In the Garden, Week 11

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This has been an amazing week in the garden. I mean it’s been one of those weeks that makes all the back-breaking work on the front end of the season really worthwhile. This is the first week that something from the garden made its way into nearly every one of our dinners. I made another batch of pesto; baked a peach-raspberry-rhubarb crisp (raspberries and rhubarb from our garden); sauteed our first zucchini and tossed it with pesto, shrimp, red peppers, tomatoes (also from the garden), and pasta; threw together a yummy salad with beet greens, roasted beets, avocados, and blue cheese; and made BLTs with the first of the season’s ripened tomatoes.

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No doubt about it, the tomatoes definitely stole the show. Three quarters of my family actually steers clear of tomatoes, but I still grow them because they are just so much better than the flavorless ones sold at most grocery stores. And there’s something magical about arriving at the garden and seeing those first big, red tomatoes in among the greenery. And there’s also something–something not quite magical–about realizing that one of the tomatoes has actually grown around its cage. Oops. Next year I’m going to be more diligent about installing sturdy cages right when I plant the seedlings…instead of trying to retro-fit them when the plants are toppling over and threatening to take over the entire garden.

But anyway. So far we’ve been able to keep up with the produce quite well. I have frozen a few tomatoes and I do have plans to make at least one batch of salsa…that’s something everyone in the family will eat.

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Raspberries and beets are ripening as well. And cucumbers! I made these lovely jars of refrigerator pickles this past weekend, using the recipe from my cookbook for kids, Terrific Veggies on the Side. It’s so easy and they are really great on sandwiches or straight from the jar. Next week I’ll be making a batch of pickled beets…my oldest loves them!

Stay tuned for more news from the garden! Until then, check out The Nitty Gritty Gardening Book, available at Mother Earth Gardens, Amazon, or through Millbrook Press.

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