2.26.2011

Planning

Sitting down this morning to soak in some garden knowledge!  I am figuring out what I want to plant and how to prune what I've already got.  I think I've decided that I'll start some seeds in the garage like I did two years ago so that I can plant them in the garden in late March.  This weekend, though, I will plant these directly in the garden:

Carrots
Potatoes
Onions
Spinach

I probably should have started earlier as someone has already told me that he has been enjoying his spinach and brocoli!  Oh well, we'll see how it goes.

The other veggies I want to plant this year are:

Tomatoes (I have only ever tried the small cherry tomatoes which I didn't like.  I want to try some larger varieties this year.  I also just found out that you should put a collar on the bottom of the plants to keep pests from climbing up which I have had trouble with in the past.  I will use a small plastic dixie cup upside down with a hole to keep those pests at bay!)
Peppers - Green, Red and Yellow
Zuccini (yum, grilled zuccini!)
Cucumber
Squash

I also love getting those wildflower seed packets and sprinkling a few in the garden and around the house.  Will definitely have to re-mulch our flower beds this year.  So off to the hardware store to see what I can find!  Also picking up some peat moss, vermiculite and manganese to add to the soil. 

This morning I am also remerchandising some stuff in our gift shop at work.  Another thing I love doing!!

2.25.2011

Bald Eagles

http://www.basic.ncsu.edu/eaglecam/

Really!  This is such a cool link, if you go now, like RIGHT now you can see the adult male/female with the two chicks.  They are being fed, looks like fish.  I try to visit the site once a day to see what they are up to.  The chicks have grown a lot and are starting to loose that puffy grey stuff and get more feathers and they are darker now. 

Also on the garden news, one of my friends suggested we tag team garden, we both have 18 month old boys, so while one gardens one can entertain the boys!  Such a good idea!  We are also going to work on keeping up an herb garden in downtown Beaufort with a super master gardener so I'm hoping to learn a lot this year!! 

Some yummy tomatoes from Summer 2009

2.24.2011

Sprigs of Spring

My favorite thing to do on the weekend when I have some time is search through all the flower beds to see what's doing what.  So far, I have seen tulips sprouting, my rose bushes are covered in buds!! (am I supposed to cut those back), daylilies are coming up, my mum transplants from the fall have taken root and made it through with new growth, daffodils are coming up but my never bloom (i think they are old), and my sedums are coming back in full force.  My hydrangea bushes look full of buds and my chinese maple is a little taller standing at about two feet now, wish it would hurry up and grow -  it's such a squirt!  Thinking of getting some of those tree spike fertilizers for our trees.  My forsythia is also budding.

Had to dig up two azalea bushes that the sooty mold got ahold of last weekend!  Need to do some minor landscaping along our front porch.  Hopefully I can pick out some plants that are shade loving for that area...the front of the house is north facing...any ideas?  I was thinking some kind of nandina, i really like the red and green leaves against our grey house.  Also moved a loropetalum bush to the fence in the side yard...not doing so well in front of the house.

Anyway - one of the volunteers from work brought me a sprig of Daphne from one of her bushes.  It is just starting to bloom and smells wonderful!  She is going to try to help me root a piece this spring! 



Have had lots of squirrels and morning doves in the yard along with starlings and sparrows maybe rooting for bugs.  Haven't seen many blue birds yet and no robins.  A couple of red headed woodpeckers came when we had snow.  I hope we will have some takers on our birdhouses this year!

2.23.2011

Yum!

We made this recipe last night that I found in Parent Magazine.  We used ground beef in ours.  Yum, it also had another way of making it with lamb and spinach or cauliflower.  Many of the ingredients could be grown at home!!  Quick and easy and can be frozen for eating later!

 

Here ya go!

 

Couscous Casserole

Servings Per Recipe 6 servings
Ingredients
·                  4  tablespoons  olive oil, plus more for the dish
·                  1  medium  onion, chopped
·                  1  tablespoon  garlic, minced
·                  1  pound  ground beef, pork, lamb, turkey, or chicken
·                  1/4  teaspoon  salt
·                  1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
·                  2  medium  zucchini or summer squash, thinly sliced
·                  1/4  cup  chicken or vegetable stock or water
·                  4  cups  tomato sauce
·                  1/2  cup  couscous
·                    Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish, optional

Directions
1. Oil a 1-1/2- to 2-quart gratin dish or any oblong baking pan. Heat the oven to 400 degree F.
2. Put 2 tablespoons of the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the onion and garlic and cook until just beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the meat and stir to break it up; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until the meat is no longer pink, about 8 to 10 minutes more depending on the kind of meat; set aside.
3. While the meat cooks, put the zucchini slices on a baking sheet, drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Transfer to the oven and roast until just tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degree F.
4. Put the stock and tomato sauce in a medium saucepan over medium heat and bring to a gentle bubble. Stir in the couscous and turn off the heat; let sit for about 10 minutes.
5. Spoon a thin layer of the tomato sauce mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan and top with zucchini slices and then a portion of the meat. Repeat the layers until you have used up all the ingredients, finishing with the tomato sauce. Bake the casserole until it's bubbling along the edges, about 25 minutes. Serve hot, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese if you like.

2.22.2011

Fresh Start

Wow!  Hi!  My name is Lindsey.  I live in Beaufort, NC and I am really excited about this new idea.  It came from a random gardening newsletter that I get through E-mail about community gardening.  The thought is to get together and rent out plots (we are lucky to have some flat space, not a ton) to other gardeners so that they can all share in what is grown.  In my case I'm pretty new to gardening.  Like, I know a little bit above nothing!  I have had a garden for the past two years and have struggled through two hot, hot summers with not much more than a handful of zuccinis and squash (which I pureed for my baby boy!!!) a few peas before the aphids attacked and some tiny watermelons.  Anway here's the idea!


I am new to gardening and would like to learn more from people in the community.  I am interested in meeting other gardeners in the area to share a bit of our property (off highway 101) - on a very small scale!  The idea is to create a community garden so that people could grow their own vegetables and flowers and share their passion for gardening with others.


We could create a few plots and raised beds that can be 'rented' or tended to for the growing season within our 1-acre property. There have been no problems with deer in the area.  It would also be cool to have honey bees eventually. Water could be collected from an on site well or from rain barrels that can be installed for watering individual plots.  I am also interested in starting a compost area. 


A cute idea is a plot of ground for a children's pizza garden with basil, thyme, tomatoes, garlic, etc. to be planted and tended by children.


So the idea would be for you “pay” through donations, seedlings or plants, time and knowledge to help share the cost, and risk, of growing the food. That way you share in the bounty from all of the growers.  This is a way to obtain locally grown food and get to know who grew it.


This is by no means meant to be a large scale operation, just a few locals getting together to dig and make things grow! 


I would love any comments or input or anything!  I am going to try to take time to update this blog each day with a thought, my progress, pictures, something.  I don't like to ramble on but I do like to share.  Come back and see what I've done!
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