Monthly Archives: July 2013

Monday PhotoEssay

We got so busy setting up for Tomato Day that I didn’t get a PhotoEssay up! Here are some of the pictures from last week.

The garden still looks great from a distance. There’s a benefit to not always getting too close to things!

These two melons are growing in the “Yellow Mini Tiger” area. That means that one of them is the pollinator and one is the “eater” melon. Hmm…Any guesses?

One of my coworkers reported seeing a thief in the garden this week, and he followed them and snapped this picture of the crime with his phone. I guess everyone had a happy Tomato Day!

The first of the ‘Limmony’ tomatoes started ripening just in time for Tomato Day!

I get the sense that while we may have semi-outsmarted the squash vine borers, the onslaught of squash bugs is just about ready to begin. Ugh. On so many different levels.

Here’s a nice honeydew melon that is growing on the vine. It’s nowhere close to ready, but it looks really nice!

This is one of the Teddy Bear sunflowers in the Kids’ Snack Garden. They just started blooming this week. They are definitely a fun twist on sunflowers.

Basil Parmesan Spread

basil spread

serves 10

1 cup chopped fresh spinach
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup chopped fresh basil
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 (4 oz) package feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato paste
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1.  Wash hands and work area.

2.  In a food processor, blend the spinach,
basil and garlic.  Gradually mix in the olive
oil and Parmesan cheese.  Process until smooth.
Salt and pepper to taste.

3.  Blend cream cheese and feta cheese in a
medium bowl.

4.  Line a separate medium bowl with plastic wrap.  Spread 1/2 the cream cheese
mixture in the bowl.  Top with sun-dried tomato paste and spinach mixture.
Cover with remaining cream cheese mixture.  Pat together, cover and chill in
the refrigerator at least 1 hour before serving.  Flip out of the plastic lined bowl
onto a medium serving dish to serve.  Refrigerate leftovers immediately.

Serve this yummy, zingy dip with crackers or bread at your next party.  It’s best when chilled overnight before serving.

Rain and More

It’s been a little quiet around the blog this week, clearly. It hasn’t been quiet off the blog! We got 2″ of rain last night, which has helped keep everything nicely soaked. What with getting ready for Tomato Day on Saturday,  I will be doing well to get a Friday PhotoEssay up this week, so hopefully you will come out to Tomato Day and catch up on the garden there!

Tomato Day 2013 flyer c_Page_1Tomato Day 2013 flyer c_Page_2


Friday PhotoEssay

Wow! The eggplant and tomatoes are sure kicking it into high gear this week! So are the spider mites and stinkbugs… Let’s take a tour of the garden!

The top end of the garden is finally starting to look like something, with the sweet potatoes growing fast and the sunflowers and vegetable arbor also looking great. You can just see the green haze of the buckwheat.

Here’s the view from the other end. I wasn’t going to show this picture because I’ve got so many this week, but I wanted you to have a better sense of just how crazy those tomato plants are getting. The one on the end is the ‘Limmony’ heirloom.

The ‘Taxi’ tomato plant continues to produce like crazy. After a couple of larger initial fruit, they have settled down into very consistent 4-5 oz fruit, which is what they are supposed to be. No signs of cracking so far, but I picked a LOT of tomatoes this morning.

We uncovered the squash in the Pizza Garden this week because it was starting to bust out from under the row cover. It had several broken leaves from being under a too-low row cover. It seems to be bouncing back just fine! It also looks to have some buds starting, and so far there is no sign of squash vine borers. Read the rest of this entry

Naan Bread Margherita Pizza with Prosciutto




(This recipe was featured at our July Saturday Sampler, Beyond Basic Basil.)

   Serves 2

1 large roma tomato, thinly sliced

2 teaspoons olive oil, or as needed

Salt & ground black pepper to taste

1 green onion, sliced

1 slice prosciutto ham, sliced

1 clove garlic finely chopped

6 leaves fresh basil, roughly chopped

8 slices mozzarella cheese

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Substitute naan bread for pizza dough and top with
mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, and prosciutto creating
a quick and easy dinner.

1.  Wash hands and work area.
Preheat oven to 350˚F  (175˚C).  Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

2.  Place naan breads on the prepared baking sheet; brush each naan with olive oil.
Spread green onion and garlic over each naan.  Arrange 4 slices mozzarella cheese
onto each naan; top with tomato slices.  Season tomatoes with salt and pepper.
Top tomato layers with prosciutto, basil, and Parmesan cheese.

3.  Bake in preheated oven until pizza is crispy on the edges and cheese is melted,
about 8 minutes.  Turn on oven’s broiler and broil until cheese is lightly browned and
bubbling, about 2 minutes.  Refrigerate leftovers immediately.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories 490
Total Fat 23g
Cholesterol 45mg
Sodium 1710mg
Total Carbohydrates 41g
Fiber 4g
Protein 27 g