1
We Grew Black and Yellow Beans!
2
Soybean Harvest 2014
3
Recent Harvests From The Garden + Coconut and Milk bars
4
Easy Salted Edamame Recipe
5
How to Dry Oregano in 1 Hour
6
Easy Tomatillo Salsa Verde Recipe
7
How To Store Onions Using Pantyhose
8
It’s raining tomatoes!
9
Broccoli Harvest Time!
10
Garden Update: What’s growing on our rooftop?
11
Peeking Into Amish Farmer John Kempf’s Garden
12
How to Freeze Bok Choy Without It Turning Mushy!
13
Preparing for Tomato Season With Double Cages!
14
This Week’s Harvest – Bok Choy, Broccoli, Peas and More!
15
BFG Joins BlogHer, Garden Video Update and Dear Kitten!
16
Time to Pick Radishes! They’re quick!
17
Lettuce Picking… It’s everywhere!
18
First Full Spring Garden Update – It’s started!
19
Time to Pick Bok Choy in the Garden!
20
The Pepper Plant Seedling That Just Won’t Die

We Grew Black and Yellow Beans!

The title says it all… we grew black and yellow beans this year!

In the past we didn’t have a bunch of success with bush beans in our 4×4 boxes so we didn’t have a lot of positive vibes, but something changed from that year to this year, because now those boxes are full of happy growing beans!  Next year we’ll be filing those boxes full of beans from Spring to Fall… I can’t wait!

This year we decided to give black beans and yellow eye beans a shot.    We planted the seeds on June 26 directly in the soil and we picked them on September 11.  From there, some were dry already while some others needed a additional 2 weeks to dry.

Let’s go on a picture journey, ok?

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Soybean Harvest 2014

Soybean season was here… and now it’s gone.   But don’t worry there’s plenty of memories to stick around… like the pounds of soybeans in my freezer right now!

Soybeans are one of my favorite vegetables to grow but it’s also one of the most intense plants once it’s ready to harvest.   Growing, they are pretty easy to deal with.  Give them a little water and a hug every few days ago and the soybeans will grow so bushy and tall you won’t be able to see over them.  But once it’s time to pick these soybeans, then put a day (or more) aside!  Even though they are hard work to pick, they are totally worth it.  Soybeans are a favorite for pasta dishes, stews, stir-fries and currently we are obsessed with soybean pesto!  I’ll be posting that recipe later this week so keep a soybean loving eye out for it!

The soybeans were planted directly in their containers on June 14 and were harvested September 3.  We grow 12-16 plants per 27 gallon container.  You can plant quite a few  soybean plants in containers making them great for small spaces.  Each plant yields quite a number of soybeans too.   Once they’re big enough they tend to support each other and just grow into one another.  We put a few tall garden stakes into the container to try to help support them so they aren’t lying on the rooftop but for the most part they have a mind of their own and just want to grow big.  

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Recent Harvests From The Garden + Coconut and Milk bars


Yummy snacks and gardening – those go together great, right?

I mean ok maybe not gardening and eating yummy snacks at the same time, but then again, why not?  A little melted Coconut & Milk Fruit Bar running down my hand is a blessing in disguise isn’t it? It’s nothing a little delicious lick can’t clean up.  Real talk.
Fruttare_5

 

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Easy Salted Edamame Recipe

Edamame is easy to make at home and tastes just like the Japanese restaurant!  All you need is soybeans and salt! 

Who’s ready to pop a few soybeans right in their mouth?
Edamame is easy to make at home and tastes just like the Japanese restaurant!  All you need is soybeans and salt!

Ok, me too! Grab a few soybeans and let’s get snacking!

I love edamame. I went through this phase where every time I ordered sushi I also ordered a big bowl of edamame to go with it.   Then I got to thinking, why don’t we grow our own soybeans?  So we bought some seeds, planted them in our containers and BOOM! SOYBEANS!  Ok maybe it wasn’t that instant, but it was pretty much that easy. Since the beginning we’ve had lots of luck growing soybeans in containers.  This year they have grown to new heights and soon they will be all picked to be frozen and enjoyed for many happy edamame snacking sessions.

Edamame is easy to make at home and tastes just like the Japanese restaurant!  All you need is soybeans and salt!

What’s edamame best with?  Just a little bit of salt.  That’s it.  Beans and salt.  Just a few ingredients makes one of the most delicious and healthy snacks you can eat.
Edamame is easy to make at home and tastes just like the Japanese restaurant!  All you need is soybeans and salt!

Is it easy to make edamame? Yes!  All you do is boil the soybeans for a few minutes, drain and you’re set.   
Edamame is easy to make at home and tastes just like the Japanese restaurant!  All you need is soybeans and salt!

Sprinkle a little sea salt on top and hello gorgeous! I’m going to eat you!
Edamame is easy to make at home and tastes just like the Japanese restaurant!  All you need is soybeans and salt!

Then start nibbling away.  They’re healthy and addictive.  That’s a pretty happy match, don’t you think? 
Edamame is easy to make at home and tastes just like the Japanese restaurant!  All you need is soybeans and salt!

Easy Salted Edamame
Print
Ingredients
  1. Soybeans (fresh or frozen)
  2. Sea Salt to Taste
Instructions
  1. Bring a pot of water to a rapid boil.
  2. Add soybeans and boil for 5 minutes.
  3. Drain soybeans and put soybeans in bowl.
  4. Sprinkle salt on top and enjoy your edamame!
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/
Edamame is easy to make at home and tastes just like the Japanese restaurant!  All you need is soybeans and salt!

 

How to Dry Oregano in 1 Hour

oregano
(Starting to make custom gifs for each recipe!)

It’s the last full week of August.  It doesn’t mean that Summer is over yet, or the gardening season is close to being over (does it really ever end?) but with a few months of growth your herb container might be getting out of hand.  Your basil is green and lush, your mint spreads the best smells around the garden and your oregano has a mind of it’s own.  Oregano grows.. and grows.. and grows.. and takes over.  Nothing can stop our oregano, including a harsh Winter.  Somehow it didn’t care about the amount of snow or freezing temperatures we had because once Spring hit it started growing again.  

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Easy Tomatillo Salsa Verde Recipe

The best Salsa Verde recipe using fresh tomatillos and onions.  This recipe is easy to make and freezes great too!

This was the first year trying to grow tomatillos and it was a great big experiment.     I was buying a bottle of Salsa Verde almost once a month and then I got Matthew hooked on it too.  Then I decided we must grow our own.

The best Salsa Verde recipe using fresh tomatillos and onions.  This recipe is easy to make and freezes great too!

So let’s grow some tomatillos.

Tomatillos are a plant of the nightshade family and are related to the gooseberry.  They are small, green and grown with a paper like husk around each of them.   When growing them first the husk will grow to it’s full size, and then the tomatillo itself will grow next filling the husk.   When the tomatillo fills the husk completely then you know they are ready to be picked.   Once you bring them into your kitchen, then you peel off the husks and give them a good warm wash as tomatillos are naturally very(!) sticky.  From there you can use them in various recipes, freeze or can for later usage.

The best Salsa Verde recipe using fresh tomatillos and onions.  This recipe is easy to make and freezes great too!

This year we got some tomatillo seeds and decided to give it a shot.  We were pretty unfamiliar with how they would grow, or even what they would look.   The season started out a bit rough.  Hardly any of our seeds came up when planted inside and we thought it was going to be a bust or only have 1 plant.  Having a single plant isn’t the best as most tomatillos need 2 plants to grow successfully for pollination.   After hardly any seeds came up, then we planted a few more (also a bust) then a few more.  I’m not one to easily give up when it comes to vegetables!  We transplanted our single seedling outside in the container and then a few weeks later transplanted a few more once we finally got some actions from the seeds.  The tomatillos grew in large size containers and 5 gallon buckets.  Right away we realized we underestimated the size and power of tomatillo plants.   Here we were double caging the tomatoes to prepare for their height when we should have been getting ready for the incredible growth of the tomatillos instead!  These plants grow tall and bushy.  They are also extremely hearty and have very strong stems.  

The best Salsa Verde recipe using fresh tomatillos and onions.  This recipe is easy to make and freezes great too!
You can see the tomatillo plants to the left and in the back.

The best Salsa Verde recipe using fresh tomatillos and onions.  This recipe is easy to make and freezes great too!
When the plant started growing we were both surprised (and quite happily startled) by the amount of flowers on a tomatillo plant.  Almost every single one of these flowers would turn into a tomatillo!  Bees were buzzing happily around these plants pollinating.

The best Salsa Verde recipe using fresh tomatillos and onions.  This recipe is easy to make and freezes great too!
Here, the first tomatillo is spotted.


The best Salsa Verde recipe using fresh tomatillos and onions.  This recipe is easy to make and freezes great too!Which then turns into a full size husk.  Eventually this will fill up with the tomatillo inside of it.

The best Salsa Verde recipe using fresh tomatillos and onions.  This recipe is easy to make and freezes great too!
And then your plants will become taking off and you’ll have tomatillos all over!

 
The best Salsa Verde recipe using fresh tomatillos and onions.  This recipe is easy to make and freezes great too!This was the first harvest of the tomatillos.  I’m pretty happy here! Tomatillos tend to blend in with the plant itself, so finding them basically consists of rooting around in the plant and gently squeezing each husk to see if the tomatillo is full inside.  If it is, then pinch it off and throw it in your basket. This here is a few pounds of tomatillos with many many more pounds to pick!  From seeds that didn’t come up originally to plants that are now battling for the largest yield of the season these tomatillos have come a long way!  They’ll be a permanent fixture in the garden now!

The best Salsa Verde recipe using fresh tomatillos and onions.  This recipe is easy to make and freezes great too!

The best Salsa Verde recipe using fresh tomatillos and onions.  This recipe is easy to make and freezes great too!

So with all these tomatillos what’s a girl to do besides make Salsa Verde right away?  I created this recipe based off many of the backs of bottles ingredient lists that I read over the years of my favorite sauces I buy in store, but keeping it all natural.  This salsa is incredibly easy to make and you won’t believe how much it tastes like your favorite brand.     It’s really amazing to learn how much flavor a tomatillo has in it’s tiny size! 

Your 2 main ingredients in this recipe are tomatillos and a onion.  The rest of the ingredients are spices.

The best Salsa Verde recipe using fresh tomatillos and onions.  This recipe is easy to make and freezes great too!

The best Salsa Verde recipe using fresh tomatillos and onions.  This recipe is easy to make and freezes great too!

We’re going to blend them first instead of blending them later.  Why?   Tomatillos are juicy inside which means you don’t need to add much water to the recipe itself.  If you blend them after the fact, then you need to add water to simmer on the stove which means you’re watering down the recipe.  By blending them first we are providing them their natural juices to make it much more full of flavor instead of added water that isn’t needed. 

The best Salsa Verde recipe using fresh tomatillos and onions.  This recipe is easy to make and freezes great too!

Then after a few seconds in the blender and 15 minutes on the stove, you’ll have some delicious (and amazing smelling!) Salsa Verde!

The best Salsa Verde recipe using fresh tomatillos and onions.  This recipe is easy to make and freezes great too!

 The best Salsa Verde recipe using fresh tomatillos and onions.  This recipe is easy to make and freezes great too!

Did I take a spoonful of this and eat it right away? Yes, I did!
What can you do with this recipe?  Well first you can use it as a salsa for chips, it’s incredibly delicious that way.    
I love to cook with it though and it’s the perfect sauce to pour over cheesy enchiladas and tacos.  It also makes a great companion to creating a Mexican tasting broth for soup.

The best Salsa Verde recipe using fresh tomatillos and onions.  This recipe is easy to make and freezes great too!

Only a pound of these tomatillos are going to make 4 cups of sauce.    I often make a few batches of this Salsa to both eat fresh, store in the refrigerator for a few days or to freeze.   To freeze just pour into a freezer bag and put in freezer.  I like to store 1 cup servings in freezer bags as it makes it easier to grab a cup and use in a recipe.

The best Salsa Verde recipe using fresh tomatillos and onions.  This recipe is easy to make and freezes great too!       

Enjoy!

Easy Tomatillo Salsa Verde Recipe
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 pound tomatillos, husked
  2. 1/2 cup chopped onion
  3. 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  4. 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
  5. 2 tablespoons cilantro
  6. 2 tablespoons lime
  7. 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  8. 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  9. 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  10. pinch of pepper
  11. 1/2 cup water
  12. 1 chicken bouillon cube
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients except bouillon cube in a blender. Blend until everything is combined and is salsa consistency.
  2. Pour salsa verde into saucepan and heat on medium high heat. Bring to a boil.
  3. Add bouillon cube and stir into salsa verde.
  4. Once boiling simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Serve immediately, refrigerate or freeze.
Notes
  1. Makes 4 cups.
Brooklyn Farm Girl http://brooklynfarmgirl.com/
The best Salsa Verde recipe using fresh tomatillos and onions.  This recipe is easy to make and freezes great too!

 You may also like:

Garden Harvest Salsa

Black Bean and Corn Salsa
Black-Bean-and-Corn-Salsa_2

Diced Tomato Salsa
Canned-Diced-Tomatoes-Salsa_3

Cheesy Jalapeno Sausage Dogs
Cheesy Jalapeno Sausage Dogs_3

Enchilada Taco Casserole
Enchilada-Taco-Casserole

 

How To Store Onions Using Pantyhose

How To Store Onions Using Pantyhose.  This is a great and cheap way to store onions to make them last for months.

Pantyhose is a funny word.  Does anyone still use the word?  I usually call them tights or stockings.   But I decided to go brave and use the word pantyhose in the title.  

Pantyhose is great for making your legs look good.   They’re also great for storing onions.  Who knew, right?  In my search for the perfect way to store onions many recommendations are often given for mesh bags.  I never have mesh bags though and I don’t want to buy any, so I got to thinking…. mesh makes things breathe easier, but what else does? Pantyhose!  Pantyhose is usually made of nylon making your legs able to breathe through them.  Substitute your legs with onions and now you got some onions that can breathe too!

How To Store Onions Using Pantyhose. This is a great and cheap way to store onions to make them last for months.

So let’s get to how to store your onions, alright?

We grow a bunch of onions with 2 harvesting dates through the year, once in the Summer and once in the late Fall.    Recently we picked our onions for the Season and wanted to store them to last as long they can possibly can.

How To Store Onions Using Pantyhose. This is a great and cheap way to store onions to make them last for months.

How To Store Onions Using Pantyhose.
First, pick your onions and let them dry.  We separate them so they aren’t touching and let them dry on the roof for a few days.  If you let them dry outside, make sure you check the weather so that it will not rain.  Moisture is your worst enemy when drying and storing onions so the point is to dry them.

How To Store Onions Using Pantyhose. This is a great and cheap way to store onions to make them last for months.

After they have dried in the sun for a few days, use your hand to gently brush off any dirt on them.  This will help make sure nothing is left on them that will make them spoil.  Now, bring them indoors.  
How To Store Onions Using Pantyhose. This is a great and cheap way to store onions to make them last for months.

Next you want to cut the stem to about 1 inch for each onion.
How To Store Onions Using Pantyhose. This is a great and cheap way to store onions to make them last for months.

Now grab your pair of pantyhose and cut them apart so you have both legs separately.   Now you want to store dropping the onions into them.  
How To Store Onions Using Pantyhose. This is a great and cheap way to store onions to make them last for months.

It’s best if you tie each large onion apart so no onions are touching each other. This will prevent them from spoiling one another if one goes bad.  It also will allow you to take one onion out a time, as you will cut one out.   You can see in this picture how we tied them to separate them.
How To Store Onions Using Pantyhose. This is a great and cheap way to store onions to make them last for months.

For smaller onions, we put them together as we know we’ll be using a bunch at once.
How To Store Onions Using Pantyhose. This is a great and cheap way to store onions to make them last for months.

You can cut your pantyhose as much as you want to give you as much onion storage as possible.  This is only using one pair of pantyhose but we cut them up into 3 pieces.
How To Store Onions Using Pantyhose. This is a great and cheap way to store onions to make them last for months.

And there you have it, a easy and great way to store your onions to last you for months!
How To Store Onions Using Pantyhose. This is a great and cheap way to store onions to make them last for months.

It’s raining tomatoes!

Ok, so maybe it’s not actually raining tomatoes.  That would hurt.  But don’t you think this song (how great is this video?) would be perfect with the lyrics changed to “It’s raining tomatoes!”?  Yes? Me too!  The video would consist of people outside with their mouths opened while cherry tomatoes fall into them! 

The month of July is usually the start of tomato season and this month they didn’t disappoint.  They started to grow then they slowly started to turn red. Then they all hit. There are cherry tomatoes, roma tomatoes and the biggest beef tomatoes I ever saw in my life!  I’ve mentioned this before but tomato season both excites me and scares me.  It’s exciting because the garden is not complete without the tomatoes and I absolutely love them!  It’s frightening because the tomatoes grow quick and they grow many at once.  One day it’s a regular day then the next day you’re staring at 100 tomatoes sitting on your counter top waiting for you to make the first move.   Are you going to make salsa? Tomato sauce? Stewed tomatoes?  Are you going to try something new?

Then you have to time it right too.   Then you have to start making room in your freezer or pantry for the tomatoes.  Then you gotta get your apron on, put a day aside and get your tomato groove on.

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Broccoli Harvest Time!

Oh guys.  It seems like just yesterday the broccoli were itty bitty babies, small enough to fit into my hands.   They weren’t bushy.  Their leaves weren’t over a foot long.  They didn’t have a head on them over a pound in weight.  They were just little small broccoli babies, hanging out.  But as life happens, broccoli grows up.  It gets big.  It needs more water.  It needs less support because wind isn’t any match for a adult broccoli plant.   One thing stays the same though, it always lets me hug it. Hugs make plants grow strong.  Always remember that! 😉

The first half of broccoli season is over or us.  In a few days we’ll plant broccoli seeds for the Fall batch, but for now this post is dedicated to the Spring 2014 broccoli group.  Broccoli is one of our favorite plants to grow so it’s always exciting to watch these small seedlings grow into massive sized plants.

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Garden Update: What’s growing on our rooftop?

Hi Friends! Happy Thursday! 

This week has been hot here in NYC.  It has me muttering “Have mercy!” just like Uncle Jesse whenever I’m outside.  Since our rooftop is silver and reflective, it makes things a little uncomfortable up there on the roof.  That’s why we have to take extra precaution with the plants in making sure their leaves don’t get burned.  We also have to make sure the plants stay watered as being so hot up there they can dry out rather quickly.   Sub irrigated planters really help that situation and since we always put plastic on top of the containers it locks in the moisture.   That’s just one of the many reasons why container gardening rules.    This post is going to be all about a garden update, but first a few other notes.

Brooklyn Farm Girl got a redesign over the weekend!  Do you see it? I hope so!  There was lots of things that my last layout just couldn’t provide me and after many months of being fed up I finally switched to a new design.  There are still some bugs that are being taken care of but for the most part they are just bugs that super picky me can notice.  If something breaks on the site or you see something weird, just let me know.  I’m already noticing the speed time has greatly improved and traffic has picked up so I’m hoping that’s a sign of good things to come!  You can read more about my blogging theme and other helpful tips here.

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Peeking Into Amish Farmer John Kempf’s Garden

Today we’re going to peek into lifelong Amish farmer John Kempf’s garden.  

Peeking is a ongoing series where I peek into other’s gardens and snoop around.   If you’re in the NYC area and have a garden you’d like to share, please email me.  I’d love to see what you are doing and share your garden story!   For more peeking posts click here

“Really healthy plants start with really healthy seedlings,” explains John Kempf.   I got John to answer a few questions about garden memories and helpful tips.   He also shared some great photos with Brooklyn Farm Girl of his farm in Ohio.  Hope you enjoy today’s feature! 

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How to Freeze Bok Choy Without It Turning Mushy!

Can you freeze bok choy?  Yes, you can!  Learn how to freeze it without it turning into mush in today’s post.

This is part of a ongoing series on how to freeze and preserve your vegetables.  For more freezing instructions on other vegetables, check out the entire list here

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Preparing for Tomato Season With Double Cages!

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Lipton, but all my opinions are my own. #bemoretea #pmedia  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

Well it’s that time of the year where the heat hits and the tomatoes start to take off to the sky!

Let’s talk tomatoes and enjoy a big glass of iced tea while doing so.  A post garden refreshing iced tea is pretty much the best treat. 

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This Week’s Harvest – Bok Choy, Broccoli, Peas and More!

Hi guys!  Happy Wednesday! In today’s post I’m going to show you some of the yummy green harvest we’ve been picking!

The season usually starts with lots of green and then it’ll lead into more colors… the reds with tomatoes, the pinks with watermelon, the oranges with pumpkins… but first up the bushy green friends that make my heart pitter patter!  Right now it’s all about bok choy, broccoli, peas and cauliflower!  Because of these harvests we’ve been having some pretty delicious dinners… I just can’t say enough great things about a simple pasta dinner with fresh veggies! It’s always the best!   And if you want to take it to the next step, you can always make the dish creamier.  Who doesn’t love that? 

Last week we picked our first cauliflower.  Since then we picked a few more!  Cauliflower is one of those extra special plants that always gets you excited to see grow.  As soon as I see the small white head start to poke out I always let out a big sigh of happy relief.
Also, I’m totally living in black linen dresses this Summer!  
First big multi vegetable harvest of the year!  Sugar snap peas, broccoli, bok choy and the first cauliflower! HAPPINESS! #sugarsnap #sugarsnappeas #broccoli #cauliflower #bokchoy #basket #yum #green #freshfood #vegetablegarden #rooftop #NYC #Brooklyn #ve

Garden Harvest 6_5_14

CauliflowerCauliflower

Right next to the cauliflower is the broccoli, also a winner of hearts and sighs.   Right now our refrigerator is filled with broccoli, there’s no greater sight than that!  
Garden May 30_2

Garden May 30_3

I love a good basket full of broccoli!  I’ll soon have a whole post dedicated to broccoli.. just because I love it so much!
HarvestHarvest

Garden Harvest 6_5_14_1

Garden Harvest 6_5_14_2

Want to see something silly and sweet? This broccoli here had a leaf guarding one side so it left him with a half tanned design!
Garden May 30_1

Next up is the Sugar Snap Peas!  We’re about to enter into a world full of Sugar Snap peas as the pounds we’re picking a day has quickly increased.  We tripled our sugar snap pea plants this year so it’s about to get intense!  One day it’s just plants… the next day it’s flowers.. then suddenly it’s peas everywhere!
Peas

Garden Harvest 6_5_14_3

Garden Harvest 6_5_14_7

Lastly we have the bok choy!  The bok choy plants grew amazing this year, pretty much we never expected them to grow this big or well.  What we’re left with is big bags full of bok choy!  Last night I made a delicious garlic bok choy noodle recipe that left me with ultimate harvest happiness!  I’ll be sharing the recipe on the blog next week!
Garden Harvest 6_5_14_8

Garden Harvest 6_5_14_10

Garden Harvest 6_5_14_6

Garden Harvest 6_5_14_5

Garden Harvest 6_5_14_4

I hope you guys enjoyed a look at this week’s harvest!  
WP_20140608_20_21_11_Pro.jpg

I also want to thank this little bee who keeps stopping by the garden.  It always makes my day when a bee somehow finds it’s way up to the roof and lives in the garden.  The same goes for ladybugs.   You guys are always invited in the garden!
Pretty much makes my day when a bee finds its way up to the rooftop and hangs out in the garden.  This bee has been back for a few days now, I totally they want to be friends! #bee #pollen #flower  #rhododendron #friends #bff #vegetablegarden #garden #gar

Don’t forget to check out our Garden Yield Chart where we’ll be weighing all the vegetables we pick this year!

BFG Joins BlogHer, Garden Video Update and Dear Kitten!

Happy Monday everyone!
I hope you had a great weekend and got to spend some time getting your nails dirty in some soil!   
I wanted to take care of some changes that you might see around Brooklyn Farm Girl in today’s post. 

First you might have noticed the BlogHer banner to the right.  I was so happy to receive word that I’m now part of the BlogHer Network!  This is something I was hoping to be a part of almost since Brooklyn Farm Girl started so I’m happy to see it here!   With it comes some advertising banner changes that I had to make.  I had to remove some ads to work with their terms, but in the long run I hope this is a good idea.  I’ll be monitoring this through the next few months to make sure it’s the best fit for the blog.   I’m honored to be part of such a great group of bloggers so I’m hoping everything works out here!

Second,  I have  been wanting to show you guys this video that the fine folks at Miracle Gro and Home Depot made of me in the garden.   It’s only a few minutes now and I hope it doesn’t bore you too much! 😉  Welcome to our garden!  By the way, don’t you love the thumbnail for this video? I’m either gardening or burying bodies on the roof.

Lastly, I wanted to share some new features I created in the Garden section here at Brooklyn Farm Girl.  When you visit the Garden part you’ll notice a few new sections.
garden-update

What are all these about? Let me explain!

Posts – This is where all the garden posts will live.  Basically anything garden related from how to’s and harvests will be archived here.

Recipes – This is where all recipes will be archived that focus on garden recipes.  If we grow it and I use it in a recipe, it will be here.   Eventually I am going to have a ingredients picker here so it’ll be more specific to what you’re looking for.  Example:  You just grew a bunch of lettuce and don’t want to search through a bunch of recipes, you  just want the lettuce recipes.   So you’ll click lettuce and all those recipes will be listed.  I’m working with a designer now to get some pretty graphics for this!

Garden Yield Chart – This year we are tracking the weight of all the vegetables we harvest.  We’ve been meaning to do this for years but finally got around to doing this.  This chart will be updated every single time we pick something so keep checking back.   Already we’re close to 25 pounds! High 5’s!

How to Store Vegetables – This is a long list of directions on how to store vegetables and fruits.  It lists how to store each to make them long as possible.  It also gives instructions if you can freeze it or not.  I pretty much visit this page myself whenever I need to know what to do.

Seed Calendar – This lists the dates for every seed we have planted for the past few years.   This is a good way for us to keep track of our seed schedule so we can compare with past years.  It’s basically the list we live by in regards to knowing when to plant and when to transplant.  If you’re in a similar zone as us I hope this helps you.

Our Garden – This is a little about section dedicated to the garden.

When I first started the blog I had a section called “Peeking” where I visited other people’s gardens.  It was a way for me to show other people’s spaces for inspiration and just to really appreciate what others were doing.  This section got pushed to the side a bit, but it’s always been something I wish I did more of, so I’m bringing it back.    This week I’ll have a new Peeking feature so look out for it… it’s a good one!

So that’s some Monday cleanup here on the blog.

I hope you guys like the changes and I hope you are digging (hahaha) the garden section being expanded.    If you ever have any suggestions for future garden posts, or need info on a how to, let me know! 

And to leave you with, my current cat video I’m obsessed with.  Everytime I watch it I have to hold my stomach because I’m laughing so hard. There’s so much truth in this.  

Happy Monday guys… see you tomorrow with a tomato based recipe!

Time to Pick Radishes! They’re quick!

Radishes are a quick producing vegetable which makes them always a great beginner plant to grow.  After planting your seeds you only have to wait about 30 days before they’re ready to pick.  Don’t you love that quick producing turnaround?

I hope you guys got your seeds planted after the How To I posted.   I wanted to show you the harvest that we got that was picked from that very post.  I am totally in love with these Radishes and have been including them in almost every single pasta dish we are eating.  Who doesn’t love a radish as a snack too?

Radish Picking May 2014_1

After a few weeks your radishes will begin to pop out of your container. They will just get bigger and bigger.  Most radishes are ready to pick at around 30 days so once they’re popping out, just yank them up!
Radish Picking May 2014

For radishes I will usually start by picking 1 or 2 to enjoy as I need it and then I’ll just clear the entire container and pick them all.  Radishes store well so you can enjoy them for a few weeks after harvesting.
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And then immediately after they were picked, a new bunch of seeds were planted!  I’ll keep on doing this process until Fall.Radish Picking May 2014_5

Did you guys plant radishes?  
Tell me about it in the comments! 

Lettuce Picking… It’s everywhere!

The garden is going crazy with lettuce!  Lettuce here, lettuce there, lettuce in my dreams.. it’s everywhere!
If you haven’t already seen I started to create recipes with our lettuce harvest (hello fried rice!) so expect many more in the next couple of weeks!

I used to not like lettuce, it’s true.  As a kid I was very picky when it came to that leafy green to the point of I would not touch a burger or sub that accidentally had lettuce on. I drove my parents insane.  I stopped being this way just a few years ago when I realized lettuce is pretty darn good!   So I’ve come a long way from not touching it with a fork to growing our own! We went a little crazy this year by planting a bunch of lettuce seeds that left us with a quite a few big heads of lettuce!  Actually they’re massive.. seriously, wait till you see these bushy greens!

Let’s tell the story of our lettuce plants!
Lettuce seeds were planted on March 6 and transplanted outside on April 1.
Here’s a photo of them on April 1 getting ready to move outside!
Seedling Planting Spring 2014_9

We planted them into a 4×4 box.
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And said good luck lettuce plants!
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Lettuce starts off slow and then when a bit of heat comes it starts to go wild!  We came home from a trip and the lettuce plant doubled in size. This was on May 1.
We leave for a few days and the plants just blew up into adults!  Look at our beautiful lettuce plants already! Each one is at least 10 inches wide already! #lettuce #harvest #garden #gardenchat #happiness #urbangarden #rooftopgarden #containergarden #veg

And this was on May 6, see how much it grew in just a few hot days?
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May 9… still growing!  Also note here that I stole a lettuce plant for dinner here and it was delicious!  
I find that instead of cutting pieces of lettuce at a time it works best to just remove the entire plant at once.  As soon as your plant gets bushy enough then you can pick it to eat or let it grow to it’s full size.
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But first, we need to marvel one more time at the beauty of these lettuce plants.  Sigh.  Hello beautiful!
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And here’s a few harvest photos..

Lettuce Harvest

Dinner is picked.  #lettuce #fresh #farmtotable #green #rooftop #NYC #Brooklyn #vegetables #healthyeating #garden #gardening #urbanfarming #urbangarden #containergarden #harvest  #gardenchat #greenthumb #rooftopgarden #citygarden

After we picked a few individual plants we decided to go on one big lettuce picking afternoon date. The plants were pretty much at their maximum size as they were getting giant and with the upcoming heat I was worried they would start to bolt.  
 Lettuce Harvest

So then we yanked up all these big beautiful lettuce plants!
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Lettuce Harvest_1

Goodness gracious lettuce plants, I’m so happy I got to see you grow this big!
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And then we thought.. what the heck are we going to do with all these lettuce plants!    
Lettuce Harvest_3

So we brought the lettuce downstairs and went on a wild lettuce meatball making night.  In the end we ended up making more than 25 dinner meals that we froze with this lettuce (recipe coming in a week!).  How awesome is that?
That's A Lot Of Lettuce #harvest

Do you grow lettuce?  Do you have any unique ways to use lettuce besides in salads? Share them in the comments!

First Full Spring Garden Update – It’s started!

 Are you guys ready for the first big garden update of the year? I sure am! 

So let’s dive in and see how the garden is looking in the beginning months of growing season.  All these pictures were taken on Sunday where we did a full day of hard garden work (while lathering on SPF 1 million).   This post is picture heavy as I’m going to take you on a full tour and introduce you to every single vegetable we’re growing.  Besides my usual harvest posts I’m going to continue to do full garden updates about every 2 weeks so make sure you keep checking back to watch  their progress!

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We were just planting radish seeds and now they’re ready to be eaten.  Expect a radish harvest post very soon!

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Here are the 5 gallon buckets that house the strawberry plants.  The winter was pretty harsh on the strawberries so it’s nice to see them finally looking strawberry lovely again.  I’m interested in trying to grow more in the strawberry family so we just got ourselves a raspberry plant to test out.  Because it takes a while… check back next year for a update, hahaha.

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This 8 feet long container used to house carrots, kale and onions but it’s totally turned into the kale crazy  container.  As you can see there are 6 growing kale plants already but there are 12 more babies growing there.  How did this happen?  Well there were baby kales that just popped up and Mama Kale can’t say goodbye.. so more kale for us!

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Beautiful kale babes. I say beautiful alot in Garden Update posts. I can’t control myself.

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This is just a ton of onions.  They all look pretty great.  

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Now on to the Sugar Snap Peas – yeah!  I mentioned in a past post that we went Sugar Snap Pea wild this year and are growing 3 boxes.  So far the box all the way in the back is winning the race on who will grow to the top first. This is Sugar Snap Pea Papa helping his peas climb to the top.

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These are the other 2 boxes that are beginning to take off and have begun climbing up the tall fence.  Grow peas grow!

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I love how the peas naturally attach themselves and grow.  It makes my heart pitter patter with garden happiness. 

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In one of the Sugar Snap Peas we have a bunch of lettuce heads growing up front. The lettuce grew absolutely amazing this Spring and I will be doing a full post on their beauty and amazingness very soon as it’s currently Lettucepalozza 2014 at our house. 

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Lettuce you rule.  Really.

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I mean seriously look at you bushy green beauties! *Does the lettuce dance*.

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You read about a bok choy harvest last week but here’s 6 more plants.   Cutting the outside leaves was a great idea as the plants are growing back nicely again.

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Now let’s look at some of my favorites (shhhhh)…. broccoli and cauliflower!

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The broccoli is starting to grow.  Hoping we’ll be able to harvest in 2-3 weeks.

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All the broccoli plants have heads on them! The cauliflower isn’t visible yet but I looked around and saw their baby heads that I just stared at adoringly.

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About this time in the garden a lady bug flew at me and landed on my face making me scream as I thought it was a spider (the horror!).  Then after I learned it was a ladybug I felt horrible.  We then placed her in the broccoli and I apologized to her a million times.

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OH YEAH! Tomato and pepper time!  We have tomatoes and peppers in 2 different sets.  This is set 1.  The 3 containers in the back are beef and roma tomatoes.  The 2 containers up front are pepper plants, both jalapeno and bell pepper plants. 

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This is a beautiful Roma tomato plant.   You are so lovely. You will turn into delicious salsa. 

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This is section 2.  The plants in the top left are cherry tomato plants.  The plants in the top right are more pepper plants.  The plants in the bottom right are tomatillos!

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3 bushy cherry tomato plants! Can’t wait to get these tomatoes growing so I can just throw them in my mouth nonstop.

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I can’t believe we grew this many peppers this year.  I really can’t.

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We usually have 1 container of 3 pepper plants and this year we have 3 containers of 12 plants.  It’s because we couldn’t kill the seedlings.  Our hearts are too big.

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This is the first year growing tomatillo plants.  Right now we have 3 growing and there will be 3 more added from downstairs when they’re ready for the heat.

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This section here are seedlings that were just transplanted.  We put up this fabric to harden them off as the sun is very harsh to new plants.  What’s underneath?

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We have 2 pumpkin plants, also favorites (shhhh).

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Then a bunch of cucumber and watermelon plants.   Soon cantaloupes will be added!

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And just to show some love, some people ask me if we grow flowers in the garden.  The answer is not really as we stick to vegetables but I wanted to show you the flowers we do grow.  

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We recently added a Forsythia bush to our garden.  At first we thought this could possibly be too big for the garden but then we thought… nah! Let’s do it!

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This lovely fellow was planted with love.  Grow strong!

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This is our azalea that is a few years old.  She’s always so pretty.

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And then this is my favorite girl (shhhh), rhododendron.  I picked her out one year specifically because she had a giant arm hanging off one side.  Matthew scoured at me because I always pick the most quirky looking plants (also Christmas trees) but he loves her just as much as me now.

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Also who knew Brussels Sprouts plants produced such beautiful flowers!  I would almost grow them just for the flowers…

I grow Brussels Sprouts for the flowers, aren't they gorgeous? Vegetable flowers! #brusselssprouts #vegetables #flowers #bouquet #home #garden #gardenchat #citygarden #urbanfarming #plant
Aren’t they just beauties?  Half vegetables, half flowers, all gorgeous.

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 Hope you guys enjoyed the first full garden update of the year!  Let me know in the comments what your garden looks like and what you’re growing!

Happy gardening everyone!

Time to Pick Bok Choy in the Garden!

*Squeals* *Dances* *Smiles* *Does a cartwheel*. Just kidding, I could never do a cartwheel. In the playground all the pretty little girls were always flipping around while I was playing basketball or trying to talk people into playing BINGO with me. But I am squealing, dancing and smiling…. it’s time to start picking vegetables in the garden! This makes me one happy girl!

Right now we’re getting hammered with Lettuce and Bok Choy picking in the garden. For a girl who used to dislike lettuce, I am sure eating it by the handful now.. but that’s another post! This one is all about one of my favorite greens, Bok Choy! Last year we grew some over the Winter in the green house and it worked pretty well but this Spring was the first time we grew them normal like our other plants. The results are astounding… we already have a contestant in the happiest plant of 2014 category!

For stats, the seeds were planted January 29 and transplanted outside on April 1st. These plants are growing MASSIVE! I really can’t say enough great things about their growth. They are wide, bushy and they just keep growing. So let’s pick some of the first harvest of the season… are you excited?

Remember when the bok choy were just baby seedlings? Oh those were the days…
Seedling Planting Spring 2014_11

Then they started growing…
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Then suddenly they were full force ahead adult bok choy mode!
First Bok Choy Harvest 2014

You guys just grew up so quick! It feels like just yesterday I was planting your little seeds.First Bok Choy Harvest 2014_1

You used to be small and weak and scared of the wind… and now you’re so strong you can live through tough storms!
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From seed to these massive beauties.  A bok choy selfie is needed!
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But now it’s time to pick the bok choy for dinner!   I’m totally making this noodle dish!   Did you know that if you don’t pick the entire plant but instead just cut off the outside leaves the plant will keep growing?  I know, it’s amazing. That means that you can grow a plant, cut, then keep on growing!  I would highly suggest this method as you’re going to get double the yield.  To do this just cut about 2 inches from the base on the outside leaves.  This is a great video that shows you how to cut it too.
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And go all the way around the plant to cut all the leaves..
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We tend to leave a few leaves inside so the plant won’t freak out but instead will keep  growing.  This is how we left the plant after cutting.
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In just 1 week the plant already looks like this again. Do you see all the new growth around the base and the outside leaves?  
Bok Choy Regrowing

And then once all your bok choy is cut, start thinking about recipes!
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And continue to be in love with how green and beautiful it is!  Goodness I am in love with you bok choy.
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Good job baby bok choy. Mama and Papa love you.
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Thanks for harvesting with me! 

Have you grown bok choy before?  Do you treat your plants like babies too?

The Pepper Plant Seedling That Just Won’t Die

In March we planted bell pepper seeds.  Every single seed came up.
Pepper Plant That Wont Die_3

Because every single seed came up, we had to thin out the double seedlings.  So we pinched them off and pushed them off to the side (and cried because I always do).  Then a few days later we saw that the pepper seedling was not dead, it returned.
Pepper Plant That Wont Die

Not just 1, but 2.  These are zombie pepper plants that returned to life.
Pepper Plant That Wont Die_1

We really don’t need this many pepper plants, but what can you do when a pepper plant tries this hard?  We can’t resist.  Ok pepper plant, you win, let’s get you planted.
Pepper Plant That Wont Die_2

And then a few days later, it was transplanted into it’s summer home.  Now it’s living the life it always wanted as a pepper plant.
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When you love your plants so much, it’s hard enough to thin off baby seedlings, but when they try this hard, you just have to let them grow.
Welcome to the family peppers!  Enjoy your Summer!

 

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