Eat what you grow: Summer Loca-vore Challenge - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 06-15-2014, 06:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Eat what you grow: Summer Loca-vore Challenge

My daughter wants to eat as much out of our garden as possible. She set me the task of recording it. I also wanted to add what I'm using from local sources. The intent is to pat ourselves on the back and inspire us to do more, not make this something difficult or discouraging--a challenge, but a fun one without winners or losers.

I'd love for you to join us! The summer season should make this easy and delicious!

Tonight we used one of our eggs, some spinach, peas and garlic from the garden, a neighbor's butterhead lettuce, and local turnips and beef. We added those to potatoes and canned tomatoes to make a curry. DD9 made chive butter.
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#2 of 11 Old 06-15-2014, 07:51 PM
 
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My garden is not growing so well. I started a lot of things in containers, but they didn't survive the transplant very well. I have 6 tomato plants, and so far one tomato, but some others have flowers. I have green beans & cucumbers, squash and watermelon, but I'm pretty sure the watermelon have died.
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#3 of 11 Old 06-15-2014, 08:06 PM
 
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Eating a buffet of fresh strawberries and sweet peas. Baby is loving it. He can shred a pea with his 5 teeth and wants a berry every time we sell some.
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#4 of 11 Old 06-15-2014, 08:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Some years are better than others.

Our garden looks miniature compared to the neighbors because we started everything so late. The spinach we harvested is tiny (but it's gonna bolt any day so we harvest madly).

Too bad about the watermelon!


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#5 of 11 Old 06-18-2014, 11:17 AM
 
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Too much kale and oregano at the moment! I'm drying it.

Scanty lettuce. Peas very soon. Moderate amounts of mint & tarragon; also yarrow, and bee balm (which are a little tired of by now so I'm letting it flower.)

We get mulberries and dandelion and blackberries around our neighborhood during this season.

I just started a patch of chives; I hope it thrives, it's an herb I fondly remember from childhood.
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#6 of 11 Old 06-18-2014, 09:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Dried oregano, processed and ready to use, makes a nice Christmas (or Thanksgiving!) gift. I also prune our bay laurel and dry to give branches to friends and family. I could never use that much, though this year a prolonged freeze knocked our shrub back a bit.

Discovering our little native trailing blackberries are ripening. I need to locate all our patches (the Pacific Dewberry grows with male and female plants, so while the plant is e.v.e.r.y.w.e.r.e. in the forest, finding a berry patch isn't so easy.
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#7 of 11 Old 06-20-2014, 04:08 PM
 
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Hello Sweet Silver, can you please give me some tips on drying herbs & greens? I've been drying them on a cookie sheet, tossing them around every day, and when they started to curl & dry I bagged them but they are turning brown. They were not bone-dry when I bagged them and doubt that they ever could be in my climate with humid summers. I've never dried herbs or greens before. When I saw they were browning I put the bags in the freezer (didn't want to do this) and now I open it every day & toss it around before resealing. Any tips?
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#8 of 11 Old 06-20-2014, 08:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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If you have trouble with humidity, I recommend a food dryer. Yes, the browning is from moisture. If you don't want to invest in a dryer, then put the herbs straight into the freezer while green and fresh. Some folks swear by it, and it won't take up much space.
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#9 of 11 Old 06-21-2014, 03:39 AM
 
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Into the frezer with them then! Thank you!
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#10 of 11 Old 07-08-2014, 01:34 PM
 
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I've become a freezin' machine thanks to your advice, SweetSilver! I was afraid that freezing would destroy nutrients or texture in the greens and herbs. Nutrients I'm not certain of (minerals are intact, for sure) but the texture is actually just fine. While still frozen I crunch them up a little before adding to food. The flavor and color are fresh and green. Thank you

Our broccoli is mostly leaves so I've pulled them out and frozen them, the corn doesn't look promising, but the tomatoes and herbs are super as they always have been. Next year I will just put in more tomatoes and herbs, since I can freeze the herbs and we never tire of tomatoes. I am also growing leeks, they don't seem to be growing too much but they can be eaten at any stage of growth so I'm not concerned. I suppose they could be frozen too, especially the green tops. This is my first year growing cucumbers & squash in a half barrel. So far we have several baby fruits.

The tarragon & oregano in the flower garden are enormous and are currently "feeding the bees" although I do shear them occasionally to freeze.

I have melons in 5-gal pots that are doing well, covered in flowers, but it's my first attempt with this and I don't know what will result. I am keeping them very well watered.
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#11 of 11 Old 07-08-2014, 06:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Freezing, while fuel intensive, actually compares favorably to other methods of preservation in regards to nutrition.

I've been picking our little wild blackberries. Bumper crops this year. I haven't been keeping too close track of our food, but the garden is steady, the eggs are steady. Love this time of year.
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