A Visit to the White House Garden – Full Tour of Veggies, Bees and More!
P+M Upstate Adventure: Planning the 2016 Garden – Check out our layout!
Potatoes and Kale
P+M Upstate Adventure: Removing Grass and Turning Soil for Garden
January Tomato Harvest…. WHAT?!
Garden Update: What’s Growing in November?
Box Them Up, How to Turn Tomatoes Red
Garden Update: What’s Growing in October?
Summer Picking of Soybeans
The Story of Mr. Caterpillar and the Jalapeno Plant
What are we picking? It’s a green harvest!
Crazy Tomato and Watermelon Harvest – 83 pounds worth!
What I LOVE: My Awesome Dad and his Garden Peppers
How to Store Lettuce to Last for a Month
Tomato Season.. Picking By the Bucket!
Step Into Crista’s Garden
Changing of the Guard, From Peas to Beans
PSA: Cocoa Husks + Rhododendron = NO! DONT DO IT!
Radish and Lettuce Picking In the Garden
What’s Growing in the Garden!

A Visit to the White House Garden – Full Tour of Veggies, Bees and More!

When you get a email invite to a private event that Michelle Obama and the White House are hosting for Let’s Move, you accept it.  Well your heart skips a beat, you accept it and then you try to figure out what shoes you’re going to wear.  It goes in order like that.  That’s what happened last week.  

White House Trip (25)

White House Trip (7)

Last week, I made the trip to Washington DC to attend a event to have a conversation on the health of our nation’s children.   Let’s Move (started by Michelle Obama in 2010) is a group initiative to encourage healthier food in schools, better food labeling and more physical activity for children.  Gardening goes hand in hand with this initiative as it’s important to grow your own.  Growing your own vegetables promotes healthy eating, but it also informs you where your food comes from and the process of plant life.  If more families were to start their own gardens, they would eat fresh vegetables more often, along with creating family activities to build/maintain and to learn about gardening.    I’d say I was one of the few non parents at the event, but I don’t think you need to be a parent to understand why eating healthy matters and to encourage it.  Since we started the garden on the roof years ago my own eating habits have greatly improved.  I love vegetables now.  Sometimes for dinner I just have vegetables, years ago that would have never happened.  With the experience of growing the garden I learned so much about nature and the planting process.  If you haven’t planted a little itty bitty seed and watched it grow into a full on broccoli plant, you haven’t lived.   Even at 32 years old, I’m still excited and amazed when I see a few ounces worth of seeds can turn into hundreds of pounds of vegetables.  Before having the garden I didn’t even know where so many vegetables came from.  I know it was a plant, but I didn’t know what the plant looked like, how long it took to grew, growing conditions and more.  Growing your own makes you respect vegetables a whole lot more.  Can I get some respect for vegetables? Amen.    And lastly, because of these vegetables I learned how to cook.  I almost think it should be a required class in schools now to learn how to cook.   If we all cooked at home, think of the impact it would have on obesity, overall health and factory farming.   If you follow this blog then you probably already know the joy and satisfaction one gets when presenting a meal to their family that is home cooked.  I wish everyone could experience this!

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P+M Upstate Adventure: Planning the 2016 Garden – Check out our layout!

Remember I posted about the garden shivers on Monday?  That feeling you get when you’re so excited about the upcoming garden season, you shake from happiness?  Yeah. I got the garden shivers bad.  I’m so excited.. I just can’t hide it.. I’m about to lose my mind and plant way too much corn!

The garden season is always exciting, but this year it has a new excitement to it as it has so many unknowns.  As many of you know, Matthew and I will be starting a larger garden Upstate this year, on our new land project.   To go from growing on our rooftop in Brooklyn to growing in the real ground Upstate, there’s going to be changes and surprises.   To begin with, our garden season is going to get shorter.  Usually we’d start planting our seeds indoors in January but we won’t be planting them until next week as the last day of frost is May 31st in our new zone of 5A.  (by the way, I found this really helpful site that lists growing seasons by zone).  From there, the garden season lasts “safely” until the last freeze free date which is October 1st.  We’ll try extending it as long as we can!   The big change here is size.  Our garden just got a whole lot bigger with the land.   That means we can grow more vegetables and try new things.  It also means figuring out what can grow best in this zone, along with our rocky clay soil (I’m getting a soil test done right now – will post about results!).    I’m also ready for heart break.  There’s going to be heart break.  Animals.  Weather.  Diseases.   A gardener has to be prepared for a few garden tears.  But a gardener also has to dream big in my opinion.  That makes it so much more fun and exciting. 🙂

Knowing that we have to get our seeds planted soon, and being affected by the garden shivers at a very high rate, we sat down this week to plan the garden.  This is not 100% firm as things change once you are in the garden space, but it’s pretty close to what we’ll do.

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Potatoes and Kale

Easy recipe for Potatoes and Kale, a filling healthy vegetarian meal.  The ingredients are simple: potatoes, kale, olive oil and salt and pepper.  

We have 4 heads of kale growing in the garden right now.  They are hearty plants so they can hold up with Winter temperatures and a dusting of snow that might fall on their pretty little heads.
Easy recipe for Potatoes and Kale, a filling healthy vegetarian meal.  The ingredients are simple: potatoes, kale, olive oil and salt and pepper.

But I’m going to tell you something that might make me a bad gardener.  Please don’t hate me.  Kale isn’t a favorite food of mine.  In fact if someone offers me a kale chip, I will take one because I’m nice, but in the back of my head I’m thinking “Oh, gee, a fake potato chip, great”.   Now don’t get me wrong, kale chips can be good, but I don’t trust anyone who is going to pick a kale chip over a delicious kettle potato chip.   You know those people who tell you they’d prefer a green kale smoothie instead of a chocolate milkshake? Yeah, never trust them.  

So here’s my predicament.  We grow kale because the plants themselves rule.  They grow big and they always produce.  Now comes the hard part.  It’s usually hard for me to find something to do with kale that knocks our socks off in the kitchen.  Out of the hundreds of recipes on this blog, there’s less than 10 that feature kale (and you can find them here).  These are our favorite kale recipes, but you can tell the majority of them use kale in a way of “hiding” it (for example, kale meatballs are one of our favorites, but it gets the help of the meat and spices).    There’s nothing wrong with that, I mean who cares how you get your greens in, right?  But I feel like those recipes don’t give kale the respect it deserves.  I need to respect the kale more.  Kale does a awesome job in the garden and here I am not making it a star.  While all the other plants end their garden season, kale stands out there in the freezing temperatures to keep growing for us.  Gosh, I feel like a horrible garden mom now.  I’M SORRY KALE.  I WILL LEARN TO LOVE YOU MORE!  I WILL LEARN TO EAT YOU MORE!

Say hello to “Potatoes and Kale”.  A basic, easy recipe that taught me to respect the kale, love the kale, eat more of the kale.  I can’t believe I’m saying this but I’m in love with this simple meal.  I super can’t believe I’m saying this but I ask for kale for dinner now.  Matthew is all “What should we have for dinner tonight?” and I’m all like “Kale! Kale! Kale!”.   This little dish changed my feelings towards kale.    Also I should give credit where it’s due, thank you Matthew, because this is his recipe. He’s the chef behind Potatoes and Kale.  After asking this for the 3rd night in a week I got him to write out the recipe which I’m sharing here.

Easy recipe for Potatoes and Kale, a filling healthy vegetarian meal.  The ingredients are simple: potatoes, kale, olive oil and salt and pepper.

The ingredients are simple.  Potatoes.  Kale. Olive Oil. Salt + Pepper.  That’s it.     Eat it as a side dish or throw it on a little bed of  noodles and call it dinner (that’s what we do).   Not only is the meal delicious and easy, but it makes you feel like a all-star afterwards because you just ate a healthy meal and you loved it!

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P+M Upstate Adventure: Removing Grass and Turning Soil for Garden

In case you missed it, Matthew and I bought land in Upstate NY! You can follow the entire series here.   Now we’re ready to work!

Buying land was the result of wanting a garden that came with no rules.   So it’s no surprise that the first thing to build on the land is a garden!  It’s funny to think about where the garden started from.  In 2009 it was 32 square feet and then it became a few hundred square feet, getting bigger by the year.  Now it has a few acres to grow!   

The future garden is 56×40.  That’s huge!   We started smaller but I complained it wasn’t big enough so we expanded another few feet (thanks Matthew!).  Now that I can stand inside the garden space I realize how big it is and how many plants it would take to fill up the area.   Maybe I went a little crazy, but at least we have room to grow!  

It’s hard to figure out what steps to do first when you’re starting from the beginning (and in Winter).   I suppose our steps could have been in a different order to make things easier on us, but with us spending sporadic weekends up there and wanting to use the equipment when we have it to avoid extra rental day costs we’re doing things as we can.  For example, over Thanksgiving we put in the fence posts because the weather was nice and we had a free weekend.  Now that the posts are up, there’s no way a truck is going to be able to empty soil/compost into it easily when Spring is here.  That means they will have to dump it nearby and we’ll have to move it into the garden ourselves.  It’s extra work, but we think in the end it’s going to make the process completed quicker.  Plus to be honest, the process is sometimes much more fun than the complete project.  

With the garden being the first thing we want completed we wanted to get a jump on turning the soil.  We rented a skid steer for a weekend to remove the top layer of grass and turn the soil under neath.  We are in the Catskills so we knew it was going to be rocky but we weren’t sure how rocky it was going to be.  Our land is former farm land, but it sure is rocky too.  Over the next few visits we’ll be removing as many as the rocks as we can.  There’s lots of rocks. I guestimated millions.   There’s no way we are going to be able to remove all the rocks, but there are some big ones (that I can’t even lift) that need to be removed as well as endless smaller ones.  The goal is for every rock that’s larger than a tennis ball to be removed.  You might think this sounds easy, but there’s tons of rocks and we dug deep to turn the soil… so rocks are everywhere. I see them in my nightmares!   I tried to find a easier way to do this but without some heavy duty farm equipment, it seems by rake and hand is easiest.  You’ll see me sitting in the dirt often in the next few months.  It might look like I’m not doing anything but I really am!  I’m going to become a expert rock picker.   The rocks are going to be used to line the exterior of the garden too, we’re trying to give back to the land whatever we dig up.  We think lining the outside of the garden with rocks will help keep pests from digging into the garden.  Since we won’t be able to guard the garden on a daily basis we’re trying to protect it however we can.  It’s going to be a learning process with some heartbreak involved. 

In the pictures below you’ll see our garden posts up.   I’ll be doing a whole series on how we built our garden fence.  Right now the fence posts are in (hard work).  Next, the fencing material and wood needs to be attached to make a complete fence.  This is going to take time, some friends and some hopeful warmer days.  I’ll be documenting all the steps so by end of Spring you should see a entire DIY fence post coming!  

Now let’s first see the damage we did over the weekend.  

Removing Grass For Garden_38

Removing Grass For Garden_36

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January Tomato Harvest…. WHAT?!

Yup, the title is correct.  We picked tomatoes in January.   It’s crazy!

If you live in the Northeast then you probably have witnessed this confusing “Winter” weather.    Usually in November you can feel the weather start to change but this year it didn’t hit.  Then December came and I thought “Well, now it’s going to feel like Winter”.  And on a few days, it did.  But the majority of the days did not feel like Winter.  Oh Christmas Eve we took a walk, me in short sleeves and Matthew in shorts.  It was in the 70’s!  ON CHRISTMAS EVE. I have to type that in caps to understand the craziness.  December set temperature records across NYC, including Christmas day.   Now it’s the beginning of January and I think it’s finally starting to feel like Winter. Winter, are you here? It’s me, Pamela.  Snow if you can hear me. 

Because of the lack of near frost temperatures and our schedule getting busy, this year we didn’t cut down our tomato plants like we usually do at the beginning of November.  There were still some green tomatoes on the plants and the weather was still changing daily so we left the plants up.  November came, December came, and the tomato plants stayed up.  During the Winter we don’t visit the garden everyday so you can imagine my surprise when I checked it out one day and I saw all these tomatoes on the plants!   Can you believe it?  I thought the plants would be dead by now, but instead they’ve been on the roof making tomatoes! What busy plants…!
Picking Tomatoes in January_4

So with it finally feeling like Winter (40 degrees out today) and seeing the upcoming night time temperatures I took a basket to the garden this weekend and picked pounds of tomatoes.  I can’t believe we were able to pick tomatoes in the beginning of January!
Picking Tomatoes in January_9

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Garden Update: What’s Growing in November?

Remember when I said a few weeks ago it was going to frost shortly? Well it didn’t.  I’m kicking myself for picking all those green tomatoes but it’s better safe than to be sorry. After all, they are turning red in their shoe boxes beautifully.   So with yesterday almost reaching 80 degrees and the previous weekend requiring a Winter hat, it’s a little confusing.   I assume this is how the garden feels too, confused. Should I grow? Should I not grow?  Should I call for Mom to harvest me? Should I keep Mom away from us because she keeps doing weird dance moves?  

With a basket in hand I made it to the garden this week to pick some final vegetables of the season. The plants are winding down and I really believe this is it (minus the kale).  I picked a nice selection of green beans, peppers (bells and jalapenos), soybeans that I’ll be picking out their pods forever (anyone want to help?), tomatillos and the final red tomatoes.

This weekend we’ll start working on a new garden project that’s exciting but you’ll have to wait to hear more about it this month.  I can’t wait to get to work on it so I can share it with you!

For now though… let’s look at what I picked!

A nice selection of veggies..
End of Season Harvest

Green beans for days.  I’ve been freezing them so it looks like we have alot of green bean soup ahead of us for the Winter.
End of Season Harvest_1

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Box Them Up, How to Turn Tomatoes Red

It’s a few days from November but I’m still enjoying fresh tomatoes. No, I’m not picking them from the garden, that ship has sailed.  The nights became too cold a few weeks ago and the garden was pretty much put to sleep, minus a few hearty greens.  To grab some fresh tomatoes I’m now picking them from a shoebox.  To be exact, 4 big shoeboxes full of tomatoes.  

Don’t you hate when it’s the end of the season and you have hundreds of green tomatoes staring at you?  The sadness.. The tears.  The longing to want to save all those baby green tomatoes so they can turn into big red adults one day. 

Tomatoes have been spotted.

We had so many green roma and cherry tomatoes left we couldn’t let them go bad.  Never leave a tomato behind.  We aren’t big fried green tomato fans, so it was back to the basics, time to box up those tomatoes and let them turn red naturally. 

The way to do is really simple.  Are you ready?
Put your tomatoes in a shoebox (or any type of box), close it. Put shoebox in cool place.  Check on them twice a week. Watch them turn red over time. Pick the red tomatoes out and enjoy! 

Now wasn’t that easy? 

Here’s another tip,  if you want to turn them red more quickly then add a banana into each box. Just make sure you keep a eye on the banana so it doesn’t turn into mush and make a mess.

With a bunch of green tomatoes left, we stuck them in their boxes about 10 days ago and I just checked them today to find a whole bunch of red beauties looking at me!
How to Make Tomatoes Turn Red

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Garden Update: What’s Growing in October?

The last few weeks have been confusing for the garden. It started with a windy October throwing tomatoes off their plants and all over the roof, while almost knocking down our pea fence (thankfully it’s secured in about 6 spots).  With the wind came the 40 something degree nights. Then suddenly it had 80 degree days.  Then it was down to 50.  Then it was 75.  And today again, it’s back to wearing a coat.  With the ups and downs the garden doesn’t know whether to stop growing or keep producing. This weekend we’re going to remove the rest of the tomatoes from the plants, even if they’re green. In the next week we’re getting close to freezing at night (it’s already at freezing just 3 hours north of us) so it’s better to be safe than sorry.   The soy bean, peas and beans were already removed last weekend with a nice harvest coming from them.  Next up is the tomatoes and peppers and that pretty much wraps up this seasons garden.  The kale which was planted in early Spring is still kicking it in it’s full glory so we’re going to let that keep growing throughout the Winter and see how it does.  Kale is a pretty hearty plant so maybe it’ll keep growing and I can push aside some snow to pick kale.  

Now the garden in pictures…. the ending of the season!

This is the garden on a very very windy day that rained hours before.  Since the fences were really blowing in the wind to scary levels we had to take them down.  Imagine taking down 12 foot tall wire fences in the super wind. Yeah it’s quite a experience. And yes, you and your loved one will get in many arguments.  Also ignore the slight mess, I had a few baskets and bowls there ready to collect our harvest.
Garden October 3 2015

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Summer Picking of Soybeans

Soybeans are always warriors of the garden.  We started growing these a few years ago when I was madly in love with edamame but hated the price of it.    So we bought some soybean seeds, planted them and a few months later we were left with so many soybeans we didn’t know what to do!

Remember that crazy year of soybeans?
Picking Soybeans 2014_8

Oh, I remember it!

With this year we continued the soybean tradition but planted a few plants less than usual because… well, we had too many soybeans!  

It started out with a seed… It started out with a kiss… Anyone love that song?  Anyone else think Brandon Flowers is a babe?  Major babe. Like Woah babe.  Top 5 babes.  Along with Goblin and Brother Bear. 

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The Story of Mr. Caterpillar and the Jalapeno Plant

This is a sad story about Mr. Caterpillar.

A few weeks ago we went up to the roof and noticed one of our jalapeno plants was bare.  A few days before it was filled with peppers and leaves, and then suddenly it was close to being empty.

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What are we picking? It’s a green harvest!

With a ton of red picking with our tomatoes, it’s time to show some love to the green veggies.

We’re picking tomatoes like wild people but we’re also picking a ton of other vegetables.  Right now there’s tomatillos, peppers (jalapeno and bell), soy beans, green beans, yellow beans, watermelon, cantaloupes, cucumbers, radishes and carrots growing.  As soon as the soybeans are picked, broccoli will make it’s way to their bins.  Once the carrots and radishes are harvested, a quick seed refresh will be planted to hope we can get them regrown by first frost. In our previous onion 4×4 containers a new batch of sugar snap peas were just planted in hopes they will make it before frost as well, although every year they seem to miss it by a week or two.

What’s growing and what are we picking in the garden that’s green? Let’s dive in.

Beans! Yellow beans, green beans, they’re everywhere!  In the beginning years of the garden we didn’t have much luck with pole and bush beans but starting last year we tried it again and it worked. This year we decided to expand to pole beans and they are growing awesome.  We added new fresh compost fertilizer to the soil and these beans took off.  Matthew is 6 feet so check out how big they’ve gotten.  The right side won with getting to the top first. :D)

We have multiple gallon sized bags full of green beans in the fridge with us picking more every day.  We’ve been enjoying them for dinner sauteed and in vegetable soup (recipe coming soon) and I’ve been freezing a few bags to save until Winter.
Its a Green Harvest

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Crazy Tomato and Watermelon Harvest – 83 pounds worth!

This week was a big harvest weekend where we spent a whole evening picking vegetables and the entire day of Sunday making stewed tomatoes, diced tomatoes and tomato sauce.  I am pretty sure that I will never need to buy tomato sauce again.  This Summer we bought a mini storage freezer just for our garden and it’s about 75% full and we have a good 2 months left of gardening this year (not counting Fall veggies).  I’m going to have open a produce stand, anyone want to stop by?  I give veggies out for free! :D)

(I apologize for the quality of these pictures, it was already dark out by the time we got the tomatoes inside)

First up tomatoes.  We picked 43 pounds of tomatoes this weekend!  Wild, right?  
This is a really heavy crate, too heavy for my weak arms.  I picked it up, Matthew snapped the picture, I threw the crate down and then fell to the floor in weak power.

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What I LOVE: My Awesome Dad and his Garden Peppers

In this new series, I’m sharing current things that I love.  Maybe it’s cats, maybe it’s a new restaurant, maybe it’s a new cookie, maybe it’s… anything!

The title of this should also read: Dad’s Green Peppers, AKA My Dad Is Cool

We grow peppers and they do pretty good.  We grow bell peppers and jalapeno peppers and we pick multiple pounds a week.  But then my dad shows up and shows me how he grows them in Pennsylvania.  Goodness gracious, Pennsylvania grows them good.  

Every year my dad starts a garden in the back yard.  As a kid we had a very small yard but he would still grow tomatoes.  The tomatoes would grow so tall they would block the kitchen window.  It also made it easy because we could use the sink hose to water these tomatoes out the window.   My dad moved into a new house a few years ago and he has a much larger garden area now.  Every Spring he buys his plants from farmers and he always buys alot more than one person usually buys.  And every year halfway during the Summer he tells me he’s never buying them again because he has too many.  And then the next year comes around and he does the same thing.  And this Summer he continued this tradition and bought even more.  My dad has over 20 pepper plants, for one man.  I laugh because it’s funny, cute and amazing all at the same time. 

A few weeks ago when he started planting the peppers he made a joke that he would ship me them as they started to grow. I laughed.

So you can imagine that I burst into laughter when a big box appeared at my door and when opening it up, I saw this:

 Dad Rules Green Peppers_1

 That’s right, my dad shipped me peppers.

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How to Store Lettuce to Last for a Month

How to Store Lettuce to Last a MONTH!  This easy tip shows you how to wrap your lettuce in aluminum foil to keep it fresh in the refrigerator.  The lettuce stays so crisp after a month I can even use it for salads! 


Lettuce only lasting a few days? Never again! With this easy method using aluminum foil you can store lettuce to last for a month!

In June we pick lettuce.  We pick lots of lettuce.  I’m talking so much lettuce you begin to get lettuce anxiety.  Have you ever had it?  It’s when you dream of lettuce chasing you with baskets to capture you.   It’s rough.

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Tomato Season.. Picking By the Bucket!

You guys, it’s raining tomatoes on me!  Send help… bring canning jars and freezer bags, I’ve got tomato sauces lined up and ready for you!

This Summer we planted triple the amount of tomato plants which is resulting in a whole lot of tomatoes.  How many?  We bought a small freezer for our garden goodies that we freeze, mostly tomato sauce.  Already a few racks  in the freezer are full of sauce!  My goal is to go a entire year without having to buy any tomato sauce, so I’ve been stocking up!  Last year I lasted until April and then I had to cave and buy a jar in the store, but I’m hoping to last until next year’s tomato season.  

Tomato Season
(yes, that’s what I do when I’m bored, I surround FiFi Bofinkles with tomatoes and march them up her belly, she loves it, I swear)

 We mainly grow 3 types of tomatoes, cherry, roma and beef.  Here’s my original post on when we planted the seeds and moved them outside.  Besides sauces, I’m slicing and dicing salsa like a crazy woman, throwing cherry tomatoes in my mouth and dabbing a touch of salt on a sliced beef tomato and eating it raw.     By the way, my favorite tomato sauce recipe is this one that I use almost every time.  You can substitute cherry tomatoes for your kind, I use it the same way for beef and roma tomatoes.

Here’s some of our plants, all in 27 or 5 gallon containers.  On a rooftop.  Gosh, I love saying that.  Tomato high 5.  Did I mention (I know I didn’t) that we already picked over 120 pounds of vegetables so far this year? On a rooftop.  Garden love high 5 and back flips (careful). 


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Step Into Crista’s Garden

Hey guys,
I’m missing the Blogher conference in NYC because I’m in Los Angeles right now working on a top secret fun job, but while I’m gone, I wanted to share with you Crista’s garden.  This is a ongoing “peeking” feature that I’ve been wanting to grow that showcases people’s growing spaces, from big gardens to plants that live on NYC fire escapes. I hope you enjoy!  And if are interested in getting your garden featured, leave a comment and I’ll contact you!  And to everyone at the Blogher conference, I hope you are taking lots of pictures and having fun!   Brooklyn Farm Girl will be featured doing the Voices of the Year ceremony, so if you can, grab some pics for me!

So now without any more yapping, meet Crista from peace.love.quinoa

Can you tell me about peace. love. quinoa and how it relates to growing your own?  How did you come up with your blog’s name?
When I first conceptualized my blog, I struggled with a name for it – I honestly thought a name would come to me easier than it did. After listing out the things that are important to me, the things that define me as a person and would eventually define my blog’s brand, I found three words: peace, love, and quinoa. The three words sounded good together and quickly became my blogs name.

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Changing of the Guard, From Peas to Beans

 The transition from June to July is always a large change in the plants.  Collard greens gets replaced by pumpkins,  broccoli and cauliflower gets replaced by soybeans and cucumbers.  Lettuce gets replaced by cantaloupe.  Watermelons get added into the raspberry bins.  And our beloved sugar snap peas get replaced with beans.. lots and lots of beans… to replace lots and lots of sugar snap peas.

This year the sugar snap pea plants did great, but they’re always done well with producing a bunch of peas.  They’re one of the most consistent plants with good yields in both Spring and Fall.
Baked Sugar Snap Peas_8

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PSA: Cocoa Husks + Rhododendron = NO! DONT DO IT!

I’m hoping you came to this page because you were thinking about adding cocoa husks as mulch for your Rhododendron plants.  Because you love your Rhododendrons so much you looked this up on almighty Google before doing the mulching deed.  So now I answer your question..

Can I add cocoa husks as mulch to my Rhododendron plant?

Our 3 year old beloved Rhododendron plant had some weeds starting in the container, so we decided to add some mulch around it.  It sure gets hot on that roof, so we thought it would help lock in that moisture too.   That day in the garden though we didn’t have our phones on us to first look if this was a good idea.. so we did it.  Cocoa husks acts like great mulch for lots of plants and it’s fantastic as compost material, so this would be ok, right?

Two weeks later, we home from a short few day trip and this is what we see. Our baby, almost dead.

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Radish and Lettuce Picking In the Garden

As we gear up for Phase 2 of the garden (that’s Summer time), our Spring plants are in full bloom and ready to be picked. If you open up our fridge right now you’ll see bags and bags of wrapped greens, peas and more.

Soon we’ll be transitioning our containers to the Summer soybeans, watermelons and cantaloupes which means many of our leafy greens need to be picked. Radishes are usually planted 3-4 times a year and the first harvest is already ready. As soon as the radishes are picked, then the new seeds are planted immediately after (literally minutes later!). The radishes reside next to the carrots which we’re all anxiously waiting for.

First up, the lettuce.
The seeds were planted on March 31 and transplanted outside to their containers on May 7.  Remember when they were just babies?
Garden May 15 2015_38

Well look at them a month later…! They are bigger than my head!
Our lettuce heads ready to be picked!  #lettuce #greens #vegetablegarden #vegetables #containergarden #rooftopgarden


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What’s Growing in the Garden!

Hey friends,
Happy Monday – did you have a good weekend?  How’s your garden looking?  Have you started planting your veggies?

Here’s a garden update with MANY photos!  I wanted to show you how we have expanded the garden and also what’s growing in it.    So let’s take a look around the garden!

Garden May 15 2015

Hey Matthew!
Garden May 15 2015_46

Broccoli – we spotted our first head!
Garden May 15 2015_1


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