It’s Only Been A Week

It’s been just over a week since we planted our garden. We have had lots of growth and some death thus far.

IMG_5609Our strawberries are the only ones to have seen death. Out of all of the plants I put in, 2 have died. We specifically put so many in for this exact reason. It is still early, there may still be some loss, but as of now, the rest of them look like they are doing well. 

 

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IMG_5614Two of our 12 potatoes have busted through! There is evidence that at least 3 more will pop through in the coming days. This is the first year we are growing potatoes in this garden. I am excited to see how well they do.

IMG_5613Our mixed greens and leafy lettuce are flourishing. Fresh lettuce grows like weeds, and lasts FOREVER. We were giving it away last year because it lasts 3-4 weeks when stored properly. 

IMG_5612Our radish patch is doing quite well. We only planted in half of the area because we are going to rotate them out. So next week we will plant another 2 rows of radish, just in time for our first ones to be done in a few days time. They have a quick germination/maturity time. 
IMG_5611This is our singular bush cucumber plant. We planted 5 in the little plot. We’re hoping that by the end of the week we’ll have a few more. Mom wants to make pickles…even though she’s the only one that eats them.

IMG_5616I like to call this the “Mater Forest.” I feel like we have so much more than last year, and I know that once they really start growing up, it’s going to look like one as well. They haven’t had much vertical growth, but it’s still early. They’re more busy rooting that growing.

IMG_5610We planted about 8 sunflowers and 6 of them have already started popping! I took a shot of the two biggest ones. I will harvest the seeds in the fall and bake them! 

IMG_5608We are most excited for the green beans…ok….it might just be me. I LOVE green beans. I like them raw, I like them blanched, I like them sautéed in butter with garlic and onion, I like them fried. I haven’t met a green bean I didn’t like…except casserole. They are bursting forth in their little rows and I could not be more excited.

IMG_5618This little guy is not in our back garden, but I like it anyway. We planted 4 lavender plants in our front/side gardens this year. Lavender is not only pretty once it blooms, but it also smells good and is a natural bug repellent. It is also a perennial so we will not have to worry about having to replace it every year.

We are still waiting for the onion, peppers and carrots to pop. They should be showing up to the party in the very near future. The cosmos and zinnias that we planted around the vegetable garden are barely showing above the mulch. Our marigolds are thriving. Those 3 were planted as bee attractors and bug repellents.

From here out, I will post garden updates once the plants start producing or something super super exciting happens!

Happy planting!

Spring Gardening

In March, in the midst of a snow storm I spent the day planning our garden. This weekend, the snow has been gone for a few weeks, the sun has been shining and we were finally able to get stuff in the ground!

I had come up with beautiful plans and a beautiful layout, created with tons of research, love and care. screen-shot-2015-03-05-at-5-18-30-pmThen we got out there and my dad decided things needed more space. The really pretty garden layout that looked like the above, ended up looking like the below in reality. Which, is ok. It doesn’t look near as pretty in a chart like this, but it works. Sunflowers and cucumbers were added to the garden. The “walking path,” kinda disappeared for the most part, but there is plenty of space between plants so we’ll be just fine.

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 9.26.29 AMWe also have an adorable little strawberry patch, I have claimed it as my own.10689423_10206003822511341_2734209453159910876_nAround the garden we planted marigolds, cosmos, and zinnias. Marigolds are natural (bad) bug-repellants, cosmos and zinnias are natural bee attractors. When you have a garden this big, with this much stuff in it, you want as many bees as you can get! 11206100_10206003822071330_2141622102369986064_n

11204480_10206003822311336_9176184884080786480_nWe have 24 tomato plants of 3 varieties, Roma, Celebrity and Brandywine. We planted red potatoes because we think they are better to cook/bake with. Mom wants to make pickles this fall so the cucumbers are small bush cucumbers. There are 15 strawberry plants in the box. I’m not sure that they’ll all make it, and if I do…well…if anybody would like some strawberry plants, hit me up. The rest of the garden is seeds, so I guess we will see in a few weeks how many of each we have!

Stay tuned for update posts and recipes throughout the summer!

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Homemade Pizza

This may be a throw back for some of you. This pizza dough recipe comes from none other than the The Frugal Gourmet, Jeff Smith. This is an easy homemade Focaccia dough with lots of fresh toppings! This recipe also makes two pizzas

Sauce Ingredients: 24oz of tomato sauce (I used our canned stuff)

3 minced garlic cloves

2 tablespoons minced onion

1/2 teaspoon basil

1/2 teaspoon parsley

1/3 teaspoon oregano

1. Combine all sauce ingredients in a medium sauce pan. Leave on low heat to mellow and allow the flavors to release and develop while you are making the dough and such.

Dough Ingredients:

5 1/2 cups of all purpose flour

2 packets of dry yeast

2 cups tepid (warm) water

1 tablespoon of white granulated sugar

4 tablespoons of olive oil

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1. In a bowl combine the yeast, warm water and sugar. Stir a little and allow the yeast to react. It will get kind of bubbly and rise to the top of the water when this happens.

2. Add in the olive oil, vegetable oil, and salt.

3. Slowly add in the flour until it begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl as it mixes. If you are using a Kitchen Aid, slowly add in all 5 1/2 cups of flour, using the dough/knead attachment, knead on medium/low for 10 minutes. If you are hand kneading, add in 4 1/2 cups and knead the remaining cup in as you go.

4. After kneading, separate into two balls, stretch/roll out over two greased baking sheets/pizza stones. Let rise for at least 30 minutes in a relatively warm environment. I turn my oven on “warm” at 170 while I am making the dough and turn it off the last few minutes. It’s just warm enough to help with rising without baking the crust!

Toppings: This is the easy part. You can do what you want. I went to our local deli and got 4 medium, fresh, mozzarella balls instead of pre-shredded cheese. We had frozen peppers from our garden this summer. We had a ham steak, onion and ground beef. I fried up the onions with some butter, browned the ground beef, diced the ham, and sliced-ish the cheese and went to town! While you are decorating your pizza, preheat the oven to 350. Bake for 20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and crispy! Because our two baking sheets don’t fit on the same rack, we did 10 minutes, switched them around and finished them with another 10. Here is the before and after pics! YUM!

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Before baking- Mozz, ground beef, fried onion, diced honey ham! Mhmm

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Before baking- half cheese, half peppers with fried onions! 🙂

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