Posts Tagged ‘Tomatoes’

Summer Gardening and Pizza!

Summer is in full bloom and though there was no big garden this year, the couple of raised beds my daughter helped me build are coming along nicely. I haven’t had the first tomato off yet. I think they were a bit late, because we’ve had an odd summer so far. Until recently it’s been raining more than usual and the temperatures have been cooler than our norm for this time of year.

The tomato plants are full of green tomatoes and growing taller than the tomato cages. I went outside today trying to figure out some way to keep the vines from falling over so much. I’m afraid they’ll break off. I ended up tying some twine around a couple of the branches to kind of gather them together for support, then tied the other end of the twine to the top of the stake holding the cucumber trellis on one side and the top of a neighboring tomato cage on the other side. (Sorry the picture’s not better—from phone as computer won’t recognize the camera card for some reason.)

Tomato and Cucumber Plants

Tomato and Cucumber Plants

All of the tomatoes are beefsteak except for one roma tomato plant that survived(unfortunately the goat ate my other ones at the beginning of the season—a tale for another day). In the front of the tomatoes in the second raised bed are the cucumber plants trailing up the piece of fencing and some jalepeno plants. The fencing was a leftover piece from last year’s garden. There are lots of blossoms on the plants and a couple of small cucumbers beginning…a little over an inch long with lots of prickles.

The first raised bed has two tomato plants on the end nearest the second bed. The rest of the bed has bell pepper plants and nasturtium flowers at the front in a beautiful array of yellow, orange, and red blossoms. I’m glad I planted the flowers. I know they’re edible, which I haven’t tried to do yet, but they add a nice pop of color to enjoy. There are a few plants in pots too : basil, another beefsteak tomato plant, and an eggplant(it may or may not produce—it’s been kind of puny looking).

I’m not too worried everything is a little late producing as thankfully we have a rather long growing season in NC. I need to look at trying to plant a few things for fall, but haven’t gotten that far. It’s been busy around here just with day to day stuff and caregiving. I’m trying to get back to blogging more and will try to share a few more recipes.

I’ve been enjoying doing more with whole wheat flour. I even made homemade pizza from scratch tonight…all the way from the crust to the pizza sauce(just not the cheese and I don’t see cheese making in my near future…lol). It may not be cheaper than frozen; but it is cheaper than take out(we’re so rural we don’t have delivery), healthier, and boy does it taste good!

 

 

Advertisements

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

 

 

Tiny Treasures

Rabbit rabbit Alongside road to the mill.

Rabbit rabbit Alongside road to the mill. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Everyday seems to have a bit of adventure in it somewhere.  Sometimes it’s in tiny bits of treasure found in the yard.  In the early mornings I love to go outdoors while it’s cool and there is still dew on the grass.

This morning there was a big brown rabbit sitting on the left of the driveway.  Even after I went outdoors he didn’t get startled and run away.  He just hopped a little bit further.  I like to think the animals are not scared in our yard and know it’s safe.  Deer linger longer as well.

I was so excited to find small “pea pods” in the little garden!  Everyday I have been looking and seen flowers on the plants, but no pea pods.  Excuse my overzealous excitement, but this is the first time ever I’ve grown peas and they made it long enough to get pods.  This time they are in the protection of the garden fence and safe from deer nibbling.

There are now pretty yellow flowers on the cucumber plants finally as well.  The cherokee purple tomato plant has about 4 small green tomatoes on it.  The largest is about the size of a plum.  Lettuce and the other herbs are growing bigger.  I know I keep saying it, but hopefully fresh salad soon.  Will only be a lettuce and tomato salad, but at least it will be fresh from the garden.

Yesterday morning it was still a little damp, but I decided to work on the little shade sitting area in the yard.  I raked the fallen leaves and those spiky gumballs from the trees up leaving bare ground, which is much nicer to walk on.  After clearing the area, I rearranged the benches, one on each side of the square raised planting bed.  There were treasures in the planting bed I unearthed beneath the leaves, an apple-crested maidenhair fern and some variegated hostas.  Both growing nicely!  Now I won’t have to plant everything from scratch in the bed.

The shade bed had not been tended to in about 2 years, so I was amazed anything was still thriving in it.  I gave up on it for a bit as the goats and chickens were eating anything I’d plant in it.  The last time my hosta was hanging from one of the goat’s mouths I thought it was a goner.  Another small project in the shade area is to take down the old string of lights I had strung between trees on both sides and replace it with new ones for soft night time lighting.  I’ll share a picture once I get it a little more spruced up.

Vegetables Almost Here…

It rained last night.  It’s rained a lot lately.  I think instead of April showers, it’s May showers.  It’s good though, the rain is helping everything grow lushly and has refilled the neighbor’s pond as well as other water supplies. 

I walked out to check on the garden this morning and there are beautiful flowers on the sugar dwarf peas.  The tomatoes are green, but there are tomatoes and they are getting bigger.  These tomatoes are the cherokee purple ones.  The other tomatoe plants do not have any tomatoes on them yet.

Pea Blooms

Pea Blooms

Enjoying this time of year as long as it lasts.  Not too warm yet and still really nice to be able to get outdoors to get projects done.  Have to wait till it dries up a bit, but hope to get the big garden planted this weekend.  Still have baby plants needing desperately to be planted.