Sunday, July 31, 2011

3 peaches

I'm really surprised we have any peaches this year but we have 3.  The peach tree has been in the ground for almost 2 years now. My next assignment is to figure out how to prune the tree this fall.  Any suggestions for where to go on this? I did check the USU extension but it mostly had info for the first year.  
  Okay, so there are two in this photo.  The other one is a ways up.  They are small.  But I am just happy to be growing some fruit. Especially because we preserve 50 bottles of diced peaches each fall.  Eventually I hope to get a few bottles preserved from this tree. My husband eats them pretty quick.  He has to have something to sweeten his cereal in the morning.  He calls it horse food. 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Daisies and Pin cushions

Shasta Daisy - these are looking quite nice.  I'm sure next week I will need to take the scissors to them. Want to take better flower photos then make sure you take photos from many angles.  Of course it helps to have an f-stop of 4 or less.

Pin cushion flower just getting ready to open.

And this one is open.  I love how they look like little straight pins in the center.  And the wild flower look is really fitting around our home.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Green Onions and Yellow Onions

I decided that I like to grow onions that I can store.  So for the summer I love green onions.  Did you know they freeze well? Great for mixing into your pico de gallo. Okay, my mouth is watering just thinking about it. I can hardly wait for my tomatoes to be ready.

And my yellow onions are Big Daddy.  If you have tried to start onions from seed but haven't had much luck, then this is the brand to try.  Super easy.  Almost too easy.  And they store well.  Just pull them when they are big enough and let them dry.  Then throw them in an old milk crate or wire basket and you're done. 

My nice row of Big Daddy Onions. The one next to it isn't so big.  huh? not sure why.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Trellising Lemon Cucumbers

I love trellising cucumbers.  Although I haven't much to trellis this year.  One of them has made it to the top.  Another on the way.  The rest ... taking their time! Isn't this lemon cucumber beautiful?

You can see the blossoms here.  I can hardly wait to eat the sliced lemon cucumbers with tomatoes - oh and just pour some Marukan Rice Vinegar over it.  You might add onion if you want a bit of a punch.  Red onion is the best but any yellow onion will do.  It's a quick and refreshing summer salad.  Chill for an hour or so,  Perfection!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

So much for a DRIP system

You got to see a bunch of photos yesterday so here you go!  Just one.
Well, it looks like the drip line split open.  I better get out there tomorrow before the slugs take over the cabbage.  It's all so slow growing this year.  But you can see the dead leaves I left after harvest the first cabbage a week ago for my moo goo gai pan.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


The echinacea is starting to bloom.  I have to beat the grasshoppers to it.  Thankfully I got a few photos of it this year.  I have 3 purple cone flowers, one maui sunrise, and one hot lava.  I'll photograph the others when they are ready.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Incredible Corn Progress

The corn is Incredible.  I mean the name of the corn is Incredible.  It's an enhanced sweet corn like Ambrosia, only bigger.  And the corn stalks are a little more sturdy.  I have had to side dress it though because I did not get the stuff in the ground before planting. 

A fun close up of the corn stalk leaves.  And as you can see on my side bar I have added a few links to gardens I watch.  I realized as I looked through them that I need to show the progress of my plants.  I haven't done that much in the past.  I think it's because I thought that the harvest was the most interesting part.  So my challenge is to take more fascinating photos of their progress. 

There are only 5 rows but they are bigger than what I've grown before.  And I am no longer taking the time to boil and cut the corn off the husk.  I will blanch them and then freeze them on the cob.  My family prefers it and it's so much easier. I read recently that home gardeners biggest mistake is to make one or two long rows of corn.  They do better with 3 or more rows in a short rectangular shape.  So it sounds like we are still okay.

Sunday, July 24, 2011


I'm very lucky to live in a place where I can go camping during the summer.  I am even more lucky to be married to a man who is a much better photographer than I am, technically speaking. No way could I even capture an image like this - campfire, glowing tents, silhouetted trees, and yes - STARS.  Just click on the first image to see it larger.  The stars show up better.

Here is one of the lakes we hiked to.  The kiddos did great and it was a pleasant temperature.  The mosquitos loved it too.  This time the repellent only kept them 3 inches from our face - don't breath too deeply in swarms like that! But it was gorgeous.  We were there only a week before and it looked like this. That kind of melting explains why the reservoir we live near is still filled to capacity.

 And I love this photo with the moon in it.  That is why the sky was so light in the first image and even some bright light on the trunks of trees. But the first photo takes the cake!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Chicken and snow peas

Lets start with the smallest head of cabbage from my garden EVER.  But it was tasty, I can say that. I will grow the Columbia River cabbage again except I will put it back between the rows of corn for better shade.
 And some of the green onions I've grown too.  I love the green bunching onions.
 Purple Kohlrabi, regular green kohlrabi, and a bit of garlic (it wasn't quite ready and I hadn't cured it so it wasn't very strong). I like the garlic tops to fall over and after you pull them up you let them dry in the hot sun for 2 weeks and this is what it takes to get great flavor. Learned about that from this show although the garlic feature is no longer there.

The last of the snow peas.  They were like candy.
 Here is the cabbage all chopped up and in the pan.

And here it is beginning to cook with a little olive oil.

And here are the snow peas with the sliced water chestnuts. The nice thing about snow peas is that by the time you get sick of them, they stop growing for the season.  I'll let you know how the fall crop goes.  I haven't wanted to grow one before but having my own Honda Mini-tiller really helps! Today I added 2 more rows of green beans and 1/2 row of lettuce.

I pulverized the chicken then cut it into small pieces. Very tender that way and super fast to cook. Here is the link to the recipe I sorta used. Moo Goo Gai Pan

Friday, July 22, 2011

Garden Fresh Lettuce

I'm not terribly pleased with my lettuce yet.  Just as it takes once or twice to get a new recipe to work out perfectly, it takes a little time to perfect growing plants you're going to eat.  One of the things I've noticed though is that if I pick it, bring it inside, wash it, cut it, and place it in a bag it gets used much faster.  Romaine lettuce is just one of those things that I like having chopped up and ready to go in the fridge. It's almost done growing with the temperatures getting hotter and hotter.  I started some more inside but I might just rip the row out and put the seed directly in the ground and see how it goes.  

I tilled up the spinach and put in another 2 rows of green beans.  And I think I picked the last of the peas.  I might replace that with another row of green beans.  And then move the cattle panel over by the garlic and start a row of peas over then in a few week when it cools off a bit more. 

This year I've also tried experimenting with heirloom tomatoes because I love their taste for slicing.  I planted two in my square foot garden.  The Red Beef Steak is already out performing the Brandywine in buds and tomatoes that I can already see growing.  Now I see why my mom loves them so much.  I can't wait to slice into one of the heirloom tomatoes.  I love how they look too.  So much character.  

I've also got a few photos to share and a recipe for the snow peas. The kohlrabi is pretty, well the purple one but it's a bit tough.  I don't think I'll grow it again (except maybe to just use up the seed packs I have and edge a flowerbed with it)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Blonde Brownies ... with marshmallows

My husband loves all things S'mores.  So he took this family recipe for blonde brownies and added marshmallows.  He was in heaven.  I can't eat them because I'm allergic to wheat in all forms including white flour.  I admit that they make me drool a little. 
Just a little.

Friday, July 15, 2011


Tyler wanted to get out of the house and so we went for a hike, in the snow, again.  After we drove to Burrr Lake and got milk shakes.  Then we drove to T grove to see if the snow had melted.  It had.
If you decide to go hiking here (hopefully the snow will be gone next week), bring mosquito repellent.  They are in swarms here even with snow still on the ground.  It was disgusting.  But if you ran fast enough you could almost enjoy the view.  

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Out in the yard

It's nice to get out in the yard and play once in a while.  We are blessed that the grass has mostly filled in.   And love being out there when the sun goes behind the mountain.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


When summer arrives I love to have a huge list of things to do with my kids.  We sleep in, go to fun places, play games, eat fun summer stuff, make plenty of popsicles, camp, hike, and even put together puzzles.  It's rained a lot lately.  So we enjoyed our down time inside and put together a few puzzles.  I've also struggled with migraines this week.  If you've had one you know the pounding pain hits one side of the head and can last for up to three days.  I had one Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.  That means I've been in serious pain for a week. (I'm writing this on Saturday so hopefully I'm all better when you see this). Friday my doctor gave me a sample of maxalt.  It worked ok.  I'm seriously going to try cayenne pepper pills.  Tylenol and pepsi have been a big help too.  Thank goodness that my children are awesome and so understanding.  And thank goodness for cool puzzles and a comfy couch.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Gardening update

This is how it's looking as of Friday.  Love it and grateful for it.

Yellow columbine.  It's the biggest I've ever seen and blooming more than ever.  Must be a good year for columbine.

Corn and a little sunset.  I love silhouettes.

Day lily with some red in the center.  Very pretty.  I like the vivid reds, purples, and multicolor varieties. I purchased red and purple day lilies this year from Springhill Nursery on their 80% off sale for $1.60 each.  Can't beat that.  You can sign up for their email discounts.  Some plants I can get here for less.  So watch for the big sales.

I originally bought purple and pink.  Now there are 4 shades.  Guess they mixed but I like it.  It's a weird little plant though.  It likes to re-seed to grow.  Sometimes it grows from last year's plant.  Not always.

I love clematis.  I am trying to get several different types because some grow on old growth and some grow on new growth.  Some grow fast and tall and some stay short and wide.  It's a great vine and It's covering this terrible looking rain spout.  Now I just need a 10x10 foot trellis for the center of this wall and we're set.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

My Garden

I decided that over the years there has been something missing from my garden photos.  
The gardener...

I'm always the person taking the photos.  So I talked my husband into taking a couple of photos for me.  I can't wait to scrapbook them with photos of my plants and harvest.  I love this wire basket.  I bought it a few years ago and had it above my kitchen cabinets for decor.  But it's the best garden basket ever! And you can see why I love being in my garden.  It has the best view on our entire lot. At least until someone builds on the lot next door.  

Friday night I harvested over a pound of Oregon Sugar Peas (if you have crappy soil like me, they'll grow like crazy so go for it).  And three heads of romaine lettuce.  I harvest part of it and leave the lower part behind and it grows more lettuce.  You can see it by my left hand in the photo.  Click on it to enlarge it to see it better.  I also harvested a handful of green onions and the last of the strawberries.

And I love my mini rototiller.  Thank you Honda - my garden looks amazing this year with very little effort!