Thursday July 07, 2011
My garden is really coming along. The 38 tomato plants are all staked. I remember my grandfather always removing the "suckers". When I was a kid I thought they were bugs. Now I remove the suckers and have learned that they are new shoots that form at the roots of the plant that can "suck" the energy from growing bigger and more delicious tomatoes. I have even staked my eggplant which are finally beginning to show signs of life. For a while I thought they were frozen in size. Now they are growing and offering up flowers - yippee!!
I planted my kale and Swiss chard so it gets morning and midday sun, but ends up shaded as the afternoon passes. I think they like it - they are healthy and productive!!
But the weeds were killing me! In fact, one day I thought the weeds were winning and then I discovered STRAW. Not only does the straw make for lovely paths, its golden color offers a juxtaposition to the lush greeness of all the plants. And, it seemed to be a magnet for the chickens - I only left the gate open for 2 minutes as I went for a glass of water....
Well, it's time for a little harvesting. Happy day.
Wednesday July 06, 2011
This California gal with Irish and French roots had a horse-whispering cowboy grandfather and a great uncle with an orange grove. Lauren's memories of drinking the FRESHEST orange juice of anyone I know and her description of the grove, the property and the view that she beheld at the top of the hill is palatable . Imagine drinking OJ from oranges that were just picked and squeezed that morning - it was her favorite childhood memory! Lauren also shared how there were avocado trees in her Aunt and Uncle's backyard - the kids would arm wrestle for the avocados. For us East Coasters - this sounds so yummy and exotic!!
Lauren's Mom is known to make a killer Chicken with Black Beans - something Lauren will have to start making for her own family! So listen to Lauren's story as she transports you to California in the 60's and 70's.
Tuesday July 05, 2011
Summertime is my favorite time of year for centerpieces for the table. Just step into your garden and voila!
The first of the sunflowers and the last of the garlic scapes....
Monday July 04, 2011
I love celebrating our independence. But it's not just freedom from the British or the birth of our nation that gives me pause, it's all the freedoms and rights that that independence gave us - speech, religion, bear arms, gender equality etc.
Thank you founding father's, and thank you all who have fought to keep our freedoms.
Sunday July 03, 2011
A Shorebird in the Mountains - More Common than we Knew!
About a month or so ago on our walk down the driveway, Jim and I noticed an adorable bird. She would run ahead of us as if to say, "follow me." We both figured she was leading us away from her nest. But what was most striking is we both thought she looked and sounded like a shore bird, a plover. We thought, how could a bird get that lost? So I finally got close enough to take a photo and spent some time on the internet and guess what, our bird is a shore bird - and a plover. She's a killdeer. And fortunately she is not endangered.
And the killdeer is said to be found away from the shore and loves pastures, golf courses and parking lots. So, not surprising she is in our horse and cow pasture. And she has BABIES!!
We just love these birds. Her sound is pleasing and reminds me of the beach. She also feigns injury to distract us from her babies. This is what she looks like when she does that:
This is nature at its finest!!
Here's some more information and some audio - so love this bird!!
Friday July 01, 2011
I have to say that I am a tad melancholy. Yes, I know it's Friday before a long holiday weekend and I should be stoked but I have been working so hard, I haven't had time to wind down and I had to forego some of my plans.
I say, "Self - look outside - it is beautiful and you have a wonderful life." I admit my inner conscience is quite sage. So, I will enjoy all the work and opportunities that I have and make plans for a small BBQ. Afterall, cooking is therapy. To the kitchen/BBQ I go!!
Here's what's on the menu:
Grilled Flank Steak
Garlic Scape Potato Salad
Green Salad with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Happy Eating!! xxoo