Newest Obsession: Macarons

Since there is nothing left to do in the garden, I decided to spend some time refining my cooking skills. My newest obsession is macarons. Unlike macaroons these little delicacies are crunchy and melt in your mouth. The first three tries were total flops and the macarons were messy and clung to the baking sheet. The fourth try was by far the best! I used cinnamon in the macaron shell and butter cream in the center.

End to the Season

We have not been going to the garden as regular as before and I apologize for not posting as much.  The lot has been run-over by weeds and is really a mess. My alpine strawberries have continued to fruit and flower. The raspberries taste divine. The second batch of carrots it just about ready and today we planted tulips for the spring. Below are some pictures I have been holding on to.
Daffodil Bulbs Planted 10/6/12
Tulip Bulbs Planted 10/6/12

Carrots almost ready for harvest - 9/16/12

Yellow Pear Tomatoes - 9/16/12

Candy Stripe Cosmos - Still blooming

The lot 9/16/12 Overgrown by weeds

Yellow Russian Oxheart Tomato

We harvested these green tomatoes and let them ripen at home.

Tomato Experiment

Early in the season I had noticed that the tomatoes which I had grown from seed had very wobbly / unstable stems. I figured this was due to having started the tomatoes indoors with little air movement. So, in July I started a second batch of tomatoes from seed outside. I was not expecting much from these and planted the seeds in little soil. Right now, 6 weeks later, I have four good plants that have come out of this with seven green hanging fruit. We are excited to try these late season yellow pear tomatoes.
Yellow Pear Tomatoes 9/1/12

Yellow Pear Tomatoes 9/1/12
Yellow Pear Tomato Seeds
 On another note, this week I was very surprised to see that my bonsai raspberry plant had started producing raspberries for the very first time ever!!!! This will also be a late harvest but boy are they delicious.

Bonsai Raspberry Plant 9/1/12

Almost Empty Garden

Most of the bounty has been collected and the garden is near empty for the year. Here is one of the last harvests of the year ... not much to look at.
8/28 Cucumbers & Green / Yellow tomatos

Wilting Cucumber Plants

My one tomato that grew from seed

Woah ... Huge Cucumber

I have thought about writting a lot but have not had the chance to do so. However, for now, here are some picture updates of what is going on in the garden.

Harvest 8/11/12

Huge cucumber found on 8/11/12
Too bad that someone has already
been snacking on this 14incher 
8/11/12 - Green Ox heart tomato

Harvest from 7/28/12

Alpine strawberries harvest

We have had a lot of alpine strawberries this year. Last years bushes that we started have been giving about a handful of a week. However I noticed that the taste of the early summer berry is was much more poignant  then the late summer ones.

Biggest Harvest Yet

We had quite a big harvest today with carrots, lettuce, some green tomatoes and a handful of cucumbers. We decided to pick the tomatoes while they were greenish/yellow to prevent someone else from stealing them. We were very sad to find that someone had broken in to our garden last week and while they did not steal anything (that we could notice) the perpetrator did break half of our fence.

Odd Shaped Cucumbers and Big Green Tomato
Strawberry's flowering for the Second Harvest

Over-ripe Peas

Green Ox-heart tomato (bizzare looking)

Lettuce, carrots, green tomatoes

Small Strawberry Harvest

I have not done much work (aka weeding) in the garden due to the current heat wave. However, from the hour that I did spend there this week, I noted that my fence is doing well in keeping away the bunnies and we were able to harvest some strawberries. Also, on my patio garden, I have plenty of peas hanging and more strawberries. The strawberries are very small and not very sweet.

Small Strawberry Harvest

First Cucumbers

Garden Update 6/27/12

Lots of green tomatos. Some beans. The strawberries are turning red and critters are eating them up before we have a chance to harvest

Garden Update 6/10/12

It was too hot to work in the garden this weekend, but I did go by to see how things are progressing. The biggest surprise was that one of the tomato plants (only 5 inches tall itself) had a tomato hanging from it. I planted more peas and carrots to replace those eaten by the rabbits, had a small carrot harvest, and found the very first alpine strawberry berry.
Bush Bean Plant Flower

Small Carrot Harvest

Growing Romaine Lettuce

Strawberry Plants with Green Berries

Gorgeous Rose

Gone ... the Peas are Gone

Imagine my disappointment when I saw that all the leaves on my pea plants were gone. After figuring out that this was not the work of weather or disease .. I found the true culprits ... RABBITS!!I realized this as I saw the baby bunnies admiring the lettuce plants two lots over.

My next step (of course) is to remedy the situation by planting more pea plants and figuring out a way to protect them. Fencing and netting is always an option but I was considering planting chives all over the place instead. Has anyone had any luck with keeping rabbits away?

The Peas - just stem no leaves

Strawberry Plants in Bloom

A few cauliflower plants made it through the weeds

Blueberry bush full of unripe fruit

An Old Russian Favorite - Oxheart Tomatoes

Oxheart tomato.
I had ordered 8 oxheart tomato plants from hirts on amazon. I was very surprised to receive the order in just under 3 days. However, I was even more surprised by the condition of these plants. The handful of yellow branches are okay. This size of the plants and condition is not. Six of the plants were only 4 inches tall and already had flowers. The plants were in next to no soil and were very skinny / windy. I can't help but wonder what kind of chemicals / lights were used to have such mistreated plants produce flowers. I will plant these anyway and see what will happen.

Oxheart Tomato Plants Flowering - 4 inches

Oxheart Tomato Plants Flowering - 4 inches

Garden Update 5/20

I realize that I have not written in a bit. I will try to write soon .. but for now here are some pictures of the garden!!

Free Tomato Plants from Mahoney's

The peas.

Rocket Arregula

First Candy Stripe Cosmo
Strawberry plants

Carrot tops, mellon, and scallions

Bare Root Strawberries

I bought 25 bare root Evie Everbearing Strawberries for $15 on Amazon. What a deal!!  Each one of these would have run $3 in a local nursery. When I got the bunch of plants I soaked the roots in water for a couple days and then planted them in the garden. Only time will tell now. Will they survive and grow? Will they fruit? In the meantime, I noticed that my alpine strawberries from last year already have their first flowers in April!!!

Bare Root Evie Strawberry Plant