red flannel pantry

creative pursuits in the kitchen, garden, library and sewing room

Archive for the tag “tomatoes”

good night, sweet prince

photo (34)

This weekend I put the garden to bed. The days are getting shorter and the temperatures cooler. I picked the rest of the tomatoes (even the green ones) and a load of peppers.

photo (29)

As I began to remove the tomato plants, out popped Mr. Toad. I hadn’t seen him for a couple of months. I think I woke him.

photo (30)

He shimmied into the soil and pretended to watch me work. What he really was doing was settling down to return to his nap.

photo (32)

Ever so slowly he sank deeper into the garden until I glanced back one more time and he was gone. We’ll meet again in the spring.

the bees have been busy

2013-06-081

Although I have noticed fewer bees at my bird bath, I am pleased to see that they have been busy in the vegetable garden. The cucumbers are going gangbusters, with lots of little cukes on the vines. Baby peppers and tomatoes have been sighted as well.

2013-06-08The sage and basil are thriving. There is more rhubarb to be harvested, but in the meantime Mr. Toad is content enjoying its shade.

mr. toad came a’ calling

mr. toad

When I ventured into the vegetable garden today, I almost stepped on our long-time resident, Mr. Toad. We found him several years ago in the yard and put him inside the fence with the raised beds. As you can see, he’s grown fat eating the bad bugs, slugs and snails for us. He loves the moist, loamy soil.

IMG_1758

The lettuce, onions and carrots are coming along. The radishes (far left) should be ready to be picked by early next week.

IMG_1760

The radishes we planted more recently have sprouted and are making a strong showing.

IMG_1764

The dill is looking good. Once it gets a bit bigger, I plan to try to pot some to share with friends–two full rows were planted and we don’t need that much ourselves for pickle making.

IMG_1761

I felt brave enough to plant the basil–surely we won’t get cold temps the second week of May?!  Last year I put the basil in pots near the house, thinking that it would make access from the kitchen easier. However, the basil languished–and thus so did pesto production. So it’s back in the ground again.

IMG_1762

The rhubarb continues to unfurl its meaty leaves. I have my eye on its red stalks–there will be plenty for pie this year.

IMG_1763

The fennel’s feathery leaves are shooting upward like green fireworks.

IMG_1766

The best news? The tomatoes have blooms!

vegetable garden–spring update

IMG_1692

My husband and I worked in the garden yesterday afternoon. We had been promised sunny and 80 degrees but ended up with overcast and 60s. Radishes, onions, lettuce, dill and carrots have emerged.

IMG_1697

The rhubarb has bulked up.

IMG_1699

The elderberry starts are sprouting (thanks, Ken!).

IMG_1696

We planted tomatoes and ran the soaker hoses. This year we are trying Mr. Stripey, San Marzano and Sungold. We planted radishes and lettuce along the sides of the raised beds on both sides of the tomatoes. We cut wire hangers into segments and then bend them to hold the soaker hose in place. We save these improvised staples and use them year after year.

IMG_1695

We got the cucumber plants in too.

IMG_1693

We put collars made from old plastic flower pots and soda bottles around the seedlings to thwart cutworms.

OK, now we are ready for 80 degrees–maybe tomorrow, please?

tons of tomatoes

Despite the lack of rain this summer, our vegetable garden has produced . . . and produced . . . and produced. The soaker hoses and the timer on the spigot helped.

After sharing the bounty with neighbors and friends and eating as much as we can, we have been preserving the rest by canning (we have jars and jars of pickles and salsa) and dehydrating.

I am new to dehydrating–my family gave me a dehydrator for my birthday–and I am sold! I have been running it practically everyday. It takes pounds and pounds of tomatoes and reduces them to a few handfuls of concentrated tomatoey goodness, which I put in labeled bags and toss in the freezer.

The Roma tomato plants have been the most prolific this year. I cut them in quarter-wedges to dry them. The larger tomatoes I cut into slices. It takes about 10-12 hours to dry them at 135 degrees F.

Sometimes I sprinkle dried basil over the cut-up tomatoes before drying them–it makes the house smell delicious.

I like this dehydrator model because you can use as few or as many (up to eight) drying trays as you need. (Bonus: it is also made here in the Midwest.) It does take a huge chunk of counter space though, so once I scale down production, I’ll store it on a basement shelf.

Next up: fruit (would be perfect for snacks and granola) and jerky (would make my husband and his poker buddies happy!).

Post Navigation

Butterfly Gardening

Learn how to attract butterflies to your garden

It's Not Work, It's Gardening!

creative pursuits in the kitchen, garden, library and sewing room

twin fibers

creative pursuits in the kitchen, garden, library and sewing room

the quilted cat

@nwquiltedcat on Instagram

Momotaro Makes

creative pursuits in the kitchen, garden, library and sewing room

Snoop's Theatre Thoughts

A longtime fan's look at theatre in St. Louis, MO and Beyond

Trkingmomoe's Blog

Low Budget Meals for the New Normal

Wedding Dress Blue

Quilting and other things I love in this colorful world

Sew Me

creative pursuits in the kitchen, garden, library and sewing room

Simplify

creative pursuits in the kitchen, garden, library and sewing room

Letter from Mekelle

Lewis and Helen's Adventures in Ethiopia

Just Jude

creative pursuits in the kitchen, garden, library and sewing room

Entropy Always Wins

entropyalwayswinsblog.com

jmn

Creative Endeavours

Sew Mama Sew

creative pursuits in the kitchen, garden, library and sewing room

quiltingquandary

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

Elven Garden Quilts

creative pursuits in the kitchen, garden, library and sewing room

Christine Doyle

Freelance Editor + Passionate Crafter

Sew Kind Of Wonderful

creative pursuits in the kitchen, garden, library and sewing room

Darlington Delights

Welcome to Darlington

The Simple Seamstress

Adventures into the great unsewn.

K&S Design Girls

creative pursuits in the kitchen, garden, library and sewing room

OccasionalPiece--Quilt!

OPQuilt: Quilts & Textiles