After the big rains in June, temperatures have now reached an average of 33 degrees, and the garden is exploding! We’re still waiting for the tomatos but starting to cash in both giant garlics, plenty of zucchini as well as carrots and herbs.
I haven’t been updating about all our garden preparations this year, but we have big plans, tons of seeds and things are already growing out there! Here’s a little summary of what the garden looks like at the moment:
I was happily surprised to discover that my photo of vegetables grown in our front yard won a shared firts place in the people’s choice -best fall fair vegetable category of the “6th Annual Blooming Hall of Fame Photo Contest” at the Greenery garden center here in Kelowna.
I’m so excited to get to receive a $25 Gift Certificate and a Gardener’s Delight Gift Basket in the spring!
Check out the other winners here.
And here’s the winning photo I submitted :)
We’re just harvesting more and more from our little garden. Here’s a taste of what we have to cook with right now:
- Rainbow carrots (unfortunately we got very few red ones…)
- Yellow zucchini
- Green beans
- Dry pinto beans
- Yellow onions
- Cherry tomatoes
- Oaxacan tomatoes (the first ones are just starting to ripen)
- Black russian tomatoes (awsome deep tomato flavour)
- Oregano (that has started to flower in pink)
When we first moved to Kelowna, people kept telling us what a paradise for tomoato growers this place was, but I still remained a bit sceptic that I would be able to grow tomatoes like weeds. I have been disproven. As I write, probably about a hundered of tomatoes are ripening in the 35 degrees burning sun in our front yard. Small ones, big ones, smooth ones, ruffled ones, red ones, black ones, purple ones! so far we’ve just tasted some of the cherry tomatoes and a black russian, but oh boy, are we in for some more…
Here’s a little update on the different varieties we’re growing:
Black russian tomatoes
Purple calabash tomatoes
These are supposed to turn red with yellow ridges, so it might take a while longer before that happens. In the beginning the flowers just kept falling off so I was worried that it wouldn’t produce, but as soon as it got warmer, magic happened and now it’s overwhelming.
Sweetie cherry tomatoes
Both David and I love to add pesto to some pasta, a nice sandwich, a chickpea salad, homemade pizza or pretty much anything. Of course we got excited when we heard that you can make your own pesto from Nasturtium leaves (which happen to grow in the size of bushes in our garden).
Pesto normally contains pine nuts, but since Kelowna (and our laundry room) is full of walnuts, it seemed like a natural substitution. On top of that I also had a bunch of onion stems left from harvesting all of our yellow onions earlier in the day that I decided to throw in for some extra flavour.
Here’s the whole list of ingredients that was inspired by this nice recipe:
- A large bowl full of Nasturtium leaves and flowers
- 2 cups of walnuts
- 2 cups of green onion
- Juice and peel from 1 lemon
- 3 cups of olive oil
- 1 tsp paprika powder
- 8 cloves of garlic
- salt & pepper
I simply mixed it all together into a smooth paste and then filled up a jar for immediate use and little boxes to save in the freezer for later.
After the rain came sunshine, and it’s been blazing hot here in the Okanagan the last week. Just what all the tomatoes needed! Things are growing like crazy, but it’s not until I look back at old pictures that I realize what a difference it is in just a week or so. Right now we just started harvesting green beans and carrots should be ready to get pulled up soon too.
These little rubies finally got to come out of the ground and into my stomach. So sweet, delicious, and easy to grow! The best part is that you can eat the leaves too. Either as sallad when they’re small or cooked in a similar fashion to chard when they’re older.
The tomatoes are finally starting to take off. We’ve had crazy rains over the last week, and as soon as the sun started peeking though it felt like the tomato plants grew an inch just over the day. Now they’re all thick stemmed and fussy, full of buds and some of the first flowers. Since the different varieties kind of got a little bit mixed up in the transplanting business it’s with great curiosity I’m following what kind of flowers that pop up on the different plants. Check out these ones and try to guess yourselves (see the options in this old post):Since it’s been kind of stormy and rainy here I decided to make little cages for the tomatoes to make sure they had something to lean on when the wind hits them.All you need is some bamboo sticks and rope (and some scout-skills of making tripods).
When I started growing tomatoes, everyone told me about how tomato plants are really fussy, you have to baby them before you put them out, give them lots of water and nutrients etc., but I found that mine did pretty well at surviving by themselves even though it took them a a little time to catch up in size and robustness. For a while I was feeling a little bit like Seymore:
“I’ve given you sunshine
I’ve given you dirt.
You’ve given me nothing
But heartache and hurt.
I’m beggin’ you sweetly.
I’m down on my knees.
Oh, please-grow for me!”