Fortunately, every day over the 4th of July weekend I was able to make it to my garden to water and weed. For the holiday weekend, I did some camping in Nederland and visited friends in Aspen but was happy to come home to Denver in-between stays elsewhere to nurture my roots. Wanting to eat my very own vegetables, I grew anxious and I actually started talking to my plants, also nuzzling them gently with my fingers, encouraging them to grow...
By Tuesday I could barely stand it any longer and (lacking motivation to go to the grocery store) I decided that while the kale could probably use more time, some of it could definitely be up-rooted and eaten! I know I am going to have so much of it, I don't see any harm in having some early.
Looking around my plot I noticed several lady bugs basking/ nibbling on my cilantro. I started to weed the four plentiful patches of cilantro and realized most of it looked ready, some of it was even going to start flowering soon. In the past week I picked approximately three cups worth, there is so much ready still and lots more still growing. Over this past weekend, while browsing a bookstore in Highlands, I learned that cilantro works to reduce bad insects (like the Colorado potato beetle) in your garden and attract beneficial ones when planted near other vegetables. I haven't read any information on how to pick cilantro--I know it's supposed to be clipped just above where the stems join together, but not sure if this is because it regrows?
My trips to the garden this past week have been brief--a little watering (it's been raining every day here), with a little bit of weeding. I realized I accidentally weeded the zinnia's and that my could-be-eggplant was just a weed. I finally weeded the broccoli only to uncover a Rolly Polly Magic Kingdom. Unfortunately, I don't think the broccoli is doing so well; it really doesn't look so hot and is always sagging on the ground. The bees are no longer attracted to it either. Yesterday I put some square wiring up around it so hopefully it stays tall and reduces my knack for constantly breaking the broccoli stems. I am fervently waiting for the carrots and the beets to grow, and I rest in trepidation of making a salad with beet greens, which I very well could do and know that I should. While beets are growing underground, you have the ability to trim the leaves growing above ground; these are edible and often used in salads or smoothies, and the beets will continue to grow underground unharmed.
But most of my time at the garden has been spent picking raspberries... Last week I filled 3+ mason jars with golden and rose raspberries. The raspberry bushes are community bushes, there are maybe six of them and they are rather large, bordering four plots alongside the metal fence that harbors all the plots. Yet no one seems to be picking any of them?! It appears as though people are simply skimming raspberries off the tops of the bushes, and when I get down on my hands and knees, push my way into the bushes, raspberries gracefully shake right off its limbs. There are so many raspberries they are even going bad--and there are more coming! Honestly, I'd never heard of or seen golden raspberries before, and I had to google them to find out if they were real or I was just eating un-ripe fruit. I thought they had to be real because, to me, they taste just like Colorado's best honey-wine. I do believe I'm in love.
So what did I do with my produce? I crafted a few new recipes. I gotta admit, it's been awhile since I've really been in the kitchen cooking dinner. Summer seems to be a time where I'm camping a lot, which means I'm grilling a lot (even if I'm not camping), and it also seems people like to go out to eat more during the summer--you can sit on patios and drink white wine ;) Anyway, I always try to use as many of my ingredients as possible in one dish. Sometimes this works better than other times, but it certainly forces you to get creative in the kitchen. This week I made a few different dishes... All of these speak true to my personality, I hope you like them as much as I do! Click on the title for the actual recipe.
Raspberry and chipotle is a scintillating combo! This recipe is gluten-free, vegan, quick & easy, and packed with fiber and antioxidants!
This delicious summer dish is gluten free, optionally dairy free, and perfect for a rainy summer brunch!
Unfortunately my camera pooped out for this one! This is a great rendition of your average, boring sloppy joe with healthy, zesty, mayo-free coleslaw. This recipe is dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free and the coleslaw is vegan.