Garding the Garden

Iyellow guess it’s about time for a garden update! I am pleased to announce my “hastily planted” tomato bushes survived all the cold snaps and are doing well. So far, I’ve had a few too many BLTs with their delicious red fruits. The yellow tomatoes are also doing well. I can’t wait to take a few more pictures of these little guys. They’re so pretty!

The cucumbers are behaving as if they’ve been fertilized (I keep forgetting to 136buy it at the store) or mutated (we live kinda close to a plant and the Mississippi River). We left for a four-day trip with tiny little baby veggies on the vine. This nearly 1 and 1/2 foot monster is what we found when we got home:

Today, I attacked the grass problem we have this year. I’m not sure how to get rid of it without harming the plants, so I’ll just have to be more vigilant about pulling it out before it gets out of hand.

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Warm and Crazy

030I added a few twinkle lights to my impulively purchased, hastily planted tomato bushes to help them survive the weekend’s hard freezes. I covered them with a couple of light towels, too. I’m either protecting them or cooking them – I’ll keep you posted on which! Crazy Louisiana weather…or crazy Louisianian planting tomoatoes too soon? Don’t answer that.

In other news…

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Oscar, the composting bin is busy making magic with my kitchen scaps. Here’s how we “stir” that up! (Get it?)

Spring’s Coming Early, Right?

045It took me precisely two hours from when I saw the Inner Circle drag that poor little groundhog out of his burrow to get myself dressed, haul my kids to the farmer’s market, purchase two tomato plants and plop them in the ground. In short, I am ready for the spring season to start in our little backyard garden.

The next week, we headed to Florida leaving these little newbies to brave what I hope is the last of winter. I’m lifting up hopes for warmer weather to come soon!

I’ll be eating those words come July…Y’all feel free to mock me then.

Brussels Last Stand

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We’re still getting a little lettuce from the garden, but this weekend I gathered up enough Brussels for one serving of maple bacon spouts for dinner. These little plants have slowly been growing throughout the fall and winter, while we’ve been doing homework, going to gymnastics and being generally busy.

There’s nothing like harvesting veggies from your own garden. These little guys are no exception. They were more tender and sweet than any I’ve bought at the store.

Maple Bacon Brussels
2 cups Brussels sprouts
2 strips of bacon
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 maple syrup
Sea salt and black pepper

Wash and peel any damaged leaves from the sprouts. Flash boil them with a little salt for five minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Chop them in slices or quarters.

Cook bacon in a Dutch oven. Stir in butter until melted. Whisk in syrup. Gently stir in the sprouts and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook on medium to low for about 15 minutes or until the sprouts are tender.

Dragging out the Inevitable

007Lettuce

Well, it’s about time to report on the garden. We have had small successes like the lettuce, small failures like the tomatoes, and states of limbo like the Brussels sprouts.

Mother Nature has presented us with a mostly mild, but occasionally biting winter. Father Time has offered a more hectic fall schedule than usual.

It’s time to close the book on the fall garden. I’ll be looking forward to the rebirth that comes with the New Year and eventually the spring planting season!

 

Stunted…

If you’re wondering why I haven’t posted pictures or updates on the fall garden, it’s because any picture would look exactly the same as the last one – taken weeks and weeks ago. Feh. This late fall heat and very little rain, has everything at a standstill. I’ve fertilized about once a week, but not much is happening.

We have some hope in a couple of the Brussels sprouts plants and the lettuce. Keeping my fingers crossed for a couple good salads and at least one serving of bacon sautéed Brussels sprouts! Hope springs eternal.

Back in Business

Saturday, after a brief, shall we say, hissy fit (I may have actually stomped my foot) at the garden store, I was able to track down the last few tomato plants in the city. Apparently, one needs to camp out at the garden store – new iPhone 5 style – to get vegetable plants in the fall. None of this one-visit-a-week, pussy footing around.

Okay, enough ranting and raving. Here’s the brand new setup with brand new plants. At the moment, we have Creole and Better Boy tomatoes, green bell peppers, jalapenos and some Brussels spouts. I also planted two kinds of lettuce from seed and shoved a few fridge-found green onions in the ground last night.

My attitude is a lot more on the practical side knowing we’re short on time and daylight this season; and, I no longer live in a bug-free dreamland. So, I’m cautiously optimistic about our success this fall. Stay tuned!

Double Trouble

Save it ladies, he’s taken!

With this faint cool snap (we live in Louisiana, we take what we can get), I gave in to fall fever and set about preparing the vegetable garden for another season of amateur cultivating. We bought another box kit and my dear husband, bless his patient soul, doubled the size of the garden. What? Double? During the most hectic time of our year? What the heck were we thinkin’?!?

This season’s journey will either be a dramatic series of highs and lows or a flatline of neglect thanks to afterschool sports and hours of homework. Only time will tell! 

Here’s the plan!
Wish us luck!