Friday, April 2, 2010

What's in Bloom - March 2010

Perennial Variegated FORGET-ME-NOT
This was a gift from one of my preschool students 8 years ago.
I loved the one above so much I had to have another.

This is the first time this flower has bloomed in the 10 years it's been here.
Why, I do not know.
Bleeding Heart
I have several of them.
My white one is barely coming out this year. :o(
Darn dogs!

Flowering Current
This tree summons the hummingbirds back to my garden each spring.

Close-Ups of Flowering Current

There are more things blooming out there but it's been rather rainy & windy and not very condusive to taking pictures.
What's blooming in your yard right now? How about two weeks ago? Two weeks from now? I enjoy the everchanging landscape that my blooming perennials provides.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Garden Overview 2010

Be sure to check out my Garden Overview page from time to time. I'm hoping to keep a running record of the garden in progress this year. New posts planned monthly.

Jerusalem Artichokes, otherwise known as "Sunchokes"

Jerusalem Artichokes
Okay - here is a picture of one harvest from one pot, grown from one tuber in the pot shown here beneath the collander. Did you get that? All this from one tuber! This harvest was from a couple of weeks ago. Yesterday, I harvested the rest of the pots. Three pots of various sizes. Each yeilding a portion related to the size of the pot and each pot containing assorted sizes of bulbs. The bigger the pot, the bigger the bulbs. And visa versa. I will take pics of those tomorrow if it isn't pouring rain again.

My gut tells me I should not ever plant these babies in the open ground somewhere, unless I want them to take off and take over.

I'm fine with that. I'm currently in process of building a 3x5 box just for my sunchoke crop. No need to visit Betty's plant sale for starts this year. I've got PLENTY of bulbs to get me started with a plentiful patch of these delectable beauties.

WINTER CROP... gotta love it.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Discovering Jerusalem Artichokes

Last spring I went to Betty's Annual Plant Sale and she talked me into buying some Jerusalem Artichoke tubers. She told me they grow very tall and have small sunflower-like flowers on them, which sounded very attractive to me. She also said that after the plants die back and there is a good hard freeze, I can dig up the tubers (which multiply like potatoes) and eat them. She raved about the flavor and all the wonderful ways one could enjoy them throughout the winter months.

Well, I liked the idea of being able to harvest something during the winter months and bring it fresh from the garden to the table. So, I bought 6 of them at 50 cents a piece.

I planted them in pots because she said that they would spread out and make "a nice big patch if left in the ground" and I do not have a nice big patch to offer. So, I planted one tuber in each pot of various shapes and sizes about 2-3 gallons each.

They grew to about 8 - 10 feet - taller than the bean teepee they were next to. They didn't flower until the end of the season, around late August - September. They blew over with the slightest breeze, which I made a mental note of in case I should want to grow them again.

Now to the yummy news: I finally got around to harvesting some of them today. One pot yeilded about a dozen tubers, maybe more. Never having eaten them before, I didn't know what to do with them. I decided to cut them into chunks and roast them in the oven.

I cut up some baby reds, purple onion, yam, and butternut squash too. I tossed them all in a big bowl with garlic infused olive oil and about 6 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced, and sprinkled a generous amount of kosher salt overall. Then, I squirted in some Bragg's for good measure.

I roasted this medley on a large jelly roll pan in a hot 4o0 degree oven until everything had browned and was fork tener - about 30 minutes.

Let me just say that I am going to be one of the first to show up at Betty's plant sale this year and I am going to buy ALL the Jerusalem Artichoke tubers she has to offer!! These are now my new FAVE! They taste like artichoke hearts only BETTER!

I wish I had pictures to show you. I'll have to make a point of it now that I know what a treasure they really are.

The Pain and Strength of Separation

Never do I feel as helpless as I do when one of my children need me and I cannot be there to support them. My daugher is suffering with extreme pain from an infection in a root canal gone bad. The pain medication is barely touching it. It leaves her dizzy, disoriented, and sick to her stomach. She is sleep deprived and weak. Daddy has to work, so she is at home with two little girls who are totally dependant on her for their sustenance, one of whom is an infant, one of whom happens to be sick right now. Poor babies!

As a mother and an Oma, I just want to get in my car and drive! Drive straight over to her so I can "be there" for her... for the little ones... for the family. But, it's a 9-hour round trip! I have my own responsibilities here at home and no one knows when she will get in for the needed surgery or how long she will be in "need of support".

What's a mother to do?!

All there is that I can do is pray. So, miha... I am praying for you and for your precious family. My mommy heart is heavy, but is made lighter knowing that our loving Heavenly Father is with you. His strength is made evident in our weakness.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Hallelujah! You're back!

The tulips are coming, the tulips are coming! Upon inspection, I see that they're all out of the ground, poking up about 1-2 inches tall right now.
I get a little excited when I see things popping out of the ground this time of year. The anticipation of being revisited by these lovely beauties and others that will soon follow... well, it's just so rejuvenating!

Late Winter/Early Spring is my very favorite time of year. People always ask, "Why? It's so..... wet." Well, it's also full of the resurrection power of life - before unseen. It always reminds me of Jesus making His reappearance after being laid to rest in the tomb. Seemingly dead and gone, but NOT! Yay!

So, to this I say, "Hallelujah! You're back!"