I think I've only mentioned once before that I'm actually having my first "true" garden experience this year. My kind in-laws have allowed Adam and I the bottom tier of their beautiful garden. On our little plot we decided to grown onions, scallions, green zebra-striped tomatoes, tomatillos and corn. So far so good. We planted everything from seed in late April and our plants have been doing well considering the rough start to the growing season and the fact that we've been out of town off and on for three plus weeks.
Please enjoy these pictures of our little garden. I'll also include some of the plants/produce that my mother and father-in-law have been growing. We've helped harvest some of their vegetables, so I guess it's part of our garden experience.
Our tier of garden at the beginning of the summer. My in-laws have the most amazing garden and planting areas in their yard. In addition to what we are growing they are growing cabbage, beets, peas, green beans, zucchini, variety of squashes, variety of tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, gooseberries, currants, grapes, apples, plums, raspberries and peaches. You can't imagine the produce we are able to enjoy because of their hard work and green thumbs!
Our little tomatillo seed! The tomatillos are almost ready. I can't wait to make salsa verde.
Peas, oh peas. This isn't the most pretty photo. In fact, it's shot with (gasp) our point and shoot camera. But I couldn't leave it out of my post. This picture illustrates what a garden can really mean: family.
This crazy scene took place on the Fourth of July where we had a pea shelling and pool party. All the family was around, grandkids, parents, grandparents and great-grandma. Everyone was helping and the little ones were sneaking peas at a faster rate than we could shell. There is just something so special about working together, building relationships and doing something you know your great-grandparents and beyond did. I felt a real connection. This is one of the biggest reasons that I wanted to participate in the garden this year...to learn these wonderful self-sustaining skills and practice a different type of work that I can pass on to my children one day. It's a lovely thing.
My in-laws have a couple of heirloom plants in their yard including a few gooseberry bushes. Have you ever tried these tart gems? I love them. Last year we made pies and whatnot. This year they decided to make jams and chutneys with the gooseberries.
You might remember me talking about currants last year. I am very happy with the photos I took of the currants this year, but honestly I still think they are one hundred times more stunning in person. Last year I made this tart with them and then we froze a lot of them. I love adding them to my protein drinks and doing other fun things with them. Like the gooseberries, my in-laws opted to put their canning skills to work and make a red currant jelly. I can't tell you how beautiful it is.
Holy cow, beautiful purple potatoes! Adam and I harvested these and boy...oh boy...I could just stare at them all day. We've done a few things with them, but my favorite was making a potato and scallion soup.
Here's the potato and scallion soup we made. It was delicious. We adapted a potato and leek recipe from Cook's Illustrated to make it. If you look closely you can even see the steam coming off of the soup.
Adam loves corn. We each had certain things we wanted to plant and corn was his first choice. It has been so yummy. We even made corn fritters.
I had never had corn fritters. Again, we found a recipe in one of my Cook's Illustrated magazines and made it. These were delicious. We even poured real maple syrup (that we bought in Vermont) over the fritters. Dee-licious. These fritters look on the dark side, but I swear to you they were not burnt and they were super tasty.
Right now the tomatoes are in abundance and our peaches are days away from being ready to pick. I can't handle it! I'm so excited.
(Beginning of a blossom one of our apple trees in late April 2010)
I am finding that I love gardening, it is so fun and even more so --- rewarding. I am learning something new everyday. I'm such a novice. But I'm loving it. I just wish I would dedicate more time to the garden. It's a beautiful thing to plant something, care for it, watch it grow and use it in your life. I hope to give you more updates with our tomatillos when they are full ready.
Other gardening posts you may like:
Millions of Peaches
Utah Raspberries are in Season!