Early September Garden

Mother Nature provides many gifts in spite of her challenges. Sending strength and goodwill to everyone affected by the recent hurricanes. 

We had a thunderstorm here in Maryland last week. The corn we planted was nearly sideways. I tried to help it with a few stakes and twine. I think the roots did not have a deep enough space to hold on to in the planting bed. 

We’ll see; there are still some promising silks with cobs beginning to form. 

The sunflowers always bring so much joy. 

The bumblebees were very content!

and the zinnias are reaching out and showing the beginnings of color. 

I tended to the spindly tomato bed and used the space there as well as the freed up space in the basil bed for some frost-hardy broccoli and cabbage starts. Fingers crossed!

Even though the tomato plants were not as strong this season, we have been enjoying the bounty. Hopefully these will ripen nicely inside. 

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Purple Mushrooms

After a couple of hours working in your garden, I called you out to see what I found under the grass mulch:

That’s a first for me! Purple is my favorite color! Maybe you can do a google search to find out why these mushrooms are purple!

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First Week of September 2017 Garden

After dropping you and your friends back home, I ventured out in the light rain to tend to the chickens. They gifted us more eggs today (production has been slowing but peaked a bit today):

There are a couple of tomatoes in there too😊.  As I was approaching the garden, I spied this:

The first sunflower opening! Here’s a closer look:

Exciting! I wasn’t sure if our late plantings were going to come to bloom! What a gift! Here’s one of Grandpa Frank’s Zinnia seedlings showing promise and the sweet corn silks! Fingers crossed!

And lastly, eight of the girls wondering if I was going to let them free range tonight:

Not tonight but definitely tomorrow evening!

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Before venturing out with you to gather your school supplies, I dug in the ground a bit. We wanted to mulch our newly planted fruit trees and I  thought what better material than all of the bunches of cut grass! 

Look what I found! Yikes!

And WOW!

Nature is an amazing gift!

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Look at Grandpa Frank’s zinnias! Do you see the busy bee too? All are well and happy in Portland, OR! He sends his love!

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Basil and More Basil!

Wow! We only planted four little transplants of basil the end of June. Look what I harvested this morning! There was enough for six batches of pesto and some for the chickens to feast on!

We have tons of dehydrated basil from our Sonoma County garden last year. We had gifted all of the frozen pesto from last season to our friends when we moved. We now have plenty of yummy pesto to last for our little family and more to share!

Adjusted recipe: gather basil leaves from garden, wash and dry leaves, fill the bowl of a food processor with lightly packed basil leaves and add one third cup of nuts (I used walnuts this time-pine nuts are good too). Pulse a bit and then scrape the bowl. Add half a cup of shredded parmesean cheese and three cloves of minced garlic. Pulse a bit and then scrape the bowl. Add just under one third of a cup of olive oil (most recipes call for half a cup; we think that was too much for our tastes). Pulse a bit , scrape down the bowl then pulse again. Eat right away or store in small batches for the freezer to enjoy when basil is hard to find. We have enjoyed with pasta, chicken, pork and even as a spread on crusty bread. Yum! Filled with gratitude for the garden abundance!

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Summertime and Preserving the Bounty

It’s summertime! You are on your annual California vacation and we are here in Maryland! We are knowing that you are having a fabulous time with family and we look forward to your return. 
Summertime also means lots of bounty coming from our gardens, farmers markets and other gardeners sharing the fruits of their labor. While in Sonoma County, we were surrounded by miles and miles of vineyards and orchards. Here in Maryland all we see are corn and soybean fields. Acre after acre. The fields are beautiful and the corn is oh so very sweet!  

The first dozen that grandpa came home with we shared with you. We were gifted another couple dozen a couple of days ago. We barbecued a few and then I set out to preserve the rest today. 

The first step is to husk the corn, blanch it (place 4-5 ears in a large pot of boiling water for 4-5 minutes), “shock” it (place blanched corn in a big bowl of ice water for about 4-5 minutes) and then cut the kernels off the cob.  I read a tip for cutting the corn off the cob here: https://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/food/the-best-way-to-cut-fresh-corn-kernels-off-the-cob/slide/3. Your mom recently bought a corn cutting gadget. I’ll have to ask to borrow it and see if it’s easier. Or maybe just more fun!

Well, two dozen cobs resulted in about 13 cups of kernels. All preserved in the freezer with the food saver. I also froze the cobs to give to the chickens as a treat. Everyone’s happy! Guess what though? Grandpa just came home with, you guessed it, MORE CORN! Looks like we will have plenty to share in the cold wintertime!

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August 2017 Garden Update

While the garden we planted at your house in mid-April is flourishing, grandma and grandpa’s late season garden is trying to catch up! We are grateful that the prior owners scattered their tomatoes in the garden bed and let nature take her own course. We have only harvested a few cherry tomatoes but there are lots of green tomatoes and beautiful yellow flowers holding the promise for more. 

We borrowed your dad’s tomato jenga method of staking the tomato bed with a jungle of twine tied to stakes and it is working with the help of some judicious snipping of heavy growth. This is a picture taken before momma bunny moved her nest. Can you see the babies in the corner?

The zucchini and squash vines, corn, peppers, parsley and basil plantings are happily growing amongst sunflower and zinnia flower seeds that haven’t bloomed yet. Fingers crossed that we will all be harvesting soon!

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The New Moops

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Here they are! The new flock of Moops! Well, new to us that is! So far, only one has been named: the broody one is Tomasin (thank you Ellie!).  There are ten hens and for the first few weeks, they … Continue reading

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East Coast Harchut Farms

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Well, after ten months, Grandpa and I found our new Harchut Farms. We are so grateful to you, your mom and your dad for sharing your home with all of us during the search. Those memories will be added to … Continue reading

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