Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fresh Food From The Garden

This has been a good week in the garden!  Our tomatoes are FINALLY starting to ripen.  This was the harvest from yesterday.  Some were promptly made into fresh salsa that was divine.  I could eat it everyday!

  We also harvested some cucumbers (both green and yellow) and some onions and made a fresh cucumber salad.  So fresh and crisp tasting!

Today I went out to get some heads of cabbage and more onions.  We made a slaw with cabbage (mostly green with a little red), carrots, and sweet onions.  Then we made a vinegar and oil type dressing for it and froze it for a fresh taste of summer later this winter.  I've never tried freezing it before, but the More With Less Cookbook says you can with good results, so we are trying it.

We learned a new tip today from my MIL and it works so slick...I love it!  When you want to make coleslaw, cut up your cabbage into chunks and throw in your blender.  Cover with water, put that lid on tight and chop for a few seconds.  Drain all in a colander then mix with dressing.  SO much better than grating with my box grater or by hand with a knife.  We also did this with the onions and carrots and in worked like a charm.  Highly recommended!

 Here's the cabbage in the blender

Here is all the cabbage, carrot, and onion chopped and mixed together.

Summer is the best eating all year!  Now, if that sweet corn would just hurry up!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Just wanted to share a few pics of flowers blooming in the new square foot garden.  We've been pretty impressed with SFG so far.  The plants are growing well, and minimal weeding is an added bonus!



Close-up of Sunflower

Hoping to have some pretty flowers for sale at the Farmer's Market on Saturday!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Putting Up The Harvest (Plus a Pesto Recipe)

Today I've been working in the kitchen, putting some summertime up for the winter.  First thing this morning I went out to harvest basil.  It tastes best to harvest herbs in the morning when it's cooler, the flavors in the oils are best before the heat of the day hits...although we are having a heatwave and I think it was 80 degrees already when I went out...better than 100, though!   

I made a fabulous Basil Pesto that I then froze to use later.  Gotta use up all that fresh basil while the gettin's good.  I used little jelly jars to freeze it in.  I'll use these for pizza or pasta this winter, for a fresh taste of summer!  You can also freeze in ice cube trays if you need smaller amounts.  Just pop them out and put in a ziploc when they are completely froze.

 Basil Pesto with Sunflower Seeds

2 1/2 cups basil,washed and dried
5 cloves garlic
1/2 c parmesan cheese, freshly grated
1/4 cup sunflower seeds (unsalted, but roasted)
3/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt (use less if seeds are salted)

In a blender or food processor, mix garlic, sunflower seeds, and parmesan cheese.  Add basil leaves and chop them up.  Slowly add olive oil until well combined.  Add salt and blend.  If you want to freeze, add a little oil on surface of pesto...helps to keep it fresher longer.  You can also mix your types of basil.  I'm going to use regular and lemon basil together in my next batch.

I also blanched a big batch of green beans to freeze.  I boiled them for 3 minutes, then rinsed them in cold water to cool them down.  Then all you do is bag them up in quart ziplocs and stick them in the freezer.  I ended up with almost 5 quarts.  I will hopefully be putting up more of these later.  I'm also waiting for my sweet corn to be ready to blanch and freeze a bunch of that as well. 

I had to throw a picture in of my sunflowers I picked this morning.  They are starting to bloom and look great.  I am happy with this variety from Johnny's pretty!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Making Hay: Completed.

The men were able to get out here and make hay yesterday.  The kids had fun watching them do it, too. 

 They got quite a few square bales from our smallish pasture.  They thought it wouldn't be hard to get 100 in the future, once the grass thickens up a little more. 

I also had to share another flower picture, just because they are pretty.  A couple of sunflowers and dahlias, in more milk glass of course.  Oh, and I threw my little cow cream pitcher in there too, just because.  ;)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Making Hay and Flowers

We have been trying to make some hay around here, but the weather has been less than cooperative.  The pasture has been cut, raked, and is waiting to be baled, but it keeps raining on us.  We haven't hayed the property before, so are interested to see how many bales we can get out of it (and if it would be worth the time and money to get our own baler).  We have a man coming to bale it for us.  He'll keep the majority of it for his horses, and we'll learn what our land can produce.  Better than letting it go to waste, plus we should be able to get another cutting yet.

I've also been able to enjoy some cut flowers this Summer.  These are coneflowers, zinnias, and Russian sage (all grown in our yard or garden).  They are being displayed in my recently thrifted $2 milk glass vase.  I love milk glass, and I was excited for this find, and even more excited when I saw the same exact vase at an antique store for $8!  Gotta love a good deal.