2010 Garden Is FINALLY In! :)

I had to hold off on planting my garden this year due to a very cold and wet May…we were still having snow. Sheesh.

Today was 88F and very humid…29% humidity! You all in the south, just hush your mouth! That’s humid for us!

From the looks of it…most of my garden will make great Italian sauces! 🙂

In the first box I planted:

Brandywine Tomato
Black Prince – a Russian Heirloom
two types of garlic (planted last month)
Greek Oregano
Orange Bell Pepper
Sweet Basil
Flatleaf Italian Parsley

Second Box I planted:

2 Roma Tomatoes
Red Bell Pepper
German Thyme
Cayenne Pepper
Beebalm
Italian Flatleaf Parsley
2 Sweet Basils
Yellow Sweet Onions (planted 1 week ago)

In the Third Box I planted:

7 Yukon Potatoes (planted 2 weeks ago)
5 Purple Potatoes (planted 2 weeks ago)
Flatleaf Italian Parsley
2 Straightneck Squash (planted 1 week ago)

You can see the Rosemary I planted in a pot that I found in the trash the other day.

Here’s a closeup of the potatoes….

I still want to get two tomatillos, two cucumbers, one dill , and one green chile…those will go into containers.

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How Grows Your Garden? May 2010 ~ Northern Nevada

Well…if you’re here in Northern Nevada…probably not very well at the moment!

Snow! The ski resorts are even REOPENING for Memorial Day weekend. Big sigh.

New snow on Mt. Rose and Slide Mountain

All that is growing in my garden is garlic and potatoes. And they be very very sad looking. 😦

UNCE Washoe County Annual Master Gardener Plant Sale 2010

Just wanted to remind everyone that the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s Annual Master Gardener Plant Sale is coming up!

22 MAY 2010 ~ Saturday!
7 am – 11:30 am

“From our garden to yours, at great savings! Wide variety of annuals, perennials, vegetables, herbs, grasses, shrubs, grapes and more. 4 in. and 1 gal. plants.”

5305 Mill Street, Reno, NV…just east of the old Excel building where The Friends of the Library hold their week-long book sales ~ on Mill Street between Edison Way and Corporate Blvd…north side.

Get there early! There are some pushy people that go to this, so be ready! They hand out maps of where all the plants are at…scope out what you REALLY REALLY REALLY want, and get there first. 🙂

The plants that I got last year ~

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August 2009 Garden Update ~ Sparks, Nevada

Well…it’s almost the end of August and here is what is left of my garden. I don’t think it produced as well as last year, but I tried different plants than last.

Cucumbers…I’ve oodles of cucumbers. The best producing ones have been the Lemon and the Homemade Pickles. Both I bought as seedlings from the UNCE Plant Sale, and that particular Master Gardener got her seeds from Botanical Interests in Colorado.

Cucumber ~ Homemade Pickles Seeds

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They have made many many many pints and quarts of pickles (picture shows lemon and homemade cucs):

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Lemon Cucumber Seeds ~ These are tasty little cucumbers!

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Spacemaster Cucumbers round out my cucumber plants. It’s not producing as many as the other two…but supplies us with great cucs to slice into salads and add with red onions and vinegar.

Squash…I’ve diddly-squat in the squash department. Squash bugs ate my whole crop. I couldn’t smoosh them fast enough.

I do have a mystery volunteer that is coming up in the decomposed granite in between two of my boxed tomato plants. I’m thinking it’s a winter squash of some sort…or a mutant. Anyone have any ideas?

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Tomatillos…I’ve tomatillos coming out of my ears. 🙂 They grow well here in Northern Nevada, that’s for sure. I think I may decrease to 2 plants next year. I’ll be making more salsa soon. I’ll add a bunch into pesole that I plan on canning (going to break out that pressure canner that I got for my birthday soon).

Peppers…peppers ALWAYS do well here! I’ve been picking bell peppers, hungarian stuffing peppers, yellow pickle peppers, jalapeno, cayenne, and sweet italian. I’ve borrowed my sister’s dehydrator and plan on using it and the pressure canner to put up my peppers after roasting them. I read that you can dehydrate peppers even after roasting them. Will be making sauces up and canning them too.

Sweet Italian peppers starting to ripen

Sweet Italian peppers starting to ripen

The corn did ok, not as well as last year. I planted it in a different spot, guess it didn’t like it much.

The heirloom Brandywine tomatoes did not do well at all. The plant looks ok, it blooms, but then they drop. The heirloom Siberian tomatoes are producing very well.

Beets did great. Carrots not so well. Radishes did well. Brussels sprouts not so well…I finally yanked them as they were full of bugs. Cabbage did great. Cantaloupe got eaten by squash bugs. Horseradish is doing great…well, the top part is really big, not sure about the root part yet.

Herbs do great in my yard. You should see my one sun room…loaded with brown lunch bags of herbs drying. Basil, fennel, chamomile, oregano, thyme, parsley, rosemary, and sage.

Finished Planting my 2009 Vegetable Garden ~ Sparks, NV

After burying my beloved Max near the herb & blueberry garden I put what was left of my energy into planting the rest of my vegetable garden.

Bee Balm & Cairn for Max

Bee Balm & Cairn for Max

Planted in the 6×6 raised bed are the following: carrots, red radishes, white radishes, heirloom beets, cabbage, and brussels sprouts.

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In the 12×4 raised bed I planted: garlic, red onions, yellow onions, tomatillas, bush blue lake beans, spacemaster cucumber, lemon cucumber, heirloom beets, broccoli, sweet italian pepper, jalapeno pepper, anaheim pepper, and hungarian stuffing peppers. (I ran out of room for the serrano and one other pepper so I gave them to a coworker)

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In the 12×2 in ground bed I put in mexican grey squash on one side and on the other one each of acorn squash, delicata squash, and hearts of gold cantaloupe (from Fallon, NV). In between all the squash I have 8 sweet white corn stalks.

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I found a Topsy-turvy thingy and planted a siberia fir tree heirloom tomato in it. In four containers I planted 2 brandywine heirloom tomatoes and 2 red siberia heirloom tomatoes.

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Out front, near Max’s grave, are two handmade pickle cucumber plants. In that same area I have 2 oregano, 3 sweet basil, 1 lemon thyme, dill, fennel, and a rosemary. 3 blueberry bushes and 1 Elderberry. There are also 3 lemon queen sunflowers that are growing pretty well for the Sunflower Bee Project.

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Way up front I have chamomile, italian parsley, thyme, rosemary, and bee balm. They wintered pretty well out there, I was surprised.

Now for some flower pictures ~ my lupine is blooming.

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And Columbine.

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Birds, Garden, Berries, and Quilts ~ Tuesday’s Nevada Rambles

I’m going to ramble all over the place…sort of how my brain has been working lately (budgets and budget revisions will do that to a person).

First off ~ my sister called me over the weekend saying she’s had a visiting Oriole in her backyard, feeding from the hummingbird feeder. Looks like a Bullock’s Oriole to me. I just don’t get it…she took some great pictures last May out in Washoe Valley when we took Mark Vollmer’s photography class. All I get in my yard are sparrows, scrub jays (which I love to death) finches, downy woodpecker, flickers, quail, dove, robins, junkos, and the occasional falcon and hawk…and those bloody pigeons. She gets the Oriole. Big sigh.

Here are a couple of her pictures…she lives at the very north end of Sun Valley, backing to BLM land.

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Lookie at this quit top I got for $10 at a local auction! It still needs some work to finish it off, but I’ve got fabric to do that. It’s a Wedding Ring quilt ~ done in the 1930’s-1940’s fabric. All hand-pieced. I absolutely love it. The colors and fabrics match a quilt top that my mom has of her Grandmothers.

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My Elderberry plant has berries setting! I just planted it earlier this spring and it looks like it’ll flower and have berries. Once I get the lawn up in that area I’ll be planting more elderberries and some more blueberry bushes.

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Horseradish ~ after not seeing it for a while I became worried I planted it wrong. Sure enough…I had it upside down. (Insert Homer Simpson sound effect here) Plant root cuttings with the narrow end downward and the cut end 2 to 3 inches below soil level…I had it going horizontal. It’s growing upwards now! 🙂

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This picture of 3 Lemon Queen Sunflowers is outdated now…they’ve had a growth spurt. Last night while watering I noticed that they are now 6″ tall. Can’t wait to start logging my data about the bees with the Great Sunflower Project.

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My backyard garden ~ picture taken over the weekend.

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Front and center raised bed has the following: 2 different types of radishes, carrots, heirloom beets, cabbage, brussels sprouts and two sunflowers that birds planted and a lettuce of some sort that must have been leftover from last year.

Bed in the back has garlic, red & yellow onions on the left, and broccoli & heirloom beets on the right. Soon I’ll have peppers and beans in the middle. The far left, against the back fence has Mexican grey squash. By the weekend (after Saturday’s Master Gardener plant sale) I’ll have heirloom tomatoes and tomatillos in the small raised bed (1×1) and in the other containers. Up front near the berry bushes I’ll have corn, pumpkins, and cucumbers.

Heh…I forgot the picture of what I found on my Weeping Cherry tree…berries! And the Green Mountain Maple is leafing out…

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Friday Ramblings in Nevada

Well…I made it to the end of the work week. Another day of being wide awake at 4:30am with my mind racing about all the things I need to do here at work. 😦

So to give my wee brain time to recoop I thought I’d post some banana recipes (I have a few ripe ones at home and needed something to make) and a few pictures.

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The Sensation Lilac (Syringa vulgaris ‘Sensation’) that I planted in April of 2008 is about to bloom! I’m so excited…it will have single reddish buds that will open to deep purple edged in white.

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A few of the Lemon Queen sunflowers that I planted for the bee project are starting to come up.

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Digging up sod from the front yard (we have way too much lawn) so I can put in another garden area. Will put up a decorative fence of some sort to divide the lawn from the garden. All the grass from the shovel back is coming out.

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Below are two recipes that I’ve tried…and both are real tasty! Enjoy.

French Toast Stuffed with Bananas and Pecans
recipe from Williams-Sonoma Breakfasts & Brunches, page 66

bananafrenchtoast

6 eggs
1/4 cup milk
4 very ripe bananas
1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans (original is walnuts, but I like pecans)
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
8 slices egg bread
4 Tbsp butter
powdered sugar
jam or pure maple syrup

In a large, shallow bowl, beat eggs until lightly frothy. Stir in milk. Set aside.

Peel nanners into a small bowl and mash. Stir in nuts and nutmeg. Spread the banana-nut mixture evenly over half the bread slices, leaving space around the edges. Top with the remaining bread slices and press down lightly to seal.

Place sandwiches into the egg mixture. Turn gently until evenly saturated on both sides. In a frying pan or griddle, big enough to make all sandwiches, melt 2 Tbsp of butter over medium heat. Add sandwiches and fry until the undersides are golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Melt other 2 Tbsp and then flip sandwiches.

Place on plates, sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with jam or syrup.

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Sweet Omelet Souffle with Caramelized Bananas
recipe from Williams-Sonoma Breakfasts & Brunches, page 24

bananaomelet

6 Tbsp butter
2 firm but ripe bananas, peeled and cut into 1/4″ slices
1/4 cup sugar
6 eggs, separated
2 Tbsp powdered sugar
pinch of salt

In a small frying pan over medium heat, melt 3 Tbsp of the butter. Add the banana slices and, using a fork, turn to coat them well with butter. Saute until very lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle the sugar over the bananas. Reduce the heat slightly and continue to saute until the sugar melts. Remove from heat, cover to keep warm, and set aside.

Put egg whites in a bowl. Add the powdered sugar and salt and beat until very frothy but still fairly liquid. In another bowl, beat the yolks until blended. Gradually stir the whites into the yolks until fully incorporated.

In a 8″ nonstick pan, over medium heat, melt the remaining 3 Tbsp of butter. Add the eggs and as they began to set, carefully lift the edges and gently push them to the center, tilting the pan slightly to allow the liquid egg on top to flow undernegth. Continue to cook the eggs until they are almost completely set but still moist on top.

Arrange the bananas evenly over half of the omelet. Beginning with the banana-covered side of the omelet, slide the omelet from the pan to a warmed serving plate and, when halfway out, flip the pan over to fold the olemet in half over the bananas. Cut in half and serve at once.