Rooftop Gardening: Rebooting The Tomatoes

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I hit the reboot button!


I thought I’d do a roundup on the rooftop gardening, since I haven’t done that in a while. As you can see, I totally lost my patience with my ugly tomato plants. They have been suffering all this time, after being hit with a bacterial blight in the spring with the first heat wave’s arrival. Perhaps I must be grateful that the plants survived, and have churned out a pretty fair amount of tomatoes, under the circumstances! We don’t use any chemical pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, etc. on our gardens, so dealing with bugs and diseases is fairly stressful for the plants. You can see it in the leaves, they look miserable:

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I've lost my patience with these ugly tomato plants!

The amazing thing, really, is that the plants keep producing nice, red, juicy delicious tomatoes! I’ve been steadily trying to cut out the dead foliage without making too much drastic damage while the tomatoes are ripening, but finally there comes a time when no more blossoms means time for drastic measures. When all else fails, hit the Reboot button!

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Pruning out the ugly branches is such a relief!

You know how great it feels when you get a nice new haircut? Well, I hope the plants felt that great after I pruned out all the old sorry looking stuff and left only the few ripening tomatoes and the little bit of new green growth. Personally, I felt much better after that! I love a nice, tidy garden! The really nice thing about a rooftop container garden is that there are very few weeds to deal with. First, not as much seed floats around on the wind up that high, and second, the containers have pretty limited surface, so it’s really easy to pick out a weed while I’m watering. I’m really enjoying this!

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The Egyptian Bell Peppers Are Starting To Look Good

Growing up, I was never a fan of peppers, until I ate a hotdog at a carnival once with grilled peppers and onions and mustard on it. There’s something magical about grilled or saute’d peppers and onions on a piece of egyptian wholegrain flat bread slathered with mustard! If you’ve never tried that, I definitely encourage you!

It’s so exciting to see fresh veggies ripening on the plant and these peppers are so colorful, I just love to share!

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Aren't They Pretty?!

And here’s more good news, saute’d eggplant is soon arriving on the menu! Eggplants are way more versatile than most people imagine. Peel them and slice them thin like mushroom pieces, and saute’ them exactly as mushrooms with a little of your favorite oil and some salt and pepper. Then use them in any recipe as an alternative to mushrooms and you’ll probably be surprised how much you love eggplant after that!

Purple is my favorite color – who can resist such a gorgeous flower?!

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A Sneak Preview Of The Eggplants

So here’s today’s harvest in the next two photos. Just the right amount for two grateful people who love fresh, all natural, homegrown veggies!

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Today's Harvest, Part 1

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Today's Harvest, Part 2: Squash, Okra & More Cucumbers

Here’s a quick recipe for Egyptian Okra Soup:

Fill a medium size cooking pot halfway with soup broth (or use water and boullion)
Cut the tops off of 20-30 “arns” (arabic for “horns”) of okra and discard,
Then cut the okra in 1 cm pieces and add to the soup
Then add in the following:
1 ripe tomato cut into small chunks
1 hot pepper, cut into small chunks
2 or 3 cloves of fresh garlic, finely minced
Season with salt and fresh black pepper

Bring to a boil, and then boil on low for about 5-7 minutes. The okra won’t be mushy this way, it tastes best when it still has a light crunch to it. Enjoy!
♥♥♥
;^)

★★★★★★★★★ Guess what?!! It’s party time again!!! ★★★★★★★★

And since tonight is Ramadan Eve, insha’Allah we’ll have a Ramadan Party!!

hit refresh to display this!
In Ramadan, Muslims fast from early dawn till sunset every day for the whole month. Here in Egypt, early dawn for this coming first day of Ramadan is at 3:11am. We need to eat and be finished before that time, so I always allow one and a half hours for food prep and eating. Tonight I’m staying up since I have a lot to do, but usually I try to sleep for a few hours in the night, and catch a nap in the mid day. So, as long as I’m up already, let’s have a party!

The food table is all set up, see?!

I think I’m starting to improve my party throwing skills, alhamdulillah / thanks to God! Hope you enjoy the food! (You can learn more about the food by clicking the caption link)

★★★ The Seed of Light Award ★★★

On June 09, 2014 Sumaira of The Muslimah Mommy awarded me with the Seed of Light Award – Thank you once again, my dear sister! God bless you and all of your family with every success! ♥♥♥ ;^)

I hope you all will visit her blog for a great inspiration and lovely glimpse into the life of a Muslimah Mommy working hard to put her faith into practice, and sharing her efforts with us on her blog:
http://themuslimahmommy.com/2014/06/09/the-seed-of-light-award/

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Sowing this seed is easy, Here are the steps:

1) Thank the person who nominated you.

2) Nominate at least 5 blogs and provide links to their blogs.

3) Notify each on their nomination.”

As with all of the awards I present, you are all recipients, whether or not you generate another cycle of this award. Recycling is optional, but the award is yours! Display it as you like on your blog and enjoy – Congratulations!

If you do decide to recycle this award, there’s no deadline to doing so. Take your time and you can always plug it into a post you are doing anyway, just like I did, that seems to be an easier way, sometimes, than making a separate post. The point is to enjoy it, and share the appreciation and recognition so others get a chance to learn about the great bloggers you are enjoying. The more the merrier! ♥♥♥ ;^)))

Here are my awardees, Congratulations to you all! I appreciate you all and enjoy so much your wonderful writing!

Zara http://zar4h.wordpress.com/2014/06/27/limitless-love-2014/
Christy http://poeticparfait.com/2014/06/18/mythology-the-golden-apple-of-discord-poetry-who-is-the-fairest-by-christy-birmingham/
Lady of the Cakes http://ladyofthecakes.wordpress.com/2014/06/26/language-learning-youve-got-to-live-it/
Traditionally Modern Food http://traditionallymodernfood.wordpress.com/2014/06/27/baked-besan-bonda-2/
Katarina http://katarinawohlfart.com/2014/06/28/going-to-porvoo-with-svenska-resebloggar-and-travelhouseporvoo-in-september/
Nicole Marie http://wordsandotherthings.wordpress.com/2014/06/28/my-grandfather-and-i/
Corrine and Jim http://www.reflectionsenroute.com/weekend-travel-inspiration-develop-sympathy/
Emily http://emilykarn.wordpress.com/2014/06/28/the-new-arenas/
iithinks http://iithinks.wordpress.com/2014/06/28/a-single-smile/
Holistic Wayfarer http://holisticwayfarer.com/2014/06/27/my-boys-love-on-the-landing/

★★★★★★★★★

I invite you all to explore the souq / bazaar at night during Ramadan – it’s enchanting!

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Shopping at night is always more fun in Ramadan!

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♥♥♥
;^)

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54 thoughts on “Rooftop Gardening: Rebooting The Tomatoes

  1. Great post! MashAllah I always wanted to garden and yours look pretty fun and fresh ! (; btw Ramadan Mubarak!

    • Barak Allah fiki, sweet sis! So happy to see you and thanks so much for your sweet encouragement! I hope insha’Allah you will have an opportunity to grow a garden, too, it is lots of fun and full of blessing, masha’Allah! Ramadan mubarak to you and all your family! ♥♥♥ ;^)

  2. Your garden looks so much tidy, pretty and clean right now, dear Aisha… ❤ ❤
    And Peppers seems to be more beautiful and resistent plants right !!! Straight up !!!.
    But what did you do with the tomatoes?… I mean with the plants?… Just curious
    I bet a salad made with these organic vegetables must be fresh and delicious … Am I right ?
    Wishing you a nice weekend ahead,
    Much love & Best wishes,
    Aquileana 🙂
    இڿڰۣ-ڰۣ—

    • Greetings Dear Aquileana! Lol maybe I’m a bit more “organized” than necessary, especially in a garden! The tomato plants are aggravating because when the leaves get diseased the plants suffer and become weak. They can die easily like that, so it’s a balancing act to trim out the diseased leaves without trimming too much – the leaves are still necessary for photosynthesis to to keep the plant growing. Different varieties of tomatoes react differently to disease. This variety is actually pretty strong, at least the disease didnt enter the fruit! I am very thankful to have gotten so many lovely delicious tomatoes from these poor, struggling soldiers!
      And yes, the salads of cucumbers, tomatoes and a handful of chopped cilantro with some homemade mayo is definitely a favorite dish – come on over, we’ll chop one up right away and kick back on the chairs in the shade under the grape arbor!
      Hugs and smiles to you my dear! ;^))) ♥♥♥

  3. Salaams Aisha,
    Loving all the Plants! Such an ace Garden, MashaAllah. I grow a Vege Patch in my Garden too, and have lots of Fruit Trees. Quite enjoy a bit of Gardening lol.

    Ramadan Mubarak. Hope the Fasts are going well. 🙂

  4. Thanks so much for nominating my blog. :D(Yah!) I enjoyed your post very much, beautiful plants. All I’ve got going this year are some sweet peas and pansies.

    • Oh, how nice! It was my Dad’s love of sweet peas that gave me the gardening bug when I was so young! Congrats again, and thanks for the sweet memory of my childhood! ♥♥♥ ;^)

  5. Hi Aisha, thanks so much for the lovely award!! I am honored! I also enjoyed reading about your tomato plants and even getting a new soup recipe, wow how wonderful — truly happy to know you and your writing here and sending you smiles for the day 🙂

    • It’s great to have a neighbor who shares, isn’t it?! That’s how I got my papaya trees – a nice neighbor gave us a papaya! Thanks for visiting me here, glad you enjoyed it! ♥♥♥ ;^)

    • Oh, yes definitely, Sarah! I don’t think I could ever eat commercial pasta sauce again! I havent quite found the perfect ketchup recipe, but I’m working on that, too. Thanks so much for visiting! ♥♥♥ ;^)

  6. I’m jealous of all your space! Most of my plants are in containers but it’s just one tiny spot of my patio that gets enough sun for veggies. Buddy says I got the green thumb from you though the last time he was here to mow my yard. He just hasn’t seen my failures 😛

    • Lol, neither have you! I only take pictures of the good stuff! But about the space, yes, there’s too much – thank God there wasn’t more, or my ocd self would have filed it up too, just to make sure I have something else to roast me in the sun for, while I’m watering it all! But it’s become beautiful, I have to admit, especially the big roof with the grape arbor… I’ll try to get good photos and do that roof next time, insha’Allah! I’m glad you are enjoying your plants, containers are alot easier than the land, arent they? I’m even more glad that you and Buddy are close again, that’s so wonderful!
      I love all your photos, too, Sweetie, especially of you and Vivi picking strawberries, remember when we used to do that? Brings so many good memories to mind, I’m so glad you’re doing those things with Vivi! Give her a million kisses for me, and tell her to give you a million kisses for me, too, and I know you won’t kiss Buddy, lol, but send him my kisses too, I love you all so much and miss you like crazy!!! ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ ;^)

  7. Oh dear Aisha ! What a gorgeous post with your wonderful plants and the celebratory preparations for the event ! The flowers of some plants look as if they are from decorative plants and they did amaze me.Now,I feel quilty that we grow so many trees and flowers in our garden and not even one vegetable.I might copy you and ask our gardener to bring some ; it would be lovely to have a special corner in our space only for vegetables.I envy you your harvest !!! I also love shopping in souqs and enjoy the hard bargaining … I had a lovely experience in Tunisia some years ago.They started at 50 dinars and finally offered the articles at less than ten ! Isn’t it funny ?
    Brilliant post dear Aisha from every point of view !!!
    All my love ~♥~♥~♥~ to you and yours, Doda :-)))))))))))))

    • Hahaha that’s wonderful that you were able to make such a great bargain! I learned this bargaining in athens, in the great shops of the agora section at the foot of the acropolis… lol, don’t get me started, I can go on and on about my enjoyable times in Athens!

      Find a sunny space and make a little room for a few of your favorite veggies, even the markets are full of veggies, it’s still quite fun to eat from your own garden, even if only a little bit! Fresh basil, even the flowers, are so delicious (and pretty!) in a big greek salad!
      Hmmm, maybe I can come to lunch with you sometime, and you can take lunch sometime with me up on my roof, even in my daydreams, that sounds wonderful!
      ♥♥♥ (((((more hugs and kisses for you!))))) ;^))))

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