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Video Tour

Garden Tour

 

 

I was looking at a giant box of onions I have sitting out in my garage and I thought about how satisfying it was to grow them.  Letting them go to waste would be horrible- so I better get to some cooking.

Now started to wonder; “What can I make, that would use a lot of onions?”

Some kind of sandwich?  Hmm…Intriguing…


That’s a lot of onions- this is a good sized pan.

I selected about 7 medium sized onions, then sliced them about 3/8″ wide.  I carmelized them with about 1/4 cup of olive oil and a few cloves of garlic.  I did this on a low temperature, it took about 45 minutes or so.

Next,  I looked around the garden for anything else that might be ready to be picked.  We really do have a lot right now.  I got some eggplant, some poblano chiles, and some roma tomatoes.


I ended up picking two more chiles after I realized I needed to roast this kind of pepper.

I roasted the chiles over an open flame on my stove.  (That makes the whole house smell wonderful. If you haven’t done this, give it a try)  Then I sauteed the poblanos with the eggplant, tomatoes and some salt and pepper.  That took about 5 minutes.

I also prepared a yogurt with coriander, cayenne pepper and garlic salt.  I topped it off with fresh sliced tomato, cucumbers, sweet green peppers and basil.


Notice the tomato is red all the way through.  Store bought tomatoes are a travesty.  Also, the bottom of the pita has about one full cup of the carmelized onions.

What’s the verdict?  Absolutely frigging amazing.  The caramelized onions were  perfect.  Add the other sauteed veggies, fresh veggies and yogurt…you’ve got yourself a damn good sandwich.  Honestly, I walked 12 miles in Portland last week looking for something just like this, but I didn’t find it.  The sandwich I made today delivered.

Some guys are out there thinking, “But that’s a veggie sandwich dude, I need to eat meat at every possible meal, and triple on my pizza!

No you don’t.

These onions were incredible.  Sweet, savory…almost like pulled pork or something.  They were really good and carried the sandwich fine without any meat.

From the garden, this sandwich used:

  • 2 kinds of tomatoes
  • 2 kinds of peppers
  • onions
  • basil
  • eggplant


The flower was there by accident…I’m not trying to be artistic.

Also, I picked some corn.  This variety is really good.  Much better than my early maturing corn I was eating two weeks ago.

I have mentioned that I’m really busy, and can’t blog too much because of my other projects.  Here’s an update on some of the things I’ve been working on.


That’s Otto on the left, Felix on the right.  I’m the fat one in the middle.

 

The garden is still growing…but the weather has been strange.  Rain in June…cool weather, and just a general lack of oppressive Central Valley dry heat that the tomatoes and squash love.

 

Because I’ve got infant twins, I have no time to write.  But here are a few pictures.

Tomato and pumpkin.

In my compost pile.  Not as dangerous as it looks!

I planted one seed packet of poppies a year ago.  Now my yard is full.


Poppies and lavender.  Quite a nice combination!

 

Here it is- the end of the season for my cruciferous vegetables.  This final cutting of broccoli signals the end of the winter crop as the summer season heats up. It makes me a little sad.  I love the winter vegetables.


A really nice and tight head of broccoli- from my garden in May!  

I’m not sure why, but the entire cruciferous family really gets me going.    And it’s not just because these are the ‘gassy’ veggies.  I think it’s because of the flavor.

This is a bland bunch of vegetables you say?  Hell no!  This great family includes some really good stuff!

  • horseradish (on prime rib?!?!?)
  • kale
  • cabbage (Soup!)
  • brussels sprout
  • broccoli
  • romanesco (Looks cool!)
  • cauliflower (SOUP! with Tabasco!)
  • bok choy (My wife can stir-fry the dickens out of this)
  • chinese cabbage (Or Napa, depending on your slant)
  • turnip root
  • rutabaga
  • mustard (You had me at ‘mustard’)
  • arugula
  • wasabi (Sniff!)


Tools of the trade at harvest.  A large collander, and a knife.

On my final harvest, I got 4 good-sized heads of broccoli, just before they flowered.  I was hoping to make some soup today, but it just didn’t happen.  This is now my lunch plan for tomorrow.


Click on this picture to get a cool image to use for your desktop background!

I encourage everyone to plant a winter garden.  Plant some cruciferous veggies- do it Old World style. It doesn’t matter what part of the world your people are from, your traditional dishes are full of cruciferous vegetables because they are ‘Super-Veggies.’

And don’t forget…George H. Bush refused to eat broccoli when he was President.  Which means George W. probably never ate broccoli either.  Can you think of any better reason to have it with every meal?

Here is a bonus picture of a garden visitor I had while picking the broccoli.  There were actually two of them, I shot this one.  With the camera.

Eat your veggies!

Infestation!

I’m afraid.  Very afraid.

My yard and garage are INFESTED with  this bug, and I don’t know what it is.  Chances are, they will be eating my entire garden.  I started seeing them a few weeks ago, and they look like this:


Actual size is about 1/2″ long. This one is one the stucco on the outside of my house.

These things started to show up everwhere, but I find them mostly on the side of my house.  There are hundreds and hundreds of them.  I am beginning to get very worried.  Obviously it is a beetle of some sort.

Probably something that likes to eat my garden, then lay eggs inside the house- causing my wife to freak out.

Uh oh.  I started to notice that a lot of them are turning into some sort of worm…attaching themselves to the wall and shedding their outer husk.  This is it- the garden apocalypse.

I know I’ll be inundated with some form of voracious plant-eating beasts.  Maybe they’ll spread some sort of lyme disease to us humans.  Nature is cruel this way…and a bit disgusting also.  I watched this one flick it’s ‘bottom half’ up and down as it was shedding the skin…the worm portion must have been squished into the casing, as it seemed to expand beyond the size of the original bug when it exited.

Now I’ve got hundreds of these things hanging on my house, in the garage, on plants, everywhere!  Call the damn exterminators!  Get a scraper!

Wait..I kind of recognize the pattern on this thing.  I know I’ve seen it somewhere…

Found this one on my roses, doing her thing.

Well look at that!  My yard is infested with ladybugs!  And they’re growing into adults!  This must be some sort of cosmic reward for not killing the spiders my wife is afraid of.

Here’s someone else providing a little bit more information about the life-cycle of ladybugs.

I really, truly did think I had some sort of gross infestation.  The ladybug larva are not as pretty as the adults.  But now that I know what these are, I’m thrilled!

I’ve got more beneficial critters in the yard.  10 points to whoever can tell me what this is:  (I’ve found dozens of these also..but this one, I do know.)

And finally, this guy will take care of some of the bigger pests…

The little ecosystem in my yard is really coming alive this year.  I’m not organic (I believe in science)- but through judicious use of pest controls, I think I have maintained a very good balance allowing for the beneficial creatures to thrive.

Now if I could only get rid of those noseeums…

Spring Planting List


Some of last fall’s swiss chard.  8 beautiful plants.  I didn’t eat a single leaf. Chard is now off of my ‘must plant’ list.

I’m slowing down the garden this year…on purpose.   Maybe I want some beds to go fallow, maybe I’ve got other things to do with my time.  Either way, I will be planting a bit less than usual.

But here is a list of what I am planting:

Squash

  • Sunburst squash
  • Crookneck squash
  • Straightneck squash
  • Zucchini squash x 2
  • Pumpkin x2 volunteers

Peppers

  • Jalapeno
  • Spanish Spice Pepper
  • Green Relleno (the tags are not very accurate)
  • Padilla Bajio
  • Poblano
  • Bell Pepper (x4)

Fruit

  • Cantaloupe “Hale’s Best” x2
  • Strawberry rhizome  x 15
  • Strawberry plants x 1o
  • Watermelon

Tomatoes

  • Sungold
  • Ace
  • Celebrity
  • Better Boy
  • Early Girl
Others
  • Ichiban eggplant
  • Tomatillo
  • Sage
  • Burpless Cucumber
  • Corn x about 50
A friend donated this sunburst squash.  Last year she donated an ‘Eight ball’ squash.  Friends who donate squash are cool.
One of my onion boxes.  You’ll notice that some onions are further along than others.  Well, my young assistant has an affinity for pulling out young onion plants.  In some cases, this is the third planting.
Those of you with eagle-eyes may also notice the Poppy plants.  I mentioned before that my yard is littered with them after letting a single poppy plant go to seed last year.  In this picture you can see at least 6 plants.  I have hundreds in my yard.  Prettiest weed I’ve ever seen.
Here are the volunteer pumpkins.  My young assistant wanted to help last year, so she planted some pumpkin seeds from our Jack O’Lantern.  And they came up!  We’ll see how this goes, but if I had to guess, I would say they would do better than all of the pumpkins I’ve ever planted.


Keep gardening fun!

Wait…

Now I remember why I’m slowing down…

 Two more little bean pods were added to the garden on April 19th..

Felix and Otto

Compost update

Compost reaching a good temp- about 138!

20110406-011908.jpg

 

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