Monthly Archives: May 2012

Throwback Thursday: Is There Anything As Cool As A Cucumber?

Throwback Thursday: Is There Anything As Cool As A Cucumber?

Is there anything as cool as a cucumber?

Cucumbers are just happy plants to grow. They’re so enthusiastic about things. If you have a cool spell, they’re  okay with that. The heat gets turned up, that’s good with them. Rainy spring? They love it.

Really the only thing they may, perhaps, look sideways at you about is if you fail to give them a drink. Cucumbers are lushes, they want a drink. No, they need a drink! But, even with the extreme drought we had last summer, the cucumbers were fine as long as I remembered to water them in the morning and not at night.

Originally from India, cucumbers are now grown on every continent, except Antarctica. (If you live in Antarctica and are growing cucumbers, please let me know) You know after I said that, I’ll bet the scientists in Antarctica do grow cucumbers. Hmmm (Great, now all I can think about is Antarctica)

In case you missed it, I love cucumbers!

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Ketchup Part Deux

Ketchup Part Deux

I’m caught up in ketchup at the moment.

Do any of you say catsup instead of ketchup?

Yesterday I fully intended on giving you at least six recipes for ketchup, but it all went pear shaped. I have been trying to find a plugin that will allow me to easily add and categorize recipes. I thought I had found one, only to be chuffed on the chin when I found out you could only add one recipe per post.

As you know, I usually have a theme and then fiddle with the variations of that theme. This generally results in three or four or a lot of different recipes related to the theme. One recipe per post isn’t going to work for me.

So, while the Parsnip continues to research every plugin ever available for recipes, I’m going on my merry. The Parsnip, while a scoffer, is also the computer geek extraordinaire. If it’s out there, he’ll find it. If it’s not, he just may write it.

In the meantime…more ketchup…err….catsup….um….you know, the stuff in a bottle that you get with fries.

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Ketchup?

Ketchup?

So here’s the thing; I seem to collect obscure information.

For example, did you know carrots were originally purple, red or yellow? It wasn’t until the 1600’s that orange cultivars started to be pulled up. (Get it because you pull up carrots?)

See, obscure, some (the Parsnip) would say,  useless information.

Ooh fancy French carrots!

But it’s not so useless when you know that the reason people preferred the orange to the purple, red or yellow, was because they had tougher roots that held up well for shipping and long storage. If you grow white, purple or red carrot today, you can attest that these varieties are much more tender than their titian brothers.

Today, I am not talking about carrots.

Today, I am talking about ketchup.

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Memorial Monday

Memorial Monday

Memorial Day 2012 Lest we forget

Memorial day always makes me think of Tressie Taylor. Tressie was not a veteran, she was married to one, and she had six brothers that all served in WWII. This is the reason I think of Tressie.

Immediately following 9/11 my brother, Paul,  returned to active duty in the Marines. I knew in my heart it was the right thing for him to do, but I was scared and somewhat heartsick nonetheless. One day I was up at the church building on some errand or other and I stopped in to see Tressie as she was folding and sorting clothes for the clothes pantry. Tressie was responsible for clothing many, many people in Brazoria County.

She and I folded quietly for awhile, we had run through the “small” talk of homeschool, tantrums, sewing and such. Tressie was easy to be quiet with. What I mean is, she was the kind of person that you could just be with and not feel like you had to fill in the space with chatter. I hope you know someone like this.

After a few minutes of folding and sorting you get lost in your own thoughts and musings. This is when Tressie put my worry in perspective. Tressie changed my prayers that day.

“I know you’re worried about your brother. I had six brothers in WWII. Only two came home. It’s not that I didn’t grieve, but I know that my brothers were believers. They loved God and they served Him faithfully. I’ll see them again.”

From that day, until this, my prayers changed from constantly asking for his safety to continually requesting restoration of his soul. He knows the truth, and chooses not to acknowledge. Don’t get me wrong, I still pray for his safety, I have just added that he might travel the road to Damascus.

Oh good gravy, I’ve gone and gotten all preachy again.

On this Memorial Day. I remember…

Those that have fought and died in foreign lands…

Those that fought and came home, but never really came home…

Those that served without concern for their personal safety so that we could enjoy ours…

I also remember Tressie. She served God faithfully. I’ll see her again.

 

Paisley Plant of the Week: Queen Anne’s Pocket

Paisley Plant of the Week: Queen Anne’s Pocket

This year I am growing an adorable little melon that truly deserves to be the Paisley Plant of the Week.

I’m speaking of Queen Anne’s Pocket Melon.

On the vine…Queen Anne’s Pocket

These diminutive 2-3 inch melons are grown for their fragrance instead of their flavor. The flavor is rather bland, but the smell is incredible. The fragrance, so enchanting, women would carry these in the pockets of their dresses.

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Stuff You Missed in Botany: Plant Nutrition

Stuff You Missed in Botany: Plant Nutrition

It was time to feed the melons. They said, “Thank You!” They’re so obedient and respectful when they’re little. They have rewarded me with loads of beautiful flowers that will blossom into a protrusions of melon sweetness. So, I’m more than happy to give them a springtime snack with they’re drink.

Plants get nutrients from the soil, but they also get some goodies from the rain and some plants, like legumes, get nutrients like nitrogen, from the atmosphere. Plants also change the energy the get from the sun into nutrients using the green pigment called chlorophyll in the process of photosynthesis.

So, what are the nutrients that plants need?

Plant nutrients are broken in to two categories: macronutrients and micronutrients.

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Throwback Thursday: Mustard

Throwback Thursday: Mustard

You may be hard pressed to find a more “Throwback” plant than mustard.

It’s been used and written about for ages. I love it for about a dozen reasons. (No worries, I’m not going to name them all).

  1. Mustard is easy to grow.

Pop a little seed in the ground, water, wait. Ta Da…mustard. I grow it for the greens, most of which are given to my in laws that adore them. My oldest son and I tolerate them but like I said, mostly they are given away to Roger and sold at my veg table. I don’t have any trouble getting rid of all I grow.

Mustard...easy to grow.

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Please, Fence Me In

Please, Fence Me In

Last week, and now again this week, has been all about the fences.

Here are a couple of trellis solutions for cucumbers, melons and tomatoes.

Last week I spent an inordinate amount of time fixing the pvc with netting that was my shoestring cucumber trellis from last summer. I contemplated replacing it with the new, easy, but much more expensive fencing I’ve adopted for the melon beds (and everything else it seems) but opted to keep it in place. If it’s not broke, don’t fix it, right?

Pvc and twine, time consuming but costs less than $5

I’m pretty glad now that I didn’t because I was able to plant some marigolds, tansy and borage in the center, on the ends.

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A Mystery on Monday

A Mystery on Monday

A dear friend from church gave me a plant I need a little help identifying. She told me it thrives in any soil but prefers morning sun, then a more shady afternoon. I’m thinking it’s a Caladium culitivar? Can you identify this plant? If so, please drop me a line!

Caladium?

Oh, and my neighbor across the way gave me some Four O’Clocks a couple of months ago, this morning I see they are beginning to bloom. They’re pretty. Ours is a symbiotic relationship, I give Billy fresh baked Rosemary bread, he gives me flower tubers. Win-win!

Four O'clocks in bloom! Thanks Billy

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