Wednesday, April 12, 2017

My Wild and Abundant Garden

I'm sitting here posting these pictures while listening to Carly Simon.  My 18 year old has a hilarious love of 70's music.  I'm not complaining.....  Here are some pictures to catch up on what's going on in the garden.  It has matured in so many ways.  I'll post plenty of pictures as we go, but here's a start.

My style of gardening is slightly controlled wild abundance.  Throw enough seeds in the garden and something is going to grow.  Different years yield different abundance.  Makes it exciting and fun.  My family isn't always sure what I am going to be dragging in.  The goal is to have variety and something maturing throughout the year.  Right now I am harvesting, beans, beets, carrots, asparagus, chard, collards, mustard,  a variety of herbs, mulberries, black berries, green onions..........................I'm sure I missed something.


I love to save seed.  These seed pods are from a Chinese green.  I bought the first seeds from Bakers Creek Heirloom seed Company years ago.  There has never been a need to plant them again.  I have plenty of volunteers each year.  I do save some seed each year.  Just in case!
 Two of my favorite bean varieties.  Taste and quality are two reasons I choose them, but honestly I keep coming back because they are drop dead gorgeous!
 Dragon Tongue Bean again from Bakers Creek Heirlooms.  These pods are gorgeous yes....but they taste really awesome too.  Even when you miss picking for a day and they get a little too large....still tender and yum.
 Golden Wax Bean, these are destined to become pickled dilly beans.
 Lettuce is seed too!
 Some baby carrots on last nights chicken dinner along with herbs:  bay leaf, parsley, rosemary and thyme.
 The front garden is starting to lose it's winter blues.
 My poor pecan trees...still naked as can be.
 The beds are getting a bit worn.  When they fall apart Byron will replace them for me. The banana trees are starting to perk up.  I even have a stalk of bananas forming.
 Mirliton (Chayote), ginger, garlic, cilantro/coriander  (saving seed).
 Swiss Chard, Green Onions, Cilantro
 My potted plants on the front porch.  I love these little bbs.

Monday, March 27, 2017


A lot has changed in my life.  A lot of surprising sudden changes.  But finally I am ready to return to blogging.  Really just sort of wondering is there anyone still out there?

Not that I blame anyone for giving has been a long time.  There were things that hit me from the blind side that I had to deal and cope with.  I'm not really sure if I am finished, but I am getting closer to the other side. Maybe one day I can talk about it.

There are some new things in my life.  I am a Grandmother.  This is my new little guy!

 Also some new baby chicks.  Eleven of them.  My sweet little hen was such a good setter!  So proud of her!  She also is a good little Mama to her babies.

But.....   Some things haven't changed....I still love Jesus and my family.....and I still adore gardening, chickens, frugality, cooking, canning, crochet, knitting, art, and a lot of other things.

I am looking forward to writing and sharing.  I just didn't have the courage in the recent past.  Just maybe...just maybe....this will help return the courage that sometimes I feel I have lost.  Although I must not have....I am still here!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Around the House and Gardens

My friend Beppi gave me these great pamphlets from the 40's and 50's on crocheting all those awesome doilies you see at garage sales, vintage shops and thrift stores.  Usually they're in pretty crummy condition or expensive.  With the help of the internet and tenacity I am teaching myself to crochet these crazy  feminine little things!  I am refraining from putting them on the arms and backs of the household seating.  I'm sure my husband appreciates!
 These books are in such perfect condition....but so fragile!  I have to be careful turning the pages.  I've thought about copying each pattern so I don't mess up the books.  I'd have to buy ink then....something I always forget of course until I need the printer.
 I did finish this doily.  It really is beautiful, but I brought it to Maryland and gave it to my sister NeeKee and totally forgot to take a finished pic.  Crocheting these old patterns is so much fun, and I feel like I'm channeling a little bit of what it must have been like during that time.  Pretty things were much more precious it seems.  My Mom told me my Grandmother had a friend make her a large table doily in the pineapple pattern for her table.
 So many of them.  I've started a Queen Ann's lace tablecloth since...It's coming along.....maybe pictures soon.
 We did take a little trip this is the girls walking down the path to the old Oliver homestead in Great Smokey Mountain National Park.
 There were thousands of these little butterflies everywhere!  I took this picture as we waited on the road for a stubborn bear to be removed by the rangers.
 These cute little barn swallows were timidly looking out at us.  Their mother was frantically flying around scolding us.
 When I got back the garden of course was a summer mess.....You don't want to see pics of that do you?  Here is a little of the bounty I've been picking.
 Here's some more....heirloom Cherokee corn and three different types of peppers:  Thai, Fish and Cayenne.  There's also cucumbers in the crock.  I'm hoping to make fermented pickles....we'll see!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Raccoon, Dragon Tongue Bean, and Around the House and Gardens

This little raccoon is one of three young ones living in our area.  I haven't seen Mom Raccoon lately.  Not sure if she's decided they are ready to make it on their own or if she met some other fate.
 Here's a recent harvest.  Even more cucumbers are coming in now and oodles of peppers.  See the yellow looking beans in the center?  Those are "Dragon Tongue Beans".  This is the first year I've tried them.  Highly recommended.  They are still producing in our heat!  All of the other beans are long gone.  I'm very excited to see how long they continue to produce.  You can buy seeds to try HERE.  Those are dill seeds in the little dish.
 Herbs washed and ready to dry.
 My crepe myrtle in the front yard is lovely as usual.  All of the summer blooming trees are blooming their hearts out.
 Close up....I love the electric blossoms.  When the wind blows it looks like pink snow falling.  One area of a street in the New Orleans Bywater neighborhood is lined with them.  The street is carpeted with pink blossoms this time of year.  Surreal.
 Lovely Lovely Pride of Barbados
 My fav crepe myrtle  "Natchez"  It's branches sweep almost to the ground with heavy blossoms.
 Yep, the garden is a little rough this time of year.  Always is.  The heat takes it's toll on humans and plants alike!
 But the peppers love the heat.  They are producing like crazy.  I'm cooking with them like crazy!  This is Fish Pepper.  It is an African American heirloom.
 Crook Neck Cushaw.  A favorite pumpkin of Cajuns.
 Melons!  This is an heirloom.  I forgot the name.  I need to look it up.
 Lemon Queen Sunflower.  Pale yellow blossoms, stands about four feet tall.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

How long should cabinets last anyway?

 After 19 years and much use....I had to replace my much loved and hated cabinets.  After Katrina we painted our old cabinets and prayed they'd last five more years.  Eight years later (and much fixing and shoring up) we finally said goodbye to them.

I know 18 years for cabinets doesn't seem long.  Really, I don't think that's so long.  Cabinets should really last a lot longer...but our cabinets were very thin press board....really funky cheap cabinets.  Considering the quality...I squeezed everything I could out of them.

Thanks to my dear friend Carla, I was able to get my new lovely cabinets.  Solid wood cabinets.  Yes, I am hoping to get many more years out of these.  Time will tell the tale.  I do think they are lovely.

 Oh yeah...granite counter tops too.  I'm so paranoid that my black iron pots are going to break it...eeep!!!
 Love my new buffalo check curtains.  Yep...that's a pineapple tomato I grew on the window sill.  I mean, I grew it in the garden it's just sitting on the window sill.   It weighs 1 pound  2 ounces...yep I weighed it....can't wait to eat it.  My fav heirloom tomato.

I really love the porcelain apron sinks, but I'm afraid I'm a little to rough for them.  I love to use black iron pots and I'm scared they my chip the porcelain.  So I got a new deep stainless steel sink instead.  I think it will last a long time.
 My lovely April Cornell table cloth.  I find them frequently at T.J. Maxx.  Seriously cheaper there....$16.99. I think the round ones are $50.00 on the website.  April Cornell table cloths are the best.  They wear well and wash well and look beautiful.

OK this may give you an idea of what my cabinets and stove used to look like.  I liked it then too....but my new cabinets are really snazzy.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Around The House and Gardens

Egg Yolk Cherry Tomato...Sweet and seems as if the bugs ignore this tomato.  I wonder if it's because it's yellow.  
 Front Garden....The flowers are generous!
 The shell ginger is blooming like crazy this year.  I love the purple lorapetalum, variegated ginger and the orange tithonia together.  They are in the bottom right and corner.  Green, yellow, purple and orange.
 Lovely Althea
 My side garden is wild...and I love it.
 This is the first year my pineapple guava has formed excited...I will report on them.
 L.S.U. Gold fig... my current favorite!  They are large and yellow.  Very juicy and taste like honey.  The best for eating right off the tree.  I also have L.S.U. Purple, Celeste, and Brown Turkey.
 Little cantaloupes are covering the vines!