Dressed the Gardens

Another beautiful day so we got an early start in the gardens.  I watered the new plants, then Norman followed behind and mulched each tomato and pepper plant.  All the new plants look great and are taking to the transplanting without a hitch.  I watered the onions because they have very shallow roots and need to be kept moist.  I also watered the parsnips and new spinach because they are so small if the ground dries to a hard crust on top they can die.  Then I took my spray bottle of Bush Be-Gone and sprayed all the poison oak I could find.  Poison oak is not killed by Weed be-Gone or any other weed killer it takes the extra power of Bush Be-Gone to kill it.  When we first began clearing the area I found several patches of poison oak by getting into it and covered with the blisters.  I sprayed it each spring and any time I saw it throughout the summer.  Slowly I got rid of it but some of the area down near the large garden or the path between the house and garden still has some coming up in the spring so every time I walk down to the garden I cary my spray bottle and kill of the poison oak before it get 6 inches high.  At first I did’t know what it looked like so I sprayed everything that had three leaves or climbed trees.  Now I know some of the plants I had been trying to kill were good and some like the briars needed to be cut down by hand.  I no longer spray the Carolina Creeper, that has five leaves and climbs the trees, black berries look just like poison oak only it has thorns and poison oak is smooth.  I have learned the other plants too so they are safe from me and my spray bottle and there is fewer and fewer out brakes of poison oak because I get it when it first comes up in the spring.  Even when it is dead don’t touch it as the oil is still there, just give it a wide berth.

Norman replanted the cucumbers as only two came up.  Those and the zucchini  we had put in too early so got very poor germination so he replanted the hills that had no plants up.  Now the gardens are all planted and growing great.  The potatoes are starting to bloom so it won’t be long before we can steal a few small ones to have for dinners.  I cut the seed stocks from the rhubarb and those are leafing out very well now, I should have all I need this year.  The onions are large enough to eat as green onions and the spinach is large enough now to pick by the leaf for as much as I need- usually a pound is right for a meal.  We will be eating off the garden only very soon.  Have a great day.

About Carol (Ouma) Petts

I am a retired teacher. I have taught all levels from kindergarten through college and have been retired now for over 20 years. The last ten years we have lived on a farm and lived off the land, growing our own food and canning for our extended family. Now we have sold the farm and are moving to Florida to truly retire. I guess I have always had a short attention span as this is our 11th move. We have moved from a small farm in New Hampshire, to more city type living, small business adventures, focusing more on traveling, Florida living, Georgia, and Tennessee farming and now back to Florida. My blog is a way to keep my children up to date on what I am doing and letting them know I am still alive and well. My children are spread across the country from New England to Florida, Nova Scotia to New Mexico and CA and several places between, They let me know what they are up to by commenting on my blog but they are so busy with their own lives most times I have to assume " no news is good news". Now I are starting on a new adventure so will try to give daily updates until we get settled into a routine. Then I know even if I am getting older and should settle down I will start looking for some new and exciting adventure to start. Welcome aboard. Norman died Oct 30, 2017 so I am continuing the journey alone with the aid of my children, grand children and great grand children. At present I am living with my daughter and we are 7 in one house and cover four generations. We range in age from 7 to 85 and are finding common ground, we are living proof that multi generations can live and function in a three bedroom house if they really want to. Soon my grandson will have his house built next door so we all will have a room of their own except for the seven year old twins who by choice will share a room.
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2 Responses to Dressed the Gardens

  1. Shanti K Khalsa says:

    I love watching your garden grow! Here in NM we are colder and 3-4 weeks behind your season, so it is a preview of what is to come.

    I have such fond memories of eating from your rhubarb patch … so I finally planted my own. But it seems like no one likes those sour stalks like it did as a child. I’ll have to figure out how to cook it!

    Love to you both,
    Shanti

    • Hi Shanti. Here are two recipes I know your family will just love the rhubarb for. I can’t grow enough of it now.
      I have never liked other rhubarb pie but I love this one, your Dad says it is just what he remembers from his youth.
      Original recipe makes 1 9-inch pie
      4 cups chopped rhubarb
      1 1/3 cups white sugar
      6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
      1 tablespoon butter
      1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie

      Directions

      1.Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
      2. Combine sugar and flour. Sprinkle 1/4 of it over pastry in pie plate. Heap rhubarb over this mixture. Sprinkle with remaining sugar and flour. Dot with small pieces of butter. Cover with top crust.
      3. Place pie on lowest rack in oven. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and continue baking for 40 to 45 minutes. Serve warm or cold.

      PREP
      30 mins
      COOK
      1 hr
      READY IN
      1 hr
      30 mins
      The other I used at first is RHUBARB FLUMMERY, This is more of a sauce to be served with cookies or over ice cream or added to other recipes. Patty puts it with sliced strawberries and I use it in my salad dressing which I will give you later.
      Rhubarb Flummery
      1 1/2 pounds rhubarb
      1 1/2 cups water
      1/2 cup sugar
      1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
      3 tablespoons cornstarch
      Directions
      1. Cut rhubarb into 1/2-inch slices.
      2. Add water and sugar and simmer util mushy.
      3. Add vanilla.
      4. Mix cornstarch with a little cold water, stir into rhubarb.
      5. Cook, string constantly, for 5 minutes, or until thickened.
      6. Serve warm or child with heavy cream, a little extra sugar if desired, and butter cookies. Makes four servings.

      Salad Dressing:
      Whisk together 1/3 cup nice vinegar, I use Red Wine vinegar or rice vinegar but any nice vinegar will do and 1/2 cup olive oil. Add two tablespoons of the rhubarb Flummery and whisk well. The Rhubarb makes this a creamy dress that sticks well to the lettuce and adds such a nice flavor, it takes only a little dressing to dress a salad. I use it on lettuce based salads as well as potato or chicken salads- again use it sparingly, you should not taste the dressing itself it is only to enhance the flavor of the salad. The extra Flummery will keep in the refrigerator for a couple weeks or can be frozen until you need it.
      I found I can make the dressing just as well without all the cooking of the Flummery. I cut up what rhubarb I have, add 1/4 cup water, just so it cooks without sticking to the pan. Cook, stirring often until the rhubarb is soft and mushy. Remove from heat and cool. I use this for any recipes I want the extra flavor of rhubarb, I just add the sugar as I need it depending on recipe and use.
      Salad Dressing:
      1/3 cup vinegar
      1/2 cup olive oil
      Whisk together well and add 2 tablespoons rhubarb and 1 teaspoon sugar. Whisk well. You can use 1/4 teaspoon salt if desired. Put the unused dressing in a small container – This dress will separate more than the one with the Flummery but a good shake will mix it right up again. Don’t refrigerate or it gets too thick, it keeps very well on the table for several days.
      Hope this helps use up all your rhubarb!!

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