Our first fresh veggies from the garden!

By glblguy

home-vegatable-garden

After weeks of waiting, we’ve finally been able to enjoy the fruits of our labor from our home vegetable garden we planted back in May. As you can see in the picture above it’s very  different from the barren look it had in May. So far we’ve enjoyed a number of fresh spinach salads and more recently my second favorite garden vegetable: Squash. Unfortunately, it’s getting a little to hot for the spinach and it’s yellowing up quickly.  We’ve considered planting something in it’s place, any suggestions? Here’s a shot of our first two yellow squash:

yellow-squash

These little guys were floured and fried soon after this picture was taken, and man were they good. Yes, we fried them…we’re in the South, we fry everything ;-)  Seriously, we don’t actually fry foods much, but fried squash is one of the treats we love. We ate ourselves into oblivion, even our kids love it.

The cabbage is growing, although not near as fast as I would like. I mentioned yellow squash was my second favorite, cabbage is my favorite. I love it fresh in salads, boiled, and fried as well. Yes, fried cabbage. I’m surprised at the number of people that have never heard of fried cabbage. Here’s how you make it:

Get  pack of bacon and fry it in large, deep frying pan. While the bacon’s frying chop the cabbage up into pieces about 1″ by 1″ square. Once the bacon is done, pull the bacon out, but leave the grease. Put the cabbage in, crumble the bacon up into small pieces and mix in with the cabbage. Cover tightly and cook for about 20 minutes or so. Make sure you stir it so it doesn’t burn. Once done, serve. It’s that easy.

Fried cabbage is incredibly unhealthy, but man is it good. Nobody else in my family likes it, so I don’t get it often at all, but can’t wait to make some for this year. Anybody have a good recipe for cabbage soup? I’ve heard it’s tasting as well and would love to try it.

Other veggies such as our tomato’s, okra, zucchini, carrots, cucumbers, and green beans are all coming along nicely. It’s been a bit dry here, so that has slowed the growth down a bit. Fortunately it rained all day yesterday, so I’m hoping that speeds things up again. I’m pretty confident we’ll get some tomatoes next, as they are starting to go from green to orange.

A family affair

Our whole family enjoys the garden and our kids love checking in on it daily to see how things are coming along and especially pulling anything that’s ready. My 6 year old thought it was the coolest thing to pull the squash, take it down the house and eat it a few minutes later.  I have to say it’s been a rewarding experience planting the seeds, tending to the weeds, turning the soil and in the process watching the plants slowly grow and now finally bearing the eatable vegetables. To be honest, I think we’re going to get more than we can eat, and will most likely share with our neighbors.

The garden has also been very educational for our children as well, as I think they literally though that vegetables either: 1) Just appeared at the grocery store or 2) Were made in a factory. They’ve learned a great deal through planting the seeds and watching the plants grow. They are amazed at how different each plant is. My younger kids were shocked to learn hat carrots grew in the ground and were pretty much a root.

Compost Update

The compost cooking in the compost bin I built is coming along rather nicely as well. One side has been cooking since the end of May. We stopped adding to it in June due to the one side being full. Now, it’s about half full of what is now rich but still not fully broken down organic material. The other side we continue to add to. About every two weeks while the kids are inspecting the garden, I spend 10 minutes or so turning the compost. This not only ensures the necessary air exposure is provided but also makes sure the areas that aren’t cooking get mixed in. Each time I’ve turned it, I’ve noticed a considerable amount of heat in the center, which is exactly what you want.

If things continue on track, come September, I should have some nice and rich compost material to throw on the garden to not only prepare it for the spring, but we’ve also considered keeping a winter garden. I’m still researching if that’s possible since we get such cold temperatures here in the winter. Cleaning out the main bin will also provide me with some space to put all the leaves I’m sure we’ll get again this fall. Leaves make for great composting material.

One project I’ll need to build before then is a compost screen.  Our compost has lots of large sticks and even a few rocks that need to be removed. Not really sure how all of that got in there though…kids maybe? I even found a few plastic plant leaves over the weekend…huh?

Anyway, that’s the update on our vegetable garden. How’s your’s coming along? Add a comment!


13 Responses (including trackbacks) to “Our first fresh veggies from the garden!”

  1. Angie Says:

    I miss my garden since we moved. I love all the things you mentioned and agree wholeheartedly with the benefits. Your squash is beautiful!

  2. Miss T Says:

    I am sooo not a gardener, but so many blogs talk about gardening these days – I’m really beginning to feel the nudge to start a garden myself! It would be kind of nice to have a bunch of veggies and if I don’t eat them I can freeze them for later… I know this sounds funny but I’m just not realizing what I’ve been missing by NOT having a garden.

    Thanks for sharing your garden successes – you are definitely inspiring us readers!!

  3. Miss T Says:

    The fried cabbage is one of our family faves – I actually saw Paula Deen doing a similar recipe – in addition to the bacon there is corned beef as well. We LOVE this recipe – it makes a ton and it’s very inexpensive!

    Try the recipe – it is good!!!

  4. South Texas Says:

    We like to use shredded cabbage instead of noodles in soups.

    We always have an abundance of cucumbers and they go bad. This year I have learned how to make raspberry jam, and am hoping I can learn to make pickles!

  5. JerryB Says:

    MMMmmm, fried cabbage. Pork fat rules. Your recipe does need a couple grinds of black pepper and a minced clove (or ten) of garlic.

    Try growing some Swiss Chard where the spinach is. It not only has edible leaves that you can pick young and tender, it’s part of the beetroot family for the fall.

    Although it wont be a large plot, you can always build a small greenhouse on top of your compost bins and have a warm enough temp to grow salad greens during the winter.

  6. Tyler@FrugallyGreen Says:

    No story about gardening here as I’m just not into it (my roommate is), but I decided to start composting a few months ago and it’s actually quite a lot of fun, I think, watching the scraps you put into it break down into soil. I decided that a basic compost bin wasn’t going to be good enough for me, and built this big ridiculous tumbler out of lumber and a 55 gal. plastic barrel. $75 later I realize that a basic box would have been much cheaper and probably just as, if not more, functional. Lesson learned!

  7. Jessica Says:

    Gorgeous garden! I adore cabbage too – love the pork fat, and throw in a sprinkle of red pepper flakes, and some garlic too. Mmmm.

  8. Funny about Money Says:

    Byootiful!!! And what outstanding squash.

    In these parts, my veggies are frying, all right: in 115-degree heat. I doubt if even the squash will make it through July, despite daily watering.

    About the spinach: interestingly, the chard is surviving our blast-furnace effect! That suggests it would do fine during the summer in greener climes. Anything you can do with spinach, you can do with chard–great way to keep greens going year-round.

    Craving greens, I got one of those hydroponic heads of butter lettuce from the grocery store. Having learned in the past that you can often get these to grow in your garden after you’ve eaten half or three-quarters of the leaves, I stuck the thing in a pot and parked it beneath the kitchen skylight. So far, it’s still alive. Maybe it won’t bolt to seed if it can grow indoors.

    {heee!} Compost made from plastic leaves is to put on the plastic plants. Makes sense to me!

  9. DDFD at DivorcedDadFrugalDad.com Says:

    I get antsy for the results too. I have dozens of little tomatoes forming– can’t wait.

  10. Gina Says:

    Good job Gibble Guy! And you are teaching your kids new things, even better!!

    Beautiful, beautiful garden. Squash looks yummy!!!

    I don’t have the patience to wait for things to grow so I like to help by doing the weeding. I like the instant results.

  11. Melissa Says:

    A good soup for cabbage is Borscht. It also uses beets and you can make it with meat or not. Just google it for all kinds of recipes.

  12. Whitney - Composting Garden Blog Says:

    Sounds as if you guys have a great project going, I am glad to see your teaching your children how to garden, thats great! I always try to get people to teach their kids to garden, it really gives them a life long skill and a better chance at succeeding in life. :)

  13. Traci in Texas Says:

    Very late to comment, but:
    If you like cabbage, and are interested in a cabbage soup – consider making a squash and cabbage soup! Cabbage head, sliced thin and short; couple squash, cubed large; chicken stock; salt, pepper, garlic, onion, whatever spices you like. Simmer for about half to three-quarters of an hour. Tasty, and inexpensive! Top with crumbled bacon, serve with a slice of cornbread. (Yes, I was raised Southern, too!)

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