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Ronde de Nice Squash

June 25th, 2009

This year I’m growing Ronde de Nice squash instead of regular zucchini. Why did a choose these little round zucchinis instead of the regular ones?
Ronde de Nice Squash
Could you pass up this description? These tasty little round zucchinis have been a favorite for generations in French farmer’s markets. Because their tender skin & flesh bruise easily they are poor candidates for our supermarkets, but are easily grown by the home gardener. Harvest these pretty squash as babies, when several inches in diameter; or grow them to 3-4 inches. Serve the smaller ones steamed or sauteed with other veggies or stuff the larger ones and to bake and serve for great summer meals.
Ronde de Nice Squash Blooming
They’re very quick growing plants, I started mine in late May and the one I potted up early is fairly large and has tons of blossoms on it. I’ll be eating some of these blossoms as well as leaving some for pollination.

We’re big fans of steamed or sauteed zucchini in the summer so we’re excited for our plants to start producing. I have 4 plants in all, I’m hoping I have enough. Last summer I had 2 zucchini plants and we didn’t have enough (I know I’m the only person that didn’t have enough zucchini).

What kind of summer squash do you grow? How do you enjoy eating them?

Annabelle Hydrangea

June 24th, 2009

I have always loved hydrangeas, ‘Annabelle’ hydrangeas in particular. Mr Chiots bought me one for my birthday last year (remember that packed MINI?). I planted it last year and it’s blooming quite beautifully this year, it seems to be quite happy where it’s planted.
annabelle hydrangea
It’s in my front flowerbed with a grape vine behind it and a ‘Frosty Morn’ Sedum in front of it, a pink peony on one side and a purple balloon flower on the other, it also has a few hollyhocks behind it. It’s definitely a show-stopper in the garden, I love it!

What’s your favorite flowering shrub?

Garlic Scapes

June 23rd, 2009

A few weeks ago my garlic started sending up scapes. These are the flowering portion of the plants. They are very interesting the way they twist and turn.
Garlic Scape
You can cut them when they’re young and eat them. They’re quite delicious with a very mild garlic flavor. I’ve heard that if you cut them, the bulbs of your garlic will be larger. If you don’t cut them the bulbs will be smaller, but they will keep longer. I’m going to cut a few and leave a few on, to test out the theory.
Garlic Scapes
We’ll be enjoying our garlic scapes in some eggs and probably mixed with some sauteed veggies atop some rice or couscous. You just can beat that mild garlicky flavor!

Have you ever eating garlic scapes?

Here They Come: Tomatoes

June 22nd, 2009

Most of my tomato plants are just blooming, but I have 2 that have nice sized fruit on them already. They’re both cold tolerant varieties and are great for northern gardeners like myself.
Tomato Blossom
This is my Sub-Arctic or World’s Earliest Tomato – one of the very earliest tomatoes, the compact plants produce lots of 2 oz red fruit. It one of the best for cool conditions and will set fruit in lower temperatures than most. It has even been grown in the Southern Yukon. Developed by Dr. Harris, Beaverlodge Research Station, Alberta, Canada. 49-59 days.
Sub-Arctic Tomato
This is the Zapotec Pleated Tomatoes – (Lycopersicon esculentum) Rare/Traditional. Named for its creators, the Zapotec people of Oaxaca, the pink fruits are large, with ruffles like a pleated dress. They can be stuffed and baked like a bell pepper, or served raw. When frost threatens, entire plant can be lifted, including roots, and hung upside down indoors to ripen remaining fruits.
Zapotec Pleated Tomato
I’m super excited for these pleated ones, I’ve always loved the look of deeply pleated tomatoes, but I have never grown them. I’m hoping to have a few ripe tomatoes in a couple weeks which will be much earlier than last year when I picked my first ripe tomato on August 5.

How are you tomatoes coming along? Anyone eating fresh tomatoes yet?

Gardening Quote: Chinese Proverb

June 21st, 2009

“The best fertilizer is the gardener’s shadow”
Chinese Proverb


That sounds pretty organic to me, what do you think?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.