Monday, October 25, 2010

Food Frozen In Time: Autumn Squash

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Its Not a Cucumber At All

I'm off my rocker. Today I discovered that the cucumber I was growing is no cucumber at all, but instead a cantaloupe. I discovered this when my husband insisted it wasn't cucumber and told me to go look outside. I thought he was crazy and admitted that the cucumber is awfully round and the yellow flowers were slightly different.... He insisted I go look.

I hadn't looked in two days and really didn't expect to see the change I did. Sure enough the skin on this vegetable now fruit had hardened and began to develop those common rough spots seen on cantaloupes. It looked exactly like a cantaloupe, except it was still green. LOL. I'm an idiot!

The good news two years of trying and I have successfully finally grown a cantaloupe. The bad news I don't label my seeds as well as I should. The good news I discovered that when cantaloupe is picked early before the skin begins to harden it tastes like cucumber with thick skin. The bad news I now don't have cucumbers on the trellis and I didn't prepare for growing cantaloupe. The good news.... I have cantaloupe!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Blog Action Day For Water



My son is lucky enough to have water anytime he asks. He’s not even two years old, but when he’s thirsty he hands me his sippy cup, looks at me with his big round eyes and manages to say something that sounds a lot like the word water. I give him water because he's thirsty and I can.

My heart goes out to the people who can’t give their children clean water to drink. How do you tell a thirsty child there is no water too drink or that the only water there is to drink could kill them? All over the world, every day, there are children and adults who don’t have clean water to drink. They drink the dirty water they have, if they even have water or they go thirsty.

The good news is that people like me and you, who are fortunate enough to have clean drinking water can do our small part to make a big difference for the people who don’t have clean water to drink. I joined Blog Action Day to help spread the word about the water crisis. I have also reminded myself that I need to continue to do my part to conserve water whenever I can, as well as find better ways to conserve water. I have also donated money to water.org to help the organization bring clean water to people that need it..

To help inspire you to take action here are five water facts below provided by Maria and the Blog Action Team:

1.    Unsafe drinking water and lack of sanitation kills more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. Unclean drinking water can incubate some pretty scary diseases, like E. coli, salmonella, cholera and hepatitis A. Given that bouquet of bacteria, it's no surprise that water, or rather lack thereof, causes 42,000 deaths each week.
2.    More people have access to a cell phone than to a toilet. Today, 2.5 billion people lack access to toilets. This means that sewage spills into rivers and streams, contaminating drinking water and causing disease.
3.    Every day, women and children in Africa walk a combined total of 109 million hours to get water. They do this while carrying cisterns weighing around 40 pounds when filled in order to gather water that, in many cases, is still polluted. Aside from putting a great deal of strain on their bodies, walking such long distances keeps children out of school and women away from other endeavors that can help improve the quality of life in their communities.
4.    It takes 6.3 gallons of water to produce just one hamburger. That 6.3 gallons covers everything from watering the wheat for the bun and providing water for the cow to cooking the patty and baking the bun. And that's just one meal! It would take over 184 billion gallons of water to make just one hamburger for every person in the United States.
5.    The average American uses 159 gallons of water every day – more than 15 times the average person in the developing world. From showering and washing our hands to watering our lawns and washing our cars, Americans use a lot of water. To put things into perspective, the average five-minute shower will use about 10 gallons of water. Now imagine using that same amount to bathe, wash your clothes, cook your meals and quench your thirst.

To find out more about Blog Action Day and what you can do to help, visit blogactionday.change.org. You can also follow Blog Action day on Twitter http://twitter.com/blogactionday as well as post a Blog Action Day widget http://blogactionday.change.org/widgets on your blog or website.



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Monday, October 11, 2010

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

If It Grows and I Can Eat It I Will Accept It

This past weekend I spent time in my garden weeding it, removing those annoying pine needles, tending to the plants only to discover again that my plants are strong. Despite the little time I spend in my garden it still gives me something for my time.

In my garden, the one in the front yard (part of it right in front of the window), my pink rose bush is exploding with pink roses and covering the bush in petals. My red velvet roses are divine, a breath taking sight every time I look at it. I have a few other roses not blooming quite as much, but I suspect they will be soon.

I usually hate any produce flower fragrance, but when it's natural and soft like this it is so sweet. My pink roses are my post fragrant and near my front porch, so between the pink roses, the basil, the rosemary and jasmine I love walking to my front door.

Speaking of rosemary and basil... these beautiful herb plants are dark green and growing quickly. I will have to trim them again. I only wish the basil was as sturdy as the rosemary. My basil will begin to wilt if it gets too dry (this happens easily) or too hot. Then there is my two year old son who loves to yank the leaves and eat them. He loves the way they smell too and sticks them right up his nose. I wish most plants were as sturdy as the rosemary. My rosemary has survived freezing and hot weather. It is at it most beautiful and green in the fall.

My jasmine is growing wild. I had to trim it. Then I took the clippings and stuck them in dirt in other parts of my yard. I have yet to successful transplant jasmine clippings. I hope it takes this time.

I almost forgot to mention... there is a pepper plant between the basil. I'm not sure what kind of pepper, but it is as tall as the basil. Oh! and my cauliflower from last year (it survived the winter, but barely the caterpillars love it) has not produced yet. So, I'm not sure what it will look like or do. I'm very anxious to find out. Oh, yes and also the struggling broccoli survived. I honestly thought by now it would just wilt and die away, but instead it grow new beautiful leaves and then the caterpillars eat them.

My theory is that when the colder weather begins to move in, as it has for this past week, the caterpillars will go in hiding or die or maybe I will find out it isn't caterpillars, but something else eating away the leaves. If it is caterpillars, when the cold weather drives them away the broccoli and cauliflower will produce some vegetables.

Just in case they don't I used last years broccoli seeds to grow some more. I also used last year cilantro and lettuce seeds to grow these as well. Today when I watered my garden I saw many new seedlings. I was so excited I think I jumped a little.

Should I continue to write about my back yard? These details are exciting to a terrible gardener like me. As if asking, "If a lazy gardener like me can grow a garden, why can't everyone else?".

My crazy garden bed in the back has a carrot, two lettuce plants and two struggling green bean plants growing in it. I plucked a very healthy green bean from the plant and brought it inside to take a picture, but I think one of my kids got a hold of it, because I couldn't find it later.

My cucumber, not in the garden bed, hasn't given me any more cucumbers, but there are yellow flowers popping open all over it. I think I'll see more cucumbers soon. I hope I will.

The mint in the garden is taking up a lot of space. Good thing, like the cucumber, it isn't in the garden bed. This week I used some of the mint clippings to make mint tea. It taste better when I boil it with cinnamon tea, but alone it isn't bad.

In the rest of the back yard garden I planted last years squash seeds near the flower bed. There was a variety and I wasn't sure what was what. I had an idea and a few were labeled, but at this point I really don't care what kind of squash. If it grows and I can eat it I'll accept it.