This post is a combo of week 2 and 3 due to delays in planting because of colder than normal weather, no sun, and lots and lots of wind and rain. Week 2 we lost the strawberry starts to lack of sun, I’m guessing? Other than that week 3 everything was planted on the deck and if you click on the link to my YouTube video you can watch me planting my container garden. Week #3’s weather has been just as crappy with 20 mph winds, rain six out of seven days, and temps overnight 40 and during the day 40-55 degrees. There has been one day of sun in ten days. The Roma tomato plant looks pretty rough and the evergreen tree that looked great in April is now three times as brown as it was after 2017-2018 winter which was really cold and windy. You would never know I fertilized and fed and protected it all winter long–it looks terrible. We replanted it this past weekend so I am praying it makes another comeback. Currently, I’ve replanted the evergreen and the new juniper bush. I’ve planted from plant start English thyme, lavender, Roma tomato plant, 2- bush tomato plants, 2- Rutgers Heirloom tomato plants, a cherry tomato plant, and a Purple Cherokee Heirloom tomato plant. I’ve also got a very large geranium that I’m hoping will rebloom, two smaller geraniums, and a large pot of hens and chicks. I’m still going to buy a few more herbs this weekend and set out some decorative items and then week 4 I will show you how it all looks! BTW–all the seeds I started inside were a complete fail even with the grow light. I’m not sure why? But they all got to the leggy stage and then it was several weeks before I could transplant them and they basically withered away and died. Maybe a later start next year or not at all. The plants I planted this past weekend had all been replanted while inside our apartment at least once due to roots growing out the bottoms of containers and wet, soggy, soil in every plant we purchased from our local nursery. Everything was planted in organic soil and our tomatoes were planted with Purple Cow Organics Tomato Gro.
Summer Menu Time- What’s Cooking?
Breakfast in the summertime is usually fruit leftover from our meal the night before. And water, lots of cold water with lemons and cucumbers in it.
Lunch- Lots of salads. Is there anything better than a fresh from the garden cucumber diced with fresh tomatoes, peppers, and buttery lettuce? We have salads for dinner too though we throw in chicken, eggs and sometimes sliced Fuji apples to make a more filling meal.
Monday– Monday has to be an easy day for us, meal wise, so it’s often a quick pasta dish like Shrimp Scampi Zoodles.
Tuesday-Once a week we have breakfast for dinner. Since I froze quite a bit of asparagus, lately it’s been Mini Quiches w/asparagus.
Wednesday– I volunteer after work on Wednesdays, so I pack a salad and a snack bar. My husband usually makes a pizza.
Thursday–Southwestern Chicken wraps and soup- usually homemade that I defrost in refrigerator -(it’s good for two meals)
Friday– We almost always have seafood for dinner on Fridays so it’s either a local fish fry or I make something with salmon like Salmon Cakes with Cucumber Dill Salad.
Saturday-I grill once a week 9 months out of the year. I love grilling. In the summer we have hamburgers, hot dogs, and brats. Once in awhile, I will BBQ a whole chicken.
Sunday-We almost always have roast chicken for dinner on Sundays. Now that I am able to source new baby potatoes we have those, fresh onions, fresh tomatoes, fresh parsley (potatoes) and fresh rosemary(chicken) and homemade baked beans.
This past weekend we took a ride to our local farm stand and loaded up. We bought a flat of strawberries, some yellow marigolds, another tomato plant, some more thyme, parsley, new potatoes, radishes, butter lettuce, and peaches. For two grocery bags full it cost us $23.00. I was able to get 5 -4″ pots of thyme for $1.50. Here is a couple of pictures of my patio garden. I am thrilled to say I already have 3 small tomatoes on one of my plants. I’m also happy to say my lavender is near flowering.
That’s all for now. Until next time–be well!
Officially, according to most, summer is half over. But I’m an optimistic kind of gal and I feel like it’s just beginning. There’s a lot of summer left in the Midwest, lots of time to go swimming, kick a ball around, have a picnic, even pick some tomatoes fresh from the vine.
That’s what I’m doing this week, and I’m making salsa, sauce, and soup from them. I am a month out from my foot surgery, and though it is slow going for one toe, the Franken toe (very scary looking one) is almost fully healed and looks brand new. The toe that needed to be fixed, thanks to my last podiatrist’s careless neglect, is still healing and bothering me. It’s time though to start canning tomatoes and freezing some of this year’s harvest for winter.
My husband and I just celebrated our 20th anniversary as a couple. It seems like just yesterday that we were working side by side in a nursing home and yours truly ( a famous flirt) finally got up the courage to ask a guy out for the first time. He said yes without hesitation, lucky me, and the rest, as they say, is history. What a difference the right person in your life makes towards your happiness and well -being. To celebrate we got together with some friends and had a wonderful party, filled with good food and lots of fun. We grilled chicken and lots of steaks for the meat eaters and ate veggies straight from the garden. Our patio flowers are coming along, though a few went south and were turned into mulch. A favorite this summer is our lovely petunias. A couple of weekends ago my husband planted miniature pumpkins and lavender in the empty pots. I cannot wait to see if the mini pumpkins work out.
I’ll share the salsa recipe and wish you all a fantastic rest of the summer..
- 10 pounds tomatoes
- 3 large sweet onions, finely chopped
- 2 medium sweet red peppers, finely choppedi
- 2 medium green peppers, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons mustard seed
- 1 teaspoon celery seed
- 4-1/2 cups white vinegar
- 2-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons canning salt
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- In a large saucepan, bring 8 cups water to a boil. Add tomatoes, a
- few at a time; boil for 30 seconds. Drain and immediately place
- tomatoes in ice water. Drain and pat dry; peel and finely chop.
- Place in a stockpot. Add onions and peppers.
- Place mustard and celery seed on a double thickness of cheesecloth;
- bring up corners of cloth and tie with string to form a bag. Add
- spice bag and the remaining ingredients to the pot. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 60-75 minutes or until
- slightly thickened. Discard spice bag.
- Carefully ladle relish into hot 1-pint jars, leaving 1/2-in.