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What are you growing and cooking?

DeniseM

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I'd love to hear about what you are growing and cooking these days!

As you may recall, back in April of 2020 I decided to start a little garden in a raised bed. We just have a small California suburban yard, so raised beds and big pots are my best options. Now, 4 years later, I have 4 raised beds, five 50 Gal. pots (tomatoes) and a Greenstalk Strawberry Tower.

I'm growing the following: 3 kinds of squash, bush beans, pie pumpkins, 3 kinds of tomatoes, 6 kinds of peppers, radishes, celery, lettuce, cucumbers, lots of herbs, and earlier in the spring I harvested a bunch of spinach. Today I harvested my first zucchini! It's about 8 in. long which is the size I like them.

Yesterday, I went to a U-Pick farm with one of my neighbors and picked cherries, blueberries, and peaches, so this morning I made blueberry muffins and a blueberry peach crumble.

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rickandcindy23

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A hail storm night before last destroyed our tomato plants here in CO. I guess I have to get some new ones. Also destroyed all of our lawn furniture, our storage containers for the cushions we used to put on the lawn furniture, bent a bunch of solar lights. Hailstones were larger than we usually get, some as big as golf balls.
 
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chellej

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I'm giving my raised beds a rest this year. We are housesitting for a friend in Driggs Id the month of July so I figured nothing would survive. It has been hard resisting all the plant sections out there. My strawberries are going crazy so hopefully they will peak before we go but we had 2 hard freezes last week which is late for us so we will see.
 

marmite

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Blackberries! They are at the bottom of my land and they are hard to get rid of. :LOL:

I have a small acreage and tilled about 50 feet for a veggie-garden during Covid, and had some success but in subsequent years found it really hard to keep things going with all the vacations we've been booking. This year I am going to keep it simple and am sticking to herbs that I use for cooking, including lots of mint and basil for lemonade and cocktails. BTW, I was so proud of you when I read you knew how to operate a tractor!

I have some Jonagold, Braeburn and Northern Spy apple trees that are producing, the Braeburn is a prolific producer. Blueberries are perfect for our climate but our dogs like them, so I never seem to get much for myself.

I am actually really into flowers, I have started them from seed under lights and grown more than 200 dahlias at a time and about 40 different sweet peas. I even got trained and certified as a judge when I was in my dahlia-obsession phase. I have a beautiful greenhouse and hope to make use of it when I retire -- I had big plans for it but right now it's sitting empty.
 
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DeniseM

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Because we are working with small garden beds, we have everything on automatic timers for watering, and we have netting around the raised beds and 50 gal pots, because we have had problems with feral cats, feral ducks and lizards getting into our garden beds! I have my small herb and lettuce bed completely covered in bug netting to keep out the cabbage loopers and reduce the amount of sun they get. As you may recall, last year the common fence lizards were eating my ripe tomatoes! In 2021 we had feral ducks get into a newly planted bed and completely destroy it, and feral cats are always looking for a litter box! But we are lucky, because in the suburbs we don't have deer or squirrels.
 

DeniseM

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I just ate my first homegrown strawberry - it was solid red all the way through and very sweet and flavorful! Since it's gotten hot, the plants have stopped blooming so I increased water and gave them a little berry fertilizer - hopefully that does the trick. If not, I'm going to move the Greenstalk planter to a cooler area, because right now it gets full sun most of the day, and it may just be too hot.
 

rickandcindy23

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@marmite I love blackberries! We cannot grow them here in CO. Raspberries, yes, but gross! Cannot stand them. The only berry I won't eat.
 
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marmite

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@marmite I love blackberries! We cannot grow them here in CO. Rasberries, yes, but gross! Cannot stand them. The only berry I won't eat.
I don't hate raspberries but am not patient enough to take care of them and dedicate space to them. Blackberries are great and especially with having the apples too, we make a lot of blackberry-apple crumbles and pies in the fall to share with family and friends.
 

rickandcindy23

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I don't hate raspberries but am not patient enough to take care of them and dedicate space to them. Blackberries are great and especially with having the apples too, we make a lot of blackberry-apple crumbles and pies in the fall to share with family and friends.
I am so jealous! What kind of apples?
 

rickandcindy23

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I was reading an article in a magazine while at the dentist's office, and there was a company that made a GMO apple that caused a lot of severe health problems in people, even created hostility in some who ate the apples. Kind of an interesting article, and I don't remember a lot about the name of the apple or anything, but it was experimental. Scary.
 

DancingWaters

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We have strawberries in raise beds. We have a real garden that has sweet corn, 4 kinds of tomato’s to make and can salsa, red beets, red, yellow and green peppers, jalapeños, onions, squash, cucumbers.
We hope the garden grows well so we can share with others.
 

DeniseM

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It's nice in Northern CA today: highs in the 80's with a good breeze. Since we have no humidity, this is very pleasant weather for us.

Gardening: This morning I tied up the green beans, and planted another round of lettuce, radishes and beans. Tonight I need to spray BT for cabbage loopers again. We also moved the strawberry tower to a cooler area - hopefully they will start blooming again.

Cooking: I am looking for one skillet recipes that I can cook on the outdoor grill in my new 12 in. Lodge cast iron skillet. Tonight I'm using it to try a new recipe:

Skewerless Stovetop/Grill Kabobs

Ingredients

• 1 pork tenderloin (1 pound), cut into 3/4-inch cubes
• 3/4 cup fat-free Italian salad dressing, divided (I did not use fat-free, and I added a little spicy Caribbean seasoning to jazz it up.)
• 2 large green peppers, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
• 2 small zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch slices
• 1 large sweet onion, cut into wedges
• 1/2 pound medium fresh mushrooms, halved
• 1 cup cherry tomatoes
• 1/4 teaspoon pepper
• 1/8 teaspoon seasoned salt - omitted because Rod is on a reduced salt diet.

Directions
1. In a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet, cook pork over medium-high heat in 1/4 cup salad dressing until no longer pink. Remove from pan.

2. In same pan, cook peppers, zucchini, onion, mushrooms, tomatoes, pepper and seasoned salt in remaining salad dressing until vegetables are tender.
3. Return pork to skillet; heat through.

Right now, the meat & veggies are marinating in the refrigerator. I will post a picture after it's cooked, as well.

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slip

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There was a visitor down by the WaveCrest pool yesterday who went fishing out in a boat around Molokai and he caught a 475 pound Marlin.

He was going around giving some to anyone who wanted some. He could only take 40 pounds back with him. He gave us about 10 pounds.

Kim found a recipe and pan fried it in Garlic, Butter, Soy Sauce and brown Sugar. It was awesome. She cooked it to a perfect medium rare.🤙🏻
 
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DeniseM

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The one-skillet dinner came out well, but it didn't brown as much as I hoped, because it was really juicy from all of the vegetables and the marinade. Next time I will drain off the excess liquid and add some garlic and more seasoning, or maybe a more flavorful marinade. However, the experiment with cooking on the grill in a cast iron pan was a success and I will definitely do it often in the summer.

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Tkhalaska

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I live in AK and at 2000ft elevation so I just finished putting in my garden. I have 8 raised beds: 2 are perennial Egyptian walking onions, 1 is lettuce, 1 is cabbage for homemade sauerkraut, 2 are Yukon gold potatoes and 2 are red potatoes. I have been propagating my own seed potatoes for about 15 years.

I also have a raspberry patch, wild blueberries, and a very large rhubarb.

Our neighbor went fishing yesterday and cought some halibut and salmon and dropped some off, DH had straightened out his driveway with the tractor earlier so this was a thank you gift. Fish is in the freezer for now.
 

easyrider

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Our neighbor went fishing yesterday and cought some halibut and salmon and dropped some off, DH had straightened out his driveway with the tractor earlier so this was a thank you gift. Fish is in the freezer for now.

It's nice to have neighbors that drop off seafood or grade a driveway. It kind of works that way around here too.

Bill
 

Tia

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Planted 4 tomato plants this year, hopefully they produce . Last year didn't have much luck with the tomatoes we planted.
 

rickandcindy23

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The one-skillet dinner came out well, but it didn't brown as much as I hoped, because it was really juicy from all of the vegetables and the marinade. Next time I will drain off the excess liquid and add some garlic and more seasoning, or maybe a more flavorful marinade. However, the experiment with cooking on the grill in a cast iron pan was a success and I will definitely do it often in the summer.

View attachment 93950
Looks delicious and healthy.
 

rickandcindy23

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Planted 4 tomato plants this year, hopefully they produce . Last year didn't have much luck with the tomatoes we planted.
We had three last year, Sweet 100's, and I was walking around the neighborhood with gallon bags of tomatoes to give to the neighbors. My plants are destroyed by the hail, and I am thinking of just giving up the idea of tomatoes for this year.
 

easyrider

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Planted 4 tomato plants this year, hopefully they produce . Last year didn't have much luck with the tomatoes we planted.

That's why we stopped growing food. We live in the middle of an area that has so many farms that it is easy to get high quality fresh fruit and vegetables at the many farm produce markets that offer public sales.

Bill
 

DeniseM

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Last year, the garden lizards developed a taste for my tomatoes and as soon as one would get ripe they would chew on it. This year I am putting fruit bags around the tomatoes to see if this protects them from the lizards and worms. This is probably too much effort if you have a full-size garden, but I just have 6 big tomato bushes in pots, so it's doable for me. This Early Girl bush has 17 bags on it with 1-4 tomatoes in each bag:

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