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Old 07-27-2008, 10:17 PM   #41
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I've been enjoying crookneck squash from my plants grown from seed! I made stuffed squash this evening for my son and daughter in law. It was a big hit!

Here's the recipe

Two crookneck squashes
stuffing mix
onions
butter
grated parmesan

Cut squashes in half. Microwave squashes 10 minutes. Scoop out seeds. Saute onions in butter. Mix in stuffing, add water. Mix in some squash.
Stuff squashes and bake 350 degrees for 30 minutes in pan covered with foil.
Sprinkle grated parmesan on top. Yum!

I also had a bouquet of zinnias from the garden too. It's all worth it!
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Old 07-27-2008, 10:29 PM   #42
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Mmmmm ... salt. I love it on everything. I found a recipe for brined pork roast that I am going to try this week.

High blood pressure? Me? Not yet ...
One of the best table salt I've ever used, Fleur de sel. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fleur_de_sel

It's light, crunchy, and a little bit goes a very long way. A little fleur de sel on top of a fresh tomato slice with some basil and you're good to go.
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Old 07-27-2008, 11:21 PM   #43
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I've harvested about 1 mop bucket full of cherry tomatoes off of my 4 plants in the last week. The Early Girls are really starting to take off now....picked 9 more yesterday and will be able to pick another dozen or so in the next day or two (4 plants)........we've had BLT's twice so far, with many more to come!!!

Plus I've gotten 4 zucchinis off of 2 of my 5 plants.....and have used a couple for breaded, pan fried slices......Yum! Some zukes will be grated up and frozen for use in zucchini bread throughout the Fall & Winter months.

The sweet banana peppers have been delicious in our salads every day for almost a month now....and they show no signs of letting up. All the rest of the pepper varieties are loaded down and getting bigger every day, too! We're going to start canning, and freezing some peppers this week!
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Old 07-28-2008, 12:30 AM   #44
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FIREdreamer, nice!
I especially like the beet.
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Firedreamer, that's an amazing harvest for a filtered light location! Way to go!
Thank you both. We are very happy with our results so far. And it is getting even more exciting. After some much needed rain, a second zucchini is getting ready to bloom, we have 10 cucumbers maturing (including a monster), we can't harvest the green beans fast enough, the bell peppers are very prolific this year (we got only 1 last year) and the cherry tomatoes have started to ripen. Our tomato plants are not looking very good this year, their leaves started turning yellow early in the season after they were infested by white flies. One of them died but we saved the 2 others. Last year our 4 tomato plants yielded about 250 tomatoes. It looks like this year we'll be lucky to get 100 tomatoes.

The downside of our filtered light location seems to be that our veggies are a bit smaller than average and our yield is also lower. But we are still enjoying the results of our hard work!
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Old 07-28-2008, 10:09 AM   #45
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My daughter and I planted a very small variety of veggies in my flower bed this year. So far we have quite a few green Roma tomatoes on our two plants, about 5 peppers on our three plants, about 10 cantaloupe on our 1 plant and maybe 4 butternut squash from about 4 seeds we planted.

We went to a farmers market yesterday and bought some wonderful boc choy...made a good stir fry last night.
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Old 07-28-2008, 06:17 PM   #46
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Overall, it looks like our average forum member's thumb is much greener than mine. Or is it mainly location, location, location? In the desert of AZ, it is difficult to find plants that will thrive in the 110 deg heat. I have to set up automatic sprinkers to water 3 times a day. Whenever we visit friends or relatives in California, we always envy them. Whatever they stick in the ground grows.

But can you beat this? In the current issue of Time Magazine, it is reported in an article on urban agriculture boom that a sub-acre lot on the outskirts of Philadelphia brought in $67K in salad greens and baby veggie. In Milwaukee, a 1-acre farm grosses $220K, but with tilapia tanks, and poultry pens. Yikes, that's work.

If I can relocate to somewhere with a moderate temperature, and am able to not buy vegetable from supermarkets for a few months a year, I would be happy. Looks like some of our forum members are on track to do that.
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Old 07-28-2008, 09:40 PM   #47
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Hey, I know it's too late for this season, but the mention of summer squash and zucchini in other posts prompts me to suggest you summer squash fans try the following varieties for your garden next year:

Summer squash Zephyr - yellow with a green tip - has a wonderful flavor.
Johnny's - Product - 2217 - Zephyr (F1)

Zucchini Costada Romanesco - best flavored zucchini I've found -
Johnny's - Product - 2053 - Costata Romanesco

Johnny's Seeds sells both, not sure where else they might be found.
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Old 07-29-2008, 03:03 PM   #48
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I have large amounts of zucchini and cucumbers. Is there away to preserve/store cucumbers other than pickling (i.e.:cooking or freezing)?
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Old 07-31-2008, 04:01 PM   #49
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I have large amounts of zucchini and cucumbers. Is there away to preserve/store cucumbers other than pickling (i.e.:cooking or freezing)?

Well, you could dehydrate them. Here's a challenging project for you in your free time!
Build a Solar Food Dehydrator
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Old 07-31-2008, 09:15 PM   #50
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NWB, down where our friends live in Puglia where it is very hot and dry (not sure if it is AZ levels), I see tons of commercial lots of plants grown under shaded cover (a loosely woven green or blackish netting, probably recycled poly-something or other). You can buy various grades of filtering, like sunscreen but with percentages.
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Old 07-31-2008, 09:52 PM   #51
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Thanks. Just what I have been thinking.

My wife and I have plans to convert our entire sideyard, which used to be a lawn for our kids when they were little, into a vegetable garden. And I will make removeable frames for the cover. I have to wait until fall when it cools a bit.
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Old 07-31-2008, 10:06 PM   #52
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I have large amounts of zucchini and cucumbers.
How can you tell a customer at the grocery has no friends?


He's buying zucchini.
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Old 08-01-2008, 12:19 PM   #53
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How can you tell a customer at the grocery has no friends?

He's buying zucchini.
My squash plants have been producing well for a few weeks, but at the grocery store the other day they were asking $1.99 a pound for summer squash. I live in a fairly rural area. I would think more people here would be planting gardens & saving themselves what they would otherwise be paying for fresh produce at least for a the summer months. But of the dozen or so houses on my street, I think only 3 have gardens.

Khan - I know you can blanch sliced zucchini and yellow squash, drain it well and freeze it, and you can also freeze it unblanched and shredded (shred, then drain out any liquid) ready for bread or quiche, but I am not sure what you can do with cukes other than pickling.

Other than eat them fresh or give them away, that is.

Perhaps leave them on your neighbor's doorstep and run?
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Old 08-01-2008, 12:33 PM   #54
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Perhaps leave them on your neighbor's doorstep and run?
The GoodEats show has a few episodes along those lines. Alton Brown's neighbor who leaves him buckets of home grown stuff is also an older guy. I am picturing Khan like that.

PS. I would not mind being Khan's neighbor, but his high heating bill scares me.
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Old 08-11-2008, 01:51 AM   #55
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for people who want to garden in dry areas.. I just came across this NYT video on farming in Israel:

The Risks of Desert Farming | New York Times Video

It shows a technique where you run drip irrigation tubes under plastic sheeting, to retain the moisture in the ground.. I thought maybe that might be a useful tip for someone.
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Old 08-11-2008, 09:17 AM   #56
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Go***mn squirrels! Ate two of my tomatoes just as they got ripe. And the plant just has about 8.

Also harvested one blue-berry. Yes, that's one blue berry on my potted blueberry bush (well, more like a couple of twigs with leaves). I hope they come back stronger next spring.

The fig produced about 10 succulent figs this summer and there are about 70 new figs on the tree. I hope it stays warm long enough for them to ripen. That's by far the most we've ever had on this 4th year potted tree. We pruned the roots in Jan & that may have been the secret. Now, to keep those pesky squirrels away.
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