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I wrote a book about preserving food. The same step-by-step instruction and full-color photos you find in my blog. Buy it at Yes, You Can 

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Post Produce as Produce Peaks!

Summer? Summer squash! I planted three zucchini seeds and have harvested a zucchini per day (on average) for about 16 days. Yes, I knew before I planted them that this is how zucchini works. I’m not excited to eat this amazing produce, but the plant is awe-inspiring. So far I’ve sautéed zucchini with onions, grated it into zuke & carrot slaw, skewered it on chicken shish kabobs, grilled it straight, cooked some into a cordon bleu casserole, baked up six loaves of zucchini bread, and frozen six cups of it grated. I’m falling behind. There are four zucchinis in my produce drawer and another will be ready to harvest tomorrow.

My small kitchen garden is just days away from peak season if there is such a thing. Because my most favored crops are spring peas and summer tomatoes, I might choose either harvest as peak season. On the other hand, when the garden is producing all kinds of goodies at once, that’s real nice too.

For this month’s Post Produce, the pictures tell the story. I left a lot out; there’s just too much for a single post.

Post Your Produce

With 60% of the United States in drought, I hope your kitchen garden is providing at least a few things to lift your spirits. Please share! Create a post on your blog that celebrates what you’re eating, preserving, or growing to eat from your garden. Then return here and use the Mr Linky widget to link to your post. Visit other linked blogs, see what gardening enthusiasts are eating, and show them some comment love. The Linky is at the end of this post.

Isn’t summer grand?

Zucchini bread is what led me to plant zukes this season for my first time ever. My kids insist that zucchini bread is the best quick bread, and I hated buying zucchini to be able to make it. By the time I finish freezing grated zucchini, we’ll be set to make bread well into next summer.

Three hills of cucumber plants sit adjacent to my zucchinis. For the first time ever, I’ve produced very attractive cucumbers — for two seasons, my container cucumbers came out small and misshapen. I planted only pickling cucumbers, and every one I’ve harvested would make an awesome pickle barrel dill or half-sour.

I’ve already made pickles with some of my harvest. About sixteen cucumbers and four onions from my small kitchen garden went into a batch of quick-pickled bread-and-butter pickles. I gave away one pint, have been snacking on a second, and put three more into the larder. I wish my family liked pickles; these are delicious.

I found purple jalapeno peppers in a seed catalog and incorporated them into my “rainbow produce theme.” I bought seeds for red, orange, yellow, white, purple, and brown peppers. Sadly, the white and yellow pepper seeds didn’t sprout. The purple jalapeno plants make the most beautiful pepper flowers I’ve seen, and the pepper fruits are also quite attractive. These will become a standard in my vegetable garden.

Was I right? Purple Jalapeno pepper flowers are gorgeous!

I rushed a few of these peppers off the plants, but I expect to have time this weekend to make red pepper relish … except that it won’t be red. I plan to combine the “lilac” bell peppers and the “chocolate” bell peppers in this pile to make a brownish-purple pepper relish. I can’t predict the actual finished color. Purple and brown peppers I’ve grown in past years were green on the inside, and the skins tend to turn green during cooking. Even if the relish comes out green, it’ll make great appetizers. Here’s a link to the recipe: Red Pepper Relish from Your Home Kitchen Garden.

Herbs are growing gangbusters in my small kitchen garden. This basil pot is ready for display among ornamental planters. Leaves from these plants will go into the salad I make with my first serious harvest of tomatoes. I’ve already enjoyed cilantro, oregano, thyme, sage, and mint in various dishes, and I’ve made a few batches of béarnaise sauce using French tarragon from my herb patch.

This year’s “rainbow produce theme” extended to my tomato selections as well as my peppers. I got seeds for red, orange, yellow, black, and white tomatoes — somehow overlooked green ones. For ripening earliest, the white and black tomatoes are in a dead heat. The photo shows “cream sausage” paste tomatoes. This morning I discovered two that had developed blossom end rot and were otherwise fully ripe. After I trimmed the rot away, there was enough ripe tomato left for about three bites. You know what? Tasted like honest-to-goodness home-grown tomato! I’ll can a batch of white tomato sauce this season and serve a white lasagna or pizza that’s just as tomato-y as any traditionally red lasagna or pizza. Tomato season can’t begin soon enough.

You go! Use the Linky here to lay a path back to your Post Produce post:


10 Responses to “Post Produce as Produce Peaks!”

  • Sue:

    Wow-those white tomatoes are neat! I’ve NEVER seen those before. And I love the blossums on your purple jalapeno. I like the colorful plants you choose.

  • I picked my first big tomato today and posted about it for Post Produce.

  • Jim Long:

    I grow basil because I grow tomatoes. Or, maybe I grow tomatoes because of the basil. Both are a necessity and what I’ve harvested today.

  • Today I’m harvesting lots of basil and 8 varieties of heirloom tomatoes. Tomatoes and basil just go hand in hand!

  • Happy Post Produce Day@! I have never bothered to grow zucchini just because I know all my community plot neighbors and gardening friends will have plenty to share with me soon enough and one batch of zucchini bread is enough to satisfy any cravings for the whole season.

    I’ve shared my carrot bounty over at my blog:

    Enjoy the month ahead!

  • Love the rainbow theme idea for your garden. I need to learn the secret to growing great cucumbers.

  • I had to do a double take on that purple jalapeno pepper…my first thought was that it was an eggplant. The ghost tomatoes are the first I have seen! I know what you mean about the zucchini bread….my wife loves to make it and we love to eat it.

  • I am VERY jealous of your cucumbers. They are one of my favorite summer veggies and one that tastes so much better straight from the garden (slicing cucumber for me, though!) But here in Quebec we are having major cucumber beetle problems this year, and so far I’ve barely been able to keep the plants alive… No fruit in sight. The zucchinis are slightly better off, though I’m nowhere near 16 ;) Thanks for the sexy produce pics!

  • I love how decorative the pepper flowers are. Thanks for hosting. Looking forward to seeing what everyone is cooking up!

  • […] starts this weekend.   I am late to the party (as always) but I’m sharing this as part of Daniels Post Produce Round Up — perhaps you want to join in and post your produce? (BTW, I am so late this month that the […]

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