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Posts Tagged ‘victory garden’

Victory Garden flop

Posted by eemilla on September 18, 2013

We started the year looking forward to another productive victory garden, but we were undone with the rain and the slugs.  Below are the photos before we gave up after green tomatoes sporting rot before ripening.  One out of four our basil plants survived, and we’ve harvested a dozen leaves once.

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Victory Garden Weeks Nine to Fourteen

Posted by eemilla on October 29, 2012

Around week nine (which was early August) we began harvesting the riesentraube tomatoes (cherry), and they were great for caprese salads although their skin seems a bit tough to be my absolute favorite, and they were no where near as delectable as the cherry tomatoes we grew in our shared victory garden.  I failed to take a decent photo of a harvested one even though both plants were prolific even after they were neglected for several days.



week eleven riesentraubes


The stalks of one of the riesentraubes sprouted these weird growth, but it’s productivity seemed unimpaired.

what is this


Contrary to my expectations, I loved the brandywines much better.  We were finally able to harvest them in early September after weeks of watching them grow.  They were so large I expected to find them on the ground each time I went to check on them.

week nine brandywines



blighted brandywine


week fourteen brandywines



















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Victory Garden week eight

Posted by eemilla on July 24, 2012

After weeks of growth and not enough mojitos, we have some tomatoes and leggy mint!


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Victory Garden week two

Posted by eemilla on June 13, 2012

My honey is handling all of the water so that we don’t over do it, and LB and I have been watching for bugs and weeds.


Week two was ten days ago.

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Victory Gardening returns

Posted by eemilla on June 9, 2012

After begging and begging, my awesome husband created a potted victory garden of tomatoes and basil and mint.  This is week one (which was three weeks ago).

plants in a row

Genovese basil

Italian basil


brandywine tomato plant

cherry tomato plant

I’ll photo and update their progress.  We haven’t tasted the two basils, but if we can detect a difference I’ll share it.

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Change the World Wednesday Challenge from ReduceFootprints

Posted by eemilla on June 25, 2009

This week the challenge is to be a locavore for at least three (or one full day if you eat min meals) of the twenty plus meals that make up your dining week.  In this town many a restaurant makes it easy; Laughing Seed Cafe has a farm that they source many things from, and many other restaurants either do the same or use local farmers.  Even though my fair city makes it much easier than other places, it is summer, and I love mangoes, which don’t grow in zone 7.  I am embarrassed to say that I don’t know exactly what is in season throughout the year, but thankfully, Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project has a friendly chart for the area.

Many a critic of eating local will argue that it is too expensive, and I agree that it can be pricey; however, the trick is to grow it yourself or make friends with someone who does.  My co-worker rents, and she still grows zucchini, red peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, basil, parsley all in containers.  Although this year some unexpected family emergencies gave us a pass on planting our victory (against corporate agriculture) garden, we have big plans for next year.  Alternatively Community Supported Agriculture shares are a great thought for those without the time or the inclination to grow their own vegetables (or the space to raise chickens, cows, goats, etc).

I will post some photos of our local meal, as its content will depend on what Mom has ready for harvest and what the Coop has in stock.

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Quick and Simple

Posted by eemilla on March 13, 2009


With the weather roller-coaster, I decided to make miso soup to help us stave off colds.  Miso soup is my chicken noodle as I hate chicken and the memories of overcooked, bloated noodles that haunted the stuff from the cans.  Not only is miso tasty, cheap (16 oz tub for about seven dollars at the Co-op, but for about eight cups of soup I only used two tablespoons), and super healthy but it works wonders by turning a few veggies and some watery stock into a simply satisfying entree way beyond soup.  Unlike other soups, miso is so flavorful that you really only need to warm the stock rather than cook it down.  For an accompaniment (and just be sure that I could eat left over soup for the next few days) I also cooked up some brown rice then sauteed some garlic and kale in sesame oil and garnished it with sesame seeds and peanuts.

Miso Soup

  1. Press and drain one half pound of firm or extra firm tofu, then dice or you can crumble it
  2. Peel and chop one medium onion in a medium to fine dice
  3. Peel and dice three to five cloves of garlic
  4. Peel and cut one medium to large carrot into thin discs or half moons
  5. Cut three pieces of kombu (assuming pieces are 1-2 x 5-8 inches); I have also used a few sheets of wakame cut into one inch squares
  6. Heat a tablespoon or two of sesame oil over medium-high heat
  7. Add the onions and tofu (be careful of the oil splatter from the wet tofu) and cook until tofu has browned a bit
  8. Add the garlic, carrots, and kombu then pour three cups of veggie stock plus one cup of water into the pan
  9. Bring the stock to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for five to ten minutes or just enough to heat the liquid and soften the kombu (if using the wakame don’t add it until after the stock has boiled)
  10. While the stock is heating, thin two tablespoons of miso paste (I usually use red or chickpea) with water to give it the consistency of creamy salad dressing
  11. Remove the stock from the heat and temper the miso paste with some of the soup; the soup should not be too hot as you will kill the probiotics and reduce miso’s health benefits
  12. Once the soup is serving temperature, combine the miso liquid and the soup then serve
  13. This stores fine in the refrigerator, but I have never been able to keep it for more than a few days.  When reheating be sure not to boil the soup.


miso soup

miso soup



Monday was on the other end of the temperature scale when my husband made his meal plan and did his shopping so he grabbed arugula, a pear, walnuts (which also went into the pesto), and yummy, stinky bleu cheese.  I think the red onion got lost, but he reduced some balsamic vinegar which I whipped into a nice, sweet dressing with olive oil.  Not being a fan of the walnuts, I supplemented the crunchiness factor with sunflower seeds.  It was a classic bistro salad, and topped off with some coarsely ground pepper I wanted to germinate some arugula seeds and get them into some dirt.  Although this arugula was fine, it pales in comparison to the spicy yet freshly sweet stuff we harvested from last year’s victory garden before the rising temperature cooked the bitterness into it.  The pear was wonderfully ripe and sweet with that beloved grainy texture; with it being so out of season I can’t tell if my taste buds were being nostalgic.  Of course my favorite was the cheese; it had the creaminess of gorgonzola with the tangier bite of danish blue.


arugula, pear, and bleu salad

arugula, pear, and bleu salad


bleu close-up

bleu close-up

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Stimulus and Upcoming Bank Bailout Redux

Posted by eemilla on February 15, 2009

With all of the ongoing discussion about the economy and the soon to be signed stimulus bill, I wanted to throw my two cents into the mix.  

Read the rest of this entry »

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Forays into Smitten Kitchen

Posted by eemilla on January 25, 2009

The past two nights I have cooked up Smitten Kitchen fare; both nights have been smashing successes.  Friday was a simple snack of a dinner as we both ate late lunches.  My honey was a bit put off by the thought of eggs and red sauce, but I trusted the photos.  The only thing I missed was the side of cooked greens, although I think kale would have been more appropriate as we hold different opinions as to how cooked spinach should be.

eggs and red On our toasted bread I added some cheap deli swiss, and I made the red sauce spicier and threw in an extra glug or two of wine  (shiraz).  The extra wine gave the sauce this really intense red color, and the flavor was married nicely with the spice.  My  honey even went and poached another egg with the tiny bit of leftover sauce; this will certainly make it onto the quick and easy  dinner rotation.  Making this in the summer will require some victory garden basil with victory garden tomato sauce, and  maybe Mom’s backyard eggs.

Last night got off to a late start because even though I remembered to run the store for the noodles, I managed to forget that I  had consumed the last of the cooking wine.  The mushroom bourguignon was well worth the wait.  Due to all the simmering  and reducing, this is too time consuming to be on the quick dinner rotation, but it is certainly easy and could be prepared while  completing some other task.  Being the garlic lovers we are, I doubled the two cloves called for, but on the next round I think I  will double it again and possibly add some more onion.  Another thought would be to add seitan.  Also I don’t understand why  a roux wasn’t called for; it would have been easier to combine into the stew, and it would have provided some extra nutty  complexity as well as gorgeous glossiness.  In lieu of the egg noodles, I opted for whole wheat; I don’t like sour cream, but my honey enjoyed it with his dish.

Thanks to Smitten Kitchen for such a beautiful website with delicious food; in fact, Smitten Kitchen was nominated for three Bloggies.  Vote here!

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Victory Tomatoes

Posted by eemilla on July 25, 2008


homegrown Roma tomatoes

homegrown Roma tomatoes

I am so proud of the tomatoes that we have harvested from our first victory garden, and with the abundance of basil, arugula, and cilantro we can start enjoying more fresh salads and salsa!  My honey and I are not big tomato fans, but when we ate these Romas they were so flavorful.  Even with our drought, we have been quite fortunate with the abundance of herbs and vegetables we have produced with so little skill.  Our plans for next year are much more ambitious, and I hope to have a window herb garden in my south facing office window throughout the winter.  It has been such a treat knowing that part of our meals have consisted of vegetables that we grew without pesticides or fertilizer aside from our composted kitchen scraps and yard waste.  Much love to those gracious friends for sacrificing a good portion of their yard.

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