Happy July – What’s Growing on?

We celebrated CANADA DAY very unceremoniously this year.. thanks to Covid-19.  Honestly, Bill and i aren’t ones to celebrate Canada day very ceremoniously any given year.  Not that we don’t love our country and where we live.. but we just don’t love crowds.  We actually really really really don’t like crowds, traffic, parking, etc.  So typically we get out of Dodge on Can Day (and often to the States) – but this year, he worked, and I stayed home & inside due to 36C weather with 80% humidity most of the day, where I happily enjoyed the quiet, my new AC, and baked up a storm.   I did find this video, which I love.  I’ll share it ’cause A) I love “Walk off the Earth”, (the band) and B) I do love Canadian Products.  (French’s)  Please click and enjoy this fun rendition of our National Anthem.

One of the areas that Bill & I love to roadtrip is along the North shore of Lake Erie from Niagara to Leamington here in Southern Ontario, Canada.  We did it a few years ago on our September wedding anniversary in my cousin’s sweet little red BMW convertible. (lookit me rockin’ the head scarf.. LOL!)


Leamington is known for it’s tomato fields and (used to be for) the Heinz Ketchup plant.  In 2013, it was announced that Heinz was closing the Leamington processing plant, putting 740 people out of work.  The plant was the largest employer in this lovely  southwestern Ontario town.  Then French’s came along (my favourite yellow mustard company, who also happens to be Canadian!) and bought the plant, and started making French’s Ketchup.  French vs Heinz

There’s a WHOLE lot more to the story, and this blogpost by Treehugger tells more about the Ketchup wars.. (note: i did not factcheck her blogpost on French’s ownership) but it’s nice to know that someone resurrected this Canadian Ketchup plant.  I didn’t mean to go off on that tangent – cause A) i’m so not political, and B) I do love my American Neighbours.. we love visiting you, and spend most of our vacation time in your fair land.. but C) I am Canadian proud, and the Ketchup wars  (article from McLean’s magazine in link) were pretty real here in Ontario, Canada and on our grocery shelves a few years back.

🇨🇦There’s a bit of social economic (recent) history for you post-Canada day.  🇨🇦

So… on to the “topic du jour”… what is Growing in my garden at the beginning of July?  With a late start to Spring (very cold May, with snow & frost second week in) we’re catching up.  the cucumbers are blossoming and climbing really fast now.

Zucchini are also blossoming and going gangbusters (no fruit yet)

The eggplant is full of fruit (mostly only about 3-4″ long)


I’ve been harvesting herbs, radishes, lettuces every day.. even this celery stalk to give it a try, and my first mini eggplant!


I harvested most of the garlic scapes recently, and may have been incorporating them a bit too much into my diet.. even Guillermo is complaining noticing when he’s near me.  😉 Woops!  time to eat a lot more mint!

I made my 4th batch of garlic scape & radish green pesto yesterday (adding only lemon juice & avocado oil, pepper & pink Himalayan sea salt) and added it to rotini pasta, white kidney & black beans, radishes, grape tomatoes, carrot, celery and onion.  It tastes fantastic.. but WOW does it have a garlicky punch!


I was also using the pesto on my morning egg white breakfast wraps in the last week.. Actually had one of these a morning last week before I picked up mom for some errands.  (Sorry Mom!)   She noticed.. but honestly, as any of her daughters will tell you, she has extra sensitive and seriously super sonic Garlic radar.


Today I switched up my egg white wrap.. instead of a tortilla wrap, I used a Rutabega leaf, and added in some hot peppers and a bit of havarti.  Turned out fantastic, and saved me all the calories/carbs in the tortilla while packing an nutritional punch into my breakfast.


I’ve been using ALL the edible greens in our salads.  Mint, basils (yes, plural, 2 different kinds) Rutabega leaves, radish greens, several kinds of lettuce, and now beet greens.. which are my favourite!

img_9646This Romaine (pic below) is the crunchiest.. it came from one of my earlier plantings of kitchen scraps from store bought lettuce. You can see we’ve been harvesting from it quite a bit.  It will get tough soon, so i need to finish harvesting it – never fear – there’s lots more plants coming from the kitchen scraps.img_9672

the lettuce bowls are all taking off (one with a sunflower!)


I thinned the golden beets to encourage growth a few days ago, and googled beet greens to see if they could be eaten raw (knew they could be cooked) and yes, they can, and also pack a wonderful nutritional punch.  From whfoods.com (World’s Healthiest Foods)

Our WHFoods rating system places beet greens among our Top 10 foods in terms of their total nutrient rankings of excellent, very good, and good. Beet greens are an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), vitamin C, copper, potassium, manganese, vitamin B2, magnesium, vitamin E, fiber and calcium. They are a very good source of iron, vitamins B1, B6, and pantothenic acid, as well as phosphorus and protein. Beet greens are also a good source of zinc, folate and vitamin B3.


One thing i just learned reading further though.. is that they are HIGH in oxolates.. which is NOT good for Guillermo.. as he is prone to kidney stones and should be avoiding oxolates.. so they will no longer be going into his salads… (insert sad face here)

Whatever the case, the thinning of the beet row was important.. and as you can see, these lovely golden beets are doing quite well.

I seem to have a bug in my garden.. and need to research how to fight it. Yesterday I saw a few white moths fluttering around.. and noticed as well that the Daikon radish greens seem to be the most affected.  too bad, as I was looking forward to harvesting these greens and trying them out as well soon.


img_9667-1The climbing beans are taking off!   We have our first contender to reach past the railing.. i guesstimate it’s about 7.5′ tall now.

These guys are so fun.. i love the way they wrap themselves so tightly around the jute and climb climb climb!   No blossoms yet, I do believe that they suffer being on the East side. (not getting enough sun)  Hopefully that will change once they get tall enough and the upper leaves get almost all-day sun.


Well, as you know from my last post on Salons being open… (and thankfully VERY safely here in Niagara… (masks, plexi glass, temperature taking, reduced services etc) I went in to deal with the “tinsel”.. and this is the result! My wonderful colourist added in some blonder highlights to tie in my 3″ grey tinsel Sparkly roots.. and I’m now a silver blonde!

It’s been a couple days now, and I still shock myself a bit when i look in the mirror.

Hope you’re having fun enjoying your gardens, new recipes, new hairdo’s now that salons are open again.. or trying something, ANYTHING new.   We’re never too old to learn.  Sometimes our attempts at “new” don’t always work out.. like the rhubarb & blueberry coffee cake muffins I attempted yesterday (no photos, they were that bad) but keep trying something new.  Keep learning, keep on experimenting and trying.. you never know what you’ll discover!


Published by billandamyskitchen

Bill (Guillermo 'cause he likes pretending he knows Spanish) and I (Amy) have been married since Sept 2005. We live in Southern Ontario, Canada - Niagara Peninsula in fact, smack dab between 2 of the Great Lakes. We love God, our family, our church family, and making each other laugh. (ergo the profile pic, he decided to make our photographer laugh by throwing a leg up on me just before the shutter clicked, which made ME laugh) When we married, I told Bill: "I don't know how to cook" but he had faith in me. So 15 years later, I'm still learning, and having fun. I've never (in my whole life) cooked a whole bird, chicken, turkey or otherwise. I've never roasted a beef, other than in a crockpot on low for 8 hrs. I like trying to find healthy & easy recipes and then I rarely follow them. I don't enjoy recipes that take hours or intricate steps. I have a special fondness for the Podleski sisters, writers/creators of the Looney Spoons, Crazy Plates and Yum/Yummer cookbooks. In 2018 we suddenly decided to rip our small house apart from stem to stern, moving out for 4.5 months while the house was demolished inside and out, and then rebuilt with an addition. If you go back in the archives to July-Dec 2018 you can follow that story. It's made our house open and so much more conducive to entertaining, small groups and large. It's given us the kitchen I've dreamed of to create and learn in. We feel incredibly blessed to be able to write about our journey, our faith in God and some fun recipes along the way. Thanks for joining us.

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