Tuesday, August 4, 2009

My Crop!

Who knew growing a little backyard garden could be so fun? Though I admit feeling slightly "put out" every once in awhile, after a very long day, to head out to the yard for 20 minutes of watering... Once I get started on my veggies and flowers, the watering really becomes "zen" for me.
So, from our humble beginnings:
We got started with some cucumber blossoms which quickly took on the appearance of little pickled gherkins (which always gets me thinking about my Grandpa).
It only takes a couple days for the little 3 inch "nub" to become a full-fledged cucumber! This plant has gotten HUGE. When the lettuce bolted I pulled it all up to make more room for the cucumber vine. This was the "green light" the cucumber had been waiting for! Good thing we like cucumber.
Spicy Thai Cucumber Salad
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp water
(mix until well-blended)
2 cucumbers, halved and sliced thin
1/2 small yellow onion, diced fine
10 fresh mint leaves, chopped
1 teaspoon ground chili paste
6 fresh cilantro sprigs, chopped
(toss with dressing and chill for at least 30 minutes)
top with:
2 tbsp chopped roasted peanuts

We are almost ready to pick our first Winter Squash. This one is the biggest of the 4 on the vine so far.

The other night we made it out to the farmers' market in our tiny downtown and picked up some Walla Walla onions. Once we got the kids in bed, I gathered a few things from the garden and put together a veggie saute over brown rice.
I used the rosemary,

some zucchini,

a yellow squash,

and that's oregano across the pile.
It was so good! Of course, I forgot to take a picture of the dish before we gobbled it all up!

It seems the tomatoes and the peas took their time making appearances in the garden. Oh, the red peppers have yet to make a decent showing as well (but I planted them WAY too close to that damn cucumber and they are fighting for their share of sunlight).
The cherries were the first to arrive.

Slowly, but surely, they are ripening...

with more than 40 little tomatoes (and big ones too) on the three plants I have going, I'm concerned that they're all going to ripen within the same week! Good thing I have some great recipes for bruschetta, salsa, tomato-feta salad, etc.!

We might get our first big tomatoes by this weekend! I hope they're half as sweet as the ones my Grandpa grows!

The beans have arrived (as I've posted earlier) and we're having a lot of fun snacking on them in the backyard.

Here's a little mini-harvest I plucked a few nights ago just before the girls' dinnertime.

And just so y'all can be sure I'm "keeping it real," here is that same harvest along side fully-processed chicken nuggets!
Bon Appetite!

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