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Loofah Garden

I mentioned earlier in the year that I was wanting to start a loofah garden. 

A loofah is a natural sponge grown on a vine. They have the shape of a cucumber but are in the gourd family and grow really large. In order to grow these things, it requires a trellis for them to climb. In the Fall they will dry out and then you peel the skin to find a nice natural sponge inside. I'm pretty excited.

I ordered some seeds from a garden in the mountains of North Carolina. I had read where it takes a while for the seeds to sprout. I started them in February and they sprouted in just two weeks!


Afraid they would die before I could plant them, I started some more seeds in March. They have already started climbing the windows and are begging to be planted. I can hardly wait to get them outside.

I came home from work the other day and my sweet husband had built me a frame and trellis. He did a really good job. The next day he had me some fresh dirt. After our afternoon walk, I could not wait any longer so we put on our garden gloves, poured the dirt and planted the tiny plants. Now my loofahs are ready to grow. 


I contacted the nursery where I purchased the seeds and she said one plant will get big and will produce lots of loofahs. She said each plant will give me 10 to 12 loofahs, so only 3 or 4 plants is all I need. I hope this works. I have never had any luck growing things. I’m actually thinking about taking up two of them. I am just waiting to see if they thrive without being eaten by squirrels, bunnies and birds. 


I added some string to train them to grow up the trellis. They started grabbing hold within 15 minutes of planting them. 
Now we wait. I hope they do not get shocked from being transplanted outside.

Loofah plants will produce large yellow flowers before the loofah gourd begins. These flowers will attract lots of bumble bees, butterflies and humming birds. The plants will need them for pollination.
I will keep you updated on the progress. This is going to be fun.

Air Fryer Veggies

I'm a little behind on my blogging. I have been pretty busy though. Every afternoon it seems there is something to do. We go for our walk if it’s not raining. I have been filling some crochet orders. This means trips to Hobby Lobby. I love going there so when someone asks me to crochet something for them in a color I do not have, I’m like “yes!” I need to go to Hobby Lobby. Then I'm in there for 30 minutes just to pick up a roll a yarn.
Ha.

Now that I'm finally settled down, I want to share with you some veggie recipes that I've made in my new air fryer. I have used it every day since I got it. Everyone asks me what kind of air fryer I got. It is a 5 qt.“Gourmia digital air fryer”. It was a sweet gift from my daughters boyfriend. Yep he's a charmer.

Since I have been eating healthier, fried foods is something I have stayed away from. But now I can enjoy the taste of fried foods without actually frying them. We usually cook anything we want to be crispy on a baking sheet and place in the oven. The oven takes 10 minutes to preheat, and baking something for 20 minutes can heat a kitchen up therefore keeping the air condition running during the Summer. We usually take it to the grill at that point but sometimes that's a hassle. Now I have this cool little cooking vessel that will cook just about anything an oven or microwave will cook without using oil and in just half the time. 

Here are a few veggie sides that I have made so far. 
Enjoy.

Zucchini Fries (rolled in pork skin).


Wash and cut zucchini. Roll in egg and milk mixture and toss in 
crushed pork skins as you would bread crumbs. 
Spray with olive oil.
Cook 400 degrees for 15 minutes.


Frozen Veggie Tots


Open bag pour into fryer. 
Cook 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Shake to toss half way through.


Chick Peas


Drain can of chick peas. Pat dry and pour into air fryer. 
Season to taste (I just added a little salt and pepper).
Cook 400 degrees for 15 minutes. 
*These turned out like crunchy nuts and made a great healthy snack. 


Frozen Broccoli


Open bag and pour into air fryer. Season to taste.
Cook 400 for 15 minutes.


2 Ingredient Bagels
(I know this is not a veggie, but too cool not to share)


Make a dough using 1/2 cup Greek yogurt and 1/2 cup Self rising flour.
Shape into bagels. Brush with egg wash.
Cook 350 for 15 minutes

I prefer fresh or frozen veggies over the breaded veggies but I really wanted to try those tots. We also did okra and sweet potato chips. 

Here are some tips to remember.
If using frozen foods there is no need to spray with oil.
If using fresh or canned you should spray with cooking spray. 

I have yet to cook any meats in the air fryer but you can actually cook a whole turkey breast or chicken in this thing!

Do you own an air fryer? If so, what are some of your favorite things to make in it?