Friday, December 31, 2010

Of Seeds and New Beginnings

Celebrate the New Year... fill out a seed order! Giant Mussleburg Leeks, Red Parella, King Tut Pea and OSU Blue Tomatoes from Annapolis Seeds...heady words...who needs Champagne!!! Well I guess, maybe one little glass if you insist )))

Spent part of the morning, looking through seed catalogues. It's easy to get carried away..... Do I really want to try Vicar Hulless Oats? Well yes I do!! How about Ziar breadseed Poppy...yup..that too! The Captain has discovered "the bread machine" and, unlike myself, who was never successful with the thing..he's cranking out bread every other day and GREAT bread at that! His latest success was Walnut and Raisin. So perhaps, if the oats and poppy seed are successful, we can use them in bread making.

That's the thing about beginning a new brings fresh opportunity, revitalizes us with new hope and fills us with anticipation. Can I grow it, should I grow it, must I grow it...yes yes yes! Don't ask me in August when the crop is a failure..right now I am convinced the New Year will bring great success and prosperity in the garden and I am holding to that!

Still...the year ends in success as well, and hope has turned to joy. The Narcissus, just today, has bloomed to welcome the New Year.

Wishing you all, a most Prosperous, Healthy and Happy New Year. Thanks for reading, commenting and sharing. Blog On! 2011, we're ready for you.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Holding The Holidays Precious

This is the first year, trying Narcissus in glass. I have attempted growing them in the past, propped with twigs and vine..all artsy. ...but they still looked kinda sad((((. Visited  Halifax seed  last week and was so impressed by their fantastic bloom display. Oh...could I do that????  Left feeling very inspired.

Found a tall twelve dollar vase at  Winners  ...added a few polished stones from a summer water feature, nestled the bulbs in the bottom, adding water just to their round ends. We are way too late for a Christmas display....maybe New Years? Goodness..the bulbs are growing steadily.

Regarding the carving...the Captain's first attempt ...white oak.... He says he is not artistic..  We were apart for a long time that year (him being at sea); he thought he would try his hand at carving this gift. Precious to me, the gift and he.

May your holidays be bright...and they fill you with light...and all that is precious hold you tight.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Mid December Harvest

Surely we are getting close to the day when the ground fully freezes and winter's snowy silence arrives. Twelve degrees yesterday, and it smelled like spring....instead of planting out, we harvested leeks. As it's the first year growing them, we were pleased they took to our soil. A huge thanks to N. for giving us the transplants; we're hooked and will try to grow them again next year. They really do look architecturally and bluey gorgeous in the garden and seem very resilient. Plus, they freeze beautifully and make a most amazing leek and potato soup.

The various greens were taken out of the veg garden a few weeks back, transplanted into pots and put under lights. I had no hand in this so cheers to the Captain as they are growing quite nicely and we might even have a decent salad shortly.

A few days ago though, I was sure that was it...winter was here. The garden still holds Brussels sprouts... I am anxious to try these lightly chopped, sauteed with some olive oil, bacon, onion and a sprinkling of caraway perhaps.

We grew a purple variety as well so it will be interesting to see if they hold some color when cooked. Growing Brussels sprouts in this garden was also a first. The mice like them a lot but to be fair, I should have staked year))).

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Fake vs. Real tree

Yes, every time we cut down a tree for Christmas, the baby trees are lost. Good point! Sad point really...and possible justification can only be found when we think of Christmas trees as a crop.

Nova Scotia is a North American top grower of Christmas trees. They provide income for farm families and huge pleasure to all those lucky enough to have the opportunity to experience the wonder of tromping through a woodlot, chopping down your own tree, lashing it to the top of the jeep (in our case) and taking it home to decorate.

Christmas Trees will be consumed by many folks who celebrate this time of year....but, is it valid to "chop 'er down". I find that a hard question to answer, not withstanding the cultural, religious, economic and nature's critter food value and okay...yes....there is the aesthetic argument.

This is the thing...the argument this year. I just didn't want to get up on the step ladder another year, trying to arrange lights and fuss with decorations because I'm not feeling as fit as I used to be. The joints are hurting; knees and especially one shoulder make a complaint. So I argued against a fresh cut tree this year and sadly won.

So it's done. We got the artificial...and after the smell of all the toxins left the house, it isn't too bad. WE decorated it together. I wasn't as tired and cranky as I sometimes get and it did come decorated with LED lights..good for the planet, right! In fact, if you didn't know it was fake, you'd think where did they get that big beautiful tree? No watering.... you can bend the branches almost perfectly to support the decorations, and there won't be a big cleanup afterward. Captain says laughingly, he will miss the big ball of brown dead tree in the back garden all winter after Christmas. Me, not so much.

However I feel the guilt of compromise and supporting plastic.

They make new hips and knees out of plastic though, don't they?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Holiday Joy

Joy...this time of year delivers)). Our summer is gone, beautiful winter is upon us... spring, just over the horizon!

The back door containers are filled with green trimmings from the garden. Do you do that? How the pots shine with red dogwood branches, the soil covered in soft moss. You remember the robin nest from early summer..well there it is tucked into the display. This should look good all through the winter so if you have a few mild days left, go outside, and get trimming! Your spirit will soar. Evening brings a soft glow that welcomes.

Days are busy making creative gifts, decorating and cooking. "My Indian Kitchen" was a gift received about ten years ago, and this year, I tried to replicate it....quite delighted with the results. "Introducing Indian Spices and Aromatic Seeds"...oh you can't imagine how wonderful the house smells tonight!

The container is from Lee Valley, a famous Canadian supplier of quality but good value goods. The applied cover to the spice box, is plain ole dollar store, a snipped down laptop vinyl peel and stick decoration. Same goes for the sparkly embellishments.

So how's holiday gift shopping or making going for you? If it's pressure, it's no darn fun. If it is a joy, then ...on the right path. If you don't have to do it...whewww...then that's good too!!

At our house, we have a tree (not decorated yet). We have some gifts to mail, food to plan and prepare. Cakes are made and in the post. So, this is all to say, it's been a busy few days and so that is why I have not contributed to blog.  Enjoy your December as we leave 2010...step lightly but happily into 2011. A new garden year awaits.