growth in our garden

November 18, 2015

I haven’t shared what’s been going on in the garden in awhile, but I’m happy to report there’s a lot of fruit growing (plus herbs and rainbow swiss chard). We decided not to do a winter garden this year to focus on finishing up unfinished garden business (there’s so many). I’ve taken to watering the plants, and I usually do it early Saturday morning. For some strange reason, while the whole world probably sleeps in on Saturdays, I love waking up at 5am to go outside to clean the front porch and backyard, then water all the plants (that aren’t on a drip system yet). It’s such a peaceful morning and I love seeing the sun pop up, and walking around our teeny little jungle. We don’t spend enough time enjoying the backyard and I really need to remember to get out there more often to relax. This edible garden of ours has been such a labor of love, and while I give Ben a hard time about it sometimes, it’s such a great feeling to be able to get food in your own backyard.

By the way, do you see how ginormous that Valentine Pummelo is?! I don’t think this picture does it justice.


peruvian apple cactus fruit

September 29, 2015

We got a Peruvian apple cactus last November, and we finally harvested its first fruit over the weekend. Ben noticed it had already started splitting while on the plant, so he figured it was time to pick it. It definitely gives off dragon fruit vibes.

We sliced it up and had the girls smell it first; we didn’t think it had much of a smell. Next, we asked them about the texture, and we all agreed it feels slimy. Then, we each ate a piece. It tasted like a mild kiwi, but slimier. It was good and I can’t wait until the second fruit on the cactus is ripe enough to eat. Anyone ever try a Peruvian apple cactus fruit before?

I haven’t had any garden posts here lately, but things continue to grow and change in our garden. We are always working on something out there and I will give an update on all of it soon.


first apples and figs

August 5, 2015

fig and applesfig and applesWe have harvested the first figs and apples from our garden. The apples are Molly’s Delicious and were the perfect blend of crisp and sweet (seriously delicious!). The figs are Kadota and Peter’s Honey, but when Ben planted them in a rush, so he’s not sure which is which. They are the best figs I ever tasted; it was kind of like eating candy because they were so sweet. A lot of figs got chomped on by some beetles, so we don’t have that many this year.

Soon, I’ll share another look at what our garden looks like now. All the trees are doing really well and there’s so much green out there. Ben’s labor of love is paying off and we are getting to enjoy the benefits of having an edible garden. We always joke that gardening is quite an expensive hobby, but when you pick it, it’s free!


best tomato season ever

July 8, 2015

tomatoes 2015tomatoes 2015tomatoes 2015tomatoes 2015tomatoes 2015tomatoes 2015tomatoes 2015tomatoes 2015tomatoes 2015Our tomatoes are booming. Every year over the last 8 years of growing tomatoes, we learn more and more about what does/doesn’t work. The 3 heat tolerant heirloom tomatoes we tried have been doing great! The other 3 are grafted tomato plants (2 varieties on a plant), but 2 out of 3 fizzled, so Ben pulled them (it’s the empty spot in the left bed). All the plants keep growing beyond the boundaries of the trellis, so we are going to have to figure out a way to keep it from flopping over. We’ve never had tomato plants grow this crazy before, but this is a problem we gladly welcome.

One plant is producing some pretty large tomatoes; it’s the biggest tomato we’ve ever had success growing! You can see how large it is next to the quarter, and then again right in front of Glow’s head. It weighed in at 1 pound 11 ounces!

I love tomato season! I always have a plate full of caprese salad ready to go. How are your tomatoes doing this summer?


recap of our winter garden harvest

June 23, 2015

winter garden feb 2015winter garden feb 2015winter garden feb 2015winter garden feb 2015winter garden feb 2015winter garden feb 2015winter garden feb 2015winter garden feb 2015winter garden feb 2015winter garden feb 2015winter garden feb 2015winter garden 2015winter garden 2015winter garden 2015winter garden 2015winter garden 2015winter garden 2015winter garden 2015winter garden 2015winter garden 2015winter garden 2015winter garden 2015winter garden 2015We are already into our summer garden, but this is how our winter garden fared:

Romanesco (above photo, top left) – The 6 plants grew slower than we hoped. Started from seed at the very end of November, the buds weren’t evident until a few months after. Unfortunately it appeared to be too late for our warmer temperatures because they bolted. The small heads that were there blew out like a slow motion firework and we never got to enjoy them.

Kalettes (above photo, top right) – This was the most anticipated veggie that’s a kale-Brussels sprout hybrid. And now in June, month 7, the suspense continues to build! They are painfully sllllllllooooooooooooooooooooowwwwwwwwww growers. All the leaves you see there are not the actual kalettes. Rather, the kalettes grow just like Brussels sprouts, attached to the stalk at the “armpit” of where the large leaves you see in the photo connect to the main, vertical stalk. However, instead of looking like mini-cabbages like Brussels sprouts, the finished product is more reminiscent of a shuttlecock. Three different varieties are there and the kalettes just started to form in the last couple weeks. We’re almost there!

Bok Choy (above photo, vacated spot, middle left) – We harvested it just like the ones you see in the store. Oops. Evidently it’s a gift that can keep on giving, so long as you remove some of the leaves (not all at the same time!) We enjoyed it, but could’ve enjoyed it more had we harvested it differently

Fennel (above photo, middle, center) – We all love fennel. Ben doesn’t like licorice but loves fennel (which has a licorice flavor), so it’s possible to like it even if you don’t like licorice. This is one of the veggies the girls get unusually excited about! Unfortunately, it is a one-hit wonder (when it’s harvested once, that’s all), but totally worth it).

Broccoli Raab (above photo, middle right) – This bountiful and bitter vegetable grew so fast; we just weren’t ready for it with all the fruit tree planting back in January and February. It bolted and flowered shortly thereafter. Bummer since it’s one of our favorites. The girls, not so much… their palettes aren’t as accepting to such sharp and spicy flavors.

Mixed greens (above photo, bottom left) – The most generous vegetable by far. Like grass (or hair)… you cut it and it grows right back. Saved a lot on bagged mixed greens over the 3 months it was in ground!

Carrots (above photo, bottom right) – All shapes, sizes, and colors. The girls had a lot of fun popping these with ease out of the ground.

We learn new things every season we have new crops. We’d plant everything again, just making the changes mentioned in the tending approaches. The jury is still out on the kalettes to see if they’ll be worth hogging up nearly an entire bed for over half of a year! Tomatoes are now in the bottom 2 beds, but since the kalettes continue taking the scenic route journeying to their destination, it prevented a 3rd bed for tomatoes that are so dear to our hearts and tummies!

there are dinosaurs in our garden

June 10, 2015

One afternoon, True and Brave were happily playing under the Citrus Trellis, when along came a large, ferocious Velociraptor! They saw the creature and ran off to find a place to hide in their garden.

the day dinosaurs came into our gardenthe day dinosaurs came into our gardenthe day dinosaurs came into our gardenthe day dinosaurs came into our gardenthe day dinosaurs came into our gardenThey tried to find refuge in the Kalette Jungle, but the Velociraptor followed them and was lurking nearby. Suddenly, they heard the squawking of a Dimorphodon overhead, and not too far away was the loud growling of a Indominus Rex. True and Brave were deathly afraid because it seemed their once peaceful garden was now overrun by angry dinosaurs.

Out of nowhere, a group of dinosaur hunters drove right into the garden and called out to True and Brave to jump into their vehicle. Panicked, and with no other options, they did as they were told, and the hunters drove away as fast as they could into the Forest of Herbs. Unfortunately, Indominus Rex had caught up to them and was charging at them through all the mint, parsley, and basil.

the day dinosaurs came into our gardenthe day dinosaurs came into our gardenAs they were trying to get away, they saw a Pachycephalosaurus hiding near the lemon thyme, and Stegoceratops heading towards the swiss chard. They were completely surrounded, so the only way to get away was to separate and try to find a safe haven on foot.

the day dinosaurs came into our gardenthe day dinosaurs came into our gardenTrue and Brave, remembered the hidden cave near the Kalette Jungle, so they headed back in that direction. They found a safe spot to breathe for a moment, so Brave started concocting a plan to get the dinosaurs out.

the day dinosaurs came into our gardenthe day dinosaurs came into our gardenIt was just then that they heard loud chewing, and they were afraid that one of the dinosaur hunters just became dino lunch. They cautiously peeked out and saw the Velociraptor was happily munching on the swiss chard. It was then when they noticed that the rest of the dinosaurs were busily chewing on various herbs, fruits, and vegetables that was in their garden. It turns out, the dinosaurs weren’t after them, they weren’t I-wanna-eat-you-angry, they were just hangry dinosaurs! Things can get confusing sometimes when one gets the hangries, and True and Brave totally understood that. Slowly, they approached Velociraptor and Indominus Rex, and gave them both high-fives as a sign of friendliness. The two dinosaurs returned the gesture.

the day dinosaurs came into our gardenthe day dinosaurs came into our gardenSince all the dinosaurs just wanted fruits and vegetables, True and Brave happily gave them a tour of the garden and directed them to what was ripe and ready to eat! With all the peace restored back to the garden, the dinosaur hunters took notes of what the dinos liked, bid True and Brave farewell, and headed back to their headquarters. With a sigh of relief, True and Brave were very happy to not be lunch for the day, and have new friends instead!

the day dinosaurs came into our gardenthe day dinosaurs came into our gardenthe day dinosaurs came into our gardenThe end.

We love coming up with #ourgardenstories on Instagram, so it was especially fun to bring the Jurassic World dinosaurs to life using parts of our garden. Our garden was such a wonderful backdrop to tell this quirky story. True and Brave had so much fun coming up with different poses and positions to tell the story, and they also loved freaking out their little sisters with the dino hands and head.

This post is brought to you by Target. Target teamed up with Jurassic World to bring dino drama to life with the new Jurassic World MovieMaker App. We have given it a whirl, and the girls have fun inserting moving dinosaurs into a picture of themselves; it looks pretty realistic. I hope you enjoyed our silly story, and thank you for your continues support of this space and the brands we partner with.

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