Gardening Update #5: Harvests and Other Thoughts

Its been almost a month since the last gardening update. I honestly just got back to do another grass and weed clearing session and it went relatively fast. I’m still frustrated that it seems to be a problem that won’t go away but I am hoping with enough frequent clearings, I will beat this.

Over July, we had more sun and more rain and last week, we had a huge thunderstorm. It was really a mix of both good and bad weather however, it might have been to my advantage. The rain helped me out a lot so I didnt have to worry about watering too much and still we got a ton of harvests. Last time we talked raspberries and they were still the star of July.

Latest update as of a few days ago…

Pineapple Sage has grown up!


If you recall, the last storm knocked out my entire pineapple sage except for a little baby stem. Well, its not a baby anymore and yet again proves what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Eggplant


This eggplant has been growing forever. I am about to harvest it. I really don’t think it will get bigger for the container grown eggplant. Hopefully, we will get another one before the end of the season.

Cucumbers & Zucchini


Zucchinis doing well is almost always a guarantee. My three are doing great. We have harvested two zucchinis so far and three more in the garden.


As for cucumbers, we were a little worried about the in ground ones. It seems that all it needed was time. In fact, it has surpassed the container cucumber and we have had harvests already.

cucumbers

Container Cucumber seems to be doing okay, I guess. I mean, there is this one right now and it looks like we have a few growing right now as well.

Zucchini and Cucumbers

Fresh from the garden yesterday are three cucumbers and one zucchini! We’re set for dinner tonight. 🙂

Ground Cherries are a Success!!

ground cherry

It only looks like foliage on the picture. I should have taken a closer shot. Either way, you can see the harvest below. And we still have a lot on the branches.

Actually this is only part of the batch. At this time, I had already given some to my mom. I’m thinking about making some fun dessert with it although I don’t mind eating these just like that. They are more tart but I enjoy them.

Gardening Thoughts

Thought #1: In terms of gardening, I’ve seemed to have found a good system between container and in ground vegetable and fruit areas. As time goes by, I see that only a section of the vegetable garden will be annual replants. Right now, already there is mint on one end and ground cherries and blueberries along with green onions on the other side which are perennial. I’m slightly worried about the blueberry plants right now because the area should expand however, I’m not quite sure how because the other part is just a grass area now and I use it to put my hose. Maybe I’ll just turn it into tiled grounds to make it easier to put stuff and add more containers there since it gets a lot more sun there. Some research to be done there. My parents had tiled their walkway one year by themselves so I think with the right research and buying stuff myself, I can take care of that small patch of land myself. If not, I’ll hunker down and turn it into a perennial garden or something filled with medicinal plants or herbs. Something to match with the edible garden that is going on right now.

Thought #2: I had wanted to recycle one of the pickup truck tops left by the previous owners and turn it into a flower garden. It would help minimize the weeds in that area since that area really would be near impossible to get it weed-free. Plus, I wanted to plant in some annual flower gardens, targeted mostly towards being a bee and butterfly garden with bee baths and different assortment of flowers appealing to them. I’m excited to get that going. Right now, I’m just waiting for my husband to have a moment to drag out the thing from behind the shed. Its pretty heavy and lots of obstacles to do by myself. Then I can get the soil bought and get cracking on it. I probably won’t start on it this year but I would like to have it set up before the season ends.

Thought #3: This thought has been on my mind ever since the first summer we’ve had the house. Its an ambitious plan and one I haven’t felt like I have the time or abilities to put together yet. However, this summer, one of the houses that I walk by when I get off the bus had done that by themselves. They have it on half of my scale. The idea is that I have a slope on my garden and I want to turn that into a landscape thing. Get some boulders or larger rocks, buy some shade and partial sun required flowers and get a nice landscape going on. Before all that, the most painful part will be getting all the grass out. I’ve been researching here and there on this and its a whole idea of conceptualizing what to plant as well as what to keep and what to remove.

That’s it for this gardening update!
How are your gardens going? Any harvests?

Gardening Update #4: Rain & Harvests!

Welcome back to a long overdue Gardening update! It keeps getting bumped back and finally, now its time to report back after vacation.

Its been a rainy and gloomy summer. We can’t complain much because we live without the luxury of air conditioning in a bungalow so that means, when its hot, its boiling inside most of the time. Compared to last year, this is somewhat a heavenly situation especially on days where I need to record podcasts. However, plants and flowers aren’t like us and most of them need the sun and bees to pollinate in order to bear fruit aside from just water, which it also needs a lot of, of course. With that said, the garden is still doing pretty good. We started to have some harvests and the vegetables and flowers are all coming around.

In-Ground Garden

Gardening

Gardening

Gardening

zucchini

No blueberries or asparagus in these pictures as they are waiting for next year to have any harvest. However, they are so far doing quite well.

Here is the in-ground garden. Zucchinis are coming out now. The lettuce is actually doing worse than in the containers. You’ll see later. Cucumbers are also not doing as well as in the container however they are starting to form some cucumbers. Hopefully it’ll work out especially with all the rain. If only, there was more sun. One of the more solid plants are the Ground Cherry. The challenge so far is still actually getting it to ripen before it falls down. I had planted it two times before in containers with that same issue. Now I’m hoping planting it in-ground will do the trick so we can harvest some ground cherries soon. Its definitely looking strong.

Raspberry

On the other side is our trimmed but somehow still overgrowing raspberry shrub. Strawberries had their season and I would have shared the harvest but like a loser, I deleted all my pictures this past weekend off my phone when I was lining up for a Comiccon panel. Long story short, I don’t have it anymore and the season is over. We did have decent harvests but nothing as epic as what raspberry will be. We had two tupperware bowls already in the last two weeks, which is pretty impressive. As you see, there are still raspberries ripening so the rain and sun balance seems to work beautifully for it. Plus, raspberries are great to have as it also helps out the bees, which Canada has been acting on to encourage Canadians to plant more bee gardens. I got my bee garden kit, just trying to get the garden ready as it’ll be a raised garden that I’m trying to get ready.

Flower garden

In my flower patch, the flowers right now is my mini rose shrub and these yellow flowers. I have to remember to keep these in check as they spread really fast although they are super pretty. My cone flowers are also starting to bloom however, they are also super depressed because the rabbits now can’t access the vegetable garden and they decided that they’d snack on the cone flower leaves instead. They looked miserable for the longest time. And now there another one that I moved and suspect will have to move again. The flower garden needs to be restructured and organized. I’m pondering that at the moment.

Container Gardening

Herbs are doing fantastic. We’ve harvested some basil mostly and added it to our recipes. The others we keep fresh in the fridge. It gives us a reason to use fresh basil and make foods with it. As you may notice, my pineapple sage lost the fight with the storm and is not just one stem struggling to stay alive. At least it survived. I almost thought it was a total loss. The kale and cucumbers are doing great here. Pots do cucumbers miracles as they are growing well although, it won’t be successful until we actually get some cucumbers to harvest. Finally, there’s the eggplant. The over excessive rainfall and lack of sun seems to be affecting it the most as it gets more yellow everyday and its not really having anything yet.

Our lettuce harvests were probably the earliest. While they are growing slower now, they are still doing quite well. Especially since we have them in-ground and in two hanging baskets.

Finally, the last thing is our kale. Its been doing fantastic. We’ve really only been making kale chips out of them. I should really post up the recipes for it that we use. I promise I will soon. The kale has been treating us well. As this post goes up, I’ve been thinking of harvesting my next batch this evening and making some more chips.

That’s it for this gardening recap!
How are your gardens doing?

Toronto: Asian Legend & Sugar Marmalade

Toronto is a heaven for food, especially in Chinese or Asian food.  It probably has other stuff also, like I really like the baked goods also.

This time around, the time really pushed everything together so my food adventures really just was on Saturday evening.

If you want to see my other food adventures, you can see it HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE!I didn’t even realize I had that many posts about Toronto food…hmm…

Anyways, lets get the show on the road!

Saturday for dinner, we went to Asian Legend in Chinatown.  I’ve been to that one and the one in Markham a lot of times.  It has awesome food! The must-have is the Steamed dumplings..

asian legend dundas

Steamed soup-filled dumplings

I had my fave green beans as well but didn’t take pictures of it.  My cousin added on two other dishes: Sauteed Eggplants with House Sauce and Fried Rice Cake with Pickled Vegetables.

Asian Legend

Sauteed Eggplants with House Sauce

Asian Legend

Fried Rice Cake with Pickled Vegetables

All of the dishes were pretty delicious. I was obsessed with the eggplants dish. I’m not much of a fan of eggplants but the sauce was so tasty. 🙂  It was perfect for us three.

After that, we took a little 8-10 minute stroll to get dessert and my cousin took us to try a new dessert place called Sugar Marmalade.

I chose the Herbal Jelly.  My mom took the Black Sesame Paste while my cousin took the Almond Paste.  They eventually ended up mixing the two together.

Sugar Marmalade

Herbal Jelly

Sugar Marmalade

Almond Paste and Black Sesame Paste

The herbal jelly was actually pretty bitter, which makes the quality a lot better than I had expected for a dessert place.  I liked it a lot.  The texture was good as well 🙂 It had a pretty nice atmosphere also.  The service was decent.  I’ll probably go visit again if I was in the area.

Today’s a short post but maybe I’ll be back later tonight with another one!

Any food adventures that you had this week?