Saturday, February 25, 2012

Spring and Spanish Rice.

     If I have a spare moment, I am usually out in the yard; soaking in the green and growing. This time in AZ is amazing. I am in love with my garden and beyond thankful for my greens. I can't hardly wait for my second garden to be finished. We squeezed 80 cubic feet more of growing power into my backyard farm. Yipee!

     Just look at that beautiful celery! It just makes me happy to see things grow. I can hardly wait for my peaches to be ready to munch. Things are looking good for this years crop! Let's not forget to appreciate what the girls have been doing for me in the backyard:

Muchos Gracias!

     Enough bragging. I hope you are all getting ready to set out some summer plants. It will make you happy too. I bought some wonderful organic fertilizer from the Backyard Farmer that perked my garden up almost instantly. He uses a product from Bluebonnet feed that you can get online or from him in about 3 weeks. If you haven't checked him out, please do! He carries grains and beans, local honey, eggs, meats, produce, chicken feed and grains, local Olive oil and storage containers. If he only carried toilet paper , I would get all my shopping done with him! He delivers every Wednesday. Click here to get to his website. 

     I have particularly been enjoying his fresh dried pinto beans. The beans you get in the store are who knows how old. His are this years crop. They are creamy and delicious. We have been eating them a lot! The other day I made some great Spanish rice that turned out better than any I have made before. I have never really loved any Spanish rice recipe I have tried or created before this. This was good. I want to try it with brown Basmati rice. I just used some Jasmine rice this time but the brown would be great. 

    These night time pictures always turn out yellowy but you get the idea. The beans are tossed in some Frontera red enchilada sauce; free of preservatives. The sweet organic corn (from Costco), is stir fried very quickly in some Mexican lime olive oil from The Olive Mill. AMAZING flavor! The smell is to die for! Add a little cilantro, tomatoes, green onion and lettuce, and you have a fine meal. 

     Enjoy your weekend! Try out the rice. I am not sure where I got this recipe (again) but I didn't change much of it. Delicious! 

2 T. coconut oil or olive oil of choice
1 C. uncooked rice
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 bell pepper chopped
2 cups water
10 ounces diced tomatoes
4 ounces green chili
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp salt

Heat oil and saute onion, pepper and rice until rice is golden and onion soft. Watch carefully not to burn! Use medium heat. 

Stir in water, tomatoes, chili and seasoning. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is done. Add more liquid if needed. 


allie said...

Wow. How do u have so much growing already? I have finally jump on the bandwagon and started a garden and its been overwhelming for me. I want to plant so much but feel I should have started sooner. Is there a resource you use to know when to plant thinks in AZ or did you learn by experience? I am nervous about this. Also where do you reccomend buying seeds I know heirloom is the best but I don't know where there is a good variety of those.

RPH said...

gosh....we have months before we will think about our garden. Our garden space looks like an ice skating rink right now!

I am going to have to see if celery grows here.

What do you use for weed prevention? We have a giant garden and sometimes I dread it because I could pull weeds for weeks and still not be caught up!

last thing...have you been reading about Monsanto and their desire to control ALL seeds in the US? YIKES!

Terri Burges Hirning said...

I am so jealous!! I miss our winter garden in Gilbert. But we are planning (and wishing for) spring right now. Yours looks AMAZING as always. By the way, speaking of celery, I read in Mother Earth News I believe (which is an AWESOME magazine) that you can cut your celery off about 3 inches from the bottom, stick that part back in the ground and it will regrow! You can even do this with store bought organic celery. Ever tried it? I though that was so cool, I want to try it now, have to do it indoors though so it will have to wait until I get my bigger kitchen soon!

Shari Goodman said...

My garden still has many plants carried over from my winter garden. As I pull up some, I plant new summer veggies. It is still early to plant so you are not behind! I usually plant around March 1st but it has been so warm. My favorite gardening book for AZ is the Desert Gardening book by George Brookbank. It tells you what to plant and when and everything else. It has been my bible. I am still learning for sure but so far, I haven't killed anything.

My goal for next year is to grow everything from seed but I didn't do that in time so I am doing mostly plants. The problem is is that plants are expensive and it is hard to find all heirloom plants. Trying to figure out what is GMo free and what is not is almost impossible since people tell you what you want to hea. Sweet Corn here in AZ have heirloom plants at the Orange Patch in Mesa. I hear the selection is pretty good so I will get lots from them. You can also go to their website to get seeds or they sell them at orange patch or the farmers market on Power between Elliot and warner. They also have great fertilizers.

Raygon, I am so sorry you still have ice. Yuck! I would be so sad if I couldn't garden year round. For weed prevention, I use children. I have a large garden also that has a crazy amount of spurge that always comes back. I have to go out there at least weekly to pull with kids. I am hoping my new garden that is above ground won't have the same issues.

Yes, I have read all about MOnsanto and that is the prime reason I started another garden. It is absolutely frightening. Everyone should know what is going on. HOnestly, if we dont' grow it ourselves, we can't be sure. I would love to be able to totally provide for myself in the produce department. That is also why we need to use heirloom plants and reuse the seeds since we may not be able to get them someday.


What in the world! Never heard of replanting celery. So, when you cut it, are you replanting the top part of the base? I will have to try it!

Terri Burges Hirning said...

You cut the bottom 3 inches off of the celery stalk. Put the cut long stalks in your fridge for use. Take that bottom 3 inches and stick in back in the ground with an inch or so sticking out of the dirt and viola! New celery. I will try and find the article and send it to you. Pretty cool stuff! Mother Earth is so amazing!