Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Garden: Before and After

Wow, the garden has grown in the last few weeks.  Our sugar snap peas have outgrown their trellis and are taking over the cucumber supports.  We have tiny green tomatoes on most of the tomato plants.  A few peppers have even made an appearance.  While the dill is quite hearty, we are still waiting for the rest of the herbs to take off. 

Here are some photos taken on June 5:

Just 6 days later:

And 8 days after that:

Friday, June 10, 2011

Yogurt Debacle

I just wanted to give a quick rundown of my latest batch of yogurt.  Since it's been so hot, I decided to give the crockpot method another shot.  I added a half gallon of my usual creamline milk and followed the usual instructions.  I did not have enough of either store bought yogurt or cultures, so I used some of both as my packet of cultures and 1/4 c of Stonyfield whole milk yogurt.  My yogurt incubated for about 7 hours.  The result was a runny gooey mess.  I used it to make smoothies all week.  I'm not sure what went wrong.  Perhaps the crockpot/towel method just doesn't hold in enough heat?  Perhaps Stonyfield isn't the best brand to use as a starter?  I think I'll stick with my cultures from here on out.

How does your garden grow?

In the few weeks since I last posted, our garden has grown like crazy!  The sugar snap peas are almost to the top of the trellis we built (about 3 feet or so).  The tomato and pepper plants look very hardy and have little blossoms starting to open.  The pole beans and cucumbers are several inches tall and, after a slow start, our herbs have gotten going.  The only issue we have had is with the bush beans.  We soaked all the bean seeds (pole and bush) for 15 minutes or so prior to planting.  The pole beans all shot up in no time.  After waiting and waiting, one bush bean sprout (out of four seeds planted) shot out of the ground.  It seriously went from zero to 2 inches over night.  Since then it's been poking along.  The other 3 seeds never made an appearance, and it didn't help that someone stepped in that part of the bed.  A few days ago I decided to try again.  I put the seeds in water and promptly forgot about them, so they got soaked for at least an hour and a half.  No sign of any new sprouts yet, and I'm a little worried that the rapidly growing pole bean plants might be providing too much shade.

I should have some fantastic pictures to post soon because we just got a fancy new camera.  I waiting for the card reader to arrive in the mail, so I can transfer the photos to the computer.