Tag Archive for hot peppers

What’s Growing on in the Garden in August?

children's garden in august

okra and sweet potatoes growing strong in the garden in august

The month of August has been riddled with disappointment in the Little Sprouts garden. We fought squash bugs that decimated all the squashes, pumpkins, cucumbers, and now melons. We fought armadillos, raccoons, and possums. It seems like everything that could come against our growing has. But the good news is we still grew 115 pounds of food in August.

gardening with kids, okra and watermelon

early august produce in the children's garden

Normally August would be our glut of produce month, but the animals stripped the peaches, plums and apples off the trees. In addition, they stole most of the melons and stripped the tomatoes and tomatillos bare of all green fruit.

possum damage in the children's garden

We have been busy picking squash bugs by the hundreds, and trapping live animals and relocating them in the country where there aren’t any people living. We have trapped 4 raccoons and 7 possums to date. We have evidence of an armadillo and at least one more raccoon that remain at large.

garden eating raccoon

Most of our garden has died off from heat or bugs, but we are still growing sweet potatoes and okra. Our tomato and tomatillo plants are flowering again now that temps are under the high 90s every day again. Maybe if we don’t get a frost, we will have another round of fruits to enjoy. We are still growing hot peppers as well.

We have planted quite a few seeds for a fall garden and they are beginning to germinate now. I also purchased some fox and coyote urine to try to deter any more animals from wanting to hang out in the garden. We do have one helpful creature hanging out in the garden, this cute watch kitty. She’s exterminated a few pests for us and all she asks in return is to lay in the cool dirt of the garden (sometimes on a seedling or two) and to get a few pats on the head or scratches on the ear. She’s a keeper.

watch kitty in the garden

giant carrot in children's garden

garden harvest, gardening with kids

Our total produce production so far this season is 453 pounds of healthy, delicious, chemical free food for the kids and Mr. Kent and I to enjoy. Not what we had hoped, but definitely nothing to sneeze at. We have eaten watermelon, cantaloupe, hot peppers, okra, tomatoes, carrots, tomatillos, onions, Swiss chard, butternut squash, garlic, green beans, drying beans, cabbage, spaghetti squash, peaches, figs, peas, broccoli, herbs, kale, kohlrabi, blueberries, strawberries, asparagus, spinach, Chinese cabbage, bok choy, lettuce, radishes, and Brussels sprouts. What’s growing in your garden today?

 

Garden Glory-Pears!

This week my Little Sprouts and I harvested 21 pounds of food.  Our pear tree has fire blight and is dying and we didn’t see any pears on it this year.  Sad, because we usually harvest over 250 pounds of pears.  To our surprise there were a handful of pears ripe on the tree this week, hiding from us and the ornery raccoons that usually help themselves to much of our fruit. 

harvesting watermelon with kids

We also picked this lovely 13 pound watermelon this week.

harvesting veggies with kids

The kids have so much fun in the garden exploring and finding treats.  I cannot remember what our life was like before we had all this great learning and exploration we enjoy in the garden.

picking radishes with kids

ladybug in the garden

Here the kids discovered a cute little ladybug crawling up the okra.

The days are cooling and the getting shorter so the time for the garden is coming to a close, but the garden has birthed so much awe and wonder for us this year.  I can’t wait until Spring!  I love cold weather and winter, but I’m going to miss all the fun we have watching amazing things grow.  Is anything still growing around you?

 

Garden Glory-Figs

fig

My Little Sprouts and I are still getting harvests each week even though they are getting smaller and smaller.  This week we harvested over 17 pounds of food.  Included in that was our very first fig from our fig tree! 

This is Monday’s harvest:

gardening harvesting with kids

I forgot to take a picture of the harvest today, but I did get shots of the kids picking it.

harvesting tomatoes with kids

harvesting peppers with kids

We picked a total of 10 pounds of tomatoes, 2 1/2 pounds of okra, 3 1/2 pounds of cantaloupe, and a pound of green beans as well as some tomatillos, hot peppers, and other assorted goodies including one beautiful little fig.  🙂 

Is anything still growing in your garden?

 

 

Garden Glory-Hot Peppers

This week’s harvest has gone way down.  We had a really hot spell and then a lot of days without much sun, so some things may pick back up after these few sunny days we’ve had, but who knows?  We picked 15 pounds of produce from the garden this week including a bunch of hot peppers.

september harvest gardening with kids, hot peppers

Monday we picked 5 pounds of tomatoes and a few other odds and ends.  We picked two cantaloupes, but I forgot to get pictures of them.  I’m having some technical difficulties with the camera. 

gardening with kids harvest

And today we picked another two pounds of tomatoes, a pound of okra and a half pound of hot peppers.  I’m making some salsas for my family reunion this weekend so those will come in handy for that.

I hope you have a great weekend.  Comment and share what you’ve been picking from your garden!

Garden Glory-Heat and Bugs

The bugs and heat have taken over the garden. We have been planting things for fall. We are still getting a harvest, but it has slowed down so much. My Little Sprouts harvested over 21 pounds of vegetables this week. The weather is supposed to cool down a bit for at least a few days, so maybe some things will pick back up, or some of our new stuff will take off. We are really enjoying what we are getting, and are grateful for every gift the garden gives.
garden harvest gardening with kids in the heat of summer
Monday’s Harvest

A few strawberries I found this week.

A few strawberries I found this week.

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Today's harvest.

Today’s harvest.

My Little Sprouts and I harvested over 14 pounds of tomatoes, 3 1/2 pounds of okra, and some cucumbers, tomatillos, onions, and hot peppers. Something is eating all the tomatillos before they get ripe, and the squash bugs have finally killed all three cucumber plants, so those are probably the last we’ll see of those.

Battling the heat and bugs in the dead of summer is a challenge, but there is still a lot of good growing season left, so we can’t give up.

What’s growing in your garden?

Handy Homemade Spicy Diced Tomatoes (Rotel)

My little sprouts and I have harvested over 100 pounds of tomatoes this year.  What are we doing with all of those tomatoes?  We are eating them like crazy as well as freezing them to use later.  The kids have also been taking some home and I have shared with family, friends, and neighbors.  I have made multiple quarts of roasted tomato sauce to put in the freezer to use throughout the year.  Click here for an easy recipe for it.  I have also been making a handy homemade rotel.  I use it for many things, but what I use it for the most is one of my kid’s favorite dishes, taco soup.  As I have stated before USDA and DHS regulations prevent me from serving home canned foods to my kids, so I freeze as much of our produce as I can to use throughout the year.  My version of spicy diced tomatoes is easy as can be and super handy to have on hand to add flavor to many dishes.

Homemade rotel ingredients

First, dice up an onion in a fairly small dice:

making your own rotel

Then dice up whatever hot peppers you have, and about two cups of tomatoes.  The finer you can get them the better.  I like a petite dice on my tomatoes especially.

homemade rotel

Toss them in a ziploc bag and get out as much air as you can to prevent freezer burn.  Then when you need a can of rotel, just grab out a bag and drop it in your recipe.  Easy peasy!

What is your favorite way to use your garden tomatoes?

Garden Glory-Brussels Sprouts

This week my little sprouts and I harvested over 48 pounds of produce from our garden, including Brussels sprouts.  That puts us up over 500 pounds total for this season.  Is that amazing or what?  Last year in our small garden, we harvest over 650 pounds of food, but over 250 pounds of it was pears from our pear tree that did not produce this year.  All of our fruit trees were blooming when we got a deep hard freeze this year and none of them produced fruit.  In addition, our pear tree is fighting a severe case of fire blight, so we’re not sure if it will ever make fruit again.  We are going to prune it severely this winter and see if it can make a come back.  We been enjoying delicious pears from that tree for 15 years, and they were missed this year.  Needless to say, we are enjoying quite a bit of produce anyway.

I have been intrigued by how much of what we have grown, but I think in the future I will just weigh it all and not each type of food because it’s very time consuming.  It will be fun to see the totals at the end of the season anyway.

This is Monday's harvest.  Everything but the okra is slowing down, but we are still getting a lot.

This is Monday’s harvest. Everything but the okra is slowing down, but we are still getting a lot.

This week we picked 3 1/2 pounds of okra, 8 1/2 pounds of cantaloupe, 28 pounds of tomatoes, 4 pounds of Brussels sprouts, and some cucumbers, hot peppers, tomatillos, and cabbage.    We also got a couple of green beans and a handful of dry bean pods.

Thursday's harvest we a little less organized.  Still delicious and beautiful though.

Thursday’s harvest we a little less organized. Still delicious and beautiful though.

We went ahead and harvested the remaining Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, and cabbage today.  I figured if they haven’t made any size increase by now they aren’t going to and we need room for our new crop of those things, so we got all that were left.

Some of the kids never tire of picking.  Zealous for gardening.  :)

Some of the kids never tire of picking. Zealous for gardening. 🙂

kids harvesting cabbage

harvesting brussels sprouts

harvesting brussels sprouts with kids

After harvest time we spent some time picking sprouts off the stalks and building up our fine motor skills.

picking brussel sprouts with kids

brussels sprouts picking with kids

kids harvesting brussel sprouts

What’s happening in your garden this week?  I hope even if you don’t grow, you at least got to taste a homegrown tomato or something this week.  There is not much better.

Garden Glory-Cucumbers

This week my Little Sprouts harvested over 50 pounds of yummy produce from the garden, including cucumbers. We picked over 15 pounds of cantaloupe from the mystery vine that planted itself.  Our cucumbers are starting to slow down but we planted some more seeds to try to get a second crop to grow.  About a month ago we planted a second crop of a lot of things. We’ll see if it pays off.  Somehow, I can’t find the pictures from Monday’s harvest, but total for the week besides the cantaloupe, we picked 8 pounds of cucumbers, 5 pounds of okra, 20 pounds of tomatoes, and tomatillos, hot peppers, and a few beans.  Our beans are doing terrible this year, hopefully we will get some more beans from our second crop.  We’ve been having to buy beans at the farmer’s market, oh the shame of it all! 

Harvesting-Gardening with Kids

harvesting vegetables with kids

Garden harvest

Harvest-Gardening with kids

Yesterday I had a vacation day, so I had to pick the harvest while the kids were gone.  The crusty things on the end are the drying beans.  We planted pinto, calypso, and black beans.  I’m not sure how long to leave them in the pods, so I just have them in a bowl right now.  I also found those two monster okras we missed, so I’m saving those for seed.

Garden Harvest-Gardening with Kids

What are you picking this week?

Garden Glory-Sunflowers!

My little sprouts and I harvested over 70 pounds of produce this week AND a table full of amazing sunflowers.  It’s been a very productive week in the garden.  Some of the tomato plants are turning brown and our cucumbers are dying.  I’m not exactly sure why, but it’s sad to see them go. 

On Saturday while the kids were gone I took the time to trim some things up in the garden that were out of control.  I harvested a bunch of herbs for drying.

On Saturday while the kids were gone I took the time to trim some things up in the garden that were out of control. I harvested a bunch of herbs for drying.  This is thyme and oregano.  I also harvested some lemon balm, bee balm, and tarragon.

This is a big CHAIR full of basil.  Even though it had flowered, I took it off the stems and ground it up into pesto and put it in the freezer.  I had over two pounds.  And I didn't even put a dent in what's out there, I just cut what was blocking the walkways.

This is a big CHAIR full of basil. Even though it had flowered, I took it off the stems and ground it up into pesto and put it in the freezer. I had over two pounds. And I didn’t even put a dent in what’s out there, I just cut what was blocking the walkways.

basil

I also harvested 8 pounds of greens including swiss chard, spinach, and this kale.  I washed and stemmed it and dried it in the dehydrator.  Then I ground it up finely in the blender to use as a nutritional enhancer in the kid's food.

I also harvested 8 pounds of greens including swiss chard, spinach, and this kale. I washed and stemmed it and dried it in the dehydrator. Then I ground it up finely in the blender to use as a nutritional enhancer in the kid’s food.

Brussels sprouts are tough to harvest WITH the kids because I had to saw the stalks down and cut the sprouts off with a knife.  They have helped me pick the sprouts off one stalk at a time, but with several, I thought it was safer to do it without them.  I harvested 4 stalks and got 3 pounds of sprouts.  They are one of my favorites.  The kids liked them too!

Brussels sprouts are tough to harvest WITH the kids because I had to saw the stalks down and cut the sprouts off with a knife. They have helped me pick the sprouts off one stalk at a time, but with several, I thought it was safer to do it without them. I harvested 4 stalks and got 3 pounds of sprouts. They are one of my favorites. The kids liked them too!

I harvested all of these beautiful hot peppers to make pickled peppers for Mr. Kent.

I harvested all of these beautiful hot peppers to make pickled peppers for Mr. Kent.

I found a few more tomatillos when I had more time to really look.

I found a few more tomatillos when I had more time to really look.

Monday's harvest included lots of tomatoes and cucumbers.

Monday’s harvest included lots of tomatoes and cucumbers.

We got okra and tomatillos as well.

We got okra and tomatillos as well.

And some cantaloupe and kohlrabi, and parsley.  Yum yum.

And some cantaloupe and kohlrabi, and parsley. Yum yum.

We were planning to let our sunflowers dry on the stalks, but the birds had other plans, so we cut them down, explored them a big and laid them on a screen to dry in the shed and harvest them from there.

Tuesday we harvested some of our sunflower heads.  We were planning to let our sunflowers dry on the stalks, but the birds had other plans, so we cut them down, explored them a bit and laid them on a screen to dry in the shed and harvest them from there.

Yesterday's harvest gave us more tomatoes, melons, okra, cucumbers, a few green beans, and some more tomatillos!

Yesterday’s harvest gave us more tomatoes, melons, okra, cucumbers, a few green beans, and some more tomatillos!  (And as usual, plenty of SMILES!)

Garden Glory-Our First Cantaloupe

We finally harvested our first ever cantaloupe! This week’s harvest was plentiful and exciting for me and the Little Sprouts! We harvested over 56 pounds of food this week. Take a look!

Monday's pick.  We picked 35 pounds of tomatoes this week.  I was amazed.  Salsa, here we come!

Monday’s pick. We picked 35 pounds of tomatoes this week. I was amazed. Salsa, here we come!

 

Corn picking was very fun.

Corn picking was very fun.

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We finally got a batch of brussel sprouts.  They grow so pretty.

We finally got a batch of brussel sprouts. They grow so pretty.

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The first cantaloupe slipped off the vine of our mystery volunteer plant.  We can't wait to taste it.

The first cantaloupe slipped off the vine of our mystery volunteer plant. We can’t wait to taste it.

 

We got a pound of carrots.  They are hard to pick.

We got a pound of carrots. They are hard to pick.

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There are bunches of tomatoes coming on.

There are bunches of tomatoes coming on.

 

This thing weighed a whole pound!

This thing weighed a whole pound!

 

This little fella visited us in the carrot patch.

This little fella visited us in the carrot patch.

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This was our best week in the garden yet. It was really fun to see the kids be so excited about some success. What did you pick this week?

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