Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pumpkin Patch

Ms. Sandy's pumpkin patch has so much to do.

You can pick out a perfect or not pumpkin to decorate no matter how old you are!
Then decorate it right there.
If you happen to get hungry from all the exertion there are barrels of satsumas to taste. Satsumas are sorta like oranges. Except they are sorta flattened, much easier to peel and break off into nice bite size wedges, but the whole thing will fit in your mouth if you have a big enough mouth!
O.K. what kinda decorations are in this little baggie?
Tera's chubby cheeked pumpkin.
Gluing takes lots of concentration.
Are those whiskers straight?
That is one cute little apple gourd devil.
Hmmm....I love those parents that allow their bunchkins to decide how the pumpkin should look!
Talia's pirate with glitter gold teeth.
Is that a pumpkin with legs? Yep!
Now for a hayride through the orchards and to the levee for a romp and a view of the river.
Forget the wagon! I'll race you back! I'm winning!
Oh well, that gives me more time to check out the orchards. Look at this huge grapefruit.
Here comes all the babies and old people in the wagon.
Babies like satsumas too!
Some of these pumpkins greatly resemble their designer!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Around The House And Gardens

A huge blossom from my Musquee De Provence pumpkin vine.
Finally, after languishing for months in the field garden, the pumpkins have taken off and are covered with beautiful squat green pumpkins. If all goes well we'll have more Musquee De Provence pumpkins than we can give away. Fingers Crossed! Musquee De Provence pumpkins are a French Heirloom vegetable.
There are still quite a few fall pears clinging to the tree. Thankfully there were no storms this year!!!
Green beans in the dew.
Another view of the green beans dripping with a heavy dew. The humidity has been so high this past week that just a few moments in the garden leaves me wringing wet and needing a shower. Happily we have had a recent two day reprieve with cooler temps and lower moisture.
The citrus is just about ready to harvest. My neighbor Sandy is picking Satsumas for her stand already!
These are purple hull peas grown from seed saved last year. I'm very pleased with the results.
One of it's beautiful large blossoms.....
.....and some baby peas forming! My husband thinks purple hull peas beat black eye peas hands down in the taste department.
Little winged creatures have been prolific in the garden lately. I love watching them.
This is a Gulf Fritillary Butterfly. Their host plant is Passion Flower vine or May Pops. Every year I have clouds of them emerge from the vines covering the back fence.
Eggplants are loving this weather and I picked 25 to 30 of them recently.
Zinnia buds.
Humming Bird Moth
A glimpse of the wasp nest I disturbed a few weeks ago and had 6 stings and an emergency room bill to show for it. It's dead now.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Inviting A Closer Look

This wonderful 1950's tablecloth came from an antique store in Lucket, Virginia. I can't resist the bright happy prints from that era. Evidently 50's housewives were every thing they were touted to be because this baby didn't have a blemish on it's heavy surface. Mine aren't so fortunate! I'll protect this one a little better.
It seemed the 50's borrowed forms from the Earth or the sky always glow with an unearthly color. Nope I've never seen daisies with aqua button centers except in some 80's wedding photos or poppies (I think) either for that matter. Maybe the atomic fascinations of the era influenced designers to veer in this direction. Regardless...I love the whimsy it evokes in me now.
It was a perfect backdrop to show off a centerpiece of pretty eggs in a nest of fabric scraps! The little aqua flower confetti embellishments invites you to look....
a little closer and notice all the different hues and textures of the eggs.
This front door urn that had been deprived of it's spring plantings became a perch for a small pot of succulents, a broken garden ornament and a dried sunflower head from the veggie garden. I like it so much I might forgo planting the fall flowers a little longer.
The potato vines, even though cut back severely, are making a vigorous comeback.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Using Veggies From The Garden

Never ever plant veggies your family will not eat. Gardening time is too precious to waste on things that you simply do not enjoy. Some things I'll never plant again are kolrabi, rutabagas, parsnips and radishes....and...that leaves time for all those other really great veggies that we just love!

I've been experimenting with different recipes that use the veggies from my garden. Sometimes that requires learning a whole new cuisine. This modified Asian beef stir fry contained pok choy, chives, cayenne peppers and green beans all freshly picked from the garden.
I'm always looking for new ingredients that I can grow. I bought the ginger root I used in this recipe, but there's some really healthy culinary ginger doing just fine in my garden right now. Next spring I should be able to harvest some
Other ingredients I bought were, ginger, beef, sesame seed, oyster sauce, garlic, soy sauce and sesame seed oil. I'm going to grow garlic this year and hopefully I won't need to buy that ingredient.
I cooked the beef and green beans first. Then I threw in the pok choy to just wilt it. Very yummy and worth the effort!
Now almost all of the vegetables, seasonings, and herbs I use for cooking I grow in my zone 9 garden. It's so easy and much more fun to go out and pick my own. Best of all it tastes worlds better than the well traveled grocery store fare.
Here is a list of herbs and seasonings I am currently growing:
Green Onions
Bay Leaf
Cayenne Peppers
Bell Peppers
purple jalapenos
Veggies I am currently picking:
green beans
bell pepper
Cayenne pepper
purple jalapenos
Soon to be picking:
Wax beans
Purple Hull peas

Monday, October 5, 2009

Where Have I Been?

This past week I traveled to Maryland to redo the flowers at CLC East Church. I'm really happy with the results and am hoping to learn that Bro. Libby the Pastor, who was out of town, is as pleased as I was. The colors and style really updated the building. They are in the process of building a new facility that is going to be spectacular.

While up there, in the few moments between work, I got to visit with my Sister, Niece and Nephew. Unfortunately my brother in law was out of town. Monique took us to a few wonderful antique stores in Luckett, Virginia. I bought a vintage 50's table cloth in pristine condition. Love it can't wait to show you. We also picked the best apples I have ever tasted right off the tree in Butler's Orchards. If children could eat fruit and veggies straight from the vine, plant or tree, I do not think it would be difficult in the least to get them to consume their daily requirements!

Here's just a few pics of the flowers.