We've moved from Baltimore, Maryland USA to Venice, Italy in pursuit of living our dream!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Secret Garden update

Just about every morning Mike and I make a run down to our "Orto" to see what new developments might have happened overnight.  In the evenings we've been watering and weeding. Today I took a few photos so you can see the progress going on there.

 Melanzane!!!  We actually have 8 of these beauties hanging on the vine- ranging from about 2 inches to 5 inches. We want to let them fatten up a little bit more before we start harvesting, in the meantime our mouths are watering!!!  For what seems like weeks we looked at flowers on the vine, but nothing else, and thought sadly that we weren't going to get any eggplants at all. This was our very first attempt at eggplant, we had no idea what to expect, and to be honest were a bit disappointed when we saw tons of zucchini but no melanzane. About a week ago we started seeing little purple eggplants .... we have babies!!!
 Perhaps by September there just might be one ear of corn in the garden. We're just starting to see some silks appear, that's a good sign. We miss corn on the cob a lot, so we might be fighting over that one ear!!!
 There is a bumper crop of tomatos going on in the garden- lots and lots of cherry tomatoes, and these bigger ones, even some heirloom tomatoes and what looks like just one daterino plant. We've been pulling ripe cherry tomatoes off every day and popping them in our mouths right then and there. They don't have a prayer. They will never even make it up to the kitchen!
 Hot peppers, and lots of them. Have no idea what we'll be doing with them all. Any suggestions?
 This tomatoe is just about ready.. maybe a day or two more until it is nice and ripe.
This is yesterday's zucchini harvest. Last night we made 2 loaves of zucchini bread. Tonight for dinner we made fried zucchini in batter. Tomorrow it will be zucchini quiche. We're going to have to get pretty creative, cause there are new ones to harvest every time we go to the garden.

We're so lucky to have this special space, and even luckier that it had been a garden for years and years before us. There's something magical about vegetables grown in Italy, they just taste better. Must be the combination of that Italian sun and soil.  


Anonymous said...

Friends over here, Down Under, make chili sauce. And chilies freeze well, too. I use lots in my pasta sauces, and when I marinate chicken or beef slices to do a stir fry.

Here is one recipe from the web:

karen said...

Grazie, Yvonne! We'll try your recipe! There are so many hot peppers growing, we're going to try everything!! We're sure to be overrun. Mike has this kind in the photo (around 6 plants) and another 6 of a small round kind. All with tons of peppers on them.

Andrew said...

I love reading about your Orto, Karen. It's great to see you being rewarded for that hard slog at the beginning.

karen said...

Thanks, Andrew! The Orto has become one of the best parts of every day, to spend time down there checking on all the plants, watering, and now harvesting! We're already additions to next years crops,and I'm giving some serious thought to composting!

Andrew said...

Ooooh! Composting! How about a wormery?

Anonymous said...

What about making chutney? Both courgettes and aubergines would work really well, and the chillis would add a good kick! And best of all it will last for at least a year.
Lovel the blog

Anonymous said...


I adore zucchini, sliced paper thin, sauteed in oil with lots of garlic and soy sauce. Just stir it around til the zucchini is very limp, maybe even starting to brown a bit (hard to tell with the soy). If you can get soy sauce, that is. If not, perhaps a strong, salty beef stock.


Marsha in Toronto

karen said...

Ciao, Marsha! thanks for sharing another way to consume zucchini! Yes, we can find soy sauce here, so I will add this to my list to try. We eat zucchini, lots of it, and love it. Last summer I was making zucchini bread and muffins. Your comment came at a perfect time, as we are just beginning work in our Orto for the season. We're expanding the amount of space we planted this time around, and are so looking forward to another bountiful harvest.