Friday, December 11, 2015
When I go to Disney, I take the greenhouse tour every year. So many neat things going on there. It is also where I purchased my vanilla orchid.
This picture shows eggplant. Although this is hydroponic, my goal is to work in conventional gardening to get some of these same results for the home gardener.
Monday, December 7, 2015
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Did you know that many times you can tell what type of citrus tree you have by the smell of the leaves?
If you have citrus and are unsure whether you have oranges, limes, etc., just pick a leaf, break it in half and smell. It will usually smell like the fruit that the tree bears. So far, it has worked for me when I've tried it.
My allspice tree is looking nice, although it does seem to be a slow grower. I still haven't found out all the information that I need on it, the biggest being do I need a second for pollination. Some articles say yes, others seem to say no. And if I do need a male and female tree, which do I have?
The leaves do smell really nice, however. They have the allspice scent and may be used in cooking just like the berries themselves.
It is funny that, when I tell people that I have an allspice tree, they are surprised as they thought that allspice was a blend of spices!
I also have started some paddle cactus in the open space of the container. Love pickled cactus so the goal is to get enough paddles to make a batch.
Monday, November 30, 2015
Earlier in the year, I purchased a vanilla orchid culture at the Land at Disney World. This is my third attempt as they seem to be tricky, but so far so good at this point.
I do hope that it will continue to grow well and eventually get beans from it. (From what I read I will need to hand pollinate but that's ok!)
Although the plant doesn't look all that large, it started from a culture only a few inches high!
Friday, November 27, 2015
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
I like to try starting things from seed. So, I thought I would try my hand at some citrus. My key lime tree is over a year old, and the smaller seedlings are orange trees.
I do seem to be running into a slight problem with the key lime, as you can see, some of the leaves are folding in on themselves. Usually means that something is up with it. Now I have to pin it down.
Monday, November 16, 2015
I have so much extra starter, like 3 quart jars full. When I have to remove some starter from my crock at "feeding time", I hate to throw it away, so I would just put it in jars and stick it in the fridge. I would then use it as back up in case something went wrong with my crock, use for giveaways, etc. However, not many people that I know bake bread, so it builds quickly. And the jars are taking up space.
As a result, I have begun to dry the starter, a jar at a time. It is easy to do. (Pictures below, in order of steps.)
I place parchment paper on a platter or cookie sheet. I then spread a thin layer of starter on it, set in an out of the way place (where no dust is flying and little kitty paws can't disturb), and just let it air dry. (Oven or dehydration heat can affect the yeast.) When THROUGHLY dry, I then peel off the paper (which you can reuse) and break into small pieces. You can store in pieces or grind into a powder, which will be what I will do next. Store in dry, airtight jar.
Note that I always make sure that the starter is active before I dry it. So the jar that I am drying the contents of, is kept out of the fridge, and fed once a day (sometimes every other day) until I have dried it all.
Tuesday, September 8, 2015
In cleaning out the fridge, I found my sourdough starter. It has been in there for almost a year, but except for a bit of gray on the top (perfectly normal with all that sitting and no feeding), once that was removed all of the dormant starter was perfectly colored. So, I decided to see if it could be resurrected.
I took a few dollops out of the jar with a clean spoon, returned the rest to the fridge and placed the dollops in the crock that I had normally kept going starter in. I fed it twice a day for the last few days (1/2 c flour then 5/8 c water). As you can see , it is coming along beautifully. I'm planning on some good sourdough rolls soon!
Thursday, August 20, 2015
It is too bad that lilac season is so early and so short. Not even around for the summer. I have a few lilac trees at 1840's Farm, but perhaps my favorite is the French. I love the color and the scent.
But, did you know that lilacs are edible? I had heard about a few things you could do with them, but hadn't looked too much into it until recently. The one thing that I have not tried as of yet, is a lilac sorbet. I have found that there are also lilac wines, honey, syrup and other things to make with the flower. So, next spring may be a bit busy. However, it will be difficult to cut those flowers off, as I do enjoy seeing them in the yard.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
Well, we have the final piece for the pineapple that we have been watching.
It was harvested (and I forgot to take a picture....) and was so sweet. Now, the pineapple has finished one chapter and started a new one. The top is now going on to become a plant on it's own.
And you always kept in mind that you were taking a life in order to feed the family, not just shooting at some "thing". And you were grateful and respectful to the animal.
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Saturday, August 8, 2015
For anyone who has a flea trap, you probably already know that they work like a charm and can be a great alternative to sprays.
However you probably also know that the sticky papers that trap the fleas can get a bit expensive, especially if you're unfortunate enough to be dealing with an infestation. And of course there is the random tail that gets stuck to it as well.
This year, in dealing with some fleas, I again pulled out my flea trap. However, I was out of sticky paper. Then I remembered reading something about putting petroleum jelly on a cat's neck if the fleas run up to the head after giving the cat flea drops. The fleas are supposed to get caught in the jelly and die.
...BRAINSTORM.... I decided to smear the tray, where the sticky paper normally would go, with petroleum jelly instead. I did both the bottom and the sides of the tray. WORKS GREAT!!!!! And no sticky paper to stick to unattended tails and nosey little paws. To clean, I just wipe out with a paper towel and reapply the jelly. And, your using something that you probably already have in your medicine cabinet.
Monday, July 6, 2015
Please keep dropping in. There will be new posts, new little projects, some FYI's and other random farm, garden and food thoughts!
The wild berries ripening are all over 1840's Farm. I'm getting these ready for the freezer. I like to spread them out on a cookie sheet first and let them freeze a bit, just so they don't freeze into a giant berry block. Then I'll bag them for pie making later on when I have the time.
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Yeow.....was doing some research in St Augustine for a book and stopped for lunch at Meehan's Backyard Island Cafe. Ordered the Monster Burger. HUGE....but so delish! Slaw, goat cheese, bacon.....not something you'd have daily (or weekly) but what a treat!
Saturday, May 9, 2015
Checking in on the little pineapple that we have been following on Facebook, it is now actually looking like a pineapple, albeit a "mini me" version. Still a long way to go.
The plant itself is also beginning to sprout "pups" (second pic). These are new little plants forming that will eventually produce a fruit themselves. This plant has 2 "pups starting so far.
A pineapple plant fruits only once.
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
A fron came off of one of the coconut palms the other day during a heavy wind. I have been trying to decide what type of support to use when I transplant my vanilla orchid. (Yes...the same plant that can produce vanilla pods.)
This morning, as I was moving the downed fron, I got to thinking that I could put at least part of it to good use.
So.....I cut off either end of the fron, leaving the center stem at the length that I desired. Then, I cut the leaves from the stem. Sealing the 2 cut ends, the stem is now ready to use as a plant support. Because I cut this one long, I will be using it for my allspice tree, replacing the shorter supports. (Replacment in progress in last photo.)
Oops....just heard another fron go down in the wind. This one will be for the vanilla orchid!
Sunday, May 3, 2015
Friday, May 1, 2015
This morning we found a tree frog in the screen room, very dehydrated. In fact, we thought he was dead. Then, when we picked him up, he showed a VERY tiny bit of movement. So, I put him in a shallow bowl of room temp water, periodically spooning water over his entire body and being careful not to get his little nose submerged.
A little more than 3 hours later, this little dude went from death's door to what you see below. He is now enjoying life once again, in the garden.
Monday, April 27, 2015
The Plumeria, or "sticks" as we affectionately call them, are blooming. At least one is.
I just found out that, although the rest of the plant is toxic, the blossom is supposed to be edible. Anyone with experience in this?
Sunday, April 26, 2015
Saturday, April 25, 2015
I couldn't resist posting one of my favorite chicken coops. Yes, it is actually a float in the Easter parade at Magic Kingdom, but who wouldn't love it in their yard filled with the little cluckers?
Thursday, April 23, 2015
Some photos I took of a few hatchlings, but not the type you think. EPCOT has a small, enclosed butterfly garden on site for the Flower and Garden Show, and it is so interesting to see the various stages.
One of the photos shows a butterfly in the process of hatching. Can you find him?
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
Just processed 22 lbs of fresh picked tomatoes into sauce. So good!
Did you know that an easy way to peel tomatoes is to drop them in boiling water for a few minutes? The skins will crack. Then drop into a bowl of ice water for a minute or so. When you pull them out of the ice water, the skins will peel right off with your fingers, many times in a single piece. (Caution....tomatoes may still be hot even after ice water dip.)
Friday, April 17, 2015
Posting a few more pictures from the urban farm at EPCOT. This really was in a very tiny space, but showed nicely how you can still have room for so much.
I can't wait to get this all going for my show in the Keys!
Thursday, April 16, 2015
I went to the Flower and Garden show at EPCOT a little over a week ago. I was very excited about the small urban farm display that they had.
I will be posting some pictures, but what I found most interesting was the aquaponics set up.
I tried getting panoramic pictures of it, but kept getting people's heads in it, even when they tried to duck, so I had to go piecemeal. But you can get the idea.
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
It was very easy to assemble and except for one point, which will be pointed out in the photos, one person could do it by themselves, and even at the point of slight difficulty, one person could figure out how to manage.
Take a look at the pictures, from start to finish. I have posted captions to help describe what is going on, although it is all pretty much self explanatory. (Note that I had help only so that I could take the photos....Thanks Dad!)
First, I had to put the wheels on the base. The wheels were a bit hard to push in, so if you have problems with your hands, you may need someone else to do this for you. One wheel has a wheel lock.
Next, we need to pull out the parts for the post assembly and cut the enclosed tubing to the required lengths (if you have the drip irrigation). All the lengths are given to you in the manual, and the tubing is easy to cut with a sharp knife. And you get plenty. The roll in the upper left corner was what I had left, so there is some room for error.
Next, we put the post together. You can see where the drip tubes are located.
Well, that is my experience so far with the "My Garden Post" vertical gardening system. The only thing that I don't have hooked up yet is the drip system, as I need to figure out how I want to hook it up with the other hoses and Y's. It does work, however, as I did unhook one of my hoses and hooked this up to see what happened. So for now, I hand water.
Although I put all edibles in my set, you can put in decoratives as well. All in all, if you have not much space, this could be a great solution for you. It is also is a great solution for those with physical limitations.
If you're interested in the "My Garden Post" system, just hit my affiliate button on the right side of the page. And if you decide to buy, you'll get a discount (using either the button or my code).