Garden Update

garden

I finally got a successful bean and pea planting.  They are growing fast and look healthy.  I think I might have just been a little too impatient to get them in the ground this year.  Note to self:  No matter how unseasonably warm it may be in April, wait until mid-May to plant the seeds in the ground next year.

We planted some watermelon along the side of the garage.  I’m going to train them up the trellises.  Last year I grew them in the garden and trained them up the fence, which worked out, but this year I wanted more room in the regular garden for other things.  Hopefully, this method will work out.

watermelon plants

The rest of the plants are looking good too.  I got my first batch of Arugula the other day, along with some basil and oregano.  They went into my “Kill for you ANTI-pasta”, as my husband calls it (recipe at the bottom of this post).

antipasto

We also found some wild “tomatoes” growing in front of our deck.  I had 2 cherry tomatoes planted there last year.  Some of the seeds must have settled into the ground and 5 plants are growing where the 2 were last year.  I’m trying to keep 2 of them just to see what happens with them, but the rest are probably going to get destroyed when we expand the deck next month.

tomato plants

And the rose bush looks beautiful.  It is full of bright red blooms.  The leaves have holes in them though, so I think it is being snacked on by some kind of bug.  I need to find an eco-friendly solution to get rid of the rose pests.

rose bush

rose

I am not impressed with the upside down tomato and strawberry planter.  Only two of the strawberries are still alive and the tomato does not like growing upside down.  It is bending upwards and the stem doesn’t look healthy.  We’ll see how it turns out, but the strawberry planter was definitely a waste of time and money.  We’ll try a different space-saving method to grow the strawberries next year.

And here is the recipe for the Antipasto.  I just like a little bit of dressing on mine, since the olives and tomatoes already have a strong flavor, if you like more then I would double the recipe or experiment with your own measurements and ingredients.

INGREDIENTS

  • Arugula
  • 8 oz. artichoke hearts
  • 8 oz. olives  (Kalamata are the best, but you can use whatever you have)
  • 6 oz. sun-dried tomatoes
  • 6-8 oz. salami, cubed or sliced and cut into quarters
  • mozzarella cheese, cubed
  • pecorino romano
  • fresh oregano
  • fresh basil
  • balsamic vinegar  (about 1/8 cup)
  • olive oil (about 1/4 cup and some for drizzling)
  • honey (1-2 tsp.)
  • 1-2 tsp. lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 loaf of foccaccia bread

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Drizzle olive oil over the foccaccia bread and grill or bake in oven at 350 until warm and toasty.  Remove, cool and cut into cubes.
  2. In a bowl, toss together the olives, tomatoes, artichokes, mozzarella, salami, basil and oregano.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together olive oil, honey, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  4. Pour the dressing over the antipasto, toss and serve over a bed of fresh arugula with the cubed bread on the side and shredded pecorino over top.
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