Tomatoes = Fresh Salsa :)

From the garden…

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To the table…

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We have been blessed with the best tomato crop ever this year.

The Ancient one has not only been picking these gems, but cutting them up for tomato sauce…

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And my gardening daughter makes the best fresh salsa ever!!!

 

salsa

Love the way this looks in the food processor…

4You can find the recipe in the comment section. 🙂

 

 

Making Bouquets with the Ancient One…

Summer is here…and where I have been?  Spending a lot of time with my mom who we just moved into a little sweet house next door to us. Life is different here, but already I see the beauty and blessing of looking at nature through the eyes of one who perceives everything in the moment…

Everything is new every day…every hour…every flower is seen for the first time in all its wonder.

My mom picks wildflowers and makes gorgeous new bouquets every day.  And I make bouquets from the flowers I have growing in my yard…

bouquet

yellow

daylily

Loving my new hydrangea…

hydrangea

I haven’t posted anything about my chickens for awhile, but they all are fine, and Darcy has turn out to be a very fine rooster who takes good care of the  8 laying hens… 6 black Marans and 2 Ameraucanas…

The tomatoes have grown quite a bit and seem extremely healthy…

toma

As far as the Oxheart Tomato Experiment goes, we’ve got a tomato that just needs to ripen and perhaps it will be a winner???

oxheart

Hope you all are having a wonderful summer…I know I am. 🙂

Tomato Journaling

Looking good so far in the tomato patch. This spot is by far the sunniest on our place, and it’s where we decided to grow most of our tomato plants…

tomato patch

It is overcast and foggy today and even a little cool right now. We’ve had some great days of rain, but from what I’ve heard we are still low on  rainfall this year.

tomato patch 2

Marigolds are good everywhere. Supposedly, they even keep aphids at bay in the greenhouse… I’ve planted them all around the tomatoes to try and keep garden pests away.

The Oxheart tomato plant is doing fabulously…

IMG_3331

The experiment plant is on the left, and the small tomato plant to the right is one that I just transplanted. So to compare… the little one is about the size the experiment plant was when I planted it on the 9th of May. See Oxheart Tomato Experiment for more details.

Could one of these be the first tomato???

toWe’ll see…

 

Oatgrass and Wisteria and Lamb’s Quarters

Love the way this oatgrass is looking in this large blue ceramic planter…

oatgrass

And the wisteria I planted last year is blooming…

Wisteria

We planted 52 tomato plants  the day before yesterday. More than we have ever planted before, but we still are lacking rain. Perhaps a thunderstorm tonight. I sure hope so. 🙂

tomatoes

Has anyone tried Lamb’s Quarters?

lambs

We have a huge patch, and this is an incredible food that tastes something like spinach. You can eat it in salads or cook it, just like you would spinach. It’s actually better than spinach in my opinion.

Instead of writing about it myself, I’ll link you to a blog with more facts about this incredible weed/food… The Prairie Homestead

Bon appetit  🙂

 

Oxheart Tomato Experiment

I posted about this experiment last January while I was shopping for seeds.  The Natural Gardening Company wants to discover which part of the country has the best tomato growing climate, so they asked gardeners to try planting the heirloom seeds of the Oxheart Tomato, planting on April 4th and transplanting on May 9th.

Today I chose my largest plant…

oxheart tomato

and transplanted it into my garden…

oxheart tomato2

They actually have a camera focused on theirs to record the growth… The Tomato Cam

I was two days late planting my seeds because we had so much going on and I forgot, but I think my little plant is looking pretty good. I totally expected theirs to be twice as big as mine.

Starting from Scratch…

That’s what it feels like this year. Everything died in the hoop house during the frigid December freezes, and I’ve had a cold/flu for a month, so I haven’t felt like doing anything, but I’m better and things are getting rolling around here…thanks to my gardener daughter Anna. 🙂

She roto-tilled in the clover cover crop on this new plot near the hoop house…

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And planted these seeds from the Natural Gardening Company

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Lettuces, spinach, chard, bok choi, beets… can’t wait!!!  I thought the seed prices were very reasonable. We’ll see how they perform.

I soaked the beet seeds overnight. Something that was suggested on the seed packet that I’ve never done before, but according to them it will boost the germination.

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While Anna did all the hard work, I busied myself starting seeds in flats…

3I have several different heirloom tomato varieties that I bought at a Farmer’s Market in Holland, Michigan, and saved the seeds, and I have my special Down to Earth Digs seeds bought from Stacey on Etsy

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Last year we began to convert our large back yard into something productive, a large strawberry bed with 2 fruit trees.  We had a pretty good harvest of strawberries, and an overwhelming abundance of  cucumbers that I planted under the baby trees. Now we’ve added a new garden space in our back yard. You can see it  in the distance…

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It really feels a lot like starting all over again from scratch, and everything looks so brown and drab and dreary.

Thank you to Tera, who bought me the beautiful Freesia featured at the top of the post. 🙂 How bright and beautiful, a reminder that soon, very soon there will be color in our gardens again.

Oh…and I did keep the rooster, and I’m calling him Darcy. Thanks to vuchickens for the great suggestion. 😉