Tag Archives: Growing Stuff

Other 2012 Highlights

Since there’s no way I’m going to make posts about all of these things, here are some other highlights from 2012. We did move in 2012, but I’ll actually make a post about that!

Skiing a few times, despite the bad snow year
Skiing a few times, despite the bad snow year
We went to Memphis for Rebecca's wonderful wedding
We went to Memphis for Rebecca’s wonderful wedding

 

Joel turned 30, and we had a big fiesta
Joel turned 30, and we had a big fiesta
Mom and Dad came out and conquered a difficult hike with us
Mom and Dad came out and conquered a difficult hike with us
Joel and 4 of us ladies went on a fun snow climb to the Citadel
Joel and 4 of us ladies went on a challenging snow climb to the Citadel
Matt, Erin, Evie, and Amelia came for a fun weekend
Matt, Erin, Evie, and Amelia came for a great weekend
We did round 2 of the snow climb up Kelso Ridge on Torrey's Peak with Sarah & Patrick
We did round 2 of the snow climb up Kelso Ridge on Torrey’s Peak with Sarah & Patrick
Some of our community group took a fun trip to Annie's family cabin in South Dakota over Memorial Day weekend
Some of our community group took a lovely trip to Annie’s family cabin in South Dakota over Memorial Day weekend
Fun on our block!
Fun on our block!
Although a little rusty, we brought out the old climbing gear a few times
Although a little rusty, we brought out the old climbing gear a few times
Joel's mentee, Kuatid, graduated from high school
Joel’s mentee, Kuatid, graduated from high school
We had a fun couple of days with Brittney and Dupree in the mountains
We had a fun couple of days with Brittney and Dupree in the mountains
Our 2012 garden
Our 2012 garden

 

We climbed the West Ridge of Quandary Peak...our 3rd way to climb it
We climbed the West Ridge of Quandary Peak…our 3rd way to climb it
Joel's parents visited and provided invaluable help as we and our neighbor sodded our front yards
Joel’s parents visited and provided invaluable help as we and our neighbor sodded our front yards

 

Guanella Pass provided one last chilly camping trip of the year with Sarah, Annie, and Patrick
Guanella Pass provided one last chilly camping trip of the year with Sarah, Annie, and Patrick

Lately

I guess I just haven’t been into blogging the last few months. Maybe the zeal will come back one day. Here are some fun things we’ve done lately.

1. Started the garden/seedlings (yes, we are still looking for a house, so the garden thing is a bit of an issue). I’ve planted spinach and pea seeds and started tomatoes and peppers inside.

2. Skiing/snowboarding. We’ve been a good bit this year since we got season passes, and we’ve had fun times with friends like the Potorffs, Thomases, Simmons, Clendenins.

3. Joel had jury duty again, but he got dismissed right away. That was a relief after the terrible case he was on in Nashville.

3. We finally had our “Boo-rito” party that we won from Chipotle on Halloween. We had our small group plus some visitors over and had about 20 people in our skinny house!

3. We had a short but fun visit with Joseph while he was in town.

3. We got to hang out with the Mortons! They were in town for a youth rally, and we were able to spend two fun evenings with them.

4. My cousin Brent had a conference in town and spent the weekend with us. We had a great time snowshoeing, hiking, etc.

Final Pickings

This fall has been crazy in Denver. Our average first frost date is September 10-20 (depending on where you look), but we didn’t get a real frost until this week…over month later than expected! We have of course enjoyed these late veggies, and here is the evidence.

Joel’s brother, wife, and their daughter visited us last weekend, so here are pictures of our niece chowing down on some of the quart of cherry tomatoes we picked.

Since I knew the frost was hitting this week, I spent some time on Monday picking the last tasty treats despite the cold, gusting wind.  The cherry tomatoes are ripening nicely, but I don’t have high hopes for the peppers and tomatoes that weren’t remotely beginning to ripen.

Otherwise, I’m just hoping to keep a few of the herbs going as long as possible.

Still going

Well, the garden is still producing a bit here and there. Last week, I got these lovely items:

Tonight, I picked a zucchini and 3 more butternut squashes. The cherry tomatoes have slowed down, but they are still producing some nice ones. We don’t have a freezing night in the forecast, so that is great, but we shall see…  Update: Although the low is only 43 tonight, we do have a frost advisory, so I better work on that tonight.

Canning Fun

As part of my ever increasing domestic aspirations, I did some more canning. Last week, I canned tomatoes. I didn’t have enough from my plants to can and since they’ve been tasting bad, I went to my favorite Berry Patch Farms and got a box of organic tomatoes. Peeling, coring, and seeding the tomatoes was a lot of work, but hopefully they’ll be great this winter. Here are two of the pints:

Last week, my friend Laurel invited me over for a grape jelly party. Her neighbor (also a church friend) has a huge grape vine, and another lady from our church was coming over to teach the art of making grape jelly. We picked tons of grapes (I should have taken a picture!) and made loads of freezer jelly. We had heard of a method of canning grapes with water and sugar to make a not too concentrated grape juice concentrate, and I wanted to try it. So yesterday, I picked more grapes and made the juice! We’ll see how it tastes, but it was at least a fun experiment.

A while back, we had a groupon (50% off deal) for Door to Door Organics. They make weekly deliveries of organic produce to subscribers. The produce is of course not local at all during much of the year, so I waited to redeem mine until a good bit was local. My delivery came yesterday, and I’m excited to use everything! It’s turned out not to be a great cooking week for me, but I’ll see what I can do.

If you’re interested in garden updates from other people, check out the Tuesday Garden Party at An Oregon Cottage.

Slowly fading

We recently returned from our trip to Nashville and were a little worried about our garden. Temperatures crept down to the high 40s a couple of nights while we were gone, and tomatoes hate temps below 50! Things were looking ok, but they are definitely slowing down. As expected, based on the baby zucchini when we left, we had…drumroll…another club! This one was a good bit bigger than the last.

We also recently picked the first of the butternut squash, but our crop will come nowhere close to last year’s!

Finally, here are a few more tasty treats from the lovely garden. The cherry tomatoes still taste great, but the big ones are tasting terrible right now – I don’t know why!


An Unexpected Bounty

I took our neighbor a couple of tomatoes the other day. I didn’t know she gardened, but I saw a few tomato plants when I went over. They were still very green, so maybe mine ripened faster. She said she gardened in the back as well, and that must be the truth! Her great-grandson brought us this on Saturday…if only we liked green beans! We’ll have to try a new recipe.

It’s a big day

Not only because I harvested these on Tuesday:

and these today:

but because it’s our 5th anniversary! That’s right – 5 years ago today, we began our most incredible journey together. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long, but then again it’s hard to believe it’s only been that long. Either way, it’s wonderful. I thank God every day that I found such an amazing best friend and husband. I can’t wait for the next 5!

Food update

This one shall contain a non-gardening update.

Here are last night’s tomatoes. The cherry tomatoes, although out of focus, are doing great obviously. However, if I could figure out what to do about the crazy splits in my big tomatoes, I would be so happy! We had the same problem last year. I’ve read it’s due to uneven watering, but we have a soaker hose on a timer, so I don’t know how you could possibly water more evenly. Our neighbor said hers are doing the same thing.

Our neighbor dropped off a big green cucumber last week, so I sliced it and one of our big white ones and made refrigerator pickles. It is SO easy! All you do is put the slices in a jar, heat up your solution (mine was sugar, AC vinegar, salt, and celery seed), and pour it in the jar. 24 hours later, you have pickles! (the left jar was with AC vinegar, the right with white)

I believe the first Christmas we were married, my brother gave us a kitchen torch. He and his friends had been using one in the dorm to make smores! We did that a few times, but we haven’t used it too much. I had been wanting to try creme brulee and put the torch to the test, so I finally got around to it. It was a success. A very rich success.

It’s here! It’s here!

My first regular tomato is here! This is the Azoychka variety.

In other food news, last week I went to the u-pick strawberry farm on a whim on my day off. I picked 4 quarts of strawberries and a few raspberries. A couple of friends and I went on the last day of the early crop, and this time the pickings were MUCH better!

And then…I canned jam! I made strawberry jam and strawberry lemon marmalade. It went well, and I am happy to say I know how to can.

Finally, here are a few carrots I dug last week. They looked great when I took the picture, and then I put them in the fridge. They got rubbery again! Super rubbery… I must figure out what is wrong, because Joel isn’t getting to eat any of his beloved carrots. I also dug the rest of the onions, and they ranged from large marble sized to golf ball sized. Hmm.