Friday, August 6, 2010

The Garden is Bearing!

It's the time of year when I get to enjoy the fruits of my labor (literally!), so I figured I'd share a few pictures of the garden over the past couple months and the produce it's bearing.  Things are A LOT bigger now, so more photos to come soon... I promise! 

Mid-June shot of most of the garden. Tomatoes, Squash, and Corn all look good!
Basil, Chives, Thai Basil!
This year, I got really ambitious and decided to plant the whole front yard with veggies.  Keeping the herbs in pots on the front steps to the house meant more room for tomatoes, lettuces, potatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, eggplant, corn, and beets. The chives came back from last year.  I started some of the basil from seed, but I bought a lot of plants, too.  I love how convenient it is to have them on the front steps in pots. It's easy to find what I'm looking for during my late night kitchen marathons!  I still haven't cooked any Thai Basil dishes, but I'm hoping to get to that this weekend.  The chives get used a couple times a week in salads, eggs, and soups.  And you can bet that the basil is going to good use too, especially now that I have tomatoes coming out of my ears!

Squash Flowers, Yellow Squash, Cucumbers, & Zucchini
Fritattas have become my favorite use of the squash flowers, especially now that I have a steady supply of fresh eggs from my grandma's chickens!  I can't wait to get chickens of my own one day.  There's just no comparing fresh eggs to store-bought, factory farmed, uniform, tasteless... well, you get the point!  I'll post a recipe soon for the fritatta.


Cucumber tomato salad has also been a staple for the past couple weeks!

Tomatoes and eggplant, too!
I've got about 6 varieties of tomatoes growing.  I successfully started Big Boy, Roma, and Cherry tomatoes from seed, but they're not fruiting as much as the plants I purchased from Home Depot.  :-(  Maybe next year!  The bunch of green stuff in the corner of the basket is Arugula.  I was travelling for a week for work when we had 80+ degree temps, so the Arugula got really peppery.  I didn't know what else to do with it, so I made a pesto, which came out amazing.

Figuring out what to do with tomatoes is never a problem for me.  Paired with Buffalo Mozzarella and topped with fresh basil, a dash of kosher salt, and a drizzle of EVOO is probably my favorite way to get them in my belly.  I love making fresh marinara and will certainly can as many jars as possible to get me through the winter!  
Doesn't that just look like summer?!

Disclaimer: The container garden you see from my window is my neighbor's!  Tom is an older Italian man who often gives me tours of his pride and joy.  We also trade seeds and plants and he looks after my garden when I'm not around.