Friday, May 27, 2016

Memorial Day 2016

The Memorial day is a federal holiday in the United States and the purpose is to remember the people who died while serving in this country's armed forces.

On Memorial Day, fly your flag at half-staff from sunrise until noon.

At noon on Memorial Day, smartly raise the flag to the top of the staff.
Leave the flag at the top of the mast until sunset.
If you chose to keep the flag flying during the night, it should be highlighted  by a spotlight.

Honor and remember those who died for our freedom

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Simple Summer Salad

The yellow squash is still ripening in the garden and so are the various tomatoes.  We harvest the tomatoes before they are completely red and let them ripen on the kitchen table or where ever there is room available.  Unfortunately, bugs are also finding our tomatoes and that is one of the reasons we are picking them as early as possible.

The Memorial Day is fast approaching and it is time for family gatherings and picnics.  Here is a simple and delightful recipe for a simple summer salad:

Yellow Squash, thinly sliced
Red Tomatoes, cut in wedges or sliced
Cucumbers, peeled and thinly sliced

The above is a good start for the salad and it is fine to leave at that but I could not resist looking for a white onion in the garden to add to the salad along with a banana pepper.

White onion, thinly sliced
Banana pepper, remove seeds and thinly slice

Dressing:  Mix canola oil and red vinegar.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  
Fill a small container.
I usually let my trusted companion add the dressing and I do the same.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Yellow Squash Bread

One more season and again I am writing about squash in my blog and one more season, we have eaten cooked squash with onions morning, noon, and night.  The squash is still coming in, rain or sunshine.  I am actually happy (and blessed) to have this vegetable in my garden and this year it has been free of bugs and rots.

Here in northeast Florida, we have had a great growing spring season with cool nights, warm days, and a moderate amount of rain.  As far as yellow squash goes, my garden has produced much more than ever.

I made Yellow Squash Bread one batch, one loaf, at a time mixing the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in another after swishing oil around in the baking dishes as well as dusting the dishes with flour to prevent the bread from sticking when baking.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees C and bake for about 55 minutes

Dry Ingredients:  Mix 1 and 1/2 cups of white flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp baking soda, and a pinch of salt.  2 tsp of ground cinnamon will add a delicious taste to the bread.

Wet Ingredients:  Beat together 2 eggs, 3/4 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup canola oil, and 2 tsp vanilla extract.

Combine the wet and the dry ingredients in one of the bowls and carefully fold in 1 and 1/2 cups grated yellow squash (with skin and seeds).

I hope that you will enjoy your squash bread

Happy Gardening!
Thank you for visiting my blog.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Corn is in the Meadow

I prepared the 10 x 10 ft. garden plot for the Silver Queen corn by tilling and removing weeds and other debris.  It came out to be room for five (5) rows of corn with plenty of room in between.  In each row or farrow, I added commercial compost, Ironite (trace elements), and common garden fertilizer and mixed them together.

The farrow is now covered with soil and I need to make a small trench to sow my seeds of corn.  The Silver Queen is my favorite white and sweet corn.

I dropped three (3) seeds together in the new trench, about 2 - 3 inches deep, and about a foot apart.  When I finished with the sowing, I covered the seeds and patted them down gently with a garden rake.

The corn was planted the 2nd of May and yesterday, I removed all but one plant in each group.  I let the tallest and best looking plant stand.  At this time, the corn has shallow and fragile roots so I hilled each plant up and tapped the soil down with my hands.

At this time, I also made small trenches on each side of the corn so that I could side dress the corn.  The side dressing ensures that fertilizer does not get on the plants to avoid "burns" on the plants, any plant.

I am amazed that each seed germinated or so it seemed.  It helped that I watered the corn in the meadow on a regular base.  In about 80 - 90 days after planting, I should enjoy my Silver Queens.

In between the rows of corn, I had initially put down a generous amount of hay to keep the weeds down and after now hilling up the corn, I moved some of the hay closer to keep the tender plants moist.

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day 2016

Here at the Back Forty, we wish all the Mothers a very Happy Day.  We also want to thank you for all that you have done.  To brighten your day, accept the freshly cut Evelyn Roses from my garden.

Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Gardening in May

According to the Seasonal Planting Schedule for northeast Florida, we are still enjoying spring with cool nights and warm days but it is also imperative to get plants and seeds into the soil as soon as possible.

Silver Queen Corn:  There are many different kinds of corn, but we prefer the sweet Silver Queen at the Back Forty.  We plant them three seeds to the hill with a foot apart.  We amended the soil with commercial cow manure, Ironate, and garden fertilizer because we had previously planted potatoes in what is now going to be the corn field.

The seeds for the corn will germinate in 8 days and the corn will be ready for harvesting  in 80 - 90 days.

Clemson Spineless Okra:  We only sowed one row about 20 ft of okra after preparing the soil as for the corn.  The Okra will germinate in 10 days and will be ready for harvesting in 50 - 60 days

Sieva Butter Beans:. The Sieva Butter Beans are our favorite.  We prefer the Beans that grow 6 to 8 ft high and they need to be staked.  Sieva Bush Beans are also available and do not need any staking.  The beans will germinate in 6 days and will be ready for harvesting in 60 - 70 days.

Sweet Potatoes:   Recently, I could not resist temptation at the Standard Feed where they had green and beautiful Beauregard Sweet Potato plants and I believe there were 9 plants in the container.  I had to provide a new place for these potatoes and I planted them against the woody area so that the greenery may spread and cover the area.  Sweet Potatoes will be ready for harvesting in 180 days.

Southern Peas:  Southern Peas are also known as Field Peas and we are going to hold off on sowing them until the Spring harvest is complete and bare spaces are available in the garden.  The peas are nourishing but we will use them as cover crop which will be good for the soil, weed control, as well as water conservation.

Tomatoes:  It may be too late for regular tomatoes that require 60 - 90 days to harvest which will be in the heat of the summer which is the time that tomatoes do not do well; however, cherry tomatoes will do well (even in containers).

Happy Gardening!
Thank you for visiting my blog.