Sunday, July 26, 2009

Getting Ready, A Trip to the Orvis of Garden Stores, A Few Harvests, and Venison Stir Fry

Spent the weekend getting the trailer ready for the trip to the coast. I decided to detail the frame as well as fix what had broken since last trip and pack it. The detailing the outside took more time than fixing the one part that had broken (a LPG line).
ready to roll
I've been harvesting some tomatoes daily to use and/or give away to neighbors. Today I harvested any tomatoes that would be too ripe before our return. I ended up with a nice pile of Cherokee Purples, Brandywines, Abraham Lincolns, and Mortgage Lifters.
With the eggplant, onion, and various color bell peppers I harvested I made a venison stir fry.
venison stir fry

Todays fixing, packing, and picking up necessities, was interrupted by a trip to the Fountains here in Roseville to visit the Orvis of garden stores, Smith and Hawken. I have only been to the Fountains to hit up Whole Foods for my favorite beer, Pliny the Elder, and to look at Orvis. I was fully expecting Smith and Hawken to be an overpriced store catering to the more affluent of Roseville and Granite Bay. I was not let down. While having some very nice things to look at, it all was very, very, overpriced. Some items that are available at local megastores also were four times what they cost at a discount megastore. Smith and Hawken is already closing this store and items are currently 20-30% off. I guess even the more affluent are tightening their belt.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Finally Potatoes and the Tomatoes are Going Crazy to Keep Me Sane

This week the tomatoes are coming ripening at an alarming rate. I'll be vacationing next week so I'll be doing a huge harvest sunday, putting many in the trailer to head to the coast and hoping my young adult children keep the garden watered next week. The garden has been providing much joy and work to keep myself sane in the midst of impending salary cuts and possibly a huge cut to my health insurance stipend. The looming 15-17% total makes finding more places to cut expenses a major priority. This all on top of making a 5% expense cut already earlier this year. I love the stress release a garden brings. Of course a week of listening to the waves crash while drinking fine microbrews and visiting friends will go along ways also. Here's some pics from the week.

My small potatoe harvest of blue potatoes.
kennebeck blues

Some more great garden pizzas

Tomatoes, tomatoes, tomatoes





abraham lincoln

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Harvest, Company, Talk of Other Garden Climates , Trip to Old Sacramento, and Some Yard Pictures

It's been a full week around here with out of state company, a big barbeque with local relatives, and an anniversary of 23 years. My brother came in from Washington and visited for four days and much of the talk was of gardens. They have not even started to get tomatoes or anything but will start soon. They loved being able to eat fresh heirlooms such as mortgage lifter, brandywine, and cherokee purple as well many different varieties of bell peppers and squash. Of course the good side of living in a cooler climate is they have lettuce, cauliflower and broccolli going right now along with their tomatoes and corn. I dreamed of living in southwestern Washington out in the country when I was young and even went as far as to purchase a small 2 bedroom home in my late teens. I went their to work each summer cutting, rtaking, bailing hay, as well as working at dairies.It was not to be as I married and stayed in Roseville. I've been married 23 years and as this weekend was our anniversary we went to Old Sacramento to hit up Joe's Crab Shack and do a little shopping for eccentric garden decor. Joe's food and atmosphere was awesome. We split the 2 person classic bucket. Shopped around and she picked out a butterfly mobile for inside the house while I added to my vintage looking signs. The harvest this week has been great with the heirlooms, bell peppers, and banana squash really coming on.

The Banana Squash Haul
banana squash 7/19

Bell Peppers Still Loaded even after given up many for grilled vegetables for 14 people

Potatoes dying off after a confused tomatoe worm stripped their leaves. There are some potatoes under there though.

The already in place vintage look sign

The new additions


Some Miscellaneous Yard Pics

Kikko the Mini Garden Mutt

Our low cost Garden Show Type Patio Addition

Some Skulls (1 found the other 2 supplied wonderful wild pork)

Palms and Fountain

Redneck Garage Ornament

My Playtoy

Monday, July 13, 2009

Excitement then Letdown X 2

Woke up saturday and remembered it was the Annual Toyota Landcruiser Swap Meet in Petaluma. Problem was I had slept in. Left Roseville headed to Petaluma around 11. I figured I had plenty of time to get there, look around and get in the raffle. Driving through Petaluma I noticed an Heirloom Seed Store off the main drag. Plans were made to stop on the way back. Arrived at the swap meet at 1:30 and many sellers were already packed up. The raffle was set to start. Bought $20 worth but no winners. Oh well I thought I'll be picking up some great heirloom vegetable seeds on the way back. Parked 3 blocks from the store and walked there. Alas, they are only open monday through friday. What a bummer. Ended up eating at a mexican restaurant then headed home. When I got home I realized I had missed the Filipino Food Festival at the Placer Fairgrounds. Bummer again.

Tonight I prepared a Garden Pizza again as well as a BBQ Chicken Pizza.


Friday, July 10, 2009

My Camera was AWOL This Week

I was hoping to put up some pictures of some garden produced meals as well as the recipes but my back up camera had went AWOL with my daughter until this evening and my main camera is useless because I have misplaced the charging cord. The garden has continued to produce well even with the lower temperatures. I am getting quite a few heirloom tomatoes as well as the Early Girls and Patios. The Ichiban eggplant continues to produce way more than we can eat so the neighbors are getting alot. The bell peppers are coming on strong also. Looks like I'll have way more Banana Squash that we'll use over winter as well. I've been getting ready to start my broccolli, cauliflower, and cabbage from seed might wait until we return from Fort Bragg in 2 weeks.

This week I prepared a quick and easy garden combo pizza with garden grown produce and a few other items. I also prepared chicken sausage and peppers(including other vegetables) as well as some fresh caught King Salmon and trout today with potatoes and vegetables with a wonderful salad including cherry tomatoes and cucumbers from the garden.

Garden Combo Pizza

1 Boboli pizza crust
1 packet Boboli sauce
1 package Sargento 6 Cheese Italian Blend
1 Ichiban Eggplant
2 Heirlom tomatoes
1 Walla Walla Onion (I didn't use my Reds I grow as I like sweet onions on pizza)
4 Slices Ham Lunchmeat

This was an extremely easy recipe and takes less than 20 minutes start to finish. Assemble all ingredients together like any pizza and bake at 350 for apprximately 15-20 minutes.

I think I'll make a BBQ Chicken pizza with veggies next week.

For the chicken sausage and peppers I used:

1 package or 5 links chicken dinner sausage( whatever flavor you enjoy)
3 Ichiban Eggplant
1 Yellow Summer Squash
1 Zucchini Squash
1 Red Onion
1 Each Red, Green, Yellow, and Orange Bell Peppers
4 Cloves Garlic
4-5 Heirloom Tomatoes

Put a small amount of Olive Oil in a frying pan and start cooking sausage. While chicken is cooking cut up all vegetables. Remove chicken sausage when cooked and start cooking garlic and onions. Cut sausage up into 1/2" to 1" chucks and return to pan when onions are clear. Add all vegetables and cook until done. Serve with tortillas, on rice or alone.

The salmon and trout I caught today were prepared whole and cooked on the BBQ wrapped in aluminum foil. They were sprinkled with salt and pepper and stuffed with butter, dill flower head, chives, onion and a slice of lemon.

Todays Salad

Todays Picking
7/10 Haul

Bees Working on Sunflower
SF Bee

Big Head Drying

Orange Peppers Almost Ready Again
Orange Bells

Banana Squash


Sunday, July 5, 2009

7/5/2009 Pictures

Here's some pictures of the garden today. I made a meal of turkey sausage with Ichiban eggplant, yellow crookneck squash, early girl tomatoes, french zucchini, and red onion all from the garden. The haul from the is very heavy with eggplant and squash plus the tomatoes are really starting to come on strong. My wife's sunflowers are starting to near the end but still are providing many blooms.

bee and flower



Cherokee Purple Tomatoes
cherokee purple


Mortgage Lifter

The line up

The shaded garden

A Dill Flower

Peppers and Eggplant



A cuke

Banana Squash
bana squash


wild squash

The garden as the sun fades