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Gardening &
Landscaping




   Carmen  We moved from Northern IL to Tennessee in January. I left my wonderful garden behind and couldn't dig up and bring anything along since the ground was frozen. We have 13 acres (mostly wooded ) here and the most horrible soil I have experienced. It is hard rock clay in some areas and white sand in others. I want to get someone to till over a garden plot for me and need ideas of what to do as far as amendments go so I will have a growing place in the spring.

This is so very frustrating --- we didn't realize how lucky we were with our beautiful black crumbly soil in IL.
Yesterday at 13:31 EST .



   BirdsNest  First best thing to do is contact your county extension service. You will want to take a soil test. Let them guide you as to what to do. They are experienced with the soil in the area and can help immensely.They will probably save you a lot of wasted energy at guesswork. I was talking with Hagar on the phone and I read him your post, this is what he told me to write.
Yesterday at 20:34 EST .


   BirdsNest  Oh, and another thing.
November 20,2015 there will be 10 hrs and 1 minute of daylight. Plant life stops growing at 10 hours.
Yesterday at 20:36 EST .




   Carmen  We moved from Northern IL to Tennessee in January. I left my wonderful garden behind and couldn't dig up and bring anything along since the ground was frozen. We have 13 acres (mostly wooded ) here and the most horrible soil I have experienced. It is hard rock clay in some areas and white sand in others. I want to get someone to till over a garden plot for me and need ideas of what to do as far as amendments go so I will have a growing place in the spring.

This is so very frustrating --- we didn't realize how lucky we were with our beautiful black crumbly soil in IL.
Yesterday at 13:31 EST .




   BirdsNest  Here is a picture of the area of our place.
   August 23 at 17:38 EST .

   4 people like this.



   BirdsNest  The white building to the left is not our property. From the trees on the left to just beyond the trees on the right. The house is nestled in the trees at the top center.
August 23 at 17:41 EST .

  2 people like this.



   Jerseytomato  Goodness Bird! By the looks of that garden's size, it's a forty hour work week, and then some!

Please, tell us how Mr. Hagar is coming along. Still praying for you both.
August 23 at 18:44 EST .

  2 people like this.



   BirdsNest  The garden is a fair piece of work. I try not to think about it, just do it. Hagar has good days and bad days. He is in great spirits, always has been. The doctor has decided that he cannot lump this patient with all the rest. Hagar told him he wasn't going to give up and he meant it. The nurses have decided he is a good patient and they have learned to enjoy his humor. He misses me. That's the hardest part. When he has a bad day or an episode that sets him back a bit, he really wants me to be there. He has been hospitalized for 89 days.
August 23 at 20:40 EST .

 1 person like this.





   BirdsNest  We have a friend that has an ultralight plane, he loves to fly and loves to photograph the area while he is flying. The end of July I was out in the garden picking cucumbers and heard an ultralight. I didn't think much of it because there is a landing strip close by with an ultralight-he takes people up for hang gliding. When the plane kept coming overhead I stopped and looked. It was our friend. A couple of days later he e-mailed me the photos. That week when he took me to visit Hagar he brought glossy photos of our garden area from above. He had already brought photos of the area prior to planting and he posted them on Hagar's bulletin board. Hagar was so interested in the newest photos-those of a garden he has not seen. They were placed on the board along with the others. For several weeks now he has talked about the garden with the staff, everyone wants to look at them and ask questions. Now they want new ones. Right now the garden is in transition between weeds needing to be plucked and removed to tilling ground for maybe something else. So from my perspective it is not a pretty sight. But I thank our friend for knowing those photos would interest Hagar. He is pretty clever that way.
August 21 at 06:56 EST .

   3 people like this.



   MeiDei  Dang thoughtful too! Grab & hold on to anything that will lift Hagar's spirits and keep him engaged - past, present & future.
August 21 at 09:02 EST .

 1 person like this.





   BirdsNest  All of a sudden the garden is ugly.

I pulled up several rows of plants and put them in a pile to compost down. Our friend is coming tomorrow to till whatever I have cleared. I had a lot of "life" get in the way of garden work today so I did not get done what I had planned to do. I will go to the tracks tomorrow, but I do not have much to sell. Some eggs and some junk. No veggies.
August 7 at 23:50 EST .

   2 people like this.



   MeiDei  Remember - right now your ugly garden isn't a reflection of you - you are the one who is blooming where you're planted. You may not see it, but we do - find some cheer with that.
August 12 at 11:01 EST .

  2 people like this.



   Jerseytomato  MeiDei - what a beautiful post!

Birdie - praying for you and Hagar.
August 12 at 18:28 EST .

  3 people like this.



   BirdsNest  I don't know what to say. This has been a strange week. So many things going on. So much good, some bad events for Hagar. He has been up and down. I am getting stretched thin. He needs me to be there for him and I am doing all I can. Prayers are always appreciated, they do help, he is proof of that.
August 13 at 22:09 EST .

  3 people like this.



   Surfhut  Amen to what MeiDei said.
August 15 at 08:42 EST .

 1 person like this.





   BirdsNest  The garden continues to be the place I can go to for escape from the harshness of everyday life. This garden is full of beauty and dotted with disappointment. Not everything is doing as well as I had wished. The squash bugs discovered the zucchini and in days had damaged every plant, now they have moved on to the other squash plants. Eggplants are being consumed by some other vile bug, tomorrow evening I will mix up some Neem oil with water and add a bit of detergent to spray onto the plants. Waiting until later in the day when bees are not so active. I am harvesting some lovely eggplant but the leaves are being consumed by pests. Pepper plants are under performing in a big way. Last year this time we had harvested buckets and buckets of peppers, so far this year only a few small ones. I picked tomatillos and took to the tracks to sell. They did quite well, I even made some tomatillo salsa verde to offer as samples with tortilla chips. I did not like the salsa. I think it is an acquired taste. One of the other sellers tasted it and loved it, so I sent it home with her. I was going to add it to the compost pile.
July 18 at 23:16 EST .

   3 people like this.



   Surfhut  Hope the Neem oil spray will save some of your plants. God bless you, Bird!
July 19 at 08:11 EST .

  4 people like this.





   BirdsNest  We had an inch of rain yesterday so I spent part of today pulling weeds so I can get some more green beans planted. My friend cannot come til the weekend to till and I need these beans in the ground asap. There will be plenty for her to do anyway.
Picked 2-1/2 buckets of cucumbers on Wednesday and took them to the local church for their monthly Food Pantry night. Also gifted them with plenty of squash. Friday I picked 3 buckets of cukes, about 10 eggplant(Rosa Bianca and Shooting Stars ),and a bucket of squash to take to the tracks on Sat. I had been to see Hagar earlier in the day and was happy to get home early enough to get the picking done in daylight instead of in the dark with a flashlight on Sat morning. Good thing,too. Sat at around 6am it started raining. I went to the tracks anyway, a little bit of rain won't turn me away. I sat with another fool til about 7 when her husband showed up, I went back to the van and waited for the rain to stop. It would rain softly, then a downpour, then it would stop. Around 7:30 the other fool said goodbye, they were going home. I set up my table and my veggies and eggs and waited for customers. First customers bought eggplant, squash and a bucket of cucumbers. Yay!!!! And 3 dz eggs. Then customers came in spurts. It never really rained any more, just a few spits, but it was overcast and cool. Perfect for being outside. A lady I gave a bunch of plants to last week stopped by and bought a few eggplant. She pressed a bill into my hand and said "That's for you. God told me you needed this right now." I was gobsmacked. I thanked her and hugged her. Now I can buy the 2 tires for the van. One more big thing off the list. I am not destitute but I am on a strict budget. That just made life a bit brighter.
July 12 at 20:58 EST .

   5 people like this.



   HopeandGlory  Prayers are answered . . . Birdie's posting again . . . God be with and Hagar.
July 12 at 22:00 EST .

  6 people like this.



   BirdsNest  Prayers answered indeed, Hope. On many levels. I will try to post more often, I have just been very focused on the garden. Last week the heat tried to take me out.
July 13 at 06:33 EST .

  6 people like this.



   MeiDei  News flash: Bird Beats Heat! So glad for the good news - see, you did a kind and generous thing and it WAS multiplied back to you - PTL! Tell us about any other "blessings in disguise" that come your way again. Love your posts & your produce - maybe the Good Lord will direct my path to a local grower.
July 13 at 11:57 EST .

  6 people like this.



   Balogreene  You're right, the heat and humidity last week were killer! And, I didn't work outside.
July 13 at 23:23 EST .

  3 people like this.



   BirdsNest  I couldn't grasp why last week was so tough on me. Previously we had had higher temps, the day it got to feeling like 107F and by 5pm felt like 111F. I worked outside all day in the garden until about 4pm, I was cooked but nowhere near as toasted as last week. I got overheated Sunday,Monday and Tuesday until I felt I couldn't do anymore work outside. It was an exhausting week, my clothes getting soaked everyday all day long. I relented and turned on the A/C in the bedroom, on low just to remove the dampness. It made sleeping better.
July 14 at 07:14 EST .

  6 people like this.



   BirdsNest  Oh yeah, I got the flat beans planted yesterday. 3 short rows, but they are in!! I was hoping for a good soaking rain, but we only got a shower. Also picked 10 pounds of flat beans, will be calling customers today to come get their produce. Cucumbers need to be picked and I need to check on eggplant. Zucchini plants are done, time to pull them up. I think I saw the guineas actually EATING insects from the zucc plants. I only thought they were interested in poking holes in my watermelons. And they were working the bean rows too. Maybe leaving them out was good. They DO eat ticks and will chase away snakes. They missed the one snake that gobbled up 5 fertile duck eggs though, the hen is still sitting on the one remaining egg. The snake is eradicated.
July 14 at 07:20 EST .

  4 people like this.





   BirdsNest  Our cucumber patch is producing like mad. I have sold cukes, given them away, and fed the chickens till they can't eat any more. The last bucket got chopped up and tossed on the compost pile. Today I sold some, gave away more than I sold at the tracks, had some left over and went to Food Lion and walked the lot with my box of cucumbers giving them to anyone who would accept them. I have become a crazy lady.
June 27 at 19:15 EST .

   4 people like this.



   MeiDei  May your efforts & generosity be multiplied back to you ten-fold!
June 29 at 07:26 EST .

  8 people like this.



   Balogreene  Mei Dei is right, your generosity will be multiplied back to you ten-fold, but, as a dear friend once told me, it might be in the next life (sorry ). I wish I'd been there, Cucumbers are a favorite, kimchi, soup, with onion salad, with tomato salad, plain, who knows I eat a ton of them!
July 3 at 19:02 EST .

  5 people like this.





   Balogreene  Bird, if you need someone to come down and cook your veggies on weekends let me know.
June 18 at 21:41 EST .

   4 people like this.



   BirdsNest  Balo, you are one busy lady,that is one generous offer. I am not cooking anything these days, veggie or not. What I am trying to do is sell these vegetables. People call, but I think they expect delivery. Sorry. At $1 pound for beans there is no way I am delivering them.
Thank you though for your kind offer.
June 19 at 06:33 EST .

  4 people like this.





   BirdsNest  I had string beans, zucchini, and cucumbers to sell at the tracks today along with all of the plants. Surprisingly the zucchini sold out first. Brought some cucumbers home and gave away the last pound of beans. Traded them actually for some large plastic pots. Not a big crowd today, maybe because it got hot early this morning and kept getting hotter. I know I was close to melting. We have had 3 straight days of high heat and it has really worked me to a frazzle.
June 13 at 21:03 EST .

   5 people like this.



   BirdsNest  Sunday I loaded the van with plants and had just picked a 5 gallon bucket of beans and cucumbers along with some zucchini and patty pan squash. Only one car stopped and he was a friend, he bought $3 worth of cucumbers. I stayed 2 hrs. In town a friend saw me and bought $4 worth of cucumbers and zucchini. On the way home I stopped at the established farm stand and asked if she would like to buy the beans and cukes. She hemmed and hawed and relented to buy just the beans. It was a fraction of their worth but I have no place to hold them so they would be saleable. I piled some cukes on the table and told them they could have them for themselves. She stopped me and bought the remaining cukes-again a fraction of the cost but I was not interested in trying to hold them another day in this heat. I am not ready to start canning, I could have made them into bread and butter pickles, but I have no help. At least maybe someone could enjoy them. It was disappointing but sometimes you just have to learn to live with disappointment.
June 15 at 06:42 EST .

  4 people like this.



   Balogreene  Bird, here you go, one of my favorite ways to eat cucumber:
Chilled Cucumber Yogurt Soup with Pepperoncini
Ingredients
1 pound cucumbers—peeled, seeded and coarsely chopped, plus cucumber spears for serving
10 small pepperoncini—4 stemmed, seeded and chopped, plus ¼ cup of liquid from the jar
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped dill
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 cup buttermilk
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
Salt

Directions



In a blender, puree the chopped cucumbers with the chopped pepperoncini, the pickling liquid, 2 tablespoons of the dill, the yogurt and buttermilk until very smooth. Stir in the cumin and the remaining dill and season with salt. Refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.

Ladle the soup into 6 bowls. Serve each bowl with a whole pepperoncini and cucumber spears on the side.

I don't use the dill.
June 15 at 21:25 EST .

  7 people like this.



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