First Sweet Corn Harvest

This week I bought some sweet corn from the local grocery store and was a bit disappointed after husking the ears. Many of the kernels were smashed. I decided to go ahead and pick four of the ears from the garden to supplement the meal.

First four ears of corn from the garden

First four ears of corn from the garden

After husking

After husking

As you can see, two of the ears were pretty well developed but the other two could have used a few more days. I also have to admit that the flavor was just okay. I was expecting a much sweeter taste having about the shortest possible time from stalk to steamer. I’ll let the other ears hang out in the garden a bit longer and give it another try next week.

Kitchen side of gardening

While the garden has been enjoying the abundant rain this past week, I spent some of my time in the kitchen turning a few of the vegetables into tasty dishes.

Old Fashion Green Beans

First up is some Old Fashion Green Beans. Not that fresh, steamed green beans aren’t good enough, but if you add in some bacon and brown sugar they can be even better.

You know when the recipe starts off with Bacon, it does not really matter what follows. :-)

You know when the recipe starts off with Bacon, it doesn’t really matter what follows. 🙂

Bowl of green beans for dinner.

Bowl of green beans for dinner.

Trimming green bean tails.

Trimming green bean tails.

Fresh picked and cut green beans.

Fresh picked and cut green beans.

Final product. Green beans, bacon and brown sugar.

Final product. Green beans, bacon and brown sugar.

The annual zucchini crisp

At work we have a breakfast club where each member of the club takes turns bringing something in for breakfast on Fridays. Most of the time there are donuts, bagels or muffins among other tasty treats. While technically not a breakfast food, I thought I’d bring in Zucchini Crisp. I’ve detailed the making of this dish a few times before (click here for the original posting with link to the recipe) but figured I’d capture a few more pictures of the process again this year.

This year I started with a 16 inch long zucchini. I wanted to capture how much I used for future reference.

This year I started with a 16 inch long zucchini. I wanted to capture how much I used for future reference.

Peeled and sliced.

Peeled and sliced.

Removing the spongy, seed core from each slice.

Removing the spongy, seed core from each slice.

Amount of zucchini remaining.

Amount of zucchini remaining.

The zucchini magically turned into apples and mixed with a lot of sugar and cinnamon.

The zucchini magically turned into apples and mixed with a lot of sugar and cinnamon.

Next pour the zucchini mixture on top of the bottom crust.

Next pour the zucchini mixture on top of the bottom crust.

Sprinkle the rest of the crust on the top.

Sprinkle the rest of the crust on the top.

Finally, before cooking, we sprinkle some more cinnamon on top.

Finally, before cooking, we sprinkle some more cinnamon on top.

July Garden Update

I’ve been a bit busy since coming back from vacation, but that hasn’t stopped the garden. This post is a summary of the various gardening activities taking place so far in July.  The garden has been getting plenty of rain recently, with just another inch today, so as long as we continue to get sunny days in between the showers the garden should really continue to take off.

Zucchini and squash from the garden

Zucchini and squash from the garden

Sauted Zucchini

Zucchini sauted in butter and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

Sweet corn in fill tassel

Sweet corn in full tassel

So far so good, but the ears are what counts.

So far so good, but the ears are what counts.

First red tomato of 2017

First red tomato of 2017

A few bowls of green beans so far this year.

A few bowls of green beans so far this year.

Broke out the pressure canner again this year after skipping last year.

Broke out the pressure canner again this year after skipping last year.

Just eight jars of green beans canned so far this year.

Just eight jars of green beans canned so far this year.

Just tonight I picked some cucumbers, yellow squash and zucchini. Ill give you one guess as to what the one on the right will be used for later this week.

Vacation progress 2017

Making this a second annual vacation post. This year our travels again took us out west but this time we veered a little further south and ended up in Utah where we experienced the grandeur of The Might 5.

Gabrielle in front of the sweet corn the night before we left for vacation.

Gabrielle in front of the sweet corn the night before we left for vacation.

Once again, flying to the other side of the Rocky Mountains.

Once again, flying to the other side of the Rocky Mountains.

In Zion National Park we hiked the Narrows and it was awesome!

In Zion National Park we hiked the Narrows and it was awesome!

Could not pass up an opportunity for an O-H-I-O in the Narrows.

Could not pass up an opportunity for an O-H-I-O in the Narrows.

Horseback riding through Bryce Canyon National Park was breathtaking

Horseback riding through Bryce Canyon National Park was breathtaking.

Picnic lunch overlooking a beautiful view at Bryce Canyon

Picnic lunch overlooking a beautiful view at Bryce Canyon

Another view of Bryce Canyon from near Inspiration Point.

Another view of Bryce Canyon from near Inspiration Point.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie with ice cream at Capital Reef National Park. Mmm, it was good pie.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie with ice cream at Capital Reef National Park. Mmm, it was good pie.

It has been a couple days, I wonder how the garden is doing?

Double Arches at ... hmm... which park was this again? Oh yeah, Arches National Park.

Double Arches at … hmm… which park was this again? Oh yeah, Arches National Park.

Balanced Rock at Arches National Park

Balanced Rock at Arches National Park

Panorama of Canyonlands National Park at Island in the Sky.

It has been a week now, I wonder how tall the sweet corn has gotten?

Rappelling in Moab, Utah

Rappelling in Moab, Utah

Panorama of Horseshoe Bend just outside Page, Arizona.

Panorama of Horseshoe Bend just outside Page, Arizona.

Peekaboo Slot Canyon just north of Kanab, Utah

Peekaboo Slot Canyon just north of Kanab, Utah

Fun with sunlight in the Peekaboo Slot Canyon.

Fun with sunlight in the Peekaboo Slot Canyon.

We’ll be home in a couple days, I hope the garden has been doing well.

ATV Rides over the dues to the Peekaboo Slot Canyon.

ATV Rides over the dues to the Peekaboo Slot Canyon.

Gabrielle with the Sweet Corn the day we returned from vacation.

Gabrielle with the Sweet Corn the day we returned from vacation.

Looks like the sweet corn did okay while we were away. 🙂

A few stalks of corn have even got some tassels already.

A few stalks of corn have even got some tassels already.

Sweet Potatoes for 2017

Here is a post that is a couple weeks late.

I was a bit worried this year that I might not find sweet potato plants. A friend from work and I usually keep an eye out and buy them locally when we see them. After striking out at the usual spots I was finally able to find some. I have to say, these plants look to be some of the best we have had. Time will tell if they actually produce in the fall.

These were planted Memorial Day Weekend, May 28th.

Finally found some sweet potato plants at one of the local Lowes

Finally found some sweet potato plants at one of the local Lowes

Decent looking sweet potato plants this year

Decent looking sweet potato plants this year

Deep hole for the tall plants

Deep hole for the tall plants

Just the top leaves are left above ground

Just the top leaves are left above ground

All 12 plants planted

All 12 plants planted

Celebrating a milestone

This post marks the 300th post to Matt’s Garden Blog!

Who would have thought all those many years ago that I’d still be writing posts about that small patch of ground in the back corner of the yard.  My first post was all the way back in early April 2010.  The posts were not as detailed or consistent back then (that hasn’t really changed) and the images were not quite as clear.  The first image posted was a couple weeks after the blog was established using a now old and retired iPhone 3G.

First garden image posted to the blog.

First garden image posted to the blog.

The gardens have certainly grown and evolved since then. Most notable expansions are the two new garden beds and the perimeter fencing.

Installing the two new expansion beds

Installing the two new expansion beds

Garden with new perimeter fence

Garden with new perimeter fence

I’ve tried to grow a few different vegetables over the years.  I tired Broccoli a couple times, Brussels Sprouts a few years, Carrots most years, Lima Beans a couple, Onions most of the time recently, Yukon Potatoes once, Spinach quite a few times, Sunflowers, Sweet Corn for the second year, Sweet Potatoes quite a bit recently and Yellow Squash pretty consistently now that I started.

The permanent fixtures of the garden have been the Cucumbers, Green Beans, Lettuce,  RadishTomatoes,  Snap Peas and Zucchini.

I have to admit, if someone asked be how long I have been updating this garden blog, I would not have believed that this is now the start of the seventh year.  Will I make another 300 posts and/or seven years?  I guess you’ll have to stay tuned/subscribed and find out.

Happy gardening!

Next pest in the garden… Moles. 😡

Earlier this week on one of the rainy days, I made a quick check on the garden. Everything seemed okay until I noticed a raised ridge of dirt and gravel between two of the beds. After a further survey of the area, I found more tunnels leading out the back of the garden through the yard to the nearby utility box and then on to the neighbors yard and flower beds. So far at least, it/they don’t seem to be actually damaging any of the vegetable plants but are starting to make a mess of the garden. A brief search online seems to indicate that they eat insects. Hopefully the repellent will encourage them to move on to another yard.

Small mole hill beside the raised bed

Small mole hill beside the raised bed

Disturbed soil along side of raised bed

Disturbed soil along side of raised bed

Another mole hill at a corner of a raised bed

Another mole hill at a corner of a raised bed

Mole repellent

Mole repellent