Let's Get Dirty
A gardening blog for adults who still love to play in the dirt.
Send stories and pictures of your horticultural adventures to email@example.com.
By Penny Stine
Monday, October 25, 2010
I don’t consider myself a rodent, yet I have this compulsive desire to can, freeze, dry and store food up for the winter every fall. It’s almost like I’m a squirrel, hiding nuts for the coming winter. Or maybe I just feel slightly nuts when I spend half my spare time in September and October freezing, canning, pickling and drying.
I have to admit, I didn’t grow half of what I stored. The apricots for jam came from a co-worker’s tree, the green chiles came from Okagawa, the corn came from an Olathe grower who set up shop in the back end of a pickup near Cottonwood Liquors and I got most of my tomatoes for canning from Rettig Farms. The green beans for my jars of dilly beans came from a farm stand in Palisade, since my own green beans were too hard to find, hidden away in the corn and morning glory.
At least I used home-grown tomatillos for green salsa, garden-produced basil for pesto, froze excess spinach, Swiss chard and kale and managed to put pattypan squash in everything we ate all summer long.
Now it’s done, so I can smile, sit back and enjoy roasted green chiles, chocolate zucchini bread, home-canned peaches or frozen veggies all winter long. Nothing like seeing a shelf full of home-canned produce to make you feel like all that weeding, watering and nurturing was worth it.
And just in case a freak snowstorm shuts down traffic across I-70 for weeks and reduces the offerings on the grocery shelves, I’ll be ready! Especially if we have a strange craving for green salsa over peaches.
Monday, October 25, 2010
I am not sure of exactly where this picture was taken as it was forwarded to me. I only know its Western New York State. The setting is so typical of upstate New York, and of course, the clouds (normal weather) makes me miss home a lot. Usually its snowing on Halloween or even before. Talk about odorous aromas.....the concord grapes are now being harvested for Welches Company and for sale at the fruit stands. You all know what grape juice smells like, right? Just imagine driving past the vineyards in a aromatic cloud of grape....
Just looking at the pumpkin picture I can smell the cool, damp earth and leaves of orange, yellow and purple that have fallen. I used to say when it rained there it sometimes "smelled like worms." Gross but true. If you grew up in a similar geographic area - you'd agree because after a hard rain all the slimey huge earthworms would be coming out of their holes and crawling across the roads, driveways and sidewalks. I have to stop blogging cuz I am getting all "va-klemptd" about it.
This blog was written by Sentinel staffer Sue Buskist.
Thanks, Sue. I'm not sure what it means to be va-klemptd, but it doesn't sound like a pleasant state of being...
By Carol Clark
Sunday, October 24, 2010
The herbs are still going rogue all over the garden and, I am here to tell you, it makes the most delicious herb butter you have ever tasted. What a great way to take something totally healthy and turn it into a delectable glob of trans fat.
My chief chef, Olan, added a little rosemary, a clove of garlic, tarragon and parsley to the softened butter and let it set at room temperature for a couple of hours. We then placed a tad on our protein packed, barbecued salmon for an amazing treat. This would be tasty on grilled steak too. Yum!!
Anything out of the garden negates any fat that might be in whatever you mix it with.
"I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate."
By Laurena Mayne Davis
Friday, October 22, 2010
All gardeners know that the garden is not just a plot of earth in which to grow fruits, vegetables and herbs, but a soul-nourishing place to be, like an outdoor extension of the home.
I’ll miss the mornings weeding and harvesting, steaming cup of coffee in hand and a dog, couple of cats and clutch of chickens trailing behind me.
Spring and early summer were all about potential and planting, with the infernal foxtail only a distant threat.
Summer was the real work, weeding and watering, and finding new uses for zucchini.
Now, though nearly spent, the garden is still lovely to me in the honeyed light of autumn.
By Carol Clark
Thursday, October 21, 2010
More of a mental place than a physical one, the secret garden is the place you go to recharge, to rest and to grow.
In this garden you are the one who is growing and changing. Like a flower that pops up in the spring through the snow, you reach for the heavens and are warmed by the sun.
Growing stronger everyday, you may look awkward at first, lanky and unidentifiable. Some may think you a weed and even poke fun. But, after all, a weed is just a plant that is in the wrong place. If you keep stretching and growing (which can be painful), you will develop into what God intended - a bud, then eventually a flower. This takes a lot longer than you want but looking back it was really just a few weeks.
You are fully developed now and beautiful, but you never stop changing. As time wears on you may turn a little wilted and dried out, but as it always is with autumn, you are really just turning more beautiful than ever before.
Some may say you've gone to seed but those seeds are what feeds God's creation. The birds and even people, because every flower of tomorrow is in the seeds of today. Lying dormant, waiting for the next spring, new life beginning the cycle again.