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. ūüôā

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.

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,  Radish, Tomatoes,  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!

Progress in the garden

A quick check on the garden tonight and I was happy to see some more plants emerging. No need to write a big preamble here, the pictures and captions should suffice.

Nice circle of peas

Nice circle of peas

First sign of a green bean

First sign of a green bean

Zucchini from seed has made an appearance

Zucchini from seed has made an appearance

Sweet Corn has also joined the party

Sweet Corn has also joined the party

Brandy Boy tomatoes are looking a nice shade of green

Brandy Boy tomatoes are looking a nice shade of green

Lettuce started indoors has started to look good this week

Lettuce started indoors has started to look good this week

 

Spring Garden update

A quick check on the garden tonight and even though it was a bit cooler and cloudy today, the garden seems to be off to a decent start. New plants sprouting and the early planted plants are not looking worse and in most cases actually improving.  Once we get through a chilly morning tomorrow, the weather looks to warm up and get sunnier so I am anticipating some more good growing days ahead.

First Pea plant has emerged

First Pea plant has emerged

Just three days in the ground and here are the radishes already

Just three days in the ground and here are the radishes already

Lettuce sprouts are also making an appearance

Lettuce sprouts are also making an appearance

This Brandy Boy tomato seems to be enjoying its new home. Nice and greed with new leaves already starting.

This Brandy Boy tomato seems to be enjoying its new home. Nice and greed with new leaves already starting.

Zucchini with a bloom already.

Zucchini with a bloom already.

Not sure what to make of the early blooming zucchini plants. I wonder if it is perhaps a sign of distress. I guess it is possible starting them inside earlier than I should have as well as being cramped into the smaller container messed up its development cycle.

All in now

Another great day today and I decided to roll the dice and go all in with planting the garden. The 10 day forecast has nothing colder than 44 degrees and many more days in the 70s and even 80s. So, after work I went out to the garden and got to planting.

Planted today:

  • Pole green beans
  • Zucchini plants and seeds
  • Cucumber plants and seeds
  • Yellow squash seeds
  • Sweet corn
  • Kale

Most of these are just repeats of the tried and true from previous years. ¬†I will record a bit more details about the Sweet Corn since this is just year two and last year didn’t go as well as I would have hoped. ¬†This years variety is Kandy Korn. ¬†Lesson number one from last year was to not over plant and make sure to leave a little room for the plants to grow. ¬†This year I cut back on the number of seeds I planted and have about 18 seeds planted in each of the four rows. ¬†I also tried to stagger the seeds by placing the adjacent row’s seeds in the middle of the two neighbors.

According to the Kale seed packet, it is recommended to plant it in a container.  I retrieved one of the old pots from the garden and planted some Kale in it.  I will follow up in a couple weeks with a second back to try and extend the harvest a bit.

Pole beans planted around the bean tower

Pole beans planted around the bean tower

Zucchini home for 2017. Plants in back, seeds up front.

Zucchini home for 2017. Plants in back, seeds up front.

Cucumbers. Three plants and four seeds planted.

Cucumbers. Three plants and four seeds planted.

Sweet Corn. This year's variety is Kandy Korn.

Sweet Corn. This year’s variety is Kandy Korn.

Watering the seeds

Watering the seeds

Needing some room to grow

I’m afraid I might have started some my seeds a bit early. The tomatoes are fine but the lettuce, cucumbers and zucchini seem to be growing faster than spring weather is getting here.

To give some of the plants a bit more elbow room, I transferred about half over to some 3 inch pots.

I also received my onion plants in the mail this past weekend.  I checked the garden tonight and it is still too wet to plant.  Tomorrows weather looks like a great day, but I am not too confident that a single day will dry out the soil enough to prep it for planting.

Crowded seedlings

Crowded seedlings

Angle view of the crowded seedlings

Angle view of the crowded seedlings

Transplant in progress

Transplant in progress