The Pandemic and Panic...Things I learned in 2020: Did you notice how quickly grocery shelves emptied out last March? We were just beginning our spring seminar trip in California when suddenly we had to postpone the remainder of the trip due to closings mandated by the state.
While still in California we received a call about something strange that was happening right then. We heard that toilet paper supplies were being grabbed up and stores were strictly limiting purchases! Toilet paper??Continue reading
Early this morning Craig and I headed to our garden to cut some fresh kale and collards for our daily green drink.
We'd almost reached the garden gate when we noticed that a battle was taking place near one of our Montmorency cherry trees in the back of the orchard. Actually, it was taking place right in the middle of the tree!
We have a bumper crop of cherries on our two Montmorency trees this year, and they've been ripening up very nicely the past couple of weeks. Since the Montmorency variety are not sweet cherries, but are sour or pie cherries, I've been picking cherries and dehydrating them almost daily. They're not tasty for eating fresh, but they're incredibly delicious when dehydrated. I've seen this variety of dehydrated cherries for sale in grocery stores at super expensive prices.
As our cherries were ripening, the yellow fruit was turning orange and red, and I imagine the local bird community was watching with baited breath, awaiting their opportune moment--when the cherries are nice and soft and ripe--to attack! This morning appeared to be "the day" for an onslaught. Continue reading
Commercial planter pots are very nice to have, but when you are starting a LOT of new plants and your budget is tight, it could be difficult to come up with enough of them. You can use empty plastic containers like yogurt cups, or I've even used Styrofoam cups before.
We're starting to have some springy weather, and it makes me think about fall garden chores that didn't get done! By late fall all "efficient" gardeners have cleared out old plants, pulled up tomato stakes, taken a soil sample, and prepared the garden beds by adding amendments.
This spring as our fruit trees were blossoming and leafing out, I noticed that many of the leaves on our peach tree were abnormally shaped, with red blisters on them. Craig, my husband, looked on the internet for solutions. We determined that our peach tree was suffering from peach leaf curl, a fungal disease that affects stone fruit trees. Articles that we found suggested pesticides. But while that would take care of the disease but would ruin our fruit crop for this year. I wanted to find a treatment that would be natural or organic. Most importantly I wanted a solution that wouldn't harm either us or the peaches!
Our family loves garlic--and a number of years back, we discovered "gourmet garlic"--which is another name for hardneck garlic. It’s different than the garlic that you buy at the grocery store, which usually is grown in warmer climates and is sometimes called softneck garlic.
Its that time of the year... Spring fever. And its also time to start planning the garden and choosing which seeds to start.
If you haven't already done so--NOW IS definitely THE TIME to order seeds for this summer's garden! We all need to learn to collect seeds each fall from our current garden plants (if they are Heirloom seeds). But whether or not you did that in the fall, there are doubtless new varieties that we all want to try out.
A few years ago I planted comfrey in one of my flower gardens. Comfrey has a lot of wonderful medicinal properties, so I thought it'd be good to have on hand. I had heard that this herb grows profusely, and sorry to say I’ve had to learn my lesson the hard way!