Early Morning Picks, Puzzling Peas and Smashing Strawberries

This morning it was time to get back into the garden to see what had transpired over the long Holiday weekend.  Since we’ve had high heat (upper 90’s) for almost a week I wondered…will it (the garden) be friend or foe?  In other words, will my “to do” list have grown more than anything else over the last week?

As I surveyed the vegetable garden I noticed the tomatoes are growing right out of the cages and need some guidance.  The kale has grown so much that the name Dinosaur (Lacinato Blue) kale  now makes complete sense.  And to my delight there is yet another harvest (for four) of broccoli, arugula and sugar snap peas.

So here are my early morning picks…

The peppers on the other hand are remaining about 4 inches tall, not growing even a millimeter  a day and definitely not flowering…Hot peppers, like hot weather right????  And ants have been busy near my raised boxes trying to create nests around the corners of the beds…I wonder what the attraction is since they’ve never been in this area before.

I move on…

Stopping at the sugar snap pea patch of my littlest garden mate, I notice once again these peas are behaving so sadly compared to my older garden mate’s patch of peas.

See the difference?

It’s puzzling… my littlest garden mate’s peas are in the raised bed and I have amended the soil with bulk compost, peat moss, bagged compost, topsoil…you name it. I’ve tried to get them to compete with my oldest garden mate’s patch but nothing has worked.  Since they are the same variety (Rene’s)  and were started at the same time  I can’t figure it out… My littlest garden mate was so distraught that I gave her an additional “patch” in my container on the patio… this kept her busy for a few minutes and she was much happier.

The strawberries kept ripening over the weekend and alas our lack of picking and eating meant the strawberries were a bit over their prime.  However, it is just too hard for me to throw these soft, mushy, flavor-bites away so I decided to smash them into a smoothie.  If you ever get in this situation with your home-grown strawberries that you’ve devoted time and attention to, don’t trash –  SMASH!

I placed the strawberries in the blender, then added:

-big spoonful of plain greek-style yogurt

-couple of spoonfuls of plain regular style yogurt

-a little honey

-a handful of almonds  (my sister gave me this tip in case you want to add a little texture or crunch to a smoothie, it’s kinda like toppings on frozen yogurt)

-a little soy milk

Blend away and Voilá!  A lovely strawberry smoothie from some slightly has-been strawberries.  Smashing!