Thursday, August 30, 2007

My Vegetable Garden

This may not be the most exciting post for all of you, but it is one of my favorite topics. I love my garden. It is right outside my back door, very convenient to my kitchen, with all the herbs growing just off the patio (so I can access them on cold, rainy, or snowy days).

Every growing thing in my garden is potential for something splendid and delicious. I love watching it all grow, picking each tomato as it ripens, canning the excess for the winter. Here's how it's doing today:

This is my rosemary. I'm hoping it will grow large enough to withstand the cold this winter. My first winter here in Boise my rosemary survived, but my second it didn't.

If you've ever been to any remote parts of the West, you may have noticed that sage grows very well here. I certainly have more than I need, but at least my chicken never feels lonely.

My favorite of all herbs: thyme!! The perfect herb for any savory dish, and I have plenty of it! It's so good with meats, tomatoes, cheese, vegetables.

Leeks have been my poorly-maintained experiment this year. They're so inexpensive to buy as starters, and so expensive to buy as produce, so they were worth it. I should have thinned them out about 3 months ago, though, so we'll see what happens when they're ready in another month or two. One of my friends always plants leeks because she loves to put them in her stuffing at Thanksgiving.

Ah, the reason I garden. I love garden-fresh tomatoes. No other tomato compares to the ones that ripen completely in your garden, and then are consumed that day. Makes you just want a cheese and tomato sandwich, doesn't it? Well, except that orange tomato needs another day or two. So much potential. By the way, I have about 8 tomato plants in my small garden this year. My favorite tomato as far as flavor goes is definitely the brandywine, though I've had some other organic tomatoes that are excellent. Most of our tomatoes go into homemade canned salsa, which usually lasts until the next tomatoes are ready for canning. Of course, we make fresh salsa, too, while the summer lasts.

Don't you love these beauties? My grape tomatoes have a mind of their own, though. I didn't plant any grape tomato starters this year, and I have 3 full-size plants growing back there. Sometimes they take over the garden, but I didn't mind this year, as I planted significantly fewer items, knowing I have a new baby to care for and a house on the market.

So, not pictured are the chives, dill, basil, French green beans, and the huge tomatillo plant that managed to grow on its own, even though I last planted tomatillos two years ago. Crazy. Still, gotta love that green salsa!

We're making a fantastic dinner tonight, by the way, and I can't wait to tell you all about it tomorrow!


Heidi said...

Your garden looks so pretty. We are having a heck of a time keeping the bugs away.


Rachel said...

Thanks! I took lots of close-up shots so you wouldn't see the weeds. We've got several of those growing on their own, too. They always seem to grow so well...

Abbigail said...

Your garden is lovely! I am so happy to have found your blog through andrea's. I am glad to see that you are still an enthusiastic chef! You always inspired me in the kitchen.
miss you!