Saturday, November 26, 2011

Three Quarters White Trash & Wild Turkey

DSC_2241_7178I have a road trip buddy that is Louise to my Thelma.  Louise - because I believe she is capable of shooting and killing a predator ala Susan Sarandon in Thelma and Louise.  She would also be smashing in a chiffon scarf driving an old T Bird.  Does that mean that I get Brad Pitt?  Louise is always very proud of her California Indian heritage.  It turns out that she is 1/4 Wukchumni Injun.  Doing the math associated with her genealogy, I concluded that she was therefore three quarters white trash.  I blessed her with this Indian name during our most incredibly unforgettable trip from Bakersfield, California to Custer’s Last Stand in Montana. Sure, they won the battle; but we won the war.  (Note:  Currently, casinos seem to be winning the war so it seems I was wrong.  They are now winning again.)  Today, we took off on a short road trip up to Glennville.  What a nice drive.  We ended up at the rodeo grounds at a craft faire.  No good.  We cruised on down the road visiting and laughing without any musical soundtrack.

A couple of years ago I went down Blue Mountain Road but didn’t go far enough.  Today, we headed down the road to find where it led.  The quail were thick, the cattle thicker.  We went all the way down to the end of the pavement – probably a dozen cattle crossings.  Just as I turned the car around and crossed the 1st cattle crossing going back toward the main road, there were a couple of wild turkeys perched up on the fence.  Tremendous.  Wild turkeys on Thanksgiving weekend.

I can’t tell if the turkeys are toms or hens.  If they’re hens, I wonder which one is Thelma and which one is Louise.DSC_2243_7173After that excitement, we headed back up to the Saddle Sore CafĂ©/Saloon for lunch.  Delicious.  It was a nice day to get out and enjoy a road trip.

When I returned, I transplanted more lettuce with plans to erect the make shift hot house tomorrow.

Hope everyone is enjoying these days of Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thanks in the Garden


Moon Flower seed pod.

Thanksgiving is about the best time of the year.  There’s so much to be thankful for and I have a list.


Boysenberry vines.

  • The sun is at a great angle where nothing is really burning up like it is in the summer – it only looks that way.  Thanks.
  • I’m grateful to be able to grow, harvest, prepare, and preserve my own food.  There are so many needy souls that have no clue how simple it is to live simply AND healthfully for so much less than it takes to live the processed food lifestyle.


I have no clue what this plant is calledHarmony Heavenly Bamboo?  If you know please let me knowThanks to Dorothy for providing the answer.

  • Some plants thrive in this garden.  Some plants don’t.  I curse those that give up and grateful that those are few in number.  Thanks for the hardy plants.
  • Plans are made but seldom do growing seasons go according to plan.  I am grateful that I can be flexible.


Fantasia Nectarine.

  • The smell and feel of healthy soil is still one of the best smells I know.  I’m grateful to have enough self discipline to not eat the stuff like I did as a kid. 
  • Thank goodness I can still bend down and work in the garden even though some days it’s very, very questionable.


Red Flame Grapevine.

  • There are many that make fun of where I live – Bakersfield (Oildale to be precise.), California.  I’m glad I live where I do and thankful that I can appreciate so many things about my home.
  • I’m real glad that I’m fortunate enough to have a super, duper camera and am able to capture images of the garden as it progresses.  It’s a nice reference tool for me.


Jarrahdale Pumpkins waiting their Thanksgiving Day fate.

  • You know what?  I’m really glad that I don’t have to post to this blog each and every day.  This is a nice thing to have and I’m glad that it’s mostly on my terms.  Thanks.
  • I’m thankful to the bloggers that are able to maintain a daily post.  Those are truly inspired people.


Home grown, fresh picked, newly pickled beets.

  • The endurance to survive “swamp pants” season is something to truly be grateful for.
  • I am so very grateful that the despicable season known as “swamp pants” is over.  I will enjoy this brief respite from perspiration.
  • RAIN!  Don’t forget to be thankful for the sweet, sweet rain.

Hope everyone will enjoy a great Thanksgiving.

PS – I still haven’t bought a new salad spinner.  Stay tuned.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Hop Along


DSC_2219_7149The Butter Bush Squash is coming along nicely since those pesky squash bugs left the garden.  The recent rain helps to keep the beds nice and moist.  But that danged moisture is very attractive to earwigs (aka earrywigs).DSC_2220_7150See the little darling cradled in the munched on squash blossom?  Jerk.  There’s precisely one gagillion just like this pestoid trying to take over the garden.  But…DSC_2217_7147

…there seems to be a large crew of mourning doves hanging out on the ground of the garden.  Most particularly, they enjoy the bed where the squash is growing.  This morning there were about a dozen birds picking at the ground out in the garden.  One particular dove has a bit of a handicap.  It walks like it’s trying to start a motorcycle with its right foot.  Regardless,  these birds are helping to balance out the good guys vs the bad guys.

Take a look at the video of Hop Along if you have absolutely nothing better to do.

Hop Along helps to keep the garden bug free.

imageHoppy says, “Eat your bugs to grow up big and strong.”  That’s swell.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Salad Spinner Advice


My current salad spinner is plastic.  The lid broke some time ago so all that’s left is the colander bowl within the plastic bowl.  Not much a spinner.  Not much of a colander.  I need to retire the beat up old system to the garden shed and purchase something new.  There’s a bunch to choose from but there are a few characteristics I would like to have:

  • Dishwasher safe.  Sure.  I wash pots and pans by hand but I really would like to have the option to pop a spinner in the dishwasher.
    • The last spinner I had had the disgusting feature of holding moisture in the lid and forming spooge.  Gross. 
  • Easy to store.
    • I’ve seen collapsible types which would store fine but do those types have flaws?
  • Lid seals to bowl.
    • Being able to keep a salad fresh as long as possible will help me get the most bang for my buck for the $3.35 spent on seeds.

I’ve looked online but might want to throw some cash to a local retailer.  Any suggestions are welcome.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Lettuce Give Thanks

I am thankful for the lovely rain and cooler temperatures.DSC_2208_7138

The recent sweet rain allowed me one morning without having to irrigate.  Imagine.  Having enough time in the morning to enjoy some buttermilk pancakes and sausages. 

All the lettuce is coming in nice and thick and ready for thinning.  Parris Island Romaine is sharing a row with Marville of Four Seasons.    The Romaine is solid green with long, crisp leaves.DSC_2210_7140The Marville is very similar in shape but it has a bronze tint at the tip of the leaves that aren’t quite as crisp as the Romaine.  It’s a nice combination.  Since it appears that most every seed has sprouted, I would like to try to transplant as well as thin the seedlings so that we can enjoy fresh lettuce all winter long.

If you’re looking to try to grow vegetables this winter (zone 8-9), lettuce might be an easy choice.  There still might be a few warm days left to help germinate the seeds.  Just keep the seeds moist in a sunny bed/location.  If a frost/freeze is predicted, the tender plants will need protection.  The Tule fog in the San Joaquin Valley will help to keep established lettuce moist from November – February.  Sandwiches, salads, and wraps taste better with just picked lettuce. 

Tip:  Drown just picked leaves to reveal any hiding pests like earwigs.  I’ll be shopping for a new salad spinner to help provide fresh salads.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Citrus Cafeteria


The trees in the garden are fertilized about every 6 – 8 weeks from the time they start blooming until the end of October.  However, the citrus continue to be fed (on a less regular basis) through the winter months.  Over at Chiot’s Run, Suzy in Ohio only feeds her Meyer Lemon 3 times a year - Valentine’s Day, Memorial Day, and Labor Day.  I was told that citrus trees were heavy feeders; so I looked up the recommendation at UC Davis.  Sure enough, 3 – 4 times each year is a good fertilizing schedule.  I must have been told by a fertilizer salesmen that a more rigorous schedule was needed. 

All the trees were fertilized on October 29.  2012 will be the year that I save money on fertilizer. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Come On, Summer. Let Go.

DSC_2221_7090Summertime is hanging on by some very thin roots.  Kind of like a guest that simply can’t take the hint to leave even when you turn out the lights.
The weather here has been like summer in most of the country…highs in the 70s with sunny skies.  Volunteer tomatoes and watermelons are trying to make a go of it.DSC_2222_7091The tomatoes are trying to reclaim the pea patch and the watermelon is trying to survive in the garlic bed.  I suspect they would grow even with shorter supplies of sunlight.DSC_2238_7108Even the remaining Gold Currant Tomatoes may find it harder to survive later this week.  By Friday, those warm temperatures in the 70s will give way to a rainy day in the 50s.  You can imagine my delight.  I’m hoping for loads of frosty, freezing weather to help kill any bugs on/in the deciduous fruit trees.  Farmer Fred has posted a nice checklist of things to do to get ready for winter. 
The winter garden is beginning to mature.  Radishes and beets have been harvested along with some stray green onions.  This might be a good weekend to pick the last of the tiny tomatoes and peppers and make way for more onions.
Summertime will be showing up way before I’m ready for it – just like that guest that can’t take a hint.