While the Gardener is Away, the Veggies Will Play

My garden on 5/12/12

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My garden 5/29/12

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Holy cow.  We had 3 days of rain and then I went away for the holiday weekend.  The garden (and all of the plots around me) went a little bonkers.

After an hour of cleaning up…IMG_1593

I chopped down the mustard greens and my spinach.  My spinach had actually bolted Sad smile but I pulled off the leaves and got a huge bag of greens.  Guess what I am having for lunch!  I also put the mustard flowers into a ball jar on the dining room table as a lovely centerpiece.

The haul for the day…IMG_1592

Tons of mustard, spinach, Romaine, and a few green beans.

Growing shot!IMG_1591

This is the plant that was already growing in our plot when I started…I thought it was a cucumber but now it looks a lot like a zucchini, especially those flowers.  Now we are down to one cucumber plant, which is not doing so hot.  I might need to get another plant and maybe more beans…I just cannot stop!

Speaking of beans…

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We had the few beans I harvested on top of our greens last night, and Nick commented that no grocery bean can ever taste as good as fresh from the garden.  He couldn’t put a finger on the flavor, but I love seeing people get excited about vegetables.  Green beans are his favorite in general hence another reason why I think we need more!

Other highlights/lowlights…

  • my snap peas are not happy and may need to come out
  • I am thinking about putting in some eggplant when the lettuce goes
  • my tomatoes are getting flowers!
  • more bean plants are needed
  • maybe another cucumber
  • it is almost time to harvest a lot of kale! (Nick will juice a lot of it)

Lesson Learned:

Check on your garden every day if possible!

Questions:

What should I do when my lettuce, spinach and kale are done?  Will kale continue to produce after it gets to full size?  I am trying to learn more about how to handle things that don’t continue to produce once they reach maturity.

How are your gardens doing?


One Day In Maine

This past weekend was not only Memorial Day, but it was also my grandfather’s birthday.  I have gone to Maine every year for the past 28 years so I wasn’t about to miss this year even if I could only stay for one day.IMG_1583

We did a little gardening…

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Visited the beach (it was packed!)IMG_1579

Ate some delicious food…

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Celebrated a birthday!

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…and visited the Bean BootIMG_1586

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“100 years of roughing it in comfort”

Maine – the way life should be.


My Current Moral Debate

I am currently struggling with the problem of having amazing produce all around me all day long, offered at a great rate, BUT most of it is not from the area or even within the US.  I have tried to keep a relatively seasonal diet over the past year minus my daily banana.  This means I do not buy any other tropical fruits, berries, or tomatoes unless it is the summer, and I eat a lot of kale and squash in the winter.  Now I am not perfect and I do on occasion have some foods out of season, especially when I order a salad out and it is made of baby greens and contains tomatoes.  No one is perfect but just think about how amazing a summer tomato tastes warmed in the sun’s rays vs. a hot house tomato flown in from Mexico.  There is no comparison.  Not to mention the amount of fossil fuel used to fly the tomato to me and the conditions the pickers have to deal with.IMG_8163

Getting back to my issues…we carry the mother load of delicious all organic produce and it is very hard to say no to the strawberries, peppers, and raspberries.  I try and stay away from them as much as possible but some are just so hard to pass up.  We just need to get the local crops in ASAP and my garden needs to start producing!

What would you do?


Everything is In!

It is a beautiful day here in Maryland!  The garden is growing, and I finally got everything planted (minus a few replacement heads of lettuce after harvest).

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Everything seems to be doing well except my snap peas and a couple of tomato plants that were sampled by a chipmunk or some other type of rodent ( we are pretending it could never be a rat…).  They seem to be the only trouble we have had with nibbling, which is good because I am trying to keep the garden as organic as possible.  I am actually more worried that my nibbler problems will be of the two legged variety come July.  As of today no one seems to want to steal kale and lettuce but tomatoes and peppers are a little bit more appealing.

The latest garden additions are pepper plants, some herbs and marigolds.

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I love sweet red peppers!

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Basil and parsley looking a little sad after watering.IMG_1574

Cheery marigold!  They are supposed to keep pests away and my mom will be proud of me for getting a plant that is not food.

Along with planting, I also harvested two Romaine heads and some more spicy salad greens.IMG_1571

Yay lettuce!

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Both are hanging out in my crisper waiting to be eaten tonight for dinner!  My tomatoes are still very small but growing.  It is almost time to harvest some spinach too!  Green Monster smoothies and salads for all!


Dino and Inman Family Wine Dinner

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Nick and I were able to attend an amazing dinner at Dino on Wednesday.  I have ben wanting to go to the restaurant for quiet some time because of their focus on sustainable and local, and this seemed like a perfect time to try it out!

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You can see the first two courses described above – it was my first time having pig head!  The one with green on top is the pork and the other is the seafood.  This was paired with a Rose and was our second favorite wine of the night.  We both liked the seafood crostini better.

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Next was my first soft shell crab ever!  It was grilled and paired with a tomato sauce jarred last summer.  It was accompanied by a Chardonnay.  I still like lobster better Smile

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The owner and wine maker made the rounds giving us insight on their organic wines and how they use local and sustainable products.  This is Dean the restaurant owner and he is full of passion for food!

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The third course was duck leg roasted with a homemade ginger glaze (so good), duck fat fried potatoes, and a poached quail egg.  This was paired with a 2007 Pinot Noir on the valley and was lighter.

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The fourth course was AMAZING!  This was a stewed lamb with herb crust over 4 cheese polenta.  The polenta was so good with gruyere, blue cheese, assiago and some other kind I cannot remember.  I wanted to lick my bowl clean!  This was paired with another Pinot Noir.

Lastly we ended with two lovely cheeses and the best Pinot Noir of the night!  Sorry it went un-pictured.

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We took the metro to allow ourselves a full night of wine enjoyment.  Although we got home late (thanks red line track work!) it was worth it.  Great date night!


Life in Silver Spring

We have lived in Silver Spring for almost 4 months.  We are truly enjoying our time here.

Every Saturday morning I make my way to the Farmer’s Market and now there is a street occurring.  I finally had enough time to walk into town and snap some pictures instead of dashing in and out.

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It was an awesome day to be outside!

Other than spending time in town we have been exploring the local restaurants and have plans to get strawberry rhubarb cocktails tonight at 8407 Kitchen Bar!

I hope you are enjoying your Saturday!


Best Dressing To Date

Today I may have made the best dressing ever.  It may look like super gross baby something or other, but if you like smoky and lemony flavors, this is for you.

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Smoky Avocado Dressing – approximate measurements, coasted 3 servings of quinoa veggie salad

  • 1 avocado, mashed
  • 1 TSP olive oil
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice
  • 1 TBSP nutritional yeast (optional)
  • 1 TSP smoked paprika
  • 1/2 TSP fresh cracked pepper
  • 1/4 TSP sea salt
  1. Mix together and stir in with a naked pasta, quinoa, or rice saladIMG_1557

I made this one up this afternoon for Nick and I to have for dinner.  I am working late so I can take half and he can re-heat when he gets home.  Win-win.  Besides the dressing there is quinoa, onion, mushroom, zucchini, tomatoes, and kale.  We shall see how it all turns out.  I bet it will be amazing coated in all that smoky deliciousness!

What was something amazing that you made recently?