By Carol Clark
Monday, April 25, 2011
Saturday before Easter and plans to work in the garden were thwarted by rain. Instead, I made our traditional birds' nests. We have made these for twenty-one years now. It all started when my daughter and I were part of a mom/tot preschool at Mesa State College. This unique program invited weary moms to come to school with their two and three-year olds once a week to get some much needed social interaction, (for moms, not for tots).
One of our moms had a special Easter party and made these delicious nests for the two-year olds. Moms were hooked. We still get together with one of those families, the Trowbridges, often. The kids will not let a single Easter go by without these treats. Even though the kids are grown, the tradition continues. I called the Trowbridges on Saturday to say Happy Easter and to make sure we were carrying on the tradition. Not to worry, they had already eaten most of theirs!
You can still make these for spring. This is a special recipe so hang onto it for years to come. You don't have to have kids to enjoy them.
12 oz butterscotch chips
15 oz Chow Mein noodles
1 cup salted peanuts
1 bag of Hershey chocolate eggs
Melt the chips over low year until smooth. Add the noodles and peanuts and stir well. Drop spoonfuls onto waxed paper and place chocolate eggs on top.
After MUCH experimentation the kids have determined that Hershey's chocolate eggs are the best for this recipe and may not be substituted with inferior eggs. They are usually very hard to find but City Market carried them this year.
By Penny Stine
Friday, April 22, 2011
OK, it's not a superhero, but it is kind of funny, if you're into sad tales of horticultural failure. I planted asparagus three years ago. When I bought it, the accepted wisdom was not to pick it until its third year. So I've been waiting.
For this??? Really? One, really tall purple asparagus spear. And one small and twisted one near the ground.
I have another asparagus plant a couple feet away that also produced one asparagus spear so far this spring. Good thing I'm not a subsistence farmer. I'd starve to death.
By Penny Stine
Thursday, April 21, 2011
I’m determined not to kill any of my baby plants this year, so I’m being careful about transitioning all the seedlings I started indoors. They go outside, but they sit in the shade. Unless there’s too much wind in the forecast, then they stay inside. Howie the guard dog is vigilant about keeping marauding rabbits away.
Last year, I fried most of my tomatoes to white little ghosties by putting them in direct sunlight on a bright, sunny day on their first day outside. So far, my babies have been out almost every day this week and they’re still alive. I also killed coreopsis, creeping thyme, catmint and lavender last year by putting them outside in lightweight seedling pots in the wind, which scattered them across the deck.
Starting on Saturday or Sunday, I’m going to place them in the sun for an hour or two.
In the meantime, in my east garden, I made the mistake of planting carrots in an area where both dill and cosmos self-seeded last year. I think I’ll be able to tell them apart, but I’m not 100 percent positive.
Anyone want to play my guessing game and try to figure out which is which?
Anyone who can correctly guess which pic is carrots, which is cosmos and which is dill wins free amaranth and zinnia seeds and (yes, there's more!!!) a summertime supply of parsley or dill!
Wow, does it get any better??
By Carol Clark
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Friday night was our first night for roasting marshmallows in the fire pit. The moon was almost full with not a cloud in the sky. It was a little chilly but warm by the fire and it made me excited for camping.
The moon was officially full Sunday evening but it was cloudy. Indians named the full moons and today we carry on that tradition.
April is the Pink Moon. According to the Farmer's Almanac, this name came from the herb moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring. Other names for April's full moon: Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and the Full Fish Moon, because this was the time that the shad swam upstream to spawn.
By Penny Stine
Monday, April 18, 2011
Because I plant in plots and clumps (as opposed to neat, tidy and well-marked rows), and don’t write anything down, I’m often pleasantly and mysteriously surprised when I see something sprouting in the garden.
I tend to forget where I’ve planted things, although I’m usually pretty good about remembering that I planted something in that particular area.
But I’ve got something coming up in an area that I don’t remember planting anything...
I’ve gotten free, aged horse manure from a co-worker for the last two years to add to my dirt, and I remember seeing a certain weed that I hadn’t seen before in my tomato patch, where I had used the manure. This tiny little plant looks vaguely familiar, like it might be the weed I inadvertently imported from the friend’s manure.
The good news is that if it’s a weed, it’s not coming up anywhere else, just in this particular corner. Which is why it could also be something I deliberately planted.
As for these little seedlings… I know I planted something, and they look somewhat cabbage-y, but they could also be radishes. Or Brussels sprouts that never came up from the seed I threw down last year?
Can anyone tell me for sure what either of these are?
I wrote this last week but forgot to post. After a couple of days growth, I’m more certain that the second pic is a radish. Still thinking the first pic is a weed – it’s growing way to fast to be something I actually want!
I planted radishes, carrots, lettuce, radicchio, quinoa, perilla, broccoli, kale and a flower called love-in-a-mist on Sunday, but of course, didn’t write or take note of where I put anything. That just means that as everything starts to sprout in a week or two, it’ll be like Christmas. And yes, I know I plant odd things, but what's the point of growing a garden if you only grow what you can find at your local grocery store?