Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tromboncino Squash

Every year I like to try new varieties in my garden and one of the new to me varieties this year was Tromboncino Squash. It is an Italian vining squash and should be trellised to form straight squash. This squash can grow up to 3 feet long. Tromboncino squash is trumpet shaped hence the name. This squash is a duel purpose squash, it can be harvested young and used like zucchini or harvest at full maturity and used like a winter squash. It is tender, mild, sweet and nutty when harvested as summer squash at 8–12". Delicious steamed, grilled or sliced raw in salad. Italians use it in gnocchi and to stuff ravioli. I sautéed some of my young squash along with zucchini and it was delicious. It has less water content compared to zucchini and cooks up nicely. The skin is light green and thin so no need to peel it. The other nice thing is that the seeds are all in the rounded part, so the rest of the squash is seedless. I did let one of my squash stay on the vine until full maturity and used it like butternut squash. At full maturity the skin hardens and turns tan like butternut squash.  I will be growing this variety again next year and I highly recommend it.

Last photo courtesy of Southern Exposure Seed Company

If you have the space in your garden and like summer/winter squash I would give Tromboncino a try next year.
My seed source was The Scientific Gardener
  Thanks for checking out my post and happy gardening!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Roasted Salsa

This year I gave canning a try and made Roasted Salsa. It was pretty simple to make and delicious to eat. I was able to use my canning pot for the first time which was exciting. The recipe was suggested by one of my gardening friends, he makes it every year. I followed the recipe, except instead of roasting the vegetables in the oven I roasted them on my grill. This is how my friend makes his and it adds a great grilled flavor to the salsa. Here is the link to the recipe http://www.theyummylife.com/recipes/180/Roasted+Salsa+for+Canning
Give this recipe a try next year with your garden harvests, you won't be disappointed! Thanks for stopping by and Happy Gardening!


Garden Visitors

I love spending time in my garden! Sometimes I just sit on my garden hutch and take in all the beauties of my garden. I love the smell in the air, watching my plants grow, listening to the sounds around me and watching the many visitors I get in my garden. This year I had many animals and insects visit my garden. I plant flowers to attract insects and birds to my garden. I also have bird feeders and bird houses throughout my garden for the birds. This year I had many birds visit my garden, such as chickadees, sparrows, morning doves, house wrens, hummingbirds, barn swallows, nuthatcher, robins, gold finch, cardinals, purple finch and a wood pecker. I had a wood pecker visit my bird feeders every day in the spring, it was beautiful. I had house wrens occupy my one bird house and another was occupied by barn swallows.

House Wren

Barn Swallow

Baby Sparrow in bean teepee
Along with birds I had many interesting insects. I had butterflies, grasshoppers, spiders, bees and of course many insects that were not welcome.

Swallowtail Butterfly
Garden Spider
Thanks for checking out my garden visitors. I look forward to seeing the animals/insects in my garden next year. What interesting visitors do you get in your garden? 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Ground Cherries

I grew Ground Cherries for the first time this year. I started the seeds inside in February along with my peppers and eggplant seeds. They take awhile to germinate and are slow growers. The seedlings are very tiny and delicate. I ended up planting four plants in my garden in May when there was no chance of frost. Two of my plants were chewed up by an animal which left me with two plants. The two plants I had really produced a lot of fruit throughout summer. I had to keep treating the leaves with an organic garden dust because the flea beetles loved to them. I was picking up the fruit off the ground pretty much every other day. I was told by another gardener that once you plant them in your garden they will reseed every year. The fruit looks like cherry tomatoes, but covered with a papery husk like tomatillos. The flavor is very unique. I think they have a fruity pineapple taste with a tomatoey after taste. I will definitely have these in my garden every year whether they reseed or not. I ended up freezing all my harvests to use in the future in baking recipes. Here is a recipe for Ground Cherry Bread I plan on trying. http://www.jennahsgarden.com/2010/07/ground-cherry-bread/

Here is a good article about growing Ground Cherries by Mother Earth News:

If you want to try something new in your garden next year, give ground cherries a try. Thanks for stopping by and happy gardening!