Thursday, July 28, 2011

Raccoon Raid the Garden

No, don't you dare say, "Oh how cute, a little raccoon." Raccoons are not cute. Not after they raided our sweet corn two nights ago. They ransacked the ready-to-eat ears of corn gorging themselves on at least 15 -20. My DH was shocked. We have never had raccoon in our garden, although we are now getting reports of the critters in other folks' gardens this season. We even have an electric fence adjusted to stop rabbits that didn't seem to phase these hungry pests.

Deer, chipmunks, and bunny rabbits are not cute anymore either. LOL...not when they are varmints in our garden and stealing and ruining our food. 

There are some suggestions in a post on Critters Keep Away to help control varmints in your garden. Raccoon wasn't even on my radar at the time I wrote it. I ask in that post from two years ago, how do you keep the critters out of your garden and I am asking again today--"What can we do?"

I would truly appreciate your input on this.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Zucchini Time Again

Zucchini time again
Run for the hills. It's zucchini time again. This is the time of year your neighbors will run for the hills to escape your "kindness and generosity" giving them tons of zucchini...

Whether it's in a stir fry, fritter, or cake, zucchini takes on the flavor of the dishes you prepare. Oh yes, it does. We fooled my friend's husband who hates zucchini by making him a mock apple pie from zucchini slices. Of course flavored with the cinnamon, sugar, butter, and surrouned by a rich tasty crust, he thought he was eating the "best apple pie" he ever tasted. We had to tell him it was zucchini because we burst out laughing when he made that declaration.

Zucchini is a versatile veggie and good for you too.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Not All Beans are Green

Here are green beans, plus purple and yellow beans in the green bowl.  Peas in the yellow bowl.

Green beans. But not all beans are green. We enjoy growing the yellow and purple beans too. Purple? Yes! They are tender and tasty. When they are cooked, they turn green. The kids love to see this. Try them next year if you haven't already. 

Bean plants picked clean

This year we have not had the normal bean production. It may be due to the long, wet cool spring we experienced. But I'm happy we have a mess today. 

Easy Recipe: We cook up a pot of beans with bacon end pieces, onions, and potatoes (new potatoes if you have some). Sometimes we use ham or sausage instead of bacon. Mighty good summer eatin'. 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Sweet Corn is Ready!

July 16, 2011--first pick of the season

Mmmm...sweet corn is ready. One of the best times of the gardening year, I think. We've watched over the corn all this time waiting and waiting for the first picking. Today, July 16, 2011, is the day! This is all yellow corn, Northern Extra Sweet. One of the tastiest we think. My mouth is watering just thinking about what's going to be on the menu tonight....

Three plantings of corn 

This photo shows how my DH spaces the corn harvest. He has three plantings here.

Tip:  Be sure to check the back of the corn seed package to find out how many days it will take for corn to be ready to eat...then figure out your timing for the next planting and the next, depending on your growing season.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Garden Fun for Kids--Square Cucumbers

I was strolling through the garden one morning when I glanced over at the cucumber patch.

I spotted something strange in among the cucumbers and vines.

Upon closer examination, I discovered it was a wooden box.

I knew my grandsons and DH had been up to their fun experiments in the garden. They built several boxes to house cucumbers. As the cukes grow, they take on the shape of a box, so we can have square cucumbers.

After a week, the boys picked the cukes from the vine and removed the boxes. Sure enough, no more cukes rolling off the table!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Flower Garden Tour

Our church sponsors a garden tour every summer. Knowing you all love vegetable gardening, I imagine you also like flowers. I wish these photos could truly represent the beauty when standing in these gardens and yardscapes. Here are a few of the sites you will see if you take the tour on Sat, July 9. 2011 from 9 am-3pm. Tickets available for the tour and the salad luncheon at the church, Fremont UMC, Butterfield Rd, Fremont, Michigan.

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Monday, July 4, 2011

Founding Fathers were Gardeners Too

Our founding fathers,Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and Madison operated farms and believed agriculture was the noblest occupation and important for the foundation of democracy. They were passionate about gardening and all things plants. Even while building a new nation, their interests in horticulture continued.

Founding Gardeners reveals these men as farmers and plant lovers. History and gardening combined in one interesting book.