Archive for August, 2009

Starting the Fall garden

Monday, August 24th, 2009

Gabalot Gardens

Gabalot Gardens

Well, I’ve been clearing out a couple beds for fall crops, in between peeling & freezing peaches. So decided that today I’d go get some stuff to plant in them. Fall things, like broccoli, spinach, radishes… the usual suspects.

So first I went to Southern States & messed around for a while. I did get some seeds there- lettuce, daikon radishes, etc. Also got lots of mouse & ant killer. (Whole ‘nother story…)

Then I headed for a little nursery the mater had told me about- Gabalot. As warned, Janet DOES talk a lot. But unlike many people, she actually imparts a lot of info. She’s “only” been running Gabalot Gardens for 16 years, and says she’s still learning.

Many of her seeds are heirloom (non-hybrid, which means you can save your own seed for next year) which is exactly what we’re up to here @ Mt Pleasant. Her two main suppliers are Landreth Seeds in Pennsylvania, which she also sells in bulk and Renee’s Garden.

I got some gorgeous broccoli & brussel sprouts seedlings, and then some things to dress up the planters a bit. But also got rainbow chard seeds, b/c I like them so much. (For those of you in PT, check the window boxes of the Silverwater Cafe. Those are Bright Lights chard)

What’s really exciting is that I asked her about whether she starts seeds for others in her fancy greenhouse. Not only does she, she has an interesting way that she does it. If you buy seed & send or take it to her to plant, you tell her how many plants you want. She keeps the rest of the seeds & gets the income from selling those seedlings. That’s it.

I don’t know if other greenhouses do that, but it sounds wonderful to me. Growing seedlings is really pretty labor & equipment intensive (My lettuce seedlings were a total failure… I was hardening them off & a thunderstorm hit & washed them all out. Starting over…)

Anyway, a very fun & productive day… and a new friend.


Friday, August 21st, 2009
Palouse Falls, Eastern WA

Palouse Falls, Eastern WA

No, I’m not in Eastern WA- just like the photo. Seems to be how I’m feeling… Abundance springing out where it’s least expected.

Gosh, this has been a great month, but there’s not much posting going on. Honestly, I’m thinking of lots of great posts, but when it’s nearly 100 degrees & the humidity is nearly as high, I’m not sure if I’m walking or swimming. How hot is it? Well I can break a sweat playing Bejeweled.  And frankly, that’s about all I’m good for in this weather.

Thank goodness we had a major thunderstorm today, which was terrific, b/c there’s a lot of corn & tomatoes to be processed. I did make a huge vat of salsa fresca. Got a little crazy w/the jalapenos & Cain won’t even eat it, but we’re pouring it on everything (including mac & cheese.) Also I’m designing my panic room (more about that later.)

Anyway, here’s some fun Friday stuff (for Saturday.)

Some quotes from my guru, Yogi Berra (If you come to a fork in the road, take it.)

Favorite comedian, Steven Wright

For some reason, I’ve been really missing NW music. So listening to KEXP & sometimes (Thanks, Javantea!) I sure don’t consider myself a music geek, but the radio out here is pretty dismal. There’s a new station from DC that plays “Fresh New hits” & it’s like they have one Jason Mraz song & one Dave Matthews song (both from last year) and play them alternately.

Oh, if you liked Bridget Jones’s Diary etc, Helen Fielding has a new heroine: Olivia Joules.

Virginia update…

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

I guess the reason that I’m gypsying around is to learn things. About myself & about the world. So I’m thinking it’s time for an update on what I’ve learned while in Virginia. I reserve the right to come back & edit this post.

  1. I’ve learned a whole lot about gardening. Weird stuff that’s not in books- like to not plant hot peppers w/sweet peppers.
  2. I can tell the difference between a sweet potato vine and a weed
  3. Ditto potato bugs and lady bugs
  4. Praying mantii mantises ( thanks, Brad!) BITE. They’re not all cute like Zorak
  5. I can make yogurt & granola
  6. Know how to freeze green beans & raspberries
  7. Can make juice in a steam juicer
  8. Can make myself understood (kinda) in Spanish & can kinda understand what’s going on.
  9. Have quite a collection of pink shirts, most of which cost less than $2
  10. Can name 3 places where I can get a double Americano in less that 20 minutes. But have to get out of the car.
  11. Started taking yoga- like it a lot
  12. Flea marketeers fear me
  13. Can shelve books, check them out & also do the dreaded vacation check-0ut.
  14. Am the most wired person in Shenandoah County (both senses.)
  15. Can eat out for years on my story of getting new tires in Maurertown (pronounced- Maurytown.)
  16. Know how to hang clothes on a line.
  17. Know that oriental carpets can only be vacuumed every 10 days.
  18. I may have a career in killing those spider-things w/the webs that feel like hair. Ugh! Ugh! I want them all DEAD. I am on a mission!
  19. Know that they don’t know what to do ’bout hippies @ Food Lion. They sell recyclable bags, but aren’t quite sure what to do if someone actually uses one for the 2nd time. Especially if they’re wearing clogs. Not sure whether to call me ma’am or call 911.
  20. Know that if I say “slippah chayah” instead of slipper chair, my mama will slap me upside the haid. That is not why she sent me to Randolph-Macon Woman’s College. (Strange, but true.)
  21. Know that they are serious about drinking & driving here. 1/2 the natives have to drive the other 1/2 around, b/c they’ve lost their licenses. I want to be the 1/2 in the driver’s seat, thank you.
  22. Realize that I may never spell the word license correctly the first time.
  23. Yes, I can make a wicked garlicky hummus. I have personally evicted all the vampires in Shenandoah County.


Moab Confluence- Hyperventilating…

Friday, August 14th, 2009

Just a quick note…

Just got all my ducks in a row (flight, hotel, reservations) for the Moab Confluence– Eating the West.

It’s a writing intensive workshop/festival, set in Moab, UT (one of my favorite places) with super-star food writers, lots of good food and even a film festival. So that’s where I’ll be @ the end of October for a wk (then coming back here to help get ready for sheepdog trials.)

I’m a little shocked at myself. I’ve been registered for a month, but keep hemming & hawing. As JA says, attendance is not juried. It’s still a little scary, but now that I have my ticket, I’m definitely going. Yipes! I mean- yippee!