Posts Tagged ‘garlic’


What’s Growing?

May 8, 2010

The vegetable garden is about 80% planted (thank you, dear husband) and the harvesting has already begun.

We’ve been eating asparagus almost daily for a few weeks now.  Last night my husband pickled a couple of jars because we just can’t keep up.  DSCF7751

We’ve been enjoying fresh spring greens this week.  There are 2 20 foot rows of mixed lettuces. 

Looks as if we can start eating spinach now too.spinach

We have more onions than usual this year.  I ordered some and then we forgot so my husband bought some starts and then a friend (thank you, Susan) sent some genuine Walla Walla starts from Walla Walla, Washington.  But really, can you ever have too many onions? onion



And then remember that pathetic little garlic from back in March?  The garlic patch is going great!

garlic in may 


I have flowers growing too.DSCF7742

I love the alliums and so do the bees.

Below are the flowers you can just see behind the alliums.    Silly question – I know a few of you are very into flowers and this will probably be obvious – but does anyone know what this flower is?






My favorites – irises.





We mostly have phlox – lots and lots of purple phlox.  Talk about invasive!  I used to have columbine everywhere – but I think it has been overrun by the phlox.  It may be time to take control of my garden again.  Maybe – I have such a hard time tearing out pretty flowers.  Still, there is a fine line between lush and overgrown and I may have crossed it.

There is more growing that I just forgot to photograph.  Violets and violas and purple cranesbill geraniums too. The chives are in bloom also.  Hmmm, I seem to have a purple theme going here, except for my columbine (of course it was the purple ones that have disappeared). 

More things are yet to bloom of course – bee balm (a pinkish purple), clematis (purple), Echinacea – purple.  What can I say….


Signs of Spring

March 20, 2010

March 20, 2010 – the first day of spring.  It is presently 39 degrees and that threatens to be the high for the day with a rain/snow mix expected later – but by Tuesday it will be back in the 50’s – so it really is spring.

cropped cardinal in a treeYesterday (when it was still officially winter but the high was in the upper 60s) I took some pictures of signs of spring around the property.


The cardinals have been out all winter – but I think this one was in search of a mate yesterday.  He was singing up a song.

  DSCF7511 DSCF7510

The llamas were enjoying the sunshine and the increasing amount of green grass – much preferred over dry hay.




assorted pollen

I, of course, spent some time with the bees.  There were plenty out on the porch, cleaning the porch, bringing out the dead (I watched two bees fly off with dead bees – I was surprised how far away they would take the body – further than I could see them), and bringing in pollen.  The pollen is in the pollen baskets on the sides of the bees back legs – they look like little yellow flotation devices.  Look carefully in this picture and you’ll see two types of pollen – a light yellow from the maple trees and a bright orange from the crocuses.  [You should be able to click on the picture to see it bigger.]


Here’s a maple branch in flower. maple flower



And crocuses.crocus

The daffodils are starting to bloom too.  DSCF7521

These are my early bloomers.  They start short but will grow while blooming.  





My friend at Nyack Backyard knows garliceverything that is coming up in her garden (or she fakes it well).  I know this is garlic – because I marked each clove I planted (note the orange flag). If I’m too slow to harvest the garlic mid-summer it is very hard for me to find the heads if I haven’t marked their location when I plant them.  



DSCF7518And finally, the surest sign of spring…  No, not huge moles, a project involving dirt. We (that would be my husband and an electrician friend) are running a new electric line out to the barn.






Has spring sprung for you yet?


Dark Days 15: SOLEful Soup

February 27, 2010

Last week we had a roast chicken; this week we had chicken soup.

My husband used the remains of our roast chicken to make chicken soup.  We don’t have any readily available local and organic grains so we went for a potato/carrot/onion/garlic/chicken soup. 

DSCF7470 DSCF7467

Meanwhile, my daughter (age 10) had been experimenting in the kitchen, and that afternoon she made some very tasty pan-fried potatoes.  She asked if she could make them for a side.  So we had E’s pan-fried potato sticks (more like hash browns – tasty but a little salty) with the soup.


A hydroponically grown green salad was on the menu also.  The 14 year old ate the salad.  His salad dressing wasn’t SOLEful – c’est la vie.

DSCF7476 The kids had the local, natural, milk from happy Jersey cows.  And my husband and I had wine “prepared” by the local Benedictine’s.  Probably only partially counts as SOLEful since the grapes apparently came from Australia.  I think they could use some label editing assistance, although my husband agreed that this wine was “palatable”.  Actually, we decided that with a little seltzer it will make a fine summer spritzer.  We have another bottle so we’re going to let that one age for a few more months.


Dark Days – week 7 – Beef Stew

January 1, 2010

It is a cold New Year’s day.  I’m not hungover from alcohol, just dragging from staying up later than my 50 year old – whoops – 51 year old body is used to.  Just the right day for an easy to make Dark Days meal – beef stew.

The beef is local/natural (from the Farmer’s Market).  The tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, and garlic are all local and organic.  Of those only the garlic is not from our garden, but we know the farmer.  We’re out of onions and so are the local sources, so the onions and the mushrooms are of unknown origin.

My husband and I took about 10 minutes to clean and dump everything in the crockpot along with a 1/2 cup of Kickapoo Creek wine (local – a Christmas present from me for my husband – along with a gift certificate to a butcher shop/deli that features local meats and cheeses (and wine) (one of the three places I can buy our favorite hormone-free milk).

I hope I can convince my husband to bake some bread for tonight too (with local flour).  Bread, stew, and wine.  Only 4 more hours.

*  *  *

My husband made squash bread with local flour and frozen squash from our garden last year.  The stew came out very nice with a delicate broth.  The wine was tasty too.  A success.


Dark Days 6 – pasta and sauce

December 24, 2009

Last night my husband and kids made pasta.  It has been several years since we have made fresh pasta, but my husband has a good memory for that type of thing.  He and the kids made pasta using the local whole wheat flour and water (no eggs since I’m allergic).pasta dryingMy husband then made a sauce with tomatoes (ours), onions (local), garlic (grocery store), and red pepper (dried and from a jar).   We (the grown ups) had some wine made by local monks also. The kids had local (but not the good stuff) milk. 

The adults were happy with the meal.  The kids, less so.  My daughter thought the pasta tasted like raw dough – and perhaps she’s right.  Next time we’ll make the pasta ahead of time and let it dry thoroughly so it has to be in the boiling water a bit longer.

Tomorrow is Christmas.  It won’t be a Dark Days dinner.  Breakfast will be closer – at least ethical – banana bread using the local whole wheat and organic sugar (egg replacer, salt, baking powder and baking soda and canola oil).  The bread for the kids is just the dough with bananas (from the local grocery, not organic though – at least we supported the local independent grocer though).  The adults’ bread includes organic walnuts and organic cranberries. 


Dark Days – The third week

December 1, 2009

Time is flying isn’t it.  How could we have gone through 3 weeks of Dark Days already?!  So far we haven’t been especially creative or adventuresome – and this week was no different.

My husband, as usual, did the cooking.  I would starve if it weren’t for him.  Since we were still suffering from over eating at Thanksgiving we were thinking light – and since we have hectic week ahead of us – we were thinking easy.  To that end we had chicken vegetable soup and baked sweet potatoes.sweet potato soup and wine  Oh, and wine.  This week’s wine was a local apple wine.  It was light and sweet – almost too sweet at first until we found it really went well with the sweet potatoes.

The chicken vegetable soup was made with the remains of last weeks roasted chicken and a few other organic/local chicken remains we had in the freezer, chard from the garden (which tasted better in the soup than I thought it would), garlic seeds (we’re out of cloves from our garlic – but the seeds are pleasant and mild), and onion from the farmer’s market.  It was a soup with a delicate flavor. 

The kids?  Our daughter had a baked potato (from the garden) and our son had his usual dark days meal of salad with hydroponically grown greens and local cheese.