Sunday, July 20, 2014

Grilled Zucchini

My garden is overflowing with zucchini and summer squash this year. Last year we had like two summer squash, so I am eating that pretty much as soon as it comes off the vine. I am needing to come up with ideas to use up the zucchini, other than bread.

Tonight for dinner, I was grilling burgers, so I decided to throw some zucchini on with them. I may have to cook it like this all the time. I had a few zucchini that were hiding under the grass that has taken over the garden, so they were kinda big. They were perfect for the grill though.

I cut the zucchini into 1 inch slices and drizzled olive oil on them. Then I sprinkled on some oregano, salt, pepper and powdered garlic.

I already had the grill warmed up because of the burgers already on it. I put the zucchini slices on the grill with the seasoned side down and then repeated the seasoning and olive oil on the other side, so both sides had herbs on it.

I cooked it for about 5-6 minutes per side. I like a little snap to my zucchini when I bite down into it. These were so yummy! My son ate his before he ate his burger. He always preferred veggies anyway, but he really isn't a fan of zucchini. I changed his mind tonight. He asked me to make them like this again.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Been a busy summer in the garden

I'm sorry I haven't been posting much. I have been really busy this summer. Between the garden and gearing up for a new homeschool year, I don't have the energy to do much more.

The weeds in the garden are out of control. It's a jungle out there! Never seen them this bad, but then again I also did not use straw to mulch like I did last year. I only did one little area with straw and there have been hardly any weeds there. I had Matt help me deal with what we had out there today. My hands has been cramping up a lot this week whenever I try to pull weeds. Last thing I need is for my fingers to get stuck in the curled position again.

 I had Matt weed whack around the fenced in area and near the tomatoes I have in the buckets. Next year I am using some cardboard to help control the weeds and grass around the garden.

I pulled all the spinach, lettuce and garlic. This left me a rather big spot of nothingness. I am thinking of planting some more carrots for my fall plantings. I need to have my fall garden plans ready to go and the seeds in the ground by the end of the month/beginning of August in order to have a harvest before the frost.

I also have some Japanese Beetles munching on my pole beans. Last year they went after my corn, which was in the spot that the pole beans are in this year. I made a trip to the nursery in the next town to get a few traps for them. These traps worked great last year and didn't cost too much. I hate to use any kind of pesticides and honestly never have. I am an all organic grower. Even the fertilizer I use is organic. Of course now they are mating like nuts. The traps don't seem to be working this year, at least near the pole beans. The corn area is bug free.

I had some more sugar snap peas to take off the vine, then I am pulling the plants. Hurricane Arthur really did a number on them. Most fell over, some broke and some got pushed and stuck to the side, but still produced a ton of peas, I am not sure if I will plant more for my fall garden. I ended up with 5 gallon bags full of snap peas this year. Some I ate raw, most I steamed for dinner. The hubby told me yesterday that he was getting sick of them and they are one of his favorite veggies! I did see a recipe somewhere for pickled snap peas. I may have to try some. I have 2 gallon bags left that I haven't blanched and froze. Not to mention what I picked today.

I just have a little bit more weeding left to do, then I can focus on finishing up my lesson plans for next year. I just have geography and writing left to plan.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Growing garlic for the first time

This past year was the first time I grew garlic. I use a bunch of it and figured I might as well try growing it to save a little bit of money.

So last fall, I went to a local nursery and bought a bag of garlic cloves. I divided them up and planted them all. I had five 5 foot rows of garlic. I had planned on sharing with my sister. I mulched with plenty of straw and watered.

Long, cold winter later and finally spring arrived. The garlic started to sprout, but hardly any of it survived. I was kinda disappointed. I pulled back the straw to see if I could find any hidden garlic sprouts. I found a few but most looked rotted.

I did have some, so in the empty spots, I decided to plant some lettuce and spinach, which went bonkers and grew a ton. You can make out the garlic mixed in with the rows of lettuce and spinach.

While the garlic was growing, I did a ton of reading. I thought I had planted hard neck garlic because it was better suited for my area. I waited patiently for the garlic scapes to show up. I started to see them in the farm stores down the street from me, but mine didn't even begin to show them.

Eventually the leaves started to turn yellow and fall over. From what I have read, I can pull them when three or four leaves are left standing. Well, my plants only had about 4 leaves, so I waited until all were yellow and fallen over. It was about 8 1/2 months from the time I planted them in the fall.

What I pulled, was not at all like I expected to see. They were purple, not white like I had planted. They were also smaller than I expected. I also noticed they had small bulbs part way up the stems, before the leaves. I couldn't cut them off because I would loose the leaves. I dried out the bulbs and brought them in the house to cure longer.

I didn't wash off the dirt. I read that it will ruin the skin that forms over the bulbs. I brushed off the dirt once the garlic was dried. You can see some of the little bulbs that formed on the stems in this picture.

Here is a closer look at the bulbs. Little baby garlic cloves.

I posted on a homesteading group I belong to on facebook as to what was going on. I was told I pulled them way to early and should have waited a few more months. The little bulbs were suppose to be cut off (not sure how I was going to cut them off without cutting off the stems).These little bulbs take away from the growing clove in the dirt. Not all the garlic I pulled had these little bulbs. Not to mention, all the leaves had turned yellow and fell over. Was I suppose to wait till they dried out totally before pulling them? Not from what I have read.

It sounds like I had soft neck garlic, which is better for the warmer climates, not my cold NH area. I am going to order some hard neck garlic from either Johnny Seeds (they are located in Maine) or Baker (where I got most of my seeds this year). I will give it a go one more year and see what happens.

Friday, July 11, 2014

How I Freeze Beets

I planted beets for the first time this year. Never grew them, so wasn't sure how they would come out. I think they did pretty well. Beets have anti inflammatory benefits, so I figured I would give them a try. Anything to help keep my inflammation from my RA down.

After I picked them all, I washed them up good. Leaving both the root and leaves on. I cut the leaves off about 3 inches above the beet and saved them for later. You can eat them too. Double food for little money.

I boiled them for about 45 minutes or so or until fork tender. Then put them into ice water. It makes taking off the skin so easy. It just slips off.

Once the skin is off and the stems and roots trimmed off, You can either cut them in slices or chunks. I did both.

Look how beautiful red they are. Love how you can see the rings in them. Because I am the only one in the house that is going to eat these, I put single serving sizes in individual bags then placed the small bags in a large freezer bag. Keeps it organized and gives it extra protection against freezer burn.

Clean up was pretty easy too. My white cutting board was covered in beet "blood". It looked like I murdered someone in the kitchen after I was done with everything. The beet juice just rinsed off, never stained me or the board.

Max was enjoying himself checking out the greens. He kept eating the grass that was mixed in with the beet greens.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Independence Day!

Hope everyone has a wonderful 4th of July. The hubby and I are heading to a party in MA. Matt has been at Boy Scout camp on Cape Cod all week long. We have Hurricane Arthur hitting us today, so praying the scouts stay safe. We head down on the Cape tomorrow to pick him up and to spend the day with a cousin of the hubby's.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Weekend Garden Update 6-28-14

I can't believe how much my garden blew up growing this past week. I swear it happened over night. I know the pole beans grow like nuts over night. I was telling the hubby that I want to set up our trail cam to take pictures of the pole beans up close so we can watch them grow up the poles. LOL

Our strawberries are slowly coming in. Not enough to do anything with, but just enough for a little snack. They are soo sweet and I swear taste better than the ones I pick at the farm up the street.

Our sugar snap peas are covered in flowers and as of today, covered in peas ready to be picked. This little handful I grabbed the first night earlier last week. I picked a bowl full the other day and have a bunch more to pick tomorrow. I have been eating them raw, straight from the vine. Yummy!

Here is the zucchini last week and below is a couple of days ago. Sure got huge!

I even have 3 little zucchini growing on just this plant alone. I can't wait to eat some!

The summer squash blow up big time too. No flowers on it yet though. I hope these do well this year. I only had one plant produce anything last year and I maybe got 4 squash from it. Our zucchini last year went bonkers and I was giving it away cause I had so much.

I am having such a hard time keeping up with the weeding. It is going to be in the 90's this coming week and very humid. I don't do good with that kind of weather at all and tend to hide inside in the ac.

*Not sure why this did not post on Saturday. Guess I either don't know how the automatic posting thing works, or it doesn't work*
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...