Let's Talk about Gardens

Posted by Rosemary, Volunteer Mentor @rosemarya, Mar 31 8:23pm

Spring is on it’s way and many of us are looking forward to some sunshine and warmer weather and being outdoors…and gardens!
Perhaps you look forward to digging in the fresh spring time soil as you prepare for a summer garden? Do you plant flowers? Do you plant vegetables?
Do you garden for enjoyment? Do you garden for health benefits? What do you want to share about your garden?

@lioness – I referred to making cucumber soup from my garden bounty over on the walking group, and you asked for the recipe – it fits better here, so here it is (handed down from my mother-in-law, now in heaven, and probably her mother before) It is perfect for using up those slightly too large and seedy for nice slicing cukes that hide in the foliage. All measures approximate – we use what we have on hand. Some people also add green peppers, but we don't care for them.

Large onion (or to taste) minced and sauted until translucent in the soup pot
3-4 large cucumbers, peeled and sliced (big chunks OK)
4-6 small-medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1.5 quarts any soup stock – homemade or store bought If I use the 1 qt carton, I add 2 c water
Salt & pepper to taste
Browned flour roux or cornstarch & water for thickening
1/2 cup (about) rice or white wine vinegar
Other seasoning of choice – such as 1Tbsp dry mustard, 1 tbsp summer savory, 1-2 cloves minced garlic…

Simmer the veggies together in the soup stock until mushy 45 min or longer, then mash (I use an old potato masher) – will be a little lumpy
Add roux or cornstarch mixture a little at a time while stirring over low heat until thickened – a little thicker than good gravy
Add vinegar and adjust thickening and seasoning to taste.

Serve with a blob of sour cream or sprinkling of shredded cheese on top, and grilled cheese sandwiches on the side.

By the way – At the end of the season, we peel and freeze a few bags of cucumbers to make this dish in winter – wonderful after being out in the cold!
We also wash, core and freeze extra tomatoes (no blanching or peeling needed) for making soup and chili – just take out the skins as they rise to the top when cooked. My Mom called this "lazy woman's canning", but in reality she was raising 6 kids and working 2 jobs, so I think of it as "desperation canning" – we were lucky to have a huge upright freezer.
Sue
PS Who else wants to share their favorite from the garden" recipe? Especially one that uses excess or just-beyond-perfect veggies

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@sueinmn That sounds good I have cukes now and potatoes Think I.ll make up a bunch freeze rest didn't know you could freeze them I make a Kale Potato soup about same recipie that was my Mom,s favorite

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@lioness

@sueinmn That sounds good I have cukes now and potatoes Think I.ll make up a bunch freeze rest didn't know you could freeze them I make a Kale Potato soup about same recipie that was my Mom,s favorite

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Hi @lioness, how are you doing? I made a cucumber salad but with apple cider vinegar. It was too strong, I should have watered it down a bit more.

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@sueinmn

@lioness – I referred to making cucumber soup from my garden bounty over on the walking group, and you asked for the recipe – it fits better here, so here it is (handed down from my mother-in-law, now in heaven, and probably her mother before) It is perfect for using up those slightly too large and seedy for nice slicing cukes that hide in the foliage. All measures approximate – we use what we have on hand. Some people also add green peppers, but we don't care for them.

Large onion (or to taste) minced and sauted until translucent in the soup pot
3-4 large cucumbers, peeled and sliced (big chunks OK)
4-6 small-medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1.5 quarts any soup stock – homemade or store bought If I use the 1 qt carton, I add 2 c water
Salt & pepper to taste
Browned flour roux or cornstarch & water for thickening
1/2 cup (about) rice or white wine vinegar
Other seasoning of choice – such as 1Tbsp dry mustard, 1 tbsp summer savory, 1-2 cloves minced garlic…

Simmer the veggies together in the soup stock until mushy 45 min or longer, then mash (I use an old potato masher) – will be a little lumpy
Add roux or cornstarch mixture a little at a time while stirring over low heat until thickened – a little thicker than good gravy
Add vinegar and adjust thickening and seasoning to taste.

Serve with a blob of sour cream or sprinkling of shredded cheese on top, and grilled cheese sandwiches on the side.

By the way – At the end of the season, we peel and freeze a few bags of cucumbers to make this dish in winter – wonderful after being out in the cold!
We also wash, core and freeze extra tomatoes (no blanching or peeling needed) for making soup and chili – just take out the skins as they rise to the top when cooked. My Mom called this "lazy woman's canning", but in reality she was raising 6 kids and working 2 jobs, so I think of it as "desperation canning" – we were lucky to have a huge upright freezer.
Sue
PS Who else wants to share their favorite from the garden" recipe? Especially one that uses excess or just-beyond-perfect veggies

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@sueinmn, Just saw your post with the cucumber/potato soup recipe. Thank you for sharing it!

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@Erinmfs

Hi @lioness, how are you doing? I made a cucumber salad but with apple cider vinegar. It was too strong, I should have watered it down a bit more.

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@ Erinmfs Hi stranger good to hear from you l Love this salad but you do have to water the vinegar down with water and add a little sugar to it l put tomatoes and 0nion in also The beets do the same to pickle them if you like them

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@sueinmn

@oxbeaux First, I am sorry for the loss of your spouse – you are right, digging in the dirt and bringing new life can indeed be therapeutic. I am glad you found a place to do this.
Second, just reading your description makes me TIRED – wow! But think of the lovely food you all have to bring you through this next winter – and it will bring you memories of the lovely summer you spent outdoors and with family.
Let us know how your next garden adventure progresses as you return to Phoenix when the weather cools.

@jimhd We have been harvesting cucumbers, tomatoes and fresh basil for several weeks in Minnesota from our tiny "plot" – 7 straw bales along the sunny side of our garage. We get ripe veggies weeks before those in the ground are ready, due to the warmth of the decomposing bales and the intense sun reflecting off the siding.

My 4 year old grandson loves to pick & eat cherry tomatoes right from the vine, and his taste buds and patience have reached the point this year where he understands "redder is better" and patiently checks for the ripest 3 each time he is given permission to pick (we have to ration him or he eats them until he has a bellyache.) Our resident foster guinea pig (our daughter does rescue & is maxed out on pigs) waits for 4pm every day when I come in from the garden with his sprigs of fresh basil. If I forget, he stands at the kitchen door and hollers at me!
I'm trying for a second row of bales next years so I can plant potatoes in the decomposing ones from this year…but that means building a new "corral" to contain them, extending irrigation (again) and infringing on the clover lawn that the bees love so much. I am not sure I have that much energy…
Happy gardening everyone.
Sue

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Hi, Sue @sueinm We ate our first cucumber yesterday, and there are lots of green tomatoes. The cucumber was a surprise as I hadn't noticed it. I'm fighting my annual mole/gopher battle, without a lot of success. My dog catches way more than I do. I have the perennial/vegetable garden fenced to keep the deer and our dogs out. Maybe I should let Sadie in to hunt. The main reason I don't want the dogs in is that I keep a compost pile in there and the dogs eat all the table scraps, which defeats the purpose and makes them fat. I guess I could fence off just the compost.

Jim

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@jimhd Maybe you should get a cat they are pretty good at finding things like gophers moles and such

Liked by fiesty76

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@lioness

@jimhd Maybe you should get a cat they are pretty good at finding things like gophers moles and such

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@lioness I think we have a couple. We don't see much of them, but they like the bed I made for Sadie in the barn. All I see is a flash when I open the barn door.

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Chemo and radiation robbed us of our garden last year so we're enjoying every bit of it this year, even the hard work. I admit that I have less strength and a lot of energy for it but I give it my best and take things slowly. My wife reminds me that there is nothing wrong with baby steps. We've been enjoying the flower gardens and we're eating lots of fresh vegetables already this year. After every hour we spend working the gardens this summer we're reminded of all the friends who came to weed and water things while we were gone.

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@fredm, So glad you are enjoying the bounty from your garden this year! I'm all in favor of baby steps, too and find myself taking more "timeouts" than in years past. I want to blame it on the long bouts of 100+ temps but keeping flowers and veggies alive this year is almost a full time job. I resorted to placing upside down grocery sacks over some during the hottest parts of the day but have lost many perennials and some veggies are just stunted and not producing as usual. It makes harvesting what does produce more of a pleasure. Nothing beats fresh from our own gardens, right?

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@fredm

Chemo and radiation robbed us of our garden last year so we're enjoying every bit of it this year, even the hard work. I admit that I have less strength and a lot of energy for it but I give it my best and take things slowly. My wife reminds me that there is nothing wrong with baby steps. We've been enjoying the flower gardens and we're eating lots of fresh vegetables already this year. After every hour we spend working the gardens this summer we're reminded of all the friends who came to weed and water things while we were gone.

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@fredm Welcome to Mayo Connect, and thank you for posting! I sure do agree that gardens can take a lot of work, and baby steps are just fine. When you look back over a week and see the work accomplished, it's gotta make you feel good, right? How wonderful to be reminded of the friends who helped you out, as you take trowels and hoses to the soil. Does your bounty have enough to share with them as a "thanks"?
Ginger

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@fredm

Chemo and radiation robbed us of our garden last year so we're enjoying every bit of it this year, even the hard work. I admit that I have less strength and a lot of energy for it but I give it my best and take things slowly. My wife reminds me that there is nothing wrong with baby steps. We've been enjoying the flower gardens and we're eating lots of fresh vegetables already this year. After every hour we spend working the gardens this summer we're reminded of all the friends who came to weed and water things while we were gone.

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@fredm Welcome to Mayo Connect. I understand perfectly about being robbed of one's garden. I spent one summer recuperating from 3 hip revision surgeries while watching others tend my garden, and 2 more with a horrid bout of pneumonia and the aftermath, taking tiny baby steps to tend it with help. I am doing much better this year, but work more slowly & have turned the heaviest work over to my 20 year old neighbor, who is grateful for the infusion of cash for her college fund. Take time to sit and enjoy!
Sue

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@gingerw

@fredm Welcome to Mayo Connect, and thank you for posting! I sure do agree that gardens can take a lot of work, and baby steps are just fine. When you look back over a week and see the work accomplished, it's gotta make you feel good, right? How wonderful to be reminded of the friends who helped you out, as you take trowels and hoses to the soil. Does your bounty have enough to share with them as a "thanks"?
Ginger

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Yes gifting produce from our gardens is a great way to thank people for their help.

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Some daylillies around my yard.

Jim

20200805_105415-COLLAGE

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