Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Stroll Through the Garden

African marigold which is planted in and around tomato bushes.

Tomatoes, tomatoes everywhere.  I'm having success with tomatoes this year whereas others are not.  Could it be due to the African marigolds?  I have a total of seven tomato plants -- two Roma, two cherry, one grape, and two Big Boys.  The Big Boys are just beginning to ripen, but the others have been ripening like crazy. 

Hmmm, will this squash flower turn into a zucchini?  I sure hope so; but squash bugs have already killed 4 plants.  This plant and one other are hanging on.  Hope to get a few more zucchinis before tearing up the plants.  I've been shredding and freezing the zucchini for zucchini bread later in the year.

Blooms on the yarrow.  Medicinal uses for yarrow includes using on cuts, scrapes and to stop bleeding.  I've been told that a poultice of yarrow aids in the healing of a brown recluse spider bite.  By no means would I not immediately go to a doctor should I be bitten by a brown recluse but would use a poultice in conjunction with anything prescribed by a doctor.  Thankfully, I've never had to see if a poultice works on a bite. 

A honey bee hard at work on the crepe myrtle.  I'm thinking of doing some beekeeping.  I read it is best to start a new hive in February or March.  I like to explore all types of endeavors.  I've also been thinking about getting some chickens, but,  don't know if I really want to do so.  Beekeeping sounds like less work as opposed to keeping chickens.  Since I'm in Texas, I've read that beekeepers in this part of the country need to get a new queen every year since the africanize bees have made it up from South America to Texas.  I don't see that as a problem.  When I'm in the garden, bees fly all around me and as long as I don't make fast moves, I've never been stung.  Of course, if africanized bees make it into the colony, it becomes a BIG problem.  I've read that the queen is the key to keeping the colony tranquil.

Stevia in bloom. An extract can be done by combining the leaves with a pure USP grain alcohol for 24 hours, straining, adding some water, then cooking on a very low heat to burn off the alcohol.  The leaves can probably be pulverized in the food processor and used in place of sugar too.  Thought I'd give it a try.

I like to use alternatives medicine or natural food substitutes whenever it does not entail hours upon hours of preparation.  I'm not into standing for hours with a mortar and pestle; so if it is fairly easy, I'll give it a try.  Next up will be fresh pesto from the tens of basil plants that seeded last year.  :D

Until next time, God bless.


reanaclaire said...

what beautiful nature... i would love that stroll too..


DJan said...

Lynn, that picture of the tomatoes is beautiful. I can almost smell them on the vine. And I had forgotten about crepe myrtle until I saw that picture. What a nice journey into your garden, thank you.

AL said...

Wow! You made me envious this time. With those veggies and flowers growing in your garden, I am now having thoughts of trying to grow them since it's the rainy season. Have you tried cheese, tomato sandwich? It's good, heat pan, melt butter and toast slice of bread. Slice one of your big tomato thinly, and slice of quick melting cheese in between the toast and TADA!

Lynn said...

AL, tomato, cheese, and onion on whole wheat is just about my most favorite sandwich. In fact, that is one of the reasons for growing tomatoes.

Hubby said last night that we should get a greenhouse so we can have tomatoes all year round.

Sara Chapman in Seattle, USA said...

A lovely stroll through your garden. So happy to hear your tomatoes are doing well. I noticed the lettuces I planted in with the onions did MUCH better. Wonder if it's just coincidence. Anyway, that squash blossom will never be a squash because it's a male blossom (has a thin stem). Look closely and you'll see that some have swelled ovaries behind the blossom. Bingo!