This holiday weekend is one of my favorites. Not only does it usually coincide with my birthday, it’s a wonderful time to reflect on the great folks who gave their life for our freedoms. We owe a lot to our military veterans and it’s always nice to honor them.
It’s also a favorite weekend because it’s usually filled with delightful Americana activities such as puttering around the garden, grilling out, picnic-ing & boating with friends and family. Nothing like enjoying our freedoms and reveling in a bit of leisure!
As I plan out my menu for the grill I was thinking a fresh caprese salad (my basil plant is going crazy!), grilled asparagus, potato salad, kabobs and maybe cupcakes. I searched on Pinterest to find some interesting recipes and might try something new with a zippy Southwestern potato salad and a grilled balsalmic asparagus recipe. Usually my potato salad is very mustard/mayo based and I just grill asparagus with butter, salt & pepper. Will have to give these a try.
Those of you in warmer climates (or with greenhouses) do you have any garden produce ready to eat this weekend?
I don’t know about you but where I am, Iowa, has been unseasonably warm this week. So I’ve got the fans running and had to start up a summer-y drink. Enjoy:
I made today’s drink with some berries I’d washed, sliced & frozen a week ago. But I also planted my berries yesterday so hopefully soon I’ll be making my strawberry lemonade with fresh berries — mmmmhmm.
Besides being delicious, this drink also looks pretty nice so it’s a good one to use at bridal showers or baby showers or patio parties!
I couldn’t wait to crack open my latest issue of “O magazine” because the cover shouts “Oprah’s new farm!”
For those of you who haven’t read it — she is growing produce on 16 acres in Hawaii organically. Her farm is producing 145 pounds of food a week she shares with others.
I was thrilled to see this article. While I don’t believe the media powerhouse herself is out deadheading and weeding, I think this type of feature really brings the food/health/gardening debate to the public. With a circulation of 2 million+ for the magazine alone, a bunch of people were just exposed to gardening and small scale farming. And it was good information! Not just the fact that she’s growing to add nutrients to her diet and reduce the amount of food flown into the island, but she’s sharing food with her neighbors. She, and her team, are nourishing her square of land and making sure the soil gets good food. Here are some other highlights of the article:
It encourages growers to prep the soil before planting.
It discusses the problem with much of today’s produce lacking nutrients because of growing in soil that is nutrient-depleted.
It encourages using natural fertilizers & compost.
It encourages green cycling the clippings/leaves.
It encourages cover crops to keep weeds & erosion away.
It encourages plant rotation for pest management.
These are all topics not being discussed by a lot of mainstream media so I was thrilled. What do you think? Do you think the “Oprah effect” will be good for growing/gardening/small scale farming?
As much as I love growing and pollinators, pollen has been my personal enemy for as long as I can remember. My allergies were insufferable, especially in the spring or at garden shows. I’ve blogged about this before actually and asked for advice from fellow allergic gardeners.
So I had to share that I’ve made huge strides in fighting the allergy battle! I’ve been getting acupuncture for allergies and I have never felt better in the spring! I’ve had 3 treatments so far and go back in a few weeks. He sends home some herbal supplements for the meantime. It’s crazy to me to be able to breathe out my nose. I don’t have the severe pollen headaches either!
People have asked if acupuncture hurts. It does NOT! It really doesn’t even feel like much when the doctor puts a needle in. Once they’re in my arms & legs & 1 in my temple, I fall asleep. He comes back in, takes them out and off I go.
Have you tried acupuncture? What have you tried to help allergies?
These beautiful amaryllis are from Longfield Gardens — I won the bulbs and planter box via Facebook. I think the varieties are Elvas & Vera. They have just been gorgeous for weeks. Each bulb has had two stems and each stem 4 blooms. The blooms are marvelously huge. Everyone that has come in my house the last few weeks has commented on how beautiful these babies are. And because we’ve had such a chilly spring so far, it has been lovely to have a spot of color through the dreary cold!
Neighbors — you can’t live near them and you can’t live without them. Or something like that.
You work super hard to make your lawn and garden look beautiful — or at least beautiful to you — and then some thoughtless neighbor ruins it. Whether it’s from chemical overspray or keeping their yard unkempt or leaving their yard waste for you, what do you do? Do you have a polite way of handling it?
The neighbor to my north spent most of his weekend trimming trees he then left in our communal creek and blowing his leaf piles into our yard. In this photo you can see some of his work. The property line runs just to the left of the tree on the right. So now my rock bed has piles of leaves (and the green bits are debris from his evergreen tree trimming) that I’ll now have to blow back into a pile. He also blew piles of leaves into the street, as if everyone else wanted them blown into their yards.
I’m not a confrontational person. I KNOW I’d say something if my neighbor’s sprayed chemicals that blew into my yard but how do I handle this? Is it worth saying something? Or do I just keep cleaning up his messes? This is not the first time (in the past he’s actually trimmed trees and thrown the branches into my yard) so it’s fairly clear he doesn’t care what I think.
Help, garden-loving friends, tell me how to proceed, short of building a giant fence? How have you handled annoying neighbors?