Friday, September 9, 2016

Tomato Season

Tomatoes; it's what's for breakfast, lunch and dinner for a delicious few weeks when we can pick fresh from the vine and carry them into the kitchen.
In my garden this year I planted, Supersweet 100 (the smallest of these), Chocolate Cherry (on the left in the colander) and Persimmon (the larger yellow one). I also planted San Marzo which are not in this photo.
 From simple slices to have on the breakfast toast...
 as ingredients for the lunchtime sandwich (quick aside here, the prettier looking ones in the above photo are heirloom tomatoes from our CSA farm share while the sliced one is the San Marzo variety)
or for a riff on Pasta Primavera for dinner, the season, in my garden at least, peaked the last week of August.
The Persimmon were labelled as a medium size fruit. H'mm, that one on the scales is 1 lb 2 1/2 oz and that is not the only one I had at this size. Those San Marzos are a bit of a disappointment as there is not much flesh inside them. But it is always fun to try new varieties.
 That multi-color heirloom tomato looked even prettier when sliced on the plate and complimented with the cut chocolate cherry and the one supersweet 100 (which actually wasn't all that sweet altho it was prolific and the vine is enormous - thank goodness I planted just the one plant!)
Now I don't want you to think all is sweetness and light in the tomato patch. Just when I was thinking I had escaped early blight and bugs I had the unhappy surprise of finding the tomato hornworm on one of the San Marzo plants. I dispatched with great haste the first three I found and this one? I left it there because the wasps had already taken care of it for me.
Ingredients for homemade pizza night.
 Going into the oven with a base of sliced fresh tomatoes rather than a tomato sauce,
 and coming out of the oven. Pepperoni and mushroom got added during the cooking time.
The tomato season is co-incident with the peach season. Ordinarily I buy just enough peaches to eat them cut as fresh fruit for, yes, breakfast, lunch or dinner. But a couple of Sundays ago when at the farmers market they had 20lb boxes of slightly blemished fruit at a bargain price. Chef G decided he'd like to try canning them.
 I'm not sure he realized how much work it would be as it grew into a two day effort.
 A peach sunset...
and the real thing. It all looks delicious.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Summer Sun on the Farms

Labor Day, yesterday, is oft referred to as the end of summer so I offer up these photos from late August as a way to remember small trips in the summer of 2016.
 My own garden is somewhat bedraggled after the heat of this August. But a happy surprise while on a roadtrip to various quilt shops was finding Burnside Farms on route 15 in Haymarket. In August they have glorious fields of sunflowers. On the blistering hot day it was I had to make quick choices of what to admire and photograph because I could not tolerate the heat too long.
 Unlike some sunflowers farm fields these ones are sown with a wide variety of types of sunflowers so you get a wonderful patchwork of yellows. You can wander at will and choose to pick the sunflowers to take home with you. I decided to pick with my camera.
 It was crowded with families on this particular Saturday and all seemed to be enjoying their day out.
I will have to remember this place because they also have tulip and daffodil fields in the spring time.
 Moving over to route 7 in Vienna is Potomac Vegetable Farms. Surrounded by subdivisions of homes PVF has hung on to their traditional farm style with many retired pieces of equipment to attract the camera of the curious viewer. They did not have rows of sunflowers but a few plants pop up here and there.
 I really must research what this flower is as I also have a few in my own garden (the latter arrived as volunteers from places unknown). Aha, it is the wild version of ageratum. PVF also sells pick your own flowers but by this time of the season grasses and wildflowers are sharing space in the carefully planted rows.
 This whimsical piece of garden decor caught my attention and brought a smile.
 In the open sheds a few old timers remain.
 I seriously doubt that there will be any speed limits broken by these two!
 The textures and weathered colors took my eye for this one.
 Again, it is the color that attracts me - the purple of those bean flowers playing happily with the green of the old shed.
 Another of the random sunflower plants among the rows of flowers.
 Ah, zinnias, always a happy flower.
And to close out we had a spectacular sunset cloud display on September 3.

Friday, August 19, 2016

World Photo Day

It seems, from a few things I've been reading today, that this day is World Photo Day. In honor of that I thought I could create a post - and I'm choosing to go totally random and feature a bakers dozen of photographs I have taken in the past year or so that did not quite fit a previous topic. Not too much detail about the who, when, where...just a celebration of my camera and I out and about.
How about beginning with a tasty home-made strawberry rhubarb pie?
 If you guessed Fall you'd be wrong. This is a spring shot on location in Maryland.
 And a sunset from the same location.
 Milk and cookie(s).
 Waiting for the bride...
 Tammy's Flowers in Hamilton, Missouri - the town that The Missouri Star Quilt Company brought back to life.
 Kiwis - it's how to eat 'em.
 Storm's a coming thru...
 Fall 2015 I had a lot of fun photographing these small pumpkins...and then they got cast aside in an old plant tray in the garage. In May this year, before I took them out to the compost bin, I couldn't resist one last chance at giving them some glory.
An arrangement.
 Fall on the deck.

Winter up the hill.

Spring on the Farm.
Finishing out with the beginnings of the pie...the rhubarb was not picture perfect and the photo does not do justice to how luscious the strawberries were, but this is, after all, a homegrown blog.

This was a fun way to acknowledge World Photo Day that I hope you enjoyed as much as I did. To begin with I thought I'd show you photos from various parts of the world but then, y'know, I got stuck trying to chose what to include and this is what I ended up with. All from right here in the USA.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Seen in my Garden

My goodness, it has been a while since I dedicated a post to my own garden. Let's see what has been going on there for the past couple of weeks or so.

 I started picking the "Sweet 100" cherry tomatoes a couple of weeks ago. This is a good thing because the basil that I planted to go with the tomatoes has been sending up flower heads for several weeks and I was beginning to fret it would be done before it could be enjoyed with the tomatoes. But all is well. Basil is absolutely the flavor of the month for our dinners just now.
 The coneflowers are now past their peak but this one was shyly posing for the camera on July 15.
 Petunias at the front door. They have not had an easy time this season because we had to clear off the front porch for a couple of weeks while outside painters were here.
 There is a large white crepe myrtle at the end of the deck. Things fall off it all the time. This particular piece of bark had a variety of textures that attracted the camera to it.
 And after the rain? A lot of things fall off the crepe myrtle tree.
 This was not exactly the combination I had in mind when I planted this area a few years back. The white coneflower I did plant and then their cousin, rudbeckia/black-eyed susan, arrived to share the space.
 Black eyed or brown eyed - the deer have decided this year that they are on the "eat me" list and there are only a few remaining that those deer have not found.
 This year I am trying two new tomatoes (well, new to me trying to grow them that is) in my garden. These are Roma's and they are taking a while to grow to full size fruit and then become ripe. This is what they looked like on August 2 and finally last night I noticed color beginning to change in them so hopefully we'll get to try some soon.
 The echinacea sisters.
 The butterfly bushes have been attracting a lot of visitors recently. Alas I have yet to see a monarch butterfly.
 There is somewhat of an issue in the tomato patch. They have now well outgrown the stakes and last night I had to haul out the six foot ladder to be able to pick them.
 It is just as well there is only one "sweet 100" because I am picking daily. I had put in some companion plantings of marigolds and basil but it is only at this end of the garden that they are doing any good because the tomato growth is shading out the sun.
And to close out I liked this view of the moon back on July 15.

Now, hopefully you feel refreshed by the walk around my garden.