Slug resistant garden containers

I love growing in my raised bed veggie gardens and sometimes the slugs love my veggies too. The smaller the starts, the easier they are to be destroyed. So last fall I found some copper tape on clearance and figured out that the roll contained just enough to encircle two plastic “flower boxes” and enough to surround the drainage holes on the bottom. This has been very successful! I have basil and a few lettuce plants that are growing in this prime real estate. When I want a few lettuce leaves to put on a sandwich, I do not want Swiss cheese lettuce.

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Storing butternut squash

So much of what I do feels like trial and error. I harvested the last of my butternut squash and hope I prepared it well for storage. After cutting from the vine I washed them and let them dry overnight. Hesitantly I made a weak bleach and water solution and I dipped them in briefly and dried the off. I wanted to kill any remaining mold or fungus spores but I was concerned about food safety since these were grown organically. As I write this I realized that vinegar might have been a better choice. I made shelf space available for a few months storage. The shelves will allow air flow and the squash are not touching one another. I hope this is successful :)

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Using what you grow

I’m almost starting to feel like a food blogger, but just realized that the last part of being a veggie gardener is the harvest :) My butternut squash plants were purchased from the garden club plant sale. Thanks Mary Ann! The little $1.00 plant has given me 8 good-sized squash. Some will be stored for later use, but I am roasting one today. Simple, recipe with my comments below.

400* F oven roast for 30 to 45 minutes turning cubes every 15 minutes

1 butternut squash, cut in half, seeded and peeled and cut in one inch cubes. The potato peeler worked well, being only slightly more difficult than peeling a potato.

I put the cubes in a bowl sprinkled on some olive oil, salt and pepper and massaged the squash before putting it on the foil lined tray.

You can see that I got tired of peeling and chopping when I got to the bowl part of the squash so I massaged open squash with olive oil and the sprinkled a bit of cinnamon for a different taste.

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What did you do with your harvested squash?

Week 2- Washington State Fair in Puyallup

There will be one more week of The Fair, but I will not be attending or taking roses next week. Driving the distance, the entry fees and parking would just be too much. I did have fun for two weeks however. So today I decided to celebrate and have dessert for lunch.

20130915-173506.jpg Fisher strawberry shortcake for lunch!
There were lots of cute displays by junior exhibitors.

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A good year for tomatoes

February 18 th I started the first tomatoes from seeds. I purchased them fromTerritorial Seeds and @GardenHoard. I planted a bunch of seeds because the local garden club wanted some plants donated for their sale in April. Sweet Million, Glacier, Stupice and Pink Brandywine were started by seed and Muskovich was purchased at that Garden Club sale. Here is a tiny part of the harvest.

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I have made sauce three times, salsa once, eaten many cherry tomatoes in salads an still have them ripening! What a great harvest from five plants. Next year I want to add a paste tomato. Any recommendations?

Washington State Fair in Puyallup

The Washington State Fair has three rose shows and many other kinds of agricultural competitions, plus all the usual crafts, rides and junk foods one expects at a fair. It seems a lot larger than what I was used to seeing at the Minnesota State Fair (where any food on a stick rules) and the Wisconsin State Fair (where cream puffs are the specialty).

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Today was my first trip there. My roses were not very good due to a few days of very heavy rain and being gone from home most of the week, but, I wanted to get the lay of the land before next week’s rose show when I will judge. Very few roses were outstanding today, so I will post winning roses next weekend.

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The hardest part of gardening (for me)

Have you ever stopped to think how much you enjoy gardening? But do you really love all parts?
Fresh air and sunshine are two big draws for me. Weeding is in the middle of the pack. It’s a 12 month activity here. But what I really do not like (and I stop short of saying hate) is taking out perfectly growing vegetables (because of limited space for veggies) because it is time for the next season’s planting. I know, you probably think there are bigger problems in the garden, but this is one that gets me procrastinating. I try to tell myself that I just need to harvest whatever is taking the space and move on with the season, but something is blocking my thinking on this. I remember this dilemma during the season change over in past years.

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For example, the bed in the photo above has garlic that is ready for harvest and herbs that pretty much stay in the same place every season. Check, no problem. Under the Remay fabric, I have random plants of Kale, Swiss Chard and three small heads of cabbage. I like to harvest these plants right before I need to use them in cooking, but now they are just taking up space that should be getting ready for sugar snap peas. So I think I need to harvest and refrigerate those veggies and make a plan to use them within the week. If anyone is still reading now, thanks for listening to me rambling on over this dilemma. It has been very helpful to think it through in writing.
Cole slaw anyone?