Farm, Food, Funny, Garden, Health

Peas, Please!

Is it bad that going to the dentist this week feels like a spa treatment? You get to lay back in the chair and zone out for awhile, so that’s kinda like a spa, right? I think it may just be because this week has been so hectic that I just needed the 20 minutes it took for Sydni to clean my teeth (yes, my dental hygienist and I are on a first name basis) for me to re-evaluate my life. Now, my teeth are clean, my life is back in order and I can continue on about my business.
We got a few boxes in today.

We got a few boxes in today.

You know the smell of jalapeño that’s just been picked and brought in from out in the hot sun? That spicy, fresh, warm smell. Nostalgic. Probably because that’s the first thing I remember growing and probably what we’ve grown the longest. It would be a close race between jalapeños and tomatoes for what’s been grown the longest. It’s also a classic summer scent because I’m the salsa maker, so I am the one who usually cuts and cleans all the peppers.
I haven’t done very well at keeping up with everything that’s been growing lately, so I’ll give a quick update.
Sugar Snap Peas: the first thing that started producing, these are the sweetest little guys. And, I am obsessed. I eat them raw, steamed, every which way and they’re so good! And pretty too! Actually, I was on a delivery the other day and it was lunch time and I was crunched and couldn’t take time for a proper lunch, so I grabbed a bag of fresh peas to eat in the car. What I didn’t consider is that it is apparently a little strange to be eating snap peas while sitting in traffic. I finally did consider this as I was sitting in the car doing so and getting a few odd glances from the other drivers around me. Oh well, not the strangest thing I’ve done in public. Well, to be honest, my views of “public” places get a little bit skewed. This is being said by someone who found it absolutely necessary to brush her teeth at a semi-abandoned carwash one time. It really was absolutely necessary, it’s a long story, but trust me, it was. But, semi-abandoned means not public, right? So it’s okay? Who decides these rules of etiquette anyway? Is your car considered a public place when you are sitting in traffic?  Nevermind, look at these peas!
Sugar Snaps

Sugar Snaps

Cauliflower: I’ve never grown this before and we’ve ended up with nearly 10 heads of it. It’s one of my favorite vegetables so no complaints here. My favorite thing to do with it? Eat it with guacamole instead of chips. Did I mention that I’m the chief guacamole maker too? I wear many hats, I know. Really, though, I feel like instead of wearing salsa and guacamole making hats, I should just carry a dip making umbrella and forego the hats. Is everyone liking all my analogies today?
Pretty, right?

Pretty, right?

Broccoli: I’m quickly realizing that I’m just a veggie freak because I love this too. I’ve never successfully grown this before, so we’ll count this year as a minor success. A few of the plants flowered early, but we salvaged what we could. I have no interesting analogy, anecdote, or story of inappropriate “public” behavior for this one, the picture will have to suffice.
Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 4.20.02 PM
Raspberries: I’m pretty sure everyone is so tired of hearing about raspberries from me. I planted 8 plants last year and they are producing so abundantly this year. Last year, they produced some, nothing outstanding. So, this year, I wisely decided to transplant from the roots and those are doing beautifully. All 31 plants. So, let’s do the math. I planted 8 last year and they are now producing faster than they can be picked. And, there are 31 new plants that are thriving out in the big garden. So, just shy of 4 times the amount that I started with. No big deal. I cannot even imagine the bounty that those will be producing next year. Who wants to come pick raspberries? Any takers?
Screen Shot 2015-06-16 at 4.22.08 PM
I finally got all of the sweet potatoes in the ground. 105 slips total. We did 25 slips last year. I think I planted nearly 40 slips from a purple sweet potato. Want to know what a purple sweet potato tastes like? Yeah, me too. I’ve never actually tasted one. I went to the store and thought it sounded good. I mean, anthocyanins, right? I knew that’s what you were thinking, too, when I said purple sweet potatoes. You can never go wrong with anthocyanins. I don’t know why, when I was at the store buying the potatoes for the slips, I didn’t get an extra one to bake and eat before I planted a zillion plants of it. Pre-planning has never been my strong suit. But, I’m assuming, if you know me at all, that’s pretty obvious by now. If it wasn’t, the teeth brushing at the carwash should pretty much seal that up for you. On a positive note, Sydni (remember her, my dental hygienist?) said my teeth looked very good at my check up and that I should keep doing what I’ve been doing. Looks like that carwash brushing wasn’t such a bad idea after all.
{Personal note: I am not homeless. I do not regularly brush my teeth in strange places. It was a one (maybe two) time thing that was absolutely necessary. It should just be a sign that I am dentally conscientious and dedicated. And, sorry again, Mom, for sharing too much in a public forum. Wait, is a blog post considered public?}
Advertisements
Standard
Farm, Food, Garden

Honeyberry Heaven

Let me start off. I’ve never been good with directions. I get turned around, don’t pay attention, for whatever reason, I always get lost. But, I blame this on growing up in Arkansas. We have no sort of grid system, we have curvy little highways that run through the hills and small towns. So, if you don’t know where you’re going, you may not get there. I have been wanting Honeyberry bushes since I heard of them. And, it just so happens that the largest grower and supplier of Honeyberry bushes in the US is located a few towns over from us. What luck! Honey berries are similar to blueberries, but bigger and more prolific.

Berry farm

Berry farm

So, my dad called the place and scheduled for us to go pick the plants up. Never having been to this place, he asked the girl on the phone where they were located? During high school, I worked at my uncle’s drug store and when anyone called to ask me for directions, it was a disaster. And, the girl working at the berry place was apparently just like me.

That's her in the orange

That’s her in the orange

Dad told her he knew how to get to the town and what highway we’d be coming in on. We needed directions from there. Here are the exact directions she gave: “Drive past the guy who builds the little buildings and if you look through the trees, you’ll see a barn up on a hill. Turn on the little lane by the barn. If you get to the bridge, you’ll know you’ve gone too far.” See, this is how we give directions in Arkansas. Which bridge? Which barn? You’ll know when you see it. So, we drove and came to what I thought was the right barn. It was on a hill. But there were no trees. Nope, not the right one. We crossed a bridge, but there was never a guy building the little buildings before it, so that couldn’t have been right.

Not the right barn.

Not the right barn.

After driving around for about thirty minutes trying to find this place, we stumbled upon it. And sure enough, there was a little barn through the trees on the hill and a little lane. The owner later informed us, in a heavy Russian accent, that “Barbara runs the phone, so don’t call because Barbara is no good.”

The right barn.

The right barn.

When I was little, people always asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. I changed my mind all the time. And I’ve changed my mind again. I want to be this lady. She was one of the leading pioneers to bring honey berries to the US and she knows her stuff. She spouted off information about planting and growing and everything in between as fast as I could understand it.

Giving instructions

Giving instructions

I asked her how long she’d been growing berries. {Insert thick Russian accent here} “I grow berries in Russia since I was 9 years old. I’m 54 now.” That’s a lot of years of berry growing. I think I’ve got some catching up to do before I can be like her, but I’m getting a start on it. I’m not sure I’ll ever achieve that accent, but that’s okay, I’ve got an accent of my own and I’m fine with that. The honeyberries are in the ground and the raspberries look like they’ll be putting on blooms any day now. And, I’ve got the email address of the best berry lady in the land, so I think I’m set. Let the berry growing commence.

Standard