Tuesday, March 22, 2016

I ask you in whatever country you are in to pray for Peace.  

I ask you to pray for Peace in any language, pray aloud or silent.

I ask you to pray for Peace in your own religion or spirit.

Pray for Peace.

Thank you for visiting my blog.
Peace be with you.

Spring has Sprung

It was the first day of spring or there about and it was time for a road trip.  My husband and I headed down Tampa way to see some good friends of ours that we had not seen in a long time.  Their home was so neat and clean and so color coordinated.  No dust and no trails of garden dirt.  It really inspired me to do some serious spring cleaning.

 I deep cleaned our "Summer Kitchen" and it was amazing to wipe off the pollen on the window sills and everywhere else.  I cleaned the table and the chairs, washed the dishes, and scrubbed down the cooking area; however, the fridge had conked out so we had to get another one.

Hey, that's too much work: hence the road trip.

When we returned home after an overnight stay, everything was blooming.  While I had been cleaning, we had some rain and sunshine.

Now, the sweet Oregon peas are blooming and so are the potatoes.  The latter really surprised me.  I had to replant most of them:  they wouldn't come up.  But now they have taken off and colored my garden green.

The azaleas are in full bloom although they started way early on the sunny side of Back Forty.

We have gotten past the pine tree and cedar tree pollen when the so called trash trees are blooming and covering the ground white.  Atchoo!

The small violas are blooming and there is a mat of blue in the back yard near the summer kitchen.

I am waiting for the bees or other pollinating insects to come along and have some of the

Thank goodness, the coming days are to be a little cooler and it is time for some serious weeding.

 There is no point in pruning until the blooms on the azaleas are gone.

It is however time to gt the shovel out and dig out the weeds in the lawn to give the grass a chance to start growing.

Support the bloggers participating in the A to Z Blog Challenge in April.
Thank you for visiting my blog.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Most Nutritional Foods for your Money

After a hard day working in the garden, it is too easy to send out for pizza, go and get one, or pop one in the oven:  no cooking today!  We can always top it off with a scoop or two of ice cream.  Or who can resist the temptation of visiting the fast food with its run on inexpensive breakfasts?  I give in to temptation more often that I should.

Interestingly, the AARP Bulletin for January/February 2016 published "10 Foods with a Big Nutritional Bang for your Buck>"  This was in conjunction with articles about "food insecurities" and aimed to give low income people and seniors a better opportunity to eat healthy foods.

This is the list and cost per serving as of that month (my notes in parenthesis):

Carrots, 13 cents (available in my garden)
Plain, low-fat yogurt, 52 cents
Cottage cheese, 88 cents
Frozen peas, 23 cents (or any kind of beans that may be frozen, canned, or dried--from the garden)
Canned Salmon, 70 cents
Whole frozen turkey breast, 33 cents
Black beans, 43 cents (see frozen peas)
Russet potatoes, 50 cents (or any other potatoes)
Brown rice, 25 cents (or white rice -- little difference in food value)
Canned tomatoes, 25 cents -- a good deal (or from the garden)

The only problem I have is with the Brown rice:  There is virtually no benefits at all in food value.  Don't get me wrong.  I love white rice and black beans together.

For people without freezer, it would be easier to store greens such as collards, mustard, and kale which contain an abundance of fiber and vitamins and require a short cooking time.  You really don't have to cook the collards for hours and hours.  You may even eat these greens raw.

I find little difference in nutritional value between turkey and chicken.  Whatever is the beast deal:  the price is the game changer.

I any case, the possibilities of stew or soup with the above ingredients are plentiful.  With the turkey or chicken, left over bones may be made into soup by adding carrots, tomatoes, and potatoes or rice.

Thank you for visiting my blog.
Look for the A to Z Blog Challenge coming up in April 2016.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Spring Gardening

Meteorologically speaking, it is spring but that does not mean that all danger of frost is gone. The garden centers have vegetable plants and seeds available for cooler climate as well as warm spring days and nights ahead.  It is most tempting to buy more than needed but get what you like for planting:  you'll find space.

First on the garden agenda is to till the soil and add your own compost (or store bought) and prepare the beds by raking and removing sticks and other debris.  For sowing seeds, I usually aim for a smooth bed to make it easier for the fragile plants to come up.

After I worked in the compost and removed the debris I add fertilizer.  In the past, I have waited for the vegetable plants to get a good head start before fertilization.

Here is a list of my spring vegetables:

Snap beans, green or yellow, require 6 days to germinate and 50 - 70 days to mature.  There are many varieties of beans but I prefer Contender.  They grow long and slender, delightful for cooking when freshly picked and they freeze well for later use.

Squash and/or zucchini usually germinate after 7 days and are ready for harvest after 60 - 75 days.  These vegetables require much room to grow.  They spread and ramble.  It is best to thin out (or transplant, if possible) to avoid crowding. They also have a tendency to develop blossom rot that is a calcium deficiency.
I have added calcium, bought at a garden center, and followed direction on the package.  I still get the rot but I keep trying.

Tomato plants also come in a wide variety, hybrids and heirloom.  We have narrowed down the choices this year to Celebrity that mature in the same time frame and Better Boy that is supposed to be disease resistant and resistant to aphids and nematodes.  If tomatoes are sown from seeds, the germination is within 8 days and they are ready for harvesting in 60 - 90 days.

Oregon Sweet Peas or any sweet peas of your choice will need 8 days to germinate and 60 - 120 days to maturity.  I prefer the Oregon sweet peas with edible pods.  I love to go out and pick peas and eat them in the garden.  They cook up in a short time and they also freeze well for later use.

Eggplants are a must in my garden.  They usually come in trays of four and when mature gives us plenty for ourselves and to give away.  If sown, they need 10 days to germinate and 120 - 150 days to mature.  If you have a recipe for eggplants, let me know.

Happy Gardening.
Thank you for visiting my blog.