Month: August 2010

Going Continental

Back when I was in high school – the cool kids took Spanish and the nerdy, aloof, artsy types took French. I took French. Not because I was the nerdy type (although I was), but it was due to in part of the annual foreign language dinner. You see, the Spanish kids got to eat at El Chico’s. And as I had eaten there a thousand times, it was no great event. However,the French class got to go to Emile’s on Lucky Street in Atlanta, and have Coq au Vin. Let’s look at that statement… Emile’s – Widely acclaimed French restaurant that gained a huge following in the late 50’s and 60’s for their classic traditional Parisian fare. Lucky Street – Once the hub of downtown activity and the home of many fine mainstays of Atlanta dining – Emile’s, Herrin’s Steakhouse, The Diplomat, and the Ambassador. Unfortunately, by the time I had made my way there, the once proud dining district had been reduced to dimly lit streets, strip clubs and the failing Playboy Club …

Baleful Bounty

I got a tad long winded on the hay bale garden yesterday and didn’t even get to talk about what I’m growing this year. Yeah… you’re not getting out of it that easy. Seeing that this was a test garden to verify if the bales would really produce anything more than sickly stalks, I didn’t get too crazy with things. I am very pleased to report that the bales are producing a bumper crop of produce… even though I’ve only planted a limited number of plants. BALE #1 Hybrid Yellow Pear Tomatoes (1) Yellow Bell Peppers (1) Nasturtiums (2) Sweet Potatoes (2) The tomato plant has produced so many 2″ tomatoes that I’ve had to reinforce the tomato cages to keep it from spilling over onto the ground. BALE #2 Pink Brandywine Tomato (1) Better Boy Tomato (1) Sweet Potatoes (2) The brandywines are producing about 1 softball sized tomato every 3 days. In each bale, we’ve planted the sweet potatoes into the sides of the block to hide the straw bale… it is a  …

Makin’ Hay…

Up here in the hills – unless you’re living on the eastern side of Dahlonega, or down in one of those picturesque, lush farming valleys heading out Hwy 52 towards Elijay – you don’t have a lot of options for gardening or growing anything…..  except rocks. A result of the clear cut logging in the Appalachians back in the 30’s has left most of the surrounding areas completely devoid of any really usable topsoil. Our property isn’t any different. . 99.999% of our land is scrub forest and DR (Decomposed Rock), dispersed with intermittent layers of that good ol’ sticky Georgia Red Clay. …. needless to say, gardening is a challenge. Last year, we attempted to container garden. It was lackluster at best. Even with drip lines and composted manure, the containers were just no match for the hot summer heat, and the diminutive bounty was the proof. This year, we’ve decided to try something new – Hay Bales. I saw somewhere on the ever-net where a guy in the mid-west was selling classes to …