Archive for July, 2012

Squash, Zucchini, and Projects for the Day

Flower of the zucchini plant.

Flower of the zucchini plant. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We finally had some much needed rain last night.  Some time after supper it began raining and it rained for hours.  I could hear it just pouring outside.  This is wonderful for the garden and I won’t have to water the garden today.  It’s also cooled it off nicely outside.

As you probably know, I planted the garden a little on the late side, so we haven’t had a chance to enjoy much from it other than a few salad greens and some herbs.  Well, we are finally getting a bit more from the garden.  Last night we had fried squash and onions with squash fresh from the garden.  It took a few days to get enough squash, but it was worth it.  There will be tomatoes and jalapenos soon too.

I have a couple of zucchini, which we decided not to fix in with the squash.  I’m thinking about making zucchini bread.  I love the taste of zucchini bread, I’ve just never made any.  This means finding a recipe and grinding some wheat.  The recipe will be easy and I’ll probably end up modifying it.  I usually do.  The wheat will take a bit more work.

I am blessed to have an electric mill, but the thing is so loud it sounds like an aircraft taking off.  It also spews flour dust in the kitchen even though I’ve changed the filter.  I’m not sure why it continues to do this.  The solution I’ve come up with to take care of both these problems is to grind the wheat outdoors.  I just plug the mill up to an extension cord outdoors and lug a pail of wheat out too.  It’s not so loud since it’s not in an enclosed space and who cares if you get a little wheat dust on the grass.

So I guess I have at least a few projects to work on today.  I’m going to add to the list, because I’ve realized I need to do a bit of garden research to answer some questions.  As I was doing my usual morning garden walk around, I thought of a few things I didn’t know the answer to.  One, would be if carrots and onions grow in the ground, how do you know when they are ready?  I’m also wondering how long do eggplant plants take to reach maturity?

If you’ve read some of my past blog posts, you might recall that the big garden is a bit of an experimental garden.  I’ve been playing around with companion planting and trying to grow some things I’ve never attempted to grow before, such as watermelons and pumpkins.  I’m going to try to keep notes, so I know what worked and what didn’t.  For example, I know in our garden dirt, beets and bunching onions don’t seem to like it.  Neither would grow this year.  One of the things I thought interesting about Thomas Jefferson was learning he kept journals about his gardens.

P.S. – How’s that for easy?  Found a couple of zucchini bread recipes(found below) as I was finishing up this post.

What’s your favorite thing you’ve learned while gardening?  Any experiments in your garden this year?…

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Garden Vegetables…Fresh Produce Begins…

The garden is not producing a lot right now, but it’s beautiful.  Thought I would share some photos. I just came in a little bit ago from checking on the garden and doing a little weeding. Luckily I have not had much deer or rabbit damage this year.  Something nibbled a few leaves from one zucchini and one okra plant, but the plants look like they’ll be fine.  Here are some of the vegetables I picked this morning, a zucchini and a couple of squash.

Zucchini and Squash

Zucchini and Squash

This is the first year I’ve tried to grow watermelon and I’m so excited.  There are a few baby watermelons on the vines.  Here is the largest baby “sugar baby” watermelon in the garden. It’s about the size of a half dollar so far.  You can also see how hard and rough our soil is, but at least some things still manage to grow and feel at home in it.

A Baby "Sugar Baby" Watermelon

A Baby “Sugar Baby” Watermelon

Tomatoes are my favorite in a garden.  This year I planted roma and beefsteak tomatoes.  Here are a few of the roma tomatoes getting a little bigger.  I’ve been enjoying tomato sandwiches with greenhouse tomatoes from our favorite farmer friend, but I can’t wait to eat some with a fresh tomato straight off the vine.

Roma Tomatoes

Roma Tomatoes

 

 

Daughter’s 18th Birthday Wish…Beach Trip

My wonderful daughter Selena turned 18 this Sunday.  Her simple birthday wish was to take a trip to the beach.  Her, her boyfriend, her dad, and I all went.  The dogs were kept by family and friends. We went to our favorite beach, Atlantic Beach on the North Carolina coast. It’s the place we’ve gone since she was little though it’s been a few years.

We left for our trip on Sunday afternoon and it appeared the weather may not cooperate.  We had wind, rain, lightning, and saw many places without power on the way down.  We were fortunate and the storm had subsided by the time we reached our hotel in Havelock.  We ate supper, then swam in the hotel pool till 10:00pm when it closed.  The water was so nice and warm.

Early yesterday morning we finally made it to Atlantic Beach!  It was absolutely wonderful as it wasn’t too hot and there were not many people.  The water was a bit rough, but we almost stayed in it the whole time we were there.  It was so nice to swim, splash a little, and just bounce with the waves.  We even got to see a couple of pelicans swooping down trying to catch some food.  My daughter fed the seagulls.

We got ice cream from the snack shack at the beach before heading back.  She had the “screwball” ice cream she remembered from when she was younger.  The pale pink and blue one in a plastic cone with a gumball in the bottom.  One more quick stop at “Wings”, the beach souvenir shop, where she got a key chain.  It was a water filled key chain with sand and shells.

We’re back, but it was a fantastic trip.  Here are some photos(most were taken by my daughter, she’s great at photography and has a good eye) :

Selena feeding the seagulls...

Selena feeding the seagulls…

Ocean Waves

Ocean Waves

Selena and her Daddy

Selena and her Daddy

Lots of shells on the beach...

Lots of shells on the beach…

Me on the beach

Me on the beach

Lovely Beach View

Lovely Beach View