Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Our first crops!

After weeks of watching our plants grow, I am thrilled to report that we were finally able to pick our first crops - swiss chard and zucchini.

Our first harvest of swiss chard was ready last weekend. One interesting thing we noticed after we harvested them was that we had a mix of green and red swiss chard plants. We picked two bunches and made two delicious dishes out of them.

Our first dish was braised swiss chard with garlic, bacon, and zucchini blossoms (also from the garden). I liked David's presentation with the swiss chard leaves. This dish was very good, but as we Hokansons tend to do, there was a bit too much bacon added and that flavor was overwhelming. Our second swiss chard dish was a white bean and swiss chard soup. (Sorry, I do not have a picture of the soup.) This soup was pretty bland the first day we ate it, but it improved in flavor as we ate it for leftovers. My favorite part about this soup recipe was that it called for cheese rind, so we were forced to stock up the cheese / chocolate drawer of the fridge (yes, I do indeed have an entire drawer of the fridge devoted to two of my favorite foods) with yummy parmesan-like cheeses.

We picked our first zucchini yesterday and ate it with some french onion-fennel dip. Above is what the zucchini look like after they are pollinated by a zucchini blossom and begin to grow.

This is the zucchini we picked, in its natural habitat.

Here is a terrifying photo of a very excited Farmer David. I tried to get him to act normally while I was taking this photo, but he refused to damper his crazy over our first zucchini. (I suppose this is only fair, since I live my life crazy with excitement over most things.)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Happy anniversary!

Can you believe it has been one year already?

David and I are celebrating our one year wedding anniversary today by having dinner at Sheldrake Point & Simply Red Bistro (the place we got married) tonight. The big dork inside of me wants to grab my veil out of the attic and wear it to dinner, but the person inside of me that wants to fit in with society is telling me that perhaps my veil is best worn at home :)

I insisted that we keep one tier of our wedding cake to eat on this special day, and so I had cake as a midnight snack, David had cake for breakfast, and we will both be eating cake for lunch. I was very nervous to eat something that had been in the freezer for one year, but I was surprised to find that I actually like our cake better today than I did one year ago. I had very high expectations for our wedding cake last year and was completely let down - it was as dry as sawdust! Maybe the key was to have really low expectations (I was expecting it to be moldy when I opened the Tupperware last night at midnight) and then it will seem delicious by comparison. Or maybe it somehow gained moisture in the freezer.

First year wedding anniversary gifts are supposed to be paper goods, so I made one of our favorite wedding photos into a jigsaw puzzle for David. David got me tons of movie ticket certificates so that we can have movie dates! It looks like we will have lots of fun things to do together during our second year.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A blossom!

More updates from The Danger Zone:

Our first zucchini blossom! It is so beautiful and vibrantly colored (which may be hard to appreciate due to this blurry photo). We wanted to pick it and cook with it...but then we found out that this male blossom will pollenate female blossoms (and those will turn into actual zucchini). Might as well wait for the finished product!

David, weeding the herb garden. He is so much more patient while weeding than I am. I find that I tend to get bored. I think we need to start bringing some sort of battery operated music device (that isn't ridiculously expensive and made by Apple) so that I can jam to some tunes while I weed.

Proof that I do help David garden (and do not just take the pictures / watch him work). Here I am sitting among the herbs after watering all of the plants with our large watering can. Thankfully, this watering can is now somewhat obsolete, since we have finally made friends with a hose-owning garden neighbor.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Down on the "farm"

Our trips to the Danger Zone are finally paying off - we have real sprouts blooming! We have put a huge amount of work into our little farm plot, so it is nice to see some results. Above is an overview shot of the whole garden. Last weekend we added black fabric to our trenches to limit weed growth in those areas. Here are updates on our crops:


Collard greens


Sweet peas - David installed more hazard fencing to serve as a trellice!


Swiss chard


Farmer David picking some herbs

We are pretty thrilled by our progress, though it is a little difficult not to feel inferior when we look at Farmer John's garden (our neighbor and nemesis)! Shown above are his beautiful spinach and collard green plants.

Just as a comparison, above is our tomato plant, located in our herb garden.

This is Farmer John's tomato plant. It is twice as tall! (I wonder what Farmer John would think if he knew we were monitoring his garden. I guess it's a good thing he doesn't know that we are stalking his plants when he is not around, because it would probably freak him out even more than our hazard fencing probably already does.) Still, I think we are doing pretty well for not knowing exactly what we are doing. Our latest challenge is keeping the bugs from eating our yummy plants, as many of our leaves (as shown in the photos above) have been nibbled on.