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Gardening: 2016 (midyear)


ElainaA
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Today is the first pesto marathon of the summer so I cut lots of garlic scapes and the basil. I usually get 3 cuttings of basil (I also have basil in pots near the kitchen for when I need just a little for cooking - the garden basil is mostly for pesto. If we run out of pesto before the next year's harvest my marriage might be in trouble.:P)- this is the first. This was about a quarter of the garlic scapes.

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Arlo likes to help in the garden. He especially likes fennel.

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The outside tomatoes and some of the squash. I picked the first zucchini today. In the very front you can see a few stalks of cracoviensis lettuce - also called red celtuce. Beautiful green leaves with a purple overlay. It bolts early but that's ok because it never gets bitter and you peel and cook the stalks.

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The green house tomatoes - its a jungle in there. I am clearly not as careful about pruning the suckers off as i could be. And I don't prune the determinate varieties at all. 

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 The ugly: The June honeymoon is over and the flea beetles have arrived in force. This was a very nice planting of red mizuna only a few days ago.:(

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Edited by ElainaA (log)
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If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Cicero

But the library must contain cookbooks. Elaina

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zucchini and yellow squash from co-worker's garden. He said they grew about 3" in a matter of hours after we got rain on Saturday. They will be good receptacles for stuffing!

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"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast" - Oscar Wilde

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You guys are so far ahead of me!

 

tomato plants are about 4 inches tall. I think this is a fail. Seedlings next year. Squash or courgette are looking healthy but about six inches tall, ditto sunflowers. Most beans apart from the borlotti and the runner beans are in flower, they are healthy but taking their own sweet time. Sweet peas are a washout, 3 spindly 8 inch plants that can't remember how to climb.

 

 I've grubbed out the first sowing of raab, mixed leaves and both the lines of rocket and plan to sow some more, leaving one bare because there was parsnip under it. My mixed leaves had carrot in them which was a bit random. Made Thai red curry with all the about to bolt coriander, leaving a thin fringe for seeds and hoping for a little regrowth. Dill is also growing like crazy. Basil is an inch tall :( at least I get to eat strawberries as a reward for all the weeding. 

 

I did go for a walk at work this lunchtime and pick some wild raspberries as an impromptu dessert, though, so I guess not all bad :)

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Some of yesterday's pickage.  Lemon cukes, Armenian cukes and regular cukes.  Yellow cherry tomatoes and Italian peppers.  Basil is cleaned and in the fridge ready for pesto making.

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1 hour ago, Jacksoup said:

Some of yesterday's pickage.  Lemon cukes, Armenian cukes and regular cukes.  Yellow cherry tomatoes and Italian peppers.  Basil is cleaned and in the fridge ready for pesto making.imageproxy.php?img=&key=d2a459cbdaa822cc

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Very nice garden haul, Jacksoup!

 

Anaheim? (what kind of Italian) peppers on top of the cherry tomato bowl? We all know tomatoes and peppers aren't native to Italy, although they are now firmly embedded in their cuisine.

 

If so, I am very jealous, because my grocer quit carrying them. I won't even try to make chili rellenos without them. I just can't like Poblanos or Cubanos, which are suitable for stuffing, but don't taste good to me.

Edited by Thanks for the Crepes (log)
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> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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Iv'e mentioned picking up figs from a nearby tree. So I went to pick some more - totally worth getting through those pesky burr bushes.

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As you can see, they are not as pretty as the the ones on the market, at least until you slice them, but they sure are tasty.
Those figs has a firmer and drier texture, not watery like commercially grown varieties tend to be. The cavity between the seeds is filled with a juice, perfectly clear and as thick as honey, but only gently sweet with a flowery flavor.

This plant i quite a finding, it was probably untouched for years... I was also surprised by having zero bugs in the fruits I picked, as figs are quite notorious in that aspect.

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~ Shai N.

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Normally, the squash borers would have had their way with my plants by now, but this year, thankfully, it's not the case. The first time I ever cooked squash for Deb, it was politely pushed aside in a motion that, much to her chagrin, I have repeated from time to time to indicate something is distasteful. This year, with a bit of creative seasoning and experimentation she has actually come to enjoy it. I feel like a winner on two fronts.

HC

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Edited by HungryChris (log)
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@HungryChris

 

Sara Moulton has a recipe for grated zucchini sauteed with some chopped onion and seasoned with lemon zest and thyme which is a revelation. 

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Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

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This EG thread covered the zucchini topic, with many good suggestions.

https://forums.egullet.org/topic/26733-zucchini-bumper-crop/?page=1

 

I wrote a post with 3 recipes dated 8/3/2010.

 

Since then I've learned to sun-dry zucchini from Rosetta Costantino (My Calabria).

 

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You have to use those big unpopular zucchini for sun-drying. The young tender ones fall apart. The sun-dried zucchini taste very good, with a firm texture. I cook Rosetta's recipe: reconstitute the dried zucchini, then sauté in olive oil with garlic, salt, Spanish paprika, and hot pepper flakes.

 

https://books.google.com/books?id=86R77RdzTj8C&pg=PA248&lpg=PA248&dq=costantino+my+calabria+zucchini+seccati+al+sole&source=bl&ots=vY2mLINxd7&sig=6DHobIr2FQRWdKpvVExfWVUqSY4&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj5yveX6PPNAhVW_mMKHQj7C8kQ6AEIHDAA#v=onepage&q=costantino%20my%20calabria%20zucchini%20seccati%20al%20sole&f=false

 

Also here:

 

http://ediblenutmegmagazine.com/zucchine-seccati-al-sole/

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@HungryChris   My summer squash (both green and golden zucchini) ae just getting underway - which means by next week I'll be overwhelmed. I want to replicate the crustless zucchin and ricotta quiche that @liamsaunt recently posted in the dinner thread. And then every other thing I can think of. And the big ones get shredded and made into zucchini bread, We only recently finished the last one that I froze last year. 

I am going to search out the recipe Anna mentioned also.

(Do you know why people in the country lock all their doors in July and August? If they don't when they come home their house is full of zucchini.) :P

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If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Cicero

But the library must contain cookbooks. Elaina

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Back in the day when we grew a large garden, I was one of the first in the area to grow zucchini.  Can you believe that I actually sold the extras to the local grocery store.  I felt so damn cocky to go in the store with food and walk out with cash.  The produce manager was a real flake and didn't know diddly about his stock.  In fact I convinced him that once an avocado got the least bit  soft, it was no longer prime and he would make them waaaay down for me.  I was "nice" enough to take them off his hands.  Great fun while it lasted and I sure do miss him.  

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I must have blinked - I swear I checked yesterday. The zucchini explosion has begun. (spoon for scale). I'll make applesauce today so that i can bake zucchini bread tomorrow.

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If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Cicero

But the library must contain cookbooks. Elaina

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No pics, but I picked a washing up bowl of rainbow chard, spinach beet and the thinnings from the oriental tree spinach for dinner tonight, which was simply sauteed with lemon juice and butter. Oriental tree spinach rejected by hubby as too furry (which is a shame as the colours are so pretty!).

 

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(not my pic, I was being lazy - evabotanicals.co.uk)

 

Otherwise a success, which is a big success, as he hates greens normally :)

 

 

Edited by Tere (log)
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This morning's 'pickage':

 

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Clockwise from left: the last of the lettuce (pleasantly surprised I've been able to keep it going this long), Portugal Hot peppers, pickling cucumbers, Jalapeno peppers, Cocozelle zucchini and mixed bush beans (I do a new planting every two weeks so I'll be harvesting them until first frost).

Still pining for that first tomato.

 

 

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I know it's stew. What KIND of stew?

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1 hour ago, Wayne said:

 

This morning's 'pickage':

 

July 15 002.JPG

 

Clockwise from left: the last of the lettuce (pleasantly surprised I've been able to keep it going this long), Portugal Hot peppers, pickling cucumbers, Jalapeno peppers, Cocozelle zucchini and mixed bush beans (I do a new planting every two weeks so I'll be harvesting them until first frost).

Still pining for that first tomato.

 

 

You and me both!

 

Nice pickage :) 

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I confess I find it hard to understand why folks who have an abundance of zucchini plants and/or zucchinis/squashes to harvest don't simply pick them when they are teeny, preferably with the flowers on, or when they are just very little guys. One does not HAVE to let them develop to full size. The tiny guys with flowers on both reduces the crop and also affords one the ingredient for other sorts of wonderful dishes and preps. Or, even, just simply pick the flowers. Squash flower soup, which requires a lot of flowers, would swiftly reduce the incipient crop of squashes/zucchinis. In the event that the plants "get away from you" - why not simply just leave the excess zucchinis alone, or trash/mulch them. There will be more coming, if you are not picking the flowers. 

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@huiray   I would love to use the squash flowers but sadly they are magnets for cucumber beetles - rendering them uneatable, at least to me. And the weather this year is making the insect problems huge. The squash vine borers have not shown up yet but I expect they will. The squash grow so quickly that it is difficult to catch them all small. And I like some large ones for stuffing and for zucchini bread. And the local food pantry and Loaves and Fishes are very glad to get the excess - to me that is a better use than putting them in my compost. Although if we go away for more than two days there will be some so big they are worth nothing but compost.Also - can you really be a country gardener if you don't have a plethora of zucchini? :D

Edited by ElainaA (log)
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If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need. Cicero

But the library must contain cookbooks. Elaina

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58 minutes ago, huiray said:

I confess I find it hard to understand why folks who have an abundance of zucchini plants and/or zucchinis/squashes to harvest don't simply pick them when they are teeny, preferably with the flowers on, or when they are just very little guys. One does not HAVE to let them develop to full size. The tiny guys with flowers on both reduces the crop and also affords one the ingredient for other sorts of wonderful dishes and preps. Or, even, just simply pick the flowers. Squash flower soup, which requires a lot of flowers, would swiftly reduce the incipient crop of squashes/zucchinis. In the event that the plants "get away from you" - why not simply just leave the excess zucchinis alone, or trash/mulch them. There will be more coming, if you are not picking the flowers. 

 

I agree with you that they're best picked 4-6 inches long (as were these) and checking the plants first thing in the morning and again in the early evening. I've got two plants and that gives me plenty of steady production for immediate consumption and making pickles that will hopefully last until next season. This morning's flowers ended up in an omelette.

That said some get missed as I'm not about to give up any fishing time just to watch the zucchini grow xD.

 

 

 

 

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I know it's stew. What KIND of stew?

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