Garden Delights

I love to garden and I know many of you do as well. (The worst part is the weeding, but the mulch this year has helped keep that to a minimum.) There are many things I love about gardening. I love to dig in the dirt, plant the seedlings or seeds, watch them grow, and the best part when you get to harvest. I also love watering. It’s a serene and peaceful time where I just chill, hold the water hose, and spray the ground and plants. It’s a time I can zone out and just listen to the sounds around me and watch the animals play. Walking though the plants gives me a sense of accomplishment as well.

Big squash plats

I enjoy helping the plants like the cucumbers find their spot to climb the fence…

big cucumber plats

And its fun trying to find the little cucumbers so you know where to watch for the harvest…

baby cucmber

And see them grow…

cucumber

It gives you purpose to try to keep the tomatoes contained in their cages…

big tomato plants

Along with the tomatillos….

1 tomotillo

And the pretty flowers on the plants, like the tomatillos, are so pretty to watch come up, as you know there will be a pod or veggie there soon…

flower tomotillo

The squash plants this year are taking over my space between the tomatoes and I am anxiously waiting a zucchini from those blooms…

flower squash

The tomatoes will be abundant this year as there are baby green ones all over the place…

baby tomatoes

And some that are already getting big…

Big tomatoes

My peppers are a little further behind, but I see some coming in now so I can’t wait for them to use in a stir-fry or salad…

baby peppers

The babies have seemed to enjoy watching from their pen close by my garden…

baby chicks

And the big girls are anxiously awaiting scraps from the garden to be thrown their way…

big chicks

Oh, what a hopeful time of year for the garden as well as for my waiting pantry and freezer- which are awaiting sliced peppers to freeze for the winter, cans of tomatoes, and combining may of these veggies for salsa (which usually gets canned as well for the winter).

1 baby cucumber

Anyone have any ideas for things to do with cucumbers outside of pickles, tomatoes/cucumber/onion salad, regular salads, or snack item? I am looking to get creative as I have in a few day picked over 10 already and there are triple or more the that are coming in in the vine already. Ideas welcome 🙂

Adventures in preserving food…

What a nice weather weekend…Gerber

I got a lot done including some canning… today it was ketchup. A couple of weekends ago it was yellow tomato salsa…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I have already given a couple of jars away to family who have been visiting and wanted to raid my stash… OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I have also been making batches of tomato sauce to freeze. I start with a bunch of tomatoes’ washed…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Then cooked with all sorts of yummy seasoning and veggies…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Then pure it till smooth, put it in freezer containers, and into the downstairs freezer for the winter 🙂 I also canned some tomatoes diced and whole for my stash 🙂OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I am hoping this year I have enough to last all winter… I hate taking out the last jar too early 😦 In the garden, I still have tomatoes, peppers, and a few green beans growing, so I hope to keep stocking my freezer and caning shelves 🙂