Our summer this year has been beautiful and my garden is loving it. I’ve been enjoying gardening this summer because surprisingly the weather has been pleasant where I live in our Bay Area microclimate – with temperatures in the 70s, 80, and sometimes in the low 90s. Flowers have been blooming nonstop and I have been getting a good supply of garden herbs, tomatoes, plums, and apples. Not as many as many other superstar veggie gardeners out there, but we are happy with our modest bounty. Here is a look at what we have been harvesting this summer and enjoying in pastas, pies, and salads. Continue reading August in the Garden & Summer Harvest Pics
We finally got around in mid May this year to planting a few veggies in our veggie patch on our hill. I know it’s rather late to be planting veggie seedlings, but better late than never. Here’s the thing, one of the main reasons I was dillydallying in planting veggies is because farmer’s markets abound in our area, with farmer’s market in every neighborhood offering farm fresh veggies all year round. Within a few miles of my home alone I can count five farmer’s markets that pop up on Mondays, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Not only do we get farm fresh veggies all year round we can buy them at extremely reasonable prices. A bunch of carrots for $2, leeks and beets for $1.50, huge head of cauliflower for $3 – $2.50, giant cabbage for $1.50, 3 bunches of greens for a dollar each, oranges, grapes, peaches, apricots, plums, etc. With prices like these many times I come home with way too many vegetables. Continue reading Veggie Planting on our Hill
Delicious fresh figs all plump, sweet, super soft and dripping with nectar. I picked a bunch of fresh figs from my friend Devi’s garden a few days ago. The temptation to eat these figs right off the tree was hard to resist, I ate a couple right away and brought the rest home.
Fresh figs right off the tree – when fruit is this fresh it’s hard to mess with them by adding them to salads or making a dessert of some sorts. We just ate them in their pure fresh fig form – just delicious😋. To present these figs as a dessert option that same evening I served a few with aged Parmesan cheese and walnuts. Added a small glass of sweet port and I had the makings of a deliciout fig inspired all-natural dessert. Continue reading Fresh Figs & Lemongrass
As if we weren’t swimming in tomatoes already from the bounty we had received from our neighbor, Hitesh informs me that there is an Heirloom Tomato Harvest Festival going on in town on Sunday the 17th. How could I resist? I couldn’t. I dragged the girls with me on that Sunday and headed to downtown Los Gatos to check out the Heirloom Tomato Festival.
What a unique experience this was. Continue reading Heirloom Tomato Harvest Festival in Los Gatos, California
Over the last month we have received many deliveries of organic heirloom tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and squash from our neighbor Jim. Every summer Jim drops off bags and bags of homegrown vegetables. Hundreds of heirloom tomatoes, tons of squash, eggplant, and peppers in odd shapes, colors and sizes. See a pattern in the vegetables? Very Italian they are – that’s because Jim’s family is from Italy. During one of our conversations he mentioned that he has been growing beans from 100-year old seeds that his grandfather brought with him from Italy.
Received another giant zucchini from our friends Karen and Aaron’s garden this year. Somehow in their garden they consistently grow GIANT zucchinis. Seriously what is their secret? Unbelievable!
This year’s homegrown zucchini from our friends was just as big as last year’s crop – over 1 1/2 feet in length! I had Rani hold it so you could see how huge this zucchini was.
My sister Banu who lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania has a lovely home and a beautiful garden. Banu’s garden is lush and emerald green. It’s the greenest garden I’ve ever seen. As Banu explained to me, that’s because of the high humidity in Philadelphia, and the constant bouts of rain showers they get sporadically off and on all summer long. In fact it is so humid that she hardly turns the sprinklers on and can go for weeks without turning them on sometimes. Can you believe it? For a California gardener like myself, no sprinklers or watering means the death of our gardens here, especially in the summer. Continue reading Banu’s Emerald Green Philadelphia Garden
Growing potatoes at home is so easy, that I have to admit I was surprised at how a novice vegetable gardener like myself could grow potatoes from sprouts that had formed on my potatoes in my potato basket. Continue reading Homegrown Potatoes
Well, I waited as long as I could to take out all the summer vegetable plants, especially the tomato plants that were looking pretty sad but still had plenty of fruit. I thought the tomatoes would get ripe since we have been getting some 90-degree temperatures lately, but nothing is happening on those bushes, nada. The tomatoes are just sitting happily on the vines, doing absolutely nothing. They are just green, and it looks like time stood still. I couldn’t stand it anymore, and finally this past weekend I harvested all the green tomatoes and chopped down the tomato plants. I noticed with a batch of green tomatoes that we harvested a couple of weeks ago, that when they sit in a bowl indoors they do slowly start ripening. I’ll do the same with this last tomato harvest of the season.
Looking at these green tomatoes I recalled a movie I watched years ago back in 1991 called Fried Green Tomatoes. I remembered liking the movie a lot as it had a great storyline set in Alabama about an unlikely friendship between a young waitress at a local diner and an elderly lady she volunteers to give company to at a Senior Citizen’s Home. I also remembered that it was the first time I had heard of fried green tomatoes. Continue reading Fried Green Tomatoes. Last Harvest of the Season
The Healing Garden. Gardening for the Mind, Body, and Soul by Gay Search is a wonderful resource on gardening whether you are starting a garden from scratch, or just changing a part of your garden. Though I bought this book many years ago, I find the information in it to be relevant and applicable even today.
This is an excellent book on how to grow and maintain a garden that speaks to all our senses including touch, smell, color and even spiritual components to the garden are addressed in this book. The author Gay Search looks at many aspects of gardening and shows us how it is more than just plants that go into a garden. She shows us how a garden can be a refuge for us to escape into another world, where for a few minutes you can be transported to a peaceful place. Continue reading The Healing Garden by Gay Search