Garden Update ~ Sunflowers, Sun Oven Brownies, and Sunny, Oh, My!

OK, let’s get this out of the way first: despite all the lovely photos I’m about to share, the coolest thing to come out of the yard this past week was … Sun Oven brownies! Gluten-free vegan, moist, filled with chia and black bean goodness, melt in your mouth delicious Sun Oven brownies, to be more specific.

sun oven brownies

Even better? I made them for our friend Sunny’s (of Sunny’s Korean Restaurant in Mishawaka) Fourth of July potluck, which was an amazing mix of people Sunny has met over the years, mostly through her restaurant. We love her, and apparently, a ton of other people feel exactly the same way. She has possibly moved more concrete and rocks by herself than I have in order to create a backyard garden sanctuary, but she’s got chickens, so she wins the prize. Or at least some eggs. ๐Ÿ™‚ Anyway, we had a great time, and the brownies were a hit. They tasted way better than when I baked them indoors for the Faery Workshop. Note to self: the Sun Oven makes everything better!

Speaking of sun, today, our first sunflower of the year opened:

It's a little guy, only 2.5 feet tall right now.

It’s a little guy, only 2.5 feet tall right now.

Things are blooming like crazy:

coneflowers, liatris, cardoon, and yarrow

coneflowers, liatris, cardoon, and yarrow

Carrots gone wild. The level of “good bug” activity in this bed alone is off the charts. It’s like mini-Manhattan for umbrel lovers.

borage and black eyed Susans next to the elecampane I needed to tie to a trellis because it kept flopping its six foot tall self over the Susan's

borage and black eyed Susans next to the elecampane I needed to tie to a trellis because it kept flopping its six foot tall self over the Susan’s

hollyhocks and lilies still going strong

hollyhocks and lilies still going strong

zinnias started flowering last week, but the red ones just came out -- shown here rhubarb, parsley, tomato, collards and calendula

zinnias started flowering last week, but the red ones just came out — shown here rhubarb, parsley, tomato, collards and calendula

another zinnia getting cozy with kale, nastrutiums, borage, bell peppers, beets and basil

another zinnia getting cozy with kale, nastrutiums, borage, bell peppers, beets and basil

brassicas loving the bed now almost cleared of the earlier pea and fava bean cover crop

brassicas loving the bed now almost cleared of the earlier pea and fava bean cover crop

cukes going up AND down the trellis

cukes going up AND down the trellis

our first cucumber from a few days ago, pictured with lacinato kale, cilantro and peas. peas, peas, peas ... tasty, but tedious!

our first cucumber from a few days ago, pictured with lacinato kale, cilantro and peas. peas, peas, peas … tasty, but tedious!

potatoes still looking good in their bags -- one of this year's experiments

potatoes still looking good in their bags — one of this year’s experiments

south side of that same trellis

south side of that same trellis

basil, peppermint, and soaker hoses, because it finally stopped raining long enough to need to install such things

basil, peppermint, and soaker hoses, because it finally stopped raining long enough to need to install such things

fairy tale pumpkin going gangbusters

fairy tale pumpkin going gangbusters

Nasturtiums, malabar spinach and cushaw squash race to the trellis. Who will win?! Looks like the cushaw's bowing over and out (of the bed)

Nasturtiums, malabar spinach and cushaw squash race to the trellis. Who will win?! Looks like the cushaw’s bowing over and out (of the bed)

The front yard's so lush now. This view's from the driveway.

The front yard’s so lush now. This view’s from the driveway.

Stay tuned for a very exciting announcement regarding the blue house. More to come after my PA trip.

Cheers and happy harvesting!

24 responses to this post.

  1. can we have the recipe for the brownies? look good enough to eat! (is it a solar type of outdoor oven you use?)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Beth, it’s actually from a mix, but it tastes so good with a great texture from the Sun Oven: http://breadsfromanna.com/products/black-bean-brownie .

    I have one of these: http://www.sunoven.com/

    My review of the Sun Oven right after I got it last year: https://laurabruno.wordpress.com/2014/10/14/preliminary-review-of-off-grid-cooking-methods/ .

    I think it may be my favorite purchase ever, and we live in the cloud belt of Indiana. If I lived in the desert, I’d use this thing every single day. It’s like eating sunshine! Even better than raw food if you can believe it. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  3. looking really nice, Laura, are those repurposed cinder blocks with squash? Right on!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks, Mitch! Yes, I plant them with good bug friendly flowers and herbs in the summer, and then in the winter I use them to hold down the cold frame. They’re repurposed each year!

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  5. thanks Laura, I’m going to look into it….sounds so inspiring and who can refute solar energy vibrational power/energy saving power? can’t wait to try ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Posted by Sky on July 8, 2015 at 1:41 am

    Oh my! What a profusion of food and flowers! Thanks for sharing this. Just shows what can be done with any piece of land, given enough time, care, and love.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks, Sky. Yes, it’s a delight to all the senses now. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  8. The mix is pretty pricey, but imho totally worth it for special events. They have no unrefined sugar, either, although they do have sugar. Still, it’s buffered by chia seeds, garbanzo bean flour, a can of black beans, olive oil and then optional milk or eggs. I skip the eggs and use coconut milk to make them extra creamy.

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  9. Oops! You meant the Sun Oven, and yes, it’s fabulous. You can dehydrate in it, boil water, bake, cook beans to tender perfection even if you forgot to soak them. LOL, it’s the best thing ever, and you just turn it every once in awhile to follow the sun.

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  10. yay!! looks amazing. excited for you to announce the exciting news lol! wonder twin possibilities galore too ๐Ÿ˜‰ also can’t wait to receive my sun oven. i’ve had to wait, but on the way…weeeeeee. was going to tell you yesterday and forgot with all the excitement. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  11. So cool! Yay! Yes, even more excitement than I have had a chance to text. It keeps shifting, but in ever positive ways. ๐Ÿ™‚ xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

  12. woohoooooooooooooooooo!

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  13. yes, i know…everything is continually shifting big time

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  14. Posted by Cheryl on July 8, 2015 at 2:24 am

    Beautiful, Laura – I am so impressed with you!! Must feel really good to see the results of all your labor…

    Like

  15. Posted by manyhahama1955 on July 8, 2015 at 2:26 am

    So beautiful, Laura! Nice work! Enjoy your trip. love love love!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Posted by Senatssekretรคr FREISTAAT DANZIG on July 8, 2015 at 3:46 am

  17. Thanks, Cheryl, and yes, it does feel good! It’s also so nice to see all the wildlife returning. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

  18. Thanks so much, Sophia! Love to you, too!

    Like

  19. Beautiful garden pics – summer is here for sure! Thanks for sharing xo

    Like

  20. Thank you, Diana! I trust your garden is growing well, too! xo

    Like

  21. Posted by James G on July 11, 2015 at 12:59 am

    Awesome Laura! Your garden is beautiful as always! Mint is exploding in mine as well. I like it in my bourbon ๐Ÿ˜Š. Your right peas are tedious. Love your Lilly’s ๐Ÿ˜‰.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Reblogged this on Reiki Dawn and commented:
    Everything sunny at Laura Bruno’s garden. Enjoy. Love her

    Like

  23. So amazing to see the transformation of your yard over these years. So much work and love. It shows.

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  24. Aw, thank you Dawn! โค

    Like

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