Friday, May 29, 2009

Back from the Ozarks

Just came back yesterday after a week trip to Branson, Missouri for my sister's wedding at Big Cedar Resort. We also drove around the backwoods of the Ozarks, visited the Laura Ingalls Wilder Home & museum, attempted to go fishing, explored a cave, Went to a trout hatchery, searched for tadpoles, saw the Dixie Stampeed show, ate alot of southern cooking and generally had a memorable time.

Oh, and we drooled at the low home/land prices too. We're now seriously condidering moving to Missouri or possibly northern Arkansas- its so lush and green and so many trees! The clincher would be visiting in the dead of winter THEN evaluating what we'd want in a property. But thats years in the future.

Its going to take me a few days/weeks to get settled here at home again and catch up to a weeks worth of facebook, blogs, freedom gardens etc.

EDIT: I meant to say we are now considering tired I typed "not" instead of "now"

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Americas next Top Gardener?

A friend of mine and a VERY credible source passed this to me, feel free to pass it on to any other gardeners who may be interested!

A GardenRant tipster tells us that Hollywood is searching for the next big
sustainable vegetable gardening guru. If you are hip, edgy, comfortable in
front of a camera, and cool enough to connect with thirty-something
locavores, this is the gig for you. They want somebody who's into growing
their own food, raising their own chickens, maybe keeping some honeybees--
and doing fabulous things with all of it in the kitchen.

If you're ready to do all that and be a horticultural and culinary rock star
in front of the camera, send a paragraph, a picture, a link to your website,
and a link to a video, if one exists, to:

This is the real deal--we know the people and we know it's got potential.

Pass the word on. The future of gardening television is in your hands.
Don't let us down.

A pinch of hapyness....

I'm tired and sluggish and made some 5 minute spaghetti with canned sauce. Then I spyed the basil in its pot outside and added a bit of that. Its a nice taste of sunshine in my day.

Monday, May 11, 2009

My Little Apartment Balcony Garden in progress

Now that looks a bit more like home :)

Mother's Day we went picked up as many plants as we could cram into my corolla and my husband's small pickup truck. Don't ask me how I squeezed a potted lime tree into the passenger seat, but I did, just barely, and my right arm has scratches to prove just how tight of a squeeze it was. I still need to go get my mango tree, blueberry bush, blackberry vines and some other odds n ends pots o plants.

May has suddenly burst into summer, hot and bright and sunny. I was worried with the heat that my sister in law had been too busy to take care of the plants I had left behind, but she did a great job watering them. The SWC tomatoes look fantastic, and the 'Big Mama' & 'Carmello' tomatos in the big round planter were full of blossoms and even some little green tomatos! Amazing what 2 weeks of hot sunny weather can do to jumpstart those veggies into growing.

Unfortunatly the big round planter was just too big for our balcony and would cast too much shade, so I left it in my parent's backyard ( and begged them to care for it for me) and setup my SWC here. I'm playing around with placement trying to give the SWC the hottest/brightest part of the ledge without casting so much shade on everything else. I noticed the container basil I planted in between them in the SWC was being totally shaded by the tomato folliage ( see them tucked by the watering tube?) , so after I took this photo I carefully transplanted them into their own windowbox.

One huge concern I have is even tho its a south facing exposure it really only gets the brightest direct sun from around 10 am to about 4 pm, with the edges going into shade sooner. The area that actually gets hit by direct sun is rather small, as you can see in these photos. Great for people who want to just sit out on their balcony, not so great for crazy people like me trying to grow plants. I hope to get around this issue but buying a few railing brackets so I can hang the windbowboxes on those horizontal rails, and then I can keep the swiss chard, lettuce, dill, chives and mint in the partial shade those boxes cast. I wish I had one of the 3 bedroom units directly above the garages at the end of the building, those have a large rooftop access patio about 25 x 25 feet with no overhead shade. I don't know how much those are a month but I may ask out of curiosity, and if we do end up staying here longer then a few months and financially secure we may be able to upgrade to one of those units, I can dream right!

Everything seems to survive my absence OK, but the dang earwigs went to town and just decimated the pak choi and really did a number on the chard and lettuce. Some of the lettuce was starting to bolt from the heat along with some of the bright lights chard, so I just ripped those out and dumped the soil from those planters. I can replant some of those here. The earwigs are hiding in the little gaps between the potting soil and the sides of the containers, along with hiding under the folliage itself. I need to devise some sort of trap to catch them to they are just going to keep destroying my plants. Cabbage loopers are all the remaining lettuce too, boo.

So thats where I am right now. I did win a couple of container friendly tomato plants at sat. master gardening class, a 'Sprite' and a 'Bush Champion', which I may plant into the other SWC I havent use yet, or I may just put each in a 5 gallon bucket ( taller and thinner taking less space) and put a bush zuccini in the SWC- I so miss fresh summer squash!

You know its a recession when....

Theres a Jaguar parked at Winco.

seriously. I laughed, then grabbed my camara as proof.

I'm not sure whether to be seriously impressed that someone is actually trying to slash their food budget- or- being that this Winco happens to be next to a section of Fontana known for its, how do I put this delicately.....very friendly women waving to cars at late hours of the night. ...... this car belongs to a pimp.

Either way it made me laugh.

There was also a very cool looking red moon, so maybe this was all just a cosmic fluke.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Settling In

So far so good. We've unpacked alot of stuff, still need to haul all my plants and canned goods here, its nice and quiet here and my latest addiction is playing Farm Town on facebook.

To start this post off, I am sitting here on my hands waiting for some eggs and butter to warm up to room temp. My goal for today is to bake a Butter Pound cake from scratch, and of course the stuff needs to be room temp.

But I am hungry and impatient! LOL I havent had pound cake in....a year? maybe more. Being in a gluten free household I usually feel too guilty having something so delicious in the house that my poor husband can only look, sniff, and sadly admire from afar. BUT I figure if I can learn how to properly make one from scratch I can then learn how to convert the recipe using gluten free flour to make something yummy for my wonderful man without paying $6 for a tiny bag of GF pound cake mix.

And so, I must make the noble sacrifice of baking a regular old fashoned pound cake only I can eat this first time around. *fights to keep a straight face* The kids? oh yeah, they don't like pound cake.

( looks around)

I'm going to tell them theres vegetables in it.

muaw hahaha

I'll try and take photos if I remember so I can document my success or failure.