State of the Garden

This is a low key growing season.  Even though we have more growing space this year, we have scaled back a little in our growing projects.  Part of it is being busy with two kids, part of it just the hussle and bussle of life.  We’ve reached the age (or time of year) where there’s a birthday party every weekend.  So, losing some growing opportunities.  But, I did manage to move my ass and get a few things in the ground.

We are growing snap peas!  Last year we had snow peas when I meant to get snap peas.  We also have several rows of peas.  My hope is that Ginger will be interested in peas by the time they are ripe.  Right now, she doesn’t seem that interested in solids.  Max harvested our first 4-5 snap peas and loved them.  I haven’t been able to get him to eat them before, so this is a big success already.

It’s also fun that we still have tomatoes on our volunteer plant.   I dare you to try to find lettuce and arugula amongst the weeds.

We have a little bit of chard — I was hoping that it would be a more substantive crop.  I feel like I could wipe it out with one meal. 

We have a freezer stocked full of meat, so if we could only get the yard produce to step up, we could simplify our grocery shopping needs.

Meanwhile, I have some serious baby weight to take off.  I’m dedicating myself to a workout plan.  Realistically, I think I need a structured diet plan, but I need to get through a few work hurdles first.

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Bean there, Done that

  Here’s my idiot moment of the season:

We grew beans this year.  We had an amazingly large bounty.  We ate them raw, or broiled, or steamed.  We froze some.  We dehydrated some.  When we were sick of looking at them, we let what I thought were a “few” remaining pods hang on and dry on the vine (is it a vine?) so that we could save seeds for next year. 

Except… once we went to pick them, I realized we had a nice hunk of dried beans.  I started thinking that we actually had enough to make a meal of beans.  It never occurred to me that we could have that sort of yield. 

Max and I shelled the beans together and it was so much fun to share that activity with him.

Now, I must admit…. I don’t cook with dried beans.  I didn’t grow up with them.  I tried doing them in the slow cooker earlier this year and the meal was inedible.  No flavor, didn’t cook through.  But I really wanted to do our crop justice, so I was going to try again.

I again went the slow cooker route, but I added more ingredients for flavor.  At the end of the cooking time — still no flavor.  So, I found a recipe for boston baked beans and I mixed up the sauce and cooked it with the beans in the oven for maybe an hour.  I rescued the beans… and they tasted great.  Cooked through, lots of flavor.  Max ate them! I even made use of the leftovers by adding them to a shredded pork soup.

…I promised an idiot moment, didn’t I?   Well, it was probably a good week later that I realized that I totally forgot to save ANY of the beans as seeds for next year.   I guess I’ll have to order it online again and hope that I get the right variety. DOh!