Garden, Life

Tomato Tally

My buddy Amy suggested I keep a running tally of how many tomatoes I get from my garden this year. Being the garden-lover I am, how could I pass up such a fun idea?

Yesterday’s haul at 8:30 p.m. proved very fruitful, no garden pun intended. And I know we missed a bunch of pickins because it was getting dark. As of last night, the tomato tally is up to 33. Not bad! I am hoping to get enough to make a batch of salsa this upcoming weekend… that means that I need to stop giving them away and eating them, which is the hard part. I still have a few onions left from my garden and my jalapeño peppers are growing like weeds. If I have enough tomatoes, I should be able to make salsa almost purely from my garden 🙂

Veggies

In this picture you’ll see a green zucchini, a yellow squash, an oddly shaped cucumber, a handful of cherry tomatoes, three purple heirloom tomatoes, a few Roma tomatoes, a few early girl tomatoes and one yellow heirloom tomato. That are so pretty. There are also two banana peppers, which I do not remember planting. I wonder if labels got mixed up at Home Depot or something…. I planted tabasco peppers (those aren’t growing, darn), red bell peppers, green bell peppers, cayenne peppers and jalapeño peppers. Somehow the bananas snuck in there. They won’t go to waste.

Speaking of nature (good transition, yes?), Brian and I hiked the Billy Goat trail between the C&O Canal and Potomac River.

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It was the best hike we’ve ever been on and I can’t recommend it enough. If you are anywhere near Great Falls National Park, you have to hike this trail.

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Other than hiking, I spent the weekend winning a round of mini golf….

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(Go me! I never win at mini golf!)

Golf… hanging out with our neighbors…. (yes, our dogs are strange)

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… and visiting with my cousins. Oh, and I helped paint my friend’s basement. Quite the tiring and eventful weekend.

Hope you all had great weekends!

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Craft Projects

Patriotic Cornhole Boards

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My step dad is super handy (the understatement of the year) and built my little sister a set of cornhole boards last year. He painted them white so she could spruce them up with a design of her own. Last weekend she came over to paint them — they turned out awesome! (Sorry — No tutorial on the actual boards in this post since I wasn’t a part of the construction.)

Emily used paint from Michaels for her boards. She taped off her stripes and drew on her stars before painting each board. She even painted around each star by hand, which I thought was super impressive. DISCLAIMER: Only one star was harmed (read: painted over) in the creation of these boards.

Two coats on each, and she was d-o-n-e done! The are so cute, don’t ya think?

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The only thing cuter than her patriotic boards (and my garden behind them) is Em!

Cornhole1I guess craftiness runs in the family 🙂

We will be using these boards at our Memorial Day picnic/Em’s birthday celebration this weekend!

Garden

Farmer Jess

Those of you who read my blog regularly know that I absolutely love to garden. I started my own garden with my dad’s help my junior year of college in the front yard of our rental home and I’ve been hooked ever since. My friends and family know how much I love it. My neighbors even call me Farmer Jess! Did I mentioned that my maiden name means “farmer” in German!?

This weekend was pretty much non-stop yard work and gardening. Brian and I started to tackle a huge project behind our fence, removing all of the branches, bushes, leave, etc., that we’d thrown back there the past two years and shredding it all in the wood chipper. We spent Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon and are about 2/3 the way complete. It looks so much better and our neighbors behind us even came out to say thank you and to introduce themselves! I found three snakes, all of which I tried to save from accidentally being raked and wood chipped :-/ But who cares anymore about yard work!  I want to talk about my garden!!!!!

I went to Home Depot after Easter brunch yesterday and picked up some perennials for our front yard. I also got some pink begonias for the front of the house. But most important, I bought veggies, and lots of them.

In my excitement to start my vegetable garden I didn’t think too much about quantity… so I went overboard just a little. I bought 18 heads of romaine, 18 heads of spinach and 18 heads of butter crunch lettuce. Holy smokes, that is A LOT of lettuce.

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We are gonna be eating a lot of salads this summer.

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I also planted a ton of red and white onions! I’ve never planted onions before, so we’ll see how they do. I’m intrigued to find out just how you know when an onion is ready to be picked since they grow underground.

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The hubby is excited about the onions — OK, he isn’t actually excited because gardening isn’t his thing at all (although he does like to harvest with me. Of course, the most fun part!), but he does loves onions.

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I doubled my gates around the beds with onions because my evil dog loves to 1. be in places he is not allowed to be, 2. dig — but only in dirt, not in grass, 3. be an all-around jerk in his yard. And onions are really bad for dogs. He was only interested in my garden last year when I was inside it and he was on the other side of the fence, so here’s hoping with two fences and no people inside them, he leaves the garden beds alone. I’ll have to do some onion monitoring this week to make sure he’s not sneaking in when we aren’t looking.

The last thing I planted so far was herbs! I planted oregano, tarragon, sweet basil, sweet mint and rosemary. I bought some hanging planters on clearance last year from Target, so I planted my herbs, then hung each planter on the fence. I love how this looks!

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I planted the basil with the lettuce since I plan on getting more of it later in the season.

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I am pretty pumped that I already have a ton of stuff planted and that I used a bed I didn’t use last year and the space where an old stump used to be, so I’m hardly in any of the prime tomato panting territory! Woo! I’ll definitely be expanding my beds in the corner of my yard this year, too… when the time comes. My strawberries seem to be coming to life again, and the blueberry and raspberry bushes I planted last year… well, who knows how they did this winter. Yikes.

My last exciting garden news, and wow you will all think I am a huge dork, is that my asparagus that I planted two years ago sprouted!!!!! AHHHHH I was so excited I ran to find Brian to tell him. And then I called my dad 🙂 The funny thing is, there’s just one! I don’t know if more will grow or not… but either way, I love my single asparagus and it is going to be deliciousssss.

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Anyone start their garden yet? If you did, what are you planting? I am thinking about planting broccoli in a planter on my deck this year. It always gets eaten in my garden, so if I don’t do a planter, I don’t want to plant it again. Too many worms.

As for the rest of my garden, I’m thinking TONS of tomatoes, cucumbers, squash/zucchini, and lots of peppers. Now peppers — Brian is excited for those. Hopefully this year he isn’t foolish enough to bite into a cayenne pepper, seeds and all. Ouch.