Category Archives: Garden

GARDEN UPDATE & HOMEMADE PICKLES

We planted new seeds in our garden beds one afternoon after a quick trip to Home Depot. We had Cooper with us, obviously, so we didn’t actually read the back of the packages to see when the best time to plant was or how it would grow. Basically, we grabbed a bunch of crap and ran to the register before Coop had the chance to cry. One thing we’ve learned about taking a baby to the store: KEEP IT MOVING!

Our very first (of many) Home Depot trips - December 2013

Our very first (of many) Home Depot trips – December 2013

We came home with a few things that can’t be planted yet (celery?) but used what we could. We ended up with peppers, cucumbers, radish, and green beans.

Garden Garden

Everything was doing OK, probably because I’m not always the best about actually remembering to water the plants but HEY, babies are a lot of work and I’m tired and more coffee please blah blah blah.  Believe it or not, the cucumbers completely took over. I didn’t realize it’s a vining plant (this goes back to the not reading the package thing) and planted my new seeds differently this time.

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The plant didn’t seem to mind much because for a few weeks there I was swimming in cucumbers. And what do you do when life hands you too many cucumbers (besides make inappropriate jokes at every opportunity)? You make pickles, of course!

It’s pretty easy and the pickles are so much better than the ones you buy from the store. But, there isn’t enough pickles in the world to satisfy my cravings (I ate at least two jars a week when I was pregnant) so I’m sure I’ll still be buying some.

If you’re interested, here’s what I did:

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Slice your cucumbers (this was enough for 2 pints jars).

Next, you’ll want to get your brine started (1 tbs canning salt, 2 cups water, 1 cup vinegar). All you need to do is bring it to a rolling boil.

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Put a whole clove of garlic, dill, and red pepper flakes in each jar.

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Add the sliced cucumbers and pour the boiling brine right on top. Seal immediately and let the jars cool on the counter before putting them in the refrigerator.

We waited 4 days to start eating our pickles and they were gone a few days later. If you’re not as pickle crazy as we are, they should stay good for about a month.

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GARDEN UPDATE

Organic Garden

It is crazy how much everything can grow overnight. I took a few pictures last week that I meant to post but when I looked back at them I realized everything just about tripled in size. We recently added a second raised bed with green beans, carrots, spinach, more peppers, collard greens and onions, but it doesn’t look like much now since we did a lot by seed this time. But for now, here’s what’s growing in our garden. I love going outside every morning to water our plants and see what’s going on in there. We’ve had a few little critters munching on some of the leaves, but since we’re going the organic route it’s to be expected. But no harm done so far! We’ve already eaten a bunch of cherry tomatoes, handfuls of fresh herbs, a green pepper, and about three bags of lettuce.

Organic Vegetable Garden Organic Vegetable Garden Organic Vegetable Garden Organic Vegetable GardenOur first strawberry of the season. And it tasted so much sweeter than the ones I usually buy from Publix.

Organic Vegetable GardenAnd  our newest addition – a lemon tree, thanks to a living social deal we got for Christmas. I am so looking forward to pitchers of fresh squeezed lemonade later this year!

WE STARTED A GARDEN

Now that the wedding planning is over and done with we can actually spend some time focusing on the house and I’m so excited! We got engaged right after we bought the house and the wedding took over, so the house still looks almost exactly like it did one day one. We’re ripping up the floors and putting in new tile soon but until that happens I’m trying to focus on other areas of the house. Priority #1? BACKYARD!

Our first place had a big pool in the backyard that we never took care of, which if you didn’t know… pool – chlorine = sludge. It was gross. Pools are a lot of work. Who knew? It got to the point where I basically avoided that backyard like the plague. I even avoided any window looking out to the yard. We went through spirts of “Yeah! Let’s do this!” and we’d go to the store and spend an obscene amount of money on chlorine, mulch, and plants only to let the plants die and the pool turn green a few days later. We were busy, life got in the way, (insert excuse here) and ultimately, we knew we wouldn’t be there for very long. Fast forward three years later….we’re at it again. But for realsies this time.

Oh, and guess what the number one “must have” on our house hunt? NO POOL! Now we have a huge open slate for a backyard. Sure, there’s not much grass and a crap ton of sand but it’s ours and we aren’t going anywhere for a long time!

I always wanted to grow my own vegetables in the yard and when I mentioned I wanted to build a raised garden bed, the Mister jumped at the chance to use his Drill! and Saw! and Power Tools! I came home from work to see this happening:

Betsy Crocker: Garden                  Don’t mind the dead grass. We’re working on that, too. One step at a time.

If that isn’t the sexiest thing you ever saw, I don’t know what is! I think I just fell in love all over again.

Betsy Crocker: Garden

So far we’ve got tomatoes (cherry and regular – not pictured, they’re in a separate planter), cauliflower, red pepper, green peppers, red lettuce, romaine lettuce, basil, oregano, parsley, and some sunflowers and marigolds for good measure.

Betsy Crocker: Garden

Everything still looks pretty puny but I’m excited to watch everything grow. It’s been in place about 3 weeks now and, so far, everything is still alive. Knock on wood.