Trees Travel

In  our modern world ,  you can travel from one continent to another in a matter of hours.  So, you may think it’s strange when I say that trees can travel.  If anything you might think that a tree is one of the most stationary forms of life on earth.

How trees travel

Yes.  The tree itself is stationary.  Where it’s planted or where it puts down roots is where it stays. Yet, trees do travel.  Not the way you and I travel.  They travel through their offspring, the next generation.

As they produce and drop their seeds, the offspring will germinate and grow a distance away.  This determines the direction the forest is moving.

Why trees need to travel

Trees need to adjust to changes in Earth

The Earth is a living thriving organism.  Like all the creatures that live on it, it is constantly changing.   Over thousands of years, mountains ascend and valleys descend.  Even continents shift.

Looking at this through our current minuscule life span, we cannot see this,… but trees do.  They experience the natural climate change that takes place over centuries.  So, they need to keep moving toward living conditions that are more comfortable for them.

Trees travel at different speeds

Some trees progress quickly.  For example the Willow will produce a seed that can be carried by the wind for as much as half a mile.

Maple Tree SeedsMaples produce a heavier seed,  but it is designed with an ingenious spinning, flying aid that allows it to fly a good distance before it reaches the ground . During a storm, these seeds can be carried up to a mile away.

As for Oaks and Chestnut trees,  their fruit is a lot heavier.  The movement of the forest for them is a lot slower.  Yet, here is where we find an incredible design and balance in the ecosystem.

Birds, such as the Jay will carry acorns miles away. Squirrels will store these acorns only perhaps a hundred yards away.   Mice store them very close to the base of the tree.  Sometimes they will make their home in the very roots of the tree  and store their treasures around them.   So, even though the  animals help spread the forest forward, it’s at a steady– but very slow rate,

So, the next time you need to take a lengthy trip somewhere that may take more time than  you would like.  Just remember the slow but steady tree.  If you do your travels will then seem more pleasant, enjoyable and brief.

 

 

 

 

Lunch From The Garden.

This summer was beautiful.  I did my ministry in the morning, then went out to play  in my garden.  My garden provided most of my lunches through the summer. I did not want to cook.

I’d rather  play with my plants, so I would take a bowl and as I walk through my garden, I would pick tomatoes, cucumbers,  spinach, lettuce, peppers, scallions,  celery,… or whatever I felt like having in my salad.

Then I’d go into my kitchen and fill the bowl with water, add some salt to the water, (that was to allow any little critters who were having a feast on my salad to let go of my lunch). I would then wash it thoroughly.

Depending on what I felt like eating I’d open a can of tuna.  If there was chicken or fish from dinner the night before, I would add it… and voila!– lunch is served!

my garden salad

That’s why when you’re planting your kitchen salad garden , the plants you choose are very important.   Pick the plants you like to eat.  As for me, I love the peppery taste of arugula and  spinach. The coolness of cucumber, the crunchiness of the celery.  Tomatoes are peppers are a given, lettuce, kale, collards.

The list of plants for your kitchen garden salad could be endless.  Also, depending on how many people you will be cooking for that live in your home. So plan carefully and plant with love knowing that what you are planting will be going into your tummy.

Putting It On Paper

So now that the cold front has arrived, this is the best time to start planning what you are going to grow for the Spring, There are varieties of salad crops to consider.  So  plan your green garden on paper.

Spend a little time going through your selection of seeds from your favorite catalogs.  This way you can look forward to having delicious salad through the summer.

Don’t  just plant  lettuce.  Think of some of the other plant like cabbage or chard.  Make room for some escarole, mustard and radicchio.  They’ll spice up your salad for the summer!

Planning

Some tips,  Don’t forget to get some seed you can start indoors to give you an early harvest and also lessen the work load.

When transplanting your plant, don’t just plant and walk away. Plants are like babies. They need tender care when first planted.

They also need food.  that means fertilizing each month.  compost is good.  Just remember what you are feeding your plants you will be feeding yourself! So feed you plant with good, natural, organic compost, natural soil amendment like sea weed extract, leaf compost, or organic tea.

I hope your kitchen salad garden goes well!  If you run into any problems, you can reach out to me. If you need a little help in fertilizing,  knowing how to prune, or when when to harvest– feel free to join our Garden club.

Potato O ‘Dill

This is one of the first recipes that I remember creating while trying to please the pallet of two young girls that were in my care.   (They were VERY picky eaters). You can increase or decrease the recipe.  Just use less or more. … it’s not a cake…it won’t flop.,,,

Potato O'Dill

5 to 6 medium potatoes peel and thinly slice.
2 to 3 carrots peel and thinly slice
3 table spoon of fresh dill finely chop.
2 table spoon of butter.
Salt and pepper to taste.
1/2 a teaspoon of garlic powder.
1 cup of water.

In a frying pan,  put the butter, water, dill, salt, garlic powder and peppers.  Let the butter melt, then alternate the potatoes and carrot (over lapping halfway on top of each other).  VERY IMPORTANT…Make sure it is on low heat!  Cover and let simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
The taste is out of this world!
The girls sure enjoyed it!   That dish became one of their favorites.

Bon Appetit!!

Fall Bounty

It’s fall! Time to clean up your garden. What do you do with all the harvest on the vine?  Like the green tomatoes, peppers and scallions… and so forth.

One of my favorite ways to cook my vegetables is to broil them because it keeps the true flavors while you savor the taste. So get all your harvest together, then wash and slice them.

There is no science to it.  Sometimes I have more of one vegetable than the other… that’s ok.  The taste will be out of this world!

Don’t take my word for it just try it once and you will be coming back for more!

Roasted Vegetables

About 1/4 cup of olive oil, preferable but you can use other.
4 to 6 green tomatoes, seeded and cut into thin slices.
2 to 4 peppers, seeded and cut into thin slices or wedges.
1 large onion peel and slice.
1 red onion peel and slice.
3 to 4 clove of garlic mince. [I love garlic] you decrease if you like.
1/2 a cup of fresh scallion, and 1/2 a cup of fresh cilantro chop.
1 teaspoon of black pepper, 1 teaspoon of garlic salt.
1 teaspoon of ground cumin.

In a bowl, combine all ingredients and toss.  Let sit for a minute while you turn your oven on broil.
Using a sheet pan or cookie tray, spread the content of the bowl on the sheet pan, then place on the top rack of your oven.  Remember to leave the door to the oven slightly ajar. Broiling is something you have to keep your eyes on.
Let it roast to a nice brown color.  Do not burn but keep tossing so it will be roasted evenly.

This dish is great with your salad.  No salad dressing needed.   Or — you can make a great stir fry.   Just add some chicken strips to the mix.
Great on focaccia bread for an afternoon snack.

Remember this can be adjusted depending on your harvest.
Just have fun and enjoy!

Raised beds are they better?

Maximize your food in a raised bed

I have been  gardening for the most part right in the ground.  Even though I have good soil, I realize that to maximize my growing space, a raised bed is the way to go.

Mind you, there is no right or wrong way to garden. You can maximize the quantity of food you produce in a raised bed.

Depth is important

The depth of the raised bed  helps.  Instead of spreading outward close to the surface, where they  will be affected by the sun and get dry faster, they will grow down deep into the ground where they will have more room to root below and in need of less water.

Plants like carrots, beets, ginger, potatoes and turnips need to have room to grow down in order to give you a better yield .  You can also plant things closer together giving you more space to plant. In this way, you can have a bigger harvest.

Using Trellises

 

Another way to maximize  is by adding trellises to your garden. Plants like tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, pumpkins, squash and melons will help in maximizing the yield.

Soil and protection

You also can control the soil and make your own mix with better drainage than we would get in the ground.  Also drip irrigation is very useful in raised beds because the plant takes in the amount of water they need with a consistent water system.

Because the soil in a raised bed warms faster than in the ground, you can add cover to your raised beds to extend the growing  season, and by the use of raised beds, we can also protect our plants from  the little “critters” that like to nibble on our plants.

Comfort of a raised bed

With a raised bed I don’t have to wonder if I will be able to get up.  If you want it to be part of your lifestyle it should be comfortable.  You should  not have to bend or get on your knees too often.

There are many things that need to be done in your garden beside harvesting. There is weeding, pruning , checking to see if there are any critters enjoying your garden more than you, and just talking to your plants, enjoying  the beauty they provide.  So, it’s comforting to be able to harvest  anytime I want to and I don’t have to worry to much about discomfort.

The Beauty  of a raised Bed.

For me my garden is a place of tranquility. Time eludes me when I’m out there  enjoying the beauty that my creator has bless me with and the comments from my neighbors and passers-by bring me great joy!  It’s just great therapy .

So having a raised bed is an asset.  It helps when I’m enjoying the different flowers, birds and butterflies that visit. Spending the time tending to my garden is a time of peace.

A raised bed is also an asset to your home.  You can consider it as part as your home décor.  If you are wondering  what a raised bed kitchen salad garden would look like in your space, click the button below to book a consultation with me or send me a note and we can talk .