Monday, July 11, 2011

Redecorating and Harvest Monday!

I was so amazed when the man with the bobcat did not even graze my boxes in the other corner yard when he came to dig out for the pool. However, I knew that the far left 3x3 box was just going to be too close for comfort. The man put down some railroad ties to edge the pool with this weekend and whereas it did not overlap the box, they sure did come close. Even without the ties, I still found myself walking up through the boxes to get to the other side of the pool. This wasn't going to work either way. The box had to go. The other corner yard is an odd duck. It gets relatively good sun in June and July, but not sun at all in the late fall through early spring. It's also so far away from the real corner yard that I need to use a different hose to water it. This year I used it for my herbs which worked out nicely, but that one left box was actually empty right now so removing it wasn't a problem.

I was so happy and surprised when the man picked up the box and said, "Where do you want it?" I thought for sure that I'd have to give it up since I've basically used all of the other remaining space and the man needed what was left to run his lawnmower through. I was so excited to get that box to the other yard to soak up some more sun. We wound up putting it between the two boxes I put in last year.

From this vantage point, it's a bit crooked, isn't it? Anyway, it will do very well here. The deck that's going to be built around the pool may cover the last foot or so of the long box on the right. I could slide it forward a bit, but that would mean emptying the dirt, and that's a big box, so I may just leave well enough alone and let the deck cover a foot or so.

The boy wants this to be his box. We'll go through the seed box this morning to see what we can find for him to plant.

I harvested my first two long beans today! Now I don't know what to do with them. Erin said stir fry, but I don't know for how long to cook them or do I need to boil them first? I'm so helpless. I have decided that the only cherry tomato I'll plant next year is the yellow pear. The chocolate cherries are beautiful, but the skin is very tough. I'm overrun with them right now. The bag on the chopping board is also filled with cherry tomatoes. The kids want to do a veggie stand with them and the cucumbers, but the last few cucumbers I've gotten were so bitter that I'm scared to put these out there for people to take home and get the shock of their lives. There's nothing worse than a bitter cucumber.

Yesterday I made and froze some more pesto. I accidentally left out the garlic, so I wrote it on the bags to remind myself I needed to add it when used. I was able to also make my second batch of salsa using only my own tomatoes - mostly brandywine and cherokee purple. This had me very, very excited as I usually have to use store tomatoes, but the price of store tomatoes hasn't gone down this year. The difference in taste in this salsa and the one from last year is amazing. It's deeper and richer. I'm very excited about it. Now my salsa shelf is stuffed full with 14 jars. It's very exciting.

I'm off to see what the boy wants to plant - other than corn. We'll really have to look at putting in some corn early next year.

The morning comes early. Sweet gardening dreams.


  1. Very nice ! Hey, that pool would make a good planter. Just sayin'....haha. You're just canning all kinds of stuff right now, aren't ya? My salsa will be made in a few weeks, because there's still some left from last year. Haven't tried yours yet, but will let you know when I do.....

  2. Nice salsa! I love watching the cupboards fill up during the summer! Wait until you are eating chips and salsa on your new pool deck :)

    No, don't blanch those beans before stir fry - just snap the ends off and throw them in during the end of your stir fry, maybe just a few minutes. They are also good just sauteed with some olive oil and slivered almonds and a bit of salt, yum! You can blanch them and freeze them too, coil them up into bags, but the quality suffers a bit -stir fry is again really the only way to use the frozen. You could probably cut them up into manageable pieces and steam them for regular beans, too I just haven't tried it yet.

  3. I was reading a homesteading blog the other day and they were talking about bitter cucumbers. They said to cut off each end. Take the end piece and rub it around in circles on the place you just cut it off from. It makes a white foam that you wash off and is supposed to remove the bitterness. Not sure if it works, my cucumbers haven't been bitter since then.

  4. How nice to have your own canned salsa! I am jealous!

  5. Your boxes are so cute. :) What do you have for the trellising? And I'm jealous of your salsa too! I'd like to try my hand at making some this year...first time for everything... :)

  6. Nothing ever looks crooked in my garden until it's too late to move it. I think my boxes are straight, I measured and measured...nuh-uh. I think my veggie rows are straight, I put up a string....nuh-uh. Even when I use the home made seed tapes, I put them in straight and then manage to catch the end of one with the rake and pull it out of line, after it's covered up! Did that yesterday, so I'll have three straight rows of carrots next to a crooked row.

  7. You are already canning? My first tomato was just picked :) Long beans are still flowering here.

  8. I'm growing the yellow pear tomato this year for the first time. Not sure if I'll get one yet as it's been a pretty cool summer but glad to hear it's a good one.

  9. We always used to salt the cucumbers first and let them "weep" for awhile. Then, squeeze all the water out of them and you'll have the beginnings of a delicious cucumber salad. Just add pepper, olive oil, vinegar and chives. Or you can also add sour cream to the mix to make it even more interesting.

    That's a nice man you've go to move your boxes.

  10. EG, I'm not gonna lie....I've thought about that. ;)

    Erin, I totally picked the first two beans today and they made the perfect serving for the kids. The boy said they were the best he'd ever tasted. The girl...well, wait for tomorrow's post.

    Peggi, you're a genius. I just did what you suggested for my cucumbers for tonight's salad and it worked! Of course...I'm assuming it would be a bitter cucumber to begin with, but hey, it wasn't bitter so it's a win/win.

    Allison and Hanni, the salsa is so, so good and easy. You've got to try it.

    Granny, I tell myself that if I had things straight I would think there was something wrong.

    RandomG, I was able to put the tom plants out in March. We have a very, very long growing season here in GA.

    Sue, you won't regret the yellow pear. Fantastic.

    Ma, you're right. I remember that and will try it next time. The sour cream sounds right up my alley and you're right. The man's a keeper.

  11. What gorgeous little tomatoes!!!

  12. I've never had a bitter cucumber. Bitter lettuce yes. Bitter greens yes. But I've never had a cucumber be bitter on me. But then I have only grown the pickling kind. I eat them like regular cukes, but maybe they are different?