Thursday, July 31, 2008

The last of the lettuce for awhile

But doesn't it look yummy? I can't complain - it is almost August and to have had lettuce this far into the summer is pretty incredible.

I have two other heads that I let go to seed so hopefully I will have some fall lettuce.

I love having a fresh salad every night for dinner - I don't think you can put too many veggies on the table. It's so much better when what you have in it depends on what you found in the garden that day.

We got a good rain this morning right after I picked this - and we needed it. It has been hot and dry - not good for the garden.

The baby robins hatched. There are two of them and they are looking more and more like birds every day - they grow up so fast - I imagine Mama Robin will be kicking them out of the nest soon. It sure has been fun to watch her.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A great website!

It's not exactly gardening related - but I think it is the sort of site that anyone who gardens will appreciate. The site is called We are what we do - it's all about changing the world for the better.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

From the mouth of babes.........

Don't you just love the conversations kids have with each other? I know I do. My son Andy had his friend Sylvester over today. Andy took Sylvester in the kitchen to show him the zucchini I had just picked from the garden. There conversation went like this:

Andy: Look at these zucchini my Mom picked today.

Sylvester: I don't like zucchini.

Andy: Yes you do.

Sylvester: No I don't.

Andy: You do when it is cooked in cake.

Sylvester: No I don't.

Andy: Yes you do.

Sylvester: I most definitely do not.

Andy: Well, you had seconds of my birthday cake at my birthday party so you must have liked it.

Sylvester: Your birthday cake had zucchini in it?

Andy: Uh huh.

Sylvester: Wow, your Mom is sneaky.

Andy: Well yeah, where do you think I get it from?

So you don't have to search the archives for my recipe - here it is - and if you aren't GFCF, just substitute regular ingredients for the GFCF ones.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake
2 1/2 cups gf flour ( I used Bob’s Red Mill GF Mix)
1/2 cup cocoa
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (use aluminum free!)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup shortening
2 cups rapadura (you could use regular sugar, but rapadura is healthier)
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons grated orange peel (make sure you grate an organic orange - you don't want to know what chemicals are on non organic ones)
2 cups coarsely shredded zucchini
1/2 cup milk substitute (I used Dari Free)
1 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts, but any would be fine or omit if you are nut free)
Glaze (directions follow)
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
1 Combine the four, cocoa, baking powder, soda, salt, and cinnamon; set aside.
2 With a mixer, beat together the shortening and the sugar until they are smoothly blended. Add the eggs to the shortening and sugar mixture one at a time, beating well after each addition. With a spoon, stir in the vanilla, orange peel, and zucchini.
3 Alternately stir the dry ingredients and the milk substitute into the zucchini mixture, including the nuts with the last addition.
4 Pour the batter into a greased and flour-dusted 10-inch tube pan or bundt pan (use a stainless steel pan – please don’t bake in aluminum. Bake in the oven for about 50 minutes (test at 45 minutes!) or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes; turn out on wire rack to cool thoroughly.
5 Drizzle glaze over cake.
Mix together 2 cups powdered sugar, 3 Tablespoons milk substitute, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until smooth.
Cut in thin slices to serve.
Makes 10-12 servings.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A robin built her nest in my apple tree!

I am surprised we haven't had more robin nests in our yard - such a perfect place to build - ripe currants and raspberries near by to eat. And my organic garden is a great source of worms. The bird bath provides a nice drink and a place to cool off.
I had no idea that robins built nests this late in the year so I did some research and found out that they build 2 to 3 nests per year - one in the spring and one in the summer here - probably a third one a little further south. They do not reuse the nest - once the young have left the nest, it will be abandoned.
We are all looking forward to watching the young grow once they hatch.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

It's looking like it may be a good gardening year after all!

We had a late start and now it is just hot but the garden seems to be weathering it all. And after all, isn't there always something about the weather to complain about? Every year it is too hot, too cold, too wet, too dry or too something.

Mostly my garden is doing great. I had spotty germination on the parsnips and some of my carrots and Andy's sunflower fort has seen better years - but overall it is doing well. We have been eating lettuce and radishes from the garden for some time.

The strawberries were great this year. The currants and raspberries are loaded. The apple tree doesn't have any fruit this year and it looks like I have lost the peach tree - the green that was there has shriveled up and died. But I keep watering the tree hoping beyond hope that there is some life left in there somewhere! LOL! My plum tree has plums for the first time - I can only find 3 - so not a huge harvest but I'll take what I can get and it is still a very young tree.

I snapped a few pics of the garden this morning -

2 views of my raised bed from opposite angles.

Wayahead Tomato

The dead peach tree.