Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Lasagna Garden

Last year I started a garden on my husbands families farm. We are going to be moving there this December. It is about 20 miles away, so I was not able to be there all the time to give it the watering it needed during this low water past summer. I have 9 beds that are 4x4 which I stared last year as square foot gardens. This past spring I put in a lasagna bed. In the lasagna bed the main things I grew were 12 cherry tomato plants, a few cantaloupe plants and a couple of bean plants.

To our surprise, the cherry tomato plants grew to 8 feet tall! Not only have we had plant growth, from the beginning of July until the frost last week, we were getting at least a 5 quart bucket of tomatoes every other day! In an area where are growing season is so short, never thought I'd actually get melons, we had at least 10 melons that I picked prior to the frost. Phenomenal results!

I am now going to plant the rest of my garden in the lasagna garden. My brother in law has horses, and he grows the hay, so that is readily available to me.  In the other beds, I also have the same tomatoes planted, that only got about 2 ft tall.

I found one of the best reasons to do this type of garden, is the way the beds are able to hold in the moisture. Great way to use whatever water is available!  The lasagna garden may be the way to garden in the future, giving the way are water situation has been lately. As far as I can tell, instead of pulling all the old plants out of the garden, I just cover them up with hay and let them compost over the winter.

Since I have gone to no soil gardening, one of the pluses is being able to get into the garden as soon as the mixture is thawed. There is no tilling of soil, very little time is spent weeding. as there are very few weeds. I am still able to spend in my garden,  instead of spending it pulling weeds, I was able to spend it tending to the vines, planting seeds,etc. Even though a vast portion of my garden froze last week, today I am going to work on getting my garden ready for next spring!

Sunday, September 9, 2012


Hello everyone,
Sorry I haven't gotten the recipes up, I've been kinda busy with school and all (SO much homework - even in the first week). I'll get them up as soon as I can! Sorry about the wait!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Maple Pecan Bundt Cake

Here is my recipe all have been waiting for.  Sorry for the long wait. Thanks all for your patience.  We ended up camping at the State Fair for two weeks. During that time, we did not have any internet. We also packed up our daughter and got here back off to college. During the fair, there was some sort of viral thing going on, slow moving the past few days since we got back home on Tuesday.

Maple Pecan Bundt Cake

1 yellow cake mix
1 small box instant vanilla pudding
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
3-4 eggs (depends on size of cake mix and moistness desired)
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325
Place all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix on low speed until all are moistened
Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes
Spray Bundt pan with vegetable oil spray just prior to filling
Pour batter into bundt pan. Batter will be very thick. Even out as much as possible.
Bake @ 325 form 30-60 minutes. Cake is done when toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Let cool in pan for 10 minutes
Put a plate on top of the pan and flip the pan over, so the cake now sits on the plate
Dust top with powdered sugar

State Fair Recipes

For all those looking for the State Fair recipes we demoed, will try our best to get them up later today.

Sorry for the long wait!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Sweet Morsels of Life Using the Earth's Bounty

For the past four months, I have been spending most of my spare time in the garden.

My garden is not overly huge. I have nine beds that are 4x4 feet done in the square gardening way. I have three beds that I started this year that I did in the lasagna gardening manner. I also have numerous boxes done in a homemade earth box. In these various areas I have planted the usual summer garden vegetables- tomatoes, corn, beans, lettuce, cucumbers, potatoes, etc.

In the lasagna garden, I planted 12 cherry tomato plants. I planted the cherry tomatoes, knowing the other varieties would take much longer to harvest, I wanted to be having some tomatoes much sooner. Lo and behold, not only did I start getting the tomatoes over a month ago, they also keep going!  The plants have reached over 8 feet tall, with hundreds of bright little tomatoes all over those vines. Every time I go look at my garden, they remind of grape vines. Succulent red fruits that when bitten into, produce an oozing juice.

Having so many tomatoes, have been a challenge. We have given many, many away. I now have in my fridge three 5 quart pails filled with the tasty morsels. My challenge s to find different ways of serving these.

While searching the net, I came across the recipe for roasted cherry tomatoes. I had never thought of roasting the morsels, so I decided to give them a try.

I washed then dried the tomatoes, then placed them on a roasting sheet. I then drizzled olive oil over them, added about six cloves of garlic, mixed all of this together. I placed them in a preheated oven ar 350 degrees for about an hour.  After the hour, they were cooked, but I wanted some caramelization
so I turned the oven up to 450 and roasted them for about another 10 minutes.

The result was sweet morsels of tomatoes with just a hint of brown to the tops. I served these succulent morsels over some freshly cooked noodles.

Never would I have thought something so simple would taste so DELICIOUS! The roasting brought out the concentrated sweetness of the little tomatoes.

Just a note- I did leave the tomatoes whole. It made the dish much simpler. Also with leaving them whole, the juice was still slightly encased in the tomato. It also made it a much prettier dish. A small dash of fresh basil or parsley would also add a bit to the presentation.