Thursday, March 29, 2012

Planting Anywhere The Soil Peeps Out

Got this from root simple...I LOVE THIS....Everyone should do this. Why should good food be expensive...and why should where you live look like poop when it could look like this.

Can you believe he is fighting the city of Los Angeles to keep his garden. Los Angeles requires that the area by the sidewalk be cut to two inches? Hmmm...the two inch areas nearby his home look like weed patches with adornments of litter. I Like His Much More!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Dead Dishwasher

Well....not exactly dead, but might as well be.  I'm at a turning point in my relationship with dishwashers.  I've committed to so many of them and they've done nothing but let me down.  It's not me I promise.  I really do stay with my appliances until "death do us part"!  But,  my dishwashers all start doing a lousy job after just a few years of doing an ok job, but never really a great job!  Yes,  I've cleaned them with all the no avail.

I've just about decided never again to buy a dishwasher.  Then....sometimes when the dishes pile up and I've a lot of other responsibilities demanding attention...then I think about getting a new dishwasher. 

But for what?  Just to be let down again?  I've also thought, "Maybe this is a nudge in the right direction.  You know, my decision to phase out appliances that perform chores I can do easily by hand or without electricity, like hang clothes out,  wash dishes, mix and chop things for everyday things....(I do use a food processor and mixer for the big stuff)....

Wellll....I've just about decided...No new dishwasher.

In case you don't know how to wash dishes by hand.  Here's a vid on how to, and which is better....By Hand or Dishwasher?  I think I know.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Too Much

Water is an almost daily factor to consider when living in Louisiana.  At least where I live the more extreme southern tip of Louisiana.  On the left is the Mississippi River, the other the Marshes, behind is the Intracoastal canal, and in front the Gulf of Mexico.  To get out of Plaquemines parish you must cross a bridge or take a exceptions.  It makes for a very safe Parish.  There's no where for criminals to run to!

But on days like this you not only have to consider the water you see everyday, but the water flooding the roadway, puddling in your yard, filling your shoes, DROWNING YOUR GARDEN!!!!

Really, honestly....I'm not complaining.   This is just what it means to live here!  I try hard, but don't often succeed in understanding the plight of those who live in drought prone areas.  I just can't imagine not having enough water. 
Water is life!  I know hurricanes and floods scare the heck out of people who aren't from the deep south..., but not having enough water scares the heckaroo out of me!  Often I've thought I would just love living in Wyoming...but when I think of the snow ....well....I change my mind completely.  Maybe that's how people from there feel about here and our hurricanes. 

It just rained over four inches in just a matter of hours.  The rain drops were so large that the few feet I ran from the front door to the car left me soaked.  If you've never driven or been in a Louisiana rain it can be pretty scary.  The above picture is of a culvert near where our drive meets the hwy.  In the fifteen minutes I sat waiting with Tera for her bus, I watched the culvert go from half way covered to almost all the way covered.  I wouldn't want to fight the current that was created from the rushing water flowing into that pipe.

So after getting the girls off to school I walked around the garden to survey what if any damage the high winds and heavy rains caused.  Not so much actually.  My only concern is that the sun may come out before the standing water has had time to recede and scald the plants.  It's still early in the year so it likely will not get hot enough. 
There's even standing water in the raised beds.  The heavy rains is another reason why raised beds work much better for me.
I have to look out for snakes while trudging through the flooded paths.
Eeeeks....oh well,  I think they'll perk back up soon.

....yep....It's drenched.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Todays Bento

Vietnamese egg rolls, fried rice, broccoli, soy sauce and Loquats (Japanese Plums).

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Around The House and Gardens & Gardening In The New Orleans Area

Here it is!  Warm weather is here to stay.  It's been in the high 60's at night and the high 70's during the day.  The rains have started just in time to water in all the newly planted seeds and plants.  The mulberries have ripening berries on them and the loquats are loaded with small sweet yellow plums.  These evergreen trees are some of my favorite if used right in a landscape and are great in a permaculture garden.

Really if you live in this area you should have tomato, eggplant and pepper transplants in the ground.  Corn, squash, melon, okra, beans, cucumbers, sunflowers, zinnias, marigolds, etc...should be planted by seed as quickly as possible if not already done. 

Don't bother planting carrots, cabbage, broccoli, collards, mustards, parsley, cilantro, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, garlic, onions, now, they all do best in the winter time here.  Our climate is very different from other areas, but once you start ignoring the majority of garden books and pay attention to the experience of local gardeners, your garden will fare much better.

Here is the loquat I love so much, with it's abundance of drippy sweet/tart fruit!
 Unfortunately we have killed two large water moccasins in our yard this spring.  I hate to kill any wild life, but I cannot afford to have aggressive poisonous snakes with my girls running around the yard.  These snakes do not always run.  They will stand their ground and challenge you.  Also they hide in unexpected places.  One was in the wood pile which my husband was organizing.  Fortunately he saw the movement. 

I also have found two skins.  Not sure if they belong to the two we killed or not.  We always identify snakes before deciding to kill them or not.  Most snakes are harmless, and we love to share our yard with them.

 Water moccasins or cotton mouths are abundant in our area.  If you want to get an up close one on one experience with the swamp and these snakes and gators, be sure to visit Jean Lafitte park off of Barataria and walk the boardwalk through the swamp.  I'm sure you'll see more than one of these fat snakes.
 The cilantro is seeding.  I just found out that cilantro and coriander are the same.  Here are the coriander seed forming.  I plan to save them for planting and cooking.
 Beets among the eggplant.  See the arugula seed pods falling over near the eggplant?
 The pergola area is surrounded by roses, clumps of chives, and apple mint.  I planted the apple mint in the path because it is so hardy and releases it's wonderful aroma when stepped on.
 The okra re-seeded freely.  I plan to relocate some of these seedlings and pull the rest.  I have planted my oh so delicious pineapple tomatoes in this bed so...the okra must move!
 The herb wheel is looking spectacular.
 The left bed is pole Lima beans.  The right is gypsy tomatoes and two types of cucumbers.
 Pink flamingos in the front garden.
 I planted the front garden up with a few begonias while the perennials get their footing for this year.
 My log that once was a bench is crumbling, so I planted some impatiens in the holes.  Once the log totally deteriorates, I'll make a Hugel Kulture bed there.
 Loving this rose my friend Connie gave me.  It was rooted from a rose bush that survived hurricane Katrina. 
 It's huge puffs of electric pink roses are riveting!
 A beekeeper put five hives on my property!  He's going to teach me how to care for bees!  So excited!
 My chickies are doing just fine.  I think they asked me to tell you hello!

Friday, March 16, 2012


Tera's Sixteen!
So we must have a big party!
You don't turn sixteen everyday!
So let's all pitch in!
Thanks Sister Debbie...I never could have stacked those cakes by saved me!
After placing some butterflies and flowers.....
...and a dolled up wooden "T" for Tera....We have a rather grand cake!
(O Yeah!  that cake is one yummy carrot cake with cream cheese icing)....O.K.  here's the food....'s disappearing fast.... do you fit 60 to 70 people (not sure exactly how many...maybe more?) in a small living room and kitchen?
You don't!   You move outside....
...and a garden filled with Tiki Torches and a fire pit is just perfect for was the weather! time for some games....Smell Cheese!
....Don't drop those Milton...your team is counting on you!
What a bunch of babies!
Happy Birthday to you!  Happy Birthday to you!  Happy Birthday Dear Teeeeraaaa......