A Morning in the Garden


Nice, nice morning here in Kingwood on this 18th day of April and crazy, approaching 4 weeks of social distancing! It was a beautiful cool, at least for my neck of the woods, 62 degrees F today. I know the warm weather is coming as I wandering out into the garden this morning but enjoying the respite however brief. I gathered a rather large handful of sugar snap peas. They usually don’t last long…..I rinse them off and snack on them all day long. So crunchy and yes, sweet

These won’t last but 8 or 10 I pulled in the garden that didn’t make the trip into the kitchen. LOL

Tomatoes are beginning to form and we should be seeing them ripen within the week. Nothing tastes better than vine ripe tomatoes picked at the perfect time. These are not like the ones that I worked with in the produce warehouse back in Bakersfield years ago. We would unload boxes of “breakers”, tomatoes that are mostly green, shoulders pink and hard like baseballs. We stacked then in a special room that could be sealed and with controlled temperature & humidity settings. We would seal the room and pump in ethylene gas to “ripen” them. 3 days later they were all beautifully red and still baseball hard…….now you know!

Sweet million cherry tomatoes
Juliet, a small Roma shaped tomato that is very heat tolerant
Patio tomatoes for my wife, in a pot and yes, on the patio. They do well until it gets too hot. Four inches or so in size and very tasty. They will be on BLT’s with my tasty toasted sourdough bread soon!

Just wanted to add an update on the “bottom ends” of Romaine lettuce I plunked down into the soil in my garden. They sprouted well, I snacked on some of the leaves early on but now……..they have bolted, shot up, and beginning to display flower heads and the leaves are slightly bitter. Why do they bolt? I always thought it was the warmer weather but it appears that length of day is the primary factor. If I was really energetic and had nothing else to do, I should have limited then to no more than 8 hours or so of sunlight per day……..I may need to give it a try in the future.

Not your typical Romaine lettuce…..leaves are still edible but a bit stunted and turning bitter. I will maybe……..experiment next year or at the end of summer….

During the Spring of 2019 I planted two Muscadine grape plants. One died and the other thrived. I trained the vines to grow out in two direction. One went horizontally along a wire stretched out across my back fence. The other direction heads over to a wooden arch structure, similar to a small grape arbor. Last year there was no evidence of fruit. My unknown is whether the variety I bought needs a pollinator variety. I am crossing my fingers…….Muscadines grow wild in the are and a similar grape, Mustang grapes, which are similar, are also nearby. There is evidence of potential fruit all up and down this year’s vines!

Little teeny tiny beginnings of Muscadine grapes. I am hopeful……I want to make some jelly and maybe some wine.

My son is moving at the end of the month and has made me proud. He established two very good sized compost bins in his backyard. He has a lot of yard to mow and he has been amazed how quickly the clippings decompose and shrink. I spent some time pretty much emptying one bin last night, probably 14 good sized leaf bags full. I shouldn’t say full. Once I skimmed the newer layer- mostly leaves and grass, the bottom layer was dense and heavy……….so, small but heavier loads in those bags. If the weather holds I will return today and pull the contents of bin number 2.



Facebook Memes…..Do They Work? Or – Doing it “My Way”

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If you follow Facebook there are multiple memes showing how to grow vegetables from your kitchen scraps. I don’t know about you, but they seem a bit too good to be true. Ok, raise your hand if you have tried…….hmmm, how many hands are up?

Well, I am going to raise my hand now. If you have followed me for a long time you have seen some of my experiments. At the top of that list are my strawberry towers, with reasonably good results, but only for the initial growing season. I do have an update coming, but will hold off for a few more weeks.

Let me start with celery. I didn’t follow the instructions in the meme, surprise, surprise! I did it my way as Frank would have sung. As a side note, I heard that Frank hated singing that song.

From a Wall Street Journal article, June 2nd, 2009.”Frank Sinatra may not have always been the easiest guy in the world to get along with, but he was nothing if not consistent. One attitude that rarely varied was his opinion of “My Way,” a song whose 40th anniversary is being heralded with the reissue of the 1969 album. “My Way” was quite possibly the single most popular number from the final act of Sinatra’s career. And in concert after concert over a 25-year period, he never hesitated to tell audiences exactly what he thought of it:

— “I hate this song — you sing it for eight years, you would hate it too!” (Caesars Palace, 1978)

— “And of course, the time comes now for the torturous moment — not for you, but for me.” (L.A. Amphitheater, 1979)

– “I hate this song. I HATE THIS SONG! I got it up to here [with] this God damned song!” (Atlantic City, 1979)”……………..

Ok, back to the celery, did it my way and just poked the stub into the ground in the garden and walked away. A week later it was showing life. Now, at three weeks, it looks like a young celery plant. See photo below.

I hope it survives the coming warm weather so I can finish the experiment by eating some!

Well that worked pretty well. I next took a couple of cut off ends from some Romaine lettuce, and yes, I did it my way. They too were just poked into the dirt and allowed to fend for themselves.

One of the twin plantings
I poked this one in the ground a couple of days ago and the center is sprouting!

One more little tidbit, I have been a no till gardener for about three years now and it seems to be working. I use layers of leaves, grass clippings and buckets full of compost out of my bins. This has made a very dark and rich looking soil.

Stay tuned for more gardening done “My Way” ……. sorry Frank I just had to do it!



A Berry, Berry Good Time of the Year


With 10 half pint jars of low sugar strawberry jam in the pantry and enough berries for another batch….. am Berry happy. As noted in the title…..this is a Berry good time of the year. My strawberries have been in full production and recent exploration of the local woods show a bumper crop of Dewberries ripening.

Dewberries pose a challenge though. Number one they are small and it takes a LOT of picking to make a batch. Secondly the vines have tiny hook like thorns…..curved perfectly to snag a stray hand, finer and/or arm…..it is usually AND! I will head out this weekend to gather some up….A lesson learned from last year – I will wear long sleeves and wear some gloves, thin enough for dexterity and thick enough to prevent the hundreds of micro-scratches!

Wild Dewberries...tiny but very tasty!

Wild Dewberries…tiny but very tasty! – Shaky iPhone photo

The strawberries may be slowing down…..the” June Bearing” varieties peaked in late March early April. I have about 100 new” everbearing” types that will give me a light crop through the summer and go like gangbusters next year. Those added this year are the Ogallala variety.  Les prolific in my backyard farm are my Pineberries. They are hardy and spread like crazy but the berries tend to be small. They are a taste treat……It was a bit of a learning curve to tell when they are ripe.

So - Which berry is ripe? They both are. The berry on the left is the Pineberry. When the seeds are red and a hint of pink is showing....it is ready to pick, taste, consume and enjoy!

So – Which berry is ripe? They both are. The berry on the left is the Pineberry. When the seeds are red and a hint of pink is showing….it is ready to pick, taste, consume and enjoy!

The Pineberry taste is a mix….the first is the tart-sweet and then an instant later a pineapple like flavor. I have decided to just add them to my freezer bag for the strawberry jam making! These Pineberries throw off a huge number of runners. I would say that they would be an ideal edible ground cover!

What else am I eating from the garden…..asparagus, not too much this year but the newly planted crowns will create a good crop next year. The snap peas are done and just harvesting mature seed pods for next year. Lettuce….good crop but showing signs of bolting. Harvested the red and white onions yesterday and letting them dry out….not real big but so fresh and tasty. White radishes and beets….I will let the beets go another week and then pull them up. Elephant garlic is looking very good and healthy. The red potatoes have about another 40 days to harvest although I am tempted to did down and gather some babies! Tomatoes are looking very robust and healthy……a new variety for me this year is the “Mater Sandwhich” variety. I looks like an heirloom and I am anxious to taste test it. The unfortunate truth is that is a hybrid variety. I like the looks of the fruit…..can’t wait to taste test! Cucumbers are coming up nicely and I hope to be overwhelmed with Cucumbers in about 45 days or so.




Tomatoes – Hasta Luego en Espanol und Bis Spater auf Deustch


The freeze or near freeze last night put the hurt on two of the 4 remaining tomato plants.  The Juliett plants showed significant freeze burn on the extremities and my potted patio plants have begun to droop. Some of the droop is due to the large number of tomatoes ripening and trying to ripen.  I picked quite a few today and will get the remaining in tomorrow. I saved some so my little buddy Caleb two doors down can pick some. During his last visit to the garden I had to do some coaching concerning what was ready and what needed to wait….poor little guy, there wasn’t much that he could pull! Tomorrow he can pick large and small tomatoes, Poblano peppers, Meyer lemons, turnips, carrots, radishes and some leaf lettuce. If his mother approves I hope to capture his joy and smile in some pictures to include in the near future.

A large mixing bowl with at least double that remaining. They may have to sit in the widow sill to finish ripening.

A large mixing bowl with at least double that remaining. They may have to sit in the widow sill to finish ripening.

A closer look at the tomatoes and a few radishes.

A closer look at the tomatoes and a few radishes.

December 11th, 2012……I will have to wait about 90 days before I can put my transplants out for 2013. With a little bit of shelter I might be able to get these tomato plants to over-winter, hmmmmmm, another potential experiment !






So What’s Happenin” in the Garden?


I am back home for a full week before running off to California again. Now I don’t mind going to California mind you, at least they are having a California start into a winter. It was nice, cool, a little rain, some wind and a bit of fog. I didn’t mind that a bit. Houston will not budge, it is still stuck in a end of summer doldrums well into December. Today, December 8th, a day removed from one of the most emotional days in American history, December 7th 1941, the bombing of Pearl Harbor we are still running our AC unit!. Today in Houston we were “blessed” with 82 degrees for the high and 64 on the low side. Sunday should mirror today. Monday, yes Monday, our version of winter will arrive and may even linger for most of the week. The high will be 54 degrees and the low will nudge freezing at 34 degrees F. My tomatoes in the barrel on the patio are days away from being ripe but I am afraid that they will finish the process on the kitchen counter. I picked one and sliced it this evening and it is a bit too firm.

A barrel full of tomatoes nearly ready to pick,

A barrel full of tomatoes nearly ready to pick.

I picked some turnips and a few carrots today, one of the turnips had a growth runaway. It just dwarfed the rest of its bed mates. I made a mess of turnip greens for an evening snack and the turnips, well I will find a way to get them into play over the next several days. Turnip greens update – I just ate the greens with a little sea salt and crumbled, thick slice bacon along with a glass of my recently kegged Dirty Honey Blonde Ale. Turnip greens are something I didn’t grow up on but the great flavor and vitamin component will make them a more frequent visitor to the kitchen. Both the greens and the beer wee pretty durned good. Some further reading on turnip greens. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=144

Turnips and carrots ready fo the kithen

Turnips and carrots ready fo the kithen

An extra large turnip!

An extra large turnip!

The freeze or near freeze will finish off my tomato vines, the ancho/poblano peppers will hang on a little longer changing from that characteristic dark green of the immature Poblano to the red color of the mature Ancho – same pepper but two names based on color and maturity – as it matures it turns red and becomes hotter. The name ancho is associated the mature red dried version.

The rest of the garden….carrots are getting thick their beds, turnips are kicking butt, my curly kale is getting close to picking size, broccoli may be getting close to heading, the cabbage is showing signs of creating heads and the Brussel sprouts are now showing some energy to reach on up and develop some size. The sugar snap peas, I’ll have to wait as the sugar snap peas are just starting to flower. I have been pinching flowers off of my poor confused strawberry plants – they think it is a warm early spring…..I may have to chat with them as I have done with the asparagus – be quiet, develop your roots and wait for the real spring. My lettuces are looking good but sparse. I will put a third round of lettuce seeds out and hopefully it won’t be too warm for better germination.

Kozmic Purple carrots

Kozmic Purple carrots

Last week a spread a fresh batch of worm castings and have a very full wheelbarrow full of finished compost to spread. A brief visit to my friend John’s garden this evening showed a need for some of my compost. Some clean-up work will be needed as the tomato plants will have be pulled. I have some onion sets for him and I think some garlic cloves. By the end of the week I should get his garden looking good and ready for our brief winter.

The neighborhood is filled with leaves just begging for a visit from my leaf vacuum/shredder……I may have to go back to work for a week just to rest up from what I have planned this week!



The 25th of November – Where is Winter?


Did a quick walk around in the garden and I can’t believe that it is late November and I still have tomatoes setting fruit, the ancho/poblano peppers are still producing, and the usual winter veggies are looking good!

Tomatoes – or at least one variety in my garden.

Juliett Tomatoes still seting and turning red!

Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard – looking very healthy.

Turnips are coming along nicely –


Turnips are gaining some size. This one is tennis ball sized and asking to be picked!

Lemons too

Meyer Lemons – I can taste some lemon curd in my future!

Peppers – aren’t they a summer crop?

Poblano or Ancho peppers – locally known as Poblano – great for Rellenos!

Roses and Camelias are blossoming!

I just love the blossom patterns!

Miniature red rose. Bought as a house plant for my wife but is now happily residing next to the Camelia bush.

The strawberry towers are getting filled!


Sweet Charlie strawberries are in place and growing.


I ate some fresh picked asparagus this moring and then cut the ferns back one more time! Spread some compost pulled weeds – duh! Every day I can pull weeds! I thinned the beets and planted some red and white onion sets….need to head over to John’s house and populate his garden too!

I am in town all week so I should get a lot done….more composting, harvest the worm poop, shred some leaves, make some lemon curd and did I mention pull some weeds?










Looking Around The Central California Coast


I was out to California last week and spent a couple of days over at my mother’s place in the little quiet town of Los Osos/Baywood Park. It is just a short jaunt to Morro Bay and San Luis Obispo from her house. I finished the trip with a drive down the coast to my daughter’s home in Camarillo. That was nice, I spent time with all three grandchildren and was able to see the baby bump of my great-grandson tucked away in the womb – can’t hardly wait for February!

Mom had a list of about 12 items she needed some help with and I worked my way through the list. Some items involved technology issues, i.e., resetting the phone date & time, drafting instructions for printing photos from her computer, scanning and making copies – the stuff that an 83 year old wants to do but this tech stuff is still mystifying….as she says, “Kinda like magic!” I was able to get my hands dirty with repotting some of her succulents and moving the heavier pots around the place. I am so envious of the growing environment she is blessed with. Mom is doing very well and is back to running the Tai Chi class for about 14-16 women in her development 3 days per week. She is a pretty perky old gal and sharp as a tack. During her nap time  I got to wander out and take a few photos.

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California – Fruit Basket and Nut Case

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I mean that in the nicest way. I am in the Golden State for a bit of work and then off to the coast to visit my Mom. Her to-do list has grown to two pages. I am keeping with the gardening theme as several tasks deal with re-potting and replanting! I get spoiled on my California visits….you can find a twig, stick into the soil, add water and it will grow.

Oh, there are some draw backs – this is the time of the year in and around Bakersfield when they are defoliating the cotton and the shakers are knocking the dust and almonds off the trees. The air is thick. I have also noticed that there is a familiar strong scent all over town. I grew up a little south of town near Larson’s dairy. This familiar scent reminds me of time spent across the road around the dairy….There is an earthy component in my Larson’s dairy memories but I am afraid that the proliferation of the mega dairies that have invaded the Kern County landscape have permeated the south end of the San Joaquin Valley with a scent that has gone beyond the earthy farm scent it is an odor…..it has begun to stink!

Shift gears – the good things are abundant….I drove over to Mom’s place through the Cuyama River Valley – truck loads of carrots were heading down to the processing facilities in and around Bakersfield – I passed through probably 10’s of thousand of acres of carrot fields….many just harvested and others dense with lush tops crowded into little green furry hedges. Melons lying in the fields leftover from the recent harvest, thousands of burlap sacks bulging with harvested onions waiting for the trucks to roll through. Sprinklers shooting the high arching streams of water irrigating the fields spreading across the valley floor in a seemingly endless vista. And yes, the big guys are here too – Grimway Farms and William H. Bolthouse – in the next week or two look at the label on a carrot bag…..I just drove by what you are eating now! (US based readers and maybe Canada too).

Los Osos, the bears in Spanish, is where Mom now makes here home….the cooler weather is home to the lettuce, cabbage, parsley and flower growers….I will try to shoot some photos today or tomorrow for another post….Pumpkins both large and small are peeking through the dying vines in the fields now…..beautiful, dark black rich soils contrasting  with the greens, yellowing leaves and bright orange of the pumpkins! Should have stopped then but I was on a timeline to catch a sunset!

Looking across the bay in Baywood adjoining Los Osos.


Lovely evening….I was one of dozens at water’s edge watching the sun put on it’s evening show – free of charge!






Gardening Promises


I promise to keep my promises this time.

I promise to thin the carrots I planted Monday. I will not let them crowd each other into a carrot top hedge of green. I helped my self by being a little less generous as I sprinkled the seeds into the rows.

I think I can grow bigger/longer carrots if I ask a few more to step up and become compost volunteers.

I promise to thin the lettuces as they emerge so they can develop into nice leafy heads of tender munching. New technique yesterday – I sprinkled seeds over a section that I am trying a no till approach. The area has a fairly deep mat of grass clippings, compost and some shredded leaves. After sprinkling the seeds I used a steel rake to tamp the seeds into the substrate, watered well and will monitor. I have read that lettuces like to be planted very shallow and benefit from exposure to light to germinate…..we shall see.

Lettuces and turnips crowded together in my friend John’s bed…I was just as guilty!

I promise to thin my beets so they can mature into good-sized globes of goodness. I started them in divots space about 4 inches apart – several seeds to each divot so I need to select the strongest to survive the thinning process.

I promise to thin my turnips – see reasons above.

A few made it to decent size but I had far too many nugget sized beets and turnips.


I added a few spinach seeds and a few chard seeds … may be a little early but I have many – many more….they may also need to be thinned as they sprout.

I should have reined in the sweet potato vines …. so if I plant some next summer I will do some thinning. We had two sweet potatoes that were sprouting in the kitchen so I just tossed them into the bed with my asparagus – no problems with weed control in that bed. The vines have overwhelmed the are smothering any chance the weeds may have had. The asparagus ferns are ginormous….also helping with weed control. The adjacent bed is also overwhelmed with the vines, also weed free. I did some trimming today but it is well after the fact…in hte process I have discovered new sweet potatoes….. how many more are hiding in the tangled jungle of vines?

This is an 8 foot bed by 4 feet wide. The sweet potatoes have covered this bed, choked out the weeds and climbed the cucumber trellis! WOW!


This is the asparagus bed – the two tossed out sweet potatoes landed here and spread like crazy! The asparagus ferns, if standing straight up are 6-8 feet tall. I used tall tomato cages to keep them partially upright! An 8 foot by 4 foot bed!

My long beds – 24 feet long – are somewhat cleared and seeded as discussed above. Some pruned tomato plants, some newer transplants in place, some cucumbers, are hanging on through the heat ( picked 3 this morning), a few flowers, ancho & anaheim peppers are still producing and i’m waiting for emerging seeds!

A look toward the asparagus bed and the sweet potato jungle. Early morning with a little shade from our big oak tree.






Relationships – How The Garden Grows


A gift of love from the garden!

The photo above has been used in my postings in the past. It just so happens that it has become a bit of a personal symbol of the gifts coming from a well-tended garden. Note: My garden is not always tidy, see my Gardens Gone Wild post on July 28, 2011. This iconic strawberry, shaped like a heart and offered to my wife Kathy as first taste of spring in 2010 turned out to be a well received gesture. She said thank you but deferred to me. She said, ” You take the first bite.” it seems that my gift was acknowledged and she gained pleasure from returning an enhanced gift to me. Now don’t be cynical as you read this. Giving a gift back can be something special, something beyond my Mother’s creative re-gifting penchant. (sorry Mom). I invest a lot of time and effort in order to see my garden grow and sharing the bounty is one of greatest pleasures. This paragraph leads me into the title of the post.

I recently read a book that my brother had recommended, ” The Dirty Life” by Kristin Kimball. This is a realistic and blunt look at what it takes to immerse yourself into the sustainable farming lifestyle. While reading the book I ran across a quote that resonated with me. I found it to be very profound.

“Why is farming like a relationship? Because you do not reap what you sow! That’s a lie. You reap what you sow, hill, cultivate, fertilize, harvest and store.”

I find that for my garden to be successful it takes a lot more than just putting a seed into the ground and later picking a crop. To be successful it requires a significant investment in the “now” as well as looking down the road to keep it all together. It is also very interesting the feedback a garden plot can give you when you don’t invest the effort, time and resources to make it successful. My relationship with my best friend, my lover, my wife is much like the relationship I have with my garden…..I certainly get feedback when my efforts and investment slacks off. The rewards are immense when providing the proper investment. So let me break it down further.

We are always “sowing” seeds, both the seeds we intend and those that were unintended. I don’t have to look any further than the couple of Red Sails lettuces that are growing and thriving under my potting bench. How did they get there? I havent a clue. My planting intentions were for the lettuces to be bunched in neat little rows in the DESIGNATED bed. Intentions are a wonderful thing when executed well. But, as illustrated above, I can on occasion drop an unintended seed or two or three….. In the relationship world it can be a slip of the tongue, a passing comment that landed with a thud or a look that was not received well. On the other side, I need to understand that my life long partner can also drop an unintended seed! I will have to admit that I have responded in the wrong way to the errant seed. Sometimes even letting it take root a become larger than it should have.  Her intentions, I should realize, always have the best of intentions – rather than letting the seed take root I should seek to understand! Note to self, ask more questions and engage in more dialog!!!!

Now when it comes to “hilling” in the garden, my potatoes come to mind. Without hilling I can get a small harvest, but if I continually hill up around my potato plants the returns are significantly multiplied. I have heard the term that love is evergreen. Well, I disagree with that statement. I will agree that love can be evergreen, but it takes a bunch of work….and the work never ends. The returns, with the continual efforts will bear an abundant harvest. Note to self: do more “hilling”.

Now the “cultivating” term in the quote. I did a little internet search and hit on this description from eHow.com.

“An important step in garden maintenance is to cultivate the soil. Cultivating a garden involves removing weeds and rearranging the crust of the soil to promote nutrition, as well as water and air penetration to plants. You can cultivate the soil using different tools, working every two weeks………”

I think this definition can describe a relationship as well. There are always those unwanted and unpleasant things that crop up…we see them, recognize them and remove them before they take over, like weeds and those unintended “seeds”.   Rearranging the crust reminds me to change it up….add somethng different once in a while and look for the beneficial impact. Respond appropriately so the relationship has all it needs to grow and flourish. Tools, we have lots of tools out there for our gardening and relationship building efforts. But I have begun to realize that some are under-utilized – such as the tool of “two-way” communication. Boy, oh boy, that tool has been underutilized by this gardener! …. Note to self: God gave you two ears and one mouth – was that a hint? That last piece of the eHow definition – every two weeks….just ignore that. Cultivation in a relationship is an everyday and ongoing activity.

Now to fertilize does not mean adding or spreading BS! I sometimes have a propensity for spreading BS and unfortunately the humor many times lost on my other half…sorry hun, I thought it was funny at the time. What I should be doing is adding handfuls of soft touches, kind words, a sprinkle of hugs and many more thank you’s to nurture the relationship. Note to self: less BS – that my be hard to do but I will work on it.
The “harvest” part is something I like!!!!!! Man, oh man, that is the good stuff. It leaves me with a twinkle in the eye, a bounce in my step and one of those grins that can’t be wiped off.  That said – both parties need to share in the harvest. Am I providing a shared harvest? I need to ask myself that question a little more often. I was out-of-town this past week and Kathy let me know how much she was enjoying the fresh strawberries every morning. I asked about the asparagus and she had not noticed any. I told her that there a couple of spears poking their heads up through the leaf mulch before I left. The next day she told me how much she enjoyed the strawberries and the steamed asparagus & eggs she had for breakfast that morning. I made me feel so good to hear that she was enjoying the physical bounty of the garden, but it also got me thinking about,  “what does she harvest from the relationship?” – is she getting all that she needs? Note to self: see note above – ask and listen a little/lot more.
The concept of “storing” the returns is pretty powerful. This is an interesting concept in the framework of a relationship. What does it mean to me? I think this aspect of a relationship can be expressed in the memories that we have created. We have built a huge inventory of memories but it is interesting, at least for me, the dominant memories are those that are positive, warm, make me smile and make me feel good inside. Now, we have had our rocky moments and we will probably have a few more, but they don’t seem to occupy much memory space on my “hard drive”. The mechanism or ability to store the best allows me and hopefully both of us, to aways draw upon a stored harvest of our best memories  created in the tending of the “relationship garden”.
I hope my philosophical waxing, the seeds, land as intended…….
Expect a few more posts over the next couple of weeks. My client commitments will allow me to spend more time in the garden. Activities will include; dirt on my hands, the potatoes will be hilled, the carrots will be thinned, the beds will be cultivated, a little harvesting and maybe Kathy will let me store the ugly and mis-shaped berries as jam! Oh yes & ditto for the relationship.

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