[gardeners] Monday In the Garden

George Shirley (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Mon, 28 Dec 1998 12:46:49 -0600

Got up early for a change this morning, we've been sleeping in while the
opportunity was there. Up at 0600, read the paper with the morning
coffee, then to the internet to see if anyone was alive out there. As
soon as the dew burned off, about 0900, it was out to the herb garden.
Pulled up the last of the mammoth basil and into the compost pile with
it. Did the same with the epazote as it is reseeding like crazy. I can
see I will have a chore next spring pulling epazote seedlings. Think I
will replant in a fence corner where I don't have to worry about it
spreading. Harvested enough rosemary, oregano, and thyme to get 3 trays
of oregano, 2 of rosemary, and 1 of thyme in the dehydrator. Will
probably harvest another 2 trays of rosemary and 3 or 4 of oregano this

The garden is full of nature's bounty, many cabbages approaching
perfection, broccoli ready for the third picking, cauliflower heading up
nicely. Our so-called collards did turn out to be cauliflower, the
weirdest plants I've ever seen. Shot straight up to 3 feet tall with
multiple leaves and no heads then finally started heading. The leaves
are, to me, better tasting than cauliflower, one of the veggies, along
with turnips,  I do not like the taste of  when cooked but will eat
readily when raw. Carrots are also doing well but the lettuce seems to
be lagging as is the Swiss chard. Probably will have chard, broccoli,
and fried green tomatoes for dinner tonight. Gotta do something with all
those green tomatoes we pulled before the hard freeze the other night.

Things in the greenhouse are doing quite well in my opinion. One yellow
pear tomato that Miz Anne set on the floor has croaked but I feel it
would have done well if on the shelves or hung from the rafters. Some of
the more tropical plants have curled leaves from cold stress but will
pull through as they have done in the past. If the potted tomatoes
continue to do well we will have to artificially pollinate them with the
old paint brush, they are showing signs of blooming. The potted papaya
tree lost a few leaves but put on more at the top. I suspect it will
never bear fruit as it may be a species that requires one tree of each
sex to make fruit and it is a loner, grown from seeds in the compost

We're going off on safari this afternoon, Miz Anne has a repeat
appointment with Ear, Nose, and Throat quack and then we will visit some
local stores we've never been in and some we have. We want to visit the
newly opened oriental grocery in Lake Charles and then on to Trahan's
Hardware, the only place in town that carries a full line of cast iron
cookware, sausage stuffers, etc. There's also a new garden store opened
that claims to carry lots of statuary and garden ornaments, may save us
a trip to the architectural salvage store in Houston (No, not really, I
love that place). We'll finish up todays tour at Pier One, a place we
both like and where I got my wool cap last year made from local sheep
and natural dyes by natives of Ecuador. We often find bargains tucked
away, particularly in bottles, that we can use in bottling vinegars, hot
sauces, etc.

Woke up last night about 1:40 am to a terrific thunderstorm with
magnificent lightening. Stayed up about an hour watching the lightening
arc across the sky and enjoying the rain falling on our somewhat parched
ground. Miss Sleepy and I fell asleep on the couch and Miz Anne must
have come in later and covered us up as we had the afghan over us when I
awoke. Watching lightening is one of my favorite things, it's free, it's
fun (when you're under cover), and it's spectacular. Life is good.