Archive for July, 2010

Troubles in the Garden….

Here is a shot of today’s harvest! I am getting so many yummy yellow pear tomatoes it’s so great. This basket went next door to PeeK’s (Paul, Kerry, Erin and Ellen). We are planning to make stuffed bell peppers for dinner tomorrow. I found a great brown rice recipe that we’ll try. We are also going to make some more salsa as the first batch was great and everyone wants more!

I am having trouble with my red tomatoes. I had to tear out two plants because the tomatoes were orange for about 3 weeks now and not turning red. The entire plants looked like they were dying, I think they have blight. That is a vegetable disease that attacks the plant and you have to remove it or it will spread to all of your tomatoes, so we’ll see. I hope that is the end of that but honestly my red tomatoes aren’t doing too well. Here is some info on blight: Humble Gardener on Blight

My tomatoes probably got it because I planted too many, too close (they need air circulation!) and watering them on the foliage. I know better! Since there are so many in my garden they are growing like wildfire and they are all on top of each other etc… Not allowing any air circulation, so live and learn…..I just hope the rest make it okay.

Finally landed a job 🙂 I start with United Health Care Group on 8/2 so that will probably help the garden too — I probably over tend it.


Love the Yellow Pear Tomato….

I am getting some great beans out of my garden. I have never grown beans before so wasn’t sure what to expect but all the little plants have the most gorgeous beans just hanging from them. I love to eat them while in the garden and to be honest some times I don’t even rinse them off, just chomp away — they are organic!

Here is a little basket that I harvested today. I love the yellow pear tomatoes. This basket was picked, washed and delivered to my sweet next door neighbor Ann. I put a short cut to this blog on her desktop one day when fixing her computer so she checks it out every now and then 🙂 I hope you are enjoying the fresh tomatoes, beans and onions Ann!

How is your garden coming along every one?

I hope your summer is being good to you as well.

–Colleen

Fast, fresh homemade salsa, yummy!

I have been lucky enough to not need to purchase any vegetables at the store for a few weeks now, the harvests have been bountiful! I have even given two buckets to Aunt PJ, KerryJean and our neighbors Ann and Doug/Jennifer! There are a ton of orange tomatoes just waiting to be picked which I can’t wait for because I made some awesome salsa a week ago and would love to make some more. I ended up with three jars that are now gone. That is one good reason for yellow pear tomatoes, they add a nice color. The beans are doing well too – I love to snap them off and eat them while watering. I hope everyone is having a great summer, it’s been warm here in Long Beach – almost 90˚ today and should be the same for the next few days. Below is an easy salsa recipe for your enjoyment.

Fast Fresh Salsa

  • 2 Med Tomatoes, diced
  • 1/3 Cup Onion, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 3 Tablespoon Cilantro, stems removed and chopped
  • 1/2 Jalapeno, seeded and diced

Salt & pepper to taste if you choose then mix together, cover and refrigerate.

Makes about one cup.

When I make it I do put all the ingredients in a sauce pan and bring to a boil, then let simmer about 15 minutes. This brings all the flavors together nicely and it changes the consistency from thick/chunky to thin/juicy chunky.

Enjoy!

Digging up potatoes….

Your potato plants should be ready for harvest when they appear to be dying and/or dead. I am not one to look to for advice on this subject because mine did not come out too well. They were taking up a third of row and I was getting impatient so I figured, let’s do this. As you can see — they aren’t what they should be. I think my dirt quality and looseness was not good for growing potato maybe I would do better if I tried growing them in a trash can or large pot with better soil or one of those special potato containers you can buy online. I mean these are edible, I think.

Does anyone know why they are such odd shaped? Any tips or info would be greatly appreciated!

Here are some tips and info I found online:

Here are a few tips for digging up and storing potatoes:

  • Once the plant turns crispy and brown and dead, the potatoes under the ground are finished growing.  ( I suppose this is obvious.)
  • When the plant is crispy, you can leave the potatoes under the ground for several more weeks and they will be fine.  This will toughen them up a little, which is good.
  • On the other hand, if you’re experiencing a lot of rain, you want to get the potatoes out of the ground so that they don’t rot.  Rotten potatoes don’t make good french fries.
  • Use a big spade or potato fork to dig up your potatoes.  Look for the base of the plant, then dig several inches away from the base.  There are likely to be four to eight potatoes with each plant.
  • Occasionally you will stab a potato with your spade or potato fork.  This is a bummer…and also kind of funny.  Throw those stabbed potatoes into a separate box and eat these potatoes first.
  • Green potatoes can make you sick.  Potatoes turn green when they are exposed to light. Some people say to throw away any potato that has even a little green on it.  I just cut off the green part and eat the rest.  I have lived to tell about it.
  • Russet or kennebec potatoes store the best for a longer period of time.  We usually eat up our red potatoes and yukon gold potatoes first and keep the brown potatoes in storage longer.
  • To prepare your potatoes for storing, lay them singularly on a newspaper or old sheet in a darkish room.  Cover them with another newspaper or sheet and let them sit this way for about a week.  This will help “harden them off”.   Their skins will toughen up, which will help them keep longer.
  • After your potatoes have been hardened off, put them into covered boxes or baskets.  We usually put about 15-20 pounds in each box.
  • It is VERY important that the containers for your potatoes do not allow any light in.  Light will cause the potatoes to sprout.  Without light, potatoes will not sprout for months.
  • Place your containers in a dark, cool room.  We have a room in our basement that has been great for storing potatoes.  It doesn’t have windows to allow any light in.  It is cool but not cold.
  • Cold potatoes will “sugar”.  That’s why you don’t put potatoes in the refrigerator.
  • You may want to occasionally sift through your potatoes to check for any that may be rotting.  One rotten potato can cause the whole box to rot.  It stinks (literally).
  • Potatoes will keep well for several months if stored correctly.  Ours usually last until about March, at which time we use the remaining potatoes for our seed potatoes!

Thanks to Heavenly Homemakers for this info!

Today’s harvest = tomatoes! YaY!

I have been waiting for this day! Where I can harvest more tomatoes than I need so I can share and today was the day. Wow these little babies are perfect and taste so good! Also got the green bell pepper, two round zucchini’s and the one long zucchihi – life is good. I hope you have an enjoyable 4th of July weekend – Happy Birthday USA!