Saturday, July 19, 2008

Around the House and Garden

Once I hated oatmeal. Not anymore. Being a baby of the seventies I was fed anything instant- instant grits, instant potatoes, instant oatmeal....I have discovered steel cut oats from a Pennsylvania farmer's market, with Vermont dark amber maple syrup from a country store in Woodstock, and butter from Sam's, and Byron doesn't mind cooking them for 30 minutes. Oh so very very yummy. Nothing at all like pasty instant oats.
My antique pink crinum is blooming. These things get huge. I also saw them on vacation in the National Botanical Gardens in the rare and unusual hot house. It seemed like everything that grows well in New Orleans was growing in the rare and unusual hot house!
Here is my southern heirloom crookneck cushaw pumpkin that has long since escaped its raised bed and is zooming along the lawn setting plenty of small fruit.
This is a french heirloom melon. I am not sure exactly what type because it came in a variety packet. When it matures I will try to figure it out.
The figs are marvelously large this year. I adore the rich color of figs. They remind me of the aged colors used in a Rembrandt painting. Melons and figs make wonderful table decor. Place a few different height glassed candle sticks in the center, surround them with foliage from the garden, then place small melons and heaps of figs cut and uncut artfully into the mix. Light the candles, dim the lights, enjoy the smell and visual delight.
Here is a close up of one of the few Ponderosa lemons on my tree this year. It looks like a grapefruit. I have planted Ponderosa, Lisbon, and Meyer's lemons.
Here is a view of the front garden. Just to give you an idea of how fast everything grows around here!
The luffa sponge vine and the sunflowers worked perfectly to provide the chickens with shade this summer. They love to hang out there when the sun's hottest. Look how huge that sunflower is! It is at least 8 to 9 feet tall if it weren't hanging it's head.

Here is another view of the luffa sponge vine. See how large the fruit is getting. When I was gone my mother-in- law picked quite of a few of these while wondering, "Why did she plant cucumbers on the chicken coop?" Luckily after a few she realized they weren't cucumbers and stopped. The chickens did enjoy eating her error though. Luffa is also called okra squash, and if picked around 8 inches long you can peel, slice batter and fry. It is supposed to taste somewhat like okra. I haven't tried this yet. I grow them for shade and luffas!


Monique said...

SAVE ME SOME FIGS!!!!! I love figs. Also... if you make preserves... reserve a jar or two for me.

E. R. Dunhill said...

I stumbled upon your blog by way of "sustainability" among your interests. What a great site. I'm glad to see someone else with an interest in Christianity and sustainability.
I recently had a bit of an oatmeal renaissance, myself. While the oats are rolled as opposed to steel-cut, Old Wessex makes a great blend that contains oatmeal, flax seed, and some other grains. It goes great with some coarsely chopped pecans and a little maple syrup (if you've never had Grade B maple syrup it's worth trying, though it can be quite a bit more expensive than Grade A Dark Amber).

Kristi said...

NeeKee, I am going to can some tonight and your name is on one!

e.r. dunhill, thanks for stopping by and welcome to my blog. I know nothing about maple syrup. I'll have to look around for the syrup and oats you mentioned. I just feel cheated that I only discovered "good" oats recently. :)

Egghead said...

Those figs are so cool. I have never actually seen a fig growing before. I love how all of your plants seem to grow so fast and have become so huge. I especially love the luffa sponge vines on the chicken yard. Great idea for shade.

I am with you on the pasty instant stuff. I have always loved old fashioned oatmeal and now steel cut is my favorite.