A Greener Garden

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Hi again, and I hope that your Autumn has provided you with the colors promised with this season .    It is the time of year when we can provide our garden plots a well earned rest and reestablishment .  We can now turn our attention to our cold frame seasonal planting as well as developing plants in our sunrooms or greenhouses .  A cold frame can easily be built from an old window or glass door that you can prop against a pallet that sits against a building and is draped on both ends with clear plastic.

Greens do well in off season gardens  .  Kale, collards and other deep green leafies provide nutrition for our bodies as well  as much of the fiber that we should be consuming .   Iron, calcium and magnesium  are the primary benefits .  The darker the green , the more benefit absorbed.

There are many ways to incorporate these vitamin and mineral packed greens into recipes.

Tender greens can be blended into batters and dough for additional nutrients.   Watercress can be easily added into a batter for coating  or making a dough for noodles . Also a good way to consume them is to process them into smoothies .  This is especially true for spinach .  Adding chopped kale to any alfredo dish makes it attractive as well as nutritious .  Mustard  greens added to potato salad enhances the flavor of this dish .

Be creative and use the greens on all of your serving platters for the enjoyment that your guests will  appreciate visually.

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Any suggestions that you have for additional uses are welcome here as I am constantly learning and trying new things.

Enjoying what each season has to offer,   Grandma Jean

Gardens to Calm the Holiday Stress

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Hey Y’all .  We have all experienced holiday stress in one form or another .  Finding the right present, wanting to give our families and children good experiences,  food and cooking,  parties, shopping, decorating,  traveling,  and the list goes on to create anxiety .

There are healthy ways to give yourself a mood lift and keep your cool .  These ways can come straight from your garden, organic products at the super market, and the health food store.

Of course the first priority should be sleep, while you are sleeping  your recommended 7 or 8 hours a day,  supplement your dreams with aroma therapy .  Lavender on or under your pillow or rubbed into your skin with a lotion is a great relaxer .  It has a soothing effect on the body and brain.

This year give yourself a break with 5 foods that it is suggested will keep you calm and celebrating .

Black Beans.   

Magnesium rich , enriches the central nervous system.  It provides the mineral necessary  to decrease anxiety.  Peanuts are also a high magnesium food along with leafy greens.

Quinoa

This product along with other whole grains that are rich in B vitamins are , Barley, Brown Rice, Oats , and Buckwheat.

Chamomile Tea

This tea can have a relaxing effect on the nervous system .  It can be enjoyed with apple juice, cinnamon, ginger or other flavors such as lemon and lavender .

Pumpkin Seeds

Zinc is a significant mineral in these seeds and greatly contributes to reducing anxiety and stress .  Beef, chicken, oysters, and nuts also will establish a mood mellower with zinc.  (I don’t know if mellower is a word but its useful here ).

Edamame

This is a type of soybean that helps the brain produce a calming effect.  It has an amino acid that helps the brain produce serotonin .  The effects are increased agreeable behaviors .  Turkey and pumpkin seeds also contribute to your body with serotonin .  Maybe that is why we usually feel sleepy after a turkey dinner.

There are many recipes available that include the the stress busters  that I have listed .  I’m definitely  going to try them along with my favorite party foods.

Enjoying the sunshine here today .    Grandma Jean

Munching in the Mountains

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Hello to all ,  The mountain garden is doing very well .  Daily picking of produce has been a delightful experience .  Soon it will provide more than we can eat .  At that time I will freeze dry much of it and some I will can like , sauerkraut.

The garden at the Coast was planted at the same time as the mountain garden but I soon discovered that the timing of the coastal garden was not accurate . It gets too hot and dry there for much success until we go into late summer .

And since we have recently spent over a week camping , we ate a lot of the food that I freeze dried .  It has all been very good and fresh tasting as well as easy to prepare.

Hiking, fishing for trout and enjoying the company of others as well as trying our taste buds out on the easy to prepare freeze dry meals has made camping a very enjoyable experience.  I have more meals that I want to create in the near future and  I am really excited to try them .

My granddaughter who is 7 caught a bigger fish than I did.   Good thing I brought along those easy to prepare meals .  😋

I hope you are having an enjoyable summer .  Remember to count your blessings and focus on what you are thankful for every day.  In the meantime  I will be enjoying camping and gardening and will be back with a full blog in a week .

Now on to Disney with some family .  I hope you have had a great summer and I will be back August 12 .  Thanks for sharing .

Harvest Right  is your place to go to for more information .

Grandma Jeanh

Can Do or Can Don’t

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Hey Friends and Readers ,  it’s  been a good week  , I’ve accomplished a lot , learned a lot , and was able to spend time with friends .  The garden that I tried to keep organic was getting too dry .  I hopefully solved that problem with a hydroponic filter that attaches to my hose.  Rain has not been abundant in this location and when it did rain it was a gully washer and ran off quickly .

Every summer I canned the veggies from my garden .  I am a firm believer that good health and long life can be the result of consuming unaltered produce , meats and fish.  The home canned goods normally  have a shelf life of  a couple of years before they lose their color and freshness.  If they are properly sealed they will keep but the “blue ribbon ” quality often changes after a couple of years.

Still I will continue to can many products that I have had success with over the years , such as sauerkraut because I like my results, as well as chili, soups and chowders.  Frozen goods must be consumed more quickly than canned goods but I still keep items in my freezer to quickly pop out in case of unexpected company or because of meal planning for the week .  Items kept for a long time in the freezer tend to dry out and get freezer burn even if they are properly vacuum sealed.

I have just purchased a new product called a freeze dryer .  I love , love, love it .  It is so easy to use , unbelievably so .   I don’t get hot and sweaty as does happen in a day in the kitchen, canning.   The produce and meat are sealed in a mylar bag with an oxygen absorber pillow included and  it can last up to 25 years if properly sealed according to their instructions.   The finished results are “picked right off the vine favorable ”  .  I sometimes have to seal the product before I eat it all.

Storage is not a problem as the sealed product is light in weight and takes up little space. Small children can handle the containers safely and easily .  The veggies and other products created can be eaten as is or rehydrated in any way you wish.

I have had the product for 6 weeks now and have delightfully accomplished strawberries, blueberries, bananas , carrots, chicken,  barbecue, scrambled eggs and bacon, tomatoes and green beans .  There may be some things that I forgot about at the moment but tomorrow I will try brussel sprouts and later on in the week water melon .

Harvest Right  is your place to go to for more information .

Enjoy your day ,  Grandma Jean

Squash and Pumpkin Hand Pollination

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Many of you now have flowers on your squash and pumpkins.  I thought that today would be a good day to talk of hand pollination .

Squash and pumpkin plants are equipped with separate male and female flowers on the same vine.  Yes its true.

The only flower that will form the fruit is the female flower.  This flower is identified by a bulbous part on the stem close to the flower.  This will quickly develop into a small fruit after pollination occurs.  The male flower has a stick like stem close to his flower.  It is straight and narrow and lacks the swollen bulb that is apparent below the female petals.

The male flower usually grows first and as it opens it exposes the pollinating structure inside.  When it brushes against the female plant , usually with the movement of air or the transfer by bees and insects it pollinates the female squash to produce fruit.

If you wish to hand pollinate you may do so by carefully removing the petals from the male flower , exposing the stamen on the inside.  Usually this stamen looks like a tiny bottle brush .

Usually in nature , bees, insects, and butterflies complete the pollination .  We can do this by taking this tiny “bottle brush ” called a stamen and carefully open the petals of the female flower to expose the stigma , (the center of the flower) , and brushing the  male pollen on the stamen to the female stigma.

Pollination is completed and a fruit develops .

I hope you are learning with me and thank goodness for spell check.  I usually need it .

In future blogs I will tell you about a product for food preservation and how I use it .  I am so excited about this procedure .  I have tested it and will send pictures of my results .   I am so enthusiastic and I really hope that you will all check out https://harvestright.com/439.html

With much fondness for you all and thanks for sharing.

Grandma Jean