1
How to Store Cilantro To Make It Last For Weeks
2
What’s Growing Now In Our Vegetable Garden
3
How To Freeze Fresh Green Beans Without Blanching
4
What’s Growing Now
5
How To Make a Sub Irrigated Planter
6
June Community Garden Update!
7
10 EASIEST Vegetables To Grow In The Garden
8
4×4 Garden Plan: Let’s Grow 100 Pounds of Food!
9
Tomato Cages for Tall Tomato Plants
10
Here’s how much we grew in the garden last year!
11
Rainbow Glitter Pumpkins
12
This Week’s Harvest Includes 67 Pounds of Tomatoes!
13
We Grew Celery For The First Time!
14
This Week’s Harvest Includes Lots of Greens!
15
We Won The Cauliflower Battle!
16
Summer Tomato Planting
17
Garden Giveaway – FoodSaver Preservation System!
18
We’re growing peanuts this year!
19
We planted our Spring 2017 garden!
20
Planting our 2016 Christmas Tree!

How to Store Cilantro To Make It Last For Weeks

HOW TO STORE CILANTRO to make it last for weeks! This easy trick shows how to keep cilantro fresh in water in your refrigerator to last for 3 weeks! It’s the perfect way to store cilantro for a long time!

I’m back with another tip to help your vegetables last longer! Remember how I shared my tip on how to store lettuce to keep it fresh for a month?  Or how about the best ways to store bananas?  Well this trick will keep your cilantro fresh for weeks!

HOW TO STORE CILANTRO to make it last for weeks! This easy trick shows how to keep cilantro fresh in water in your refrigerator to last for 3 weeks! It's the perfect way to store cilantro for a long time!

Storing Cilantro

Cilantro – are you one of those people that love it or hate it?  I love it! But my issue with cilantro is that it never seems to last long enough to use it all.  Often recipes only call for a small amount of cilantro, and it’s hard to find things to do with a whole bunch of it!  With this tip you’ll no longer have to let your cilantro go to waste!

You guys know I don’t like to waste anything we grow.  I’ve showed you how to make tomato powder out of tomato skins, and how to make mint tea, but now I wanted to show you my trick on how to how to store cilantro to make it last longer!

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What’s Growing Now In Our Vegetable Garden

We’re in the middle of August – what are we growing and picking in the garden? Well I’m glad you asked! 

What we’re picking in the garden!

Here’s the main cast of characters in August – tomatoes, peppers, kale, beans and onions!

Full Guide on what vegetables you can pick and grow in your vegetable garden in August. This guide is for Northeast USA gardens.

Matthew decided it was time to pick all the onions from the garden so we could plant a 2nd crop of sugar snap peas in that space.  This weekend we made Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions which is one of his favorite recipes!  
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How To Freeze Fresh Green Beans Without Blanching

Easy step by step instructions on how to freeze fresh green beans without blanching.  These green beans will last up to a year. You can use them in casseroles, soups, stir fry and more!

If your garden is anything like ours right now you might be picking pounds and pounds of green beans.  And if you’re anything like me, you really don’t want to turn on your stove to boil water to preserve your green beans during the Summer.

 Last year I started to freeze our fresh green beans this way and they stayed extra fresh, keeping their bright green color and crunch.   These frozen green beans last up to a year in the freezer making them a easy and economical way to save your green beans. 

You can also use them year round in my favorite cabbage and green beans recipe!

Easy step by step instructions on how to freeze fresh green beans without blanching.  These green beans will last up to a year. You can use them in casseroles, soups, stir fry and more!

Can you freeze green beans without blanching?

Yes!  You can freeze fresh green beans without blanching.  The method below saves time because it doesn’t require blanching the beans.   You’re just going to trim the ends off, chop into desired sizes, wash them and freeze!  It’s that easy!

This is my tried and tested method that I’ve been using for years with our green beans!  

How to freeze green beans

Step 1: Take a step back and admire your green beans because god damn, you’re amazing, you just grew green beans!
Easy step by step instructions on how to freeze fresh green beans without blanching.  These green beans will last up to a year. You can use them in casseroles, soups, stir fry and more!

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What’s Growing Now

End of July update on what’s growing in our Brooklyn NYC garden! We finally got tomatoes!

Hey guys!

It’s the end of July, so I thought I’d check in and show you what’s growing in our Brooklyn garden!
Remember my goal of wanting to grow 100 pounds of vegetables this Summer?  Well we’re moving slow, but my fingers are still crossed!

Brooklyn New York Community Garden

PEPPERS

This is the first year we’re growing Anaheim peppers and we’re blown away by how well they’re producing!   The peppers just keep coming!  Looks like I’ll have some pepper recipes coming for you very soon!  

Anaheim Peppers

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How To Make a Sub Irrigated Planter

How To Make a Sub Irrigated Planter! We grow HUNDREDS of pounds of vegetables in our planters! Follow these easy DIY step by step instructions on how to make your own container garden. These planters are perfect for gardens of any size, and they’re cheap to make!

What is a Sub Irrigated Planter?

Sub-irrigated planters (SIPs) have been a game changer for us since we started using them almost 10 years ago.  The main difference between them and traditional container gardening planters is that with SIPs water is introduced from the bottom and is absorbed up through the growing media via capillary action.  This method conserves water and makes sure that moisture stays where your plants need it most – their roots.  

Sub Irrigated Planter Garden

Hundreds of pounds of vegetables grown in a couple sub irrigated planters!

We originally learned about building SIPs when we used to garden on our NYC rooftop (and grew hundreds of pounds of vegetables!).  Watering had become a daily multi-hour chore and we were looking for solutions to combat the hot and windy conditions that quickly evaporated water from the garden and always left our plants looking thirsty. 

There are numerous premade SIP solutions to buy but they can get expensive and didn’t really fit the level of production we wanted so we decided to build our own.  Our two favorite resources are Earthtainers and Global Buckets. The first summer we used SIPs we were in love.  Our evaporation woes were over, watering wasn’t a constantly required chore and best of all the plants looked great – especially our 8ft tall tomato plants that were giving us pounds (and pounds!) of vegetables a day!

(btw need tomato recipes? You NEED to try my stewed tomatoes and cherry tomato sauce!). 

Growing Tomatoes In Sub Irrigated Planters

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June Community Garden Update!

Find out what’s growing in our Brooklyn Community Garden space in June! We have a update on peas, tomatoes, onions, kale and peppers!

Hey everyone!  Hope you had a great weekend!  Ours was a hot one, with temperatures on the rise!  We stopped by our Community garden space to check on our vegetables and I decided to take some photos to show you a update!

If you missed it, we decided to go back to our roots (no pun intended!) and grow in Brooklyn again this year.  The last 2 years we grew Upstate, but the heart was heavy for urban city farming again!

This is our 4×4 garden space, with a little expansion with our sub irrigated containers!  Like everything in the city, we use every inch of space we can get! 

Find out what's growing in our Brooklyn Community Garden space in June! We have a update on peas, tomatoes, onions, kale and peppers!

Happy Baby!

And here’s one happy baby who’s already trying to nibble on my kale and drag the hose around! A big reason why we decided to garden again in Brooklyn was to show her how fun it is to grow your own vegetables in the city!
Find out what's growing in our Brooklyn Community Garden space in June! We have a update on peas, tomatoes, onions, kale and peppers!
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10 EASIEST Vegetables To Grow In The Garden

Top 10 Easiest Vegetables To Grow in the garden! All these vegetables are easy to grow from seed and in containers!  This is the perfect list for a first time gardener! 

I get asked a lot “I want to start a garden, what vegetables are best for beginners?”.   The short answer is ALL OF THEM! The long answer is “Well, they all have their pros and cons and there are so many variables that go into a specific vegetable, but here’s the ones I think that would work best for you depending on your space and climate”.  

10 Easiest Vegetables To Grow

I thought about this recently as this question usually starts to pop up frequently in the Spring.  So I decided to make a list of the easiest vegetables to grow in your garden!  All of these vegetables are grown from seed and specifically grow good in containers (even sub irrigated planters)!  I picked vegetables that can grow successfully across different climates, including heat tolerant vegetables!

So now…. the list…!

Easiest Vegetables To Grow In Containers

 

 #10 TOMATOES
10 EASIEST Vegetables To Grow In The Garden
Did you know that one tomato plant can yield 50-80 pounds of tomatoes?  Yup, that’s a lot of tomatoes!  Make sure to give your tomatoes enough water in the Summer as they continue to grow.  Use cages to support the plants as they grow high!

Need tomato recipes? Try my reader favorites: Stewed Tomatoes and Oven Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce.

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4×4 Garden Plan: Let’s Grow 100 Pounds of Food!

This year we’re going back to garden basics.  And we’re back in Brooklyn y’all!  After spending 2 Summers gardening Upstate we’re going back to our garden roots – growing in a small space in the city!  Let me introduce you to this Summer’s experiment – how much can we grow in a 4×4 garden?

The 4×4 garden begins!

4x4 garden plot

This year we joined our Brooklyn neighborhood community garden and got a 4×4 garden plot.  We’re going to be using every inch of that 4×4 space, including the outside of the box with sub-irrigated containers!  Seriously, we’re going to use all the space that comes with our little growing area!  

So here’s my goal. I want to show you that you don’t need a lot of space to grow your own food!

I want to grow 100 pounds of vegetables in a 4×4 garden plot!

We’re not growing any heavy vegetables this year, such as pumpkins or watermelons, so the majority of the pounds would come from tomatoes.  Instead of growing 3 types of tomatoes like we did every year, we’re only growing roma tomatoes this year because that’s what we use and can the most.  

pink haired mom with baby in garden

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Tomato Cages for Tall Tomato Plants

How to use Double Tomato Cages for Tall Tomato Plants.  Easy step by step instructions on how to stack the cages.  This will help prevent your tomato plants from falling over and keep them growing big and strong!

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

To make sure our tomatoes grow big and get the support they need we always add cages on almost as soon as they are planted.  It’s always easier to put on cages when the tomato plants are small rather then later when they are already bushy.  If you’ve ever attempted to put a tomato cage on a bushy tomato plant then you can probably understand the frustration that could be involved with this.  

Not only do we put 1 tomato cage on the tomatoes, but we double them up.   In the past our tomato plants often grow over 6 feet tall so to make sure they stay supported with the heavy wind and encourage their growth we stack a tomato cage on top of the other.  

This is done by using zip ties to attach them and then tying the tomato cages to our structure with twine.  Wind is a big deal on the roof so we always double make sure everything is locked down.

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Here’s how much we grew in the garden last year!

Each year we track our garden yield by weighing the vegetable after we pick them.  Here’s 2014, 2015, 2016… and finally, 2017!

Let’s talk totals! In 2017 we grew a total of (drum roll please) 363 pounds and 6 ounces of vegetables!  It was quite a drop from our 1147 pound harvest in 2016, but here’s why:

-We didn’t grow any pumpkins. In 2016 we grew almost 400 pounds of pumpkins!
-We didn’t grow any watermelon.
-Oh yeah, we had a baby in July!  Talk about a change in the growing season!


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Rainbow Glitter Pumpkins

QUICK Rainbow GLITTER Pumpkins craft!  This is a easy arts and crafts Halloween activity for preschoolers and kids! We love adding neon color to our Halloween decorations! 

Halloween is usually associated with orange, black and white but who says we can’t add neon rainbow colors to pumpkins and decorations?  With this fun pumpkin craft you’ll soon have neon glitter pumpkins to decorate your entire house with!  

Easy Pumpkin Craft Idea

This is a easy craft that you don’t need a lot of time to do.  If you’re a crafter, you probably already have the supplies in your overflowing craft cabinet too. 

You can pick up the munchkin pumpkins at a farmers market or local store selling them.  Alternatively you could also use fake munchkin pumpkins if they’re out of season. 

How to Make DIY Rainbow GLITTER Pumpkins.  Follow these easy Step By Step Instructions on how to make a easy pumpkin Halloween Craft!  We love adding neon color to our Halloween decorations!  This is a great kids activity, even for pre-school and younger kids! 

Halloween Craft for Preschoolers

This is a easy craft to do with kids and toddlers.  They will love helping you roll the pumpkins around in the glitter.  Warning: Yes, there’s glitter involved in this craft, so make sure to put some newspaper underneath the pumpkins (and probably on the floor too!).   It’s a great sensory activity for kids to learn their colors too!

How to Make Rainbow Glitter Pumpkins. Follow these easy step by step instructions to add neon color to Halloween!

Craft Supplies for Rainbow Glitter Pumpkins:

Munchkin pumpkins (fresh or craft)
Paper Towels  (I recommend Viva paper towels because they are strong.)
Mod Podge
Neon Glitter
rainbow-glitter-pumpkins

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This Week’s Harvest Includes 67 Pounds of Tomatoes!

Another week, another big vegetable haul!  As we wind down the garden season this year, we are still left with a bounty of vegetables to pick!  Last weekend we had over 100 pounds of vegetables to bring back to New York City so let’s dive in to see what we’re still harvesting Upstate!

To summarize we picked tomatillos, dry beans, pie pumpkins, celery, corn, potatoes, onions, broccoli, carrots, jalapeno peppers, bell peppers, beef tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and roma tomatoes! Whew! That’s a lot of vegetables!

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We Grew Celery For The First Time!

Not only did we grow a baby for the first time this Summer but we also grew celery for the first time!  Garden high 5!
How to grow celery from seed in Zone 5A. Celery is a easy garden vegetable to grow during the Summer months!

We usually stick with our usual plants but this year we were feeling adventurous so we added celery to the garden mix!  For time reference the seedlings were transplanted to the garden on May 17 and then celery was picked in September!  We still have a few plants growing!
How to grow celery from seed in Zone 5A. Celery is a easy garden vegetable to grow during the Summer months!

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This Week’s Harvest Includes Lots of Greens!

This week’s garden harvest includes lots of greens!  Join me as I show you what’s growing in our garden!

Yup, it’s true! Even though this Summer has been life changing and we’re both sleep deprived, we’ve kept the garden up and running!  Although the garden has received less care and time due to the arrival of our July baby, it’s still producing wonderfully and we’re picking baskets filled with vegetables! So let’s look at this week’s harvest!
This week's garden harvest includes lots of greens! Join me as I show you what's growing in our Upstate New York garden during August!

Right now it’s all about the greens! We’re picking kale, cabbage, broccoli, tomatillos, green beans, sugar snap peas and jalapeno peppers.   Tomato season is about to start so we picked our first cherry tomatoes which I immediately threw up in the air into my mouth! Not pictured are the potatoes and onions which I totally forgot about – sorry!
This week's garden harvest includes lots of greens! Join me as I show you what's growing in our Upstate New York garden during August!

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We Won The Cauliflower Battle!

After years of failing at growing cauliflower we switched to a new variety and grew over 20 pounds of cauliflower! Learn how we grow cauliflower from seeds that can withstand Summer heat and result in a big cauliflower harvest!

I’m not sure if you remember but a few months ago when planting our seeds I talked about how Matthew didn’t want to grow cauliflower this year because he thought it was a lost cause.  For so many years we used up space in the garden to get lackluster cauliflower results (if any).  Cauliflower has always been one of the harder vegetables for us to grow, and it’s been difficult for us to get anything but a few florets of harvest.   Because I couldn’t give up on the cauliflower, I talked Matthew into trying one more year.  Instead of trying our usual variety, I researched the different options and decided we were going to grow Snow Crown seeds to see if it made any difference.   With hearts in my eyes and rainbows in the sky, it worked!  You guys, it worked so great!   In the last 2 weeks we’ve picked close to 20 pounds of cauliflower!  
After years of failing at growing cauliflower we switched to a new variety and grew over 20 pounds of cauliflower! Learn how we grow cauliflower from seeds that can withstand Summer heat and result in a big cauliflower harvest!

I’m so happy we pushed for one more year with the cauliflower and decided to try a new variety.  We went with Snow Crown because it was labeled as being able to be harvested in Summer or Fall so I figured it could take the heat.  Although Upstate is much cooler than NYC, it still does have days in the high 80’s (and sometimes 90’s) so it was important to find a type that could handle hot days.  When we used to grow on the roof in NYC the cauliflower would never last past the beginning of June, so it’s exciting to see it grow through July now!
After years of failing at growing cauliflower we switched to a new variety and grew over 20 pounds of cauliflower! Learn how we grow cauliflower from seeds that can withstand Summer heat and result in a big cauliflower harvest!

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Summer Tomato Planting

It’s tomato time you guys!  One of the most exciting parts of the garden year is Summer tomato planting for us.  The tomatoes always steal the show in the garden during the Summer, so seeing them in the ground gets us excited for the upcoming few months of care, growing, picking and endless tomato sauce cooking in the kitchen.
Summer Tomato Planting tips for transplanting indoor tomato seedlings outside to your garden. Follow these growing and planting tips for a big tomato harvest!

First up… the plant car!  Since we plant the seeds in our Brooklyn apartment to germinate and grow under our grow lights, once the weather allows and the plants are strong enough we transport them Upstate to the garden.  We carefully pack each tomato, tomatillo and pepper plant into the back of our little car away we go!  I always like to think that the plants enjoy their scenic ride Upstate New York to their new home.
Honda Fit carrying Tomato Plants

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Garden Giveaway – FoodSaver Preservation System!

Hi garden friends!  To help kick off the beginning of gardening season I’m giving away a FoodSaver FM5480 2-in-1 Food Preservation System (retail $200) to one (super!) lucky reader!  This FoodSaver is going to help you preserve your Summer veggies for months to come!  One of my favorite features of this FoodSaver is that it seals delicate foods without crushing them, something that I’ve had a hard time with others!

 

Why do you want to use a FoodSaver?  It keeps food fresh, eliminates waste and saves money.   The system includes vacuum seal bags, zipper bags and containers designed to work together for the best performance.   The Vacuum Sealer protects food from the deteriorating effects of oxygen.  In general, food lasts 5x longer when you use it.  Meat for example can last up to 3 years in the freezer, instead of the usual 6 months. Use this for fruits and vegetables, breads, pastries, meat, soups and stew, coffee beans,  flour, sugar, rice/pasta and more.  You can even use it for refrigerator items like cheese which will help keep it fresh for 4-8 months!

It would be a perfect addition to your Summer veggie garden for sure!

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We’re growing peanuts this year!

We’re growing peanuts in our New York garden for the first time this year!  Read on as we plant Jumbo Virginia peanuts!

Or maybe the title should read “We’re trying to grow peanuts this year!” so I don’t jinx myself.  You might have read that we started our 2017 garden a few weeks ago, which is very exciting, but even more exciting is when we try to grow a new plant!  This year the new plants are celery and peanuts!  This post is all about peanuts though….!

We're growing peanuts in our New York garden for the first time this year! Read on as we plant Jumbo Virginia peanuts!

I decided last year I wanted to try to grow peanuts, mostly because I was currently in a peanut butter eating craze.  I did some research and saw some people in the North had successfully grown peanuts so I decided to give it a shot.  Peanuts need a good 4 months of heat, with no frost,  to grow, so let’s hope for a full 120 days of sun for them in our garden!

We're growing peanuts in our New York garden for the first time this year! Read on as we plant Jumbo Virginia peanuts!

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We planted our Spring 2017 garden!

While we’re experiencing a few heated days, we made our way Upstate to start the 2017 garden year and get our veggies planted.  This year we decided to hold off planting a couple weeks due to us having a few scary nights of dropping temperatures last year, but I think we’re in the clear now… and the veggies were ready to move out of Brooklyn and into their new garden home!

We planted our Spring 2017 garden Upstate! Come check out all the veggies we're growing - from broccoli, sugar snap peas, onions, celery and more!

A quick recap, here’s what we planted for our Spring garden and here are the dates that we started the seeds indoors and then moved them outside.
Onions |  March 18 | May 17
Kale   |   March 26 | May 17
Cabbage  | March 26 | May 17
Brussels Sprouts  | March 26 | May 17
Collards   | March 26 | May 17
Bok Choy | March 26 | May 17
Cauliflower   |  March 26 | May 17
Broccoli  |   March 26 | May 17
Celery    |  March 26 | May 17
Lettuce |  April 22 |  TBA
Carrots  | May 17 (directly in soil)
Sugar Snap Peas | May 17 (directly in soil)

As you can see from last year’s Spring veggies, not too much has changed.  We have our usual cast of characters, with one new addition.  This year we’re going to try to grow celery for the first time!   Honestly, the seeds were kind of jerks and really hard to germinate so we had to plant them twice.  Even then, the seedlings looked pretty pathetic and  weren’t up to par with their plant siblings.   At the very last minute I found this pack of 6 celery plants for $2 on our way Upstate so I got them.   We grow all of our veggies from seeds, but this year the celery just wasn’t happening so I had to give in and buy a pack.   Looks like I have to investigate more into these fussy, hard to germinate seeds for next year!
How to Grow Celery

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Planting our 2016 Christmas Tree!

Last year we started the tradition of planting our Christmas trees Upstate on the land.  This would be something to look back on one day, a majestic forest of pine and spruce trees with memories of the holidays.  This year we continued the tradition and planted Christmas tree #2!

Planting our 2016 Christmas tree!

I know, I know.. THE BUMP!

We had a beautiful weekend (it was 80 degrees!) so we decided to visit the land to plant the tree and do some Spring cleanup before planting season begins.  We haven’t been Upstate in almost 2 months so it was nice to get away and bask in the sunshine while digging around in the soil on a lazy Sunday.  Our Christmas tree has been inside our apartment since November, a little longer than we would have liked to keep it inside but it would have gotten cold shocked if we planted it earlier.   Somehow Matthew and I both forgot we now have a greenhouse that we could have moved the tree into during the Winter months – duh – we’ll remember this next year!  We’ve kept the tree close to the windows inside, and well watered, but it definitely showed signs of wanting to move outdoors.   We lost needles on the bottom section of the tree and had some browning, but the upper section of the tree looks great and has had lots of new green growth indoors.

 Planting our 2016 Christmas tree!

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