12.31.2010

Happy New Year Everyone!!!

I hope everyone has a fabulous time this evening, and ring in the New Year with a bang! Many good wishes on everyone's families and even better gardens than this year!

12.24.2010

Trying to Plan the New Garden....

As most of you know, we moved into our new house this past April. This summer we did some minor gardening along the side of the house and a little bit at the community garden... I am ready to get back into the full swing of things! I am trying to draw out our back yard... I have several copies on graph paper with measurements, but I just cant seem to figure this out. I don't know if I want raised beds. or just to till the whole darn thing. The problem is, our back yard is not level, and it runs down hill. The other problem is, is that well, it just is a weird shape. Its pretty much a rectangle, except for our driveway, and an old concrete thing... I need some opinions... Do you think raised beds are best? If so, how many feet of space should be between each bed for easy access? How wide is too wide? How long is too long? If you think I should just till the whole thing, what should I do about the runoff? Build a retaining wall? And don't forget the chickens! We need a chicken run off of the garage... about 6ft by 4 ft... My original is on graph paper, but it didnt scan the lines (they are really really light in color) Any help planning this thing would be great... Its a huge task.... Oh, and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

12.21.2010

Christmas Presents!!!

Tonight, Hubby and I exchanged Christmas presents! With my job, I never know my schedule, and probably wont be home on Christmas, so we just move holidays around to whenever we need them to be. But anywho, I got a yogurt maker! I am so excited! It is a Donvier yogurt maker, with 8 six ounce jars, and he also got me an extra set of jars and some yogurt culture. We have been talking about making our own yogurt for about 6 months, and now we are on our way! Tomorrow, we will head to the market and get some local organic milk, and we will prepare the first batch and see how it goes... I hope the results are delicious!


In my stocking I got a mini whisk (I've been asking for one for ages) and a new pepper mill. Hubby has a tendency to drop my pepper mills in his bowls of soup... Just in case you were wondering, Hubby got the Wii Madden 2011 football game, a Johnny Cash cd, and various sorts of baubles in his stocking. From my dad, he got a new dremmel. He loves getting tools for presents, makes him feel like a man, and I get to find projects for him to use them on!

12.13.2010

Today at the Airport

It is a snowy mess! More than half of the flights are canceled, both departures and arrivals. It is so snowy, you cant even see past the end of the jetways. And of course, I am stuck here on airport alert, just in case they need me. Here are some photos...

Looking out at the taxiways and runways

The Departure Board... And it has only gotten worse...

View of the highway driving to work... Don't worry! The husband was driving!

12.11.2010

Wow, It's Been Awhile!!!

Hello my fellow bloggers!!! I am have seriously been MIA in this part of my world. I am sorry that I have been so absent. I haven't even been reading blogs lately. I am going to blame this on my schoolwork, and fortunately, finals are next week! I won't even have to return to school until January 18th! YAY!

On the gardening front, I cleaned out my garden plot and turned in my community garden key. I am happy and sad at the same time to say that I will not be returning to the community garden. Hopefully, in the spring, we will be up and running in our own back yard. I have received my first (of many I hope) seed catalog! Johnny's sure doesn't mess around in that department.

I hope all is well in everyone else's worlds! I have a lot of reading to catch up on!

10.28.2010

Lack of Blogging Inspiration...

I have had a small problem lately, and that would be lack of inspiration for blogging. So what is going on in the world of the Tiny Gardener? Not a whole lot...

My return to school has left me anxious and nervous, and now that I have completed my first 2 homework assignments, it's not so bad. Im still waiting for some of my books to arrive in the mail so I can complete some other assignments.

As far as the garden goes, all we are getting are radishes. RADISHES RADISHES RADISHES!!! I need to get on it and make some salad dressing so we can eat them in salad. I couldnt figure out what to do with the greens, and after some searching online, and I found a lot of people that simply saute them like spinach. I figured, what the heck?! I'll do it. The greens were AWESOME. Just sauteed with a little butter and olive oil, salt and pepper, and garlic. YUM YUM!!!!

I would like to welcome The Idiot Gardener to my small group of followers. I can't lie... I do get secretly giddy inside whenever I see that I have a new follower or a comment. It is like a mini sort of Christmas!

I did get to go see my friends Katie and Brian at the hospital. They welcomed their new baby girl, Addison, into the world on October 26, at 9 lbs 3 oz, 22 inches long. She is a cutie pie!!!!


10.09.2010

The "Not So Community" Garden

So, this morning was supposed to be a work day down at the garden, and I went. We are supposed to attend at least one work day, or risk not being allowed to return next year. Not that I am wishing to return next year anyhow, but it would be irresponsible not to go to at least one. So anyways, I went to the work day at 930 a.m. and NO ONE ELSE SHOWED UP. NOT A SINGLE ONE. I looked in my calendar and in my garden rules handout thing, and sure enough, today was the last work day of the year. So freakin irritated!!!

On the other hand, I did pull out the rest of my hot pepper and eggplant plants. I got just enough baby veggies to make one last meal out of them. Our favorite this summer has been sauteed eggplant, hot peppers, and tomatoes over top of whole wheat pasta with cheese. Yum Yum!!!

I did get some cute pictures of some grass hoppers taking a little mid morning break.

Grass hopper on Broccoli 

Grass Hopper on Radish Leaves

Grass Hopper on Eggplant Leaf

Bee on Broccoli

10.08.2010

Radishes

I found the garden keys!!! They were under the drivers seat in the car, thank God!!! I really did not want to have to replace the key and risk getting thrown out of the garden!

I braved my sniffles and went down to the garden to check everything out, and I got radishes!!! Not a whole ton yet, but enough to redeem my pathetic attempt at growing radishes in window boxes. I got several Philly White Box radishes and 2 Cherry Belle radishes. I cant wait to wash them up and eat 'em! I just hope that I can savor their true flavor despite my congestion...

White Philly Box and Cherry Belle radishes

10.07.2010

Missing Keys....

So yesterday, my wonderful Husband took our new Miata out to drive it to his Wednesday night volleyball, and in the process, lost the garage keys. WHICH coincidentally also have my key to the community garden! I want to go down and check on my radishes, beets, and peas, but they will all have to wait until Saturday (October's garden workday). I will have to make sure I dont get there too early so that the gate will be open when I get there... I am NOT looking forward to having to tell Bernie (the one who runs it all) that I lost my key... Yay...

On the other hand, Vacation was great! We went to the last cubs game of the season, ate at Graham Elliot and GEB HIMSELF was actually there!!! I can't tell you how awesome it was to actually see one of these famous guys at their restaurant! I can say that I have never seen Michael Symon at Lolitas... He must be too busy working on yet another TV show...


Anyhow... The blogging has been at a minimum... Not much is happening in the gardening world. Last week was spent mostly working on the finishing touches for my friends baby shower, which was hosted at my house. Then I had a 3 day trip, and now I have a cold... For the last 2 days, Ive been camped out on the couch watching movies and the food network. 

The attitude at work is starting to get to me... For those who don't know or don't live near a Continental Hub probably wouldn't know, but we are merging with United Airlines, and my fellow flight attendants as well as our lovely passengers are none to pleased with the goings on... I just want to yell at them and say "I don't know anything!!!! They don't even give us the goings on!!!! We find out about everything on the news!!!!" It isn't easy to work with people who hate being there... Ok, that's the end of my rant... But just in case you wanted to see what our beautiful Continental planes are going to look like with United's words, here ya go....

"United" plane in LAX

9.22.2010

Yeah, I've Been MIA

First off, my apologies for having been absent from the blogging world for over a week. We've been super busy trying to get as much done in the house as possible before I host the baby shower October 2nd, and this weekend we are heading to Chicago for vacation, so I will be absent yet again. Sorry guys!

Today's harvest, once again not on Monday (Thanks Daphne for hosting Harvest Mondays!), but a harvest never the less. I got a HUGE tomato, and I have absolutely no idea what kind of tomato it is. The plant came from the community garden free-for-all. I cant wait to cut into this beast and give it a try! I also got a few more roma-pasty type maters and a miniature little eggplant. We have been loving the eggplant this year. It is a must for next year as well.


I put the pea supports up at the garden, and took a picture of my favorite garden tool. I am in love with this knife thing. It looks old and rusty, but that thing cuts like no other. I love it!!!

Pea Supports

Pea Shoots

My Fave Tool!

Radishes and just a few beets in the background

9.07.2010

Community Garden Update

So far, all of my radishes and carrots have sprouted! I am still waiting on the beets, but if they don't grow, I wont be too disappointed. Mr Gardener doesn't really care for beets, so I only would fix them to eat when he isn't around. I have 2 little pea sprouts, and will have to take my bamboo poles down there and set them up once I hit my days off next week. I am feeling for sure that I will be off on a jet plane this weekend.

Radish Sprouts

Radish Sprouts

Pea Sprout


The garden is also full of bright late summer blooms. Beautiful!

Harvest "Monday"

Thanks Daphne for hosting Harvest Monday! Yes, it is Tuesday again, but I can't help it! Yesterday we spent the day at Oktoberfest, drinking, eating, watching the wiener dog races. It was so much fun!!! But anyways, today I got a TON of tomatoes... Well, green ones. They really weren't even harvested on purpose. I was pulling out my dead, gnarly, viny tomato plants because my patience has run out. If only the largest ones could have lived through the destruction... I got one patty pan squash from the community garden. I didn't grow it... Everything that is grown "around the edges" is for everyone to share, and I missed all of the zucchinis, so I am happy to have gotten this guy. He is big for a patty pan... maybe 1/2 pound?

I pulled out allllllll of the hillbilly tomatoes because I just couldn't stand it anymore. Now I have a big open place for my lovely rose bush to go...
This rose bush (up) is going in this spot (down) and will have a lovely trellis to climb on in the spring



This other rose Bush is my pride and joy. I have no idea what kind it is... It is on its FOURTH bloom for the year! My others have only bloomed once.

9.02.2010

A Sad Day in the World of The Tiny Gardener

So, I have 23,764 jars of delicious and beautiful peach jam... And I can't eat it! I am allergic! I woke up this morning to discover thousands of tiny tiny bumps all over my face. The only thing I can conclude is that since my peach eating has increased exponentially in the last 3 days, so that must be it! I am oh so sad... Peach Jam, I love you, but you don't love me :(

9.01.2010

Fall Planting

I am heading on down to the community garden today to pull put my totally spent cabbages, stake up my eggplant bushes, and do some fall planting. I am only planting a few things. All seeds, no plants. The heat is supposed to break tomorrow night with a thunderstorm followed by rain and cool temps for about 3 days. I would rather get these tiny hopefuls into the ground now versus in the soaking rain.

My fall garden prep has been, uh, minimal, for lack of a better term. I was hoping to have more garden space along side the house by now, but since my tomatoes have yet to give me anything red, I am delaying pulling them out. I cant wait to take out my frustration on those bushy buggers.

So anyways, the Community Garden list goes a little like this (north to south)

Sugar Snap Peas (seed)
Hot Peppers (existing)
Egglplant (existing)
Beets - Detroit Dark Red (seed)
Carrots - Danvers Half Long (seed)
Radishes - Philly White Box, China Rose Winter, Cherry Belle (all seed)

I am also going to rip out my two lone tomato plants growing in pots. They dont really like the pots much, and the tomatoes that formed have just been hanging on dead vines. Not really a pretty sight... I also have some mint in pots that just doesnt seem happy. Mint seems to grow in this neighborhood like wild fire. It is all over the community garden, popping up in everyone's beds, and even my neighbor Sam has mint all along the side of his driveway. Serious mint bed, maybe 40ft x 5ft. Insane.

The Community Garden

 The Community Garden 


My parched and pathetic plot before my morning of work

8.31.2010

Tuesday's Harvest

Sorry! Its Tuesday, not Monday! Thanks to Daphne at Daphne's Dandelions for hosting Harvest Monday!

Here is what I got from the community garden today... A big bunch of hot peppers, a really nice sized eggplant, and some yellow mini pear tomatoes. The tomatoes arent, mine, so hale to the gardener who actually got tomatoes this year!

8.30.2010

Holy Peach!

Today as I was pulling in the driveway to pick up my new baby Charlotte and take her to the vet, Ray stopped by to tell me to come get peaches. I told him I would come by this afternoon, and without fail, the legend of Rays Peaches has held true. He had 3 FULL grocery bags ready for me to go when I walked back into his peach smelling back yard. It was like walking into heaven. I loved it!!! Nevertheless, I only took 2 bags of peaches, assuring him that the amount would be plenty for me to make enough jam to last, oh I don't know, until the apocalypse? I was a little worried when I peaked into the bags, and they were green, but when I cut into them, OMG the juice and the aroma!!! Delish!!! I got 6 jars of peach jam, and still have a bag and a half to go... I will need to buy more sugar and pectin....

He also gave me 2 tomatoes, since I couldnt help but relay my sadness that my gorgeous Hillbilly Tomato plants (also from his wonderful abundance) have yet failed to give me a ripened tomato.
I cant remember the one on the left, but the right one, multicolored HillBilly tomato


**Side note... FOLLOW THE RECIPES!!! Making Jam without the recipe does not a good jam make... Trust me on that... 

**Another side note... I opened my fresh made tomato sauce/soup stuff, and it was awful... I think I have to throw out the whole batch :( Sorry Momma Gardener

8.29.2010

Time to Catch Up

Its been a whole month since my last post, and I am determined to get back on the wagon and BLOG. I am trapped at the airport today, so I thought it a good time to update.

We have about a thousand tomato plants, and NO TOMATOES! Ok, that is an exaggeration... We have had 3 red tomatoes. I have lots and lots of green ones, but no red ones. I think this bunch of romas here have been green for about 6 or 7 weeks...


I picked the last of the cabbage from the community garden plot, and gave 2 heads to my friend, and then worked so much that the other 2 sat on the counter and wilted away to the point of worthlessness.

I spent a day down at Momma Gardener's house in Mt Vernon, and she sent me home with a grocery bag of tomatoes, so I attempted my first batch of tomato sauce for canning, and I let it cook and cook an cook, and it was still too watery, so I canned tomato soup instead :)   I have been reading about canning tomatoes, and you are supposed to put citric acid in with the tomatoes, and I didn't do that... So I am thinking I should just eat my tomato soup before something weird happens to it. We also spent the day with my sisters kids, and Grady just loved picking raspberries!! His momma swears he hates raspberries, but he was eating them as fast as I could pick them! Little Shelby on the other hand is just a puking machine right now, so I dont really like hanging out with her too much. She is a cutie though!



I made 2 beautiful jars of cinnamon granola this morning, as well as one ice cube tray worth of pesto. Hopefully my tomatoes will ripen and I can attempt to can properly!

7.28.2010

Yeah, I absolutely SUCK at blogging this summer...

But it is truly only because I don't have much to blog about!!!

The only things I have growing this year are collards (which were pulled out of the ground because they were bolting), some  very midget like hot pepper plants, and 1,000 tomatoes growing along side the house. Tomatoes are tomatoes... None of them are anything special yet, since they were put in the ground WAY too late. However, on that negative note, the "hillbilly tomatoes" Ray gave me are doing quite well for the lot of them this year. Four plants up to my chest and only 2 tomatoes...

I pulled the peas out of the ground, as they were so dried up from this crazy summer heat they were brown and dusty. I did get a good harvest though. Probably about 3 pounds. I also had cabbage growing that we got for free from the community garden. I have gotten 4 heads so far, 3 green and 1 red. Total yield from the cabbage, 2 gallon bags worth. Collards total yield was 4 gallon bags worth.

Kale and Cabbage
Needed something to scale my last harvest against... Hence, the butter dish
Peas coming to their demise
Lovely Cabbage Head
The Cabbage Patch
Cabbage all cut up and ready for cookin'

4.22.2010

A New Post, Just for Anthony Bays

I dedicate this post to Anthony Bays, as he consistently tells me I have a severe problem keeping up with my blog. So here goes.

We moved!!! We own a house!!! Moving was insane, and instead of it taking us one day as planned, it took us two and a half days. Rain, sun, heat, cold, we had a little of everything except snow. The garden is seriously suffering. I didn't attend the work day for the community garden, but it looks great. Mulch was laid over top of weed block so that the weekend would be down for the year, and everything was given a good clean up. I havent been inside to check out my plot, but I need to get that done. I plant on putting the cold weather veggies in there hopefully on Sunday. Peas, broccoli, kale, brussell sprouts, radish, onions, maybe some garlic in the fall. Also the yellow summer squash will go in there later this year, after the last frost.

I have seriously been neglecting my seedlings, and I hope they dont die. I need to get them out into the sun, but I just dont have enough time. I will only be at my job for another 2 weeks, and then I will have 3 weeks before I go back to flying, so hopefully I can just work my butt off and get the house done and get the garden up and running. The lettuces need to go into boxes on the porch, seedlings for summer plants need to be started, the list just goes on and on. Punkin ate my green pepper sprouts, so I will have to purchase plants from the store. I dont think I have enough time to get them up to the size they need to be for transplant.

The house is coming along nicely. We have the master bedroom, living room, dining room, and kitchen all painted. The back entryway needs some light sanding before we can paint. The guest rooms still need painted, as well as the upstairs hallway. We will get there. Momma is coming this weekend to help me build the headboard and other various things. I need to sit down and make a list. We are probably going to order windows for the living room (the only windows left on the first floor that need replacing), as well as a door for the master bedroom and one for the bigger guest room. We budgeted for all of this, but actually spending the money sucks.

4.05.2010

Community Garden

Its official! We are moving into our new house in 11 days, and I am part of the community garden!

We cant wait to move! We are planning out which projects needs to be completed first, how to set up the garden in the yard, etc. I am not nearly done packing. I got a huge head start a few weeks ago with Momma, but now it is becoming crunch time.

The community garden I hope will be awesome. Tonight was the first meeting, and everyone seems really nice and pretty resourceful. Everyone was full of good ideas on how to improve (I was at a loss for most of the conversation since I am one of the new kids) such as adding more water barrels (I am hooking them up with the guy I got my barrels from out in Mentor) and having a garden picnic and creating a phone list. A lot of the people live right around our new house, so I hope to see them at our house party. We cant wait to get to know our neighbors.

My plot is #19, 4x12 feet and from the map it is the most north plot. I haven't decided if that is bad or good, just depends on who is south of me and how tall their plants will grow. I will have to get over there and take some pictures. I'm sure it just a pile of dirt, but I just got my key and have yet to even see it. Oh well, I'm sure I will love it! Yay for Herman Community Gardeners!

3.24.2010

New Sprouts

Today I went and checked on my newly planted seeds, and I have sprouts of Tomatoes (San Marzano, Sweet 100, Brandywine, and Yellow Jubilee). I am happy that they are growing and I really really hope that I will have plants big enough in time for planting. Genovese Basil is also beginning to sprout. In addition, I planted some cat grass for Punkin, which hasnt sprouted, but we will see. I don't even know if she will like it, but I will give it a shot. I am going to throw some new parsley seeds into the mix, as only one of them has sprouted so far.

Outside, the herbs are looking good. The tarragon has started to grow back, as well as the oregano and thyme. I hope the rosemary and lavender come back. The lavender is one of my favorites to look at (as well as make some yummy smelling things for the house.)

3.22.2010

Jamies Food Revolution

The master of simplistic cooking. The innovator of School Dinners. The Naked Chef. Jamie Oliver.

Why couldnt some great American chef have thought of this idea? Take the "unhealthiest city in the country" to kick off a whirlwind effort to change the food the children of this country eat. I watched the "sneak peak" on Hulu.com, and I was absolutely astounded that the people living there were actually OK with the food they were putting in their mouths. Unbelievable. Fried Food, all frozen processed re heated food. Pizza for breakfast, then for lunch. Rehydrated frzen steamed eggs, and then frozen nuggets and french fries for lunch, not to mention the side of bread and chocolate milk (not that I have a problem with chocolate milk, I am quite a fan actually). Did I mention that the kids were also given an apple? They all threw the fruit in the trash. I just hope his idea works, and he can help some of these people realize what they are eating is killing them. Processed, chemicalized, premade, unreal "food". Watch the Sneak Peak here: