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   BirdsNest posted on Gardening & Landscaping  Tomato plants and fruit are a big disappointment this season. Plants are failing an the fruit is misshaped. Not for sale to anyone, but cut up with Italian herbs, S&P, and EVOO, they are delicious. Cukes, peppers, eggplant are doing well. String beans keep on making, and the pole beans that looked so sad after H. Arthur went through are now lush and flowering. Luffas,birdhouse gourds, watermelon are all over the fence-daily tending to keep them out of the path of the neighbors mower. Last week he actually moved several out of control vines and they did not get cut.....miracles never cease! I check on them daily now and I may get time to place a path of mulch so he does not have to get close to them. Fig trees are coming back, even a few figs, of that we are more than thankful.Blueberries are starting to ripen, have picked several gallons so far. Yesterday I picked some wild cherries and we processed 7 pints of juice. We don't have a cherry pitter so we chose to juice them.
How is everyone else doing with their gardens?
Yesterday at 08:22 EST .

   5 people like this.

   Rake King  Here in the St. Louis metro area truck farms, tomatoes are so abundant the price starting is lower than last year. Native blackberries are as big as half-dollars. I can't explain why, but some relate that the deep and long cold of last winter killed off many plant pests. Even the roses have large blooms, again stated as fewer aphids and beetles. Re the pests, maybe Mother Nature said enough is enough.

Missouri is known for it's wine industry and they stated last years grape crops were poor, but this year appear to be flourishing.
Yesterday at 08:35 EST .

  4 people like this.

   Wrightwinger  Well, I had some difficulties with the garden. A lot of it was blocked by access problems, mower problems, and so, much is in pots this year. I have a lot of small cherry tomatoes that are good, a volunteer watermelon is growing from one pot, and has a lot of blooms and a 3 inch melon. This may not make it, but I am going to see what happens. My sweet banana peppers are producing, my herbs are doing well except for the basil. Did you ever eat nasturtium blossoms or leaves? Turns out they are good with a slightly radish flavor that I like. We canned some potatoes and some green beans. I ate some pink tomatoes I bought at a farmers market today that were fabulous, and some corn as well.
23 hours ago .

  3 people like this.

   BirdsNest posted on Recipes  We bought a couple of local cookbooks a couple of weeks ago, now I just have to find the time to make some of the recipes. These were bought at the flea market/jockey lot sale, of course. I did make one-Hawaiian Banana Bread. Gave away the 2 mini loaves and half of the big loaf. The guy that sold us the mini loaf and regular loaf pans at a deal(6 mini and 3 regular for $5 ) got the half of a regular loaf. And we will share future baked goods with him.
Yesterday at 08:12 EST .

   9 people like this.

   StormCnter  Bird, when I traveled a lot, I bought a local cookbook in each airport. There is always a Junior League version or something similar. I liked to read the cookbooks on the plane. Now, I have a six-foot tall set of bookshelves in my kitchen with those cookbooks and the others I've accumulated over my long life. They're still fun to leaf through, although I no longer do much cooking. I believe my two favorites are Paul Prudhoome's Louisiana Kitchen and a small mail-order booklet from Pace foods, chock full of Mexican recipes.
Yesterday at 16:07 EST .

  6 people like this.

   BirdsNest posted on Gardening & Landscaping  I can finally say that our garden looks close to perfection.
Weeds are at an all time minimum and the rows are either weed free or covered with mulch of some kind.
The Luffa are almost to the fence where they will grow up and be off the ground. Picked and ate the first ripe tomato yesterday. Had yellow squash, zucchini, and green peppers for dinner....oven roasted them with a bit of olive oil and S&P, they were delicious. We have eaten string beans, they were amazing, both kinds. The "Annihilator" beans were a nice dark green even after cooking and the beans were fast to cook and did not fall apart. A definite hit and we will plant them next year. The next test will be pressure canning them. The "Mascotte" beans were still too small to pick a lot so I picked enough for a meal, we cooked them in a hot skillet with coconut oil and garlic added at the end. Also very tasty. Eggplant are blooming and just starting to make, so they are a ways off. I planted what I thought was white "Patty Pan" squash, from seed directly in the ground....looks like we will be having an acorn squash of some kind.
now I have to plant some white squash, but not from that seed packet!! We have a new tomato(for us ) called "Garden Peach" has a bit of fuzz on it. They are still green and will be about the size of a salad tomato, but I am anxious to see and taste a ripe one. The shift key on the left of the keypad died so we are having to use the one on the right for caps and my brain just stops every time I need to put in a capital letter....

We have put in a lot of "sweat equity" into the garden this year and with the help of black plastic and mulch the work has not been so repetitive. It has been loads of hard work, but always moving forward to the next project, not stopping this to weed 15 rows(75 ft long )every few days. I have moved copious amounts of mulch by wheelbarrow, and shoveled and hoe-d soil and bent and squatted hundreds of times a day. Today it is raining thanks to the storm, and I got to feed the animals outside in a light rain and cool temps. Now I am staying inside and maybe will go back to bed for a nap.
Hope everyone has a delightful 4th.
July 4 at 08:17 EST .

   5 people like this.

   BirdsNest posted on Gardening & Landscaping  Picked and sold 2 five gallon buckets of green peppers yesterday. Blossoms on the eggplants,yay,and beans will be coming off in a week.

Today I am weed eating all day, lots of grass to cut and rake for the compost piles.
June 29 at 09:12 EST .

   2 people like this.

   BirdsNest posted on Gardening & Landscaping  I am watching a zucchini, waiting for it to get a bit bigger so I can snatch it up and use it in a quiche!! I want to thin slice it using a veg peeler, steam it a bit, then use it as crust for the quiche.

We have been enjoying the bok choy, green peppers, harvested 9#3oz green peas, some went in the freezer, the rest became 2 big pots of peas and dumplings enjoyed over several dinners. String beans are making!!!! As for the peas, we used this year a different type, no trellising needed. They are called "Pretty Pleasin' Peas" from Jung

The pods were full and all came off at the same time. We have never been so impressed with any peas we have ever grown these were amazing. We have also planted 2 new string bean varieties this year from Jung called "Annihilator"
and "Mascotte"

Both have tons of blossoms and the first one is making beans. Will report back on taste once they are ready for the pot!

We spent Sunday raking straw from the wheat field next door for future compost. Borrowed a trailer and raked up a total of 7 loads. Monday was a slow day, almost too tired to move. Would love to hear what everyone else is doing.....
June 25 at 08:03 EST .

   BirdsNest posted on Coffee Klatch  We have switched from Sprint to StraightTalk hot spot for our Internet provider. It's a pay as you need it and we have not been online as much as before because it is amazing how quickly you can "eat up" GB. Bought a 4GB data card and it did not last one month before it was used up, so fewer visits to here and everywhere else really. We are fine, working in the garden and hoping to be able to go fishing soon. Mostly log online to check e-mails and weather.

Everyone, have a great summer.
June 19 at 08:24 EST .

   9 people like this.

   Gerty  I am saddened by the limited use of your computer, Miss Birdie---I really enjoy all of your interesting, useful and up-lifting posts. Perhaps you and Hagar can find a better way.
June 19 at 09:47 EST .

  9 people like this.

   BirdsNest posted on Recipes  Okay, so nobody is eating anything or finding good recipes???

I made some fresh pineapple sorbet in my recently-acquired-from-the-flea-market ice cream machine(paid a whole $5 for it ). Too sweet, so next time I will reduce the sugar. Also made some fresh blueberry sorbet(Hagar said that one needed a touch more sugar ). I am saving fresh black raspberries to make some ice cream.
June 19 at 08:20 EST .

   9 people like this.

   MeiDei  Had an ice cream maker years ago, loved it too much, it broke. Had to get rock salt to use it. I've seen new ones & they don't seem to require the salt...anyone know if that's true because I haven't been able to find a source for it here. Keep making that sorbet Bird and you'll never have any empty nest!
June 19 at 23:12 EST .

  3 people like this.

   BirdsNest posted on Recipes made the statement in a post below
"Bird, it's so weird, you're in the middle of everything and the middle of nowhere at the same time."

This is from page 715 of the paperback version of "Chesapeake" by James A. Michener
"From the earliest days of the nation anyone with the intelligence equal to that of sparrows had realized that the peninsula ought logically to be united as one state, but historical accident had decreed that one portion be assigned to Maryland, whose citizens despised the Eastern Shore and considered it a backwater; one portion to the so-called State of Delaware, which never could find any reasonable justification for its existence; and the final portion to Virginia, which allowed its extreme southern fragment of the Eastern Shore to become the most pitiful orphan in America."
June 8 at 20:44 EST .

   3 people like this.

   BirdsNest  That just about sums it up. The rest of VA barely knows we are here until pony penning week in July at Chincoteague. There are times when it is frustrating but we cannot think of any where else to live. We pretty much keep to ourselves.
June 8 at 20:48 EST .

  6 people like this.

   Balogreene  I love the area where you live. It is beautiful and peaceful. I read Chesapeake shortly after I moved to VA, and learned so much about my adopted state. But, I'm still a city girl. It's odd, the Eastern shore is near to where, the best of Delaware's beaches are. Where many rich people in Maryland, and the tourist areas are, and just a backwater to VA.
June 10 at 22:42 EST .

  12 people like this.

   BirdsNest posted on Recipes  Had to make a trip up to the county seat to pay personal property taxes so a stop by WalMart was in order. The meat selection was dismal so we decided to finish off the quiche and stir fry some more Pak Choi. nTonight I fried some slices of fat meat. My grandmother used to fry it up nice and crisp for breakfast meat and I loved it. It fried beautifully but was entirely too salty to eat. I used the oil that it was cooked in to stir fry the Pak Choi, it was delicious, not salty at all. So leftover quiche,Pak Choi and a slice of toasted rye bread.
June 5 at 23:40 EST .

   5 people like this.

   BirdsNest posted on Gardening & Landscaping  Pak Choi is getting closer to "eating time". If I can manage to keep the one Houdini hen out of them they will be perfect! We have enjoyed for the past 3 nights the last of the kale from the garden. Tomatoes are forming and we have peppers that we can cut if we want. Onions are being used in dishes and the garlic is throwing up the scapes, which we will eat this time. Peas are forming in their pods.. We have potted up some willows to plant in the Fall along the property line. I also cut some more branches to root, along with curly willow and we potted up some more butternut trees. Also potted the flat of Oriental poppies, some we will sell and others we will keep. We did alright on Saturday, selling plants.
June 2 at 10:04 EST .

   15 people like this.

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