Archive for the ‘Gardening’ Category

Mowlgi’s Tomato Sauce

September 29, 2009
A small fraction of our tomatoes.

A small fraction of our tomatoes.

A bit more canning lately to use up the last of our garden tomatoes. We sadly pulled up our tomato plants on Sunday… they were just looking far too sad though they did produce a lot of really yummy (though small) tomatoes this year.

We ended up making a full batch of 6 x 500mL jars of salsa (with the awesome label), and a small batch of tomato sauce. Bernardin said the recipe below would make 6 x 500mL jars, but we only got three and a bit. Of course, it was likely partially our fault, as we let it boil a bit too much. It was a bit sad to see a full 10lbs of tomatoes only make three jars, but at least it’s tasty tasty sauce, which made an amazing pizza base.

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Señor Miller’s Homegrown Tomato Salsa

September 10, 2009
Señor Miller's Homegrown Tomato Salsa

Señor Miller

First, let me preface this post by saying that no matter how awesome this salsa recipe turns out, the highlight of the post will always be the last photo at the end of the post. Adam and I are totally and unapologetically dorks, and the photo at the end of this post proves that beyond all else. So there.

Now, onto salsa and the homegrown tomatoes.

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Our Garden, Week-by-Week: Week 7

July 19, 2009
The whole plot, July 19th.

The whole plot, July 19th.

I’m mostly pleased with how our garden is going, with a few notable exceptions.

First, the bad. What is UP with our roses? Remember how beautiful the rose bush once was, and how excited I was? That day is no more.

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Our Garden, Week-by-Week: Week 6

July 13, 2009

We took about a week and a half off of paying attention to our garden (beyond watering), and man did it show. So many weeds! We finally took some time yesterday to clear out the weeds, tie up the latest growth on the tomato plants, and generally assess. Generally I think everything is doing pretty well!

Basil! (And red leaf lettuce in the back)

Basil! (And red leaf lettuce in the back)

We’ve been regularly picking lettuce leaves for salad, and have made one giant batch of pesto so far from the basil. I think we may do more pesto soon to freeze… anyone else done that? Will it freeze well? I’d love to be able to use it year round. I know canning pesto is difficult, so freezing is the only alternative we can think of. Maybe without the cheese?

And speaking of our basil, I’m thrilled with it’s progress! It’s growing like crazy and it’s just so delicious. So amazingly sweet and tasty. It’s been flowering occasionally, but we pick them off as they appear and haven’t noticed any flavour issues.

Otherwise, how is our garden doing:

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I wish all house guests brought goodies like this!

July 3, 2009

Our good friend Aaron is visiting from Victoria – and was nice enough to bring us some goodies from his garden back home. Cherries and raspberries – both amazingly sweet and delicious!

Raspberries and Cherries!

Raspberries and Cherries!

Thanks, Aaron! Come again anytime!

Our Garden, Week-by-Week: Week 4

July 1, 2009
Fixing the tomato stake

Fixing the tomato stake

It’s hard to believe four weeks have passed since we first planted our garden.  But many of the plants which started out tiny have grown to be three or four times their size.  The tomato plants are beginning to form little flowers, which is a good sign for an early crop, and the basil and red leaf lettuce is suddenly bountiful.  In fact, Cari just bought a big bag of pine nuts at Costco yesterday so we could make a big batch of pesto.

The rose bush continues to do remarkably well, though it seems to shoot off in every direction.

The only other update to our garden is the family of ladybugs we bought at Practical Art Gallery in Stratford last weekend.  It’s this adorable little gallery of critters and flowers constructed out of metal, run by the artist’s aunt and mother.

We look forward to seeing what happens to our garden over the next four weeks.  Hopefully we’ll start seeing some of our veggies start budding soon.

Photos for July 1st, 2009: (more…)

Our Garden, Week-by-Week: Week 3

June 21, 2009

June 21st, 2009

I’m pleased with the progress so far. Things are growing nicely!

Pictures:

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The first rose!

June 16, 2009

Our rosebush is in bloom! Okay, okay – so we only have one bloom, not tons. But still – that’s exciting! Based on the number of buds, I think there are many many more coming in the next week.

Check out this beauty:

The first rose of 2009.

The first rose of 2009.

Our Garden, Week-by-Week

June 14, 2009

Week #2!

Not a whole lot of change since last week – but here are some updated photos:

The Garden Plot - Week 2

The Garden Plot - Week 2

I’m very impressed with the rose bush. I hope that they bloom soon! So many buds!

Our Garden, Week-by-Week

June 6, 2009
Adam prepping our garden plot.

Adam prepping our garden plot.

We are *far* from amazing gardeners, but we were lucky enough to end up with a house that has a nice big garden plot in the back. We’ve gardened with varying success every year – and this year we’re going to try to keep better records of our successes (and failures) in the garden.

We’re going to try to document our gardening attempts for a few (good?) reasons:

  1. We have a lot to learn. Maybe others reading will have tips/tricks for us to try and improve.
  2. It will keep us on top of things. If we vow to take photos every week, well – we’ll want to make sure the garden is nicely weeded before we take the photos, won’t we?
  3. It will be interesting! Well, it will be interesting for us. We’ll get to see how much change is noticeable over just a week’s time.

We may not post about our garden every single week – maybe every other week – maybe once a month, but we will have photos for every single week. 

This weekend we finally planted. A bit later than we’d like, but I think we’re finally past the fear of too-cold overnight lows. So, what did we plant?

The veggies ready to be planted.

The veggies ready to be planted.

  • Tomato: A must for us. We ended up with 8 plants – 4 roma and 4 regular tomatoes. 
  • Eggplant: We’ve never done eggplant before… hopefully it works out for us! We got the classic variety.
  • Zucchini: We had AMAZING success with this last year. It’s almost too easy to grow, and it grows huge. As a result, this year we only planted one.
  • Planting some tomato.

    Planting some tomato.

  • Cayenne Peppers: We’ve done sweet peppers before and have never had the best of luck. Curious to see how these work out! We planted 3 total – one in the main garden plot, and one each in two planters.
  • Romaine Lettuce: A big hit last year. We loved being able to walk out into the garden and get lettuce for a quick salad. It bolted towards the end of the year, so hopefully it’ll last longer this year. We planted 3 total.
  • Arugula: We wanted more types of lettuce this year, so we planted 4 arugula plants, and
  • Red Leaf Lettuce: 4 total – two in the main garden plot, and two in a large planter (which are probably too squished, but we’re trying).
  • Spinach: 4 plants total. I hope this works!
  • Basil: 4 plants total, two each in large planters.

We also have a rosebush, planted last year – that seems to be thriving. I should probably prune it back more, but I’m a bit intimidated about messing it up. Behind the rosebush there is also a small flowering vine, but I have my doubts that that is going to survive the season:

Our rosebush.

Our rosebush.

I can’t wait to get some roses from our garden in the house. There are a *ton* of buds, so I have high hopes.
 
And here is the entire plot on week 1, June 6th:

Garden Plot Week 1: June 6th

Garden Plot Week 1: June 6th

And finally – proof of why garden shoes shouldn’t have holes in them:

My feet, post planting.

My feet, post planting.