Monday, August 5, 2013

tomatoes, peppers and carrots!

it's a cloudy day here at the Manor, but no matter, it's still beautiful with all of the green stretching to the beautiful blue and white sky.

 

i just finished watering the plants and then filling up the pond a little. the pond is just a sink-hole, but with how much rain we get here, it usually stays pretty full year-round. however, because we have so many tadpoles living in it this year, we make sure that the water line stays the same and if needed, put the hose in the pond and fill it up a bit. did you know that tadpoles love lettuce??? those little babies love their lettuce treats!

jambaloney is out working on building me a cabinet thing for the kitchen. we have no counter space and no cabinet/cupboard space in this kitchen!!! one day we will gut the kitchen and put in regular-sized appliances and whatnot - but alas, other things must be taken care of first!

here's a good way to start a good work-day - an over-easy egg on a bed of sauteed spinach and a few cherries! that will keep you working until dinner, for sure!



the garden is doing really well. we had a few epic fails but such is gardening. here's my first napoli carrot - isn't she a beaut???



we ate that baby standing at the table and savouring the sweetness and freshness. we'll start harvesting soon and planting more for a fall harvest. then we'll try and keep ourselves in fresh carrots for most of the year by planting more in october in a cold-frame.

speaking of fresh carrots - we love to have a light dinner of a salad or a crudite plate. carrots, celery, green onion, pita and hummus. i like to add olive oil and additional spices when serving the hummus.



teehee. i think it's going to be a bumper year for tomatoes!!! i sure hope so! i want to get to a point where we are able to grow enough to never need tomatoes, paste or sauce ever again! and don't forget canning enough salsa for a year - we love fresh salsa! here's my first tomatoe starting to colour. i am sooo proud!

 

speaking of fresh salsa - that's something we eat a lot of around here. nothing like getting a movie and curling up on the couch with your baby and sharing a big, honking plate of nachos!!!

 

 these nachos are loaded with cheese, home-made salsa, home-made guacamole, banana peppers, hamburger and red pepper flakes - yummeh!

here's a nice steak with steamed broccoli, banana and fresh local plums. the local plums here are so sweet!


and now for the big hurrah! my peppers are going gang-busters out in the greenhouse - they are loving it out there. every year i start twice as many seeds as i think i can handle because most of the little plants just have such a hard time with our cooler nights. last year i had 20 pepper plants, ithink only 6 survived and i think we might have gotten a dozen peppers. it's just not worth all of the work. but the greenhouse is rocking those peppers - have a look!



i have never had that many plants with that many peppers!



look at the size of those babies!!! we'll be gorging on peppers real soon - we can't wait!


and check out all of those cayenne peppers! i use cayenne in just about everything! the idea that we can make our own powder and use it all year - oh man!


i also have a bunch of different hot peppers - jambaloney loves them. i'll be able to pickle those and he will have pickled hot peppers all winter.

i think we are finally hitting our stride in trying to grow as much of our own food as possible. finally! it has taken a few years as we are in a much different climate than the one we were used to growing food. but we are learning, and learning what works and how to do it. you just can't beat that kind of knowledge even though you must suffer through epic fails first.

now we're off to the river for our walk and a dip. have a great day everyone!

26 comments:

  1. Okay so now I am hungry!! How cool you have so much coming from your place!

    Love the breakfast with spinach~yum yum yum and nachos and a movie? I think I have dinner planned tonight~

    xoxxo

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    1. oh Jen - back in the city, we were growing things left, right and centre. and had nary a problem with anything. but since getting here and having this packed, clay dirt which is very difficult to amend, plus the salty, salty air, the late summers, the cool evenings even in the summer - ack - it has been one giant learning experience. but we are learning...and we are so excited that this year just might be the year that we get in a half-decent harvest and then really know how to go about it all for next year.

      nachos and a movie is an awesome way to get salsa and guacamole all over your chin and the front of your shirt. be warned spicey! xoxoxxo

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  2. Exploding gardens are the bestest!!

    So just curious have you ever met anyone who admits they have plenty of counter space?

    I haven't

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    1. and you would know all about exploding gardens, buddy - your garden is doing so awesome lately. send me some of those pumpkins - i want pumpkin soup!

      oh my. yes, i knew someone. IT WAS ME!!!!! i had floor to ceiling cupboards back in the city...and about 96 hundred drawers!!! i loved my kitchen! i had room for everything and a whole pile more. i really wish we could have chopped the kitchen off the old house, brought it here and attached it to this house. but, we have had to get creative here. and we are slowly adding more cupboards, etc. we hope to save over the next few years to totally gut the kitchen. but other things are more important right now so we are making do.

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  3. My peppers are suffering this year, as well as my tomatoes ripening ( I have TONS) because of all the cool nights. It is August and we have temps that are normal for late fall. I am praying for some warm nights as I would so like to get a good harvest...

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    1. oh lisa - sorry to hear about your peppers but that is what happened to us for the past 3 yrs - the days are warm enough for the peppers but the cool nights all summer long were just doing them in! have you thought about putting up poles/fence around your peppers and then wrapping them in plastic? take the plastic down in the morning...and then an hour or two before the sun sets, put the plastic back up to capture the heat for the night. it's a lot of work, but i did that last year for a few pepper plants and it worked.

      i'll take some of those tomatoes - bahahahahah!

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  4. Your meals are always "presented" so nicely. They look like the plastic food that Japanese restaurants put out so you can point at what you want if you can't speak Japanese. But yours is real and fresh!

    Except for Pioneer Preppy most of the blogs that have nice gardens and lots of food are written by women. I wonder if they are just better at gardening. When I think about it, as I drive around here the people I see working in big gardens are all old ladies.

    Er, not that I mean you and Dee and Tania are old ladies, that is.....

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    1. Harry - my mom always made our plates of food look pretty...i think part of enjoying a meal is enjoying the presentation of the food. and after jam has been working on the million things he is working on, i always want him to have a special plate of food to come in to. as for the japanese plastic food - i have seen those. it really helps if you can't read the menu! oh crap - now ya got me craving sushi and tempura!!!

      i agree with you about most of the blogs being written by women - maybe male gardeners don't like to keep blogs? i think for some women it starts with flowers...and then eventually branches out to food. but i personally know a lot of good gardener/farmers and they are men. jam being one of them! PP being another!

      huh? who you calling an old lady? bahahahah! no, i hope one day for people to see "ruth stout" when they see me out gardening naked!

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  5. Maybe another greenhouse is in order since it seems like a very successful venture. jk that greenhouse has plenty of space to spare.

    I cannot eat anything hot, no peppers of any kind. I almost pass out. However, I did grow cayenne for a friend and made hot pepper jelly. I love it with crackers and cream cheese. I also ground up dried pepper pods and made pepper. That was one of my proudest moments. Children and grandchildren never eat hot stuff either, must be genetic.

    How do you pickle hot peppers? I do put up food others like.

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    1. Linda - we haven't even gotten back to finishing the greenhouse! we have a ton of room in there and if we built custom shelving and whatnot, we would have a ton more room for a whole pile of other stuff in the greenhouse! right now tho it is just overrun with peppers! we'll get back to working on shelving and whatnot so that in september, we can start a whole pile of other stuff in there - we're pretty excited! but as you can imagine, we've got a million jobs on the go and the greenhouse is taking a back-peddle for a bit. we also plan on building cold-frames at the front of the greenhouse so that we can extend our cold weather crops - hopefully until december - fingers crossed!

      i'm not crazy about hot stuff either, but we pulled a monet pepper (hot pepper) off of the plant and i must admit, since it was still green, it was only mildly hot and so fresh - it was quite delicious! so i just might get into home-grown hot peppers!

      just google "pickled hot pepper recipe". you will find all kinds of ways that people do it. we have store-bought ones in our preps as we could never get the hot peppers to grow here. jam will have them on a side of a meal, or put them on his meal after it is served up or he'll just eat them out of the jar. i will be much happier, and feel like a much better wife, if i can grow them and then pickle them for him!

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  6. Sweet Kymber,

    Beautiful darling.......just so amazing, the skies up there in Canada. What are your temperatures like right now? Today, I spent most of the day outside cutting grass, and weeding. Temperatures were 86 and rising, suppose to get to 100.

    Bumper crop.............woooooooooooohoooooooooooooo.....you're going to have all kinds of stuff to can, freeze, or dehydrate this year. I love making fresh sauces, salsa's and dried herbs with veggies.

    Your meals look amazing Kymber. Do you have a plum tree on your property?

    I'm sitting hear trying to figure out what to make, I'm thinking of making the old stand by chicken casserole.

    Give Jam a hug from your friends in Oklahoma.
    Sandy

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    1. sweet Sandy - they really are beautiful! our temps during august are between 75-80ish F (mid-20's C). it is wonderful and hot and the sun is warm but we always have the cool ocean wind. it is quite lovely! and makes for many dips in the river! i don't think i could stand your temps. it's also pretty humid down there too eh?

      oh ya - bumper it is! i can't wait to can, freeze and dehydrate all of our produce - tomatoes and peppers especially!

      we have no plum trees on our property - just a zillion different kinds of berries. so we buy local plums, peaches and apples when they are in season and either freeze, can or dehydrate them for the rest of the year. we are planning on trying to implement a small orchard - we have the land, we just don't have the time or the money yet.

      hey, the reason they are called old standbys is because they never fail. enjoy your chicken casserole - i am sure it will be delicious!

      big hugs back to you from me and jam! xoxoxo

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    2. Do like my friend. She would take a plum and put it in with another plant in a pot outdoors and if it came up, she had a plum tree in the making. She stuck things all over and tried growing seeds from her fruit in all sorts of conditions and containers. She never worried about it growing or not. She just accepted the seeds that took.

      That way, there would be no expense to you. Even if you do go ahead and buy a larger tree, you still have some starts on other trees.

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    3. Linda - i have saved the pits from all kinds of fruit with the idea of planting them and seeing if something takes off or not. your friend is very smart! and you are right - even if we do one day put in an orchard, having a small plum tree in a pot in the greenhouse is not going to hurt! thanks!

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  7. Kymber, I cannot grow a carrot to save myself. Every year I try and every year a couple grow, but that's it. It's just enough for a few bites each and leaves us wanting more. That's my annual epic fail.

    Your garden sounds terrific and you sound terrifically happy with it!

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    1. Sue - i don't know what it is about the maritimes but i can't grow a beet or a radish to save my life!!! who on earth can't grow a beet or radish?!?!?!? my radishes bolt 3 weeks after planting and my beets...well, they are non-existent! they have the same tiny leaves on them for the past month - arghghghgh! but finally, we have amended some of our beds well enough that i can finally get some carrots. i am sorry about your not getting any carrots - i wonder if it is our salty air??? i never had a problem with radish or beets back in the city. it makes me crazy!!! thanks very much - i am so happy with the garden this year. mostly because of all that i have learned for next year! xoxox

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  8. Replies
    1. thanks Rob, buddy - i appreciate it!

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  9. Good looking plants, alas our garden is done for the year.

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    1. Dear Duke - it always amazes me that you folks down south are finished with your gardens when ours just start producing!!!

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  10. Glad that your tomatoes are doing good, we have had too much rain in SW VA so the tomatoes are dying off like it was October. The weeds seem to be doing pretty good though funny how that works.

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    1. Sunnybrook - thanks for following! i headed over to your blog and hit the follow button too. i will go back and read all of your older posts...i love finding new blogs that have stuff to teach me. i am so sorry about your tomatoes - that happened to us last year. i am keeping my fingers crossed that august up here will be hot and dry. not too dry tho. and yes, our weeds are super weeds. we have some weeds that are 5-6ft tall!

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  11. Pickled hot peppers! That would be wonderful to have!

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    1. Grand - home-made pickled hot peppers are sooooo much better tasting than store bought ones. and this year i'll be able to pickle a ton of them for the pickled hot pepper loving fool - teehee!

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  12. I will have to send a picture of my garden, it is the best in years. I have to say, having just found this blog, I am SO enjoying it! You both seem like really fun and wonderful people to know. I looked up Cape Breton, what a beautiful place to live!!!! Do you have many neighbors? I would love to live that life, I think I said that before, but I am just so enjoying the blog!!! When I was a teenager, my mother and her husband bought 80 raw acres in Missouri. We literally cut down the trees to make a log home. We had a huge garden, raise our own chickens and hunted and fished. As a teenager from the suburbs, I HATED it. Now I am so glad that we did that, I have skills I would never have had otherwise. Funny thing, I yearn now at 50 to go back to that life lol.
    Keep up the good work, really enjoying it!

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    1. oh lisa - i sooo enjoyed the picture of the bee, i would love to see pics of your garden. you should start a blog, too! i never would have, but i was reading all kinds of different blogs and leaving comments and then internet friends encouraged me to start this blog. and here we are. i am glad that you are enjoying our blog - cape breton island is really a magical and beautiful place! our community of Framboise has about 32 people and our sister community, Fourchu, which is 6 miles away has about 50 residents. so our neighbours are very spread apart and we have a very private location with 200ft of riverfront on a river that we have never seen another person on - which is why we run around our homestead naked, and go down to the river and swim and suntan naked - we are always naked unless we leave our land - bahahahah!

      i can imagine how a teenager would not like to live in the middle of nowhere and raise animals, garden, hunt and fish! but like you - this has been our adult dream and we worked very hard to be able to finally fulfill this dream. we are very grateful and very appreciative that we made good choices years ago and that we are finally able to be here, living off my tiny gov/military pension, living very frugally and as self-sufficiently as is currently possible (we will do better every year until finally reaching our goal of going off-grid). we love our lives and wish that everyone could live like this!

      i hope that you get back to that life one day - it is such balm to the soul. until then - we enjoy your visits here at the blog and through email. please take pics of your gorgeous garden and send them - i would love to see it. thanks for such positive and uplifting comments. one thing that you will notice here at our blog is that we have some really, really nice and thoughtful people here. it has been such a blessing for us!

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