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Lin19687

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@DeeAnna That makes sense from the leaves ! I got it 2 years ago from the clearance bin all shriveled .
I admit I am not a very good gardener. I like for mother Nature to take care of things... she does it so much better :D
here is the Rhubarb, my front little (basically Mint) garden that Mr. Bun Bun lives in. It has my Echinacea just about to bloom, German Chamomile, Spearmint, Lemon balm (somewhere near the strawberries where I don't know if they are still alive), WormWood and some Day-lilies. I do NOT water this. But it gets better now that it is 4 years old ;)
Then my back area Pond. With Cute sitting area that we don't sit at jhahahaha

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Don't mind the "grass" in front of the Pond. Grass seed doesn't work if you don't water it ;) lol
 

DeeAnna

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Thanks for the photos -- my curiosity was getting the best of me. It really does look like some critter has been chomping away at those rhubarb leaves. I hope the stomach-ache was worth it. ;)
 

Dahila

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My Juliette Tomato is over 2 meters high, some of them red already . I try to have celeric, tomatos, peppers. Spinach, a lot of lettuce, Parsley root, Colhrabi, Zuccini , I like yellow the most. I grow a lot of herbs, a lot ;)
 

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Something ate ALL of the leaves on my Rhubarb. I'm ok with it as it never really gets very big. But it looks like a skeleton. Just the stalks and the veins of the leaves are still there .
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Lin, I have heard of possum eating rhubarb leaves. A few summers ago when it was dirt dry I had wild turkeys and deer eating my rhubarb, out of desperation I'm sure. I planted swiss chard on the other side of the yard for the deer (they loved me for that, it's like chocolate for them). My dad managed turkey control - I didn't ask, he didn't tell. Is it possible your chickens are munching on them?
 

Lin19687

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Nope, That whole section is fenced off. You can see on the Left is the chicken run, below under the pic is a tunnel of wire as well. They don't get on the deck and there is no way for a Opossum to get in the yard due to other fencing..
I am thinking it is slugs ? or some kind of bug. The leaves last year got eaten too but not like this, just big holes . Only other thing in the back yard could be a chipmunk but I doubt it is him and he isn't going to be around much longer !

Oh those garden pics are so pretty ! And all those tomatoes ! yum !!
 

Saponista

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As you can probably tell, tomatoes are my favorite. I can never have too many. There's nothing like growing your own vegetables. I envy all of your sunny space, my yard is quite shady, but enough sun for these.
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Oooooh I have a load of different tomato varieties too. They are only just flowering though. I hope they turn out as good as yours! I’m also growing Crystal lemon cucumbers which should be interesting!
 

navigator9

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You're giving me tomato envy right now (they are my favorite, too)! What kinds do you have up there^^^? I'm going to give Opalka and Black Prince a try and see how they do in my aeroponic tower.


IrishLass :)
IL, that pic is from last summer, it will be a while before I see tomatoes this season, although I have had a few Sungold cherry tomatoes...so sweet! The ones in the pic are Cherokee Purple (had a lot of catfacing, that needed to be cut off, so I didn't grow those again this year) Also, Black Krim, Stupice and Paul Robeson. Paul Robeson was my favorite, so I'm growing it again. Also this year, some yellow heirlooms, Chocolate Sprinkles cherry tomatoes, the Sungolds, a mystery heirloom, Early Girl, and a couple of others I forget at the moment. I can eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Our tomato season is so short here, you have to eat them while you can. I will keep Opalka and Black Prince in mind for next year. So many tomatoes to try, so little time!!! :D Here is a yummy tomato sauce for when the cherries start coming in faster than you know what to do with them. https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/...-15-minute-burst-cherry-tomato-sauce-56390060
 

earlene

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When I grew tomatoes and had more than I knew what to do with, I made sun-dried tomatoes. I love sun-dried tomatoes and sun-dried tomato pesto on pasta, too. Those cherry tomatoes make the perfect sized sun-dried tomatoes.

It's so easy living here in the midwest to make them right inside your car parked outside in the sun. Cut them in half, spread out on a tray and drizzle with olive oil, then place that tray inside your car on the dashboard so the sun beats down on the windshield. I don't really remember how long it took, but on a really hot day, they're pretty much ready the same day. If they're not dry enough, go for a second day. Bottle and cover with olive oil in a ball jar and keep in fridge if you plan to use right away. Or can according to your normal canning procedures.

I also love fried green tomatoes, so loved when the end of season was coming, but knew the tomotoes wouldn't ripen before the next frost. I'd make fried green tomatoes every day as long as possible. I also pickled green tomatoes. Hubby didn't like the pickled green tomatoes, though.
 

BeesKnees

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I have garden envy on the edibles, just didn't have time to make a garden. Too much else going on. I did plant 11 tomato plants, even dug nice holes for them in a new spot, but the grass (and weeds) are so tall around them I can barely see them. Only one has had fruit yet, it's been a late year for tomatoes here, and the competition with the weeds and grass for nutrients probably isn't helping them.

IrishLass, I'm eventually going to have to try one of the towers. I have a lot of flower beds so already spend way too much time weeding, I see the value in soil-less gardening, that's for sure! But I enjoy my plants and plant a lot to feed our bees and other insects so I won't go completely soil-less. Trying that is a few years off, probably, though, a lot of other things on the "to buy" list first.

As for what I do grow, other than various flowers, there is a lot of mint and rosemary--my favorites--as well as some German chamomile, a number of vitex (chaste tree) to feed the honeybees, butterfly bushes, comfrey, bee balm, and a lot of clover and dandelions. We actually have talked about tossing out dandelion seed to grow even more dandelions, since they are the first source of protein for the bees in late winter, about the end of January here. My husband also has been known to make some good dandelion wine. :) We also have some elderberry bushes but I never seem to get to the berries before the birds do.
 

dixiedragon

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The farmer's market near me has this sheep milk dairy that makes this awesome basil peppercorn spreadable cheese. About twice a month I go there and buy the cheese, a loaf of bread and some ugly tomatoes - which have the best flavor! - and make open faced sandwiches and eat that all day!
 

dibbles

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Dibbles, I'd be interested in that recipe. It sounds yummy.
Here you are - I hope you like it! A couple of things I've learned: smash the garlic cloves with the flat side of a large knife and set on top of the onions or peppers to keep from burning. I now have a dedicated vegetable roasting pan because of the balsamic vinegar. I roast a lot of veggies so it's okay for me, but you may want to line your pan with parchment or foil. I love balsamic vinegar and always add a bit extra. It isn't necessary to cut the romas, but if you want to sprinkle with vinegar, cut them in half lengthwise and place cut side up on baking sheet. I don't add salt/pepper to the veggies before they are roasted and add to the soup while it is simmering.

Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup
Preheat oven to 400
8 Roma tomatoes
2 red peppers - seeded and quartered (any color is fine, red is just prettiest)
1 red onion, sliced thick (keep the slices whole)
5 cloves garlic, peeled
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar (I use more)
Salt & pepper
Basil to taste (fresh when I have it, dried when I don't)
6 oz. tomato paste
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock or broth

Arrange vegetables on sheet pan with sides, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle balsamic vinegar over vegetables and roast 40 minutes, turning if necessary
Put in food processor or blender (keep one side of blender lid open for steam to escape) and puree, in batches if necessary
Put pureed vegetables in saucepan and add tomato paste, stock and basil.

Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

 

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Saponista

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Here you are - I hope you like it! A couple of things I've learned: smash the garlic cloves with the flat side of a large knife and set on top of the onions or peppers to keep from burning. I now have a dedicated vegetable roasting pan because of the balsamic vinegar. I roast a lot of veggies so it's okay for me, but you may want to line your pan with parchment or foil. I love balsamic vinegar and always add a bit extra. It isn't necessary to cut the romas, but if you want to sprinkle with vinegar, cut them in half lengthwise and place cut side up on baking sheet. I don't add salt/pepper to the veggies before they are roasted and add to the soup while it is simmering.

Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup
Preheat oven to 400
8 Roma tomatoes
2 red peppers - seeded and quartered (any color is fine, red is just prettiest)
1 red onion, sliced thick (keep the slices whole)
5 cloves garlic, peeled
4 tbsp balsamic vinegar (I use more)
Salt & pepper
Basil to taste (fresh when I have it, dried when I don't)
6 oz. tomato paste
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock or broth

Arrange vegetables on sheet pan with sides, sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle balsamic vinegar over vegetables and roast 40 minutes, turning if necessary
Put in food processor or blender (keep one side of blender lid open for steam to escape) and puree, in batches if necessary
Put pureed vegetables in saucepan and add tomato paste, stock and basil.

Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.


Thanks dibbles, we just got a chest freezer so I am planning on freezing some different ore made soups for the winter. I will be sure to give this a go :)
 

IrishLass

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. So many tomatoes to try, so little time!!! :D

For me, it's so many tomatoes to try, so little space!!! :D

Last season, I grew 3 tomato plants in my tower, which was really pushing things seeing as how I also had a cucumber plant and a poblano pepper plant growing in it at the same time. For what its worth, the tower instructions recommend not growing more than 4 heavily-fruiting plants in it at a time......and, ummm.....I had 5. :rolleyes: Everything grew quite well, though- I had lots of 'maters, cukes and peppers, but I also ended up with a wild mass of tangled vines! It was quite the thick jungle! lol

This season, I'm going back to having just 2 tomato plants (the Opalka and Black Prince), in addition to my 1 cucumber and 1 pepper plant.

The next season after this one, I want to try growing those Sungolds you mentioned (they've been on my list), but I don't know what the other tomato will be yet (there's just soooooo many choices to choose from....ack!!!!). That sauce you posted looks yummy!

I chose the Opalka and Black Prince to grow this season because I was reading that they are very prolific, and they double as being delicious sauce tomatoes and quite yummy to eat straight off the vine (tomatoes just aren't worth growing to me if my tastebuds can't also enjoy them fresh off the vine, dagnabit). My plan is to save enough of them to try out in my old world Italian 'Sunday Gravy' recipe. Normally, I make it with store-bought canned Marzano tomatoes, but I really, really want to try making it with home-grown tomatoes.

Fort what it's worth, here's my 'Sunday Gravy' recipe. It's actually a tweaked hybrid that I came up with using 2 different recipes (America's Test Kitchen's recipe and Kenji Lopez Alt's recipe):

Makes 2 quarts.

-4 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, preferably imported D.O.P. San Marzano tomatoes
-2.5 to 3 lbs. meaty beef neck bones
-1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (reserve 1 tbsp for searing the meaty neck bones)
-4 tablespoons butter (I use salted) (reserve 1 tbsp. for searing the meaty neck bones)
-8 cloves garlic, finely chopped instead of minced (about 3 tablespoons-worth)
-1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (or more to taste)
-1 tablespoon dried oregano
-1 medium carrot, cut into large chunks (adds natural sweetness)
-1 medium sweet onion, split in half (adds natural sweetness)
-2 large, leafy stems/sprigs fresh basil, leave intact (don't use dried, it won't lend the same taste)
-1 strip of dried kombu seaweed (I'm not brave enough to use Kenji's 1 tablespoon fish sauce)
-1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
-1/4 cup minced fresh basil
-Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions: For the most part, (i.e., apart from the meat directions, which is an ATK contribution) I pretty much followed Kenji Lopex-Alt's directions:

1. Adjust oven rack to lower position and preheat oven to 300°F. Place tomatoes in a large bowl. Using your hands, crush the tomatoes by squeezing them in your fingers until pieces no larger than 1/2-inch remain. Transfer 3 cups of the now crushed tomatoes to a sealed container and reserve in the refrigerator until step 4.

2. In a large Dutch oven, heat the reserved 1 tbsp. olive oil and 1 tbsp. butter over med-high heat until shimmery. Add the meaty beef neck bones and brown on all sides (takes roughly about 5 to 7 minutes total). Remove Dutch oven from heat and remove bones to a holding plate and set aside. Reduce the heat of the burner from med-high to medium.

3. Add the remaing olive oil and butter to the Dutch oven and return it to the burner which is now on medium heat, and heat until butter is melted. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until softened and fragrant but not browned, about 1 to 2 minutes (be careful not to scorch the garlic....if you do, start over with new garlic). Add pepper flakes and oregano and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add remaining crushed tomatoes, carrot, onion, kombu strip and the large stems of fresh basil, and stir to combine. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over high heat, then transfer the contents to a large, shallow, oval roasting pan (the kind in which you cook a turkey). From here on out we're going to be cooking this sauce in a roasting pan the oven in order that it can cook evenly and can reduce by half in a timely manner without the chance of it burning without needing to constantly hover over it like a fussy hen. It also caramelizes the top surface, which lends a nice flavor component to it.

3. Cover the roasting pan with lid slightly ajar and transfer to the preheated 300 degreeF oven. Bake at a gentle simmer, stirring once every 1 to 2 hours, until sauce is reduced by about half and darkened to a deep red, about 5 to 6 hours (reduce oven temperature if the sauce is bubbling too rapidly or if the caramelized bits on top begin to turn too dark).

4. When reduced by half, remove roasting pan from oven. Using tongs or a large slotted spoon, remove then discard onion halves, carrots, basil stems, kombu and bones. Leave the pieces of meat from the bones in the sauce, but look them over to remove any fatty bits, then cut the meat into small pieces. Add the reserved, refrigerated tomatoes to sauce and stir to combine (this serves to give the sauce a layer of brightness/freshness). Season generously with salt and pepper and stir in the minced fresh herbs along with a little additional olive oil if desired. Serve immediately, or allow to cool at room temperature, transfer to airtight containers and refrigerate for up to 1 week. Sauce can also be frozen in sealed containers for up to 6 months. It can also be pressure canned for indefinite storage (which I have done with wonderful results).


IrishLass :)
 

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