Home Grandma's Blog

  Being a gardener is a choice that has served me, my family and many others throughout the 40 years of my experiencing it.  Some of my favorite memories of childhood took place in the garden,and most of my favorite recent memories take place in the summer garden especially!Just constant discovery and reward that we can rely on for seasonal foods, and even year round provisions.

Gardeners form relationships with their growing space, whether it be planting boxes or square footage on the earth, and when you find what works for you, it becomes an experience you choose to follow for 3 or 4 months each year.

I definitely suggest an herb box, as even an old wooden box filled with Thyme, Chives, Oregano and most certainly Parsley, yields flavor perhaps year round if you decide to dry the herb for winter use.  This simple effort can save upwards of $50 dollars or more a year,when you think of current herb cost not to mention the quality of using your fresh, and freshly dried and properly stored and used herbs.  .

    We are so fortunate to be a part of this incredible style of life. Discovering the value of growing our own.  The challenge, the reward, sometimes taking many attempts to achieve, and you know what hooked me  is the FLAVOR. Every single gardener shares this marvelous experience, whether a simple spot of herbs in the window or a large area, perhaps a cold frame,  growing is contagious, growing is rewarding, and once you grow and enjoy the fruits of your labors’ you are a gardener for life!  Whether you rely on your garden or the neighborhood Farmers’ Markets’ gardens,  you understand value, and quality, freshness, and standards and see to it that you and the ones you love share in the blessings of the harvests each season.

  Gardeners are interested in jobs accomplished, keeping the dining, the very best, at home, letting family and friends in on the very freshest and best quality throughout the seasons, and making available for all, the highest quality produce with the freshest presentation available from your garden effort or the neighbors garden or at the local farmers markets.  This is the life I choose, and as we face the challenges of the winter and spring . please indulge my ode to the gardener,

I love to grow in every season

so if you have a gardeners heart

grow herbs for the obvious reason,

grow a houseplant or two

and before winters through

plan the spring to brighten and please ‘em ,

carrots and beets

are her favorite treats

and peas and beans are his hope,

as the spring emerges and the sun shine warms,

the seeds through the soil,they  will poke,

then  once again on a  day next May,

the garden will be on its’ best display

and as the peas are ready for pickin ,

second round of beets go in,

and carrots too, we will never be blue,

as the garden is the space we want to be in:-)

  Stay positive and stay planting!

Add a comment
User Rating: / 5

  Just heard from my son, and daughter-in-law in PNG, that Papua New Guinea, and found out that he has Rhubarb in his garden:-)

 I was quite surprised, but so happy to share some great recipes.

I have enjoyed Rubarb for many years, and had never  had Rhubarb sauce until my mother-in-law

served me some with vanilla ice cream and a sugar cookie.  I was impressed, and we had a great

conversation of how we love Rhubarb,  how as a young mother, she enjoyed the earliest harvests of

young stalks and making sauce, then canning some, made for tastefull surprises, mid winter, and

held promises of spring each February, before spring really arrived. I share her experience, as we all do,

those of us that like Rhubarb, that is.

I love that memory, and share it with all my family, and some how I think Gladys, that was my mother-in

-laws name, and she  passed so young at 56,  knew that the sharing of that day would continue and somehow

bless her children and even her grandchildren, even though she wasn't there for all of my childrens births.

Neat lady, and she smiles down on us now, knowing that  those simple times, those simple conversations, live on and help us still:-) 

This is a terrific  treat, to top ice cream, have on shortcake, or just a spoonful for a quick lift. 

Rhubarb Sauce: 

3 C. 1/2" slices of Rhubarb

1 1/2 C sugar,  you can adjust by a 1/4 C for your particular taste,     mix and let sit in fridge to soften and release juices, over night

Place in heavy bottom pan, and set to simmer, and bring to a  simmer SLOWLY  adding 1/4 t salt.

When sauce is soft,  and of correct and desired texture, and I like it pretty creamy, you can add a dash of cinnamon, or vanilla

if you prefer additional seasoning. Then ENJOY:-)

 We also get creative and add a bit of berries or pineapple sometimes. 

 I really love this fresh and admit I just freeze packs of sliced Rhubarb and make it

throughout the season with the frozen packs.  But a few years ago, I was reminded why, we folks can,

the power was down for many days and we didn't know when it would be on, thankfully it was only 6 days,

but a freezer, needing electricity, is definitely at risk in these occasions, so maybe this year will be my

first year of canning some too, as I have bunches, and bunches, and have frozen many portions.

I hope you will try these suggestions, and have those conversations, and get together occassions for sharing

your creations:-)

Just share your labors of love, they last Generations and make the family that we need and want,:-)


Add a comment

We are always able to enhance our dishes with  available dried herbs, at ever increasing prices, but just try fresh parsley, basil, sage, thyme, cilantro or any of the other flavors you prefer and you will be experiencing the highest quality, at its peak of flavor and value.

  Herbs are enhancement to rice, vegetables, soups, meats, cheeses, breads, virtually unlimited in their versatillity.  Try a windowsill herb garden, with marjoram, e-z leaf celery, and parsley, I like a large windowsill to begin with, 4-6' small pots with tray and I also place a layer of polished gravel in the tray and seat each pot into the gravel.  This allows me to water from the base. 

 My favorite herbs are, basil,marjoram, chives, garlic chives, e-z leaf celery, parsley, oregano,, oh wait, I guess I use and enjoy all of the culinary herbs and hope to always discover new ways to prepare and present each one.

Don't miss out on the fun of fresh chives, fresh cilantro, mint, all are just so much more flavorfilled when just picked!  That reminds me, baked potatoes this evening, good thing I picked some fresh chives this morning,

  I keep my fresh picked and washed herbs in a moistend paper towel in a paper bag in my crisper.  If I use them frequently, I will fill a cup partially with cool water and stand the fresh cut herbs upright as a bouquet and keep on a lower shelf in the fridge.  This is a constant at my house.

 When the old herbs seem like they are spent I trim, unpot, shake up the roots a bit, refill the pot and replant, then water thoroughly, till drops emit from bottom of pot, place back on tray and next watering apply a fertilizer, as per  instructions.  This refresh should last another 6 months

Herbs thrive by being trimmed, I really prefer a 6"pot, that really lets me have the fresh. as much as I cook:-)

Herbs dry so easy in a brown paper bag clipped to a string hung or on the edge of a hanging vegetable basket.   When dried you use less sage, or any of the herbs, as drying them concentrates the flavor.  Dried herbs need to be stored in dark dry recepticles, to maintain the flavor you can also freeze herbs in trays with water, when frozen you remove cubes and store in vacuum sealed bags.  This will allow use straight into stews or soups.  The herbs may be chopped or whole when frozen.

Add a comment

I have been so excited with the results of simple greenhouse plans and so today I want to share a few principles of that method.

  So important , is the placement of the house, and the available sun, then the air flow and include the design to accomidate the easiest way for air to flow through you new house, This will make cool down easy, and I like, that a simple lift-up or let-down wall or doors or windows,on each end is the quickest way  to cool on intensely hot days.I also recommend some type of shade consideration as most plants don't appreciate searing intensity of light and  benefit with consistent moisture, food and air circulation, besides the light and heat.  A simple coat of white paint, on the top ridge or the evening sun ridge,will even wear off as the season progresses and you will be having, at the right time tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, peppers, and it was an accessible, and available method, that you will want to share.

  First what space you may have for the house you would like to install.

 Then if you would like to make it a year-round aid or perhaps just for the extending of each season and at that point how much you can actually afford to make this a reality for your growing needs.

Cold frames are very helpful, these are simple areas formed by an encasing of and framing of lumber, usually, although natural rock and other elements of framing the space, even a bale of hay can accomadate the warmth needed to get that earlier planting or, even better that earlier harvest.

  When we decide we want a greenhouse, we can access this by innovative ideas by using old glass doors in a framework, and fiberglass roofing, or if there is a side of a building that has a southern , exposure you may prefer half a  greenhouse, against the established building.

  We also may have open land for establishing a greenhouse, then my recommendation is a( 1 1/2") pipe bent in a form that is appropriate for the size, usually( 12' )by extentions of( 4',) which I prefer( 12' x 24'), this size varies, in( 4' )increments, as the reinforcing cross-arcing piping al(l 1 1/2 ") in diameter seem to support the end stucture, be it( 12'x4' or 12'x24',) works the best for me. 

 The project begins by leveling the grade, deciding if ground cover is necessary. pound slightly larger( 4-6'pipe) into the earth in the predetermined placing of the ribs of the greenhouse, which I prefer at 4' increments, when finished you may couple pipes with couplers accordingly, ask the pipe seller about coupling the pipe, you will learn alot that will serve you well later ,then purchase screws , couplers and wire  then across the angled distance, secure the wire well as cross winds are intense at times. You should be able to secure and have rigidity before you proceed. 

At the bottom of the ribs, add a 2x1" cross-member all along the base, from end to end and this will give you some thing than secures the frame work and will be available to attach the greenhouse film to. When you apply the film use, what in the industry is called a straping tape, not like the one we normally are familiar with, yet the purpose of this tape is to secure the film in such a way that, during the wind and aging of the film, this straping will help keep the integrity of  film on the greenhouse framework.

  In our commercial business we buy greenhouse film and it has a capacity for a very long lasting house, but when that is not available you will find that there are now materials such as fiberglass fabric, or panels, or even an affordable plastic readily available cheap and that's what I'm talking about, because it is all about affordability, and this easily available plastic  can handle one season or maybe more.

  Use what fits and try again, growin seasons we  can extend, love and time make the harvest sweet , thank you all, for loving to eat:-)

Add a comment