There is a boatload...or at least a vegetable keeper full of potatoes; Hubs showed our nephew how to dig potatoes this weekend, and he got a little over zealous. We've got beets! It's the first year we've been able to grow them; our soil has always been way too sandy to grow root vegetables, but last year I put in a couple of the raised beds filled with compost and topsoil and that did the trick (we've got parsnips too, but those will be picked later). And with beets come beet greens - two big bags of them, and I've been putting them in everything; last night they went on chicken pizza. Surprisingly, BP loves them. Last week, she called me at work to ask how to cook them; she wanted to make up a batch to have for lunch. (Score one for Mom; sometimes eating healthy sinks in!)
The old gardening thread has broken images and links in it, so I moved it to the archives. Plus, prmystic doesn't drop in anymore, and "Wicca" Gardening was her baby.
My other reason for this thread, and the links in the first post, and second too, is that my Mom hasn't grown a garden in a few years, and I've thought about gardening myself. But, I'm lazy, so I want a quick and easy way to garden.
My brother-in-law already does enough for me, I don't want to bother him with breaking me up a garden. Especially if I get so lazy it grows up, and I've wasted his time. So, I'm trying to figure out how I want to garden, should I ever garden.
I have all of the books I listed in the first post. And I recently got the idea of growing potatoes in a pot, or something, and looked it up. It still looks like a lot of work though. I guess I'll keep procrastinating on this until I figure out what I want to do.
Peasy potatoes. Are they greenish or brownish? Or Breenish? (I know that's a made up color - it's sort of like plum or apricot. They are made up colors based on something you eat too.) And they're easy you say? Hmm. I wonder.
Can you grow them on a bush? Can you eat them here at Whoosh? Are they nice and juicy? Would you eat them with Lucy? Woud they make you flabby? That'd be bad for Gabby! Could we eat them in a boat? One that's floating in a moat? We could make them nice and hot! We could cook them in a pot! On a bush or in the ground! Tell me, tell me where they're found!
Very interesting video, Joxie - thanks for sharing. If I ever make it back to England, or anywhere in Europe for that matter, I'd like to take some time just to tour gardens over there.
Stepper, don't fret about making me say "crap"; it rolls right off my tongue quite easily. Like the other morning, for example, when I found a HUGE hornworm on the tomato plants - the fifth one last week! I am squeamish when it comes to these types of things; Hubs usually "takes care of them" but he had already left for work. So I very carefully clipped the entire branch with the hornworm off the tomato plant so I wouldn't have to touch the icky creature, threw the branch on the driveway, and threw bricks at the branch until the icky creature was an icky mess, standing far enough away so I wouldn't get splattered with ick. (Eye-roll.) It's a wonder sometimes, that I can stand to garden at all.
Ugh! I hate those hornworms! I was lucky last year, but I've had years where I went out and it was like a locust swarm of hornworms had shown up overnight. I'm not squeamish but I'd rather not deal with them.
Those are similar to tobacco worms. My sister and I had to go down row after row of tobacco plants and find every tobacco worm we could and tear them in half. Green icky goo running down fingers and hands. Oh what fond memories.
Last Edit: Aug 18, 2014 1:19:44 GMT -6 by Mini Mia
I never worked tobacco fields so I don't know what she was talking about, but it wasn't just steppet - a couple of her brothers and sisters did the same thing.
I did a three second drill and found an article in a NC learning org site with pictures of tying up tobacco. It looks like they are tying harvested leaves to a cross piece that was then hung in a barn while it dried. Another find was specific instructions on how to tie the leaves on the poles with twine to ensure they are secure. I guess that's what she remembers best.
I believe both of these are talk about air drying in a barn. I didn't notice anything about smoke drying - and didn't know that was a possibility. Actually, on the surface, it seems redundant - smoking something to be smoked. :> But different woods would impart different smells and tastes so perhaps it's not so strange sounding after all.
Our vegetable garden is pretty close to being done for the season.
We still had green beans coming on, but the neighbor's dog probably took of those yesterday when she ran down the row chasing a squirrel. I've been blanching loads of them to freeze throughout the past month, and still have a big batch in the fridge to blanch (hopefully I'll get to them in the next couple of days). So much easier than canning, and the family and I like them better frozen anyway.
I ended up freezing most of the tomatoes too - just threw them in the food processor and froze in baggies to be used in soups or stews. Same complaint as everyone else around here this year: with the cool summer and all the rain we've had, the tomatoes had a strange watery texture once they ripened. Not very good for eating fresh, though the taste is good. There is still a row on the window sill and plenty of green ones left on the vine. Hubs is tossing almost as many in the garden as he's bringing inside though - with all the water, they split and crack almost as soon as they're ripe.
Beets are done, and we picked the last of the lettuce yesterday. There are still blackberries waiting to ripen. I ended up freezing all of the blackberries so far; they were much smaller this year than normal, and not very sweet. Due to the lack of heat, the sugar content is low. I found a wonderful oh-so-good use for them though - blackberry bread! Quick and easy, I'll probably make a bunch of it during the holidays to give as gifts.
Really the only thing still going strong are the parsnips; they don't develop that sweet taste until after they're hit by a couple of heavy frosts...just in time for soup season.
Mom used to cook way too much and then freeze it in handy single person portions, even spaghetti which I always thought was a tad strange.
I get cooking too much - three growing boys are a bit like the cone heads - consume mass quantities - and she just never adjusted to cooking for herself. I think the freeze it/stretch it came from growing up during the depression. Mom could stretch a dime into a quarter with the best of them and food was no exception. Steppet's parents were the same - had their own garden and canned and froze stuff - but I think it's fading out. Fewer people seem to know about how to prepare and save stuff from their own gardens now days. It is just too easy to go to the grocery store. And we socialized while we were in the kitchen working. What a concept.
Mom used to can and freeze a lot, but in later years, especially after Dad stopped keeping a big garden, she froze more than she canned...which sometimes resulted in strange cooking adventures and a lot of teasing from us kids (I'm sure you've all heard the infamous blueberry pancake story).
Mom used to cook way too much and then freeze it in handy single person portions, even spaghetti which I always thought was a tad strange.
You thought freezing in single person portions was strange, or freezing spaghetti was strange? I do both quite often, actually. Makes quick grab-n-go meals for Hubs to take to lunch.
...had their own garden and canned and froze stuff - but I think it's fading out. Fewer people seem to know about how to prepare and save stuff from their own gardens now days. It is just too easy to go to the grocery store. And we socialized while we were in the kitchen working.
I don't know if that's necessarily the case, Stepper. Maybe it corresponds with particular growing regions; if there's an abundance of fresh local produce there are more people who preserve it by canning or freezing?
Nearly everyone I know cans or freezes stuff, even if they don't have gardens. Speaking about the kitchen socializing aspect of it - I love going over Xena Sis's house when she's canning; there are some wonderful smells wafting through her kitchen then (except when she makes sauerkraut - bluck! I stay pretty far away when she's fermenting sauerkraut). She doesn't grow anything, but goes to farmer's market to get stuff in bulk when it's in season....strawberry preserves, blueberry jam, canned peaches, and coming up soon, she'll start canning her homemade applesauce. I'm not much for canned fruit, or jams and jellies, but she gave me a jar of strawberry-rhubarb preserves this summer that made plain old vanilla ice-cream quite decadent.
By far, the biggest canner I know though, is Crazy Shirley. She lives out in the country and has a huge garden - large enough that she has runs a stand at the farmers' market once a week. I honestly don't know how she does it; single mom with three kids, a couple of cows, mess of chickens, corporate job that requires driving into Chicago at least a couple times a week and she finds time to can? I guess that's why I call her Crazy Shirley and not Sane Shirley; maybe I should call her Superhuman Shirley instead. Nah. She is just plain crazy.
When I picked her up to go apple picking this past Sunday, (she makes homemade apple sauce to can. With two friends who make it, it's too bad I don't like applesauce!), she was busy cutting lumber to reinforce a new super-duty shelving unit that was supposed to hold 800 pounds per shelf, but the shelves were already starting to bow with the weight of what she's canned so far. She cans, freezes, or bottles everything, and like Mom, sometimes with strange results. There was last year's wine incident, for example. We had a ton of grapes, and because my family only eats them fresh, I gave the vast majority of them to Crazy Shirley, and along her grapes, she decided to make wine, which she had never done before.
Jolted awake one night she grabs her shotgun (I'm sure her Chicago corporate cronies' jaws would drop if they saw Ms. Executive welding a shotgun in her pajamas), because she is sure someone is in the house, shooting up the place. Doesn't find anything amiss, and thinking she was dreaming, goes back to bed. Then she hears it again. POP-POP-POP! Runs down to the basement, expecting to find some deranged killer, but instead finds exploded bottles and wine dripping from her ceiling.
I'll stick to freezing. It seems a whole lot safer. Speaking of which - gotta run; I've got beans to blanch. Blanche?
"Oh, Blanche? You know we've got rats in the cellar?"
At least it's not deranged killers and a wine-drenched ceiling.
Yes. For some reason I just can't wrap my head around the thought that Halloween "brains" are edible after being frozen. Twice baked potatoes I’ve heard of but twice cooked spaghetti? It leaves me with a certain ‘meh’ factor.
I don't know if that's necessarily the case, Stepper. Maybe it corresponds with particular growing regions;
Or different social circles? Lets face it, canning and freezing of personally grown vegetables and fruits is not something that’s going to come up regularly when you work with computer programs in an isolated environment. You, on the other hand, are a tad more exposed to the weather, seeds, plants, fertilizer, growth, harvesting, and a plethora of people with like interests. Perhaps the problem is that I have a dwindling social circle – but this is an assumption based on observation as opposed to factoids. And, ‘Crazy Shirley’, neighborhood canning expert and over achiever that she is, didn’t get the moniker Crazy for nothing. Following your description I’m thinking she’s frequently observed in a state of sleep deprivation. Although I’d be willing to try out the applesauce – especially after adding cinnamon.
Or different social circles? Lets face it, canning and freezing of personally grown vegetables and fruits is not something that’s going to come up regularly when you work with computer programs in an isolated environment. You, on the other hand, are a tad more exposed to the weather, seeds, plants, fertilizer, growth, harvesting, and a plethora of people with like interests.
You computer programming people talk nothing but computers? Dang! Even when I was a corporate travel consultant for about 15 years, most times conversation at work would turn to food, and the best ways to prepare it.
Odd maybe, but the plethora of people with like interests are my customers; even most of my co-workers don't grow vegetables. Aside from Crazy Shirley (only I call her that, btw), nearly none of my close friends know much about gardening, let alone keeping a vegetable garden. But nearly all of them preserve food. The one friend that does grow vegetables doesn't store any of them; he gives what they don't use fresh to the local food pantry.
For some reason I just can't wrap my head around the thought that Halloween "brains" are edible after being frozen. Twice baked potatoes I’ve heard of but twice cooked spaghetti? It leaves me with a certain ‘meh’ factor.
You were a difficult child, weren't you? Between this and your aversion to anything green, you sound as if you're a much pickier eater than my children were...and they grew out of it, mostly.
Kind of reminds me of my kitchen calendar, which every month has a photo from the fifties of a woman, and a humorous caption reeking of sarcasm. This month's photo is of a smiling model mom standing in front of an open fridge, and a young boy next to her. The caption reads, "What am I making for supper? Well, Sweetie, I'm making Whatever-the-Hell-I-Want served with a side of Eat-It-Or-Starve."
You computer programming people talk nothing but computers?
Well, some of them talk about football on Monday mornings - but not all that long! We also talk about people who use computers but obviously shouldn't be allowed near a remote control let alone a computer. And eventually somebody asks if anyone is going to lunch and if so where. Like tomorrow; I'll do cheap chicken Tuesday and several people will want in on it. See WE discuss who's going out for food and wonder if that place has something we want. As long as it's consumable, the point is more about who's doing the getting and how it's made is completely dependent on what condiments you want.
You were a difficult child, weren't you?
No, not me! I was, what'd you call it? Easy Peasy? You didn't have to do anything special at all! No fancy schmancy cr@p required - actually - it was best if there wasn't any tom foolery when it came to food. That's why I was 23 or so before I even bothered tasting cheese cake, and then I was trapped because I didn't want to offend the new bride who was a friend. Cheese cake has been the exception though - I've relented a few times only to find that my original assessment was correct. It's often best to stick to what 'cha know, ya know?
Well, Sweetie, I'm making Whatever-the-Hell-I-Want served with a side of Eat-It-Or-Starve.
I can only remember a couple of times where I was a problem - but that's why there's PB&J or fried egg sandwiches. I've had a few fried eggs.
Seriously? You never try anything new? Don't you get bored with the same old stuff all the time?
Dictionary...dictionary....flip flip flip flip - new: experimental; something you've never tasted before for which your tongue is very appreciative; overly cooked green cr@p that was good until it was introduced to boiling water, fire, or some other offensive modification; something forced on you (ensuring it's not like ipecac) before being foisted on humanity as an hors d'oeuvre. See: Blah, Yuck, and ick ick ick. (I hope you were drinking coffee when you read that. I have this picture of catching you off guard and your giggle turning into coffee bubbles.)
Okay, never is too strong a word even for me. Otherwise I'd never grown an appreciation for breakfast tacos and chorizo, and really, I swear I'm fairly easy to cook for - so long as one is well acquainted with "the basics" and does not deviate too far. Keep a couple of microwave cheeseburgers or hot dogs - or sandwich meat in the fridge and I'm fine. And I'm quite happy this way. I'm even working on pizza because Steppet likes it. I'm not a fan because of the ruined/squashed/melted/overly heated/cooked tomatoes, but I'm working on it. Slowly. I've been known to eat cinnamon toast in a desperate move to mollify some overly aggressive feeders.
Is this a thread for just what Stepper refers to as a "garden", or is it for the non-veggie garden gardens too?
I've done a sh!t-ton of work in both kinds every chance I got (which isn't a whole lot) the last few days. I was feeling like the lady I talked with down the street today who has fabulous gardens; I stopped to admire them, and she said admitted they 'look beautiful from the sidewalk, but that's because some of the weeds are so big, they look like they were planted on purpose!'
Harvested the first of the year from the vegetable garden today - lettuce. Really, I just did a little thinning, but got enough young leaves for a salad for both BP and me to take to lunch tomorrow.
Have you given any more thought to doing a few things in containers over at your Mom's, Joxie? Might be some good therapy for the both of you.
I did all my lettuce in planters this year to save place in the veggie gardens; it's the second year I've kept the lettuce strictly in containers, and it worked very well last year. I also planted a dozen herb pots - there's thyme, marjoram, rosemary, two different kinds of sage, oregano, and spearmint. I'll probably do a couple more with winter savory. I chose those herbs specifically because they last a long time in a vase. It's kind of an experiment; I want to grow them nice and big over the summer, take them in for the winter, and make herb bouquets to sell at the winter market; there are literally hundreds of canning jars at Mom's that I can use for vases. Stayed away from basil, just because it takes a bit more work, and knowing how neglectful I am, I probably won't be able to keep them alive once I bring them inside the house.
Got to get out there and cut the variegated thyme that's been growing for a few years in one of the raised beds in the vegetable garden - it's actually planted in the cider blocks I used to create the beds; it makes the cider blocks not look like cider blocks, cascading over the edges almost to the ground. I also have to remember to cut some lamb's ear flowers; they'll be open in a few days. I want to dry both the thyme and lamb's ears to use in dried arrangements and wreaths to sell too. I don't know if any of this'll work, but it'll be an interesting endeavor...which I hope doesn't turn frustrating.
I haven't even given it a thought. My b-i-l has given up on having a garden this year. The deer and raccoons don't leave him anything to gather for his table. I have to run off raccoons who come up to eat the cat's food, so I probably can't put containers on my back porch.
Maybe I should start with inside containers. I have often thought about growing tomatoes in the house during the winter. I haven't ever thought to mention container gardening to Mom. She has a nice long porch with nothing on it . . . I'll have to try to remember to say something. Her home health care workers have finished with her, and she's thinking about going home in a few weeks. She goes home every now and again for a few hours or half the day. She has both her car and her golf cart at my sister's to use ... or she has me pick her up when I have to go to her house for her dialysis supplies. It's really nice to have her out of the hospital/nursing home.
My b-i-l has given up on having a garden this year. The deer and raccoons don't leave him anything to gather for his table.
I have to cover the lettuce with netting to keep the rabbits out, and should probably do the same soon with the strawberries before they start to ripen. Last year, Hubs finally found a way to keep the squirrels from biting off the baby bean plants as they're starting to sprout; he cuts the bottom off those plastic Solo cups and places them over the beans until they're big enough that the squirrels have no interest. I swear, squirrels do stuff just to be irritating - they don't eat the plants, just either pull them out of the ground or bite the tops off of them.
I haven't ever thought to mention container gardening to Mom. She has a nice long porch with nothing on it . . .
Oh! What if you surprised her with a container or two on her porch when she comes home? Put them on a table, bench, or something sturdy so she won't have to bend down.