Monthly Archives: September 2009

Family of 4 Harvest

I’m actually attending a conference in Portland, Oregon this week, so I don’t have any updated pictures. The other posts you are seeing this week are things I wrote before I left. I may post about some of the horticultural interest I see here, but we’ll see how busy I am at the conference!

Here’s the Family of 4 Harvest for the week:

1 1/2 lbs peppers @ $1.59/lb = $2.39
2 yellow bell peppers @ $2.00 each = $4.00
2 bunches Swiss Chard @ $2.00 each = $4.00

Weekly Total = $10.39
Yearly Total = $290.51

We are inching toward the $300 mark! I have no doubt that we will easily surpass that mark once we start harvesting fall vegetables!

Eating Swiss Chard

We have Swiss Chard coming out our ears.

We have Swiss Chard coming out our ears.

I may have found the right way to eat Swiss Chard. It’s still not my favorite vegetable, but I think this recipe makes it tolerable…

Sauteed Swiss Chard

Chop chard stems and as much of the leaves as you want to eat. Keep the stems and leaves separate.

Mince a couple cloves of garlic.

Put a little oil in a heated pan. Add the garlic and stir a couple times. Add the chard stems. Season with salt, pepper, lemon juice, and anything else you want. Saute until stems are nearly crisp-tender. Add the chopped leaves and cook until the stems are tender and the leaves have wilted.

This makes for fairly tasty chard, although in the interest of full disclosure, I accidentally over-salted the chard, so it was more like eating a salt block than a tasty, healthy leafy green! But, I think it would be pretty tasty with more appropriate seasoning!

Friday PhotoEssay

It’s that time again! I’ve got some very cool pictures to share from the garden this week.

Black SwallowtailThis Black Swallowtail butterfly was enjoying the African Blue Basil earlier this week. I think it may have just come out of its chrysalis, because it didn’t fly away when I walked by. It also seemed to be exercising its wings, like butterflies do when they just “hatch.”

Black Swallowtail 2If anything, the butterfly is even more impressive from the other side.

Purple Bok ChoyThe Purple Bok Choy is looking really nice. It is almost the right size to start harvesting if you like “baby” Bok Choy. Otherwise, we’ll let it go for a few more weeks. I think we’ll have to harvest some “baby” choy so the rest still has room to grow!

Green TomatoesHere are the green tomatoes that we salvaged from the Family of 4 Garden before we pulled the tomatoes out. There were actually more tomatoes left on the plants than I thought there were. Oh well…the salad greens are already starting to grow!

Multi-Colored PepperHere is the ‘Early Sunsation’ Pepper that I picked last weekend. It was yellow with some green on the bottom third when I picked it. Now it is this beautiful gold blushed with green and red. It’s going in fajitas tonight! (My husband actually took this picture in our kitchen.)

Garlic Chives The garlic chives are blooming. The great thing about alliums (the onion family) is that pretty much the whole plant is edible. So if you like the flavor of garlic chives, but want something more decorative, the garlic chive blooms might be a good option. Of course, they give you some fall color in your garden too!

Green & RedThis beady-eyed green grasshopper is enjoying the red canna flowers just a little too much!

Have a great weekend!

Attack of the Hornworm!

Apparently removing some tomato plants disrupted a (not so) friendly tomato hornworm. Quite the caterpillar he is too! I think he is getting ready to pupate, he’s so huge!

Hornworm Hornworm and FingerHere you can see the size compared to my index finger. Yikes! I think he’s been eating his fill of cherry tomatoes! The plants were so huge, we didn’t even notice any damage.

Fall Cleanup Begins

Yesterday was a busy day in the Demonstration Garden. We had a lot to harvest, and then some plants to pull out and some seeds to plant!

Picking BeansOur fall beans were ready to pick. They don’t have a heavy crop, but they sure are delicious! We also pulled a few beets that were planted in the middle of the summer. (They weren’t very sweet…not sure if that is due to the variety or the weather!) Of course, there were tomatoes, eggplant, and peppers again.

Planting SeedsWe planted the last section of the Salad Garden with lettuces, radishes, and salad greens for the fall.

No More TomatoesThe Family of 4 Garden looks a lot different after pulling out the tomatoes and that tall trellis! After cleaning out the area, we planted some salad mix.

We also fertilized the peppers and all the containers of flowers, since they are looking rather yellow and peaked due to lack of nitrogen. The little bit of fertilizer should help them be productive through the fall.

We  pulled out 3 of the 8 cherry tomatoes: Chocolate Cherry, Italian Ice, and Ildi. I think Suncherry may go next week. The others are still producing and growing okay. Sun Gold actually has tons of blossoms on it right now!