Zucchinis or Squashes Setting Small Fruit? Absence of Bees May Require Hand Pollinating

More than the economy is falling on hard times these days. A potentially huge problem is looming for gardeners and food growers everywhere.

Zucchini FlowerI just had a friend share with me that, in her area, zucchinis aren’t setting full fruits. So I checked my plants and , lo and behold, found some developmentally challenged zukes in my own garden. Confirmed in newspapers and online sources, many zucchini and squash plants are setting miniature or quickly rotting fruits.

The reason? The decline of the honeybees is limiting the number of pollinated zucchini. This is because all squash plants (having a male and female flower) require outside aid for pollination […]

By |2016-10-24T09:56:35-04:00July 9th, 2010|My Garden / Recipes|3 Comments

One of My Favorite Recipes — Orange Salad

With all the anticipation of getting ready for my gardening season, I’ve been cooking up a storm testing new recipes.  Cait is always very happy when this happens.  As she was munching and I was preparing, we got to talking about favorite childhood tastes.  For me, hands down, it’s my mother’s Orange Salad recipe.  It’s so simple and refreshing.

Orange Salad Recipe

  1. Peel skin off several oranges, leaving a fair amount of pith (the white inner skin).
  2. Slice and cut into bite-size pieces
  3. Drizzle with a light oil of your choosing
  4. Sprinkle with sugar
  5. Chill for 1 hour
  6. Enjoy!

Do you have favorite childhood food?

By |2016-10-24T09:56:36-04:00March 14th, 2010|My Garden / Recipes|7 Comments

Garden Experiment 2009

It’s that time of year; hard frosts herald the end of my gardening year.  As I work to put my garden to bed until next spring, it’s a good time to take stock of the growing season. This year, with summer weather more typical of Ireland than upstate NY, and less time available for gardening chores than I like, my garden was more under Mother Nature’s charge than mine. The results were mixed.

As I review the different veggies that provided bounties or busts, I plan for what seeds I’ll keep and plant again, and what varieties I probably won’t add back in. In part, this decision is always aided by my annual garden experiment.

Every year, I conduct a garden experiment […]

By |2016-10-24T09:56:39-04:00October 25th, 2009|My Garden / Recipes|9 Comments

How to Grow Great Garlic

I’ve been growing my own garlic for about 15 years — all from my own bulbs that I harvest from year to year.  I don’t remember what possessed me to order my first bulbs from Seeds of Change way back when.

After all, garlic seems a slightly peculiar item to grow when they’re so plentiful and cheap at the grocery store. And even more peculiar to fall in love with. I’m not ashamed to admit it. I get a bigger kick out of growing my garlic than nearly all my other plants put together — and that’s saying something.

garlicscapesMaybe it’s because they are such strikingly graceful plants with […]

By |2016-10-24T09:56:39-04:00October 11th, 2009|My Garden / Recipes|10 Comments

Stick THAT in Your Happy Box!

Having recently gone through a growth spurt, Cait was in need of some new clothes. So off to the Mall we went.  We always concentrate our efforts in this one particular store, because we always have good luck finding cloths that fit and that Cait will actually wear.

The tradition is to make our way around each department — shoes, pants, tops, etc.– until, at the very end, we come to the fancy dress section.  This is where the fun begins.

You see, Cait has always loved playing dress-up and still does.  So the first time we came upon the glittering racks of evening wear, she thought she’d died and gone to heaven. When it didn’t occur to her that there was […]

On the Menu

One of my great joys in life is heading out to the garden to collect food for dinner. Weather like this simply adds to the adventure.

rain1

I’m usually very thankful for rain, but with all the wet weather we’ve had, it’s really slowing down some of the crops.

As you can see, my selection still mainly rests with cool weather crops.  Here, we’ve got some snap peas, a variety of lettuces, a bowl of fresh-picked raspberries, and a bunch of wild mint and red clover flowers.

what's for dinner2

Two of my family’s favorite summer treats are made with some of the above ingredients.

When […]

Gifts and Guests

As much as anything, what I love about gardening are the nice surprises — what I call the “Gifts” and “Guests.”

The gifts come from seeds that I didn’t intentionally plant.  Since I use open-pollinated seeds, and I save my own seeds from year to year, I’m always allowing a few plants to reach the stage where they can set their own seeds.  Invariably, a few of the vegetables don’t get harvested and wind up composting on the ground.  When I work the ground to plant the following Spring, those seeds get disbursed around the garden.

For instance, below, in yellow, is what I intentionally planted in this bed.  The tomato plants, circled in blue, were gifts that sprouted from last year’s […]

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