Sunday, August 23, 2015

Today in Our Garden @birdsblooms #NJ #gardenchat Growing food teaches us not to waste food or water

Today in Our Garden
Use it or lose it!
Food Appreciation
Our gardens exhaust us during August. Now is about the time every season when we slack off in the fight against fast growing weeds and make time to enjoy the birds and blooms. We also start collecting seeds for next years plantings and are busy canning and preserving in the kitchen.

As we think about all there is to do... food is ripening at a rapid rate. Use it or lose it!
  • Picking and preparing fresh, organic, homegrown foods gives us a total appreciation for our food and our environment.
Vegetable gardening also makes me wonder: Would people eat less if they grew and prepared their own food? We know scientific studies show that people do eat more fruits and veggies when they garden, but would they eat less overall?
Heirloom tomatoes are ripening faster than we can pick them! Favorites include Chocolate Cherry tomatoes (shown). Harry cooked our first homegrown San Marzano tomatoes and made 5 quarts of pasta sauce so far with more tomatoes cooking down now. We freeze the quarts.

As gardening cooks, we want to savor and not waste what we plant and harvest. Cooking down a stockpot full of homegrown, ripe, plum tomatoes (with added basil, garlic and onion) made us realize that it sure takes a lot of tomatoes to make just one quart of sauce.
Garden space needed for growing onions has made us appreciate the abundance of onions always available at the market. We picked our first Ailsa Craig onions yesterday. Most green tops died back and the onions easily pulled up from the soil.

We probably should have picked the onions sooner. And, we weren't sure what to do about the dirt on them? We rinsed the dirt off. The onions are now air drying on a table outside. As you can see, their shape is teardrop and not large and round. 

The fun of gardening includes learning from other gardeners. Stay tuned for updates on how to grow bigger and better onions. If you already know - please share.
One of our best years! Mom even helped pick the grapes off the stems. We picked 13.5 lbs. from one, established red grapevine, which made 12 pints of organic grape jelly.

Cow Peas
Cool beans: Fagiolo Nano Dolico -dall'occho: Italian black-eyed peas climbed up into our tomato vines this year - another garden first for us. I didn't realize they climbed. The pods hang like green beans and can be eaten green or left on the plants to brown. I've been picking them as they turn brown and plan to make Hoppin John with homegrown black-eyed peas for good luck in the New Year. 

To release the peas, rub your finger along the pod edge. If the bean is dry enough, the edge will split like a zipper and the beans can easily be dumped out.

Acorn Squash
Look what I found this morning! We have acorn squash growing from rotten squash rejects that were tossed in the beds last Fall.

Happy and Healthy Gardening! 

Related Links
Backyard Gardening, Grow Your Own Food, Improve Your Health
GardenCuizine Recipe Baked Nutty Acorn Squash

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