When you read this I’ll be in Austin, attending the International Association of Culinary Professionals annual conference, where I’m moderating a panel on food blogging with my friends Elise Bauer and Lisa Stone. I took these photos last weekend, when the weather in Salt Lake had been raining for what felt like weeks, and my “real” camera was still in the shop.

My apologies for both the poor photo quality and the abundance of weeds in the garden, but even with all the rain (and bad photos!) I’m pretty happy with how this year’s garden is coming along. Above is the Brandywine Tomato plant my brother-in-law Clayton started for me, and despite the cold weather it’s already getting some tomatoes!

And later in the post I’m featuring some very cute garden markers that a thoughtful blogger brought to me at BlogHerFood in Atlanta, so be sure you don’t miss that!

I’m loving the gravel around my raised beds, although with all this rain we’re having there are a few weeds poking through. This year I decided to *try* to be a little more moderate in what I planted, so I’m focusing on the veggies I use the most. This first bed has straightneck yellow squash, 8-Ball Zucchini, and Zucchini.

Oh yes, there are a few of those hardy weeds poking out! The middle bed has French Style green bean seeds at the far end, Japanese eggplant, bell peppers, and cucumbers (and the cucumbers are not doing well!)

The bed on the far east has two varieties of winter squash that I’m growing for the first time. I’ve been wanting to try growing Buttercup (which I loved when I made Balsamic and Agave Glazed and Roasted Buttercup Squash) and when I couldn’t find Really Big Squash I decided to experiment with a type called Honey Bear Squash. (If anyone has tried it, love to hear in the comments about what it’s like!)

The other bed has mostly things planted from seeds (and if it would only stop raining I would definitely thin them!) This end has Rainbow chard alternating with radishes. (When the radishes are pulled, the chard will need that space.)

The middle part of the bed has regular dark Kale and Red Russian Kale. I love the mild red kale, which is good in Kale and Red Onion Savory Breakfast Squares and Kale and Red Cabbage Slaw.

The far end of that bed has the onion seedlings I got from my brother-in-law Clayton.

Clayton also gave me this bell pepper plant, which is really not that yellow in real life. (Bad photography!)

And I had to give a close-up to my beloved 8-Ball Zucchini which I love to use to make Grilled Zucchini Pizza Slices and Stuffed Zucchini.

I’ve tried various types of eggplant but this Japanese Eggplant is definitely my favorite, and it’s great for making Spicy Grilled Eggplant.

Now about those cute garden markers. I met Chris from MeleCotte when she lived in Utah for a brief time, and she and Maria were the first bloggers to see my house renovations in person, way back when. I saw Chris again a few weeks ago at BlogHerFood in Atlanta and she brought me these beyond-adorable garden markers. (Thanks Chris, you are sweet!) Here’s the one for BASIL (with my basil that’s getting a little brown from the cold nights.)

There’s also one for OREGANO, which I put by my Greek Oregano.

There’s one for THYME, which I put by my regular thyme (the lemon thyme is still pretty puny but it’s bouncing back.)

And sorry about the quality of this photo, but I love the TOMATO marker, which I put right by the steps where you come down from the deck!

You can see more garden updates by using the link Garden Updates.

If you’re growing a garden, let us know in the comments how it’s coming along. (And I will try not to feel too envious of anyone who’s had plenty of sun and is already getting garden veggies!)

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