sustainability

Summer Success

For many of you, gardening season has just begun but for me, it’s a constant turnover. Our cool weather plants have long gone, replaced by summertime sweeties like okra and peppers, peanuts and pumpkins. Yep, if you want a pumpkin for your doorstep come Halloween, you’d better start planting it now. These babies take a while–especially if you like them big!

Big Max pumpkins

And we do. The bigger the better. These beauties were from a few seasons back, but it’s always a good idea to remind yourself of the goal. Helps to keep you motivated through the long hot summer. Peppers enjoy the heat as well and are thriving in varying stages. Green…

green peppers

Hot chili… More

Custom Seed Packet & Holder Giveaway!

Attention savvy gardeners!  Visit us on Facebook and hit “like” for your chance to earn one of these adorable seed packet holders. 

Your choice of design, as well as a set of 15 custom seed saving packets, compliments of BloominThyme — http://www.facebook.com/bloominthyme

Don’t save seeds?  No problem.  Use these containers to hold paper napkins or plastic utensils on the picnic table, or perhaps envelopes on your desk.  How about the perfect unique gift for that gardener friend?  Or win one for the kids!  These holders are a great way to get the youngsters excited about gardening. 

Already “like” us?  Thanks!  You’ll be automatically entered to win.  When we reach 75 likes, one random winner will be drawn.  At a 100, a second will be chosen.  So enter early and increase your chances of winning.

Then, stay-tuned for more giveaways as well as gardening made easy — BloominThyme…your “cliff” notes to gardening!

Sustainability!

Almost.   My son and I prepared our first batch of black beans for dinner.   We followed the traditional method of soaking before cooking.   Actually, we boiled them for 2 minutes first, and then soaked them for about six hours.   And if we hadn’t been so excited about cooking our first batch of beans, we would have realized our mistake.

“We need one cup of beans,” I told him, to which he vigorously responded by dumping the entire container of beans into the measuring cup.   “No, no!” I exclaimed as beans scattered across the floor.   “Make a funnel with your hands, like this–” whereby I demonstrated how to guide the beans into the awaiting cup.

He dipped his head into the container with the remaining beans, peering at them closely.  “What do we do with these?”

Spying the small amount, I decided, “Aw…go ahead and add them.   We can put more water in the pot, no problem!”

We were so excited at the prospect of preparing our own garden’s beans for dinner, we thought of nothing else as we turned up the heat and watched our babies come to a boil.

“Do we have to have chicken, Mom?”

I gazed down into my seven-year-old’s eyes, eyes flowing with disappointment and replied,  “But you love chicken and yellow rice with black beans.”   (It really is delicious — see for yourself on my recipe section)  “It’s one of your favorites.”

“No,” he shook his head.   “I don’t like chicken anymore.  Or yellow rice.”   He made a so-so gesture with his hand.  “I kinda prefer white.”

“Anymore?  Since when?  Thursday?”   (I swear, my kids are more finnicky than cats.)

“Since whenever,” he said, as though I were unable to comprehend this simple concept.

Suddenly, caught between his changing appetite and the likelihood of whether or not I had white rice in the pantry, it dawned on me as I stared at the pot of boiling beans.  “Oh no!”   

Alarmed, he asked, “What happened, Mom?”

I turned to him and couldn’t help but laugh.  “We forgot to save some beans!”

“So?  It’s okay.  We can eat them all tonight.”  (Sweet love child that he is, he doesn’t like it when I’m upset.   Unless of course, he’s the cause.

“No, baby.”  I shook my head and smiled.  “We forgot to save some for re-planting in the garden.”

Apprehension lit up in his eyes.  “Oh…”  he said.  His gaze flashed to the hot pot of beans.   “What will we do?”

In the old days, this is where the black and white movie takes a horribly sad turn.   Uncle Ed and Aunt Mary are forlorn.  No beans to plant?  Ethel May is stricken.    What ever will we do?

Nowadays?  We go online and order more beans!  That’s what we do.

And be grateful for the ability.  A mistake like this on the prairie could have jeopardized the family’s survival, but not today, so if you’re like me and LOVE black beans, hurry!  Now is the time for planting.  Black beans are easy to grow, easy to harvest and easy to shell.  Why, even a kid could do it!  (And does, in our family.)  Beans are one of the easiest plants to sustain in your garden, so long as you remember your goal of sustainability and save some for the dirt!

p.s.  I would have taken pictures of our lovely batch of beans, but we were much too excited to even think of a photo shoot.

Thank Heaven for seed and feeds!

Onions are in, onions are in!  And not a moment too soon – yahoo! 

This is big excitement for me, cause I have tried to sprout my sweet onion seeds – repeatedly — but to no avail.  Zip.  Nada.  Nothing.  The nice fellow at my local feed and seed said, “Might be too early.”  I nodded, declining to inform him that my seed plant date data sheet clearly states I could start “trying” in August. 

But okay.  I’ll go with it.  A simple case of “operator error.”  It isn’t the first time for me and won’t be the last, of this I can be sure, but perhaps the true culprit was distance.  They were too far from my sight – as in, the garden – and were allowed to get too dry.  Listing says, these isty bitsy guys need consistent moisture.  Alrighty, then —  on to plan B!

So I started the next batch on my back patio, you know, so I could see them, and remember to water them — much like I do with my fragile broccoli sprouts.  But nope, this didn’t work either (temperamental little things).  So not only can I NOT claim an advance toward my goal of self-sustainability — this failure is ruining coveted visions of giving my sprouts that “hair trim” so cutely illustrated in the book! 

Whatever.  Some times, you just have to let go. 

September was blowing in and I was still onion-less, so I trotted down to my local seed store.  Now mind you, my local seed store is a Godsend.   They patiently answer all my questions – my very basic questions – most probably thinking:  Should you be gardening?  But ever the professionals, they never let on, though it does remind me of my school days.  I was that kid up front asking so many questions, my fellow students would snicker, dunce.  While I never actually heard them utter the word, I know they were thinking it.  Want to ask who got an A on the test come Friday?

You guessed it (me, for the slow kids in the back).   And that’s the point.  If you keep at it, you will succeed – with the help of your local seed and feed store.   It’s an invaluable resource, not to mention a great place to buy your hay, compost, organic fertilizers and the like.  For those high on excitement but short on time, many stores offer ready to go veggie plants making it super EASY to get your garden growing! transplants

But pssssst…  Don’t let on you’re interested in sustainable gardening and seed preservation procedures —  kinda puts a damper on their seed sales, if you know what I mean.   And trust me, you don’t want them to set out the unwelcome mat for you cause you’re gonna need them when those seeds you’ve been drying get mistaken for crumbs, or knocked off the counter by an overzealous Labrador.  Sometimes, you drop them on your way out to the garden.   Get the picture? 

Visit your seed store early and often and you’ll enjoy a row of sprouts like these beauties – though they do resemble a bad hair transplant a bit, don’t they?