We’re working on it.
I hope you all had a relaxing holiday weekend. I spent most of it in the back yard working on the garden and grass (or lack there of). We only have a few more things to plant on the patio and then we can sit back and watch it all grow. I’m crossing my fingers for the second round of grass seed we put down. Don’t let the green in the photo fool you. It’s 90% weeds with a few patches of grass around the edges.
I also spent some more time helping out at the Fulton Farmers Market on Saturday. I went towards the end when I would be starting to help with the clean up. By the time I got there a lot of the easy to grab greens and veggies had been sold which was great for the farmers but not so great for me. I made up for it with a run to Kingfield market on Sunday morning for fresh salad fixings. Even with the cooler weather this weekend both markets were busy. I hope it keeps up that way for the rest of the season, I’ll just have to try and get there earlier to make sure I get what I need!
In my travels last week I got to check out the Momofuku Noodle Bar in NYC. Not exactly local but look at that noodle bowl! So good! I got their namesake Momofuku noodle bowl as well as some pork dumplings (missed getting a picture of those). Both were really, really good. You could easily share the dumplings and noodle bowl. I was stuffed by the time my bowl came to the table.
I also tried some New York brew while in town, Porkslap Pale Ale. It was sold to me as a hoppy IPA, not so much. It was an easy drinker, light on the bitter hops taste. The can itself sold me on trying it though. It must be the Iowa farm girl roots.
Well, spring is really here! It might have made a jump in to summer (93 today) but I’m not going to complain, it feels amazing! I didn’t make it in last week to say hello because The Hubs and I were finally able to get in the yard and start prepping and planting. This is what most of our nights after work looked like.
Oh yeah, and we built a shed! It’s a snap together, kit we picked up, took a solid afternoon. It’s going to come in handy storing garden supplies this summer. It kind of makes me want to paint our house to match. This picture would be even better if the lilacs were in bloom and I’d moved the pooper scooper…
As far as the actual garden goes, we got the main plot cleared, tilled, composted, and planted. We’re trying onions, lettuce and chard in a few little rows.
Next to that, we’ll have 6 squash; zucchini and butternut. We used our mini flower pots to remember where the seeds are. We’ll take them off once things start to sprout.
Last we’ll have cucumbers for pickling.
Oh, and those tomato seeds we started a couple of weeks ago, well look at them now!
These babies will go in the ground pretty soon. We’ve been placing them out in the sun during the day now that it’s warm. There are 9 plants of each type of tomato so we’ll be able to pick out the best of the best when they’re ready to plant. We still have to plant the smaller plant on the other side of the yard, plus all the pots on the patio. Hopefully we’ll finish it all up this weekend.
Oh yea! I’m also going to volunteer at the farmer’s market this weekend! I’m really excited to help but even more excited for it to be starting back up again. I’ll be picking up some goodies for sure!
I know I’ve been beating a dead horse around here, but it’s still not really spring yet. We tried to get a start on our gardening and planted some tomato seeds inside. I’m hoping we get some more sun, even if it doesn’t get warmer, so they get a chance to sprout. Technically, we’re supposed to plant our root veggies like onions and potatoes this weekend but unless something changes drastically, I don’t see that happening.
In other news, I’ve got a couple of busy travel weeks happening, so I won’t be around here very much for the next two weeks. I’ll try and pop in but regular posting probably won’t resume until the week of the 29th. Talk to you soon!!
Well, we have a winter storm watch/warning later this week with accumulating snow, awesome. In spite of the lack of spring, we’ve finally gotten our full garden planned out. We’re expanding a little on to our patio with the herbs and trying to grow some new veggies on both sides of the yard. We cut out the summer squash and switched some for Butternut squash. We’re also trying a couple different varieties of potatoes, the basic white and some cool blue potatoes, both of which will be in the large garbage cans like last year. We’re going to give salad greens and swiss chard a try too.
It’s hard to believe some of my Facebook friends have already been out in their yards with full garden beds sprouting. I’m definitely a little jealous about that. We’ll keep doing what we can in the meantime, we start our tomatoes in doors this week and are ordering the remaining seeds we need this week. We’re supposed to get up to 50 this weekend, cross your fingers for me that it sticks around this time!
Happy April Fool’s! Did you guys pull any good pranks today? I’m not very good at keeping a straight face in situations like that. I usually end up giggling and telling someone what I was going to do instead. I’d make a horrible con-man.
Anywho, this weekend we had a quick blast of warm weather, up into the 50′s! We took the warm up as an opportunity to get out and thin out our raspberry bushes before they started to bud and it got to late. They got pretty overgrown last year and hard to harvest. Here’s what we were looking at Friday afternoon when we got started.
A few snags and scratches later, this is where we ended up.
We trimmed one day and then went back and tied them to supports the next day. Here’s the video we used as a guide. We have a different variety of raspberries than those in the video but it was pretty much the same process.
The only difference is our berries are ever bearing so our good stalks had some dried little branches we popped off where new buds were forming. I’m hoping the thinning we did will make them easier to pick and help promote growth of some new stalks for the next year. Getting out and doing some gardening got me itching to get back to the back yard garden too! I’m working up a new plan that I’ll share with you later this week!
With Daylight Savings Time this week, we’ve had sunsets at 7p.m. all week! It’s so amazing to leave work in the sun! That being said, it’s also got me hankering to work in the garden despite the fact it’s still covered by about a foot of snow. Since that’s not an option, I’ve started gathering ideas of thing to try.
First, I want to try growing potatoes in a garbage can another shot. We had pretty decent results last time and I’m hoping that with a little more rain this year it will be even better.
On the new project list, what I’m most excited about is trying to do some gutter gardens. I think this would be an easier way to manage herbs and grow some lettuces as well as maybe keep squirrels at bay.
With the space potentially freed up by moving the herbs, I want to take another stab at growing some beans and peas. I thought this bicycle wheel idea was pretty cool for a climbing line. This might also work if we end using some extra garbage cans for beans.
With all these exciting ideas, what we’ll really have to do first is prune up our raspberry bushes. It’s a pretty tangled mess right now and harvesting the berries was a little challenging. This video from The University of Maine’s is what we’re going to use as a guide. I’d like to get out there and start cleaning it all up as soon as the snow melts enough to clear a path.
I’m going to have to psych myself up to go out there with the cold temps but, we’ll need to do it before things start warming up too much. I’ll just have to keep telling myself it’ll be worth it come July!
Earlier this week The Hubs and I dug in (literally) to our garbage tubs to see what we had for potatoes and onions. Since I last shared photos, the onion greens had really shriveled up and our potato leaves had started to brown too. Both signs that they were finished and ready to dig up.
The Good: The potatoes. I was a little nervous about how many we would get. We didn’t ever add the third load of dirt we were supposed to according to the directions we’d found online, and with our extra hot summer, I was afraid the browning we took for ‘finished potatoes’ was actually ‘I’m thirsty, why aren’t you watering me?’. Thank goodness the former was true. We didn’t quite make the 100 pounds of potatoes I was hoping for, but we have a pretty full bowl and a range of sizes. It turned into a bit of a treasure hunt to sift through the dirt, plans and rocks at the bottom, I thought it was fun. I’d give it another shot next year with the third load of dirt and see how much of an increase we get.
The Bad: The onions. More disappointing than bad really. Almost all of them grew but I think they put more effort into the greens than the bulbs. The entire two bins worth of onions fit nicely into a strawberry pint basket.
For your reference, this is the largest onion of the bunch.
The Squishy: One unnerving thing we ran into a couple of times where damp, slimy, empty potato skins. It only happened a couple of times, but still, eww. I’m thinking about how we would change things up for the onions next year. I’ve got some research to do but I’m not ready to give up on it yet. I’ll just treat them as cocktail onions in the meantime!
Hi All. So as you may have noticed I’ve been MIA for awhile again. Unfortunately my quick trip home for a weekend high school reunion turned into an extended stay. My Grandpa passed away last week and I was home to be with family until about halfway through the week last week. I spent many weekends and afternoons after school at Grandma and Grandpa’s farm house. Without a doubt that’s where I (along with other family members) got a taste of real gardening. They had not only one but two large vegetable gardens, the smaller of the two wouldn’t even fit in my backyard. On top of that, they had a few berry bushes scattered throughout the back yard and always had a sweet corn patch in the field to make sure we had more than enough corn to freeze and last us through the winter. I’m talking a 10 seater dining room table stacked with pots and pans of corn cut from the ears and ready to store. Because of that, I’m sure Grandpa would have gobbled up what I made this weekend.
For my birthday, long time friend bought me the cookbook,The Sunset Edible Garden Cookbook: Fresh, Healthy Cooking from the Garden. I don’t think I even had it all the way out of the bag and tissue paper before she said, “They have a recipe in there for Sweet Corn Ice Cream! you have to make that!” So, seeing as I had a grocery sack full of fresh from the field corn on the cob from Iowa, I went for it.
We tripled the recipe to make use of more of the corn we had. The original recipe called for just 2 ears and with the various sizes I had, I ended up using 7. After the corn had been cut from the ears, I popped it in the food processor until it was really smooth.
I combined the milk, cream, and corn per their instructions and let it get to a simmer on the stove.
While that was warming up I separated 12 egg yolks and whipped that up with sugar. When the cream mixture was simmering, I added in the egg mixture after tempering it first so we didn’t end up with scrambled eggs.
After that had time to thicken on the stove , I poured it into a large bowl and covered with cling wrap. For anyone new to making ice cream don’t wait for it to reach a real thick consistency, it really just needs to be thick enough you could run your finger down the middle of a spoon and the cream doesn’t run back together.
I let the mix chill in the fridge overnight to make sure it was chilled all the way through. The next morning I took the cling wrap off the top and stirred in some vanilla extract.
From there it got ladled into our ice cream maker.
I packed the surround of the bucket with layers of ice and rock salt and turned it on. I checked the ice every 15 minutes or so to make sure the ice cream tin was covered. We used to have a smaller machine that didn’t have as much space for ice around the outside. I think that makes a big difference in how long it takes for the ice cream finish up.
After about an hour this is what my ice cream looked like. Sort of like soft serve. From there it went into the freezer to ripen for the rest of the day.
We didn’t try it until really late Saturday night but, OH MAN! So good! It was like taking the best creamy corn you’ve ever had in your life and then freezing it and adding a pinch of sweet. I had more on Sunday night and tried it with just a bit of sea salt. I thought since I like my corn on the cob with butter and salt, it would make it even better. It was still good but I don’t think it really added anything to it. We still have the better part of a gallon to eat, and I’m more than ok with that.