugar filled cakes while I enjoy fresh breads, muffins and the occasional cake from scratch.
But with my garden I feel there is something for everyone. I greatly enjoy talking with my father about the types of plants, which grow best, which taste the best and what plants are best for which part of the season. He enjoys some of the odd plants I found, my cooking them and my organic methods which he isn't too familiar with. I also enjoy asking my mom for old favorite recipes that she would use with all the fresh produce. I think she also enjoys my new skill of canning and I know she loves trying them. My children also love trying, especially the baby. Liv is a little more picky but I get her to eat those veggies in many ways she doesn't even know. My husband also has fond memories of his mother's garden and actually enjoys helping me take care of mine. It is the only hobby that we really enjoy together other then hiking and just being out in nature. The season is just starting up by me and I am enjoying read every cook book and preserve book I can find. I went way overboard and need to preserve as much as a can to not waste it. I also love talking gardening with people, people of all ages enjoy gardening so I find young friends, old neighbors and more are more then willing to talk you up and give some great advice. Most of all I just enjoy sharing my produce or cooked and baked good with my friends and family. I feel this garden has brought me a little closer to natures, closer to creating my own homestead, close to my past and homemakers of the past and closer to being a healthier, greener and self-sufficient family.