Friday, July 31, 2009
My husband is always trying something fun for the kids. One year, the boys built wooden boxes and laid a cucumber inside each box. As the cucumber grew, the box formed around it making it a square cucumber. It worked pretty well, but they discovered the strength of the growing cukes when they grew big enough to pop the box apart. It was an odd looking cucumber and provided a lot of laughs and conversations.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
My husband staggers the plantings so that they all don't mature at the same time. In this way we will just be finished picking the first planting when the next planting will be ready...ideally that is the way it should go...He usually plants another batch every three weeks. Just be aware of how many days till you can harvest the variet of bean you chose. Check the information on the back of the seed packet. Don't plant them too late in the gardening season or they won't be ready before the first frost. Bean plants do not like frost.
The first pickings should be worth your while, getting lots of crisp, tender beans from healthy bushes. Picking the beans encourages the plant to grow more beans. I don't like them when the pods have mature beans in them because the beans are tough. Everybody has a different take on their favorite flavor and texture, so if this is your first attempt at growing green beans ( also known as snap beans or string beans in different parts of the country), you can experiment with the maturity of the beans.
As the bean plants get bigger and thicker, you may have a problem with mold/fungus if there is too much moisture. Moist soil keeps the beans growing, but avoid over watering. I know Mother Nature may interfere with this plan by dumping rain on the garden, so work with her as your partner in gardening. Keep your eye on weather forecasts to judge how you care for your garden.
In the next few weeks I am going to experiment with a few green bean dishes and give you a report on the recipe. If you have a great bean dish you like to prepare for your family, please send it so I can try it too. Thank you.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
The link to this helpful information is
Thanks Dev in OK..
Friday, July 17, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
I usually just take for granted that the crops are ready to eat at the proper time during the season. Writing this blog makes me more aware of the timing that is necessary to hit the optimum growing times for the plants to get the best production. It is like preparing a meal. The meat, gravy, potatoes, biscuits, vegetables, and salad all have to be ready at the same time so they will be tasty. (It's also easier to put it all on the table at one time rather than hopping up to get an item when it is cooked, then the next, then the next, etc. I learned this in high school in Home Ec 101 !!!)
Gardening in the Southern states requires the same optimal timing so you don't bake your plants in the summer or frost them in the winter.
Perhaps I should have titled this post, Timing is Everything.....
Monday, July 13, 2009
The photo on the left shows the cabbage heads forming. (Everytime I look at cabbages I think of Peter Rabbit in Mr McGregor's garden in the children's story. It must have been an image I saw when I was a kid.) The photo on the right is a freighter passing through the Muskegon Channel that connects Lake Michigan to Muskegon Lake.
We cut our first cabbage to take with us on our camping trip last week. Mmm...roasted hot dogs over the campfire and fresh cole slaw. I shredded the cabbage at home, not in the camper. We had a fantastic time at Muskegon State Park parked in the channel cammpground. Fun to watch sailboats, yachts, the Lake Express ferry, and a huge freighter go in and out of the channel connecting big Lake Michigan to Muskegon Lake. Weather was fantastic!
We have found the easiest way to shred cabbage to make slaw is to use the blender. Chop the cabbage into wedges, add water so the swirl will help to distribute the wedges for chopping. Drain in a colander. Try different settings on your blender till you find the right "shredding" you like. Throw in some carrots too to chop in for color. I like to cut up green pepper to make the slaw even more colorful.
For dressing, I toss some sugar on top of the chopped cabbage in the bowl. Let it sit a minute, then just spoon on Light, yes light, Miracle Whip and mix it in. Add celery seed for a flavor boost.
My friend fries cabbage and onions in butter. Then she adds cooked wide noodles. It is so delicious when she makes it. What are your favorite recipes that call for cabbage? We are going to have a lot of cabbage to consume in the next weeks to come. My DH plants them so that they all don't come on at the same time, but are spaced out over the harvest time.