Monday, March 23, 2015


So it has been quite a while since my last blog.  Just easier to snap a picture and post of Facebook.  Last summers garden was a bit of a mess at the end of the season as we took a long family trip to Italy to visit my family, but we still managed to get a good amount of veggies out of it.  It was wonderful trip, but very busy and exhausting with two young children!

We did learn some new gardening techniques from my family and even their neighbors and we took a few pictures.
The hoops with netting are to protect the plants from hail!

When we got back, we had some harvesting to do.  I enjoyed a new way to make sauce with the tomatoes.  I got it from the one and only pinterest!  You just roast them whole with onion and garlic...olive oil and salt and pepper.  Then when it cools blend it up with basil (any chance to use my vitamix :)  Love the technique!  Quick, easy and tasty.  Here are a few pictures from last years goodies.

Got lots of good radicchio this winter and started my tomatoes, peppers and a few eggplant this year. I used a regular old heating pad on low and the little burpee greenhouse seed starter kits this year so that it was quick and easy and it worked great!  Hopefully I can keep up with some posts the summer.  Happy Gardening! ---Amber

Monday, February 17, 2014

November-February Garden Summary!

Celebrating Christmas, Rhodes Style Red and Green!

Here is part two of my catch up blogging. Lots of great greens and radicchio this winter but also some disappointments. The puntarelle and parts of the palla rosa did not do well with the weather this year even with the hoop house. The puntarelle all died and the palla rosa had to be collected at Christmas because all the heads were going bad on the outside. Luckily we had plenty and they were great on the inside.


Broccoli Rabe


Inside of the hoop house.


Endive and Maché…must plant more of the Maché!

Romanesca Cauliflower that eventually died in February with the extreme temperatures.  Also picked up the last of the arugula

Collecting before our first very cold winter storm

Collecting before our first very cold winter storm

Some Castelfranco and Pan Di Zucchero varieties of Radicchio


Sadly the hoop house couldn't take the weather this month! We shall see what survived when it thaws about in this next week!

Still have our butternuts…this is an Italian style one

Monday, January 6, 2014

August-October Garden Summary!

Wow….it has been too long.  The garden has been very good to us this year and continues to produce endive, radicchio, and arugula.  We are still working on our 2 varieties of butternut squash as well. I planted some Romanesco Broccoli... or is it cauliflower? Well,  it looks beautiful under the hoop house but never grew the crown.  I am not sure what will come of it since the temps are getting down the the single digits tonight!  Brrrrr.  Her is what has been happening since August in the garden.  Edit:  Will have to have a part 2 for November through now!  I will do another blog on the pizza oven soon!

Great Tomato Year!

Tomatoes galore!  Plus fresh basil.

Beets, Cucs, and more 'maters!

Even got to blanch some for freezing this year…but not a bunch. We just eat so many!

One of my favorite new recipes. Skin off of cherry and San Marzano tomatoes in a marinade.  Top on crunchy bread and ricotta.

Zucchinis were a labor of love…did surgery several times for the SVB but it was worth it!  Also a new favorite cucumber was the Amiga.

New this year…this is either the Black Krim or Cherokee Purple…Both were good.


My new favorite sauce…puttanesca!  Plenty to Freeze too!
Voluntary Pumpkins and Waltham Butternut squash

Tomatoes, Arugula, Lettuce, and Beans from the garden!
First (and only) Fig

Monday, August 5, 2013

August 5, 2013 Harvest Monday

Harvesting right along... This year has been a great garden year!  Made some pesto and got several more Romanesca zucchini and Crooknecks.  Even got my first Black Magic zucchini that is in my pot (seeing signs that I need to do more checking for SVB though but plant still looks healthy).  The Borlotti and Taylor Strain shelling beans are in and this is just the first round!  So excited about this!  We will have a good amount of beans for the freezer this year for sure.
Fried Green Tomatos

Purple eggs found on Zucchini

Black Swallowtail catterpillars on the Fennel...didn't have the heart to take them off

Beans, cucs, and some marinated tomatoes on herbed ricotta (SO YUMMY)

Tomato Window

Taylor Strain Beans-Round 1

My little helper shelling the Borlotti Beans
More Maters, Cucs, and Zucs :)

Monday, July 29, 2013

Rule #35: Give veggies you don't always love another try!

So I pretty much love every single vegetable out there, but I can be a bit picky about my eggplant.  Currently my eggplant are flowering, but I got some from a friend in North Carolina will visiting last week.  Some were fat, but most were skinny.  I tend to like the skinny ones and I found out that this was a Japanese variety.  It think I will be getting this variety next year.  I got quite a bit and decided to have John grill them up.  Then I put parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, and EVOO in the food processor and poured it over the hot grilled eggplant.  FIRST, this was fabulous (it's what my mom does except she simply chops everything instead of food processing).  I was still not very fond of the fatter ones that had many seeds.  Second, I found a recipe for a eggplant open sandwich on pinterest that I had to tweak a bit and it too was amazing.  I used rustico sliced bread from Trader Joe's instead of ciabatta, olive tapenade instead of just kalamata olives, and the grilled eggplant instead of breaded and baked eggplant, but the result was very good.  Put the tapenade on the bread followed by some fresh tomato from the garden, the eggplant and the mozzarella cheese on top.  Then I toasted it up and let me tell you...YUM. Third, we made some pizza and put it on with some freshly made sauce, caramelized onions, mushrooms and black olives and that was amazing too.  So there you have it...give your not so favorite veggies another try :)

In other gardening news we are starting to get a good amount of tomatoes and the crookneck squash is still doing well.  My other zucchini are still hanging in there and we actually got our first (I hope of many) Romanesco zucchini.  Hopefully my surgery and getting most of the SVB eggs off early in the season will prove successful.  The cucumbers are doing AMAZING this year and we are all happy about that. My new one from Johnny's called the Amiga is very good.  Of course we are getting many jalapeño peppers and John has made a fun pickle with cucumbers that he loves ( I can only handle about one or two bites).  My radicchio is starting to pop up and I will need to re-seed two varieties that didn't come up as well.  My last picture is of my Borlotti and Taylor Strain shelling beans that are almost ready.  Once those are done I will have tons of space for my fall gardening veggies!  Am I really already saying fall?

I am sharing this on Daphne's Dandelion's as part of Harvest Monday (as I usually try to do). It's a fun way to see what other gardeners are doing all around the globe.
My favorite big boy....The Italian Heirloom and some Early Girls

Thinning some beets...they look more like radishes

Grilled up some zucchini and onions, added them to a herbed vinegrette and mixed with quinoa.  The greens are from beets, celery, some swiss chard and fennel tops

The first Romanesco Zucchini and other garden goodies


Making the eggplant sammy

after toasting


Radicchio seedlings

More Radicchio seedlings (some chard on the corner of the pic too)

Italian shelling beans... almost ready