Over the fence chat for 7/8/01 to 7/14/01

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Beyond the Sidewalks : One Thread

Whoops!! I 'bout went to bed and forgot to start this thread for the week! Got my head in the clouds planning this trip to Kentucky and getting to meet Sharon and Cindy....now where did I put that darn garden sunbonnet?!

Hubby just told me he's sent away for some winemaking and brewing catalogs - he wants to make his own wine. We may be asking for advice here soon, when the catalogs come in. I'm not much of one for alcohol other than a couple of Tom Collins and my yearly Margarita to toast the Summer, so I won't know if it turns out right or not. Not sure I would trust Hubby's judgement on that either, he buys the kind of wine that comes in a box!! Dang, I already went a pulled up my peas, so no pea pd wine. How about tomato wine? Looks like I might have a bunch of those in a few weeks or so. And don't anybody even MENTION the "S" word - I'm still not over them yet!!

Well, I'm pretty whupped and I've still got my so called packing to do, so I'd better get with the program!

Have a fabulous week!

-- Anonymous, July 08, 2001


Pea pod wine! You and David and Kim must have a lot of pea pods! Mr. S. is ready to make cherry wine from the bounty this year (just coming on) plus we have a lot of rhubarb, too! Tomato wine just doesn't sound like anything I would be interested in, but you never know!!!

We just got back from another weekend of camping (how I could ever consider myself a *homesteader* is beginning to make me wonder! Thank goodness our neighbors take such good care of stuff here. They just left for a few days, so I get bunny...did I mention three new litters?..., dog, cat, horse, and garden maintenance in return!)

We had glorious weather and great views of the sea, up the Straight of Juan de Fuca and down Puget Sound. Ate a few hotdogs, played a little nerf football, and read a lot of magazines!

Now back to getting the fall vegetables started, the wool scoured, wine and jam made, the perennial garden continued, and a plan in place to get Mr. S. to make a porch swing.

Ah summer! It's finally here...actually a little early. Our Pacific N.W. summer officially starts on July 11th ! Glad it goes until October!

-- Anonymous, July 08, 2001

Pea pod wine?? Must be nice...we never have any pea pods left since we grow Sugar Snap peas. My problem is keeping my 4 yr. old granddaughter from eating all the pods right off the vines!! Rhubard wine sure sounds interesting. I'd like to know how you guys manage to get away from home for more than a day. Our summer here started around mid-May with all the 90+ degree weather. The last few weeks or so have been more normal (75-80). Garden is doing fantastic. But how come whenever I plant my different bean varieties to mature about 2-3 weeks apart they all seem to catch up with each other. Then I have tons of beans to take care of in the span of about a week!! I do have all my strawberry jam made, now just waiting for the blueberries to ripen for more jam...who knows...maybe blueberry wine!!? I usually buy a 22 pint case of blueberries for about $8.00. Been doing some Mackeral fishing here and there. The "big ones" aren't in yet, but it wont be long. We love the cold water fish!! Hope to catch some good-sized stripers...after we get brave enough to take our boat out further!! Seem to be fighting a battle with potato beetles this year. Finally resorted to using rotenone dust on the plants which seems to be working. We plant only red Pontiac potatoes...excellent for canning. Hope you guys all have a good week!!

-- Anonymous, July 08, 2001

One year, we had an especial largesse from Nature in wild blueberries. I made wine with some of them, made about a gallon of a burgundy type and oh! it was delightful!! I buried the leavings in the garden between the rows, and fancied that I could hear the flowers swaying towards each other and hiccupping gently at times.

I have books that have recipes for tomato wine I do believe, if you can't find any anywhere else. (I wonder about GREEN tomato wine, after last year! I must have had at least 60 lbs of green tomatoes) There are recipes for making wine from practically anything that grows in the garden that can't run away from you.

I planted a big long row of double-flowered daylilies the last couple days. They are well-travelled plants, some that Joy and I dug up to thin out her bed at her old house about 10 years ago. I hauled them to my house that I had at that time and planted them there. When I moved out there, the timing was very inopportune, and I didn't have a bed prepared for them, but it was possible the house would sell over the winter, so I went ahead and dug them up, put them into boxes, flats, and bags, and hauled them home.

Winter closed in on us sooner than planned (well, I was planning for 50's until Christmas....nevermind that it has never ever done so in all of recorded history around here...). Not knowing what to do with them, I left them in the semi-heated garage for the winter. There they sat, unwatered, until abruptly in about March I started to see these pallid green strap-like leaves waving out of the forgotten and languishing boxes...oops. Quick with some water. But it was too cold to even take them outside (still freezing) for a month or so. When I finally took them out, I was too busy to plant them and parked them on the side of the driveway and tried to remember to water them.

They sunburned. They recovered. They dried out. I watered them and they staged a ressurrection. They sat and baked on the asphalt, periodically drying out (more oops!) and periodically getting watered....well, now they are getting ready to BLOOM. Daylilies have my vote as one of the Cast Iron Survivors of the decorative plant world. I decided to reward their perserverence by uncovering the area I put black plastic over last year to kill the grass and weeds and plant them.

I had a clump of the original orange type that sat on top of a plastic bag alongside the barn for the better part of two years without being planted. I would occasionally douse them with water when I went by, but there they sat through summer's heat and winter's -30. And they too BLOOMED. Eventually I did reward them with planting too. Not being ingrates, they declined to die to spite me and thrived instead.

Haven't had any more guinea pig round-ups in the night lately (not that I mind!), but those babies have figured out my role (Big Feeder Lady) and have amazing lung-power for such small bodies. They can really belt it out -- WHEEP WHEEP WHEEP WHEEP!!!!! When they think that they have heard the sound of the clover bucket (I cut clover, grass and dandelions for them. Cheap feed for sure.), or even possibly the rattle of the plastic bag that I keep the hay in. (even if I'm just brushing off my jeans!)

The raised beds are looking fantastic. I've gotta get one of those recyclable cameras and take pictures (my old trusty has finally decided to turn tempremental after 25 years of service with only a battery change once!!! Olympus OM-1. I highly recommend them.) of it before we have a mice or grasshopper invasion or something. It's a picture right now.

I planted tons and tons of Nagoya Red kale -- that's one that is usually used as an ornamental, but I find that I like the flavour of it cooked better than of some of the more 'rugged' kales (like scotch kale....it's kind of like chewing a cooked sponge!) and a milder and more pleasant flavour. Also, the critters (rabbit and 'pigs) like kale, more cheap food for them as well as a good source of vitamin C. I usually steam it and serve with butter -- does anyone have any ideas on other ways to serve or use it (other than make wine out of it I mean!! :-D)? I also have some ornamental cabbages going that are looking magnificent. Unfortunately, critters should not eat cabbage, but I am looking at them and wondering about cooking them up ultimately -- any suggestions on that? I'm wondering if they are too rugged for sauerkraut (they're all green and open, don't form a ball at all), perhaps for stuffed cabbage leaves...?

The leeks are coming along. Grocery store prices for them have topped $5 a pound, so I'm really looking forward to leek and potato soup this fall. Between using the black paper and intensive planting methods, I pulled out *two* weeds today from all 8 raised beds. Whoo- hoo! For those of you who are weeding-junkies, maybe it won't give you your fix, but I've got enough else to be doing (I can always move daylilies, establish new paths and bark them, or whatever), and if I want to take out aggressions, there are always the horse stalls.

Did any of you get a great moonrise tonight too? It came up looking just huge -- I'm wondering if that is an optical illusion -- over the pines and a magnificent golden-orange. Saw it over the Wisconsin River with the moonlight on the water...just gorgeous!

-- Anonymous, July 10, 2001

I love daylillies, too...just getting into them. I now have three kinds and almost can't wait until I'm dividing them up and wondering who to give the surplus to, too!

Anyone have a recipe for grass-clippings wine? ;-)

-- Anonymous, July 10, 2001

But I don't waaaaannntt to rake the grass clippings!

Oh, sorry, I thought you meant grass clippings whine. :-)

-- Anonymous, July 10, 2001

Ha Ha!! You guys are just tooooo funny!

-- Anonymous, July 10, 2001

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