Saturday, August 23, 2008

Presents From TN Bloggers Dinner & Plant Flesh

All of the garden bloggers that I met on Tuesday (I think it was) have already posted about our meeting. You can see photos of our gatherings at the various blogs:

Tina at In The Garden
Frances at Faire Garden
Dave at the Home Garden
Donna at Mother Nature's Garden
Gail at Clay and Limestone

Did I leave anyone out? I hope not.

I'm extremely late in blogging about our visit, but I must say that it was wonderful. It's great to finally meet people you've only been reading about. And it's interesting and funny how everyone has such a distinct personality and voice... and I feel like I've known them forever because I've been reading about their gardens.

I wanted to show you the gifts I received from our gathering.

First, Tina's extremely thoughtful and beautiful gift. She makes the most beautiful marker stones, and she had asked me what I wanted mine to say. I choose "Cam and DP."

Below: The beautiful marker stone! It now sits in the front vegetable bed. Everyone who walks to the front door will see it.

Frances and Gail handed out some plants to everyone. I got some daylilies. I still have to find a place to plant them. I'm thinking I will plant them near the mailbox. I just have to dig up all the rocks that the bad construction workers left there. (It was not a good company, and I am SO happy they are now out of business.)

Since I am not a flower person, I'm hoping that these don't die before next spring. LoL. My American grandmother tells me that daylilies are very easy to grow, so I am hoping this is true. She used to grow over 10 varieties in her garden, so I trust that she's right!

Daylilies sure are pretty. The only drawback is that they don't have an aroma, or a flowery smell to them. But they are pretty, so that's good. And they'll be perfect for cutting and putting into a vase. So I'm very excited.

Below: My new daylily plant.

Finally, I wanted to show you the flesh... the "body" of some of these delicious veggies and fruits that I've been eating.

I know some of you have been dying to see "Barney." He wasn't ripe when we picked him from the vine. I just got very excited because he was so big. And plus, we had so many new watermelon growing on the vine. So I decided to just pick him. He was picked way too early, but he was still pretty juicy and delicious. He doesn't look like he would be that good, but he REALLY was. Lots of flavor and very yummy! I can't wait to taste some of his other brothers and sisters. I bet if I let them ripen on the vine, they'll be 100 times better and 100 times more delicious. But he was pretty delish!

Below: Barney's "Bod"

I'll end with the flesh of the corn that my family ate last week. Remember, we had an amazing bounty, and it was ALL so delicious. We did take a picture of one of the corns before we boiled it. It was yellow and just so pretty.

Below: Yellow corn

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Little Tomatoes and Weather Problems

I can't concentrate today for some reason. I just can't. Grrr... I am a little frustrated. I've decided to blame it on the weather.

It is cloudy, and that's it. The rain isn't falling, and I hear no thunder in the distance. I would like to have some rain. We had some a few weeks ago (maybe longer?), but I would love some rain.

The worst thing is that this cloudiness and lack of rain is making me sleepy. I want to crawl into bed with a good book. Except, that's bad. Because I have to work. LoL.

Sorry for my rant. But I want the rain to come and soon.

On a happy note, my cherry and grape tomatoes are finally reddening. This time, it's not just one or two ripening at the same time... lots of them ripening together. More than enough for a salad or two or three. And they are so good. The best news is that the birds only poked a hole in ONE--- that's right, ONE tomato. I am so happy.

Below: The tomato harvest (side view)

Below: Tomato view (from the top)
There are a few that aren't as ripe, but I decided to snatch it anyway. It'll ripen from the windowsill. I don't want any chances of the birds getting them. They are so good and very juicy. The problem that I had with blossom end rot only affected a few. The rest are perfectly healthy and beautiful. I am so excited!

And now for my Luka update (Sorry I can't help but post pictures of Luka!). She finally calmed down (kinda) for one photo.

And this photo, I think is just so cute. What's she looking at? I have no idea. LoL.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Carrots at LAST!

In May, I planted a bunch of carrot seeds. I was very careless about it. I planted several seeds in one hole, and continued in that fashion. And then I waited for them to grow. Their green tops came first. And now, three months after I first planted them, I decided to pull all of them.

Two of my carrots looked ready. Its orange flesh was popping out of the soil. I couldn't help myself. I took a picture and then I pulled it.

Three months is long enough!

Below: The carrots before I pulled them. Don't they look ready?

When I pulled them, I noticed that they were rather small. The carrots that you see in the grocery store are beautiful and long. Maybe that's because those farmers use chemicals to make them grow larger? Whatever the reason, I was rather disappointed. I did not use any chemicals on my carrots. I just watered them and let them grow.

Below: They don't look too bad. They are short, but still edible

I must confess that planting all those seeds in the one hole was a big mistake. I think I should have spaced out the carrots more. They would've had more room to grow and become a bit larger, I think. Oh well. Lesson learned.

Below: These carrots just look funny. They are joined at the "head," but they should still be delicious.

The above carrots were grown in the raised bed in the front yard. In the backyard, where the square foot boxes are located, we planted seeds at the edges of the square and planted other vegetables in the center of each square. As a result, the carrots are extremely small and funky-looking. But that's okay. Again, lesson learned. Next time, I'll do better.

Below: A line-up of carrots from the Square Foot Garden boxes

My sister put a bunch of the carrots in a soup that she made, and they were very sweet. Even though they were small, they were still packed with tons of flavor. So I guess I grew "baby carrots" instead of full-grown carrots. LoL.

I think I will pop a few more seeds in the ground and see if I can get a fall crop of carrots.

Yesterday, I met some of my fellow TN bloggers (Tina, Gail, Dave, Donna, and Frances), and it was a wonderful time. We talked about the most random things, but it was so great to meet everyone outside of the cyberspace. I'm hoping Tina will post pictures soon, and I will link.

Frances gave me daylilies, which I will plant soon. It will be my first attempt at growing flowers. Hmm, I hope they don't die. LoL.

And Tina made the most beautiful marker stones. I'll post pictures of that soon. I need to decide where to place it.

Ta ta!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Fresh Corn From the Garden-- Deliciousness!

I must say that everyone who told me that fresh corn from the garden was simply heaven was right!

We didn't have much room in the garden this year for corn, but we squeezed it in. At my parent's house, I planted two rows of corn. I dropped three kernels in each hole, and I tried to space it out evenly.

As it grew, I was supposed to pull out some of the stalks, so that one stalk remained. But as the newbie that I am, I couldn't make myself do it. They were growing so beautifully and so well! So I left it alone. And fortunately, I live in an area where my only concerns are bugs. I don't have many rabbits or deer that like to roam in the yard. So growing the corn wasn't as big of a challenge as I thought it might be.

Below: The stalks of corn that grew...

As you see, the stalks didn't get very tall. I think that if I had spaced it out and planted only kernel per hole, the stalks might have been larger and the corn may have been more fruitful and bigger in size.

Below: A corn stalk with a nice size ear of corn...

Next time, I will space out the plants and pull some stalks (if I need to). But even with this mistake, we had plenty of corn from the garden.

Below: The corn harvest

Below: A closer view of the corn

It was just too bad that only one or two ears of corn grew on each stalk. I would have liked more corn to eat, but I am satisfied with this first attempt.

Below: The discarded stalks... Into the compost pile

We boiled all of the corn within 30 minutes of picking. I read that corn is the freshest and best tasting within this time frame. I don't know if this is true or not, but this corn was much more flavorful than any other corn that I've ever had.

The entire family ate and ate, and now it's all gobbled up. It was so yummy! I can't wait to plant more.

I wonder if there is still enough time in this season to plant more seeds. I believe it only took us two months (roughly) before we could harvest this corn. If I plant new seeds this week, do you think the corn stands a chance?

Nashville doesn't normally get cold until October. Hmmm....

One thing is for sure: corn is on the list of plants that I will grow again next summer.