Monthly Archives: September 2009

Family of 4 Harvest

After getting rained out of the garden last Tuesday, we had a pretty good harvest this week.

1lb of peppers @ $1.59/lb = $1.59

1 yellow bell pepper @ $2.00 each = $2.00

8 oz Purple Brussels Sprouts @ $4.00/lb = $2.00

4 ¾ lb green tomatoes @ $1.00/lb = $4.75

12 bunches Swiss Chard @$2.00/lb = $24.00

We pulled out the tomato plants this week, since they had few tomatoes still on them. We planted some salad mix in their place.

I’ve gotten a lot of questions on the Swiss Chard. One thing we’ve learned this year is that a little chard goes a long way. No, most families would not eat 12 bunches of Swiss Chard in one week. It would probably be about right to have 4-6 plants for a family of 4 that likes chard. We chose to plant the chard because it is a leafy green that will grow through the whole summer here.

Weekly Total = $34.34

Yearly Total = $280.12

Lemon Verbena Cream

My husband and I were out in the Demonstration Garden during the Farmers’ Market on Saturday, and I noticed that the Lemon Verbena in the herb garden is starting to bloom.

Lemon VerbenaLemon Verbena flowers are very small, and pretty as an accent. They aren’t stunning flowers though. The herb itself has thick, somewhat shiny leaves that are a little bit rough if you rub them between your fingers. It is a perennial that is grown as an annual here, since it is not winter hardy. (You can try to overwinter it indoors, but it doesn’t tolerate low light conditions very well. It is also possible to take cuttings.) It has a strong lemon scent when the leaves are slightly rubbed.

I have a recipe for whipped cream infused with Lemon Verbena that I had been meaning to try for a long time, but never got around to it. On the spur of the moment, we decided to pick a few sprigs to use Saturday night for dinner with family.

I stripped the leaves off the stems and chopped them roughly (into big pieces) – just enough to release the flavor. Then I mixed the leaves with a pint of heavy whipping cream. I let the leaves sit in the cream for about 7-8 hours. Then I strained the leaves out and whipped the cream (with sugar, of course). We ate the whipped cream with frozen berries. It had a faint lemon flavor, which was less than I hoped for.  However, the leftover cream that we ate last night had a much stronger flavor. Apparently sitting for another day helped?

Anyway, if you are looking for a simple way to dress up desserts, I highly recommend the Lemon Verbena infusion.

Friday PhotoEssay – State Fair Edition

I was up helping judge 4-H vegetable entries at the Kansas State Fair today. I thought I’d take some pictures of the awesome vegetables the kids grew this year.

GrapesWow! This is a beautiful cluster of grapes.

Kiwano MelonOne 4-Her entered this Horned Kiwano Melon. This is actually not fully ripe. A fully ripe Kiwano Melon should be bright orange. For an interesting review, check out this blog.

Miniature PumpkinsThese miniature pumpkins are in great shape for Halloween!

Flower ArrangementThe 4-H kids are really creative!

Garden DisplayThe Garden Displays are one of the more interesting categories to judge.

Have a great weekend! Check out the Kansas State Fair!

Better Late than Never

Our normal workday got rained out this week, and we didn’t really do much in the garden beyond picking and discarding the split and rancid tomatoes.

I picked a few things from our Family of 4 Garden today, and I thought I’d share that with you. It’s not much.

1.25 lbs of peppers @ $1.59/lb = $1.99

1 yellow bell pepper @ $2.00 each = $2.00

3 pkgs. basil @ $3.00 each = $9.00

(Okay, to be fair, I’ve picked some basil at various times. The value of the basil in the garden is probably about $50, if you are comparing it to the price you’d have to pay in the grocery store.)

Weekly Total = $12.99

Yearly Total to Date = $245.78

What are Your Fall Garden Plans?

Here in the Demonstration Garden, we are planning to keep things growing right up until the first frost. How about you? Are you done gardening for the year, or are you still going?