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Showing posts with label September. Show all posts
Showing posts with label September. Show all posts

Friday, September 21, 2012

Goodbye Summer, Hello Fall!

One of the great advantages of living on the South Texas Gulf Coast is that we have two growing seasons!  It is true that Spring gardens often get burned with summer heat that comes on fast, but Fall gardens can be so rewarding.  I planted new tomato plants about a month ago in containers that were shaded part of the day.  Now that cooler temperatures have arrived, they are setting fruit.  Squash and cucumbers went in a few weeks ago as well.  This weekend, I will plant some Kale, collards, bok choy, and lettuces.  If we have a typical mild winter, they will still be thriving until next Spring.  One year we had an unusual snow day early in December and I have photos of the greens frosted with snow which only seemed to give them second wind!  I love planting seeds.  When my granddaughters are here, they like to plant their own rows.  Our garden may be small, but it adds so much pleasure and of course, good nutritious food for our table.  I will add a plug for Baker Creek Heirloom seeeds, my favorite seed catalog.  www.rareseeds.com

Monday, September 26, 2011

It's Good to Be Back

We broke alot of records recently in Texas. June, July, August and right into September found us with the most days without rain, the most days of temperatures over 100, the most damaging wildfires, the highest water and electricity bills, and the least happy roses, among other plants and grasses. In an effort to be a better steward of the water we are blessed with, I started saving water that I had used to wash vegetables and collected the bits of leftover water from drinking and cooking to take out to the plants. I even took the iced tea pitcher out to water the ferns with leftover tea, something I remember my grandmother doing.

 Cooler mornings and more reasonable, if still hot days in the past week are bringing some old friends fresh growth and a few tentative blooms.  Our pink  Peggy Martin, the antique rose with the reputation of being a survivor of Katrina has a few small clusters of buds.  This less hardy climbing rose is named Crepescule, an old French old rose.  Its name is not so pretty, but the blooms that are beginning are lovely and fragrant, reminding me once more why all the work and watering is worth it, and that we all need a little more nurturing in drought, whether it is of the weather or the heart.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Headed for Fall, Remembering Summer

At the beginning of the summer, when the herb and vegetable garden was producing plenty to pick every day, Maddie and Skye loved helping with the harvest.  One day they asked if they could have a farm stand in the front yard.  They had the sign all ready to go:  Tomatoes were 50 cents each, bunches of Basil were advertised at 10 cents, and mint for 2 cents per handful.  Peppers were 30 cents, and underneath the large "OPEN and SALE!"   lettering was the enticing "1 Free Water with each purchase!"
A couple of neighbors helpfully shopped from their market, and they happily counted their proceeds as they chattered about how much more fun that was than a lemonade stand.

Now, at summer's end, I think about our long hot Texas summer with record breaking drought and am thankful we had those weeks of bounty before the garden said "no more."  I pick up the sun hats they wore that afternoon, and move the little round table to a spot until they are ready to use it for another project.  And as grandmothers do, I carefully put the sign in a good place for keeping. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Squash Baby

Sometimes a vegetable hides under its foliage until it is beyond edible.  Jordann found this yellow squash  and obviously loves it, warts and all!  Seeing her cradle it reminds me of a zucchini I displayed in the same fashion a few years ago.  I come from a long line of farmers. When I was Jordann's age, we often used surplus cucumbers and squash from the garden to make a menagerie of animals with toothpick legs and button eyes.  I still create with these fresh treats, but now it is in the kitchen. Today's produce prices at the supermarket are making me expand my list of vegetables to grow in the coming season.  Tomatoes are in and finally beginning to grow as temperatures come down from triple digits.  Soon we will plant collards, swiss chard, and bok choy which winter well here. When possible I find heirloom seeds and plants to use.  I am thankful for my garden, and I delight in seeing my children and grandchildren becoming gardeners, too.

Monday, September 7, 2009

July's finish, then the days of August have passed like bands marching by in a holiday parade. These days, going past in an accelerated rhythm, have not waited for me to get in even one August blog before the calendar turned to September. But September is a month for beginning again. So, as the children begin a new school year, and new vegetables go into the ground for my fall garden, I am back!

I have kept journals for years, and find this 2009 variation has many of the same considerations. One of my favorite authors, Luci Shaw, discusses some of the benefits of journal keeping. She mentions the collection jars we used to put lightning bugs in when we were kids and likens a journal to one of these collection jars! I like that. A journal, or a blog is a place to keep impressions or experiences so they are not forgotten.

"Such solace at a phrase just written down,
Relief that now it's firmly pinned in place-
An insect stilled that recently had flown
but snagged its wing in this dark brainy space
to be subdued, place marker for collections
of other airborne words, termites, or humming bees,
for me to sort and shift and make selections.
When the assortment's fixed the writing flies."

~Luci Shaw, in A Syllable of Water