[gardeners] Lazy Day Saturday

George Shirley (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Sat, 10 May 2003 12:48:50 -0500

It's about 84F and very humid at the moment. We badly need rain but
there is only a smidgeon in sight for the next seven days. Consequently
the soaker hoses are running on a very light soak.

The grape tomato, the seeds of which were a gift from Pinetree Seeds, is
absolutely covered with little green maters about the size of a small
grape. The other tomatoes are covered with blooms as are all the chiles
except the latest planted sweet chiles. Some of the hot chiles already
have fruit about a half inch long and are looking good. The corn is up
about 4 inches and I've got the boiling pot ready along with some drawn
butter. Talk about anticipation!

The boysenberries will be ready to start picking tomorrow or Monday and
the peaches are ripening. We each had a fresh picked peach yesterday
afternoon. They're somewhat small but very tasty and sweet. There are
enough old CD's hanging on that tree to make it almost as attractive as
a bottle tree. Seems to work though as the squirrels aren't hitting it
nearly as bad as last year and the grackles haven't been around at all.
In all fairness though, the grackle population was decimated by West
Nile Virus last year, thank goodness as they are a big pest around here.

Speaking of West Nile, they started finding the mosquitoes that are the
vector for the disease back in March. We've all been monitoring any
standing water to ensure it gets drained or treated. I dump the bird
bath every couple of days and refill it to try and stay ahead as there
are no nearby natural waters for the birds. The jays, cardinals, and
mockingbirds are lined up around the edge of the bath every day so it is
serving its purpose.

The elderberries are starting to bloom so I'm preparing for making
elderberry jelly again. We enjoy the taste of it and I make a dozen or
more pints each year, some to eat and some to give as gifts. Looks like
the fig tree is going to produce a lot of fruit this year. Every limb is
laden with little green figs and I'm glad as we're about out of fig jam
and fig preserves. <VBG> I'm going to try making some jams and jellies
this year using Splenda and low methyoxyl pectin.

Tomorrow is Mother's Day and we will celebrate with our daughter and her
kids and grandkid, who are coming in just for the day with Miz Anne. I'm
preparing about half a cow into chicken fried steaks and we'll have
mashed potatoes and cream gravy plus home canned green beans, freshly
made dinner rolls, about 2 dozen, and a big apple pie I baked Friday
using fresh Granny Smith apples. This was my first effort at a lattice
top crust but it came out okay. The little piece I tasted wasn't heavy
so maybe I got close to Miz Anne's pie crust recipe. She sure can make
pies that are flaky and tasty.

Miz Anne is off doing a sidewalk sale at the local mall with her artist
group. Whole bunch of little old blue-haired ladies and my beautiful
wife are out on the sidewalk in this heat. Luckily I packed two very
large golf umbrellas for her to take along with her other stuff. I don't
golf but I'm always winning the things in raffles and as door prizes.
They've all got advertising on them but who cares, they were FREE! Ain't
useful free stuff great?

Miss Sleepy Dawg is trying to lure me into laying down for a nap and I
think she may be succeeding. A Happy Mother's Day to all you mother's
and a happy weekend to everyone else.