Saturday, September 18, 2010

A New Season

As fall comes this week, my summer crops are winding up for the year. When you finish harvesting all of your crops, you can turn your garden over. We will turn our garden over by working some compost and composted leaves in the garden. The fertilizer will break down more over the winter. The aged compost already in the ground should help make spring planting easier.

Gardening for My Family is also having a change of
season. I have decided to let this be my last post. I will not be stopping gardening, however, just blogging! I will still be learning and researching, but I just will not be recording it on my blog. Ending Gardening for My Family will free up my time for other projects that I would like to do.

I hope that you will enjoy the new season of Fall this year, and that your garden reaps an abundant harvest!

"...a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;" Ecclesiastes 3:2


Monday, August 16, 2010

Zucchini Fries

Zucchini is a type of summer squash. The name "zucchini" came from the Italian word "zucchino" which means small squash. Zucchini was also grown in George Washington's and Thomas Jefferson's gardens. Additionally, many American settlers also grew squash and zucchini

This year, I planted 4 hills of zucchini. Next year, I will probably only plant 1-2 hills because it produces a lot! We have harvested lots of zucchini and have been trying new recipes in order to use it. We normally will make zucchini bread/cake with our extra zucchini, or cook zucchini and squash together. However, this year we had a bumper crop. We have made a zucchini bake with tomatoes, onions and cheese and zucchini fries. Here is the recipe for the fries:

Baked Zucchini Fries

1 cup Breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons Dried Minced Onion
1/2 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
1 Tablespoon Dried Basil
1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano
1/2 Tablespoon Salt
3/4 teaspoon Black Pepper
2 whole Medium Zucchini
2 whole Eggs
2 Tablespoons Milk
2 dashes Salt And Pepper

Mix together breadcrumbs, onion, garlic powder, basil, oregano, salt and pepper in a small bowl to make seasoned breadcrumbs.
Preheat oven to 400F. Slice zucchini into sticks.
In a shallow dish, mix together eggs and milk and season with salt and pepper.
In another shallow dish, spread out breadcrumbs. Toss zucchini slices in egg mixture then toss in breadcrumbs until evenly coated.
Liberally spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray. Arrange zucchini in a single layer and then spray liberally with cooking spray.
Bake for 10 -15 minutes, flipping slices half way through. Zucchini is done when the breading has browned and zucchini has softened .

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

This year, we found some tomato hornworms on the plants. Tomato hornworms are the larvae of hummingbird moths. The small yellowish-green eggs are laid underneath the leaves. The worms have a red-orange horn at the end of their bodies. They can be 2-4 inches long. The worms can devour most of a plant in 1-2 days. The worms are hard to find as they are almost the same color as the stem of tomato plants. Can you see it in the picture below?
The worms were extremly hard to pick off. We had to use pliers to yank them off the vines. We even considered cutting off the branch that they were on! The braconoid wasp will parasite some hornworms. The paracited worms look like they have rice grains on their bodies.

I hope that you will not have any problems with these hungry worms in your garden!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Harvesting Dried Coriander

This week, we harvested some coriander. Coriander is ready when it turns brown. If it is still green, or not completely dry, it has a slightly bitter taste. The 100+° weather certainly dried the herb! The complete plant usually is brown when the coriander is ready for harvest.

Coriander is from the same plant as cilantro. Cilantro is the early flat leaf of the plant, not the fern like later leaf when the plant goes to seed. Coriander is the seed of the plant. If it stays on the plant too long, coriander will fall off and grow new cilantro plants.

Momma and I cut off some coriander with the stalks. I twisted the coriander off the stalks into a paper bag. I cleaned out the impurities by dumping handfuls of coriander down a paper towel into a container. The coriander rolled down, leaving most of the dirt and stems behind on the paper towel. We harvested a half pint full of coriander to use this winter!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Blossom End Rot on Tomatoes

This year, the Better Boy tomatoes have blossom-end rot. Blossom-end rot is noticeable by a dark watery or soft brown spot on the bottom of the vegetable. It will commonly engulf the whole fruit which will fall off the vine. Peppers, tomatoes, squash, and watermelon are most commonly affected.
Blossom end rot is not caused by organisms like many plant diseases. It is usually caused by environmental conditions which include long periods of wet weather followed by dry weather or deficient calcium in the soil. There is not much that you can do to save the affected veggies. You just have to pull them off the vine and hope that it does not continue. There are a few things that you can do to help prevent the rot before planting:
  • Test the soil before planting. I should have done this with my garden since we have new soil. The bed that was affected was the one without the compost since we ran out. I think that the soil probably needed lime for additional calcium. If the dirt was not acidic enough, then I should have added gypsum for acidity.
  • Mulch around the plants to help hold moisture. My uncle gave us some straw pads that his baby turkeys came with in their crate. The pads should help with both weeds and moisture.
  • Avoiding extra fertilizing helps with the pH levels.
I hope that your garden is doing well and does not have any diseases or problems!