Tag Archives: gardening

What’s in the Box? #74

What's in the Box?

 

One of the things I loved most about gardening, was that seeing all the time and effort that went into planting, watering and growing my own food, helped me to appreciate my harvest so much more.  It’s no secret that I have a deep affection for my CSA box, but after last week’s visit to my CSA farm, I appreciate it so much more!    

For one, the property was just breathtaking…

 

CSA Farm

Rows and rows of luscious fresh greens, just waiting to be picked and devoured.  

 

CSA Farming

 

I was so grateful to be given a personal tour by the director of the CSA program.  We walked through the entire journey of the veggies from the ground, to the cooler, to the delivery truck.   

CSA

 

And it all happens in one day.  Now that’s fresh!  

Harper and I had such a blast on our tour.  Looking forward to heading out for another visit soon :)

Now let’s take a look at what type of freshness the party goers have been whipping up.  Last week there were 8 link ups.  And my oh my are there some yummy dishes to brag about.  As much as I love my produce, I also love me some bacon.  Thanks to Jess from Hesitantly Healthy, I can enjoy some Easy Baked Brussels Sprouts, Red Potato and Bacon from the comfort of my computer screen…drool!  And Tammy from Agrigirl shared a beautiful and colorful Yellow Squash Gazpacho.  Finally, I am loving the simple and clean flavors of Brian’s Avocado Toast from Lettuce Never Squash our Love.  Thanks to everyone for linking up and sharing their delicious goodies.  You continue to spoil me :)

You know who else keeps spoiling me?  My freakin awesome CSA!  Check out this week’s haul…

What's in the Box? #74- In Her Chucks

Raspberries AND blackberries…SCORE!  And let me tell you…they are perfectly juicy and sweet.  Simply irresistible.  But I am working my self-control like never before because I have some delicious savory dishes planned for these little gems.  Hoping to get the chance to share them with you :)

Next up are the zucchini.  A HUGE favorite of mine.  Mostly because I can’t get enough of these Turkey Burgers with Homemade Zucchini Fries.  And getting another bunch of crunchy carrots worked out well too, since the burgers aren’t complete without them.  I topped the patties with white cheddar cheese and half of an avocado.  Oh, and some of that crispy green lettuce.  Dinner tonight was heaven.

There is no produce more beautiful to me than golden beets.  They are vibrant, bright and when the dirt and residue are washed away, they almost resemble a glistening gem.  My recipe of choice for golden beets is my Roasted Beets with Walnuts and Gorgonzola because they make the dish sparkle, but this week, my husband has requested beet fritters.  So fritters it is.  And with the fritters I will be serving a perfectly grilled rib eye steak and some of those enormous artichokes, which will also be grilled.

And finally, the leeks.  I am torn with the leeks because I have so many delicious recipes to choose from.  So I guess we will have to see where my taste buds take me this week.  

Your turn:  What are some of your favorite ways to use the fruits and veggies shown?  Any special recipe, tips or tricks you’d like to share?  Looking forward to reading your responses :)

Linking up for the first time?  Click here for more info…and Welcome!

PS:  Don’t forget to tell your readers about the party by linking back to this post and grabbing the official “What’s in the Box?” button at the bottom of my blog.  Thanks!


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How is My Garden Growing…Now?

We are having such a wonderful time tending to our garden. This journey has been a great learning experience for us and has taught us to further appreciate the food that ends up on our table. It is amazing to watch tiny seeds evolve into edible plants with sunlight, water and a little TLC. Nature continues to boggle my mind.

It is hard to believe how far we have come since my first post

Things has been going quite well. We have successfully harvested lettuce, celery and most recently, carrots. They came up in some pretty interesting shapes…but still tasted great!

The rest of our original crops are still going strong. The Brussels are finally getting little sprouts! I am counting down the days until I can throw them into the oven and give them a good roast :) Practicing my patience on this one.

It’s definitely strawberry season. Juicy red fruit is popping up all over the place. And we aren’t the only ones who are excited about it. The birds have been attempting to raid our stash. So Freddie built a cage over our goods to protect them from unwanted visitors. Now our lovely luscious gems are safe and sound…at least until they hit our tummies!

I am most impressed by the corn. It sprouted so quickly! At this rate we will be enjoying sweet summer corn in no time…yum :)

The sugar snap peas are flourishing as well. Almost time to recreate this dish

And just when you thought we had enough stuff growing…Freddie surprised me by planting more! A few weeks ago, Harper and Freddie disappeared for a few hours to do some undercover planting. On my most recent visit to the garden I noticed that my two gardening fairies had planted some of my favorite fruits and veggies…watermelon, cantaloupe, zucchini, yellow squash and bell peppers. And so far, everything is looking fabulous!

So, as you can tell, our garden is growing pretty well! I am so grateful to my wonderful husband for supporting me in this venture. To be honest, he has done most of the work…with some help from Harper of course! She is turning out to be quite the little gardener. I continue to help out here and there but Freddie is the ultimate garden master. So, thanks babe! Couldn’t do it without you :)

Your turn: Have you ever started a garden? What were some of your most successful crops? Any secret tips you care to share? Looking forward to hearing your responses :)

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13 Months

Harper is on the fast track and I keep wishing I could freeze time. Harper is becoming a little girl. I realized the other day, when I was spending time with some 5 month olds, that Harper is no longer a baby, she is emerging as a toddler. But regardless of her age, she will ALWAYS be my baby…

Harper’s Firsts:

First Harvest: Harper loves to work in the garden. Five months after planting our first round of crops, we harvested a ton of fresh lettuce which we shared with our friends and neighbors. After picking our lettuce, Harper helped us plant our summer and spring crops. She did a great job!

First Theme Park Visit: Last weekend we took a road trip to San Diego to visit my sister and her family. On Saturday we all went to LEGOLAND for the day. We had a blast! Although the park is more for older kids than children Harper’s age, there was an area called DUPLO Playtown where Harper rode a train, played on the playground and built towers with Legos. I was very impressed by our visit to LEGOLAND and can’t wait to take Harper back when she gets a little older.

First Steps: Within the last few weeks, Harper has started taking steps. For the first couple days it was only 1 or 2 steps at a time. Now, she is up to 6-7, and sometimes, depending on what she is after, she may even walk a little more. This is such an exciting time as moving from crawling to walking is a pretty big milestone. When she is not walking on her own, she wants to hold on to our hands or cruise around on the furniture. It is only a matter of time until she is a full-time walker. Watch out world…here she comes!

Harper’s Favs:

Favorite Toy: After all the amazing gifts Harper received for her birthday it is hard to pick just one toy that Harper considers her favorite. But it seems that she can’t get enough of her Cozy Coupe. She loves when we push her around in it. She grabs the steering wheel with one hand, while she rests her other arm on the car door. She’s ready for her driving test already :)

Favorite Song: Twinkle, Twinkle has always been one of Harper’s all time favorite songs. It was the song we sung to her when she was still in my belly and it is the song her daddy sings to her every night when he puts her to sleep. But now that Harper is starting to sing on her own, we changed the words of the song to simple syllables. We like to sing the song using “ba” in place of the words. This way, we make the song more accessible to her because “ba” is a syllable she is familiar with. And it is a lot easier to sing “ba” than all the other words in the song. When we sing “Harper’s version” with her, she almost always sings along. And there is nothing sweeter than singing a duet with your baby girl:)

Favorite Book: For Harper’s Birthday Party we gave out small, colorful, board books in everyone’s party favor boxes. Since we had a few leftover, Harper got to keep some for herself. These are by far her favorite books yet. And they are just her size. She carries them around the house and reads them out loud. It is the cutest thing ever. I love that Harper is such an avid reader.

Harper Do:

Ever since Harper was itty bitty, she has always wanted to do things by herself. So whenever she initiates a task independently, we say, “Harper do”. This has become her little nick name. Now that Harper is 13 months, there are a lot of things she likes to do by herself, but here is a short list of some new tasks she is liking to do on her own.

Brushing her teeth: Ever since we went to the dentist last month, we have been following a good dental hygiene routine. And thankfully, Harper loves it! She gets so excited when I take her tooth brush out, she can’t wait to fight cavities. Of course, she wants to do it herself and likes it when I brush my teeth along with her.

Combing her hair: Harper has always been a good sport when it comes to getting her hair done. It is definitely a task! But she is very patient and cooperative. Lately, she has wanted to help me out a bit and often takes the comb and begins to create a bouffant on her own. Quite adorable :)

Wiping her own a$$: Pardon me for the language, but if you have ever seen Big Daddy then you know why I had to go there. But seriously, whenever Harper is done using the toilet now, she reaches for the toilet paper and does her thing. Of course she still needs help from momma but watching her try to do it on her own is pretty darn cute!

Tooth Update: Harper now has 6 teeth!

Four on the top, and 2 on the bottom. Although, it looks like the bottom may be catching up soon because Harper has been chewing away on her bottom gums. Anything she can get her hands on ends up in her mouth. So here’s to a few more teeth :)

Just when I thought time couldn’t move any faster, this last month has flown by! I can’t believe how quickly Harper is growing up. I find myself looking through photos of her earlier months and watching videos of when she was just a wee little thing. It is amazing how far she has come in only 13 months. Every day is a new opportunity for her to learn and grow, and she always makes the best of it.

Happy 13th Month Birthday Ms. Harper. Mommy and Daddy love you!

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How is My Garden Growing?: The Next Chapter

The weather on Sunday was warm and sunny.  It was a perfect day to play in the garden.

Even the critters were getting into the action.

But there was a lot of work to be done.  It is time to plant a new batch of crops.  We were excited to harvest some of our winter crops and make room for the vegetables of spring and summer.

We started by digging up our lettuce so we could share them with our friends and neighbors.  We decided to plant rows of corn in it’s place.  We also added a few asparagus plants in the same section as well.  Two of our favorite vegetables!

In the back of our plot we planted a few potatoes, green beans, sweet peas and cucumbers.

We still haven’t seen a huge harvest from our initial strawberry planting, so we decided to add a few more plants to see if it would spark some action.

Finally, we added some shallots and chives to the mix as well.  We are still tending to our carrots, celery, onions, Brussels, and parsley which are all thriving.  We had to say goodbye to our broccoli plant as the weather has been a little too warm and as a result it decided to bloom flowers instead of a head.  Oh well, 8 out of 9 ain’t bad :).

We introduced some worms to our compost bin and are looking forward to the benefits of their hard work.

This experience continues to be enjoyable.  A LOT of hard work, but very fun.  Harper is having a blast too.  Her favorite part is hanging out in the wheel barrel.  She also digs a mean hole with that orange shovel.  Don’t let those little hands fool you.  She takes her job very seriously :)

And even after all of that, we are still not done.  Stay tuned for the next installment.  I see some more delicious veggies in our future :)

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