Spring is here! Time for herbs and veggies!

It’s finally here!

I planted my first seeds and cleared away the beds and cut down the perennials.

We had two survivors in pots, chives and rosemary (2 pots of rosemary):

pots chive lavender

The tulips are coming up and I planted Eckford’s Finest Sweet Peas in that bed, ready to climb on the trellises near the lavender. What you see sprouting up at the center and right are tulips and purple day lilies:

27Mar2013tuliplavender

sweet pea seeds

We moved all of the patio furniture out into the sun to dry off (and so that we could clean them… they had dryer lint all over them from sitting in front of the vent– reminds me to clean the dryer vent tube!)

chairs

Now I have to figure out what to do with these pots… which kind of flowers?

pots

I ordered three calibrachoa flower plants… they are vibrant and beautiful, like tiny petunias that cascade:

Callibrachoa, Callie Painted Coral

Calibrachoa ‘Callie’

I did get one exciting new addition, a compact veg trug, which I’m really excited about! I’m going to use it for veggie planting (other than the tomatoes, which will be in my favorite old tomato planters).

vegtrug

Notice how it’s deeper in the center? Good for deeper crops… I’ll have beets and leeks in center and herbs and beans all around.

This year I am going to plant:

Tomatoes:

alltomatoes

‘TastiLee’, ‘Mighty Sweet’ (grape tomato), ‘Black Krim’, ‘Tye-Dye’

Veggies:

allveg

‘Detroit Dark Red Med’ Beets, ‘Tenderpick’ Green Beans, ‘Hannibal’ Leeks, ‘Salvatica’ Arugula, ‘Bright Lights’ Swiss Chard

Herbs:

allherbs

Chamomile ‘Flore Pleno’, Common Thyme, Basil ‘Genovese’, Cilantro ‘Calypso’, Greek Oregano

The harvest begins

We have had a cherry tomato here and there but this morning was the first decent harvest. The Fourth of July tomatoes are later than usual this year… must be because of the extreme weather, I don’t know.
The Sun Gold cherry tomatoes taste delicious and the skins are nice (not too thick). Yum!

The pottery bowl Cary & Dan gave us is perfect for them. The squiggle on the top reminds me of the cucumber vines when they start to grow.   🙂  Speaking of which, this is year two with the slowest cucumber plants ever. They’re only about a foot high now, finally sending out their tendrils. I think they just don’t do well in pots… need to be in the ground.

Tomato Harvest

Home sick today. I’m glad that I can hide inside in the A/C! It’s way too hot out there.
I harvested the tomatoes this morning and it was brutally hot!
Funny thing was, when I went to pick the tomatoes, I found another praying mantis! They love to eat aphids… this one’s doing a great job! He was a little ticked off that I was invading his tomatoes, but he didn’t try to eat me after all.  🙂

Looks like I’ll have enough tomatoes for the weekend parties and some extra for Chica!
I also thought I’d give the cukes another try. All three seeds that I planted 5 days ago have sprouted. I’ll eventually weed them down to one, but I want to see which ones looks best when they have their second leaves.

Cukes – second try

Sweet Tangerine tomatoes

Fourth of July tomatoes

Complete harvest July 21 – mushy ones in front row, mutants in second row.  🙂

I had to put this in the blog just so I remember. I loves this Google doodle. They used it yesterday for Gregor Mendel’s 189th bday. Very cool.

Fried Green Tomatoes

A branch of my tomato plant broke today so I had two large and two small green tomatoes that would never be able to ripen.
I cut off the branch and decided to make fried green tomatoes. See what all of the fuss is about. It also helped that I had some buttermilk leftover from last week when I made the Barefoot Contessa’s coconut cake for Elaine’s birthday. Yummy as usual.  🙂
Fried green tomatoes taste just like fried zucchini to me!
I made the traditional southern recipe but next time I’ll try frying them Italian style… with italian breadcrumbs and grated cheese. The thinner slices were better than the thicker ones. Mmmmmm.
I liked them. The cornmeal gave them a nice crunch. Good with a little extra salt after frying.

Recipe from Tyler Florence:

  • green tomatoes, sliced about 1/2″ thick
  • 3/4 c buttermilk
  • salt/pepper
  • 1/2 c cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (I omitted this for Chris’ sake)
  • canola oil

Dip the tomato slices in bowl with buttermilk, salt and pepper. In other bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, and garlic powder (and cayenne if you’re using it). Dredge slices in cornmeal mixture and fry in canola oil for 3-4 minutes per side. Let cool on paper towel to absorb oil. Yum!