Tag Archives: Vegetable

A-Z Archive Challenge: “T”

Suncreek Garden 2011 Tomato Crop…This weeks entry into the A-Z Archive Photo Challenge: “T” hosted by Frizztext!

 

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Suncreek Garden Chronicles…Conflict

Conflict is described as a disagreement through which the parties involved perceive a threat to their needs, interests or concerns. Within this simple definition there are several important understandings that emerge:
 
Conflict is often best understood by examining the consequences of various behaviors at moments in time. These behaviors are usefully categorized according to conflict styles. Each style is a way to meet one’s needs in a dispute but may impact other people in different ways.
  • Competing
  • Accommodating
  • Avoiding
  • Compromising
  • Collaborating
 
 
 
There is a bit of a conflict going on here at Suncreek Garden. We have a patty pan squash that has decided it would rather grow among the tomatoes.  At first glance there seems to be a confilict…but what kind of conflict do we have on our hands? 
 
At first glance we have a conflict based on competition…the plants are competing for the same space, the same water, the same sunshine. 
 
Competing is a style in which one’s own needs are advocated over the needs of others. It relies on an aggressive style of communication, low regard for future relationships, and the exercise of coercive power. Those using a competitive style tend to seek control over a discussion, in both substance and ground rules. They fear that loss of such control will result in solutions that fail to meet their needs. Competing tends to result in responses that increase the level of threat.
 
 On second glance we have a conflict of collaboration.  The squash and the tomato have the same needs…
 
Collaborating is the pooling of individual needs and goals toward a common goal. Often called “win-win problem-solving”.  This collaboration requires assertive communication and cooperation in order to achieve a better solution than either individual could have achieved alone. It offers the chance for consensus, the integration of needs, and the potential to exceed the “budget of possibilities” that previously limited our views of the conflict. It brings new time, energy, and ideas to resolve the dispute meaningfully.
 
 
 
 
Sometimes conflicts create an opportunity for the parties involved to rise above the opposition and reach new heights and learn to appreciate one another and offer support.
 
Which is exactly what is happening in our garden.  The squash plant has decided that it would prefer to grow above the tomato plants.  The tomato plants are offering support for the squash’s new path.  We are unsure of the outcome of this conflict between the two plants, but we are keeping a watchful eye on the situation.
 
 
 
 
Sometimes gardening imitates life…and this past week I have had my share of conflict.  I have pondered my contribution to the conflict and I have decided I would rather be the supportive tomato instead of the aggressive squash. 
 
 Philippians 2:4 “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
 

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Suncreek Garden Chronicles…Tomato Happiness

It’s happy times at Suncreek Garden.  Next to actually havesting and eating our tomato crop this is the most exciting time of the season …The seeds went into the starter pots in early January…the plants have been in the ground for 3 weeks…and we have flowers!  Tomato Flowers!!!

A vegetable garden in the beginning looks so promising and then after all little by little it grows nothing but vegetables, nothing, nothing but vegetables.  Gertrude Stein

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Suncreek Garden Chronicles: The Tomato Debate

 

Suncreek Garden Chronicles...The Tomato Debate

 The tomato was once referred to as the Love Apple, Moor’s Apple and a Wolf Peach.  The name wolf peach comes from the long-held belief that the tomato was poisonous.  One 17th Century cookbook declared, while it was safe to eat a cooked tomato it was “not advisable”.  However eating a raw tomato would cause instantaneous death.  Although untrue, this lethal accusation lingered until the early 1800’s.

The controversy over the toxic tomato was only the beginning of the tomato debate.  An additional debate was most likely the topic of many garden conversations…was the tomato a vegetable or a fruit.  The issue seemed to cause such division that the debate was taken before the United States Supreme Court.   In 1887 the issue was settled when the powers to be decided to split the difference.  The Court ruled that although “botanically speaking tomatoes are the fruit of a vine” they were vegetables “in the  common language of the people.”

Here at Suncreek Garden there really isn’t much of a debate.  We grow heirloom tomatoes.  We enjoy them cooked as well as raw and thus far no one has fallen ill or even worse.  Also, we don’t prefer the tomato fruit over the tomato vegetable or vice versa…we just prefer tomatoes!

*On a side note…The tomato serves as both the official state vegetable and the official state fruit of Arkansas, in honor of the South Arkansas Vine Ripe Pink Tomato, sometimes known as “Bradley Pink.”

What say you about the tomato debate?

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Suncreek Garden Chronicles…Brussel Sprouts

Suncreek Garden Chronicles…Brussel Sprouts

Suncreek Garden Chronicles...Brussel Sprouts

This is our first attempt at growing one of our favorite veggies…I have read that brussel sprouts flourish when the weather is frosty…today the high was 70 degrees…no frost in sight.  I hope we will enjoy the veggies of our labors before the warm temperatures encourage the appearance of aphids or cabbage worms.

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Wordless Wednesday…Strange Veggie…Purple Kohlrabi

Wordless Wednesday…Strange Veggie…Purple Kohlrabi

Wordless Wednesday...Strange Purple Veggie...Kohlrabi

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Suncreek Garden Chronicles…Carrot Challenge

Suncreek Garden Chronicles…Carrots can be a bit of a challenge!

Carrots are a root vegetable usually orange in color though purple, red, yellow and white varieties do exist.  The most commonly eaten part of the carrot is the tap-root, however the green tops are also edible.

Suncreek Garden Chronicles...Carrots

Carrots are enjoyed raw as well as cooked.  They are included in soups, stews and baby food.  Together with onions and celery, carrots are one of the primary vegetables used in mirepoix to make various broths.

Suncreek Garden Chonicles...Carrots

Carrots grow best in full sun but will tolerate some shade.  According to experienced gardeners carrots grow best in loose soil.  Hard compact rocky soil will result in deformed carrots.  Guess what?  Our raised beds are definitely not deep enough…Gardener note*Raise the carrot beds another 2′. 

Suncreek Garden Chronicles...Carrots

Also carrots are reported to be useful companion plants for gardeners. There is experimental evidence, which I obviously have no first hand knowledge of, that growing carrots intercropped with tomatoes will increase the production of the tomatoes.  This is something to consider giving a try, especially since my favorite fruit/veg is the wonderfully delicious tomato.

Suncreek Garden Chronicles…will continue to experiment with growing carrots…by the way the carrot may not have been much to look at but it was tasty.

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    carbohydrates are not the enemy…

    carbohydrates are not the enemy...google image

    If carbohydrates are not the enemy why are they treated like the Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde of the food pyramid?   Carbs are the misunderstood food group.  Foods that contain carbs have eye appeal, flavor, warmth and usually a fond memory attached.  Therefore we are apt to eat more of them than we should.  But, as bad as it is for us to eat too many carbs it is just as bad for us to eat too few. 

    The key to any healthy eating plan is knowledge.  When we understand what our bodies truly need to function properly and stay healthy, then its all about moderation. 

    I would go as far as to say that I love carbs.  I love the foods that contain carbs.  And I am extremely happy to know that I can have them in moderation. 

     The following is an excerpt from an article I read on the Spark People website.  The entire article has a great amount of detail about the effects of eating a diet rich in carbs as well as the effects of a low carb diet over time.  It is definitely worth the read. 

    I know all of the details in the article are extremely important but I am a meat and potatoes kind of girl (pun intended).  Put the cookies on the bottom shelf (I know but I couldn’t help myself).   What I am trying to say is I  just want to know what I can and can’t have.  Give it to me straight!  So here it is:

    The Million Dollar Question
    How do you include carbohydrates in you diet in a safe, effective, and controlled way? The “Please KISS Me” (Please Keep It So Simple for Me) plan for carbohydrate control is a wonderful tool that only contains 3 simple rules:

    RULE 1: Include the following in your diet:

    • Fruits: 2-4 servings daily
    • Vegetables: 3-5 servings daily
    • Whole grain breads, muffins, bagels, rolls, pasta, noodles, crackers, cereal, and brown rice: 6-11 servings daily(the government recommends 3 other sources recommend 5-10)
    • Legumes, beans and peas: 1-2 servings daily
    • Low-fat and non-fat dairy products: 3 servings daily

    RULE 2: Limit the following to less than 2 servings daily:

    • Fruit Juice
    • Refined and processed white flour products (bread, muffins, bagels, rolls, pasta, noodles, crackers, cereal)
    • White rice
    • French fries
    • Fried vegetables

    RULE 3: Eliminate the following from your diet or eat only on occasion:

    • Sugary desserts, cookies, cakes, pies, candies
    • Doughnuts and pastries
    • Chips, cola and carbonated beverages
    • Sugar, honey, syrup, jam, jelly, molasses

    Since starting on this new healthy eating plan I can say that I have eliminated all of rule #2 and #3.  With the exception of a squeeze of natural agave syrup from time to time.  But its nice to know I can have french fries if I choose. 

    6-11 servings of whole grains per day seems like a lot of whole grains, especially when I think I am currently only getting 2-3/day.  I am going to have to re-think this one and figure out how to incorporate these suggested good carbs into my somewhat balanced diet.

    Carbs are not the enemy when you eat a well-balanced diet.

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    suncreek garden chronicles…here come the tomatos

    Suncreek Garden Chronicles…Installment #10

    We have been patiently waiting for our favorite garden veggie to color up.  The time is here!

    This is one ugly tomato!!! 

    Remember beauty is in the eye of the beholder!  

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    Suncreek Garden Chronicles…Heirloom Tomatoes are the best fruit ever

    suncreek garden chronicles…installment #8

    Did you know that tomatoes are botanically a fruit, but considered a vegetable for culinary purposes which of course causes some confusion.  Tomatoes are grown world-wide and are the most popular home garden fruit grown. 

    Heirloom tomatoes are seed varieties that have been handed down through the generations.  They are the real deal!  Unlike the tomatoes we see in the local grocery store that are perfectly shaped and uniform in color most often have little or no real tomato flavor.  The heirlooms can range from a deep plum color to pale pink.  They have cracks and bumps and are misshapen.  Each heirloom has great characteristics and a wide range of flavor.

    The heirloom tomato are not just for gourmet foodies.  The heirloom tomato is the people’s tomato bred by amateurs, farmers and gardeners-designed to be homegrown. 

    Some of you who have been stopping by the blog know we are growing a garden.  We are anxiously anticipating the tomato crop.  The plants are looking great, very health and full of flowers and yes tomatoes. We purchased our plants from a couple of local growers which has turned out to be a very good decision.  The plants are healthy and obviously from good seed stock.

    We have planted black cherry , beefmaster, heatwave and goliath’s which are heirloom tomatoes.  The goliath tomato has been reported to grow as large as three pounds.  WOW 3#!!! 

    By the way, is it Tomatos or Tomatoes?  They both look wrong to me…but I always choose to spell it Tomatoes because its easier for me to make an “es” at the end instead of just an “s”.  Either way tomatoes are delicious!!! 

    My favorite way to enjoy a red ripe tomato is on a sandwich.  A tomato sandwich!!!  Two slices of bread, mayo, sliced tomato sprinkled with salt and pepper…delicious!!!

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