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Gardening &
Landscaping




   Hagar  Today's gift from the garden: Peppers, peppers, peppers!!!
We processed 11pts, 1 1/2pt and a sample jar of Hot Pepper Relish.
We were road testing a new OSTER food processor, it is the "bomb",
almost pureed the peppers.
Powerful and Quiet!!!
October 27 at 17:49 EST .

   3 people like this.




   BirdsNest  Saturday at the tracks...we have so much fun. we have to get there by 5:30 in order to get "our spot", but it is worth the lost sleep. As soon as we get there, the other sellers start pulling their goods out to sell. Everyone wants to feel safe so it is best not to be there by oneself that early. It was cool this morning,and by sun up it started to warm up. Our friend that sells plants, showed up after daylight, not a good spot to be in, so he was wondering if he should even bother setting....it was such a beautiful day, little wind, maybe he would go flying and take pictures that the realtors had asked him to. He makes decent money doing that and he LOVES to fly, so with just a little coaxing from us, off he went. About half hour later an ultralight plane appeared above, and sure enough it was him. We all waved and told others who it was, they waved too. He did not see us because he was taking photos of us all and the long line of sellers at the tracks. Very impressive, he sent us a dozen pictures he took.

We had a blast, Hagar's birthday today,one guy bought 4 jars of pepper relish and 4 jars of watermelon rind pickle. That was fabulous. Another customer told us about the horseradish he got from someone else and how bad it was, so I got my sample jar from the cooler and handed him a spoon. Told him if he liked it he could have it. He loved it, and it really opened up his sinuses!! He wants a jar next week.
October 25 at 17:33 EST .

   4 people like this.




   BirdsNest  The garden....still have peppers producing,some eggplant,beets are making,savoy growing nicely,chard ready to pick,and luffa gourds getting ready to harvest. Hagar bought 90(! ) asparagus roots that had to be done something with. Our friend came over and tilled the row for us, she was sick but promised she would do it and she did it. I got out the shovel and dug down to make a trench.....took 2 tries to get the 75 ft row done, then I collapsed for a couple of days. Put mushroom compost in the hole,laid out the roots(107 actually )and filled in the trench. Boy was I ever glad to be done!!!! I have been dealing with a sore throat from breathing the fumes of Habanero jellymaking. Not my best week for sure.
October 16 at 14:33 EST .

   7 people like this.



   BirdsNest  Hagar reminded me that I said I would mulch the asparagus row and cover the mulch with netting to keep it from blowing away. Darn!! Thought I was finished with that row. I did get the mulch on top but the thought of stretching the netting out and somehow anchoring it so IT doesn't blow away was too much.....so I worked on the last of the blueberries from the freezer, making them into jam. Then because I was not yet totally exhausted I dug up a big clump of horseradish and worked it up into prepared horseradish. Hagar helped me, so glad because I was getting worn out and crabby. We made 2 half pint jars, one is sold already to a customer we will see tomorrow. It packs a punch. Sometime on Sunday I will cover the asparagus row with netting. THEN I am done with it til Spring.
October 17 at 20:05 EST .

  6 people like this.



   BirdsNest  Today's work involved making piccalilli(also called chow chow or green tomato relish ). I forgot to net the asparagus row...ruh roh, I could get fired!!
October 19 at 19:29 EST .

  9 people like this.



   BirdsNest  The asparagus row is done,done,done. Til Spring.

We jarred 18 pints and 2 half pints of Piccalilli(Chow chow ). One of the half pints we will open to give samples out. Today we are making prepared horseradish and pickling some beets. Our friend Teresa got some beets from someone and asked if we would like them. She said she did not have time to deal with making pickled beets, but if we made some she would appreciate a small amount. These 6 beets were enormous!!I cooked them and they were not fibrous so will make pickled beets and give her some.
October 22 at 11:12 EST .

  6 people like this.



   MeiDei  I love sweet pickled beets. Someone gave me a bag of them when I came home from the hospital after foot surgery. I hated beets. My mother was visiting to help me with the baby & she reminded me I should be grateful - suggesting that my father liked pickled beets. So I made & canned 7-8 pints. She flew home with 6. I finished off the rest & have been a fan since. I've seen them in the store but the cost was way too much for the amount. One day my garden will be ready for me to plant again - by then my knees may say otherwise : ) I'm happy for you.
October 22 at 20:49 EST .

  4 people like this.



   BirdsNest  MeiDei, these beets were bigger than softballs and we were sure they would be fibrous but they were sweet and yummy. The result was 7 pints of finished pickled beets. We will keep one and gift the rest to Teresa. She will be tickled.
October 23 at 10:23 EST .

  3 people like this.





   Balogreene  Enlarge this. My sister's MIL had a sculpture done for their 50th wedding anniversary. It is a tree, with two love birds, an empty nest, two jack in the pulpits for their two boys, and two lady slippers for their two girls. One girl died of leukemia before the age 10, so her lady slipper is a different color from the rest of the sculpture. The FIL died shortly thereafter, and the MIL had to sell the house. She gave the sculpture to my sister.

Such thought and love went into it. My sister appreciates it. So do I.

   September 28 at 23:51 EST .

   12 people like this.



   BirdsNest  Thanks for posting the picture, it is a lovely sculpture.
October 1 at 18:34 EST .

  6 people like this.





   Balogreene  Had to go to the celebration of the life of one of mom's oldest friends. Stayed at my sister's house for several days. This is her garden. She has a "pond", very small, but it has two frogs, two hummingbird feeders, a ton of flowers, and I can't say what else. For six days, I sat in her garden, watched the frogs, squirrels, chipmunks, hummers, finches, doves, etc. It was a lovely time.
   September 24 at 00:18 EST .

   14 people like this.



   Linder  Wish I was there. Have never seen one like the child's metal lawn chair.
September 25 at 10:22 EST .

  14 people like this.



   Balogreene  Linder, it's been a while, but, my sis and her husband go to flea markets regularly to find things for house and garden. I'm sure that chair is something they saw, liked, and made use of. Some of their finds are amazing. And they do often come home empty-handed, they use it as cheap entertainment.
October 13 at 18:04 EST .

  6 people like this.





   StormCnter  Calling you garden experts (I am only a wannabe ): Last winter, I lost eight big pittosporum in my front flower beds to the record low temperatures, four on each side of the sidewalk. I replaced all eight in March after I was sure they weren't going to recover. The exposure is west, with trees partially shading one batch of the plants while the other bed gets full sun for some of the early afternoon. The ones in partial shade are flourishing, lots of new growth and have practically doubled in size. On the other side of the sidewalk, where they get a lot more sun, all four plants have struggled. I've trimmed back any dead parts, lightly fertilized them a couple of months ago, kept them amply watered, and they are alive, but puny. I think I planted them at the wrong time. They didn't have time to get established before the Texas summer arrived. Now, the question is: Should I dig up the puny ones and replace them in October so they have all winter to put roots down? Or should I assume the four that have struggled, but still live, will use the winter to grow stronger? The state ag agent says let them alone for the winter. I welcome suggestions.
September 23 at 07:05 EST .

   7 people like this.



   MeiDei  Go with the agent's advice.
September 24 at 12:16 EST .

  7 people like this.



   StormCnter  Update: The temps have cooled these days and there is new growth on my four worrisome little pittosporum. I'll watch them for a couple of weeks and then decide. But, I think they are going to be ok, just a bit behind schedule.
September 30 at 07:35 EST .

  7 people like this.



   BirdsNest  Good. Listen to the ag agent, they know what to expect from plants grown in your area. What did he say about fertilizing? Everything here is off schedule.....we still have figs trying to ripen. It's a lost cause because the night time temps are too cool. I have picked less than 20 figs this year, and usually by the first week in September our fig trees have gifted us with pounds and pounds of fruit. Then they are done.Not this year, we are blessed they are even alive after what last winter did to them.
October 7 at 07:22 EST .

  4 people like this.





   BirdsNest  The Cushaw Pie was a hit with attendees of the town wide yard sale. But you cannot believe how many women said"that's too much work" when I told them how to take the whole squash and prepare it for making the pie. The pie we offered for tasting was delicious. Here is the recipe, if you do not have Cushaw squash, you can use any other winter squash or pumpkin or sweet potato.

http://seekingsimpleinthesuburbs.blogspot.com/2013/01/how-to
-make-easy-delicious-pumpkin-or.html
September 21 at 16:37 EST .

   12 people like this.




   BirdsNest  a lady we met during our sales at the flea market sold us some Cushaw squash. It is a green striped winter squash some say is better than sweet potato or pumpkin for pies. Also called the Tennessee Sweet Potato. We bought a bunch, at least I did, Hagar was amazed at how many I bought. Maybe he thinks I am crazy. Anyway, at some point during the night I am going to cook some to taste. I am staying up all night to be sure we get out of here on time, so I should have plenty of time to get this done. The van is loaded with everything, I think.
September 19 at 21:17 EST .

   15 people like this.



   MeiDei  I have to confess Bird, some days I wish I was your neighbor!
September 20 at 10:17 EST .

  9 people like this.



   BirdsNest  Our neighbors directly next door are much older and one is hard of hearing so they are not disturbed by our middle-of-the-night prepping for the flea market or anything of that sort. We were out of here by 5:45, grabbed a "to go" biscuit and got to the booth area by 6am. Already there were people setting up,Haitians waiting to pounce, and darkness still. I waited a few minutes than started to unload. It takes a bit because of the tables-they were buried under plants and squash! We were almost set up when our friend showed up for his booth space. It was a busy day. As I said earlier, the Haitians were the first shoppers, it sounded like a foreign country. Worst part of it was they stayed lots longer than usual. They agitate everyone. One woman picked up a jar of relish, asked the price, then slammed it on the table in disgust. She did buy 3 bags of peppers, gave me the money, 3 bills, so I thanked her and she left. One of those bills was a five.
The next wave of illegals also stayed all day, between the two groups we were all wondering what has become of our country. Lots of women sporting NRA buttons. There was music, food, car show,and tractor show all included for the day. We packed up at 2 and headed out. Had a good day of sales, sold lots of pepper relish and bread and butter pickles. Lots of requests for watermelon rind pickle....next year. No one makes it anymore so maybe I can manage it. We are both bone tired today.
September 21 at 15:20 EST .

  12 people like this.



   Gerty  MissBirdie--I get exhausted reading about all the physical work you and Hagar get done. I so admire you guys!

PS--any chance of figs this year?
September 22 at 19:43 EST .

  15 people like this.





   BirdsNest  Saturday is the big town wide yard sale. We will be there at 6am along with shoppers of Haitian origin trying to buy everything for pennies. Around 7am the migrants show up and try to buy everything for a dollar. Then around 9am the place looks like the good old USA again. And it will be fun til about 1:00 when the crowd thins. As soon as the crowd starts to get sparse we will pack up and go. Wish us luck, we have lots of jars of jams and pickles and relish to sell.

Last week at the flea market, we sold a jar of bread and butter pickles to a guy from the San Francisco area. He chose the spiralized pickles over the traditional ones because they were different. Hope he enjoyed them.

Next week is the "Chicken Swap and Sale" at the local feed store. we have some chickens to sell, some old girls-making room for a new flock. I have no particular fondness for these chickens so I am not agonizing over their leaving. The Silkies are another thing, we need to sell the older ones and pare down to a smaller flock, keeping both roosters because I like them. I am trying to make my workload easier for the winter. Hagar is still trying to get better, but all reports from others with Lyme disease, it takes upwards to a year to feel better again. We will also be able to offer for sale the jams/relishes/pickles for sale because we make them ourselves. Hope we don't have any left. Now that's a laugh! We have made 45 pints of pickle relish not counting the hot relish!!

Did get the quart of apple butter made thanks to the gift of apples from our friend. And we dehydrated some sage for a customer, so that is ready to go. Now to remember to get it all packed in the vehicle.
September 19 at 07:17 EST .

   11 people like this.




   Hollyhock  Bird, is the grape juice processed for 10 mins in a water bath canner? Do you remove the seeds from grapes or use whole?
September 17 at 22:17 EST .

   12 people like this.



   Hagar  Wash and stem fresh, firm-ripe grapes. Put 1C. grapes in to a hot qt jar. Add 1/2 to 1 cup sugar. Fill jar with boiling water, leaving 1/4" head space. Adjust cap.
Process qts 10 min in boiling water bath.
This is straight out of the Ball Blue Book.
Enjoy!!
September 17 at 22:51 EST .

  12 people like this.



   MeiDei  That's the process I used....so easy. Doesn't work well with white grapes, tried that once. I used Concord grapes.
September 18 at 09:49 EST .

  9 people like this.



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