22 March 2012

The garden is slowly but surely coming along. We have had a lot of rain recently, so hoeing is no fun at all. Not that it was ever rumored to be. I purchased some of the weed-blocking landscaping fabric to help stave off the grass and weeds from overtaking the plot. I think I should have done this immediately after tilling. I am unsure if I will keep the fabric through the season. It is tempting with all the promises of a weed free garden.

I started the seedlings in egg carton flats, which I got from work. I set in a South-facing window and watered throughout each day. They dried out way too quickly, so I set two of the flats on a baking sheet and poured water onto the sheet. One flat I transferred to egg shell halves, and they worked well, yet only about half sprouted. I kept the tomatoes on top of the dryer. I read somewhere that the heat helps them sprout, since they love warmer climates. The broccoli are on top of the refrigerator, because they like cooler weather.

Today, I transferred my seedlings to larger containers. I have done the Romas, and about half of the Black Seamans and a few broccoli are ready as well. I have set them in another South-facing window, which has the covered deck as a buffer. I'm hoping the sunlight and heat will be enough without scorching. I used store bought containers and rinsed out cartons from work. Next I'll start the bell peppers.

Last year, I scored on some zucchini, shredded, and froze the surplus. Over the year, I have chiseled off a corner and tossed it in with pasta, sauces, or soups. It is a great way to sneak in some veggies undetected. And, of course, zucchini bread.

Shred til you have 2 cups zucchini. Mix with ½ cup sugar, 2 eggs, and a splash of vanilla. Stir in ½ tsp cinnamon, ½ tsp nutmeg, ½ tsp baking soda, ½ tsp baking powder, 4 Tbsp cornmeal, and 4 Tbsp bran. Stir in 1¾ cup AP flour til combined. You could fold in a cup of nuts here if you like. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

This bread is so good even my veggie-hating husband ate it. Within 18 hours, this was all that was left!

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