Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tomatillos harvested

 I think I've mentioned before that my new favorite thing, this year, to grow is Tomatillos.  They look so cute growing on the plant. When the bottom of the husks split open,  they are ready to be harvested.  The first picture is filled with little tomatillos stilling growing .  And below is the harvest from today.  Don't be intimidated by their stickiness, that is normal.

I have a wonderfully easy tomatillo sauce recipe that I cooked up in July but I can't seem to find it anywhere, it had just the right amount of heat.  I will keep searching and post it when I locate it.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


I have nasturtiums growing in a large pot with several basil plants. They are just a fun little flower that you can eat.  Next year I will put them in a spot where they get more sun.  Last year I had more than I needed, so I moved them, and this year my inventory was much less.  Isn't it great to look into your salad plate and see flowers smiling back at you?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Spicy Lobster in Red Sauce

 Last night I made a wonderful Lobster dish for dinner.  These are Florida Spiney Lobsters, that our friends brought to us on their trip here.  YUM!!
See the little tan and black soft fin like things down the center?  Only  female lobster have these fins.  When they are carrying eggs, the eggs are hidden under those fins.   As a scuba diver, when you are lobstering during season,  you must check every lobster for eggs.  It is illegal to take a female with eggs.
Here is the finished dish. I made a spicy tomato sauce, with just enough heat.   It was so good.  The basic recipe came from my Ultra Metabolism Cookbook.  I served it over organic fettuccine made with Jerusalem artichoke flour.
We also had a wonderful vegetable laden salad to round out our meal.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fresh Tomatoes

This past weekend I oven roasted a large pan of my  Roma tomatoes.  I also added some of the little yellow pear tomatoes, with fresh garlic and onions.  The kitchen smelled soooo good.  Roasting  the tomatoes gives them such an earthy flavor when you add them to your sauce.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Don't forget about the birds

I worked in the garden yesterday.  Did a lot of cleaning out, ripping up, and trimming.  I know that I only have about a month of warmish weather left, and that's a hopeful estimate.  We've had snow in September before.  I cut down all the Sunflower plants.  If the birds hadn't gotten to them yet, I simply clipped off the flower head, and put it in a bucket.  There are five bird feeders in the back yard, reason being, I figure if I give them plenty of places to eat from, they will leave my plants and produce alone.  Anyway, everyday  I add a couple of flower heads to each  feeder.  They seem to enjoy sunflower seeds no matter how they acquire them.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Warm days

This is what's growing right now in the yard.  Kohlrabi, spaghetti squash and muskmellons, along with acorn, butternut, zucchini, patty pan, & burgess buttercup squash. All of these and the eggplants, green beans and tomatoes still need another month of warm days in order to mature.  I'm not worried about the broccoli, kale, and brussel sprouts; they like cool weather.  I'm getting ready to plant some more lettuces and spinach, and I'm going to try my hand at Daikon as well.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Overwintering a Mandevilla

 I have this beautiful Mandevilla in a pot on a sunny spot on my front porch.  Just looking at it makes me think of summertime.  I am trying to decide if it's worth my time to bring this plant in for the winter or just replace it next year.  I found this info at Plant-Care.com, so I thought I would share it with you.
 As the nights begin to cool off the Mandevilla will slow down. That is the time to give them some food to harden them up for the long winter.
Try to use a liquid fertilizer with a high middle number e.g. 10-56-14, (Lightly) since you can cause fertilizer burn. We are not trying to promote growth but to toughen the plant up. Don’t go over board with the fertilizer; let the plant stay outside as long as possible. It should be able to handle high 40’s for brief periods. 
After about 3 weeks (if you can hold out that long weather permitting) prune the plant back. Not just tipping the plant but cutting it down to about 12 inches above the soil line. I would also treat this vining plant for any possible pests problems since it will be going indoors for the winter.
Next we want to begin slowing up on the water and let the plant run on the dry side. Remember that we have given the plant some fertilizer and removed a lot of growth so the requirements for water should drop.
When you bring the plant inside place it in as much light as possible. You are looking for maintenance not growth. You’ll probably get some quick new growth, just try to maintain it. Some people place the plant in a clear plastic bag and over wintered their Mandevilla in their heated garage.
Try to maintain the plant on the dry side throughout the winter.
When spring comes you can move the plant outside. Expect the growth produced during the winter to be burned off!!!
Although, we cannot guarantee the above method will work you, it is a guideline that has worked for others you can try.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Love late season Raspberries

Someone needs to start picking raspberries in the morning to go with our granola breakfast. 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Heavenly Morning Glories

I just noticed that the top branches on the plum tree are starting to turn red.  I know what that means and I am not ready for fall yet.  Give me one more month please.
Finally, my morning glories are giving a spectacular show.   We built a new arbor on the side of a flagstone landing that we put in this past spring.  I planted nearly a dozen of the Heavenly Blue seeds at the base of the posts. An unknown little critter kept nibbling away at the new growth as they started to come up. Only one plant survived. However, he is making a glorious statement, don't you think?

Monday, September 6, 2010

Happy Labor Day

Today's harvest was mostly about tomatoes: Roma's, Patio, Sweet 100's and Yellow Pear.  And as every vegetable gardener knows, there isn't a day that goes by in the summer when you can't find at least one squash to bring in. Here we have a patty pan and a zucchini.  Treat the patty pan like the other summer squash.  Wash, slice, spritz a little olive oil , season it slightly and grill it for a couple of minutes on each side.  Then grate some fresh Parmesan  on top, and enjoy.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Colorful Carrots

I had planted some specialty carrot seeds early on:  Cosmic purple, Lunar white, Solar yellow and Atomic red. They are just so colorful.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Kabocha Squash

Today I harvested two Kabocha squash.  This is a new squash to the United States.  but has been a staple in Japan for a long time.  It's loaded with nutrients like beta carotene, especially if you eat the thin skin.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


I really love the daintiness of this flower.  It grows on tall thin tubular stocks with pinkish-purple colored petals, similar to The Rose of Sharon. and has big bold yellow centers. The entire plant seems to wither a bit when in extreme heat, but bounces back as soon as that passes.  Another great thing about this plant - it doesn't start to bloom until the end of August, when everything else is past it's prime.