Thursday, March 18, 2010

My teeth are sad...

No really, they are. I have been going to the UT dental school in San Antonio for a while now getting some, shall we say, major work done. Well, there was a set back today and well, rather than protest, my teeth are just sad.

Okay, that was pathetically saccharine.

Anyway, what do my melodramatic teeth and my garden have to do with each other? I use my teeth to eat, that's what! Jeez. Yes, I'm cranky. LOL

So, after a long grueling day (12 hours, driving back and forth, experiencing complications) I'm home.

Since we have been experiencing ultra glorious weather these days, (74 high, in the 50's at night), this Suburban Dweller finds a nice respite in the garden. And after today, the garden was especially welcoming.

Things are happening.

Just 2 short weeks ago, I planted a whole mess o'stuff.

Tomatoes (tomata's to those folks from NY).These are of the heirloom variety. I know, how ultra green hip I am. (ugh)


(I rotated the pick, I swear it! photobucket just doesn't want to work with me today!!! grits teeth (ouch), shakes fist at sky)

Then the Cucumbers...


I built this neat little trellis for it. Chicken wire and green metal garden stakes. 3' x 3'

Can't beat those Beets...


(again the demon spawn also known as photobucket didn't want to work with me again)



These little buggers just shot up. They were already out of the ground after a couple of days!



Also known as potatoes ugly cousin. But boiled and flavored with some butter and salt, man, they are yummy.

And finally...

There was a movie with Steve Martin a few years back entitled, "My Blue Heaven", he plays a Henry Hill type character who is put into the witness protection program after turning states evidence against some of his mafia friends. He has a huge DA haircut (jet black) and a blue shark skin suit. He's relocated to San Diego. He sticks like a sore thumb. He has a very heavy NY accent. Anyway, in one scene, he's grocery shopping. As he peruses the produce, much to his dismay, he exclaims, "What?? You got no Arugula???"

I got's your Arugula, right here!


Lastly, someone wanted to see my garden. Here is a late day pic...


What I listed above; is what I have planted so far is in the garden in the background. In the small gardens, is what is wrapping up from the winter. Onions, Garlic, Lettuce, Spinach and Cabbage. The broccoli and cauliflower I have let go to seed. I explained why in a previous post.

The middle garden appears as if it has weeds in it.

austrian pea
(photobucket hates me)

No, no my friend, that's Austrian Pea. It's a nitrogen fixer for the soil. When that gets turned under and some fresh compost is added, that bed will be ready to go. That should be around mid April. Just in time for summer squash, pumpkin and a maybe a few other goodies.

After walking among the green, my teeth are surprisingly less sad. They still have issues, don't get me wrong, but they are, for the moment, relaxed.

So there it is, my vent for today! :)

Cheers and remember Green is Good!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

It's alive!! ALIVE!!

Wow, another blog entry in under 2 weeks, am I seeing straight?


We have finally entered the warm weather. 80 degrees today! And it's only March 14th! Ugh. That means it should be somewhere in the billions come July. weee...

Over these past few months, I would look upon my lemon tree with concern.

Me: Honey, is the lemon tree losing it's leaves?
She: Um, it seems to be a little bit, is it supposed to?
Me: (shrugs shoulders) I don't know.
We exchange concerned looks.

Several weeks go by and all of the leaves have fallen off. I'm convincing my self that this is completely normal. Secretly, I think we have a dead tree. I keep a stiff upper lip.

I google and google, but all the information I get is completely vague.

Various testimonies: Mine kept their leaves all winter! Mine is still green! Not only am I still getting lemons, but it just took the bar exam and passed!!!

These people are on crack.

Our little tree was now reduced to a sickly looking stick tree.

I'm feeling guilty at this point. Did I leave it out when it was too cold? Are the roots damaged? Why are their 8 hotdogs and only 6 buns in their various packages?

So last week, we looked rather dismayed at our now very denuded tree. I finally found a link for a "how to prune a Meyer's Lemon Tree".

We pruned and pruned. According to the how-to, we could basically take it down to a nub and the thing would grow back. Color me skeptical.

Here is what it looks like now.


Sticks in a pot. Sigh. The various "twigs" were strong and somewhat green, but I was not hopeful.


lemon tree blossom



Looking at it this morning (this photo was taken yesterday), there are more of these little green guys!!

Nature, it does some very kooky crazy things!

When dealt with lemons, make lemon meringue pie!! Screw the lemon-ade.

I was hopeful, so I gazed around to my other zombie plants...

Mr. Fig

fig tree

Although you can see green on this little guy, you have to remember one thing, it was kept in my garage all winter.

I had read some on line about some guy that does just that. So I took his advice and the scary thing is, while in the garage, it started to bloom!!! Hardly any water, virtually no light other than the very attractive florescent bulbs!! And still it started to grow!! Freaky.

And finally...

Our Blackberry bushes. These I thought were dead for sure. But rumors of their demise were grossly exaggerated.


Not too pretty. I would run out in the middle of the winter any time there was a threat of a frost or hard freeze, wrap them in old sheets and hope for the best. I hadn't seen much going on with them and was about to write them off when...

black berry blossom

As Mr. Hand hi-lights, there is indeed life!!! So blackberry jam this year!! That is, of course, the #$#^$@ squirrels don't get to them first.

So once again, nature takes me to school and spanked me. "Don't worry, if you treat me right, I will repay you!" I am humbled. :)

Next up, I will be making my own Mozzarella cheese. You heard right. I will be including photos of the insane process.

And on a side note: I want to wish my friend Lisa and her very talented husband Mark, a gigantic congratulations!!!! Mark, you see, was the writer for the Academy Award winning movie, "The Cove". To quote Humphrey Bogart, "this is the stuff dreams are made of". Cheers!!!

And as always, Green is always good, and in fact it's pretty dang humbling. )

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


My own word, much like "squoze" as in I squoze the lemons. Don't look at me that way! Fine, roll your eyes.


Spring has finally arrives in these here parts (like the Texan lingo?). Things are growing, lawns are turning into mini jungles and the buds on the various growing things are, well, budding.

So as such, I actually have something to write about.

The winter was an interesting one here. Granted it was nothing like the snowinsane land of the northeast (thank goodness), but we did have our freezes, and even a little bit of the white stuff from the sky. Which amounts to a "snow emergency" here. A dusting is the equal of the "snowpocalypse" back east. A little water, a little snow (not even sticking) and the city turns into a collection of inept automobile spazzes.

That aside, signs of growth abound and as such, I am getting ready for this seasons planting.

I added another large garden...

2nd garden sm

For a total square footage of 160 square feet. That's plenty!!

My mission this year is to grow as much as I possibly can.

Up to this point, I have been taking notes and trying various different types of veggies to see what grows, how well it grows and it's yield.

It will be interesting. I hope I can grow more than we can ingest. What we can't gobble, I will preserve and what we don't want to preserve (I mean, how many pickled beets can you eat??), we will gladly give away to our neighbors. Mending fences, Robert Frost and all that.

As the last of my winter garden winds down, I am in the process of saving seeds. Which I highly recommend to anyone out there to do. This time around, I'm seeing if I can save both Broccoli and Cauliflower. Which will require winnowing. What the heck is winnowing?

It's this...

It's people taking dirt and throwing it up in the air!!! Lacking the stylish head wear, I will be doing the same thing on a much smaller scale. These folks are winnowing rice, which means: separating the husks from the seed.

So I will be taking my husks of broccoli and cauliflower, crushing them slightly, then flinging them in the air!! Weee! And yes, I'm looking forward to doing this! LOL

Why go through the trouble? Why not just buy seeds, like the rest of the 35% of the earths population does? Because, wanting to be true to my want to grow only organic vegetables, this is, to borrow from Spinal Tap, going to 11. Plus, as time wears on and as the price of oil goes up, transportation of all things will become more expensive, including seeds. Saving my own, will keep me growing the things I want and like.

This coming year will be big changes for our yard, I will be 1) moving and painting our shed, 2) building a new clothes line, 3) building two arbors, 4) getting two 250 gallon water totes and maybe 4) putting in a new deck. All the while, also putting in more flowers (and replacing some that didn't make it through the winter). It's ambitious, but at least I don't have the house to worry about, it's done. Yay!

I now leave you with some photos...

broc bloom sm

That's broccoli in bloom, pretty, aren't they?

bee on broc sm

The bees are back! Hard at work and taking care of the dull stuff of pollination! Remember, every third bite of food we take is responsible because of these little dudes. Just think of what our lives would be like without them. Not pretty.

cauli bloom sm

That's cauliflower about to bloom, I have no idea what the flowers will look like. I will take a pic and post it, when they do.

blueberry sm

A blue berry bush I'm about to put in...

wet sage sm


wet mint sm


wet chives sm


Lastly, some color...

pansy sm

Pansies for Rosies grave. :)

For those in the colder climes, you still have a few weeks to put in your spring crops, but you still can begin your starter plants from seeds and for those of us in the soon to be hotter than a frying skillet part of the country; now is the time to start planting. The last frost has come and gone.

You all take care, try and grow a little something. In a lot, a pot or a slot, every little bit helps.

Cheers and remember, Green is not only good, it's a great thing!