Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Taking a Break

C had surgery yesterday,
so we are spending the day
resting and recuperating.
Be back with a recipe on Thursday.

Hope you have a lovely day!

Monday, November 11, 2019

Veteran's Day 2019

God Bless our Veterans
and their families.
Our country would be lost without you.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Garden Friday

 Hello and welcome to Garden Friday!
The last week has been fraught with winter-like temperatures,
and there are a few things in the garden
that are none too happy about it!

 The loofah, which was a pollinator magnet,
is now withering away.
This heat lover couldn't abide the drop in temperatures,
although there is plenty of fruit yet to harvest.
We usually wait until the gourds turn yellow or brown,
but it will be curious to see if they change at all.
This weekend's lows are expected in the 20's.

 The Black-Eyed Susan vines that have been cascading over the straw bales
have been enjoyed all summer long.
Now they look as if they are ready to call it quits.
We are grateful for the months of gorgeous color 
and the food provided for the bees.

 The volunteer tomato plant had been pulled up
earlier this month,
but this straggler somehow escaped the compost bin.

It was time to pull up the Red Ripper beans as well.
These vines generously donated 2 full pint jars
of dried beans to the pantry.
We will enjoy using them in soups and stews this winter,
as well as sprouting them on the windowsill.
Of course, we'll save some for planting next summer.
If you are interested in obtaining some of these easy-to-grow beans,
just drop me a note and we'll make arrangements to get you some.

This straw bale refuses to let go of this okra plant,
even though they were pulled up weeks ago.
This bale will most likely be torn apart 
and used in the raised beds as mulch through the winter months.

 A bit of organizing got done this week.
This bin housed our sweet potato crop,
and once that was harvested, I decided to use it to gather 
all the odd pots we have around here.
The garden can always use some tidying.

 Some time was spent amending the new beds.
Twigs and small branches were added to the bottom,
topped by leaf mulch, then wood chips.
I recycled the old soil taken from the pots in the previous picture,
and finally topped off the beds with a fresh soil mixture.

Our completed beds are now ready for their cover crop,
which should be arriving by the weekend.
Once it warms up a bit next week,
I will sow the seeds to keep the soil covered all winter.
Straw will be added for insulation and to help retain moisture.

With the cold front moving through over the next two days,
it just might be the perfect time to begin my wish list
for next spring's crops.
With two new beds to fill,
I may try some new varieties.
I can't think of a better way 
to spend a bitterly cold day.

Do you use cover crops?

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Allergy-Friendly Applesauce Recipe (gf, df, cf, sf)

It's really fall, y'all!
I'm on week FIVE of this 6-week elimination diet,
and it's been a challenge, but I'm gonna see it through to the end.
One of the no-nos is sweetener of any kind,
including honey or maple syrup.
Of course, having been used to my daily dose of dark chocolate,
it's been an adjustment to do without.
A good friend (who lives her life sugar-free),
passed on this recipe to me 
and it was 

Who knew a meager 3 ingredients put together
could taste so doggone good?!
Maybe it's because I haven't had sweets in a while,
or maybe it really is that delicious.
This recipe is so easy that I find myself making it at least twice a week.
The crockpot does the cooking
and in no time flat,
you've got yourself a distinctive and delightful dessert.

I've been using it as a treat
and to fill my tummy in between meals.
It's apple-pickin' season right now,
so it's the perfect opportunity to give this a go.

Allergy-Friendly Applesauce
(Life Made Simple)

3 pounds organic apples
(Golden Delicious, Fuji, Gala)
1/2 C water
1/2 t cinnamon

Place all ingredients in crockpot
and cook on high for 2 hours.
Puree with blender, processor or
mash by hand for chunkier texture.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Garden Friday

 It's a soggy Garden Friday,
but you won't hear me complaining one bit!

Wednesday's overnight total

 We've had close to 4 inches of rain this week,
and it's been a most welcome visitor.

 There is nothing like raindrops from the sky
to get things moving in the vegetable garden.
The garlic germinated about 5 days after sowing.

 The radishes seem to grow an inch a day in one of the 4X4 beds,
with the neighboring beets right behind them.
We've also spied broccoli popping up through the straw in this same bed.

 The lettuces in the hugelkultur bed are showing themselves.
We have 5 or 6 varieties sown here,
as well as kale, chard and spinach.

 In the pollinator bed,
we have a volunteer that has been enjoying all of the rainfall.

 I believe these are watermelons.
Too bad they are waaaay behind the season.
A squirrel most likely planted it,
as we were growing them intentionally on the opposite side of the garden.

 The nasturtiums were doing okay,
even through the drought.
But now that Mother Nature has decided to cooperate,
they are bustin' out of their beds!
The pollinators have been all over them.

With all of the rain,
I decided to make some compost tea.
I added some turkey poop to a 5-gallon bucket,
and let the rain do the rest.
This will come in handy when the crops need a boost.
I keep containers right next to the beds,
so it's always available and handy.

The potted pansies make me smile 
whenever I look out on the front porch.
They are one of the cheeriest flowers I know.
Some alyssum seeds were recently added to the pots.

 Some of the lavender is doing well,
but part of this plant has bowed out.
This plant grouping survived through last winter,
and it will be curious to see how they do this year.
Near freezing overnight temperatures are predicted for this weekend.

lavender blossoms

 The newest raised beds are partly filled with twigs,
although there is a lot more filling in to do
before the soil is added.
With the colder temperatures sneaking up on me,
I'm not sure I'll have time to sow cover crops in these two beds.
Plan B is to continue the hugelkultur method, fill with soil,
and simply dress them with straw.

What a blessing this rain has been!
It saves the gardener time for other endeavors,
like planting, planting, and more planting!

Here's hoping you have just the right amount of rain
in your garden.