1
Tour of Disney World’s Behind The Seeds Greenhouse!
2
How to Freeze Sugar Snap Peas (Without blanching!)
3
The Little Jalapeno Plant That Could… Grow All Winter Long!
4
Rininging in the New Year With a Fresh Broccoli Harvest Under The Greenhouse
5
We Grew Black and Yellow Beans!
6
Soybean Harvest 2014
7
Recent Harvests From The Garden + Coconut and Milk bars
8
Easy Salted Edamame
9
How to Dry Oregano in 1 Hour
10
Easy Tomatillo Salsa Verde Recipe
11
How To Store Onions Using Pantyhose
12
It’s raining tomatoes!
13
Broccoli Harvest Time!
14
Garden Update: What’s growing on our rooftop?
15
Peeking Into Amish Farmer John Kempf’s Garden
16
How to Freeze Bok Choy Without It Turning Mushy!
17
Preparing for Tomato Season With Double Cages!
18
This Week’s Harvest – Bok Choy, Broccoli, Peas and More!
19
BFG Joins BlogHer, Garden Video Update and Dear Kitten!
20
Time to Pick Radishes! They’re quick!

Tour of Disney World’s Behind The Seeds Greenhouse!

Do you remember when we went to Disney World for my birthday in October?  Yes, it was great!
Disney World October 2014_5

We went to Disney a few years ago and we did the automated tour through their greenhouse.  It was fun, but I wanted to get personal with the plants.  Not only did I want to see all the vegetables up close but I also wanted to  learn about their hydroponics system.    When I got home that year I found out they have a behind the scenes tour of their greenhouse so I was sure that on our next visit we scheduled this tour in.  

Was it amazing? Yes.
Should you check it out when you’re in Disney?  Yes!
If you love to garden or cook you will love Disney World’s Behind The Seeds Greenhouse tour.

The tour takes place at Epcot and runs pretty much once an hour from 10AM-5PM.  The price is $20 for adults.  You can make reservations ahead of time, but we just stopped by and signed in and then came back at our time.   Our group was only 8 people so although this tour is amazing it doesn’t seem to get that busy.  

You’ll meet your guide at the time you made your reservation for and will be whisked backstage from a back door. Then you’ll walk through a few more doors and end up directly in the greenhouse.  Your guide will be one of the employees  of the greenhouse who is knowledgeable about hydroponics and can ask answer (almost) all of your questions.   Our guide was Ashley who was great.  
Behind the Seeds Tour at Disney World_2

 And then you’re off on an amazing adventure through their hydroponic garden.  The entire greenhouse is inspiring and when you see how quickly the vegetables grow (and to what size) your jaw will be hanging on the floor. 

Behind the Seeds Tour at Disney World_41

Behind the Seeds Tour at Disney World_36

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How to Freeze Sugar Snap Peas (Without blanching!)

Well it’s February, Winter and extra chilly.  We’re talking 2 winter coats, tights under jeans kinda chilly.  Over the Winter we’ll still be growing broccoli, cauliflower, kale and brussels sprouts under the greenhouse but I need some enthusiasm for the greens in the Spring.  It seems like just yesterday we were planting and picking the sugar snap peas, so that got me dreaming of Spring…

Sugar Snap Pea Planting 2014

We always grow sugar snap peas twice a year, once in the Spring and once in the Fall.  The issue is always getting them planted early enough so they could grow their full height before the enemy hits: frost.  It’s about cheering on all the veggies to get growing before we have to protect them (and they go on their tropical but yet still chilly vacation under the greenhouse).

In this post I wanted to get you ready for sugar snap pea season because we need a little cheer in these dreary days.  Maybe once the garden season starts and you are picking your sugar snap peas work will become really busy so you’ll have a hard time keeping up.  Or maybe you’re at the grocery store and you see a great deal on Sugar Snap Peas and would like to stock up.    I don’t really want to set time aside to blanch these peas and dry them, so I got to thinking about how well the bok choy freezes without blanching, could this be done for the peas?  The answer is a big yes!

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The Little Jalapeno Plant That Could… Grow All Winter Long!

The Spring garden season has begun already, can you believe that? Seeds have been planted inside that will be transplanted in March. There’s broccoli, cauliflower, kale, onions, bok choy and collard greens planted so far. I’ll be doing a full post on planning soon, so keep a eye out on it!

But for this post, I wanted to celebrate a jalapeno plant. This special jalapeno plant grew all Summer long and somehow as of January 22, in the middle of Winter, it’s still producing jalapeno peppers every single week. How did we do it? Well we didn’t, the plant did it. How did we help it? Well that I an discuss….

The Amazing Jalapeno Plant

First, a little list of dates as you know I love the facts.
Jalapeno seed planted: March 22
Transplanted seedling to the roof: May 1
Moved From Roof to Inside: November 10, 2014
January 21, 2015: Still producing peppers inside…

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Rininging in the New Year With a Fresh Broccoli Harvest Under The Greenhouse

It’s the last day of 2014.  Doesn’t it feel like I was just saying that about 2013?  

Now a new year begins with new years resolutions, positive spirits and the never ending mistake of continuing to write the year 2014 until at least May.  I have some specific resolutions in 2014 (not really resolutions but goals – run a 5K, build permanent greenhouses, learn to budget), but more so they are vague but yet personal on other levels, “be positive”, “do you”. I feel like 2015 can be a important chapter in life, both professionally and personally so I’m here to welcome it in!  

Do you have any resolutions?  This year is the year to learn how to make social networking work.   I’m best on Instagram, ok on Facebook, not that great on Twitter and only on Pinterest in the PM.  I try to do them all, but how does anyone have time in the day to successfully post interesting and witty thoughts on them?  In January I’m going to really investigate how to value social networking more, attend a festival of like minded women and look to how to extend Brooklyn Farm Girl.  There are already a few things cooking in my brain pipes, so I’m excited to start the year off with a bang.

I recently got a new phone, Motorola Moto X which I’ve been trying to customize to fit my lifestyle.  How much time do I spend on the street looking at maps or texting on a corner or walking West on a street while meaning to walk East (hey, it happens – alot).  2 years ago I made a switch with my phone and again this December I made another big switch to the Android World.  Over the past 2 weeks I’ve been playing with all the customized features and finding the right apps to help me during the day.

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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

This Homemade Salted Edamame tastes just like your favorite Japanese restaurant. This healthy recipe takes 15 minutes and requires 2 ingredients. Make it as a side dish or a snack!

Who’s ready to pop a few soybeans right in their mouth?
This Homemade Salted Edamame tastes just like your favorite Japanese restaurant. This healthy recipe takes 15 minutes and requires 2 ingredients. Make it as a side dish or a snack!

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/
This Homemade Salted Edamame tastes just like your favorite Japanese restaurant. This healthy recipe takes 15 minutes and requires 2 ingredients. Make it as a side dish or a snack!

 

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

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

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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!
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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! 

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