Sunflower Seeds Ready for Roasting

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The center part of this 5′ tall sunflower has finished drying in the sun and the seeds are now exposed.  I’m planning on roasting these home-grown seeds.  Since this will be my first time doing my own roasting, I looked up this recipe, which only involves boiling the seeds in a pot of salted water and then roasting them in the oven.  I’m looking forward to seeing how they turn out!

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And the Red Baron peach tree fairy gives her approval after many weeks of overseeing the sunflower seed soldiers.

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Early December Garden

My sprouting calabrese broccoli is on the verge of harvest. This being my first time growing this veggie, I'm pleased with how hardy and frost resistant it has proven to be. After I harvest the center shoot, I will continue to care for the rest of the plant and hope that they will then produce side shoots.

The broccoli forest.

Over the last week there have been quite a few nights in the mid 30's. Happily my Stupice tomatoes have fared well, but my work-horse cherry tomatoes from the middle of the summer bit the dust. I harvested all of the tomatoes and have read that many of the green ones will still ripen up. It was amazing how many tomatoes two bushes were still cranking out in December. I just have them out on the counter hoping to see red!

The following photos consist of a few harvests over the past 2 weeks.

Mommy's little helper.

Sugar snap peas, a few beets, Stupice tomatoes and one red cored chantenay carrot.

More backyard bounty showcased in my new birthday Le Creuset pan.

A note about seeds:

A true blessing of southern California weather is the ability to have a year-round vegetable garden and even direct-sow seeds in the middle of December.  Today I planted more seeds as other crops have finished up.  I planted more broccoli, yellow and red beets and lettuce.  I subscribe to the idea of successive planting:

  1. Same Vegetable, Staggered Plantings: Space out plantings of the same crop every 2-4 weeks. Many vegetables fade after producing their initial crop, setting a heavy crop initially.  Rather than planting your entire row all at once and having feast or famine, you can plant part of the row at the beginning of the season and then plant more in about 2-4 weeks. A new crop will be continually coming in.