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Wild Cantaloupe Harvest

A few months ago I shared about my wild cantaloupes that started growing in an old wheelbarrow. Well I nurtured the vines and they took over the whole wheelbarrow. After a while I did cut back new blooms to keep the energy going to the 7-8 actual cantaloupe melons growing. Just short of three months, I started harvesting my melons. Here is a photo of the largest one I grew.

Wild Cantaloupe

It is just so sweet and juicy! It sat on my counter for a week as it was a bit green and hard, but it ripened up as seen in this photo. Here is another photo of it ripening on my counter. It is 13 inches around which is small but oh so tasty.

Cantaloupe Ripening

As I mentioned before, I have never planted cantaloupe before and had no idea how to grow them. I did do some reading and I know they love lots of water and heat. But they do not like to have their feet wet according to an old gardening book. By feet they mean, don’t let them sit in over-moist dirt too long. Good idea to use a sandy top soil or I sat them on top of a vine to keep them out of puddled water in the wheelbarrow.

I hope you have enjoy reading about my wild cantaloupe melons and find these tips useful. Here is one final picture of my cantaloupe cut and ready to enjoy. Continue Reading →

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Garden Update

I haven’t posted in awhile and thought I’d share a garden update. It has been a challenging year with many of my seeds not wanting to grow very well. I had trouble with green onion seeds from two different companies that did not sprout. Then my tomato seedlings did not want to grow much after about an inch or two of development.
Zucchini 2021

But I am having success with my zucchini plants. See photo above of the big one which I have already harvested several zucchinis from already. There is another little one on the upper right which is hidden somewhat. I planted this one later so to stagger my crop. I love zucchini and what to be able to have an on-going crop so I planted one early and another seed was started recently.

Next I want to share an interesting development that happened in a old wheelbarrow that I keep for composting in the garden. I just throw all sorts of composting material like coffee grounds, egg shells, veggie trimmings, and whatever else I might have to toss. Well about a month ago I threw in some cantaloupe rinds and seed pulp into this wheelbarrow. Guess what, I have several wild cantaloupes growing now. I cleaned up the area around the plants and have been watering them faithfully. Check out the photo below.

Cantaloupe growing from seed pulp

I have never grown cantaloupe and not sure if it’s very conducive to growing in our climate but I’m giving it a go. I can’t wait to see how this experiment turns out.

Here are a few more photos of my tomato plants. The one tomato plant in the distance was started from some later seeds so it is smaller. I hope it will have enough time to development. But the big one closest to the camera already has many green tomatoes on it. Continue Reading →

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Spring Garden Prepping

Spring is nearly here and time to start planning for this season’s garden. Last year I started seedlings indoors and had lots of extra time for spring garden prepping due to the pandemic shutdown. I was off work and had more time to get my seedlings started and work on my garden area.
Garden Seeds

Last year my husband built cedar raised bed boxes for our garden and fenced a large garden area to keep out critters. We live in the woods and have to fence out deer, moose, elk and other critters that would love to eat my garden for their meal.

So this year, I have the garden area already fenced and the garden boxes in place. I just need to do some clean-up, fertilizing and tilling to get things ready for planting. But I also need to get some seedlings started in-doors.

If you are on a budget like I am, you will probably want to check out your local dollar store for garden items that you can pick up cheap. I scored some veggie and flower seeds that were priced 4 for a dollar. I also got some nice white garden stakes that I can write on to mark my plants. Additionally I was able to get some flexible tie wiring that is very handy for tomato plants, beans and other veggies to keep them off the ground and tidy. They also have garden gloves, planter pots, potting soil, and other gardening supplies which are all priced at just a dollar. You can’t beat those prices.
Garden Supplies

I used some dollar store tomato, lettuce and other vegetables seeds last year and they produced nicely. So if you have a chance, check out your dollar store to score some extra seeds and supplies as it is always wise to have extra items that you obtained at great prices on-hand. These items sell out fast so don’t wait too long.

Anyway hope everyone is thinking about gardening and growing some of your own food this year. As they keep saying, these are uncertain times and we need to be certain we have food growing in our yards that we can eat and supplement what we can or cannot buy at grocery stores.

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Indoor Basil Grown in a Pot

Just wanted to give an update on my basil grown indoors in a pot. Here is the last photo I took.

Basil Grown Indoors

I posted last month about my homegrown basil and how I had dried the spice for later use. It has been so nice to have homegrown basil that I can use fresh all year-around. There is nothing like fresh basil spice when you are making spaghetti, lasagna or pizza sauce. You just can’t beat the flavor and taste of fresh basil in these recipes.

Anyway I just wanted to post an update and share my basil plant that continues to grow in a pot in my kitchen window. Just remember to put your basil pot in a sunny, warm spot Continue Reading →

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Homegrown Basil

I started several Basil seeds this Spring inside in some peat pods. I had about 6 plant starts and put them into a large planter pot after the plants were a few inches tall. I then left the planter pot outside in the daytime and brought it in at night until the weather was warmer.

Basil Drying

I have been harvesting off the plants all Summer and Fall. I either just pick fresh leaves off the plants for spaghetti and lasagna sauce or dry them as shown above. I air dry the basil leaves for several days to completely dry them out. You can also place the drying leaves on a pan inside your oven with the light on to help accelerate the drying process.

Here is a photo of the leaves dried from the pan above. The dried leaves do shrink down considerably once they are all dried out.
Dried Basil
I store my dried basil leaves inside a sealed jar until the next time I need them for a recipe. I gently crush the leaves which releases a pleasant fragrance and flavor into my favorite Italian recipes.

I have brought my planter pot indoors now and will be able to continue to grown new Basil leaves hopefully all winter long. So whether you use your homegrown Basil fresh in your cooking or dry it for further use, it makes for a wonderful additional to any dish that calls for Basil spice.

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White Tip Radishes

Here are my first radishes of the season. I grew these sparkler white tip radishes with seeds from the Livingston Seed Company. This is the first time in years that we’ve had a garden and that I’ve grown radishes.

Sparkler White Tip Radishes

I used my radishes in a salad last night and they tasted great. There are several wonderful things about radishes. First they grow and mature very fast. They are easy to grow and are hardy in even cooler, wet climates. They are good to mix within your garden as bugs and other pests don’t like the smell of them. I mixed in these radish seeds around other rows of plants and so far the bugs have stayed away.

On a nutrition level, radish are very low-calorie root vegetable with just around Continue Reading →

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