Our first fresh veggies from the 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:
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.
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!