Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Country Gardening and a Giveaway!

For years I dreamed about having a HUGE veggie garden.
Being a true country girl, I wanted to garden
and preserve my harvest for the long winter and
now here I am havesting...
zucchini, summer squash, tomatoes, green onions, cucumbers,
and lots of herbs!

Not really having a good plan on what to do with zucchini & squash, I began a recipe hunt.
I discovered the most awesome (if I do say so myself) zucchini bread recipe ever invented!
It is soooo wonderful I will share the recipe soon with you!
I have also harvested armfuls of summer squash. Hmm what do besides stir fry.
I found a delicious recipe for a summer squash casserole that is warm and filling and oh so yummy! I am going to share that one with you too!

The canteloupe and watermelon are plumping up nicely.
It has been fun to see how much they grow each day.

We have found that baby watermelons are just adorable,
quite like baby chickens!

Lots and Lots of tomatoes on the vine.
We have been able to have about a dozen nice ones to slice up for dinner.
We have 4 cherry tomato plants that are going wild!
So wild I can hardly get between the rows.
Totally out of control and I LOVE it!

My heirlooms are not quite ready,
I am growing Brandywine and another that is going to be PURPLE!
It is a Russian heirloom variety. Now that will be fun!

Later this week we will get to pick the green beans.
It has been so long, since I have had real, homegrown green beans.
Think I will whip up an old fashioned meatloaf to go along with them.

The cucumbers are coming along nicely,
(that sounds like something out of a 1940's garden journal doesn't it)
and I have been making refrigerator cucumber pickles.
We eat them as fast I can make them.

3 nice size cucumbers peeled & sliced
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Vinegar
1 Cup Water

*Mix and put in the fridge, try not to eat for a couple of hours*

We were late getting the corn planted,
but it too is coming along nicely.
The locals have told us
that the deer and racoons will eat it all of it the night
before we decide to pick it.
Those craft devils...
we spotted deer tracks in the garden yesterday,
I guess the word is out that the corn is lookin' good!

My Basil is beautiful and I have started drying many herbs to use this winter.
So far I have dried tarragon, basil, and oregano to use in my homemade spaghetti sauce.
I have also dried rosemary which I put in an awesome Rosemary Rum Cake.

Speaking of summer and gardening!
I found a wonderful treasure to pass along to you!
It is the Summer Book by Susan Branch
So let us
Celebrate the Seasons with Hickory Hollow

To play along all you have to do is leave a little comment on this post!
Simple, isn't it!
In one week I will pick a name
and this little summer book will be all yours!

Now for a Maggie update!

Maggie has a new home...
It is a wonderful Victorian cottage home complete
with a white picket fence and rose covered arbor
and filled with all the very best things...
love, warmth and doggy treats!

One of my very best friends, Cheryl (Hi, Cheryl)
fell in love with Maggie and wanted to take her home.
Her and her husband, David, came and picked Maggie up last night.

The minute they stepped through the door,
Maggie went up to David and gave him doggy kisses,
and then turned to Cheryl and gave her lots of kisses!
I am so thankful she has found a good home with a fence in yard.

Cheryl's home is absolutely they CUTEST place you have ever seen.
Red toile wallpaper in the dining room, does that tell you anything?
Well, I asked Cheryl several months ago if I could take pictures of it for my blog, and she agreed. We were just waiting for the cottage garden to bloom.
So coming soon will be a tour of Miss Maggie's new home!

Lots going on here at Hickory Hollow
and lots to look forward to,
so make sure you come back to visit!
Remember to leave a comment
for the giveaway!


Dawn Marie said...

I am beyond envious of your garden. this was going to be the year for me to have a bigger garden. Baldyman wasnt into ripping up the lawn. He did cut out a small chunk, so I have a few more things but nothing like yours. Our harvest wont be here forawhile.

I love Susan Branch...please place me in your drawing.

Kim's Treasures said...

SOOO glad Maggie found a wonderful home!!!

Your garden looks amazing!!!

Bonnie said...

Wow, fantastic garden! I have a few square foot raised beds. We used Miracle Grow Organic soil mix this year and my tomato plants went crazy! I can't wait for them to ripen....
Thanks for letting us know the good news about Maggie. See? You were meant to rescue her!

Salmagundi said...

That is one huge garden, and not a weed in sight! Looks wonderful. Looking forward to your future posts. They aren't coming fast enough, but know you are busy with everything. Do you plan on teaching this Fall, or will you have a chance to slow down? Take care, Sally

Cottage Rose said...

Hi Jill; My goodness you have been a busy little bee... what a gorgeous garden you have. I just love home grown veggies,,, I planted a few tomato plants, then we moved to North Carolina, where hubby found a job, which is a good thing, but I hated to leave my garden. It will be a while before I have a garden or a yard,,, but some day we will again... I can't wait to see your friends home sounds beautiful, and happy that sweet Maggie found a loving home with them....


Carol said...

Your garden is beautiful! Thanks for entering my name in the drawing for the awesome book!

Tress said...

Your garden loosk wonderful! I cannot wait to try the cucumber recipe! And I really cannot wait to see pics of Cheryl's house!!! Please enter me into the contest-your blog is an inspiration to me.

SmilingSally said...

You've got some good eatin' there. I hope you know how to "put some up" for winter. I have a great summer squash recipe made with Ritz crackers. Yell if you want it.

Unknown said...

I have been blogging for more than a year, have read many blogs, and follow probably way more than I have time to read, but I must say....

Your blog is just absolutely captivating. The photography, the music (and I am not a fan of music on blogs), the writing is compelling, but most of all your wonderful spirit overflows past the written words.

(Side bar- I am also a huge fan of Susan Branch...but that has nothing to do with the previous sentiment.)


Country Girl on the Chesapeake Bay

Crystal Rose Cottage said...

Your veggie garden is looking fantastic! You have really got a bumper crop! So glad Maggie got a good home:)

Anonymous said...

Hi Jill! Oh, my goodness, you've become the true farm gardening gal! All of your produce is simply beautiful! I'm so glad little Maggie has a good home and I'll be looking forward to seeing Cheryl and Maggie's home!
Oh, please sign me up for the Susan Branch book!
Be a sweetie,
shelia :)

Nancy Rosalina said...

Hi Jill, You garden produce is beautiful! I'm so glad Maggie has a wonderful home!!! Oh, and yes ma'am please sign me up for the Susan Branch book! Nancy

Colleen said...

Your garden is GORGEOUS! I have a big secret to share with you! Are you ready? Will you really, really believe me if I tell you this big secret? You can make "apple pie" with zucchini! I promise no one will ever know unless you tell them. I will post the recipe on my blog later. You may doubt me right now but if you make it, I promise you will love it. Trust me!

Paula said...

Awesome garden. I hope to have one next year! I'd love to win the book too :)

Row. said...

What a wonderful garden!
I'm so glad to here maggie found a home, and it sounds beautiful-i can't wait to see the tour!!!

Stacey said...

Hi Jill! Your garden is beautiful. Your pictures with the little labels on them are pretty enough to frame.

I'm so glad Maggie has a home with people who love her. Thanks for rescuing her.

You are sweet to have a give away. I'm going to keep my fingers crossed. :)

Stacey said...

Jill..it's me again. I just wanted to say that I saw The New French Decor on your wishlist. I have this book and would say, don't spend the money. It's odd! There are lots of stuffed animals..stuffed bugs...etc. There are vignettes of very strange things. Since it's pricey, try to check it out of the library first.

Lisa said...

You do have quite the green thumb! You must share all your new recipes. The Susan Branch book looks like a lot of fun! Thanks for including me.

Val said...

I just love gardening and give aways! Your garden is gorgeous!!! I love it.

Crystal Rose Cottage said...

Hi Jill, Thanks for visiting my blog! I have been reading you for about a year now.. glad you enjoyed my blog and added me to your list!
~Hugs, Patti

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

Hi Jill,
Your garden looks wonderful! My little garden is so sad here. I don't get enough sun in the middle of this forest to have great veggies... How do you dry your herbs?

Angie said...

Oh, Jill..let me grab my big old wicker basket and wander through the plants with you! Everything looks so delicious! Our neighbors have a little stand and we bought the most yummiest string beans and sweet corn this week. There is just nothing like homegrown! Those heirloom tomatoes are going to be amazing...mmmmm! What a wonderful little place you are creating at Hickory Hollow!

Hugs ~ Angie

Unknown said...

Oh my GOODNESS! Look at that garden! Lots of work there! I'm so glad that Miss Maggie has a nice home!


Nikki via The Scarlett Rose Garden said...

Jill what an incredibly beautiful garden! That basil, ohhh!
One of my favorite recipes for zucchini and squash is this one: hope it's the same as I just googled it. We like lots of garlic in ours, the real stuff if we have it!

So glad Maggie found a great home. A home which I cannot WAIT to see!

Enjoy the fruits of your labor girlfriend!

*Ulrike* said...

Would you like to come and work in my garden?!!! Of course you would need to bring some of your dirt since where I live has that good ol' red clay! Oh, and we need rain too! You have such a lovely veggie garden, and thanks for sharing your recipes!

Anonymous said...

What an awesome garden!
thanks for the drawing opportunity, but thanks even more for the inspiration you give!


mgster said...

Your garden is so beautiful. My tomatoes are absolutely pitiful this year. I usually make lots of spaghetti sauce and pizza sauce, but not this year. Too much rain! :(
But so very happy to read that Maggie has a good home and loving family. She's a cutie!

Diana Ferguson said...

From one gardener to another....looks great!! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity. I have also posted one today if you would like to check it out!

Row. said...

I Love your Garden!
I have been craving Calabacitas and didnt know why, it was this post : )
Like many kids I never appreciated this dish until I got older.
You can search for the many different types of recipies,
I like it how my mom and MIL make it...

Fry up about a tablespoon of oil
Saute onions,garlic,tomato
add zucchini,
(peeled and cubed or sliced)
add 1 can of corn
cook until zucchini is tender
add Jack or whatever kind of cheese you like.
you can also add green chile
makes a great summer side dish.

hope you find many more recipies for your wonderful looking veggies!

Nikki via The Scarlett Rose Garden said...

Hey Jill! I was just browsing ebay and saw this cute chicken apron and thought of you~ hope you're having a good week!

Anonymous said...

A dear friend just introduced me to your blog. You have a lovely home and garden. I appreciate your style and choice of decor and colors. Would you mind sharing the gorgeous wall colors in your home? Everything flows so beautifully.

Placing your blog in my favorites now:)

Debbie L.

dana said...

Hi Jill, First, thank you for your kind comment recently about our little gr.boy. He's been home a little over a week and seems to still be doing OK. It IS a cutie pie. Second, OMG--that garden of yours is just amazing!! I'm very impressed with your skills--a decorator and a gardener!! :) When you have time, check out my post for Saturday!! You'll love it. Hope your summer is a great one. Dana

Monica said...

Love your veggie garden! Mine is completely destroyed by a tremendous hailstorm..:(
Love Susan Branch's books too!
Have a great rest of the week, and enjoy your veggies!!

Melinda said...

Hi Jill--
Just wanted to let you know that we have been through two batches of
the Refrigerator Pickles. My husband loves them!!! We are lucky enough that we get fresh cucumbers
from the little girl down the street--she has her own produce stand. :) We bought more cucs
today and I'll be making another
batch. Thanks for the easy recipe!

joyh82 said...

You have an amazing garden and I love those cookbooks too. We have tomatoes and cucumbers coming out of our ears right now...lol

Laura said...

I have never seen such an amazing garden.

I have high hopes for next spring-

I enjoyed visiting, and I am now a follower-

What kind of camera do you use- if I may ask?


cottonreel said...

Hello Jill, I,m cottonreel ,I get a lot of pleasure looking at your blog , I have been given a friendship award, you know these things are meant to be passed on . would you please collect off my blog . I shall be posting it on my blog in about 2 hrs time,

Bluebell said...

I think your garden is wonderful you must get a great sense of achievement from growing all those lovely things and you will be able to save so many to eat through the winter. How do you dry your herbs.

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