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Calling all Green Thumbs! - Food,Cooking and Gardening - The Lounge - Civil War Interactive Discussion Board
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 Posted: Wed Feb 25th, 2009 07:46 pm
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pamc153PA
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I just placed my first seed order today, which made me think: are there any other gardeners (serious, dabblers, or wannabes) around here? I don't think we've ever talked about this, though I know Joe has a back 40 in his jacuzzi (how's that looking by now, anyway, Joe?). Or maybe we just haven't talked about it lately.

I think I'm probably a dabbler +. I've been the "head gardener" around my house since we moved here 15 years ago. My husband never complains when I want to expand, since that's less grass to mow. I like the sort of cottage garden look (or you might call it chaos), and I mostly grow the old favorites: zinnas, spider flowers, hollyhocks, four o'clocks, and many different herbs. I have just a small part of my garden as a veggie garden, with tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, peppers, and beans. And around this time of the year, I start wanting to get my hands in the dirt!

Anyone else thinking of compost (the garden variety!) lately?

Pam



 Posted: Wed Feb 25th, 2009 08:00 pm
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javal1
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Pam,

Alas, the indoor herb garden is bare. Actually I wanted to reorganize things, so I uprooted everything. Some things that we don't use much will not be replanted. In starter pots I have the following: dill, rosemary, cilantro, basil, oregano, chives and tyhme.

Laurie tends about a 1/4 acre garden plot out back. Always great results with tomatoes and peppers (hot and sweet), decent results with root veggies (potatoes, horseradish and onions). But leafy veggies like cabbage, lettuce and Brussel Sprouts we have no luck with. The pests eat them faster than we can Sevin them.

She also keeps a compost bin out back. Started with hay and most table scraps go into it. Problem is it attracts possums. Just had to shoot another one last night. May move this topic into the Cooking category and make that a Cooking and Gardening section.



 Posted: Wed Feb 25th, 2009 10:31 pm
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susansweet3
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The first year I retired I put in flower gardens in my flower beds around my house.  I had plants in pots everywhere .  It was a beautiful spring that year.  I had Sunflowers that were huge.  I then started photographing my sunflowers. 

The next year or two I didn't do as much, back went out and then the knees.  I went on a two month trip and the plants didn't survive even with the watering a friend did etc. 

Finally my neighbors had a leak , there sprinker system flooded my flower bed and that ended everything.  The soil needs to be reworked and all new plants put in.  The only flower bed still thriving is the one with the Lavender in it.  It is beautiful especial with all my pink flamingos peeking out and around the lavender.  This is in the back yard by the patio so none of my neighbors can see it .  Pink flamingos just make me smile. 

Was thinking this spring I might start working on my plants again.

 

Pam get some seems for Love Lies Bleeding .  I got some from the Montecello seed catalog .  Yep you can buy plants and seeds on line of plants grown at Montecello by Jefferson.  I bought these seeds and planted them . They reseeded themselves for several years.  One of the most beautiful plants I have ever seen.  I ended up buying seeds for several friends who loved the plant. 

I also get a catalog from Motecello that is about gardening and plants.  I  got on their mailing list when I visited. 

Love the idea of historical seeds.  I bought some in Plymonth too one year. 

Susan



 Posted: Fri Feb 27th, 2009 12:27 pm
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Devils Den
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Pam and Susan,

I am a gardener also.  Grew up tilling about 600 acres of land and we had cattle, hogs, and 3 poultry houses (66,000 chickens) to deal with.  When we sold the farm in the early 90's we kept about 15 acres and our garden (mini farm) takes up about 3 acres.

We do "plots" of sweet corn, silver queen and cotton candy mostly, tomatoes (I love a heirloom variety called, go figure, Abe Lincoln), peppers, squash and zuchs, limas and stringbeans, peas, carrots, beets, radishes, lettuce, asparagus, watermelon, pumpkin, cantalope, eggplant, and potatoes.

I also do about an acre of sunflowers, food plot for doves, but they sure do draw a lot of people who want photos!  I planted some mammoth grey stripes last year that hit 11 feet tall.

I have already started working the ground (discing-will plow in a couple of weeks) and will honestly say that nothing removes the winter blahs for me like working the land!  I know spring will soon be here when I get out their. 

Joe-Sevin is a staple for infestation, but when I have lettuce and greens coming on strong I drape them with a piece of cheese cloth to help cut down the "chewers", am trying to "ease off" on the spray a little as my little grand neice will be big enough to walk around soon. 

Let me know how you guys are making out or if you want a few mammoth seeds to try!

Chuck  - Devils Den



 Posted: Fri Feb 27th, 2009 11:22 pm
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pamc153PA
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Susan,

It's funny you should mention seeds from Monticello, because I have gotten seeds from there! About ten years ago, when my husband and went there, I brought home seeds: lantana, hollyhocks and a gorgeous, tall yellow hibiscus. The lantana is long gone, but the dark red almost black "Watchman" hollyhocks are still around (fifth generation seeds) and every year I forget about the hibiscus until it begins to grow sometime in July. By October, it's about 7 feet tall and filled with beautiful butter yellow flowers. It's in an inconvenient place, but I haven't the heart to move it! I love the idea of having seeds/plants from historic places: on my first trip to Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, I collected acorns and catalpa seeds from Chatham manor, and Ellwood. I'd like to get a historic tree sapling of some sort to replace a tree we cut down last year.

Devils Den, those sunflowers sound terrific. I've never been lucky with sunflowers and really wish I could be. Either I don't have the space or the light, or the bugs or chipmunks get them. I sincerely wish I had your gardening space in my backyard!

Pam



 Posted: Sat Feb 28th, 2009 02:55 am
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susansweet3
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I grew my sunflowers in my flower bed.  I was so fun to look out the window and seem them taller than the fence they were growning against. 

I bought a friend on one trip seeds at every site I stopped at .  I can't remember how many packets she ended up with for her birthday.  I also bought a cookbook for her each stop.  She had 14 cookbooks at Christmas that year.

Susan



 Posted: Sat Feb 28th, 2009 07:05 pm
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fedreb
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I could never call myself a gardener and a few years ago, pre credit crunch and economic meltdown, we grassed over our moderately successful vegetable patch and settled for a few garden chairs and benches which were a lot easier to look after. However, rising prices in the shops coupled with the blandness of a lot of the mass produced stuff has brought about a change of heart and we start digging this week to try and rediscover the art of growing our own and I have to say we are both quite looking forward to it. Maybe there is a gardener in me fighting to get out.



 Posted: Tue Mar 3rd, 2009 01:31 am
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Dixie Girl
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Devils Den wrote:I have already started working the ground (discing-will plow in a couple of weeks) and will honestly say that nothing removes the winter blahs for me like working the land!  I know spring will soon be here when I get out their. 
i feel the same way Chuck. i love physical labor (yeah i know thats strange to say) last fall i completely remodeled my grandma's porch and I've been cutting trees a good portion of this winter. im ready for spring though. i love to plant flowers and veggies and stuff. im really good at it too. you ought to see all my roses, they are beautiful when they are in bloom. i also have buttercups, hostas and too many other things to name. in the veggie garden i have tomaotoes, ocra, cucmbers, watermelon and many others things.



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War Means Fighting And Fighting Means Killing - N. B. Forrest When war does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." Stonewall Jackson


 Posted: Tue Mar 3rd, 2009 08:44 pm
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Johan Steele
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My better half is planting ground cherries, rhubarb, about six different breeds of tomato, turnips, cucumber, radishes, a couple different lettuces, parsley, peppers, beets, catnip, dill, okra... yeesh and the plot is only about 20' x 8'. I think she wants to make up for last year when she couldn't play in the garden because of the baby.



 Posted: Tue Mar 3rd, 2009 09:08 pm
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javal1
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Johan, if I can ask a very naive and uninformed question - what does Okra taste like? It's never crossed my lips (remember I'm from Pa.). I've actually never eaten squash either.



 Posted: Tue Mar 3rd, 2009 11:37 pm
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pamc153PA
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Joe, the only okra I've ever eaten has been breaded and fried, and it tasted like fried zucchini sticks. But then again, to me, just about anything fried is good.

Is there another way to eat okra other than that?

Pam



 Posted: Tue Mar 3rd, 2009 11:52 pm
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pamc153PA wrote: Joe, the only okra I've ever eaten has been breaded and fried, and it tasted like fried zucchini sticks. But then again, to me, just about anything fried is good.

Is there another way to eat okra other than that?

Pam

the only other way to eat okra is Pickled Okra. you can buy it from the local WalMart in regular and hot. i wouldnt dare even attempt to eat boiled okra. fried okra is the best



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 Posted: Wed Mar 4th, 2009 12:00 am
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susansweet3
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My grandfather use to grown Okra in his garden back in Oklahoma.  I was visiting one year and thought I would help out.  I would go out and pick tomatoes no problem so figured the okra was easy to pick too. 

I knew I needed a knife to cut it off but somehow had missed the part about wearing gloves.  I cut a bunch of okra for my grandfather and spent the rest of the day and next day with throbbing hands .  Okra has little spines like needles . They REALLY hurt.  My good deed was very painful. 

I didn't like okra before . I really didn't like it after that experience .  My grandmother would fry it and put it in soup etc. 



 Posted: Wed Mar 4th, 2009 01:20 am
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ole
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The very best gumbos and stews are thickened with okra.



 Posted: Wed Mar 4th, 2009 01:27 am
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javal1
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Showing my ignorance on the subject again Ole - but how is okra used as a thickener? Grated? Cubed? Sliced? Does it secrete a liquid that thickens the dish? Sounds intriguing.....



 Posted: Wed Mar 4th, 2009 05:36 am
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ole
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Really don't know, Javal, never had any of it except maybe when I didn't know it. But if you can lay a hand on a from-scratch gumbo recipe, it will be there.

I'm reasonably certain that is chunked or sliced and, from what I understand, there is something in the juice (seeds or flesh?) that thickens.

Mobile told me once that the plant is native to Africa, and that the seeds were smuggled over; and then from plantation to plantation.

Consulted Adele Davis. She doesn't mention gumbo and it's a bit late to start leafing through cookbooks. She does mention sauteed and in a really horrible sounding soup. Healthy food? Perish the thought.

Ole



 Posted: Wed Mar 4th, 2009 06:55 am
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Found this on line which brings the conversation back to Civil War!!!! Okra for coffee

THE SOUTHERN BANNER [ATHENS, GA], February 11, 1863, p. 3, c. 4

Okra--A Substitute for Coffee.

Mr. Archer Griffeth, of Ala., gives us the following directions for preparing okra seed as a substitute for coffee. He expresses himself as highly pleased with the beverage:
Parch over a good fire and stir well until it is dark brown; then take off the fire and before the seed get cool put the white of one egg to two tea-cups full of okra, and mix well. Put the same quantity of seed in the coffee pot as you would coffee, boil well and settle as coffee.
Directions for Planting and Cultivating.--Prepare a rich spot as for cotton, by bedding 3 1/2 feet. About the 10th of April open the ridges and sow the seed, and when up, chop out to 12 inches in the drill and cultivate the same as cotton. it will grow 6 to 8 feet high and will yield abundantly--one acre of good land producing ten bushels of seed. The seed will be dry in July.
Since writing the above, we have tried some of the okra coffee prepared by the above directions, and find it better than pure Rio and almost equal to old Java.--Try it.



 Posted: Wed Mar 4th, 2009 03:17 pm
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javal1
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Just found this, which explains how it thickens. Gotta say though, if it tastes even close to asparagus, it's off my list as I find asparagus the single most vile tasting food in the world:

The seed pods are 3 - 10 inches long, tapering, usually with ribs down its length. These tender, unripe seed pods are used as a vegetable, and have a unique texture and sweet flavor. The pods, when cut, exude a mucilaginous juice that is used to thicken stews (gumbo), and have a flavor somewhat like a cross between asparagus and eggplant.



 Posted: Wed Mar 4th, 2009 03:55 pm
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Johan Steele
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Javal; to be honest I thought it was the nastiest thing I'd ever tasted. Kind of a slimey texture that really turned me off to it. As for flavor I would put it about like an eggplant. Then my ex wife would make "Texas Gumbo," which was about the only thing she was willing to cook consistantly, and it was increadible. And in other gumbos I've had since it works; but in any other dish than gumbo... not only no but hell no.



 Posted: Wed Mar 4th, 2009 06:37 pm
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ole
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In gumbo or stew, you don't get much of a taste of the okra.

Ole



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