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Gardening

Gardening/ HEALTH/ HOME/ Homemaking

Square Foot Garden Progress

April 12
April 12
April 12
April 22
April 22
Lettuce, Radish, Swiss Chard, Onion
April 22
Radish & Lettuce
May 28
Carrots, Spinach
May 28
Tomato, Squash, Cucumber, Red Pepper, Sweet Pepper, Basil
June 5
Same as above, a week later.
June 5
Lettuce (replaced radishes), Swiss Chard, Mesclan, Spinach, Carrots, Onion
June 13
Same as 2 pics above, a week later. (Tomato, Squash, Cucumber, Red Pepper, Sweet Pepper, Basil)
June 30
Same as bed above, 2 1/2 weeks later!
June 30
This cucumber leaf below was only 2 inches on May 28.
On June 30, a month later, it is 7 inches!
Pretty Amazing, huh?  So cool to see God’s Creation grow!
To see my first post on Square Foot Gardening, click here.
To read more of my posts of gardening, use the search box in the side bar.
This post is linked to:
It’s A HodgePodge Friday @ Its A HodgePodge Life
Metamorphasis Monday @ Between Naps On The Porch
Show And Tell @ Blue Cricket Design
giveaways
Gardening

Harvest From My Garden

Sugar Snap Peas
Swiss Chard
Radish
Radish
Spinach
Lettuce
Short Carrots
Lettuce Wrapped & Ready To Give To Neighbors
Our Very First Cherry Tomato
Carrot
Carrot-My Girls Love Pulling Them Up
I honestly cannot believe I am having garden success!  It is so satisfying to eat something that was just a seed a couple months ago.  The lettuce & swiss chard get eaten at almost every dinner, and soon we will have cherry tomato abundance.  I will post pics of the garden very soon, you won’t believe how much everything has grown!

Gardening

Sugar Snap Peas & Bamboo Teepees-Update

Remember this picture (and post) from May 5th?
Well, look at these babies now, one month later.  

Pretty amazing, huh?  Just yesterday I noticed the first few snap peas, and boy, am I excited!  It still amazes me that this all started with a hard, shriveled up pea seed planted on April 12th. It germinated a week later and 2 months later it is turning into healthy food for my family.  Too. Much. Fun.

Sugar snap peas have been a SNAP to grow–easy PEAsy! {Couldn’t resist}  I didn’t even add more jute up the bamboo teepees for added support until this morning.  I’m sure doing it sooner would have helped support the plants a little better, but they really have been quite happy on their own.  I have barely had to water them, thanks to the rain we have been getting and a soil mix that holds moisture well.
I will definitely be planting another crop of snap peas late this summer for a fall crop.  I’m starting to really like this gardening thing!
This post is linked to:
DYI Showoff Parade @ DYI Showoff
Motivate Me Mondays @ Keeping It Simple

Gardening

Growing Herbs In Containers

dill & parsley

I love to use fresh herbs in my cooking, and I love growing herbs in containers!!  I can’t believe how much money I can save by growing my own herbs, especially when I start them from seed myself.  This year I started my basil from seed, but now that I am a bit more brave, I will be starting many more from seed next year.

I found this galvanized bucket at a local thrift store for a couple bucks-score! I made sure it had plenty of drainage holes by using a large nail and hammer to punch through at least 7 holes in the bottom.  I have some clay pot shards in the bottom to help with drainage, then filled it with Organic Miracle Grow potting soil.

thyme
lettuce, chives & parley
I bought parsley, thyme, rosemary, dill and chives.  I also managed to fit 3 heads of lettuce in there.  The lettuce did not take off as quickly as the ones in my square foot garden, it is either lack of room or lack of sun.  This pot sits on my front porch, which gets about 4 hours of full sun a day.  My parsley is very happy, I think it is time to dig out a parsley pesto recipe that I happened upon a few weeks ago.  Hope I can find it in my mess of bookmarks!
basil

I am also growing basil in a separate pot, which I started from seed.  It was super easy, I just put some seeds in some potting soil, kept them moist and covered with plastic until they sprouted, then let them get strong (with at least one pair of true leaves) sitting on the window sill in my sunroom.  I planted some in this small pot, and transplanted some into my garden.  I can’t wait to make pesto and pair them with my home grown tomatoes (if I can keep my tomatoes growing…so far so good.)

rosemary

Even if gardening isn’t your thing, growing herbs is easy and rewarding and it may be something you’d like to try.  I’ll be posting on how I use my fresh herbs in the near future.
This post is linked to:
Trash To Treasure @ Reinvented
Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays @ Coastal Charm
Show And Tell Friday @ My Romantic Home

Gardening/ Healthy Eating/ RECIPES/ Sides

Swiss Chard From My Garden

This photo was taken about a week 1/2 ago.  You would not believe the size of the swiss chard leaves now!  I have been very pleased with how fast and easy it is to grow swiss chard.  I’ve enjoyed it raw, cut up in a salad,(using the lettuce pictured above), and just recently I learned how to cook it.  

 I scoured the internet looking for ways to cook swiss chard.  I have heard stories of swiss chard tasting bitter once cooked, so I was skeptical that I would like it, much less my kids!
I found a recipe at Simply Recipes,  (recipe below). It caught my eye because it was simple and easy to prepare, plus the author had this to say about it:
” I never liked Swiss chard, until several years ago I had some that had been freshly picked from a friend’s garden. It was so sweet and buttery I couldn’t believe it was actually Swiss chard. It was then I learned that freshness was the key determinant to whether chard was delectable or detestable.”  


“Sweet” and “butter” is all I had to hear to get motivated to cook up these garden greens.  

I think swiss chard is such a beautiful vegetable!  The stalks come in different colors and the leaves are such an amazing bright green.   The stalks remind me of celery, but a bit more bitter.  I didn’t care for the stalks, but I liked looking at them!
These nine, good sized leaves cooked down to one palm sized serving of chard.  I was flabbergasted!  Guess I need to plant more next year!  Can you imagine the content of vitamins and antioxidants in that one palm full of cooked chard??  Impressive.
Nutritional Profile
Swiss chard is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, manganese, potassium, iron, vitamin E and dietary fiber. It is a very good source of copper, calcium, vitamin B2, vitamin B6 and protein. In addition, Swiss chard is a good source of phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc, folate, biotin, niacin and pantothenic acid.
Here is the palm full of the finished product.  I loved it.  It was mild, sweet and buttery.  I told my girls that I made it for me, but I would let them have a taste.  They skeptically tried a small bite, and within seconds I had 2 (my oldest one was not into the texture) little bird mouth hanging open for more bites. Now that excites me!

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special

Here is the recipe:










Swiss Chard Recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 large bunch of fresh Swiss chard
  • 1 small clove garlic, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • Pinch of dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • Salt

METHOD

1 Rinse out the Swiss chard leaves thoroughly. Remove the toughest third of the stalk, discard or save for another recipe (such as this Swiss chard ribs with cream and pasta). Roughly chop the leaves into inch-wide strips.
2 Heat a saucepan on a medium heat setting, add olive oil, a few small slices of garlic and the crushed red pepper. Sauté for about a minute. Add the chopped Swiss chard leaves. Cover. Check after about 5 minutes. If it looks dry, add a couple tablespoons of water. Flip the leaves over in the pan, so that what was on the bottom, is now on the top. Cover again. Check for doneness after another 5 minutes (remove a piece and taste it). Add salt to taste, and a small amount of butter. Remove the swiss chard to a serving dish.

This post is linked to:
Made It Monday @ The Persimmon Perch
Just Something I Whipped Up @ The Girl Creative
Making The World Cuter Monday @ Making The World Cuter
Tasty Tuesdays @ Balancing Beauty and Bedlam

Gardening/ RECIPES/ Sides

Growing Radishes

We had a yummy salad last night, made with lettuce, swiss chard, and radish from our square foot garden.  I can’t believe I’m actually succeeding at growing food!  My girls little fingers planted the radish seeds and it was their little hands that pulled the radishes from the soil last night, so they were pretty excited to eat them. I’ve never been able to get them to eat radishes, but their curiosity got the best of them and they gobbled them up! (as long as they were drenched in dressing:))

Radishes are not at all hard to grow.  They like cooler temperatures (below 75 degrees), so they were one of the first vegetables we planted.  They can be started 4-6 weeks before the last frost date.  Plant the seeds 1/2 inch deep, 2-3 inches apart (I fit 16 in a square foot of my garden.)  They germinate quickly, (3-10 days), and mature quickly (20-40 days.)  They can be grown in containers due to their shallow root systems.  They are super easy, and a great way to start out our gardening season!
This post is linked to:

Gardening

Sugar Snap Peas & Bamboo Teepees

Sugar Snap Pea Trellis

I’m trying my hand at gardening this year.  I made 2 square foot gardens (4ft x 2ft), and they fit quite a few plants.  The rest I am growing in pots because I have such limited sunny space in my yard.  Flanking the sides of my porch stairs are 2 large pots with sugar snap peas growing steadily up toward the sun.  I usually use these pots for pretty flowers, but this year I am being a bit more practical.

 

 

I filled the pots with organic potting soil, watered to moisten, then planted sugar snap pea seeds in each pot.  I soaked the seeds in water for a few hours before planting, then poked holes about 1″ deep and plopped the seed right in and covered with soil. I kept the soil moist and covered the pots with plastic on top, using clothespins to keep the plastic in place.  It created the perfect environment for my seeds to germinate, and kept the squirrels out! I planted 12 per pot, but thinned them down to about 6 per pot once sprouted.  I planted them on the 12th of April, they sprouted in about a week.

Growing Sugar Snap Peas in Pots

 

 

Just yesterday I made teepees for them to climb on.  It was super easy.  4 bamboo stakes (bamboo is strong and cheap!) tied at the top with jute twine.  I’m not sure exactly how to tie the jute up the bamboo stakes to give the peas support as they grow, but I did my best:) I read that they like to grow straight up, instead of tilting in toward the middle, so I made sure the first row of jute is right above the little pea plants.  They are already starting to vine around the twine, I will need to add a few more levels of jute quite soon!

 

My girls love watching these pea plants grow.  They are right at the front of our steps, so they see it every day, and each day they grow at least an inch.  They “oooo” and “ahhhh” over the growth when they get home from school.  I can’t wait to see little fingers snapping off peas and to watch them pop ’em in their mouths!  Hopefully, the plants will stay healthy so this can happen…so far so good!

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