Sunday, June 27, 2010

So begins the squash attack!

The squash has begun to attack. I wait so patiently for my rows of squash to grow from their seed form and become the big bushy plants they are today. The flowers come and then the baby squash but just a little longer. And then BAM! the squash have officially attacked. Friday morning was my first harvest of my round globe zucchini and yellow crooknecked squash. This morning I harvested another bucket full of squash. They have started and will keep on coming daily until.....the squash bugs attack more than the power of the plants.  have already killed many squash bugs. Smashing them between my fingers and watching their guts spew out. It's quite delightful actually to kill them. But there are far too many. The babies have hatched and I know in a couple of days there will be way too many to handle. I actually don't think I care that much. I shall get enough squash out of these plants while they're here to get my squash fill for the year.

This morning I took an overflowing bucket of squash to church. I came home with this much left. Apparantely  need to do a better job of selling my free vegetables to people. They simply don't know what's good for them. Have I mentioned these are heirloom plants cultivated using organic growing practices? That should be a vitamin supplement right there. Power Food!

It's a good thing that I'm not making a living off of my garden because I would be real sad. It definitely makes me appreciate all those vegetable farmers out there that rely on their own work from sun-up to sun-down in order to feed us with all those essential nutritients found naturally in fruits and vegetables. They are sooooo under-appreciated.

I recently read an article taken from WorldArk, the magazine of heifer international ( It's titled, Eat Real Food and is an interview with Marion Nestle, author of books on the scientific, economc and social influences of foo choice, ( I love the final interview question and agee with it wholeheartedly.

How would you sum up your food philosophy? She says, "Eat less, move more. Eat real food, not products. Support local farmers and grow food at home. Cook at home. Teach kids to cook; that's the most revolutionary thing you can do from the standpoint of food. I don't think it's any more complicated than that. Learn how to deal with food marketing. Understand that this is about deocracy: Of the people, by the people, for the people. Is that too idealistic? I don't know. I think it works.

She makes another really great point earlier in the article that talks about food companies' health claims displayed on food packaging. This marketing is put there to make consumes think they are making a smart choice in the grocery isle. But let's be honest if we were all feeding our children the fruits and vegetables they needed daily we wouldn't have to worry about the "immunity" banner on Cocoa Krispies cereal and the list of added antioxidants. Now would we?

Oh wow. Now there is just so much to think about. Education, that's what it's really about.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Friend or Foe?

Tonight as I was watering my tomato plants I spotted this guy stuck on a plant...

Because my bug knowledge skills are simply minute I decided to remove it from my plant but resist the urge to smash it on the spot. I went inside and found a nice glass jar for its safe keeping until I could properly identify it. For those of you that are knowledgeable on your garden pests know that this is the tomato hornworm. It's crazy because you can actually see the horn on the body. These are definite pests and can do some serious damage to tomatoes and peppers. I'm starting to wonder if there might be more and they are the culprits behind my near wipeout of pepper plants??? Check out this link for more info on them:

I also managed to find another bug tonight....
It, however, it quite pretty and will not be doing any damage to my plants because I found it dead. :(

Tonight was simply a beautiful evening. Although Mom and I both fell asleep upon finding the couches when getting home from work, we both decided we must take advantage of the rather cool (80s) temperatures.

Go Mom! Pick those cherries.

What a beautiful evening for discovering creation!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


I got me some new sneaks today. My Brooks running shoes were quite delightful on my feet tonight as I kicked up dust or maybe just inhalled it from the three vehicles I passed. They were just the encouragement I needed to master that five mile loop with no stops. I must say there is nothing quite like new sneakers and running past all the combines in the fields giving me that great smell of freshly harvested wheat. Ahh.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

So begins the preserving.

Today I spent a good hour or two in my jeans and long sleeve shirt wading through the crazy jungle of raspberry bushes. After a good and controlled pruning earlier this year, the bushes went crazy with growth. A little too crazy. I managed to find quite the bundle of fresh raspberries there this morning.

After a quick trip to the grocery store for a giant bag of sugar, vinegar of two varieties, and dill & mustard seed, I was thoroughly equipped for my afternoon of early preserving.

Exhibit one: Fresh picked and preserved raspberry jam.

Last night I managed to pick a few of my pickling cucumbers. Just enough for small batch of refrigerator dill pickles from a mix I found in this kitchen.
Exhibit two: Kosher Dill Refrigerator Pickles

I can't wait to make more when the plants go really crazy!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Well now

Well now, it's been quite a while since my last post. Crazy how time flies when we're having fun. We obviously made it back from Colorado and I have been spending my time baking away dozens of cookies in the bake lab. As the distributors of cookies for the College of Agriculture enrollment days this month has been crazy with those little newbies coming in to plan their next life paths at KSU. My friend Kelsey and I have been enjoying our moments together laughing about life and our confusion as to what the heck we really are doing with it. Great bonding in the bake lab as always.

My garden has been blessed by the rain gods the past couple of weeks. I haven't really had to water more than a couple of times it seems this entire month. Although all the local farmers are going crazy with all the rain, I have been happy to nurture my plants with the stuff that falls from the sky. Natural rain is so great, saves me time and much energy. The tomatoes have finally blossomed some baby fruit. I've already harvested about 20 cucumbers. Last week I was so delighted to have roasted root vegetable with my very own potatoes, turnips, and beets. I'm not so sure my dinner guests were as excited about it as I was, but slowly but surely I will convince all my closest networks of the greatness of farm fresh local food.

Recently, I've found a few new blogs worth checking out.
A really great one featuring local food:
And one vegetarian athlete- this one is definitely kinda inspiring as I've been trying my feet at running: Tonight I decided that I actually have a need for new running shoes. It's definitely exciting to realize that I have actually worn down a pair of running shoes by running in them. I know it seems crazy, get athletic shoes and exercise in them, but somehow I've been doing it. Yeah, there is a God who gives me strength!