Getting Ready for the Fall Garden

This morning we awoke to quite chilly temperatures.  I never checked the temps this morning but the low tonight is supposed to be 54º.  What a very welcome change from the 105º we had yesterday. Both of us headed straight to the garden.

Vince began by pulling up the okra.  It could have stayed longer but I have all I want and it was so full of ants and I’m ready to have an all new garden.  Speaking of having all I wanted, Vince said ‘Too bad the okra didn’t make enough to put any in the freezer!”  OMG!  I’m going to use that tone again!  I put up 24 pints of okra and tomatoes in jars, 14 quarts  and 12 pints of plain okra in jars and probably 6 pints in the freezer. Hmmm, I didn’t know that . . he says!  I threw some away, I gave some to neighbors.  I had so much okra . . and he never even noticed!

In the picture above, he’s crushing a grasshopper!  Will those things ever go away?  By the way, with 7 chickens running around all the time and 2 more escapees who are spending too much time running around, there’s no obvious reduction in the grasshopper population.  A friend told me he has 28 chickens running around and grasshoppers at his house are as bad as they are here.

There go all the okra stalks.  Vince is sure there’s something constructive he can do with them.  That man cannot throw anything away.

Vince will till it all up again and I’ll be ready to start planting.  And .  . the planting, weeding, harvesting, canning starts all over again!  And I love every minute of it!

Sprouts

What do you think of when you think of sprouts?  Mostly bean sprouts? Healthy folks buying all their organic produce at Whole Foods?  Plump grannies addicted to Blue Bell Red Velvet Ice Cream?  :)

Once upon a time, I had no interest in sprouts.  I thought of them as tasteless, most often kinda slimy in the plastic containers at the grocery store, with yesterday’s date as the expiration date because not many folks bought them.  But several years ago I decided, for some strange reason, to sprout some lentils.  I put them in a salad and they were fresh and crunchy and nutty flavored.  I liked them a lot!  Then I put them on a sandwich and they were fresh and crunchy and nutty flavored and I loved them.

Those first lentils were sprouted in a Mason jar with a damp paper towel.  Each day I would take out the paper towel and put in a fresh one and dampen it.  The beans sprouted just like they were supposed to.  Then I got a sprouting jar which was simply a Mason jar with a crew on plastic lid with holes.  Water was added to the jar, it was swirled around just a little and the water was drained, simply to keep the sprouts damp with fresh water.  Those beans sprouted just like they were supposed to also.

During the summer, I don’t do a whole lot of sprouting.  We have all kinds of greens, peppers, cucumbers, etc. from the garden to put into our salads and on our sandwiches.  But during the fall and winter, when fresh veggies for the salad and sandwiches aren’t always easy to find and aren’t always reasonably priced, my sprouting kicks back up into high gear.

Last week, while ordering other supplies, I found a multi layered sprouting container.  Yesterday it arrived and I couldn’t wait to get it loaded up.

Into the first layer went radish sprouting seeds.  Radish sprouts taste like radishes!  They’re spicy . . with a bit of a bite!

Into layer 2 went a 3 part salad sprouting mix.  This mix contains radish, broccoli and alfalfa.

Into layer 3 went clover sprouting seed.  Clover sprouts are sweet and mild and I really just feel the crunch but don’t necessarily notice a distinctive taste with these sprouts.

Into the top tray went a bean salad sprouting mix.  These are larger sprouts . . the kind I’ve typically seen in the grocery store.  In this mix are adzuki and mung beans, green lentils and radish.  Yep, I love radish sprouts.

Once the seeds have sprouted, they will almost fill each tray.  These little packets of sprouting seeds go a really long way!  The seeds will be kept moist and in 3 or 4 days, we’ll have plenty of sprouts for salads, sandwiches and snacks.  Even the chickens will be happy to get a few sprouts.

Cheat Sheet Patterns

There’s a Quiltathon coming up Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  For me that means cooking meals ahead, getting the laundry done early . . doing everything I can do in order to spend more time in the sewing room on those days.  Anyone planning to join me?

A while back . . maybe a couple of years ago, I began doing some patterns as “cheat sheets”.  They’re not full blown, step by step patterns.  For anyone who can do a half square triangle, quarter square triangle, flying geese — just some basic quilt pieces, it should be a piece of cake.  I’m going to try to do them so they take up no more than the front and back of one page.  My goal is to do one each month.  Most will be simple — tops that can be completed over the four day Quiltathon.

For all of these cheat sheet type patterns, there will be a border chart but it will be non-pieced borders.  If you want to add snazzy borders, I recommend 60 Pieced Quilt Borders.  I hear it’s an excellent book!  :)

The quilt I will be making for the upcoming Quiltathon and the cheat sheet type pattern that will be available is the quilt for my friend.  The name of the quilt is “Sing a Happy Song”.

The pattern shown is printed on the front and back side and I believe you’ll like the format.   I like it because I don’t have to go into such detail, so many graphics, drawings, resizing.  It saves ink and paper and I believe it gives you plenty of info to make the quilt.

For those making the Quiltathon free pattern on Quiltathon weekend (the upcoming one as well as future ones), I will answer any questions you have during that weekend.  The patterns will be available on the free patterns page and will not be taken down after the Quiltathon ends.

What do you think?