Tag Archives: kale

Photos from the last week of August.


First raspberries of the year.

First raspberries of the year.

Lots of squash, some cucumbers, a few corn, peppers, sunflowers and basil.

Lots of squash, some cucumbers, a few corn, peppers, sunflowers and basil.

The Nutterbutter Squash are looking so good!

The Nutterbutter Squash are looking so good!

One of the many beautiful sunflowers in our yard this year.

One of the many beautiful sunflowers in our yard this year.

Look at that tall sunflower! That is one plant with many, many flowers on it. Approximately 15 feet tall!

Look at that tall sunflower! That is one plant with many, many flowers on it. Approximately 15 feet tall!

Snowy White eggplant is beautiful and delicious.

Snowy White eggplant is beautiful and delicious.

Raspberries are coming in now. By the looks of it, we'll be eating plenty of berries over the next several weeks.

Raspberries are coming in now. By the looks of it, we’ll be eating plenty of berries over the next several weeks.

Close up of red orach seeds.

Close up of red orach seeds.

Here is what the three tomatoes look like this week. A bit of a disappointment.

Here is what the three tomatoes look like this week. A bit of a disappointment.

We must be the last people in the Midwest harvesting tomatoes. They are finally ripening. These are the Sweet Cherry.

We must be the last people in the Midwest harvesting tomatoes. They are finally ripening. These are the Sweet Cherry.

Happy bee.

Happy bee.

Made a nice little flower arrangment with some sunflowers, red orach and lavender.

Made a nice little flower arrangment with some sunflowers, red orach and lavender.

I'm enjoying this amazing display of color and texture very much. Kales, rainbow chard, eggplant, red orach, nasturtium, marigolds... what an outstanding combination.

I’m enjoying this amazing display of color and texture very much. Kales, rainbow chard, eggplant, red orach, nasturtium, marigolds… what an outstanding combination.

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A little insurance…


“Like a good neighbor…” tonight it wasn’t State Farm, but my garden that was there.

I had planned to make a salad using leftovers, including a giant bag of pre-washed, pre-cut kale.  I’ve resorted to these resource-guzzling bags of greens trucked in from who-knows-where in an effort to keep up our healthy greens intake during the off-season.  I’m so glad THAT is coming to an end.  And hopeful I won’t resort to this next year.

As I poured the kale into the salad bowl I discovered that much of it was rotten and moldy.  Ugh!  Such a waste.  And worse–it was the main feature of my dinner for the night.

Realizing there was nothing to salvage in that bag, I took the whole thing out to the compost and tossed it in.  While out there I glanced over to some lettuce I had put in on a whim last month.  It looked good!  I pulled it out.  Then, I went in the house for a few supplies and came back out to find other things for the salad.

I ended up with a delicious combination of romaine lettuce, baby kale (2 kinds), arugula, chives, radishes and pea tendrils.  This mix was so far superior in flavor and freshness to that sad bag of kale that I immediately realized (once again) how amazing a garden can be.  This was actual green food.  Not some trucked-in greenish food that was picked three weeks ago and put in plastic.

Chives and French breakfast radishes

Chives and French breakfast radishes

(From left to right)  Red Russian kale, Lacinato kale, arugula, pea tendrils, chives, romaine lettuce

(From left to right) Red Russian kale, Lacinato kale, arugula, pea tendrils, chives, romaine lettuce

Because I had a garden, my family ate better tonight than if I had not had one.  Because I had a garden, I did not have to leave my house to go to a store and purchase a new bag of kale.  Because I had a garden, I stopped for an extra moment–outdoors, in the rain no less–and thanked God for the food he was providing.  I’m so thankful to have a garden.

Now, take a look at tonight’s dinner!

The beautiful blend of greens!

The beautiful blend of greens!

Salad with chicken, chickpeas, chives and radishes added.  To the side you can see the homemade ranch dressing.

Salad with chicken, chickpeas, chives and radishes added. To the side you can see the homemade ranch dressing.

You didn’t think I’d forget dessert did you?  I went out in the light drizzle of rain today and happily harvested some rhubarb to make the pie my six year-old had requested.

Rhubarb pie, a perfect sweet-tart end to my garden inspired meal.

Rhubarb pie, a perfect sweet-tart end to my garden inspired meal.

There were a few things I wanted to share regarding tonight’s meal.  The first, is that my kids wanted to play a game in which I told them to look for a certain thing and they would find it and eat it.  So I would say, “Find the arugula!” and they would find one and excitedly hold it up to show me.  They got the idea to do this because I told them there were seven things from the garden in the salad, they wanted to find each one.  For once they were happy that I let them “play” with their food.

Second, the ranch dressing we had tonight was leftover from my son’s first birthday party this past weekend.  It went over BIG TIME with the crowd, so I thought I’d share a link to the recipe with readers in case you were looking for something new to try.

Ina Garten’s Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

There’s even a video of her making the dressing.  Check it out!

And finally, I just want to encourage anyone who may be reading this to try planting  a little something.  You don’t need to have seven things available to go in a salad in order to grow your own food.  One thing in a pot is good too!  In this day and age when we don’t know who grew our food or where it was grown, there truly is insurance in knowing that you grew something–anything.  It’s good practice to plant something if you can.  So, give it a try this season.  And may God bless your garden!

Hello October


One look at the farmer’s market this past week and you know that harvest time is upon us.  Besides the crowds of people who have suddenly descended upon the market (where are these people in June?), there are truckloads and tables full of the colorful produce of fall.  Here are some things I picked up this week at the farmer’s market:

Farmer’s market fare.

My own garden continues to provide us with fresh food.  Lettuce is back thanks to cooler temperatures.  Herbs continue to grow.  Leeks, potatoes, fennel, radicchio, swiss chard, kale and tomatoes have been gracing our table recently.

My kids have been out picking each raspberry as it ripens.  Every day they charge out the door shouting about who is going to eat the raspberries.  It will be nice next year when the plant is bigger and there will be more berries!

I’ve taken some photos during the last several weeks.  Here they are.

Here is some of the radicchio I grew this year. This was grilled and served with an anchovy dressing. Those little oily fishes are good for you!

Washing leeks. These leeks were used in homemade ravioli with a swiss chard and leek filling.

Spotted from our garden: a bright and beautiful remind of God’s love for us! This rainbow was one of the best I’ve ever seen. Look carefully and you’ll see the double rainbow above it.

My mother-in-law made basil jelly, which didn’t quite set right and was more like basil syrup. Turns out basil syrup makes a fantastic mojito!

I’m trying a new source for garlic this year. Seems more and more people are growing garlic lately–the first two sources I tried were sold out. Green Mountain had a nice variety.

Here is the garlic I will be planting in two weeks.

Yes, this is the little lemon tree that could! We were ready to send this thing to the compost earlier this year when it once again dropped all it’s leaves and blossoms and looked generally unhealthy. Instead we parked it on this spot and ignored it all summer. Lo and behold it prefers neglect. Healthier than ever. Now if we could only get it to grow a lemon…

Big bowl of kale chips. Our kale continues to be very productive. Thank goodness, because my kids (and husband) love these crunchy, salty kale chips. We’ve also used kale recently in soup and pizza.