Time to Redefine our Lives in Oregon

Archive for the ‘Bell Peppers’ Category

It’s In the Little Things

There are tiny things in this world….

The Royal Antelope

The Royal Antelope


The Brookesia Micra Chameleon

The Brookesia Micra Chameleon


The Fennec Fox

The Fennec Fox

The Paedophryne Amauensis Frog:

The Paedophryne Amauensis Frog:


Photos found at http://http://www.viralnova.com/smallest-animals-in-the-world/

…..then there are the fruits from my garden. It’s been an interesting year for growth. Maybe it’s the water, maybe the soil. Whatever the reason, many of the veggies and fruits are quite small…some are plentiful, but most are kind of tiny. Guess what?? There are powerfully big, fresh flavors coming out of those little packages! I wish I could share more with you than just their pictures.

Little yellow bell peppers

Little yellow bell peppers

Tiny, tiny strawberries

Tiny, tiny strawberries

Beautiful Jalepenos

Beautiful Jalepenos

Okay, Grape Tomatoes are supposed to be small...er

Okay, Grape Tomatoes are supposed to be small…er

This is the entire harvest of nine potato plants…hahahaha…there is one fat little gopher running around here somewhere full of my potatoes!!

Garden 2014

The apple in these pictures is there for size comparison (of course you needed that explanation, ;D )…

We actually got pears off of the 1st year pear trees...hahahaha

We actually got pears off of the 1st year pear trees…hahahaha

The mighty artichoke

The mighty artichoke

Tiny Cantaloupe..smaller than a softball, bigger than a baseball

Tiny Cantaloupe…smaller than a softball, bigger than a baseball

Major big flavor in a tiny little package!

Major big flavor in a tiny little package!

Apples from an old, old apple tree.

Apples from an old, old apple tree.

Each year a different garden has grown, same basic varieties, very different results. We have been playing around with soil and location a bit, this year mainly soil. Time to start taking notes.

I hope you have a wonderful day…go ahead and pick a few tomatoes…they are amazing!!

Tami

Dinner Last Night

There is artistry in the food we eat. I realized this with last night’s dinner. I don’t mean in the way of how it is displayed on the plate, or the unique style in the craftsmanship of the porcelain it sits upon. More and more, thanks to the numerous cooking shows on T.V., I’m experiencing the depth of flavors one can create when the main seasonings go beyond garlic salt and pepper (that’s where I’ve been stuck for many years.) Even this, however, is not really what I’m talking about right now. Although spices add to the complexity and success of the dish, the main ingredients, the stars of the show, are what my thoughts have been focusing on.

OOOOPPSSS...how did those Little's get into the garden??

OOOOPPSSS…how did those Little’s get into the garden??

Dinner last night, the sustenance of nutrition, was completely grown, or raised, on this little beginnings of a farm…right here on Haveadane Hill. Okay, so the spices I used and the local honey were not…but….does that count??? Something to think about…can I grow my own cumin, how about ginger?? Something to definitely investigate!!

Baking chicken on the grill.

Baking chicken on the grill.

This beautiful bird (one of the roosters of the Littles, aka The Muppets hatching) was hatched, raised free ranging from day one, culled by Tony, cleaned and processed by my own hands, chilled in the fridge for a few days, and became the star of the show!!

Isn't that gorgeous??!!

Isn’t that gorgeous??!!


Rooster Aug. 2014

I made a rub of powdered garlic, cumin, ginger, thyme, parsley, salt, pepper, and olive oil. This little bird was well coated and cooked up beautifully!!

Then I chopped up onion, crookneck squash, young yellow bell peppers, and zucchini…all from my garden…sauteed them in olive oil (well..no, I didn’t squish the olives hahaha)…cooking the onions first, sprinkled with cajun spices until well caramelized, then added the two squash.

August 2014 Saute

As the veggies started to release their juices, I added the wonderfully delicious local honey I discovered a couple of weekends ago (I was not at all fond of honey until I discovered REAL honey…not the junk sold in the grocery store.)

The end of the honey drizzle....who wants to lick the spoon??

The end of the honey drizzle….who wants to lick the spoon??

I thought that I had possibly cooked the veggies too much…I didn’t want mushy, but I wanted them to be cooked through. Much to my delight, they still had a nice crunch from their skin due to the just, picked, garden freshness. Next time for color, I may add some spinach at the end of the veggie saute. I think that would be good!!

My completely home grown dinner...delicious!!

My completely home grown dinner…delicious!!

The little rooster was really, really flavorful…and a bit tough. He was a very fit bird, with very little fat. Butterflying the bird and roasting it on the grill breast side up (thank you FoodNetwork – The Kitchen) allowed the spices and the small bit of fat from the skin to permeate the meat making it very moist. The veggies were outstanding, and the sweet honey added to the brightness of the cajun spices really complimented each other. The flavor that stood out to me the most, however, was how absolutely fresh everything tasted…really, it was amazing.

Making chicken stock.

Making chicken stock.

THEN….not wanting to waste one bit of this amazing little rooster, I added water (we’re on a well so again…straight from the farm), carrots and onion (from the garden) and made a wonderful stock.

Stock after sitting in fridge overnight.

Stock after sitting in fridge overnight.

There was so little fat that rose to the surface, that this is all I could skim off….

Rooster Stock Aug. 2014

I’m proud of my little rooster…he was one healthy bird!! He provided my family dinner last night, and will provide us broth for a great soup once the weather turns cooler.

Cooled, skimmed, and ready for the freezer...to enjoy as soup in the cool of a fall evening!

Cooled, skimmed, and ready for the freezer…to enjoy as soup in the cool of a fall evening!

Who would have ever thought that this city kid from the San Francisco Bay Area, who ate in restaurants more than she cooked, could move to the country and raise the meat and veggies entirely on the farm for dinner last night?? I’m so excited to explore what is next for the farm…I keep talking to Tony about a couple of cows…he keeps talking about a couple of pigs….bee keeping for honey is totally on the list…stay tuned, there’s more to come!!!!!

Thanks for sharing my dinner last night!! Have a wonderful, wonderful Sunday!!

Your friend,
Tami

What’s Going On??!!

It always confuses me when parts of the garden goes crazy with growth, and other parts struggle to stay alive. Obviously, providing a good soil, water, and sunshine is not all there is to growing fruits and vegetables.

I learned last year that onions do not want a lot of water, they need to be able to drain or you get squishy, disintegrated mush. The green of potato plants may grow like crazy, but the tubers underneath may not be as grand (I got potatoes, but some were huge and misshapen, and others were small, and they were just kind of flavorless.)

Misshapen and gnarly.

Misshapen and gnarly.


Peppers…well let’s just say my peppers never really took off..they were small and frail.

This year’s garden has some problems, as well. Take a look….

What is going on with my pepper plants??

What is going on with my pepper plants??


My sweet pepper plants are struggling AGAIN!!! I am the worst at trying to grow bell peppers. These plants just have not taken off, their leaves are curling, and the flowers seem to get to a point, then they just fall off. SO FRUSTRATING!!

Eggplant - fail!!

Eggplant – fail!!


My eggplants are alive, but they haven’t grown in size, and they have not yet flowered. They were planted the same time everything else was. They are not happy.

Garden 2014
These are pumpkin plants. Do you see any pumpkins??? Again, no growth!! Do you think that big flower will produce a pumpkin?? I don’t know!!! Thankfully I started some others by seed in a different container and those are doing pretty well…fairly well…I might get a pumpkin or two from them…maybe.

Garden 2014
These are my serrano peppers….kind of scrappy looking, aren’t they!! The plants behind them are my jalepeno’s and they are doing well. The serranos got a bit of a late start, planted from seed…it will be interesting to see what they produce if anything.

Garden 2014
Actually, the artichoke is doing well. However, I have noticed a small amount of aphids…thankful for this little critter who is happy to eat those aphids!!

UGGHHHH!!

UGGHHHH!!


I have no idea what is happening to my zucchini!! The zucch developed, then the flower fell off the end leaving a rotting hole. I hope this is a fluke and not a problem.

Thankfully, there is a flip-side to these garden difficulties.

Tomatoes and onions

Tomatoes and onions


There are rogue tomato plants growing within some of my onions! There must have been seeds from discarded tomatoes from last year’s garden. All I need is a jalepeno plant over there, and we’ll have salsa tasting tomatoes!! 😉

Watermelon

Watermelon


This little watermelon is a VERY welcome sight…

….and the strawberries are delicious!!
IMG_6460
Garden 2014

We’ve got thunderstorms going on today…but no rain yet. Hopefully the rain will come because the forest is really dry right now. The trees would appreciate the water. Keeping my fingers crossed that there won’t be any hail…that would not be good for the garden.

Thanks for walking through the garden with me!
Have a wonderful, relaxing Sunday!!

Tami FYI – it just started raining…YAY….ooopps…it stopped!!

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