Monthly Archives: May 2012

MMM Homegrown

So I set out the beginning of last week to do a week in the life of a garden. Mid week we nearly lost our entire crop of tomatoes to some caterpillars and had to treat them or lose them all. I know, say what you will about what we did, it was that or have no garden left in a few days. Here was the progress we had up to that point. The bowl in each picture is the same.

3 large zucchini, 1 cucumber, 1 egg, 3 jalapenos, 2 grape tomatoes

Small day today 1 cucumber 2 grape tomatoes.

The caterpillars started taking down whole stalks from my tomatoes so those green ones I brought in hoping they might still turn red. 2 zucchini, 1 cucumber, 5 jalapeno, 2 green tomatoes, 1 egg

~6 zucchini, 2 cucumbers, 1 squash, 5 semi ripe tomatoes, 1 egg, 5 jalapenos. More green tomatoes thanks to caterpillars and now chickens! My chickens ate up about 6 tomatoes today. There are no more pictures for a few days because we have to let the caterpillar killer do it’s job. But for four days that’s still a lot of produce.

 

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Birds and eggs

So we’ve had Lola the chicken for a few weeks now. She is almost always laying an egg a day.

She is pretty happy with the set up in the garden. My dogs are dying to eat her, and tell me so on a daily basis. Thankfully they cannot get into the garden area and their whining doesn’t seem to phase the chicken at all. T remarked the other day that he never thought he’d shout the phrase “Dagney quit harrassing the chicken!” so often in his life. Currently Lola has an old dog kennel to lay eggs in and roost on top of.

But, we’ve decided that we are going to build a chicken area and get a few more gals. I thought keeping chickens would be more time consuming or troublesome. But so far it’s super easy. I throw a bit of feed out twice a day and that’s it.

Speaking of egg laying birds I found this little nest on my porch.

It has a teeny tiny brown speckled egg in it.

It’s so cute.I hope it hatches so I can see the itty bitty baby!

*edit-when I originally typed this up it was Sunday and there was only one egg. Today there are 4! I don’t want to stress the momma out by taking any more pictures. If I’m out there with a camera when she’s out I’ll take another shot.*

Finally, be jealous of my daily bounty. This is what I harvested today. At this point I’m giving a lot of vegetables to friends because I can’t keep up with eating it all. I love having homegrown veggies in my house.


Cucumber Soup

My cucumber plants are giving me lots of produce. Usually I only eat cucumbers raw in a salad or with dip. So I’ve been trying to figure out how to use up some of my cucumbers in a new way. I’m not a pickle person so that is out. My friend Sarah suggested I make soup. I thought about it for awhile and came up with this cold cucumber soup.

This recipe is not only paleo friendly, but also vegan, and raw friendly. It’s super quick and easy to make and a great cool recipe to help cool down the hot summer days.

Cucumber Soup

6 cucumbers peeled and cut in chunks

4 cloves of garlic

1 avocado

1 jalapeno

1/2 can of coconut milk

~ 1/4 tsp of fresh thyme (I used about 4-5 sprigs)

~ 1 tbsp fresh basil (I used about one sprig)

black pepper to taste

Take everything and blend it up in the blender.

Chill for 30 minutes to let the flavors meld. Then eat it. That’s it. Like I said simple. I’m trying to cut down on the amount of salt I use so there is none in this recipe. By all means add salt if you are not trying to cut back.

I wanted to use more avocados for this recipe but two of my three were hard as rocks. So sad. However, I like the taste of this without them. It’s refreshing, and the cucumber really comes through. There is just enough heat from the jalapeno without being overpowering. I like the simplicity of this dish so I didn’t want to overpower the light flavor of the cucumber. I think cilantro would also work great in this in place of the other herbs up there if you have cilantro.

If you are new to cold soups I say give this one a try. You might just become a cold soup convert.


Homegrown

I have 4 zucchini/summer squash plants that are producing about 3-5 large squash every day. I have eaten a lot of zucchini and squash lately. I’m going to have to start freezing some to make space for more. I’m so happy for my produce abundance!

The plants were so large I actually had to prune them back a bit. Those were all stalks of leave where you see the tubes.

I’ve eaten it in hash for breakfast.I’ve eaten it in noodle shape for dinner.

I’ve eaten it grilled at least 4 nights a week.

My cucumbers are also quite happy and productive.

Mostly they are eaten in salad. I’m looking for some new interesting ways to eat them because they don’t freeze well. Do you have any ideas?

My tomatoes are just starting to ripen. I can’t wait for those. I also have some peppers popping up. Peppers take forever though so I’m not really crossing my fingers for anything soon there.

With Lola on the pest control my collard greens and cabbage are coming back. Tonight I’m having my first harvest of collard greens in a few weeks. The caterpillars took their toll on the leaves.

I also am very excited about these.

They are weeds!

I started letting them grow two years ago because I thought they were pretty and I realized they were berry plants. This year they have had their first berries. These are not ripe yet but I can’t wait until they are!

mmmm homegrown.

Are you tending a garden? How are your crops looking right now?


Paleo Enchiladas

I have a very successful garden growing right now.

In it there are some pretty large collard green plants. I had read a recipe somewhere that used collard greens to wrap a fish fillet in. I took that idea a step further and made enchiladas.

I used pulled pork from a previous night. This or this is a good recipe to use for shredded pork. I washed the greens, then removed the hard central vein. My leaves were so large that I used half of one to roll up the meat.

Next time I will double up the greens to add a little more heft to them so they are more like a tortilla. Place the rolls closely together in an oiled baking dish.

Keeping them close helps to ensure your stuffing will stay in.

Then I covered them in mole sauce. It’s a chocolaty Mexican sauce. However, your favorite Mexican enchilada sauce will go well here too.

Then bake the enchiladas uncovered for 30 minutes. The sauce will have cooked the greens and it should be a lovely cohesive dish.

I topped mine with some fresh pico.