Sunday, October 15, 2017

My Late October Garden for Vitamin K

Every time I go to the grocery store to buy "fresh" produce, I cringe.  I don't know where the fruit and vegetables come from, how they grew with what, and how they were handled in the store.  Although the labels read 'organic', I question that and the price that goes with it.

Last week my husband had a scheduled appointment for an echo cardiogram and since he is on coumadin, the nurse checked his INR (International Normalized Ratio) and it was off the chart.  He ended up in the hospital and his cardiologist thought it was lack of green leafy vegetables.  Mostly.

Eventually,tests normalized and needles to say, we found it imperative to start a garden.  Ergo, me and  my Rollator headed out to the Back Forty and I started to pull the weeds, fast and furiously.

The first seedlings that go into the ground is the curly kale that contain vitamins A and C in addition to vitamin K.  One (1) cup of lightly cooked kale has 684% of the daily intake or 1230% of DRI (Dietary Reference Intake).  Vitamin K helps to normalize the clotting of the blood.  In warmer climate, it grows all winter long.  This is the most important vegetable in our garden on Back Forty.

Brussel Sprouts is another important vegetable that goes into the garden.  It contains 116% of the DRI of vitamin K, A and C.  !/2 cup of the sprouts meets the intake of vitamins C and K.  It's low in calories but high in protein which surprised me when I read it.  I usually finely slice them and stir fry them with onions.

Broccoli is the third most important vegetables for us here at Back Forty.  It contains 116% of the DRI of vitamins K, A and C.  If you don't want to eat it raw, cut it up in florets and lightly steam it.

Of course, the cabbage completes my October planting.  It contains 85% of DRI of vitamin K per up. It makes for strong bones which I need.  It is also good for diabetes type 2.

It may be too late for basil but I picked up a healthy looking plant in the grocery store.  Interestingly, only one (1) tbs of dried basil contains 107% of DRI while two (2) tbs of fresh chopped basil give you 27% of DRII

This, folks, is the power of food!

Disclaimer:  This information is mainly for us at the Back Forty.  Please, do your own research.

Good Sources for Additional Research: 13 Foods High in Vitamin K.
A List of Foods with vitamin K--Coumadin (found on the Internet)
The National Institutes of Health has an extensive article on Vitamin K.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Scalloped Tomato and Bread Casserole

I must confess that 'scalloped' is a bit fancy for a simple and easy bread and tomato pudding, but let's go with it because the end result is rather good.

Somebody in my household believes that cluster tomatoes are beautiful, red, nice and even.  So, we had more tomatoes than we could eat during the week.

First, I prepared the casserole dish by spreading a little oil on the inside.  Then I preheated the oven to 400 degrees F.

When that was done, I cut up day old bread into croutons, chunked three (3) tomatoes and mixed them with the bread in a bowl.  I drizzled the mixture with a generous amount of canola oil and kept mixing to make sure the bread and tomatoes got some oil.  I set this bowl aside

I diced onions, pepper, and celery and mixed them in another bowl.

I added this mixture to the bottom of the dish
and topped it off with the tomatoes and bread.

I was tempted to add cheese to the casserole but resisted; however, sweet basil goes well with tomatoes.

I baked the casserole for 30 minutes and it came out golden brown., sort of.

This tasty and easy dish may be served as a side dish with any meat or it may be served with a tossed salad too.

Happy Cooking!

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

The October Garden

I have done some serious manual weeding around the house among the bushes.  I have barely finished when it's time to start over again--an endless job.  I was going to fertilize and mulch the bushes but read in the local paper not to fertilize because it will encourage new growth that might be sensitive to cold weather.

Time flies when you are having fun, they say.  So true.  October is here and it's time for north-east Floridians to start planting a fall garden.  The broccoli and cabbage are a given in my garden.  I like cauliflower but it is a bit difficult to grow--the diva of the Brassica family.

I also plant the leafy vegetables such as kale and mustard.  At some point, I usually let the mustards go to seed and its small yellow flowers hopefully will attract pollinating helpers.

Another leafy seedling to plant is the Georgia Collard which will grow well and prosper in any condition.  It certainly has been more than enough for us but it is also nice to give away to friends and neighbors.

I recently bought a small pot each of dill and thyme.  I divided the dill and set it out in my still living and growing herb garden by the summer kitchen.  I find thyme a little tricky to grow but I always give it a try.  It is not too late to plant basil but I would set it out in a pot that I can bring in when the weather
gets chilly.

Parsley is always nice to have and it grows well in cooler weather.  So does sage.  It's good to be able to pick your own seasoning for the Thanksgiving stuffing.

Other herbs to plant are Rosemary, of course, borage, lovage, and chervil   These herbs like cooler weather.

All the vegetables and herbs that are on my and yours wish list are subject to availability at nurseries and home improvement stores.

Happy Gardening and thank you for visiting my blog.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Landscaping by Irma

Early this month, hurricane Irma came blowing by the Back Forty and dumped a lot of rain and littered the yard with debris.  My husband and I left with our cat for a beautiful place west of Tallahassee and weathered the storm in a small motel.  We sat in a slow moving parking lot to reach our destination.

We made it home after a few days stay by the Seminole Lake.  We found that the boarded up house had not taken in any water and although we lost the electricity for a few hours, no food had spoiled.

The Back Forty was filled with downed cedar trees.  Behind the shed, we had a wild cherry tree with small berries for us to eat and share with the birds.  We cleared it.

We had an assortment of downed cedar trees that at one time was home to many birds and a play area for squirrels.  Some of the trees were leaning from last year's hurricane and another had lost most of its greenery.  Altogether four cedar trees had blown down.

Our neighbor across the street also had downed trees and workers were already cutting and removing the debris.  My husband went over to see if they could take care of our trees too.  Sure, they could.

A strong and dedicated tree cutter came over with a chain saw and a large Bobcat.  In no time had he stripped the trees of the branches, cut up the trunks, and neatly piled it all up.

Using his Bobcat, he hauled the debris to the front yard to be picked up by the city.  The tree cutter was done in less than three hours.  We were impressed and we were grateful.  It was a load off our minds.

The loss of trees has opened up the Back Forty to a lot of sunshine.

We still have a lot of small dead trees to cut and remove.

We feel blessed that Irma left us with some downed trees  with a lot of debris.  It could have been so much worse and we think about the people whose homes were destroyed byt this powerful hurricane.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

End of Summer

To look forward to fall and the planting of a garden, we say good bye to the summer.  We have had some changes in our landscape at the Back Forty lately and it is doubtful that we will have a full fledged garden this fall.


Thank you for visiting my blog.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Hurricane Harvey

I remember all too well last year's hurricane, Matthew, that left the east coast with a lot o damage.  We were strongly urged to evacuate and we did.  The best reason for us to evacuate was that there would not be any police, fire, and ambulance service.  Both my husband and myself were under doctors care at the time and we still are so we might need for emergency service.

Also, the bridges from the islands would close when the wind reached 35 miles per hour, sustainable.

Before we left, I put low-lying books, decorations, cloth and clothing on higher shelves and tables.

We packed up some of our clothing, medicines, and vital papers.  We also took our cat with us.

We headed west and we had to drive many miles before we found a place to stay for a few days.  Actually, friends in Atlanta searched the Internet and they found a fishing camp, reserved a room for us, and told us about it.  We found it to be a wonderful place, peaceful and quiet.

As always, it seems that in emergencies, people come together and help each other.  I know that when hurricane Matthew came through, we had a lot of people help us and show their concern for us.  We are thankful for our friends and neighbors.

Stay safe.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

A Simple Pin Hole Camera

The Solar Eclipse on the upcoming Monday is fast approaching and I initially thought that I would watch it on TV, safely.  At this point, it is too late to obtain sunglasses and they may not be safe.  Well, a little bug bit me and I researched how to make a pin hole camera.  How difficult can it be?

Perhaps you will be able to see the eclipse:  This is its path across this country:

I found out that it is not difficult at all and the material may already be available in your household. Looking to see what NASA recommend, I found the following listing:

Two (2) sheets of white card stock
Aluminum foil
Pin or paperclip

Pinhole Camera materials

For the best instruction, see 

The way I understand it is that one sheet of the card stock will be put on the ground.  On the other sheet, foil is taped to the middle and a small hole is made by a pin or paperclip.  With this second paper, I should stand with my back towards the sun at all times, and hold the paper over my shoulder.  The eclipse will be reflected on the paper on the ground.

Step 4: Try it out

Thank you for visiting my blog.  Be careful on Monday and do not look at the sun.  Be safe.