Chives

As my crops come in, I want to be prepared with ideas! As I make these, I will post recipes.

  • Chive Vinaigrette
  • Chives Potatoes
  • Chive butter
  • Lemon Chive sauce for fish
  • Cheddar Cheese and Chive Biscuits
  • Garlic, Mushroom, and Chive Pasta sauce
  • Chive Cucumber and Corn Salad
  • Potatoes and Chive Pancakes
  • Chive Corn
  • Chive Pico de Gallo
  • Garlic and Chive Butter with Parmesan Pork
  • Cream Cheese and Chive Duchess Potatoes
  • Cheese and Chive Scones
  • Chive Pesto Sauce Potato Salad
  • Bacon Chive and Cheese Egg Bits
  • Chives instead of onions in a salad
  • Chive, Garlic, and cheese stuffed Mushrooms
  • Chive and Mushroom Sautee
  • Tomatoes, Chive, and Feta Salada
  • Chive Flower Vinaigrette
  • Chive Flower Vinger
  • Chive and Pork dumplings
  • Mashed potatoes, cheese, and chive waffles
  • Corn Pudding with chives
  • Tomatoes, Avocados, and chives
  • Asian Coleslaw with chive dressing
  • Salmon with chives
  • Shrimp and Chives
  • Dried Scalloped Potatoes
  • Parmesan Truffle Chive Popcorn or Fries
  • Cilantro Chive Taco Sauce
  • Cream Cheese and chive stuffed chicken
  • Quiche with chives
  • Chive instead of onions on a sandwich
  • Chicken with Chive Dumplings
  • Zucchini, Fate, and Chive pie
  • Loaded Hasselback potatoes
  • Veggie Fritters with Chives or Chive dipping sauce
  • Tomato sandwich wich Chive Spread
  • Chives and cucumbers
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Eggplant

  • Roasted Vegetable
  • Eggplant and tomato pasta sauce
  • Eggplant Parm
  • Eggplant roll-ups
  • Eggplant chips
  • Baba Ganoush
  • Pesto Eggplant Sandwiches
  • Crispy eggplant
  • Eggplant Gyros with yogurt sauce!
  • Garlicky Eggplant and Potatoes
  • Eggplant Lasagna
  • Eggplant and tomato soup
  • Eggplant and Caramelized Onion Flatbread
  • Roasted veggie pasta
  • Eggplant and Meat Meatballs
  • Eggplant and Cheese melt

Fruiting update! 5/25

 

I feel like I had some false start fruits. It was such a tease! About 2 weeks back, it seemed like my plants were already really producing. However, when I started checking in with the progress, they just never really seemed to take off. I am wounding if this kind of false start is normal?

Anyway, by now though, I really do have progress on my produce. Several plants have multiple fruits/veggies on them. I have been watching for problem bugs and pollinators. I added a few seeds to some of the pots for nasturtiums and marigolds to increase the numbers of flowers in my garden. I hope to attached more pollinators.

Tomatoes: I still have one of my original fruits on the bush (not sure which one this is. Either the yellow variety or I think Big Boy was the other round tomato I got). It is still green. Not sure how long it will take to change colors. I also have a second fruit on the bush! It is still small but growing! On my Roma tomatoes, I have 2 fruits that are currently growing. This is the plant I had trouble with Blossom End Rot with, so I hope I have enough nutrients in the soil to prevent that this time. Currently, one of my tomato plants does not have fruit on it.

Zucchini: There are 2 different sections to this plant. Not really sure if it is a different branch or two bushes. I should look into that. But, both sections are blooming and producing. One has 2 zucchinis that are on their way to developing into nice looking fruit, and one small one that I hope survives and turns into a good looking zucchini. The other plant has three of the smaller zucchinis.
As far as telling when this yellow zucchini is ripe, I am unsure. So far the oldest fruit is small but growing. I did notice today that the stem end is getting a darker yellow-orange color. It is also starting to develop the distinctive zucchini markings. Those little lighter colored markings. You know, coming to think of it, that might have a name. I should look that up. So I am starting to think these markings could have a lot to do with how to tell it is ready. Will update on this. ***As of 5/29, the oldest of the zucchinis ended up very small. The blossom end was a little strange looking. I picked it today. The other zucchinis look like they are growing to full size and currently look fine.

The peppers are going strong! All three of my peppers have baby peppers on them! One of them has a pretty good size one too! It also has 2 smaller peppers on it. Currently not sure which one this is. I did a terrible job marking the types of plants. Going to have to work on that. One pepper, which I think has to be the poblano, has three small peppers. The 3rd plant has 2 peppers.

The pepper plant that was in the second pot is starting to do much better now that the cutworms are gone. It is not as big or healthy looking as the plants in the first pot were by this stage. I am glad it survived! The leaves really got shredded. But, there are small blooms on the plant now. I should take pictures and track how long each stage takes for future reference.

Cucumbers have not produced anything else of size, although the plant is getting huge! I see many female ends and male ends so I am not sure what the problem is. I have started to take some male flowers try to hand pollinate the female flowers. We will see if that works. I am anxious to see this plant get going. I thought this was going to be the first to really start producing, but I had a lot of false starts on this plant. ** 5/28 I started to notice the bees have found this plant!!! Yay!

The potatoes vines are getting bigger but hard to tell what is happening under the soil.

My eggplant is finally starting to recover after the cutworm incident. I think I can declare the pot free of those little jerks! Since so much damage was done to the top of the plant and the new leaves coming out, I think the plant is starting to put out a new stalk! I saw some green leaves coming out near the base of the plant. I can only assume at this point, what this actually is.

I had one green onion pop up in the can it is planted in.

Nothing yet for the onions.

Lemons are still going on the Pink Lemon tree. Actually got some more blooms on this and a few new small fruits.

I finally repotted my pineapples! They have also been moved out into the sun. One is still in its original pot. It has bull ants living in it. I decided not to mess with those for the moment. I will need to do some research on what to do about those. One of the other pineapples had some smaller ants in them. I will also need to do some research to see what to do about them.

DIY – Potting mix?

I cannot say I really know what I am doing or that this is the “best mix ever”, as you read online a lot of different recipes, but it was one I could come up with pretty easily with the stuff you could buy at Lowes and for relatively cheap. I mean, I have some big buckets to fill!!!! Not looking to spend an arm and a leg on premade potting mix!

From what I have read online, you want a potting mix that holds water but drains well. It should be made of materials that do not compact easily. Hum, ok. Well, if you look, a lot of potting mixes appear to have a LOT of peat moss in them. At Lowes, they had a 3 cu ft bag of moss for about $11.00 – awesome! https://www.lowes.com/pd/3-cu-ft-Sphagnum-Peat-Moss/50339650 Potting mixes also have fertilizers in them to help your plants, so I got some Black Kow https://www.lowes.com/pd/Black-Kow-50-lb-Organic-Manure/3047339 to help give it some richness. I also got some perlite and vermiculite. From what I read, both of these help prevent the soil from compacting, soil aeration, and help with water management. https://www.lowes.com/pd/Miracle-Gro-8-Quart-Perlite/1000067917 and https://www.lowes.com/pd/Sta-Green-8-Quart-Vermiculite/50369772. Vermiculite is also touted as a product that helps your plants get the nutrience they need. I also did buy a bag of premade potting mix, just to add that in in case I was really missing something big!

So these are the building blocks of the potting mix I made. I did not measure, how much of each I used. Kinda eyeballed it (not a fan of measuring most of the time. I might have put too much perlite and vermiculite in there, but I am ok with that. Most of the mix was the peat moss but with several small clay pots worth of Black Kow. I also added some tomatoes fertilizer I had. Overall, it was WAY cheaper to make this mix then to buy it premade. I will have to see how my plants do to know whether this was a success or a mistake!

DYI – self-watering containers?

New plantings – Think I am becoming obsessed!!!
So I want a “few” more plants…. Ok! Fine, I want a lot more plants. I am becoming obsessed! I did want to try to find a cheaper option to the self-watering contains I used before. Not that they are particularly expensive or anything, but I wanted some different shapes and bigger containers. Those do start getting expensive. So I looked on Target.com for plastic bins and found some cute options! I liked this one because it “looked” copper, but let’s be honest not really copper. Just enough that when the plants grew big enough, it would look more “correct” http://www.target.com/p/utility-storage-tubs-and-totes-copper-bella-storage-solution/-/A-51666666. The second one is much bigger: http://www.target.com/p/plastic-storage-bin-with-woven-handles-gray-pillowfort-153/-/A-17162545, but this one I got in Navy. No idea why the Navy one would not show up on the website today. Anyway, my thought was to turn these into self-watering planters. I had seen on Pinterest many ways to do this. I took bits and piece of those ideas, and I am trying them out. I already had some garden weed control cloth I bought from Amazon back when I did my fence garden https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000WEOPDW/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
And then I went to Lowes and got some cheap lava rocks. https://www.lowes.com/pd/Grill-Care-Company-6-lb-Lava-Rocks/50274643. I picked them because they were really light and the irregular shapes would help create spaces for the water.

When I got these supplies home, I drilled a small hole a few inches from the bottom of the bucket. Filled the buckets with the lava rocks and created a small dip in the middle for the cloth to go a bit farther in the rocks. Took the weed cloth and covered the lava rocks. I took 1 or 2 lava rocks and put them on top of the cloth in the whole I created to make sure the cloth was down in there. The cloth should act like a wicking system. I duck taped the cloth in place Then I filled the buckets with the potting mix I made. I hope these work! Will report back!

Cutworm and crew :(

May 19th

I happened to get home around 12 AM tonight. I decided just to check the garden since it was right there in my parking spot. I turned on my phone’s flashlight and found a brownish colored caterpillar looking thing on my eggplant! Oh, this poor eggplant! It has had so many problems!

Well, let’s just say the caterpillar is no longer with us. I did some research and found out it is most likely a cutworm. The next day there was more damage. I have gone out and looked at the plant again at night. I have not found anything when I look, but there is always new damage the next day! I think I am going to have to be more vigilant!

*Additional note to this. Later, I decided to take a more aggressive tactic with the cutworms, since I could not be sure I would catch them out at night, especially since I looked last night and did not see them. I was not sure my poor eggplant could take much more damage before it just gave up! So, I took a spoon (small and easy to use) and turned up the first inch or so of soil around my plants. I was more careful as I got close to the plants, so I did not disturb too many of the roots. In doing this, I found 2 MORE cutworms!!! So far, the pot itself had a total of 3 cutworms living in it. I cannot be sure I got all of them, but I think this is a good start.

**Revised plan: I think I will continue to monitor the pot at night for the next few nights in case I missed some. Also, check the plant in the morning for new damage. If I do not find any more cutworms and I do not find new damage, I will call it a success! If not, I might have to go through the dirt again.

***Night time note: Grrr.. I went out to check my plants. I found ANOTHER cutworm! That is a total of 4 cutworms for one container! No wonder my plants were looking more and more helpless each day! I am glad that they are in containers as that means the cutworms were easier to find and get rid of instead of having them spread out in the garden. Will keep checking!

****Side note, I am starting to wonder if my stem borer was not a stem borer at all, but instead, these evil cutworms. Will need to do some more research to see if cutworms bore into stems as well.

Hide and go seek with caterpillars…

5/17 or 18
I found little brown circles over some of my cucumber leaves. I thought they looked like droppings, but I could not locate the culprit. I searched and searched for a caterpillar anywhere! Nope, nothing.

5/19 Today I see more “droppings” and think, I have to be missing “them” somewhere. The new buds looked naturally tight, and I did not see crew marks, so I had not thought that was the location, but it had to be! It was the only place they could be hiding. So, I started, gently, pulling apart the leaves. Low and behold there were little green caterpillars up in the tight bunches! Little jerks! So, while I hate killing them, they were eating my plants! I also did not wait to grab my camera to document what they looked like. I just thought, “you gotta go!” So good to know that they are sneaky and probably are hiding in the tight leaves. The only evidence I might find are the droppings!

Watering woos

Watering my garden has posed a learning CURVE I was not expecting. Since I have a drip line and/or most of my containers are also “self-watering”, I really thought my plants would always have enough water and only occasionally I would need to supplement. But, Central FL is very hot! The irrigation system runs in the early mornings on Weds and Sats. This is something I do not have control over, but I am just glad that it is there!

I am ok with the plants being a little water stressed. It will help dry out their roots a bit. It also encourages them to build a bigger root system, which makes for a stronger plant. When the plants were just getting established, I watered them more. About 2 weeks in, I cut back. I noticed early on the peppers and tomatoes would get a little stressed between waterings. They seem to do really well now. My guess is that their roots are deep enough now to always be close to the self-watering reservoir.

I was a little concerned that the self-watering containers would end up holding too much water and that there could be a problem with root rot. Besides the one container that had a few issues, this has not really happened. When the plants were young, those containers did hold a lot water. If they seemed to have too much, I just poured a little out. So early on, I think this can be a problem, but once the plants got some size on them, I only see the extra water as a benefit. It is at the very bottom, so I think, if anything, it encourages them to grow roots down to the water.

The squash and cucumber are not in self-watering containers. They seem to have the most trouble in between watering. They are also more delicate than the tomatoes and pepper plants, so that might be a contributing factor. If the plants start to show stress, it is usually on Monday or Friday (2 days after the irrigation system goes off).

If I have a little water left over from the day, or a little water from my Sous Vide, I have started to use that in between. I do not give them much as I want them to get a little dry, I watch to see what their leaves are doing. If the leaves start getting really droopy, that is when I water in between the irrigation system.

We really have not had much rain, so that has not helped. I have started to think about a way to catch rainwater to use. I will have to think about a way to do this that can be hidden, so it is not an ugly eyesore to my neighbors or break HOA rules.

Right now, my other source of water is the hose by the garage. I have started to also use the water I use when I sous vide cook. I use the same water a few times as I feel like it is wasteful to use fresh water every time. After a couple of uses, I have decided it will go to watering the plants so that it does not just go down the drain.

Planting Onion and Green Onion Scrapes

I have planted vegetable scrapes before, and it is kinda great when it works. Ginger works well, pineapples work well, and onions work well.

I ended up having a good amount of vegetable scraps recently, since I like to do really big cooking days to minimize dishes and to ensure I limit my food waste.  As part of this, I bought a 6 lb bag of onions! I know – crazy right? 6 lbs? Let’s just say, even after I cooked everything I had planned to, I still had a lot of onions. So, I made French Onion Soup out of the ones still left! I had a bunch of onion root ends and green onion root ends. I decided to save them and plant them when I got back from a few days at the beach. I packed them in a ziplock with a wet paper towel in there. When I got home, some of the roots had dried up, but I decided to plant everything and just see what happens.

On 5/15/2017: Since my strawberry plant never came up, I decided the onion roots would go in that pot. I did this pretty roughly. They were buried about an inch and a half down. For the green onions, I took an old cracker tin and poked holes in the bottom for drainage. I planted them in a rough circle about an inch deep.

I watered these roots well and will continue to water them regularly until they seem like they have stabilized and settled.

The onion roots I could not fit in the pot went into the composter along with all the other vegetable matter left over from my cooking day.