Category Archives: Summer Vegetables

Rain & Green Thumbs

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I’ve been neglecting my blog because I am caught up in the web of One Act Play at the high school.  I’m the director, and that position takes the time of a football coach, but the extra money for all the hours is not there, of course.  I accepted long ago that the great state of Texas values football more than just about anything!  I like it too, so I do what I do because I love theatre.

Today, on the mountain, it is raining, a heavy but slow, soaking rain.  After last year’s drought in Texas, we are more appreciative of any rain.  I suspect that this rain will make the Texas Bluebonnets, the state flower, come on strong, and we will have some great bluebonnet photos to show you in about a month.  Today, water is running away from the house and into the tanks.  We are praising God!

I was hoping that one could inherit a green thumb, but I don’t think I got my mother’s.  She could make anything grow, and it would be the biggest, most beautiful plant you’ve ever seen.  Did I mention her ivy plants?  She got two little ivy plants from someone.  In a blink, they were climbing up peat posts inserted into the flower-pots, and soon they were about 5 feet tall.  We named them “Beowulf” and “Grendel”, names from the famous Anglo-Saxon poem.

My little tomato plants look rather pathetic.  Someone commented on my blog that I should move them to a south window asap!  I’m directionally challenged!  When I was a kid, Daddy would make us all ride horses when he wanted to round-up the cattle or sheep or goats.  He would tell each person which direction to go and where to bring the animals back to.  He would often say something like, “Patsy, ride to the south fence and push everything toward the north corner.”  He soon learned I had NO idea which fence was the south fence or where the north corner was.  I would usually run into my brother or one of the hands because I was lost.  I was useless.  I always wondered why he kept me riding, but perhaps, he was a teacher at heart, and he didn’t want to give up trying to teach me.

I digress.  I put the tomato plants in the kitchen window, thinking they were in a south window.  Nope, that’s a west window!  My son came over and said,  “Mom!  get your plants to a south window!”  Bingo!  It dawned on me.  Now, they are in a south window, but they are still spindly.  They have turned a darker green, and the stems have turned a reddish color.  I don’t have a grow-light, and we’ve had very little sunshine this week, and I’m not home during the day to move them around.  Perhaps I should invest in a grow light.

Those plants above are the seedlings from the seeds I planted 3 weeks ago tomorrow, Sunday.  They are finally making the “real” tomato leaves.  What do you tomato experts think?

Below are my new seedlings my son and I planted a week ago tomorrow.  He gave me some of his seeds from his “League of Nations” garden.  They just sprouted this week.  It should be fun to see how these “different” tomato plants fare here at the Mountain Pasture.  You can check out tomato seeds with “stories” behind them and tomato seeds that do well in foreign countries at the tomato man’s website:  http://tomatofest.com/

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Summer in the Winter

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Yum, yum!  Can’t wait for supper tonight!  How nice it is to have electricity and a freezer and be able to preserve those yellow, summer squash from the garden.  I just got some out to thaw for supper tonight.  The package states the amount, but actually I have used out of this package before, so if that doesn’t look like 2 1/2 cups, it’s probably not!  These will simmer for a while with salt, pepper and butter and will taste nearly as delicious as when they were first picked from Grant’s garden last July.

It’s time to get your seedlings started and begin tilling your garden space if you live in Central Texas.  My father-in-law, who lives down in the Texas Valley, reports that he already has some nice-sized tomato plants that he is anxious to set out.  He, too, must worry about a freeze, but I’m guessing our freeze here in the Central part of the state will come much later than his freeze.  I was out and about this morning in the country, and I can hardly believe how green the landscape is.  The winter grasses and weeds seemed to have turned green overnight, but we are expecting temperature in the low to mid twenties tonight, so don’t put those plants out yet!