Monday, August 23, 2010

From Growing to Harvesting (and still some growing too)

Countertop Pickles...They Came Out Great!
In the jar are pickling cukes, garlic cloves, shallot bulbs, and dill heads as well as salted water and white vinegar. What you do is fill the very clean jar with cukes. Then add a few cloves of garlic, shallots, and dill heads. In a separate jar mix 1 TBSP canning salt into 1 quart of water. 1/2 fill the jar with this salty water mixture. Then fill the rest of the way with the white vinegar. If you need more salty water be sure that its a mixture of 1 TBSP in 1 quart of water. Use that salty water mixture even if you only use a little of it. Be sure all contents are covered with liquid. You should have approximately 1/2 salty water and 1/2 vinegar.Cover the jar and let it sit out of sunlight on your counter. DO NOT SEAL TIGHTLY!!!! Let top sit lightly on top so gasses can escape. Let it sit on the counter for a few days. Watch how the cukes change from looking like cukes to looking like pickles. After 2 days I tasted and they were mouth puckering, way too vinegary! But I didn't do anything. I just let them sit a few more days. Then tasted on day 5 and it was good for me. I clipped on the lid and put them in refrig. Now is one month later and they are delicious! When you put them in the refrig you slow down the fermentation process so you want them to taste the way you like them before you put them in the refrigerator. But I did notice that they mellowed and became real pickles as the month progressed.

(Note: it is 4 years later and I just found another idea from The Old Farmer's Almanac to try. After the rain tonight I'm going to look for small veggies, including pickling cukes, to try this with. "Every couple of weeks, I made a fresh brine—half cider vinegar, half tap water—filling the crock two-thirds full. I’d add three or four dill heads, a few peeled garlic cloves, and a little pickling salt. Then I’d start adding vegetables, usually weighing them down into the brine with a small plate."

Now that we have that out of the way let's begin our post....What do you do when you have more tomatoes, summer squash, zucchini,cucumbers, scallions, than you know what to do with? You go on a mini vacation! Well not usually but that's what we did. But then you come back and you either share or you can put them up. Or maybe you do both.

We came back from a wonderful mini vacation visiting the western Maine mountains and hearing the Wailin Jenny's. If you have not listened to them, you must! They are so talented; 3 young woman (and 1 is from Maine!) and now a young man. The four of them play a variety of string instruments as well as a few others. But it's their voices that are so phenomenal. What is it about some music that just reaches right into your soul and rips it out?! Well that's them. They have a sound that is not only beautiful but it reaches to the depth of your soul. They are angelic and listening to them in the most beautiful and acoustically amazing barn there is just sets the backdrop for a wonderful and sensual evening. We saw them at Stone Mt. Performing Arts Center in Brownfield Maine. Here is a photo of SMAC: The music happens in the red barn to the back. The owners live in the farmhouse in the front

And here is SMAC's website:
And here is the Wailin Jenny's website:
The Inn at Crystal Lake is the closest inn to stay at. It's really nice. Not too foo foo if you know what I mean. I've stayed in inns before that are down right gaudy. Some rooms look like they came out of a doll house. What man wants to stay in a pink and lacy room!? I don't get it. But this one is nice, run by nice guys, in a real nice location (request a back room) and great food. Well to be honest there is a small B&B closer to SMAC and we stayed there last winter and we froze our buns off! No heat upstairs! I know here in Maine we can be a hardy group of souls and many, including us, do not have heat upstairs (it's just the way old farmhouses were built), but when you pay to go somewhere; I'm sorry I want heat! So we don't go there anymore. We are now Crystal Lake converts. Here's a pic of the inn's front porch (which by the way is not the inn's best feature!) I really enjoyed sitting out back.

Today I am going to make relish with my cucumbers, can more tomatoes, and try to get some local peaches to make peach butter. I'll post pictures and recipes when I'm done. Note to self - next year plant pickling cukes so I can make pickles!

Enjoy your garden's produce! And remember to replant whenever your crop is spent.

PS - Almost forgot to mention that I came back to a garden full of powdery mildew. Pumpkins have it the most; the leaves look like they are covered with a powdery substance. Here's info on dealing with it. But to be honest I'm just not going to deal with it. I think I'll still get all my pumpkins just fine. It just looks awful.,7518,s1-2-73-894-1-4-2,00.html

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tomatoes! And Peppers

The height of the summer garden is here and that can only mean one thing, at least one thing for me, TOMATOES!

Luscious Mouth Watering Heirloom Tomatoes at Various Stages of Ripening

You can see several things in this picture besides the tomatoes. Notice the curling of the leaves; a sign that the tomato is conserving water since it's dry and thirsty. Also notice the strips of cloth I use to secure the tomato plants to the stakes. Every year I struggle with how to hold up tomato plants. I've tried staking and no staking. I definitely like staking better than not but still have not figured out the best way to do this. The plants are so big this year and so full of large tomatoes that each plant has 3 -4 stakes supporting it. And I like using cloth to tie the stems to the stake as they seem to be a bit gentler on the plants than twine or string. Next year I'm going to try using hardware cloth. I think that's what it's called. It's metal and it's stronger than chicken wire. I saw this at the Belfast Middle School's garden last year. They took hardware cloth and made a 4' diameter circle out of it. They planted their tomato plant and put this "stake" around each plant. I thought that was a great idea!

Last year many of us in the northeast lost our entire tomato crop to Late Blight. This year there was a Late Blight scare earlier in the season over by the coast but the dry, hot weather took care of that threat. And do we have tomatoes! As I was picking tomatoes and bending suckers off the plants I had a wonderful experience. The heirloom tomatoes are growing near the 3 Sisters bed (corn, beans, squash). The beans I planted there have beautiful red flowers and the hummingbirds were there and so beautiful. There were six of them flying around, chasing each other, eating from the red flowers and they didn't even seem to care that I was there. I was able to enjoy their show for almost 20 minutes before they took off. I love that about gardening! You go out with one thing in mind and you get a totally unexpected show.

This year I planted a variety of types of tomatoes, some heirloom and some hybrid. I did that hoping to ensure some tomato harvest this year. I figured if something got to the heirloom I'd still have the hybrids to fall back on. Well, they are all doing magnificently!

Here's how my tomato growing has gone so far. I bought all my tomato as seedlings from FEDCO tree sale and a local greenhouse. I don't know if you remember but the Late Blight last year originated in tomato plants bought from the big box department stores. Another reason to shop locally. I like the variety available from the local growers. And I like to support them so they can make a living providing our area with local, delicious, organic produce and plants. The plants may have cost a little more but to me it's worth it. They are usually much healthier than those bought from big stores too. One thing I didn't do and wish I did was to label my seedlings better than I did. So now I have about 7 or 8 varieties out there and don't know which ones are which. I know which are the paste tomatoes by what they look like. And I know the hybrid's by what they look like (picture perfect looking). I obviously know the cherry tomatoes although I planted a few different varieties of them too and didn't label them. I know which are heirloom but don't have any idea what heirloom they are. I know Brandywine because I grow them a lot. But I have some small ones that are just luscious and I have no idea what variety they are! Ugh! So lesson learned - get better plant labels for next year and label the tomatoes and peppers better. I mention peppers because I bought 6 different types of pepper plants too and don't know which is which. But they are turning red right now and are beautiful! But I'm only getting 1 large pepper per sweet pepper plant. I wonder what that's about. I've been fertilizing them all season with great goat manure, compost, compost tea. So not sure what's up with that. Lots on the hot pepper plants though and they've been red for a while. Sweet Pepper Plant with Ripening Pepper
Did you know that green peppers are unripe peppers? The longer you leave them on the plant they will change color. Most of mine are turning red. Some are turning yellow. I've seen orange ones at the store but haven't grown any. I like ripe peppers better than green ones. They taste, well better! And our hot summer this year is perfect for ripening peppers on the plants.

So now that tomatoes are coming in what the heck do we do with them all!? Eat them, cook with them, can them, dry them, freeze them, and share them. I have had a tomato sandwich everyday for the past week or so. I've had Bruchetta on Thursdays for dinner the past two weeks. Thursdays because I can get a great loaf of fresh baguette bread from the farmers' market on Thursdays. Today I canned my first batch of tomatoes and made my first batch of salsa.

To make my salsa -
I cut up my most ripe tomatoes, ones I've had on the counter for a few days, real red, about 8 or 9 of them. I started simmering them while I cut up 2 sweet peppers, one was red and one was yellow. I also cut up a long red hot pepper. I left the seeds and all in and boy did it give the salsa a kick! I cut up about 10 scallions since I've got a ton of them in the garden and about 6 tiny cloves of garlic. I sauteed the peppers, scallions, garlic in a little bit of live oil in which I diced up some cilantro. After the pepper mixture looked fairly cooked I added it to the tomatoes. I minced some cilantro, parsley, basil, and oregano and added them to the tomatoes. I added a tiny bit of salt and pepper and a good slice of lime. I let it simmer for a few hours and it came out great!

Something I want to try is Roasted Tomatoes in Oil - Here's two websites that explain how to do that. It sounds great! if you want to can a substantial amount of this and if you just want to try a small batch. Here's a picture from the Passionate About Baking website: Roasted Tomatoes in Oil
NOTE: read the safety tips at both these websites as a reminder to use caution when preserving anything in oil!

But all is not bliss in the kingdom of tomatoes. The otherworldly Tomato Hornworm has shown it's presence. The green Tomato Hornworm is the larvae of the Hawk Moth and these large caterpillars can do a lot of damage to tomato plants. As my husband says, the Tomato Hornworm looks like something out of the movie, Men in Black. Since they can do an amazing amount of destruction to tomato plants in a short amount of time you want to get rid of them. But they are huge and can be somewhat intimidating. And since they are so green they blend in well with the tomato plants making them easy to miss. It may be their waste or frass, blackish to brownish pellets that you'll notice first. Or it might be the fact that the tomato plants look like deer have been eating them because leaves are missing and all you see are stems. That's what I first noticed today. The top of 2 plants looked like deer had been eating them. Upon closer inspection I found the dreaded frass and knew to keep looking. Sure enough there the bugger was! I am a whimp so I put on a garden glove and pulled it off. And did it take quite the tug! Wow, it was really holding on. I put it in a jar to show my family, one member was not impressed they other very impressed. Then I threw it outside for the birds to eat. I was going to give it to my neighbor's chickens but thought they might think it weird that I arrived with a lone caterpillar for them. I will look around the plants again each evening and morning to see if I find more. Something tells me that if I found one, I'll find more. I just couldn't see anymore this morning. Here's a few pictures of the dreaded darling -

Can you see the Tomato Hornworm? And it's waste pellets to the left of it?

A close up of the Tomato Hornworm

The first thing I noticed - stems minus the leaves

A Close Up of the Tomato Hornworm in a Jar

And leave it to Johnny's Selected Seeds here in Maine to have a video on how to control Tomato Hornworm! You can view it here: Be sure to watch the whole thing so you can see if you have the beneficial parasitic wasps laying eggs on the hornworm! If so then you are in luck. If considering using Bt here's what Wikipedia says about it:

"Spores and crystalline insecticidal proteins produced by B. thuringiensis have been used to control insect pests since the 1920s.[10] They are now used as specific insecticides under trade names such as Dipel and Thuricide. Because of their specificity, these pesticides are regarded as environmentally friendly, with little or no effect on humans, wildlife, pollinators, and most other beneficial insects. The Belgian company Plant Genetic Systems was the first company (in 1985) to develop genetically engineered (tobacco) plants with insect tolerance by expressing cry genes from B. thuringiensis.
Bacillus thuringiensis serovar israelensis, a strain of B. thuringiensis is widely used as a larvicide against mosquito larvae, where it is also considered an environmentally friendly method of mosquito control."

Finally...remember learning about density? Well check this picture out and see if you can figure out why the layering in these, just out of the canner, jars of tomatoes look the way they do!

So get your magnifying glasses out and check your tomato plants. Then eat your tomatoes any way you can!
Hope you are enjoying your garden and remember that gardens make the world clean and fresh,
PS - Great site...100 ways to use your tomatoes!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

What's Coming From the August Garden

Tomatoes, cucumbers, squashes, herbs, beans, carrots, scallions, peppers - all to bring to Boston to Erin!

My one watermelon. Don't laugh! I know some of you who live further south get "real" watermelon. But up here in Maine this is about as good as it gets! Not only do I have one watermelon but I also have one cantaloupe. They both are still small but this is the furthest I've gotten with watermelon and cantaloupe since living in Maine. I'm sure the warm summer has helped. I also used black plastic, well it's really black landscape fabric/weed block cloth, to warm the ground where I planted them. A few weeks before planting I put black plastic down to warm the soil. First I heavily composted the area then I put the plastic down. Then at planting time I made a hole, added more compost, and planted the seedlings. So they are still surrounded by the black plastic. When they began to flower I added more compost and watered with water that I added some fish emulsion to.

In the garden pumpkins are still green but are getting larger. This is a shot of a field pumpkin that will be used to carve into a Jack-o-Lantern. I also have pie pumpkins; they are actually beginning to turn orange.

Finally here's a picture of a tomato plant that the leaves are all curling. I contacted extension and MOFGA and they both said that this is a physiological disorder. Something that tomato plants do during very dry conditions. It's the plant's way of conserving water. It looks awful but won't harm the fruit. That's good!

Today I pulled beans and harvested any that were on the plants. Not many but enough for a dish. I also harvested shallots. I dug in compost in those areas as well as where the potatoes were and then planted a fast growing lettuce mix, chard, spinach, and carrots. I know I was going to plant a cover crop where the potatoes were but I changed my mind. I really want some spinach and chard for the fall.

The garden is going great and we're really enjoying the produce. I'm going to cook up the tomatoes, peppers, cilantro, scallions, garlic to make salsa. Can't wait!

Well, hope you are enjoying your garden and able to share some of your produce with others. And remember, gardens make the world clean and fresh,

A Day at the Coast

Lobster Boats - A Local Maine Food

Vine ripe tomatoes and lobster, what do they have in common? August in Maine! Certainly we can eat tomatoes, even Maine tomatoes ( and lobster all year. But they don't compare to eating them fresh in Maine in August. Mix that with everyone's need for time off and time away from everyday life and you've got the makings for a wonderful way to spend a day away from it all. Yes, that includes the gardens. The photo above is of a few lobster boats at Five Islands Lobster Pound near Reid State Park. Two absolutely beautiful places along the coast of Maine. They may not be the "most" beautiful places along the coast but they sure come close in my book. They are where I like to spend my coastal time. An hour and a half from home they are about as close as I can get to a real coastal get away that includes a sandy beach and lobster boats.

Back home the gardens need tending; that never changes. But garden tending is like housework; it'll be there for you when you get back from your get away no matter what. So it's important to step away from it all from time to time and enjoy some raw and natural beauty. It's funny how a garden can be a summer's entire entertainment. For me that is what it is. Not only does the garden provide fresh, organic, luscious food but it's also my entertainment for the season. I don't know what I'd do during the summer without gardening. I'd be bored to tears! Everyday I go outside (I just read that outdoor exercise treats depression much more effectively than indoor exercise! Another great reason to garden rather than go to the gym!) into my gardens and voila! Things to do! Lots of things to do, see, and experience. How can you be bored when everyday you're not quite sure what you're going to do and then you go outside and find that there are weeds to pull, seedlings to sprinkle with water, compost to attend to (which I'm really bad at!), beds to compost and mulch, bees to watch, tomatoes to pinch, flowers to pick, herbs to harvest, vegetables to pick.....on and on? That's what gardening is to me.

I've been to the coast several times this week and will be visiting the mountains and Boston next week. So today I need to tend my gardens so that they will withstand my time away, again. Things to do will include more fall plantings of greens and some root veggies and some herbs like cilantro. I may even try some peas. I need to replant those at home and at the community garden. So that means digging up spots where harvested plants were and work in generous amounts of compost. Today I will probably pull up spent bean plants and harvest my shallots and replant them with the above mentioned seeds. Then I'll head over to the community garden to do the same. Johnny's Selected Seeds was very generous in donating seeds for the Soup Kitchen plots at the community garden. There is also enough to give to the community gardeners there as well as the school kids who garden there. Wonderful!! I dug up the potato and greens beds last week and will compost and replant today with greens and roots. Where the potatoes were I'll put the greens. Where the greens were I'll plant the root veggies. Rotating crops is very important for several reasons. One is so that the same plants don't deplete one type of nutrient from the soil. Another reason is so pests that munch on a particular plant isn't given an easy opportunity to find those plants. Mix it up a bit! I'll finally head over to check on my school garden and just make sure it's not overgrown. So I'm assuming weeding and dead heading flowers will be what I do there.

In the mean time here are a few more pics from my trip to the coast. Enjoy!
Five Islands, Maine

Sand Pipers at Reid State Beach Park (I think that's what kind of bird they are!)

A Crab at Low Tide

The Beach at Reid

The Beach at Reid

"Home Base" at Reid

As always, happy gardening and your times away from the gardens too,

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Plums, Bruschetta, and the Joy of Mixing Things Up

Plums From Our Plum Tree!

We planted a plum tree at least 5 years ago and this is the first year we've gotten so many plums. And are they sweet, juicy, and delicious! Last year we only got a few plums. If you are used to purple plums like you get at the grocery store these yellowish plums may surprise you. Yes, they are ripe and they are soooo good! The tree is near my pool and it's what you see outside our bathroom window, especially if you're a guy, ha! So my son and husband have been watching the progress of this tree all spring and summer. They have watched it develop beautiful flowers in the spring and the fruit grow and change color throughout the summer. It was my son who first noticed the big black growths on several branches of the tree. Turns out it was Black Knot, a fungus that needed to get cut off. So I cut off each branch below each black knot which dramatically altered the shape of the tree. Then we burned the branches and now the tree is Black Knot free. I was planning on baking with the plums but they never made it into something. We just keep eating them!

Bruschetta - not a great picture but click on it you'll see it a bit better

Well the highlight of the summer has arrived; ripening tomatoes and the making (and enjoying) of Bruschetta! Bruschetta is a simple and decadent dish. The first Bruschetta of the season is pure enjoyment. I don't know about you but I can't get enough of the stuff. Made of chopped tomatoes, minced sweet basil, garlic, and shallot, and a dash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. This "topping" is enjoyed on a chunk of a baguette. Absolute heaven! Some like to add fresh Mozzarella cheese to this combination but I usually don't. All those garden flavors just dance in your mouth creating a sensation that is hard to describe. Ya think I like this stuff?! If I'm just making enough for me I chop 1 large or 2 small tomatoes or a handful of cherry tomatoes or a mixture of each. Using different kinds of tomatoes with different colors makes for some surprising flavors each time you enjoy this treat. I finely mince a garlic clove and shallot bulb and add them to the chopped tomatoes. Then I take a pinch from the top of a sweet basil plant, mince the leaves and add to the tomato mixture. Put in a dash of good olive oil and a dash of good balsamic vinegar and you've got Bruchetta! Simple and delicious. Add the Bruschetta to slices from a fresh baguette loaf, add a nice glass of red wine, go outside in the shade and enjoy! This is often a favorite meal for me this time of year. Heaven doesn't get much better than this. Simple things really can be the best of things. I've been reading about Mediterranean cooking and find that they are so right. Use fresh, local ingredients and keep the recipe simple so the ingredients are highlighted and you will always end up a delicious and nutritious meal.

And finally, I realized something today while I was picking zucchini, squash, and beans for the soup kitchen. Last week I pulled all the garlic and earlier this week I planted lettuce and beets where the garlic was. When I went out to get the squashes today I could really see the squash plants. Not having garlic and dill in front of the plants allowed a new perspective of that area of the garden. So I walked around the garden looking at the other spots where I pulled spent plants out and noticed how nice it was to see the areas looking different. It's like watching all the new plants coming up in spring. The back garden has plants like corn, pumpkins, and tomatoes. Those plants take all summer to grow and fruit so they won't get replanted with anything. That garden is different than the "spring" garden where all the spring crops were planted and now I'm busy replanting. It's nice.

Here's a photo of the onions I've harvested. Their tops feel over last week and now I've got them drying in the sun for a few weeks. They are on a screen that allows air to circulate over and under them. Unlike garlic, which drys in the shade, onions dry in the sun.

And here's a photo of the spot where the onions were. The spot was turned under, composted heavily, and now planted with beets, chard, and lettuce. I'm hoping this spot is where I'll put the cold frame when the weather really turns. We'll see.

Well, as always, enjoy your garden and cooking with your fresh garden produce.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Community and School Gardens

Our Classroom Garden

This year I helped begin our town's community garden. It's looking beautiful and I thought I'd share a few photos. The photo above shows my 4th grade classroom's small garden.

Newly Constructed Raised Beds of Community Garden

Early Season Community Garden Beds

Later in the Season

My Nieces Tending a Soup Kitchen Bed in the Community Garden

Our 2nd big harvest for the soup kitchen. The first harvest I didn't get a photo of which was too bad because there were lots of greens! When I got to the garden spot the other day the greens that were left were "mowed down" presumably by a wood chuck so I grabbed what was left. And the carrots look to have had a deer nibbling on their green tops!
1 batch Yukon Gold Potatoes, Carrot thinnings, and Beets

Hope you enjoy the photos.

If you'd like more information on community or school gardens here are two good links to start with.
community gardening: and
school gardening:

Happy Gardening!

Dilly Beans, Scallions, Herb Oils, 3 Sisters,Replanting, Fish Drinks, and Other Midseason Gardening Chores

Three Sisters Garden: Corn, Beans, and Squash

It's really feeling like the middle of summer. Actually with our absolutely divine weather it's feeling like late August. This past week has been a fairly lazy week in the garden. It's been a nice week. It's nice to just enjoy the garden and all the hard work that's gone into it. I've enjoyed just putzing in the garden, harvesting zucchini, yellow squash, cucumbers, a few cherry tomatoes, scallions, basil, parsley, chard, pulling weeds here and there, mulching, giving fish emulsion drinks to tomatoes and flowers, replanting cukes, carrots, lettuce, radishes, spinach, dill. As I've pulled up spent plants I re-dig the area, re-compost, and replant. I'm thinking that I'm getting close to the end of replanting. I will continue for another 2 weeks and then that will be just about it. Although now that I have a small cold frame I'm going to try some lettuce, spinach, and radishes under that well into the Fall. Speaking of radishes, I had to replant them again even though I did that about 2 weeks ago. Flea beetles ate them right up. I was surprised by that as I thought of Flea beetles as a cool season pest. So anyway, I replanted and this time covered the radish row with a row cover. That should keep the buggers at bay.

I sent some photos of my tomato plants to Caragh from County Extension. She wrote back saying that my tomatoes may have a magnesium deficiency. She recommended sprinkling Epsom salts, magnesium sulfate, around the base of each plant. Interesting! So I did that. I don't know if it's my imagination but the rolling of the leaves that concerned me has definitely relaxed! Amazing! I also gave each of my tomato plants a heavy drink of a fish emulsion tea. Basically it's just water with some liquid fish emulsion added to it. I then mulched each plant again with some of my GGS (Great Goat Manure). They are looking good! And with this dry weather I think we may have tomatoes this year! Yeah!!! Think Homer Simpsom saying, "Ummm...bruchetta..."

Two plants that I'm watching carefully and babying are watermelon and cantaloupe. I haven't tried these in years as I never had luck with either one of them. The plants are looking great, full of flowers, but not a fruit in sight. Hummm :(. I'm not sure if they were to develop a fruit now if it would ripen in time. We'll see how it goes.

Made quite a few zucchini dishes this past week, enjoyed cucumbers in dill vinegar, and made the most amazing blueberry pie! It was an experiment. An Italian open pie on a butter crust. As it cooled I went for a walk. When I came back it was 1/2 gone! :) I guess it was a hit. I didn't get a photo. But I'm going to make it again with a young woman who I'm tutoring and I'll be sure to get a photo then and post it. I also made dilly beans. I have step by step instructions in a post from last year. Just type "dilly beans" into the search and it'll bring you to an August post. I think it was August 2nd. This week was also a great week for making herbal oils. Again, I have a post from last year that explains this process in detail. Just type in "herb or herbal oil" in the search bar. The oils I made this year were tarragon oil, cilantro oil, Italian oil (a blend of basil, oregano, garlic chives, chives, parsley), and basil oil. Chervil is coming back again (it's a wonderful, early spring herb) and I may make some with that as well. I also made some dill vinegar using white wine vinegar.

Something new this summer in my garden was scallions. Lots and lots of scallions. And am I glad I planted them! They have been great. I always hesitate pulling onions during the summer and eating them because I want them to get as big as they can. So having a ton of scallions eased that guilt and provided alliums almost all summer. And they are wonderful raw in salads and cooked in just about anything. Delicious Scallions

And finally I must share my happiness over another experiment I did this year. My friend Lisa was planing a Three Sisters Garden so I got so excited about what she was doing that I tried it too. And am I glad I did. What a lovely addition to the garden! It's just beautiful. The 3 sisters are corn, squash, and beans. I planted pie pumpkins for squash, scarlet runner beans, and an edible corn on the cob corn. Here is a link to how this is planted: Here's another website with directions. The reason I like this one is they explain how to save the seeds of the plants for next year. I want to try saving some seed this year and so I find this helpful. I've saved scarlet runner bean seed in the past. As a matter of fact these plants are from those seeds! So I thought I'd try corn, pumpkin, and tomato this year. I'll have to double check to be sure my corn and pumpkins aren't hybrid. If they are I won't be able to save them as plants from hybrid seed don't grow true. If you like seed saving heirloom seed/plants are good to grow. More about all this in a later post about seed saving. I'll post a photo of what this lovely 3 sisters planting looks like soon. The beans are in flower and they have the most lovely red flowers that hummingbirds just love. Some pumpkins are the size of very large softballs. And soon the corn will be forming ears.

Well that's all for now. Happy gardening and remember that gardening makes the world clean and fresh,