Evening glow in the greenhouse

Evening glow in the greenhouse
WELCOME TO MY BLOG! I am glad you found me because I hope I can be helpful or at least interesting for you to follow, be you a gardener yourself or just watching vicariously.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Diary 4/29/14

I am posting a picture of flowers for my friend, Prudence, who died today. She would like that~

Monday, April 28, 2014

Dairy 4/28/14

Heading into some record breaking hot temperatures over the next few days. The grass is getting so tall. We bought a new weed eater, small enough I can run it, oh boy!
 Eventually when we weed eat it dries up and doesn't come back. Hope it is this next time, but I also hope for more rain. Most of the lakes around here never filled this winter and some are only half full and usually used for irrigation in the valley. They are already talking water rationing in town and it is really drastic in Northern and Central California.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Diary 4/26/14

Look what is ready! The first crop is usually pretty small and sometimes mis-shapened from bug and a cold spring. This year they look nice and taste great, too!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Diary 4/25/14

Our first lettuces are finally ready to eat. That is about a month later than usual. I must be retired!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Diary 4/24/14

Fairy Bells will make it to the Wildflower Show! Not sure about Trout Lily or Hound's Tongue...

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Post Easter Eggs?

 What to do with those lovely eggs? There is deviled eggs, of course, and the old stand-by, egg salad sandwiches. Here is another option for what to do with those eggs we so happily dyed a dozen of.

 This year I made a basic brine of 1 part water to 3 parts vinegar which I heated to a boil, then added  two tablespoons salt and a tablespoon each of dried basil and dill seed. I let it cool and poured it into a glass canning jar, subsequently tossing in the slightly colored hard-boiled eggs for a good snack of pickled eggs that I don't have to eat right away as they actually gain more flavor the longer they sit in the brine. I don't plan to keep them forever, no thousand day eggs or anything, but it seems like another way to make use of the fun product we created last weekend.!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Diary 4/21/14

Busy weekend full of family and friends. Hikes on the "old road", morel mushroom hunting, a sunny egg hunt, and a hike in the mountains. Egg hunt went well with fun prizes, nice sharing, and not a whimper. I wonder how many eggs are still out there?
Now, we are a month closer to summer and the longer days are nice. I want to start eating dinner earlier and have that after dinner time to go back out to the garden to work. It is a peaceful time; no one is mowing, blowing, weed eating, or making machine noises of any kind. The road below is quiet with no traffic going by. The birds are busy, and sometimes I am joined by deer.
We are about to have a real rain event with up to 3 inches. This is extremely good news. I was at the top of our drainage yesterday and not only was there no snow, it was dry. Lovely hike at the edge of my ability to the saddle aptly named Goodview Ridge.
All in all, I am a lucky woman!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Diary 4/17/14

They are filming a video of a Formula One Ferrari on our road. Somehow they received permission from the county to close the road. I have not seen or heard it, but I guess if you stand outside when they are filming, you can hear it work through the gears at one hundred miles per hour on our picturesque road with plenty of winding turns. It is one of only three made of this specific car and  worth more millions than one can imagine for a bright red sports car. If I get  picture today, I will post it tomorrow. Meanwhile, trips down the road have to land in one of
the open opportunities, otherwise, you wait for an hour. The yard is green and now the Lilacs are blooming, so for me, Spring is officially here. Brought in another armload of asparagus yesterday. Most of my neighbors and friends are happy for our overabundance.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Diary 4/15/14

Tax day for many, I have never experienced the anxiety, just got it done. This coming from the person who usually get their driver's license on her birthday...Looking forward to a pleasant weekend with family and friends and wishing the same for all. We hope to go look for morels, especially if we get the little bit of rain we are supposed to be receiving tomorrow night. I did get up to look at the eclipsed moon last night. It was brown and muddy looking.
 I didn't stay up to watch it reappear which would have actually been prettier.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Diary 4/12/14

Another beautiful day. So happy to see bees working the cherry trees. The branches are not loaded with bees, but there are several in each area which is better than some folks telling me they have no bees
working their trees. Scary!

Diary 4/13/14

Following my grandson's example,
we made this cute birdies in the nest, farm version using straw instead of confetti. Fun, easy, and kept Garden Girl busy for half an hour, which counts for another increment in the day...

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Diary 4/10/14

It is not everyday that you wake up to a turkey on the roof of your car! After the hen

hopped down, she headed for the chickens making sweet chortling noises at them. I let them out to see what would happen, and the rooster immediately went after her and drove her away.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Processing Morel Mushrooms

It is that time of year, the short window when all the elements line up to provide one of Nature's most mysterious gifts, the morel mushroom. The soil temperature has to reach up toward the 50 degree mark. The atmosphere and the forest floor must be at least damp, but not soaked or too wet. Lastly, the competition on the forest floor must be scant. That is why these mushrooms are most easily found where there has been a recent forest fire. The fire not only eliminates crowding so the gnome capped fungus can push its way up, but also it sterilizes the ground so that no other microbes can beat them to the punch. It is pretty complicated. Add to that the mysterious placement of these mushrooms; sometimes they are in old growth forests, sometimes, they are at the base of Madrone trees, and sometimes they appear out of pine needles. It is quite an accomplishment to ever find them at all. I have enough that we had stroganoff,
 and now I am cleaning the rest for freezing. When you bring your mushrooms home, split them lengthwise and soak them in barely salty water to remove any mites that hide in the brain-like crevices. Rinse two or three times or until the water shows no debris. Then pat them dry. I freeze small packages for spaghetti, etc. I also freeze some on trays so they stay separate for other meals. I like to have some dried also because they last forever that way. Even the Iceman had mushrooms, medicinal, I think, in his backpack. Morels dry very quickly in a dehydrator. I love them chicken-fried using the flour, egg, seasoned flour method. I cook them to a light brown and then freeze them for a classy snack later. Just thaw and broil. If you have the opportunity to hunt these spring mushrooms and have success, Bravo! 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Dairy 4/8/14

The asparagus is popping up with the warm temperature. I haven't seen any asparagus beetles yet, but they are coming. Worked on raspberries today. Such a nice morning, but by afternoon, I had to get out of the sun, it seemed blazing hot though not even 80 degrees! Just not used to it yet.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Diary 4/7/14

With the warmer days, the bass are waking up hungry and frisky, chasing each other around and snapping at anything on the surface of their pond. I have moss and dead leaves to clean up, but they have enjoyed ducking into the muck to stay warm and avoid predators. Now it is they who become the stalkers, easing up on innocent birds bathing in the shallows...

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Diary 4/5/14

Now is the time to eat dandelion greens. Once they flower, it may be too late as the taste gets bitter quickly. The greens have all kinds of top of the line nutrients, Vitamin A, Folic acid, and the benefits of greens as anti-oxidants. Hidden in a salad, they taste like endive or radicchio, bitter, but interesting. If the flowers go to seed, other than making a wish and blowing seeds all over, the goldfinches will arrive to eat them.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Diary 4/3/14

In between the rainy spells, we have had some really warm weather. This coming week, the temps will be in the 70's for several days. The early wildflowers are in bloom now and will be finished by the end of the month when we usually have them for the Wildflower Show. May have to drive up the mountain to find what is normally easy to find. Hoping some fruit has set, and that we are not completely skunked in the orchard as far as having some fruit this summer and fall.
I always called this one Indian Tobacco, but that might not be PC these days, though enthnobotanically correct. Now I know it as Hound's Tongue.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Diary 4/1/14

Good germination on the money trees I started. Better than last year, I hope.
 Happy Day!