Sunday, November 2, 2014

From Wee Garden to Wee Kitchen...

Today's post is about The Wee Kitchen, because something has to be done with all the things we get from The Wee Garden
I did pretty well with my 45 day challenge. Most days were fairly easy, there were a few that were a stretch. On these days I used dried or fresh herbs from the garden.  And then the okra started to produce, and we couldn't keep up. We found ways to cook okra that had never occurred to us! We even discovered that it is delicious raw!
We always have fresh oregano, it grows like a weed, and every so often I HAVE to give it a haircut. The cuttings go in the dehydrator, and I am never low on dried oregano. I also have dried thyme and hot pepper flakes from the garden. I always have green onions available. I cut 'em and they just keep growing back.  I also had fresh dill for a while, and now have a great supply of dill seeds.
As all our more Northern friends were harvesting in September and October, we were starting seeds and getting tomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins and several kinds of peppers in the ground.  So, as the okra has slowed down, we are getting lots of other things.
Yesterday, we a visit from some of the grand children.  We walked up the street and picked wild lemons. What to do when life gives you wild lemons? Make lemonade! It was delish and easy!  We also picked fresh sweet potato greens, and sautéed them with some bacon, diced ham and onion. That was our first time, but it won't be the last. That pot was scraped clean!  We also had fresh tomatoes on our burgers, and finished up the fridge pickles I made 2 weeks ago.
I spent my Sunday in the kitchen. I really feel like I accomplished something today.  Hubby harvested just over 15 pounds of  Beefsteak tomatoes this morning, and they are now simmering nicely on the stove in a massive batch of pasta sauce. I am thinking I will get around 4 quarts of it. 
I picked just over 4 pounds of cucumbers today, including a massive 1 pounder that I didn't see the last few times I picked. they are in a gallon jar in the fridge, becoming fridge pickles. Easiest thing ever!
I blanched and froze what is close to the last of the okra, but enough for one more meal. We went from picking 50-60 pods a day to just 8 today.
Then, and this has nothing to do with the garden, but I am enjoying the wonderful smell of  pumpkin beer bread coming from the kitchen. 
All in all, not a bad day, if I do say so myself!
That is how the Wee Garden grows today!

Monday, September 1, 2014

45 Days from The Wee Garden

It has been way too long, I know. I have been slacking.
Here in our little slice of paradise, we have distinct seasons. They are probably not like yours. We have tourists in the winter. This is the same time that we get the most production from our garden.  Unfortunately, while it is too hot in the summer for the tourists, it is also too hot for most of our garden crops. So, here I am, on September 1, without work for 6 weeks, and fighting the heat for some garden production.
This dilemma spurred my challenge, a Wee Challenge, for the Wee Garden. I go back to work on October 16, 45 days from now. Let's see if we can eat something, every day, from the Wee Garden. That is 45 days, at our most unproductive time of year.... No lettuce, no tomatoes, even some of the so called heat lovers like eggplant are on a boycott. I think we can do it. Let's spend the next 45 days finding out.
For dinner tonight, I have pork chops from our local butcher.  We try to support local businesses, and these are the best pork chops we have ever had.  To go with them today, I have harvested three beautiful yellow squash and two very large sweet potatoes. These sweets were literally popping out of the ground, begging to be plucked from the dirt and cooked.
If we can do it here, in the heat of South West Florida, think what you can do! Day 1 is covered!
That is how the Wee Garden grows today!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Roll Call

I know it has been a bit since I posted... We have been busy in the Wee Garden... It really is not so small anymore, but we are still loving it. I wanted to do a quick update on what has been going on.

We are rapidly approaching 100 pots, and more plants than I want to count. It takes about 2 hours to water everything, and we try to alternate days, or tag team it. The time it takes is so very worth it. We totally enjoy being out there, and sharing in this experience. The quality of the food we have harvested can not be compared to the tasteless produce we were getting from the grocery store. We very seldom buy from the grocery store anymore. If we don't have it growing here yet, we try to get it from a local farm store or produce stand.

So, here is the roll call of what we have growing in the Wee Garden right now. Hopefully I won't forget any one, and this does not include any of the seeds I started this week, that have not sprouted yet.
Most of the Wee Garden

We have six varieties of tomatoes... Beefsteak, Mexico, Rosalita, Black Cherry , Brandy Wine, and Church.
Waiting for the Black Cherry tomatoes to ripen
We have Red Potatoes, Carrots, Eggplant, Zucchini, Broccoli, Lemon Cucumber, and the Salad Table.

Eggplant just starting to bud

Broccoli ready to harvest

Baby Broccoli and a couple of Sweet Cayenne

We have 4 types of peppers... Sweet Cayenne, Bells, Cayennetta, and Jalapenos.
The Jalapenos are almost ready!
We had to add some fruit to the mix, so we have  Cantaloupe,  Meyers Lemons, Key Limes, and most recently added Strawberries.

For seasoning... Cilantro, Basil, Oregano, Onions, and Garlic.

Baby Carrots, Seeded Carrots, and Basil
That is how the Wee Garden grows today!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Bees in the Wee Garden

Everybody has their job in the Wee Garden.
 The bugs are included in this list.  I love to sit and watch them do their jobs!
I find the lady bugs and butterflies beautiful, and the hum of the bees is very relaxing to me.

Here are a few pics of the bees, busy doing their job!

I could sit and take pics of them all day, but there are other things to be done! 
So, off I go to water and plant...

That is how the Wee Garden grows today...

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Seeing Red...

As I sit in the Wee Garden, looking over all that will be dinner...haha... the thing that catches my eye most is the Beefsteak tomatoes.  They are starting to ripen, and we expect to eat the first ones sometime this week! My mouth waters at the thought of garden fresh, ripe beefsteaks! 
Is there any thing better? Maybe, I am not sure. But I do know,  probably not this week!

We've had fresh salad greens for months now, even enough to share. The Zucchini and Yellow squash were wonderful. We've eaten carrots... and they were oh so sweet!  We've had purple potatoes, a little disappointing, but they still gave us that satisfaction of having grown them ourselves!

We use fresh picked basil, cilantro, chives, and oregano on a regular basis, and the cayenetta peppers have been a spicy bit of heaven.

Nothing compares to the anticipation of those first vine ripened, fresh picked, homegrown tomatoes... Once again, my mouth is watering!

That is how the Wee Garden grows today!
Thanks for reading...
And Oh, by the way, 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Wee Ones in the Wee Garden

We had a great day in the Wee Garden today. I had a list of seeds to get planted, and just about the time I was starting the broccoli, my son stopped by with the grand babies and his wife. Of course, I am always willing to have some help!

Four year old fingers are just the right size to plant tiny broccoli seeds! Since she is usually told "Don't touch!" She was happy to help!

We did, however, have to send the little one on her way... She kept eating the dirt!

So, today we started 3 new kinds of tomatoes, some more eggplant, some more zucchini, and 6 more broccoli!

Thank goodness my daughter in law thought to take some pics!

That's how the Wee Garden grows today!
Thanks for reading!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Morning in The Wee Garden

Living in Southwest Florida definitely has its benefits... Like being able to grow food all year long, and as the hot summers ease into what I think are cold winters, I realize how lucky we are, that in January, we can take note of the cobwebs and dew in the early morning.

One of the things Hubby and I like to do is enjoy our morning coffee in the Wee Garden. I like to take my first cup with me, for a morning tour to check on my "babies". Any new growth? Any new flowers/ Any new fruit? Any "critters" cause us any damage during the night? Every day is an adventure, with the ever changing garden!

We've had a bit of fog the last few days... With the haze lingering into the morning...Its quiet and peaceful, and adds little jewels to everything in the garden. sometimes, you just have to stop and enjoy the beauty that is around you.

It was yesterday morning, as I sat in the garden and had my second cup of coffee, I looked at the beauty around me that I realized the simple truth... The Wee Garden doesn't only give me food... It gives me peace! 

Thanks for reading,