Here it is market day again, and I’ve delivered my produce to the person who will be selling it. I’ve made it a point this time to be very clear about the entire process, drop off time, profit shares, pickup times, etc… I’ve learned that just because something is agreed upon once, does not mean it will work out. Sometimes plans need to be confirmed a few times, just so everyone is on the same page.
This offering is a bit less then last time, as my family and I have been pickling and eating quite a bit. The onions which were available for the last market are largely diced, bagged and frozen for the winter. The peppers are still growing, and are not yet large enough for sale. They might be a every other week item.
In the next few weeks, Corn will be ready for the market. My sister Maurice has gained permission from a land owner along 208 to have a garden stand, so I’m planning to build one, and begin stocking it daily. There will be plenty for the market, and a stand very soon.
Another garden crop is starting to ripen. In the last few weeks, I’ve found a few ripe tomatoes here and there, but within the last few days, we’re beginning to find larger clusters which are ripe. Last night, I found a cluster of five, which was the perfect timing for a salad I brought in for my co-workers.
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While picking myself a salad last night, I observed my first Okra Bloom. The flowers are quite festive. As I’ve mentioned before, Okra is new to me, and I get pretty excited each and every time it grows. The watermelon vines are beginning to threaten these odd plants thought, after nearly burying the Endive to the right. I’m trying to train the vines to grow back from were they came. It’s a daily battle with one of my favorite salad greens at stake, and soon, my Okra could be in danger as well. I may just start snipping the vines off !
The sun flowers in the late garden are just now beginning to grow taller then my shoulders. I can’t wait to upload the picture of these plants, each with multiple flowers. Unlike traditional sunflowers, this type forms many smaller heads of seeds, rather then the style of other sunflowers. In the background is a tiny little car, playfully nicknamed “Grandma’s Go-Cart”. It gets amazing gas mileage, and is surely better for the enviroment than most cars.
I’ve seen a very high trellis on a back road, in a far removed garden, and always thought the owner got carried away when constructing it. I guess the beans are the actor getting carried away thought. These beans have been crowding out weeds, shooting skyward, and I’ve just noticed that they are bending the trellis that supports them. In earlier photos, you may remember how the top beams of this trellis were straight across, they’re not anymore. The vines have been acting like little hydralic jacks, and in there upward growth, as they pull themselves up the trellis, they are compressing the space between cross-members. I will need a much taller support in future gardens.
I wanted to show the difference in two types of corn. The corn on the left is Early Sunglow: 62 day, and on the right is Butter and Sugar: 75 day. I’ve grown five types of corn this year adding Peaches and Cream: 85 day, Blue Dent, and a small corn cob producer to the mentioned varieties above. Notice how the tassles are different colors on these type varieties ? The plants on the left are starting to set small corn cobs… I can’t wait, neither can Michelle, a co-worker who loves Sweet Corn.
Above is an Okra plant, setting what appears to be a flower, which should be followed with… something. I’m not sure what the produce this plant grows will be. This is a whole new plant to me, and I’m happy to see it make it this far. I’ve been told it will only grow when the tempurature is above 80 F, so it has been a good year to try it out.
Finally, after being stung by several wasps just a few minutes earlier, I almost walked right into this bumble bee. I was amazed to see the vast amount of what I believe is pollen on it’s hind legs. I took a picture of this not so aggressive bug, and also a video. He worked very fast over this flower, taking care to hit eat pollen producing center, with a speed I wasn’t aware of. He had all of the pollen collected in no time at all.
I like to eat some of the freshest food possible, as it really makes a noticeable difference in my health. For dinner, I thought I would cook some sausage, mixed with Peppers and Onions. This recipe is one of the first things I learned how to cook, and was taught to me by my father. The ingredient list is simple: Sausage, Onions, Peppers, and a Bun. While cooking it, I decided I would post this recipe. It took me a long time to pick up cooking skills, so I hope it helps someone out there with theirs.
The first step was pretty simple: Follow the directions on the package. Here is the basic version: In a non-stick skillet, combine with half a cup of water, 1 tablespoon of oil and sausage. Bring to a boil, reduce to medium heat and cover the skillet. Simmer for 12 minutes. Simple enough, this will cook the meat to the manufactures specifications.
I added a step, as shown to me: Remove the sausage from the pan, turn the heat off, wash out the pan, and place it back on the burner. Add 1/3 stick of butter, turn the heat back to medium-low. Add in sliced peppers, onions and the sausage. Stir it occasionally to keep if from sticking. This added step will brown up the sausage, and encourage flavors from the veggies to flow into the sausage. When the sausage is brown, and the onions have a darker color, it’s done.
You could also add in Spaghetti Sauce while cooking, for a different flavor. This makes a wonderful topping for hot dogs if you leave out the sausage.
Next you can choose to either eat it as is, or add it to a bun. I choose the later option, and added Provolone cheese to the mix.
This particular meal produced five sausage sandwiches, and if I didn’t have to buy the Green Pepper, the total cost would have been $6.76. Not bad !
Yellow Stuffers are a new variety of Tomatoes that I’ve added to my garden this year. I’m trying to build a collection of Heritage tomatoes, and I hope to grow many varieties each year to preserve them for future generations. There are many people who are involved in this project, each acting independantly, and some acting in huge groups. I figure I may just get a bunch of types which grow well in my area, as I will be selecting seeds based on how well they grow.
In the photo you can see the tomato a few days before I picked it, as it still needed to ripen a bit.
Once cut open, you can see how it resembles a pepper. The seeds even cling to the center as a pepper’s would. I was amazed that there were large pockets of air. It makes me wonder how the plant gets the air inside with a sealed exterior ? The taste was a bit different then a normal red tomato, but agreeable to my taste buds. I’ll be sure to add these seeds to my collection for next years garden.
If I find any recipes which showcase this oddity, I’ll be sure to post them in the future.
My nephew just got a new Iphone, I believe it’s the 3GS version, but I can’t be sure. This phone has an amazing camera, and I asked Nate to take some pictures for my blog with it. Above he got a very nice shot of some pepper leaves with the greenhouse out of focus, too cool if you ask me.
There’s my sister Kim. She came over for the morning to help pick the Zucchini which is growing like crazy. Everytime I come out of the garden, I either have an arm full of Cucumbers or Zucchini. In the past I had good yields, but nothing like this. I decided to plant more seeds to increase the amount of produce. Once again, all of the effort invested last winter spreading fertilizer has really paid off.
Finally, a shot of some cucumber leaves. There are four rows of plants in this spot, but walking between them has become nearly impossible. Next year I really need to space these plants out much more. The rows are about 20 feet long, and with 3 additional rows in another part of the garden, the cucumbers need to be picked daily. Not a bad thing, I love Pickles.
Bet your wondering why I have a fridge full of Cucumbers….. It all started last Thursday, when we were preparing our first market offering. I delivered the produce to my neighbors house as we had agreed. No one was home at the time, so I stacked the produce on the porch, and left a note on the door. In hind sight, I should have taken the day off. My neighbors had left for vacation earlier in the week, and didn’t think I would have anything ready yet, so they neglected to tell me. I even stopped by earlier in the week to confirm our plans, but they were not home then either. I really should have known better, but if there is any chance of miscommunication in the world, I will find it…..
It’s not all bad though, a few friends have relived me of some of the cucumbers and zucchini, and I’ve placed the rest in my fridge. I’ll save them for the next market, this Friday. This time I’m not dropping it off without face to face communication with the seller. I’ve also received permission to set up a small stand on a major road running near the garden. I plan to run the stand with the honor system, something I think will work in this small town.
So the outcome of my first market offering lead me to help some great friends, sell some produce to co-workers and I now have a place for a market stand. As the british say “Cheary-O”. That worked out well….