Tag Archives: peppers

Growing, Cooking, Eating.

I’m not the type of person who would normally call herself a “foodie.”  Lately, I think that’s changed.  I seem– for lack of a better word– obsessed with food.  I’ve been finding some amazing recipes that I can’t wait to try out.  My latest desire (besides the Fried Green Tomatoes)?  Homemade Italian Bread.  I’m digging on the idea of warm, crusty Italian bread, sliced the long way with some slices of mozzerella and fresh Compari tomatoes.  Also– homemade mint chocolate chip ice cream and chocolate ice cream banana split style!  And by the time you read this, I will have just completed my second “Food Challenge Test.”  My love affair with food is tempered by severe food allergies– but all good things are worth fighting for, so I’m trying to get back what I can.  Today’s challenge?  Creative Caterpillar Vs. Cantaloupe.

I enjoy my food.  I enjoy the flavors, the textures.  I enjoy both preparing and eating.  And, as anyone who’s been reading a bit knows, I’ve found out this summer that I enjoy growing my food.

So here is my most recent set of pictures, from this week.  These are probably close to my last set of update pictures this season.  That’s because the tomatoes are starting to turn color! (This by the way, I find especially rewarding as they are such a beautiful shade of orange-red.  I feel inspired).

And the peppers are getting nice and big.

And the corn is super tall!

And most of it is just about ready!

And one ear of corn was all ready when I went out the other day!  So I picked it and husked it (outside– in case there were bugs).  There were some earwigs guarding it on the stalk, but I (wo)manned up and picked the corn!  It looks so perfect and beautiful.  Another ear or two looks ready– I’ll be picking it later tonight or tomorrow.  And then I’m going to cook it up and enjoy! (And share a bit depending on how much I have!)

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New(ish) Garden pics!


  Really tall corn plants!  My estimate is that they’re 6.5-7 feet tall– based on how tall they are in comparison to me/my family members!

Husks Forming!

Here you can see the beginning husks– this is taken a few weeks ago.  If you’re having trouble seeing it look to the direct left of the stalk.

 Here you can see a couple– mostly, see the husk forming right above the lower-most stalk of the front corn plant.

 Corn plants all together! Like a very miniature corn field.

 Here are the peppers.  They are still medium-small here.  They’re pretty big now!

 I’ve lost two to rot like this– They get too much sun when they grow on top like this… Although I do think these plants should have grown a bit taller and leafier, which may have shaded them better.  Molecular Sheep thinks the tomatoes next to them might have stunted their growth a bit, but I really can’t complain much.

 I picked the ones that rotted, so they don’t steal nutrients from the other peppers (there’s two more on each plant).  He was still little when I picked him– and rather cute.

 … at least until you turn him over!

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Garden Progress (in pictures)

Getting tall!

Tomato plant has gotten huge!

I have about 7 stakes on this plant now...

...and almost 20 yummy tomatoes growing.

The peppers are growing...

and growing...

and GROWING!

And even the other pepper plant has finally blossomed. It's now growing 3 peppers, although only 2 of them are healthy.

Even my neighbor's impatiens are blossoming!

And the corn is now officially taller than me! (It's actually taller still since this picture, which was taken a couple of days ago).

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Top-heavy tomatoes and 5’+ corn

Saturday was my grandmother’s 88th birthday.  We had a wonderful time talking and laughing over dinner and cake– my grandparents, mom, aunt, and my grandparents’ neighbor.  Such a great time and such a wonderful reason to celebrate!

As we left our house to go to their house, I noticed that my tomato plant had collapsed and come un-staked!  I hadn’t imagined it would have grown this much or branched as much as it did, and I had only two stakes… which were not nearly able to hold it up at this point.  Later that night, I propped it up as best I could since I couldn’t do much else with what I had.  This entailed a bunch of yarn and trying to tie each branching loosely to the stake (somewhat in the middle) and hoping that the weight would even out the plant.  It seemed to work… for a bit.

By Monday morning, the plant had collapsed again, still tied to the stake, but with the stake leaning heavily under the weight of the continuously growing plant.  So, since I was running errands, I tacked another stop onto my to-do list and bought six more tomato stakes– five very tall ones and one short.  I left the house at around 3pm and we got home a bit after nine… It was dark, but in the light of the single light bulb outside our door, I cut all the yarn I’d so carefully tied over the weekend and carefully staked each individual branch with the tall stakes.  I then added the two smaller ones onto the most crooked-ly growing branches so these branches were doubly-supported.  I had one tall stake left over, which I’m saving in case of any more issues– or when the cherry tomatoes seem to need it, whichever comes first.

I’m happy to say that, on inspection this morning, the whole tomato plant is growing tall and straight!  Yay!! I’m very happy.

And the peppers continue to grow… And the corn is taller than I am!!

Pictures to come.  It’s been quite a day and I’m far too tired to upload, but wanted to at least make sure to post tonight.

Goodnight, everyone!

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Garden Theft

I wish this were a blog about some passer-by just picking a few of my not-yet-ripe tomatoes.  Instead, I feel like my neighbor had taken over my garden.  I’m hoping I have it back now.

We all live in the same house, in attached apartments.  The garden is on my side of the house.  When I started out this year, it was just a patch of dusty dry dirt and weeds.  We (the neighbors, mom and I) had talked for years about putting some flowers in, but no one ever seemed willing to put forth the effort, so I really had no qualms about taking over the patch, figuring I would share the fruits of my labor and– within time, my neighbor had rescued 3 impatiens from a “dollar or less” sale at our local supermarket as the poor things were dehydrated.  She also planted a mum.  So the end of the “garden” is hers, with her flowers, while the section with the veggies is mine.  We talked about my being unable to use MiracleGro products and that I had my plants on a schedule of when I was watering.

The other morning, I came out to the dirt looking different.  I found out that she’d weeded the plot after a bad night and some extra nervous energy.  She’d also put down some more peat moss as I said I was going to do this after I weeded.  I was kinda upset because I am now low on peat moss at my house (I had a small bag full on the side of the house– taken from the large bag I bought, which is at my dad’s as it was too big for me to move).  I was also going to put it down a certain way, “hilling” it around the corn for some added stability and such.  I was stuck in for most of the day with a stomachache, as I’d mentioned in my last post, and by afternoon was trying to see it as a blessing that she’d at least weeded and been trying to help.

Then I went out at night, when I was feeling better, to water.

I found that my plants were already watered… and the leaves of my corn plants had been trimmed.

 

Now, the corn was tall and beautiful– it was almost shoulder-height.  It now looks like it was given a bad haircut.  It’s all unevenly split and instead of the leaves hanging down gracefully, they reach up with their broken arms.  It’s starting to produce tassels, but it will be taking in a lot less sunlight with the leaves cut down so drastically.

 

My cherry tomato plant was also leaning, some of the roots pulled out of the ground– my corn plants also seemed to have some roots showing, but at the top right where the stalk ends and meets the dirt.  I’m not really sure what happened with this part– but I managed to fix things as much as possible.

I’m getting over the shock and I at least spread the cut-down parts over the soil so at least it will boost the nutrient factor.  I tried reading up on things and nothing I can find suggests that this was a good thing to do– but she thought she’d read it somewhere and after a friendly conversation, the garden care has been more officially split.

I continued to feel kind of sick the past couple days, as well as it being a bit painful to write about the garden- I felt like someone had taken over, stolen it from me after I’d spent time (and money) setting it up.  And the corn just looked so ugly to me those first few days.  I loved those dark green leaves.  They had the most incredible texture to them.  But I’m moving on and trying to find the joy in it again– which I must admit is a little hard.

I’ve been daydreaming about my perfect “someday” garden– somewhere spacious, and mine, where I can have fruit trees and grape vines and all the veggies I can manage.  I hope someday I can do that…

And finally, some really good news.  I have little bell peppers! (look towards the center of the plant- right above the middle)

Aren't they CUTE?!?

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Gardening and Cheese

I have not updated on my gardening in some time it seems… So I’m moving to correct that now!

The corn continues to grow (and grow!).  It’s almost chest-level now!

The tomatoes are flourishing (and are now staked, at least the full-size one as the cherry toms do not seem to need support yet).

And my pepper plants have finally flowered!! Here’s a pic of the first flower, taken Tuesday.  Although as of the following morning, there was a second bloom right beside it! So exciting!!

 

Here’s a couple pictures of the whole little garden right now too:

 

I also promised some sort of talk about macaroni and cheese.  Now, first of all, I love cheese.  I thought I should just state that.  Macaroni and cheese, then, is just even more heavenly.  Focused on creativity, I really try not (and usually have no inclination) to support any particular products unless the brand is particularly inspirational or doing some kind of good for humankind.  Then again, maybe Kraft is doing both with this:

That’s right– it’s the Kraft Mac N’ Cheese powder– sold separately!! This comes up because I seem to (without entirely trying), be cooking something at least once a week.  While my cheddar broccoli corn bake was a bit more elaborate, I found myself last week with the rare occurrence of having the apartment to myself.  Now, being somewhat lazy in the cooking department (mostly due to poor planning and not thinking about cooking until I am actually hungry), I’ll usually eat whatever’s available– or ingredients.  A roll.  A can of corn.  A slice of cheese.  But I was industrious this particular night and made a box of pasta for myself (which had the nice perk of leftovers for Mom and I for a few more days) and made macaroni and cheese.  I’d been having a semi-bad week (what with the car accident and all) and mac and cheese really is comfort food at its finest.

Let's face it- edible things should probably not be this color. It's a little psychedelic. But it's so good!!

Have I mentioned I’ve been eating a lot of cheese lately?  Now, my food allergies have deprived me of many things over the years.  As of this past winter, I got corn back into my diet for the first time in approximately 20 years.  Upon the successful food challenge test being complete, Mom and I went to the store and I literally bought every corn product I could find that I could have:  corn muffin mix, pop corn, canned corn, corn tortilla shells, corn cereal (I must’ve had at least 4 different varieties of these in the cart), grits… and the list goes on.  I have since fallen in love with corn on the cob and well, now I’m growing it.  We affectionately called this time my “festival of Maize,” as I’d gained something big and was now “making up for lost time” so to say.  Well, as I’ve had to put off my next food challenge for ballet (which sadly ends this week), I decided to branch out on things I know are safe:  ie, cheese.  Most cheeses use all the same ingredients.  So really, there is no reason not to try every kind one can.  It’s become a mission of sorts.  And it’s made the grocery store a fun and exciting place, which it isn’t always for me… in fact it is often just the opposite, reminding me of foods I cannot have, and my limitations.

My diet already consisted of your basic Cheddar and Swiss.  But now?  We’ve added Munster.  And Provolone.  And Colby and Monterey Jack (which I still need to taste separately, as I don’t think the blend did them justice).  It’s the Summer of Cheese! Last night: Feta.  I had actually never had Feta before.  My mouth was so happy.  My hips might not be.  Right now, my mouth is winning.  In the fridge sits a block of Gouda [Update: Gouda is GOOD-A!] and a pack of American cheese.  I can’t remember the last *real* grilled cheese sandwich I had.  Most American cheeses use oils and other additives I can’t have.  I’m more than a little excited.  If only I could grow cheese… I mean, I always have thought cows were cute anyway…

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