Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Maple Hill Hop 91



Maple Hill Hop


Welcome to 
The Maple Hill Hop.
This is a hop for folks who love the outdoors.
Feel free to post about anything that's going on
OUTSIDE
in your neck of the woods,
no matter the season.
(Please share only outdoor posts.)
*Grab the button above to link back to Maple Hill 101.* 




We took a short road trip on the weekend
to a more rural landscape.
Someone had called me regarding an ad 
I have on Craig's List.
It was a relaxing outing,
especially since Big K drove,
and I got to take in the sights.
We love taking the back roads when we venture out.


This is only a portion of the feed sacks he had for us.
There must have been well over 100.
Guess I'll be sewing a lot of daisy totes 
in the next few weeks!

What outdoor adventures have you been enjoying lately?
HOP to it!

  


   

Friday, July 24, 2015

Seed to Table Series-Peanuts


Welcome to our Summer Series,
Seed to Table.
Every Friday, we'll explore a different crop
that you can grow in your own garden.
Whether you're in mid-harvest, already looking ahead to your fall garden,
 or just thinking about growing your own,
we hope this series inspires you.
We'll begin with planting from seed or seedling,
and end up with a scratch recipe.

************
Today we're talkin' peanuts.
Goobers.
The second best ingredient 
in our homemade peanut butter cups.
  (peanut butter, chocolate, honey, salt).
Guess which is first?


We bought our seed from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange,
which carries many seeds that thrive in the southern US.
We qualify.
They come in the package looking just like the finished crop.
The shells are removed and planted one to two inches deep
and about six inches apart.
They do well in our sandy soil. 
They were originally planted here a few years ago,
and we still get new crops each year,
which probably means that I neglected to harvest every pod.


 Once the plants start flowering,
keep them well watered.
They require a long growing period,
anywhere from 130-140 days.
They can be started indoors if your growing season is shorter.



Once the leaves start to yellow, they are ready to be harvested.
The peanuts grow on reedy stalks under ground,
and the whole plant can be pulled up to collect the treasures under the earth.




This crop is one you don't find in most gardens.
It really doesn't need much care
and the rewards will store well for months.
Can you imagine bringing homegrown roasted peanuts
to the next sporting event or picnic?
Or how about enjoying some
homemade nut butter?


  

Peanut Butter
1 C peanuts
1 T peanut or corn oil
1/4 t salt (optional)
1 t sugar (optional)

Add ingredients to small food processor
and whiz for about 3 minutes.
Enjoy!


Seed to Tables Series

Sweet Potatoes
Basil
Okra
Black-eyed Peas


 

Simple Saturdays Blog Hop

Recipe Swap
Tuesday Garden Party Co-Hosts

Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop


 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Maple Hill Hop 90


Maple Hill Hop


Welcome to 
The Maple Hill Hop.
This is a hop for folks who love the outdoors.
Feel free to post about anything that's going on
OUTSIDE
in your neck of the woods,
no matter the season.
(Please share only outdoor posts.)
*Grab the button above to link back to Maple Hill 101.* 


It's a flippin' broiler out there.
With temperatures in the 90's on a daily basis,
my inner gardener is dwindling.
I have absolutely no ambition to get out there
and do anything,
and apparently, most of the plants feel the same way.
This time of year is tough for me,
as I prefer to be outside most waking hours.
That's not possible right now,
so I'm making the best of it
getting a lot of reading done, 
working on a book I'm writing,
and crafting "daisy totes" for selling locally. 



Most of the country is enjoying daily harvests,
but it's our slow season.

Here are some of the "flops and pops"
in our Central Florida garden in summer.


The canary melon we had growing is dying.
This was a new crop for us, so it's a bit disappointing.


I doubt if this fruit will ever make it to the table.
We can try it again at another time of year.
Our green beans offered a couple of meager harvests,
then gave up trying to produce.


The basil is barely holding on.
I think it may be getting too much sun,
but we really have very little shade in our yard.
Hopefully, we'll be able to harvest enough leaves to make pistou


The "Freckles" variety of lettuce is still on the small side,
and needs a little more size before being transplanted to the shaded area.
It's a real challenge to grow lettuce here in the heat of the summer,
but we keep on trying heat-resistant varieties.


The Sweet Million cherry tomatoes aren't yet flowering.
I have a lot of trouble growing tomatoes of any type.
It's a real art as far as I'm concerned,
and I'm not sure I have the required talent.
We just tend to do without tomatoes for a while.



A few things are pretty easy to grow here
and need very little to be successful.
For that, I am grateful.
Pineapples grown from the crown won't be ready for a while,
but they are definitely worth the wait.
The bonus is that they don't mind the heat one bit.



The sweet potato planted a few weeks ago from a slip
is looking healthy and growing well.
This is one of my all-time favorites to grow,
just because it's so doggone easy.
The fruit ain't so bad, either!



For the first time, we are growing pigeon peas.
This is the lone surviving plant,
after the other seeds sown never germinated.
I hope to at least be able to harvest some seed
for future plantings,
even if we don't get enough for eating.



The beautyberry is starting to be awash in color.
These magenta morsels are a treat for the birds,
and a wonderful sight for the gardener.



The periwinkle is a great spilling plant for baskets,
or groundcover around other plantings.
These are all volunteers in our backyard.



The zinnias are enjoyed daily by pollinators of all types.
Early morning is the perfect time to take cuttings
for filling vases indoors.
The more you cut, the more flowers you'll get.



It's hard to remember when this hibiscus plant
hasn't been blooming.
It provides some of the only red we have in the garden.
It can be seen from the kitchen window,
reminding me that life continues outside,
even if it's too hot for me to fully enjoy it.



The portulaca is popping up out of the container
in which the eggplant was growing.
This is another volunteer that returns each year.
Love how that works!



I call these "Faye's Sunflowers",
as the seeds were gifted me by my friend.
These are thriving in the heat.
and make the sweetest bouquets.



The heat isn't going anywhere,
so we're making the best of it.
Glad some critters don't mind it one bit!

What's going on where you are?
HOP on!

 


   

Friday, July 17, 2015

Seed to Table Series-Black-Eyed Peas


Welcome to our Summer Series,
Seed to Table.
Every Friday, we'll explore a different crop
that you can grow in your own garden.
Whether you're in mid-harvest, already looking ahead to your fall garden,
 or just thinking about growing your own,
we hope this series inspires you.
We'll begin with planting from seed or seedling,
and end up with a scratch recipe.

************

 No matter what you call them,
black-eyed peas, crowder peas, 
or cow peas, they all spell delicious.



Cow peas are high in fiber,
Vitamins B and K, and rich in potassium.
A great option for vegetarians,
this powerhouse adds protein to meat-free diets.



At Faye and Lynn's container farm,
these beauties do well in sun or shade.
We plant 'em about an inch apart on both sides of the pot.
They're quick to germinate, 
so the climbing twine is ready to go.


Within 6 to 8 weeks, flowers will form,
and you know you're on your way to something good.



These creepers reach upwards of eight feet tall,
and enjoy a bit of support on their way to the sky.




The pods form all over the vines.
Sometimes there are so many you can't count them all.




They start off thin and straight with a purplish end.




As the beans grow inside the pods,
they fill out until they are bulging.
When they look nice and plump, 
they're ready to be harvested.
If you are growing them to use dried,
you can leave them on the vine.
They will dry all on their own.





We enjoy picking them green and eating them raw.
They have a delicate but nutty essence,
with just a hint of sugar snap pea flavor.





Perfect for munching, 
or added to a salad or sandwich,
these fresh legumes are a real treat.
If you've only eaten them dried,
I strongly encourage you to give 'em a go.



Another way they are simply delightful 
to eat is by sprouting them.
It's so easy and adds yet another dimension 
to this versatile and nutritious food source.

 Cow Pea Shoots

1/2 C of raw black-eyed peas
water
quart jar
rubber band or canning ring
screen or paper towel 

1.  Place peas in clean jar and fill halfway with water.
Place in a semi-dark spot.
Let soak for 24 hours.
2.  Drain peas and add new water.  Drain.
3.  Rinse peas twice daily, drain, and leave on counter top.
4.  Within a few days, tails should be seen on peas.
They can be eaten any time after tails are as long as the pea.
Enjoy!





 
Seed to Table Series

Sweet Potatoes
Basil
Okra

Simple Saturdays Blog Hop 

Tuesday Garden Party Co-Hosts

Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop

Recipe Swap