Skip to main content

Herbs and Berries and Veggies, Oh My!

If Spring is kind (and it was this year in Northern Virginia), the first few days of summer are an exciting mix of things ready to eat, others growing rapidly and even more newly planted. We're not complete fresh food fanatics but we do really appreciate the difference between something you pick from from your own garden versus that which you can find at even the best (and priciest) grocery store.

So, rather than bore you with words, I'm going to let the pictures of our garden do the talking in this post. Enjoy!

The Herbs

Tuscan Blue rosemary w/ Pink Poodle echinacea

Santolina, thyme and chammomile
Lavender, upright rosemary, alpine strawberry

'Arp rosemary, fennel feet
Fennel Gone Wild --last measurement, 9' 9"
Artichoke, garlic chives, more Tuscan Blue, parsley, lovage, Greek oregano, ornamental salvia and portulaca

The Berries
Alpine strawberries - tiny but intensely delicious

Strawberries - gone now - but we had a bumper crop this year   


Wild blackberries in our 'natural' area

Virginia's famous wine berries

The Veggies

Baby beets (Three Root Grex) and garlic scapes - just picked
Garlic fresh from the harvest
The tomato zone is full this year!
Clusters of 'Juliet tomatoes and a big fat mystery plant --it was marked 'Juliet as well!
Can't resist adding hot peppers to the garden!
'Socrates peppers
'Red Russian kale underplanted with a fancy schmancy mesclun mix from Johnny's Seeds
'Red Russian kale
'Bright Lights swiss chard with a horseradish back
'Homemade Pickles' cucumber seedlings
the newly planted bed o'beans --'Kentucky Wonder and 'Mellow Yellow
Leeks gone by but still beautiful.  We're hoping these beautiful flowers provide seeds for lots of 'leeklings'.

Potatoes - growing above ground in bags Cyn made from landscape fabric


Comments

  1. Your so lucky to be able to see the fruits of your labour! My plants are just flowering up here in Canada. I must admit thought, today I saw a few small zucchinis and some green tiny tomatoes in my garden. The season is just beginning! From one gardner to another, have a lovely weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No matter when it happens there is something very satisfying at a very basic level when things begin to bloom. Hope your garden yields a great bounty this year!

      Delete
  2. Wow! You have a fabulous garden! I had a pretty good winter/spring garden going with kale, swiss chard, spinach, etc. And the artichokes were great. But I've let it go now, and it's all looking pretty empty :-(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks! It is definitely a lot of work and sometimes we look out there and wonder how we're going to keep up, but the end result is so satisfying that we find a way.

      Thanks for reading and for your comment.

      Delete
  3. Wow that's some harvest. We have less sun in Scotland so options are more limited. I have courgettes(zucchini) and some salad leaves.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We're hoping for a good harvest! Now if we can only keep the deer, rabbits, occasional fox and and our two cocker spaniels (who love to pull the ripe cherry tomatoes off the vines) from doing too much damage, there may be some left for us!

      Delete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Oven Roasting Fresh Tomatoes for Pasta Sauce

A while back I wrote a post about using the preserved tomato sauce from 2008 that we still had in our pantry. It was the last jar of what was the best tomato crop we have grown -- to date. This weekend we picked and roasted the first batch from this year's garden with high hopes that we could match the richness of flavor from that magical year.

I wanted to share the process, especially since it's so simple, at least up to the canning, which I won't cover here. Those of you that can know it's not really hard, just a little time consuming.

The first step is pretty obvious, get yourself some tomatoes. We like to grow our own, but you can also buy them from a farm or farm market. Here's a little tip if you decide to buy -- offer to buy the "seconds", you know, the less than perfect tomatoes that everyone else has passed on. They can have blemishes, partial spoilage and even the occasionally bug hole. Don't worry, you're going to cut away any bad par…

2008 was a very good year....

...for tomatoes in Newburgh, NY. That's where we lived then and where we grew, roasted and canned tomato sauce. We actually did that every year but there was something magical about the quart mason jars full of that 2008 vintage. Last night, as part of Meatless Monday dinner, we opened the last one.  Nearly 4 year old tomato sauce you say? Isn't that, um, dangerous? Not at all if the jars are initially prepared correctly, the canning process is carried out properly and the seal remains intact. It was both exciting and a little sad to crack open that seal, but the finished meal made it all worth it. Cynthia's original recipe was a perfect use for that special vintage.


Herbed Crepes with Ricotta, Spinach and Chard Filling
Ingredients (crepes) 1 cup AP flour1 cup + 2-4 tbsp liquid of your choice, could be stock, milk, beer, water or any combination thereof - I used 1 cup Better than Bouillon No Chicken and 3 tablespoons of Duck Rabbit Milk Stout beer3 large eggs2 tbsp unsalted q…

Authentic Unbeatable Swedish Meatballs!

Think Ikea, But 100 Times Better
A Guest Post by Anneli from Delicieux
I am delighted to be back here on A Reluctant Foodie doing another guest post for Al. Our last challenge (Stuffed Peppers) was such fun that we decided to do it again and this time I suggested 'Balls"!

'Balls' was a fun choice as it gives such a large scope for experimenting - meatballs, fish balls, rice balls, chocolate balls, ice cream balls...the possibilities are endless. Not to mention the childishness of repeatedly writing 'balls'!! (and yes, I'm 36, not 3!)

In fact, I had no trouble at all deciding which 'balls' I was going to make, it was inevitable. I am half Swedish and I was brought up in a house where certain Swedish foods were regulars at our table. I was aware of Ikea and their meatballs before the rest of the world began their love affair with them.

My Mormor (Grandma) used to make them fresh and serve them with dollops of sweet lingon berry sauce, boiled potatoes …