Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Morning Harvest and a Homegrown Breakfast

Our Morning Harvest - 20 lbs Tomatoes, 2.5 lbs. Carrots,
1.5 lbs Jalapenos (not shown in pic), and 3 oz. Blackberries
We got up early this morning and spent an hour out in the garden. The guys weeded while I harvested tomatoes, carrots, blackberries, and jalapenos.

We then came in and prepared a breakfast which came 100% from the garden.

Golden Hash Browns
Scrambled Quail Eggs 
Sauteed Jalapenos, Purple Onions and Tomatoes.
Fresh Blackberries

We truly did eat 
by the labor of our hands!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Spuds from Our Garden

We harvested 50 pounds of potatoes this morning from a 58 square foot bed!  

Here's what they looked like right out of the garden.
50 Pounds of Freshly Dug Potatoes

I sat on the back deck in the absolutely beautiful weather, and using an old toothbrush, I carefully brushed the dirt from each spud and separated them into three groups.

Group #1
The Pinnacle of Potato Perfection!
25 pounds of mixed, white and red, unblemished potatoes.  
We will try to store these long term.  
I've never tried this before, so we will have to wait and see how it works.

Group #2 
15 pounds of white potatoes.
This group was either too small to keep or blemished in some way 
which made them unsuitable for long-term storage.

Group #3 
10 pounds of red potatoes.
This group had the same size/blemish problems as the white potatoes mentioned above.

This is only the second time we have grown potatoes.
Our first crop had potato scab which made the potatoes soft and mealy - not very appetizing.
  This crop looks (and tastes) much better.
Not bad for our second attempt.

The Jalapenos are Ready!

Our First Jalapeno Harvest - 2.6 Pounds

In May we planted Senorita peppers which are a mild jalapeno hybrid - delicious with just a hint of heat.  The plants are laden with peppers!

So this morning we picked approximately one half of our crop.  The remaining half will be left to mature - I especially like them when they are bright red and fully ripe.

Fresh from the garden - we now have fresh onions, tomatoes, cilantro and jalapenos.  Time to make salsa - Ole!

Friday, July 26, 2013

So Beautiful....Sauce on the Stove

No Sauce is Complete
Without Fresh, Spicy Basil
Oops - Almost Forgot the Parsley 
Well the tomatoes are pureed.  We started this project with 33 pounds of Big Mama sauce tomatoes (with a few Celebrity tomatoes thrown in for good measure).  After picking the thyme, rosemary, sage, lemon balm, and oregano, I remembered that I had forgotten the basil and parsley so we were back in the garden only to discover five more pounds of ripe tomatoes!

Tomato Seeds, Skin and Cores
Ready for the Compost Pile
We had a big bowl of seeds, skins, and stems leftover and this has been added to the compost pile.

Beautiful Sauce Simmering on the Stove
The 38 pounds of pureed tomatoes filled my 16-quart stock pot to the brim.  The fresh herbs were added to the sauce which must now simmer for a day or two.  Since the pot is full, I will let it cook down a bit, and then add three cups of parmesan cheese, five minced onions and a few cloves of garlic.

The CD carousel has come full circle and
Mr. Joe Cocker is once again keeping me company.  As I gaze at the beautiful pot of sauce simmering away, I find myself agreeing with the lyrics.... you are so beautiful to me.....

Taking a Break - Gathering Herbs

Rosemary, Thyme, Oregano, Lemon Balm and Sage
Fresh From Our Garden
Well Joe Cocker and Sly got me to the half way point in the tomato puree process.  My arms were getting tired, so I took a break to gather fresh herbs for the sauce.

Meanwhile, my family has returned and my son is proudly sporting a shiny, new learner's permit.

Time to get back to the tomatoes - Sergeant Pepper will be keeping me company for the last half of the job.

It's Sauce Day and I'm "Feelin' Alright!"

It is a beautiful day here in Southern Maryland.  My Hubby and sons are off to swim practice and then to the MVA to get our youngest (now 16) his learners permit.  There is a lovely breeze blowing through the house.  Joe Cocker  is blasting through the speakers.  He and I are "Feelin' Alright" while I puree the 33 pounds of sauce tomatoes we harvested yesterday.

Soon there will be sauce simmering...life is good.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

First Big Tomato Harvest of 2013

We have picked a few ripe tomatoes for salad, but today was our first big harvest - 33 pounds of ripe, juicy tomatoes.  Time to make sauce!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Our First Blackberries

First Blackberries of the 2013 Season
There is nothing like walking to the garden and picking your breakfast.

I've been eyeing the berry bushes for some time now as they are loaded with ripening berries.  This morning we were finally able to pick a ripe, deliciously juicy handful.  They only lasted a moment.


Sunday, July 7, 2013

Our Very First 2013 Tomato and Our Onion Harvest

It was a great day yesterday when we harvested our very first ripe tomato along with a total of 106 lovely onions.