Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Living Healthfully: Organic Gardening {Week Something - first week of August}: All of the babies have turned into toddlers

Just a reminder that I'm hosting the Bigger Picture Moments link up Thursday. And if you're just as excited as I am, I'll have the linky ready by 12 a.m. Thursday. :)

Well, the babies have grown up.

Every one of my 22 babies -- the human and the tomato plants -- have blossomed into little toddlers {and beyond} during the past few weeks.

And all of them -- the human and the tomato plants -- have been getting into everything. {Baby E.'s choice of mischief involves the dog food and water bowls as well as the toilet bowl, whereas the tomatoes' rompings have included taking over the strawberry box, some herbs, the peppers, portions of the squash and nearly all of the pathways in the garden ... busy little buggers.}

While Baby E. is quite a bit harder to wrangle as I can't tie him to a post when he starts wandering beyond his boundaries, the tomatoes have been groomed and directed in the proper directions at the care of my hands and some twisty ties.

And I'm happy to say that because of my awesome parenting errrr gardening skills {read: I know how to tie them to posts and water them}, my tomatoes are now ready to become productive members of society and join dinner tables around the county.

That's right. These not-so babies are full-fledged adults, and they need to ship off to find new homes because our house is becoming too crowded for all of us; even with freezing and canning we have more tomatoes than we can use.

So I'm hosting a giveaway for my local friends!

If you'd like to be the recipient of a variety of organically started and grown tomatoes for stews, salads, sauces and spreads, simply leave me a comment letting me know that you'd like to take some of my babies {they'll always be my babies, right?} to your house and put them to work during your breakfasts, lunches and dinners. {Maybe share with me your favorite tomato dish? {Pretty please? With a cherry tomato on top?}

We even have some cherry white tomatoes!

{Who knew? I was just as confused as G as to why these weren't turning red but rather just kept getting bigger until I managed to unbury the little marker boasting this particular plant's variety. Do'h.}

I'll choose a winner randomly Thursday night, and she or he can come pick up his or her choice of my babies soon thereafter.

Except for this baby-turned-toddler.

He's not up for the choosin'. He stays for at least another 17 years. I've still got some nurturing and shaping to do with this one.

Also, the winner is entitled to a handful of herbs and perhaps a few other goodies from the garden ... which may look like this depending on how the garden grows.


  1. Hy, I would love to give your tomatoes a lovely home. We would take Baby E too for fun with Baby Z. ;).

    I would put the tomatoes in salsa and chili. And I'll have to dig up a gazpacho recipe that I have somewhere. My tomatoes have not turned out this year and are not pretty organic ones like yours. At least you've gotten a great harvest after all the mosquito woes!

  2. Found my gazpacho recipe...
    1 cup chopped tomatoes, 2 T wine vinegar, 2 T olive oil, 1/2 cup chopped celery, 1/2 cup chopped cucumber, 1/4 cup chopped onion, 1 tsp salt (optional), 1/4 tsp pepper, 2 tsp chopped parsley (optional), 1/2 tsp Worchester sauce, 1 tsp chopped chives (optional), 2 cups tomato juice, 1/2 cup chopped green pepper, 1 clove minced garlic.

    Combine all in a bowl and chill for 4 hours before serving. Very yummy!

  3. I have a home for lonely tomatoes...my stew pot!! lol
    j/k I would use them in salads, and for Rylei:D oh and to top a yummy pizza!! with a little bit of pesto and spinach YUM!!!

  4. Wow. I grew tomatoes last year and only produced 1! :) But it was pretty.

  5. Oh man I wish I lived closer!

    I love to fry up green tomatoes- I'm super easy and just coat them in flour seasoned with cayenne and salt and fry in vegetable oil in a pan.

    I most often make black bean corn salsa by chopping tomatoes with red onion, avocado, black beans, corn, and season with cumin, thyme, garlic, and whatever else you have hanging around. :)


  6. We are set, but here is a great recipe for Tomato Pie:

    4 tomatoes, peeled and sliced
    10 fresh basil leaves, chopped
    1/2 cup chopped green onion
    1 (9-inch) prebaked deep dish pie shell
    1 cup grated mozzarella
    1 cup grated cheddar
    1 cup mayonnaise
    Salt and pepper
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

    Place the tomatoes in a colander in the sink in 1 layer. Sprinkle with salt and allow to drain for 10 minutes.

    Layer the tomato slices, basil, and onion in pie shell. Season with salt and pepper. Combine the grated cheeses and mayonnaise together. Spread mixture on top of the tomatoes and bake for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.

    To serve, cut into slices and serve warm.

  7. This is so cute, I'm so impressed! It's my sometime goal to have a garden one day...

  8. What a great post! Our family is wanting to dive into growing our own garden, just haven't quite worked our way there...Wish I lived closer the veggies look amazing!

  9. that's awesome! I wish i didn't live so far away! I'd love to participate in the give away! LOL

    My tomatoes are chugging along, but with only one plant, I've barely got enough for our three mouths!

    Yay for the backyard gardens!

  10. We have a good selection of our own, but never run out of tomato ideas. My favorite and the simplest is stuffed tomatoes. Make your favorite tuna or chicken salad (don't add pasta and don't overseason, the homegrown tomato does it all on its own), cut a giant hole in the center of the tomato, and fill with the tuna or chicken salad. (To keep the tuna healthier, add less mayo and more pickle juice *mmmm*) Use the insides later for a salad or add to your pot of stewed tomatoes.

    Happy gardening!

  11. Pick me pick me pick me!!! I love the pictures of your kids but man, I was salivating at the tomatoes! You totally had me at tomato.

    Summer is a favorite season because of all the fresh produce around us. I have a special love for tomatoes though. I cook them all year because I'm never quite happy with how they taste raw when they're out of season but now, the only way I would eat it is raw, whether in a caprese salad, greek salad, bruschetta or gazpacho. Mmmm....

  12. i have a recipe for a yummy roasted tomato soup with balsamic. i'll try to find that and get it to you.

    i've never made enough soup to can, but you could always do that. i need to make something with our bounty, too:)

    is that a teething necklace on your little man? we just ordered one this week. does it work for him?

  13. I looooove making pastichio. Brown a pound of ground meat (any kind, really) OR diced eggplant (this would make it moussaka). Add tomatoes (either a can of diced, or say 2-3 fresh depending on size, or if you are really trying to pinch some pennies a tablespoon of tomatoe paste and about 1/2-1 cup of water), a teaspoon of cinnamon (trust me on this one), some oregano or parsley or basil or other herb, 1/2 glass of red wine if you want (be sure to cook off alcohol), diced onion and/or garlic. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir into 1 beaten egg, set aside. Cook a cup of macaroni noodles and mix 1 egg and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese into it and set aside. Layer 1/2 of noodles in casserole, then all the tomatoes sauce, then rest of noodles. On top, add Greek white sauce (1 tbsp butter melted to 1 tbsp flour and some pepper, whisk in 1 1/2 cup milk all at once, cook while stirring till thickens then one minute more, gradually stir into 2 beaten eggs and another 1/4 cup parmesan cheese). Top with a light sprinkle of cinnamon. Bake 30 minutes 350 degrees. I serve w a bit of balsamic vinegar on top, if you want, and a salad and crusty bread. OR, you could stuff eggplants with carmelized onions and farmers cheese (or goats or parmesan cheese), then cover generously with diced tomatoes and bake about 30 minutes 350 degrees, serve with bread. OR some olive oil in pan with the diced tomatoes and a little diced onions, then place white fish on top and cover, let the fish steam for about 15 minutes. Serve on rice or whatever. Can you tell I Loooooooove tomatoes? :)

  14. When I saw your pictures I swear baby in the belly started dancing! We are a family of tomato-obsessed people! I have to have them all of the time in practically everything I eat with a pinch of salt on them...salads, hot dogs, hamburgers, sandwiches, pizza, pasta, eggs, etc. My hubby and I are also in love with bruschetta and tomato soup. Thank God this baby lets me eat them without getting heart burn or I'd be in big trouble, lol! My son is also is in love with them. He eats them raw & plain like an apple...yummy! I can barely write this without salivating.

    Two of my favorite things to make are these:

    1.) Spinach & Tomato Garlic Bread:

    Take bread of your choice (We usually use French Bread) spread some butter on it and put fresh garlic, spinach, tomatoes, cheese, and seasonings of your choice (ours are salt, blk. pepper, garlic powder). You can play with the ingredients to suit your tastebuds. Warm up in the microwave or oven if you want it crispy & enjoy!

    2.) Easy Tomato & Basil Salad:

    Cut up tomatoes, add fresh basil, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and sprinkle with shredded cheese. Chill for at least 15 minutes (or just use cold tomatoes) and eat up!

    I am attempting to grow some of our own organic tomatoes & basil ourself right now to save money since we eat them so much! Hope we win, if we're not too late, but if not, enjoy the recipes anyway. They're both DELICIOUS!!!

    Lina (frolina_c@yahoo.com)

  15. Oh yeah, I almost forgot...guacamole is awesome with fresh tomatoes!

    Cut up avocados, tomatoes and a lot of fresh cilantro. Toss in a bowl and add salt and black pepper to taste. Add fresh lime juice for an extra taste that will make your tastebuds party! (Play with consistency to your liking and add tomatoes last so it doesn't get mushy.)

    I have many more recipes I can pass on since we eat them so often. Let me know if you want more. Happy to share! :-)


There's nothing better than good conversation ... but not while talking to myself. Will you play a part in this discussion?

AND will you pretty please have your email linked to your account or leave it for me so I can respond?

Thanks for taking the time to make these thoughts into conversation.