Tag Archives: Gardening

In the Garden: July 9

So this is what the fruits of our labor look like right now:

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Our bell peppers are getting big, but are not quite ready to be picked. Herbs are used daily. Strawberries are meh, but we keep trying! All of our vine plants are going crazy and growing into each other and all over the place and we have lots of baby cucumbers and cantaloupe. We can’t wait to be able to pick homegrown jalepenos and thai peppers on the regular, and we’re anxious to see how our carrots (and onions) are doing underground, though that’s a ways away! We’ve got tomatoes coming out of all of our ears, which we’re totally not complaining about. This gardening thing has just become such a great little hobby for our family.

Other parts of our garden: our squash and zucchini which are out of control, our tomato cage (notice the huge basil plant on the bottom), and our corn which had gotten really big and unfortunately fell over in our first big haboob/monsoon storm of the season. :(

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Garden Fresh

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We planted a garden a couple months back, I would say as a little family activity/therapy together. It’s (mostly) 70% my dad, 20% my brother, and 10% the rest of us. But it’s 100% good for us and something we are all benefitting from in one way or another. Be it physically, emotionally, or nutritionally. The Count will actually eat Sweet 100 tomatoes whereas he does not normally like tomatoes! So, it’s already a success to me. :) Well that and the fact that we eat green onions, lettuce, and tomatoes out of it on a daily basis. We did do this once before but our hearts weren’t in it and it wasn’t that successful.

Our process was this: we bought some seedlings from the nursery, we also grew some of our own seedlings (below – but weren’t the most successful with those), and some we just grew from seed right in the ground and were very (slowly) successful. We used many different types of soil, mulch, and our own compost we’ve been working on for many years and compost tea that we made using our compost. Our process has been trial and error. Lots of Google research. Many hours of YouTube videos.

Basically we’re learning but in the process our garden has taken off and we are filled with excitement and already thinking about the next growing season! So much to learn. And Finn loves it! He goes out with us and helps pick tomatoes off of our many plants. We’re trying to teach him to only pick the red and yellow ones and to leave the green ones, though.

Things that have been successful: lettuce, green onions, yellow onions, tomatoes, thai peppers, squash, zucchini, carrots, basil, parsley, and spearmint.

Things that are doing good but have yet to bare any fruit: cucumbers, cantaloupe, broccoli, corn, bell peppers, watermelon, and jalapeños.

Things that have struggled: strawberries (I’d almost call them a failure but they’re hanging on!) and peppermint (but are better now!).

Things that have failed: peas, big boy tomatoes and marigolds.

These are mostly old pics but I’ve tried to take you through from the beginning. The tomatoes and squash plants grow very fast so you will see the most progress from them in the pics. We also have a potted garden on our patio and around our pool of many different types of hibiscus, succulents, and other ground plants that my mom is working on. I have so many pics of all of the individual plants but will save those for a later post maybe.

garden_2garden_3garden_1garden_5garden_6garden_7This isn’t even what the garden looks like today but I don’t have a real clear picture of it (it was dark the last time I took pics) and now my dad has added a tomato cage to tame those suckers. I can’t wait to update you again. Happy gardening!

Food Co-Op!

Dan and I were recently turned on to this food co-op called Bountiful Baskets through a blog that I follow regularly.   We’ve been wanting to do something like this for a while just never really knew what was out there.  We are really trying to lesson our carbon footprint.  So, we decided to partake in this food co-op where a bunch of people pool their money together to get bulk discounts on food and then share the food evenly with everybody.  I saw how much food the person from the blog that I follow had gotten and immediately knew that it would  be too much food for just Dan and I and we would need somebody else to go in halfsies with us on it.  So we were able to talk our good friends, Jason & Julie into doing it.  Then after sharing the idea with both of our parents they decided they wanted in on it, too!  So, we’re going to order a couple baskets starting next weekend and split them up between the 4 of us.  I ordered my first basket this past week just to test it out and see how much food it really comes with.  Then as I said, starting next week it will be the real deal with all 4 of us!

I got up early this morning and drove over to the golf course in Dan’s grandma’s neighborhood to pick up my very first basket.  It was such a neat experience.  The people were so nice and since this was my first basket I had a person walk me through all of the steps.  Basically they have all these baskets lined up in a parking lot with numbers on them.  You sign in with the person that has the clipboard, he gives you a number and then you find your numbered baskets and transfer the food into your own container, box, bag, etc.  There was also a lady there giving out bay leaves from her tree to everybody, which was cool!

Anyways, it was a lot of food.  Too much food for just Dan and I to eat in a week before it starts to go bad.  Going to give my parents half of this basket.  This is what we got:

11 Gala Apples
7 peaches
6 bananas (1 bunch)
1 container of strawberries
1 container of blackberries
1 coconut
4 avocados
7 roma tomatoes
3 yellow squash
2 HUGE cucumbers
1 bag of baby carrots
1 bundle of green lettuce
1 head of green cabbage

I’m very excited to start our own “co-op” with our 4 families!

On another note, we are going to plant a garden with my parents in their backyard.  I thought this would be the BEST way to try to lessen our carbon imprint and an awesome way to try to sustain 3 different families with 1 garden!  I want to get my parents’ old garden area all cleaned up and ready for planting in the next few weeks and make it a family activity that we can all do together.  Need to research what can be planted right now.  I know things can grow year round, it’s just a matter of what!  Food probably wouldn’t be ready until a couple of months away so we will still do this Bountiful Baskets thing for quite a while.

We are very excited about this new endeavor!  More to come!