26 June, 2011

Tomato plant care 6-25-11

A friend recently asked some details about tomatoes, so I am sharing these photos with her in mind. The summer is flying by and I started this post about tying / staking up tomatoes a month ago! These plants have more than doubled in size now. However, it has been a busy summer, with lots of hands-on care needed in the garden, and lots of reading, study, and decluttering the house in my 'free-er' time, to get ready for the fall school term.

We use jute or twine to 'weave' among the stakes between each tomato plant.

Next, we wind the twine around the stake and tie it (no knot, though, unless needed. These wooden stakes hold the twine just fine, no slippage) before stretching it on to the next stake.

The twine gently supports the branches of the tomato plant, providing some 'give' as it grows outward and upward.

You will notice how the plants have grown in my next post about the whole garden in general!

I wish the garden was larger, but this is an extremely hot year to try and keep it alive and growing. In fact, it has been too hot for some of our tomato plants to set their blossoms.

Hope you are enjoying summer tomatoes from your own (or a friend's) garden this summer!
There's just no comparison to grocery store tomatoes.


12 June, 2011

Green (tomatillo) Enchilada Sauce

We like both green and red sauces on our open and stacked (not cooked in a cake pan in the oven) enchiladas. I just realized this weekend how easy it would be to grow, mix, and can our own sauce. Unfortunately, we did NOT plant tomatillos this year! Now I've planned to buy seeds to plant in our fall garden, to give this a try.

Here's a basic recipe, for those who have already asked.

5 jalapeño peppers
1/2 lbs of tomatillos (green husk tomato)

Peel and rinse the tomatillos. Boil the tomatillos along with the jalapeño peppers in a pot of water for about 7 minutes; they will become slightly soft. Remove the stems from the Jalapeños.
In a blender, place cooked tomatillos, jalapeños, salt and about 1/4 of a cup of the chicken stock; blend well. If the sauce is too thick, add more of the chicken stock. The sauce should has a consistency of soup.



07 June, 2011

Where are They Now?

Sometimes I think it is so strange that I have adult children! I must simply be in denial of my own age ;-). I've decided to blog a "Where are they now?" post, for any of my followers who are wondering why I don't post much about homeschooling anymore.

Well, we have three homeschooled graduates now. Our oldest is married and is racing and building bicycles. He has followed his passion. He met his dear wife at our old church home. They were married by their youth pastor. She is attending college and is an incredible artist.

Here he is, working at the bike shop ~

And racing (what a beast)

That's him at #2

#1 -- he ended up finishing 5th in his age group! This was just one pack of riders.

DC #2 met her hubby in my high school Spanish class at one of our local homeschool co-ops.

They have been married for over a year now, and just got back from (yet another) nature adventure, this time it's not Iceland, but several national parks in the Pacific Northwest. He is a stellar photographer and she loves cooking and nutrition.

DC #3 is staying local for the time being and will be attending college close to home. He is interested in sports training and nutrition.

So that leaves us with just one left to homeschool.

some of his favorite hobbies

visiting the big siblings up north

They are all so similar and yet so unique! But also, the more things change, the more they stay the same ;-).

DC #1, 2, and 3, at the beginning of our homeschooling journey

Hubby and I used to long-distance cycle, so yes, he is wearing compression pants, even then!

Our family ~ Christmas 2010

We are thankful for the blessings, for the freedom to homeschool and to raise them to the beat of a different drummer.


p.s. How are your families growing along the way? I am blessed to know some wonderful homeschool families, and have enjoyed watching their kids grow, and even getting to teach some of their children Spanish or American Lit!

05 June, 2011

Education of a Pondering Mom

Life is rich! Be brave enough to seek the richness, the reflection of God in His creation, to step off the merry-go-round more often. Keep your eyes open.

While jumping through the hoops may be necessary sometimes, it is not The Main Thing.

Too many miss this.

To this I add a recommendation that you visit our son-in-law's blog for a glimpse of that which I am speaking.


02 June, 2011

what a difference three days makes!

First, I'm going to post the herbs that I didn't post a few days ago, then you can see some veggies that I only mentioned in passing in my last post. :-)







first zucchini

Snow Peas!

and last but not least, ripe grape tomatoes

More that are almost ready!

pear shaped tomatoes. These will ripen a rich, yellow shade

Not sure what this will end up being. It came from the compost soil, and wasn't seeded by me. I call it my zuchamelon!

Tonights dinner consisted of sauteed swiss chard, onions, and a yellow squash that I picked this evening. These were served up alongside veggie-twirled pasta with just a touch of vidalia onion pasta sauce. No cheese necessary.

Keep your garden photos and stories coming! Most of you post on Facebook comments, but feel free to click the link to see this on my blog and comment there :-).

I am simply thankful for God's provision.



01 June, 2011

Garden progress ~ May 30

We are transitioning this year from just organic gardening to also buying heirloom seeds. We started many of these plants ourselves. Hopefully we will locate and purchase all heirloom seeds for our next garden.

This shot was taken before our son mowed and ran the weedeater around the edge of the garden. It looks much neater as of yesterday!

Notice all the greens on this side. We planted red and green swiss chard, collard greens, and kale. We planted spinach, as well, but it did not come up.

heirloom tomato

red swiss chard

green swiss chard

bell pepper (one of a few)

yellow squash (one of several!)

I'm pretty pleased overall with this year's garden. The snow peas are coming up well and attaching themselves to the fencing. There are a few pods out there, too!

The green beans are growing, but not very full just yet.

How does your garden grow? Show me some of your photos!