Wednesday, June 25, 2014

More Harvests from the Kid's Garden

Yesterday before I left work I got out to the garden and pulled the onions. Some of them formed small onions and some of them didn't do anything at all. The red onions did the best and the yellow ones did the worst.

And while I was out there I picked the tomatoes. Some need to ripen a little more but the birds are eating the red ones so I picked them a bit early to save them from the birds.  These tomatoes are red, yellow and red with green shoulders. The red ones are Celebrity, the yellow ones are lemon boy and the red with green shoulders should be Mr. Stripey.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Our New Farmer's Market!

It was the ladies in the Human Resources office (they have any office inside our Club) who told me that a Farmer's Market had been started in town. It is open Saturday mornings from 8:00 to 12:00. Phil and I forgot about it last week but we got there this week.
It's real small and located on one of the few old brick streets still left in town. The street really isn't used now and is basically an alley between the old buildings.
When I say small, I mean --real small. There were only 8 tables this weekend when we went. I stole this picture off of the website because I forgot to take one. This picture makes it look like a lot more than it is but if you count umbrellas, there were only 8 tables the day that picture was taken too.

But small does not mean that they didn't have anything good to offer. We found several good things to  buy and we wanted to support this market so that maybe it could grow so we bought from 5 of the 8 tables.
One table gave us a spoon with a sample of some of the best grits I have ever eaten and we bought this 2 lb bag from them for $5. Worth every penny.

Phil got himself some blueberries and tomatoes. I could not find the tomatoes when I went to take this picture so I take it they were pretty good. 

I also got some cucumbers (also gone today),a pint of honey $8 and a couple of black eyed-Susan plants for a dollar each.

There was a man selling grass fed beef out of a freezer as well. I would have liked to get some of that but it was just a little too expensive but maybe next times we'll try a little. There was also a table with just natural cleaners and I didn't buy anything from that table so maybe next time on that one too. They are supposed to have music some weeks and I will be interested to see that as well.
Anyway, the market runs through September and I hope it really catches on and gets even more tables.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A Harvest from the Kid's Garden

Some of you have asked me about the kid's garden at the Club. Unfortunately, I have hardly no time to get out there and it has been horribly hot here lately. I can't take kids outside when it is that hot. I thought maybe I could take them in the morning but my 7:30 when I get there it is already too hot. I did make a quick run out to it today though and this is what I brought in. Even with all the grass weeds that are growing in the beds, they are still producing just fine.

There are a lot more tomatoes and peppers out there but there aren't at lot of squash and the pattypan squash has done the worst so far, the peppers have done the best with the tomatoes running a close second. No cucumbers. The heat beat them right away and very few carrots as the soil in our beds needs more organic matter, I think, it is a bit hard and sandy. We got strawberries but the ants eat them before we can get them. We had a few blueberries too but not many. Most of the herbs that survived the late frost are still looking good but the beans are suffering in the heat.
Here is a picture my boss took.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

They had rhubarb at one of the grocery stores I went to this week. We don't get rhubarb down here often and they stick the strawberries right next to it--on sale--when they do.
When I was a child we had a patch of rhubarb in the yard and we children would go steal stalks of it to eat. My mother thought this was silly but we didn't get many treats so we took what we could get. My mother never did use any of it though I am sure my grandmother who's house it had been, once used it as it was a well taken care of, large patch. Anyway, it is a shame my mother never used it. My mother could cook but she wasn't real fond of cooking so she wasn't real adventuresome with her cooking.
Anyway, as I was saying, the rhubarb was on sale and I got several stalks...just over a pound...and two pints of strawberries so I could make pie.
I started making the pie early on Sunday because it is ridiculously hot here now and the house is constantly hot so no one really wants to cook anything...but we had to have that pie...
Things went pretty well until I did the crust. Like I mentioned it is hot which made my shortening real, real soft and made the crust too wet and it just wanted to tear and stick no matter what I did (and I am usually fairly good at crusts) until I got frustrated and threw it all in the trash and started again...with less shortening. The second crust went fine.
I put a cookie sheet underneath the pie in case it spilled over when cooking. From now on I will go with foil as I now have a pan that I doubt will ever come clean and an oven that needs cleaning as well.
And here it is...

Without a doubt the best pie I have made in a long time even with the spill over. It wasn't too sweet and it wasn't tart at all. It was just right. Plus the crust was so good and flaky!

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Around a pound of rhubarb, cleaned and chopped
2 pints of strawberries, pitted and sliced
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 T. lemon juice
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
 pastry for double crust 10 inch pie

Combine first 6 ingredients in a bowl. Prepare bottom crust. Pour in filling. Make top crust. Put FOIL all under where the pie goes in the oven. Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes on 425 degrees, then turn down to 375 and bake 50 minutes longer.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Potato Harvest and a Few Others

I don't get a lot of time during the summer to pay a lot of attention to the plants because we go into summer camp at work and instead of going in at noon I have to be there around 7:30 a.m. but today I got out to see what we had and I found these on the cherry tomato bush which I have moved out of the greenhouse into the sun more by the front porch. These aren't getting a lot more fruit on them, maybe I need to add some fertilizer.

Then I took a trip down to the garden. It is quickly being over run by poison ivy, poison oak and weeds.  I just don't have time to take care of it but there are still things growing despite my neglect. The herbs are doing great. I actually think they are doing better than when I take care of it and weed and water.  This is the oregano that I planted a few years ago. It has just taken over half the bed. 

And here is the sage and thyme which has never grown better. I am going to go back down in a few minutes and harvest some of these as I am out of both.

Then there was this pepper. This is one of the hot banana peppers. There is another one down there too but it needs to grow a bit more.

We then decided to dump the potato pots out and see what we had gotten. This is what they looked like before. They were eaten up and fallen over. 

 This is a big pot, probably 5 gallons at least and this was all we got. I have to say though, I was pretty pleased. The size of some of them was a lot better than any I had grown in my garden and they were much nicer and cleaner.

The second pot did slightly better but it was also slightly larger being a round tub with the rope handles. There were lots of nice roots in this pot so I know it had gotten enough waterings. 

 Here they are all cleaned up. I think I would definitely do them in pots again although maybe they don't need as large a pot as I thought.