Month: April 2014

Garden Project 2014 – The Unconsoled

For all the planning, prepping, and planting done last year, the 2013 Garden Project was a bust. The cooler than normal – wetter than normal – stranger than normal Spring wreaked havoc with the layout and the Only things that produced like I expected were the eggplants and peppers. I tried these nifty looking potato cages, where you layer mulch and slips into a hay-lined cage… and Voila! (supposedly) you get a bounty of taters. this was my “bounty”…   Don’t get excited… it was 187  potatoes ranging in size from a golf ball to a cat’s eye marble…. heavy on the marble. So, I’ve let the failures knock a bit of the stream out of my rhubarb this year, but only a bit. Once again we’re doing without the hay bales. I think 4 years of  hay much worked into the soil, along with composted cow manure and a healthy compliment of mushroom compost will bolster the soil perfectly well for anything I plan to grow this year. And what is that? you ask…   …

Garden Project 2014 – The Creep

baaaa – Dum Baa – Dum bum bum bum bum Bum bum Bum bum Bum Bum BUM BUM BUM BUM BUM BUM   A couple of years ago I bought some long forgotten native plant (I don’t remember what it was… it died) from my favorite “Native Plant Nursery” in Ellijay.   Anyway, in along with whatever it was, was a single, small sprig of this scalloped leafed, blue flowered “thing”. I thought it was pretty. So I left it alone and let it grow to see what it would do. This thing is Creeping Charlie. A drought resistant, deer resistant, eradication resistant weed. Supposedly, you can use it as a herb, or make a poultice out of the crushed leaves for aches and pains, or eat it as a salad green, or make a calming tea out of it. I don’t recommend any of those things. While the leaves are palatable, it’s got this weird goaty – sheepy – lanolin vibe to it… like eating mutton steeped in tarragon. What I can do with …

Not So Little Fishes

This is a reprint from our first year – Hey… it’s salmon! And Salmon season is almost among us… and I do love me some salmon. My favorite time of the year is almost Here! What, you didn’t send out your cards yet? You haven’t bought the kid’s Sockeye costumes with the grotesquely over-exaggerated head parts? You haven’t converted the front yard into a mock-up of Northwest spawning grounds? There aren’t any dainty little dishes scattered around the house filled with roe and gravlax? “Ok, maybe it’s just me… Wild Salmon Season is here. I anxiously wait for it every year. I absolutely cannot wait to see those big slabs of ruby-red flesh at the market. Not that there’s anything wrong with farmed salmon…exactly….. It just doesn’t have the same depth of taste, the silkiness of texture, the richness of color. …Alright, farm raised salmon is just pretty damn bland. But, I’ll admit, seeing a 2-foot long piece of fish at the market can be a little scary for some people. 5 to 8 pounds …

French Gibbons, The Number 5, and some peas

  April marks the start of our fifth year at the reins of the madly careening ride that is Plate Fodder. I feel like my somewhat inebriated Uncle Posey heading to town hitched to his blind mule… “I may have connected the wagon correctly”, “He may or may not know the way to town even if I pass out”, “I might not even care if we get lost”. Like my colorful uncle – it’s never about the destination – it’s the journey that’s the gas. and… it has been. You know, I have fellow writer friends that say “I’m taking a break…I can’t seem to find my voice…or my angle… or point of view for my site”. And, I get that. It’s tough to stay within the lines of a prescribed notion of what we want our online persona to be. Maybe that’s why I have three unfinished novels still sitting in boxes and scribbled on moldy index cards (yes, it’s been that long) – I can’t stay focused on a story line. But some time ago I knew …

The Weekly Wildflower – Sessileleaf Bellwort

Generally speaking, any plant with the word “wort” in it’s name, was once considered a food or medicinal plant – even if the reasons for the designation were rather lopsided. Bellworts were considered a medicinal for throat ailments because the flower resembled the uvula… (that little waddle-y thing hanging at the back of the throat…) In clearing the woods this Spring for new walking paths, I figured we’d uncover a bounty of native wildflowers that had been blanketed by “years” of leaf decay – finally getting their day in the sun – so to speak. I haven’t been disappointed. Say hello to Sessileleaf Bellwort, or Wild Oats – a member of the lily family. There are 6 types of bellworts in the States – 2 varieties are common to Georgia. The Sessileleaf Bellwort (which we have on the property), and the Uvularia Grandfloria Bellwort (also known as Merry Bells). A spreading variety useful and beautiful as a woodland ground cover. The plants typically grow 8 to 12″ with 2 single, yellow bell-shaped flowers per plant. I’ll …