Friday, August 14, 2009

Garden Journal 8/14/09: Relaxing Retro Style in the Garden and Cooking It Up in the Kitchen

At Least Farm Boss Patchy Cat Hasn't Taken Over My New Chair Yet

Realization of the Day:
It's the weekend! Time to sit back and ignore the work and the weeds.

In between hanging out in my fun new chair this weekend (even though we technically don't have weekends on the farm, since Saturday and Sunday are just the same as any other day to the animals), I'm planning to start some brussels sprouts seeds in containers (I've never grown them before—it might be too late for a fall crop, might not, we'll see) and finally put some poor neglected thyme plants I bought last spring into pots. And there's a ton of weeding to do of course. Oh how the weeds have thrived with the (otherwise) wonderful rain we've had this year.

There's not a whole lot to be harvested in the garden right now, but I need to get out there and pick lots and lots of green and purple basil (leaving the snipped plants in the ground so they'll reward me with another harvest or two, like I demonstrated in this post) for my favorite lowfat but still delicious basil pesto which I'll freeze so we can enjoy it all winter long.

Tomorrow night we'll be celebrating summer with the first BLTs of the season—thanks to the juicy heirloom tomatoes I bought from our Amish neighbors, since I don't have a single ripe tomato yet!—on toasted slices of freshly baked Farmhouse White Bread. I see a pesto pizza with fresh tomatoes in our near future, too.

There's some beautiful Swiss chard still growing in the greenhouse (along with several tiny volunteer seedlings—it's so easy to grow Swiss chard from seed) and a couple small heads of cabbage from my Amish vegetable connection in the fridge, so hopefully there will be time to mix up some Swiss Chard Tuna Salad, Swiss Chard Cabbage Salad with Garbanzo Beans, Broccoli Stems & Cottage Cheese, and/or a platter of Mexican Jumping Bean Slaw Tacos with High Kickin' Creamy Tomato Dressing.

And for dessert? If I don't get around to baking the Just Peachy version (Missouri peaches are here!) of my Easier than They Look Blueberry Breakfast Bars I've been craving (both fresh and frozen blueberries work great for these), there's always that hunk of Orange Yogurt Loaf Cake I found hiding in the freezer the other day.

I think I'd better move my retro relaxing chair into the kitchen!

What are you eating—or preserving—from the garden, farmers' market, or your CSA box this weekend?

© Copyright 2009, the the surrounded by vintage treasures indoors and out foodie farm blog where I've always adored these classic motel chairs and was thrilled to score this new version—in one of my favorite colors—for the beat up and battered display model price of just ten bucks.


  1. Lovely Chair! Good luck with the thyme plants. They're fairly tough; they'll probably make it.

  2. After 35 years of gardening, I have discovered okra. We have been eating it regularly as clockwork every other day, both fried and in gumbo. Yum! I'll be canning tomatoes I imagine and some pickled sweet banana peppers, another discovery this year. I've frozen them, but never pickled them before. We have had a super-abundance due to all the rain you mentioned.

    It was a great year for onions too. These were grown from sets here in northern Arkansas.

    I love it when you post. I'm dieing to try those blueberry breakfast bars. They look wonderful.

  3. I'm up to my ears in okra from only six plants! Luckily, I love okra and tomatoes, and I eat a fresh pot nearly every day (I'm not one to share, either ;)
    From the farmer's market here in Central Arkansas, I'm getting purple hull peas and fresh corn, and I've got two of the most beautiful eggplants that I'm trying to figure out the perfect recipe for. I'm rather thinking eggplant risotto???
    Good luck with all your kitchen projects! It seems that I've been in the kitchen non-stop, and I just have a tiny, backyard, suburban garden.

  4. Gazpacho with the most lucious multi colored local heirloom tomatoes, cukes, sweet onion, red peppers and garlic; 3 quarts of heaven. Definitely my idea of summer! Thanks for asking :)

  5. fair warning, make sure the chickens are no where near the brussels sprouts! I know chickens like anything young and green, but they REALLY like brussels spouts plants!

  6. I've got tons of tomatoes from the garden lately, so i've been making yellow and red spaghetti sauces and ketchup. Theres also been quite a few cucumbers that I've been pickling. Oh I almost forgot about the green beans.I was thinking about trying a batch of dilly beans. I've been freezing what peppers I have left from the trip into the house from the garden. (not many of them make it!) Its nice to get something back from all the hard work in the spring

  7. Aha! Figured out how to post a comment.

    Made a pizza. Used your crust recipe. Used your sauce recipe, chunky style, with yellow tomatoes, red tomatoes, greek oregano (all that I grew) and garlic. The sauce is good enough to eat all on it's own! Cheddar cheese with onion and olive topping.

    I could use the "onion growing for dummies" book (throw garlic in there, too). I discovered an onion in a pot. It was actually several, as it resembled elephant garlic. I broke it apart and planted them, then it got HOT here in the Pacific NW. Will those onions sprout when conditions are right? Or will they decay? I don't want to dig them up, for fear of damaging a developing root system.

    Thanks for sharing your garden and kitchen with us. Yum! YUm! YUM!

  8. That chair will be great as long as it's not in the sun!
    Brussels sprouts...we grew them from seed one year, and the quail kept nibbling at them, so that the sprouts, when they formed, were the size of pin heads!!
    Thanks for a summery post--I don't feel so bad about my slow tomato harvest now.

  9. Well this weekend is a break from preserving things, but last weekend was filled with peaches by the bushel (litterally). Now I have tons of frozed peaches and a batch of dried peaches and a few nectarines.

    The house still smells like peaches. I had sinus surgery last week and I can STILL smell the darn things. I should do something about those things and make some jam or jelly...

  10. I love your posts. They make me feel so good! I especially love the daily dose of Cute.
    I made bay vinegar for the first time. It is most delicious with bits of orange rind. Made basil pesto with the last of my basil. Here in Texas we are in a severe drought so the other veggies are fried.

  11. I've just found your blog and I love it! Your chair's not bad either!

  12. Love your chair! My great-grandmother always had these on her front porch. Hers were green & white. My mom has replicas now. I also have 4 red ones on my front porch from Plow & Hearth. Now they have a 2 person glider that I am eyeing. As far as garden produce goes, we have had success out of our one raised bed. Last night at supper, we ate potatoes, carrots, and strawberries from our own yard! I love that! Also, I always enjoy the extra captions under your photos. They are always entertaining!

  13. A local farm out my way sells Lemon-Basil Pesto and it is the best stuff on earth! (We do lots of pesto & tomato pizzas, or goat cheese topped with caramelized onions and pesto chicken). I purchased some Lemon- Basil seeds and am hoping to make some myself next year, maybe I will have to try the purple stuff as well!

  14. I've been looking for a way to use some of my garden bounty (I have lots of red tomatos already, basil growing everywhere & I just harvested the garlic!)
    I made a pesto pie last night and yum!!!!!
    It tasted so garden fresh. My family loved it. Thank you for sharing.


March 2013 update: My apologies for the inconvenience - I know word verification is a pain - but I've had to turn it on to help stop the ridiculous number of anonymous spam comments I've been getting every day. Thanks for your understanding.

Welcome to! Thanks so much for taking the time to write. While I'm not always able to reply to every comment, I receive and enjoy reading them all.

Your feedback is greatly appreciated, and I especially love to hear about what's going on in your own garden. I know, too, that other readers also delight in reading about your garden successes, failures, helpful tips, and lessons learned. Feel free to leave comments on older posts!

I try my best to answer all questions, but sometimes it takes me a few days to get to them. And sometimes, I'm sorry to say, they fall through the cracks, and for that I sincerely apologize.

I look forward to hearing from you and hope you enjoy your visits to my kitchen garden!