Monday, April 20, 2009

how does your garden grow?

around here, we are getting into the gardening spirit...

we have onions, radishes & peas coming up (yay!) & we planted lettuce this past weekend.

this is our 4th year of "serious" gardening & canning. it's something we look forward to every spring. we work on this as a family & it's good for all of us. (minus the whining & complaining)

we learn something new each year... for instance:

  • planting tomatoes in april is not a real good idea
  • there really is such a thing as "too much of a good thing" when it comes to fertilizer
  • being "tiller happy" can be bad for your perennials (goodbye asparagus & dill)
  • spraying round-up on your strawberry beds because it will kill the weeds but not the strawberry plants is not actually true
  • it's not worth it to plant leftover seeds from last year, especially if it's 8 rows of beans that you're going to have to replant anyway
  • don't worry about your zucchini seeds starting, they ALWAYS come up

this weekend we piled into the car & went out to our favorite local gardening shop, country garden greenhouses over near cr 46 & cr 15 (it's a new paris address) to buy seeds ...just in case there's a shortage this year.

we got our bean, corn, cucumber & zucchini seeds & a few more onion starts because you never know... the 250 that we already have in the ground just might not be enough!

we'll wait a while yet to buy our plants (tomatoes, peppers, etc.) and plant them later in may. we've found that memorial day is a safe time to plant tomatoes without having to really fuss over them, so we'll do most of our seed planting before that, then tomatoes & picky things last.

canning (and freezing) has been hugely rewarding for us & has probably saved us more this past year than ever before. it does become a big job once summer is here, but we never regret it once all winter long.

so with planting & fresh fruits & veggies in mind, i am posting a recipe for something i made this weekend with some frozen zucchini from last summer's crop.

these zucchini brownies are so delicious, i think i'm going to go get one now & eat it while i write this up...

ok, i'm back...these are so good, my fingers are sticky & going to make a mess all over my keyboard, oh well...

zucchini brownies
1/2 c. oil
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
1/2 c. cocoa
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 c. shredded zucchini
1/2 c. chopped walnuts, optional
+chocolate buttercream frosting if you really like to "rich" it up

preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease 9 x 13" pan. in large bowl, mix oil, sugar & vanilla. combine dry ingredients & stir into sugar mixture. fold in zucchini & nuts. spread evenly into pan. bake 25 minutes or until brownies spring back when touched, then they're done.

*these are more cake-like than heavy fudge-like brownies. try them, they're so good, i know that you'll like them!

ps, if you are going to freeze zucchini for something like this where you need it to be shredded, shred it first, then freeze it. i figured this out the hard way!


Flower Patch Farmgirl said...

I LOVE this post! I may have to rely heavily on your gardening expertise. Do you have a 24-hour 1-800 hotline? And those brownies look amazing!

Nate-n-Annie said...


I would like to include your recipe in our "Grow Your Own" roundup this month! For information on how to enter, please go to

Aloha, Nate

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