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Simple Gardening Pt .2

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  • Sheryl Simons
    The Simple Life By Sheryl Simons We can stay young by focusing on a dream instead of on a regret. Planning Ahead to Your Garden pt. 2 Make a list of exactly
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 27, 2008
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      The Simple Life
      By Sheryl Simons

      We can stay young by focusing on a dream instead of on a regret.

      Planning Ahead to Your Garden pt. 2

      Make a list of exactly what you want to grow. We love corn
      and potatoes, but potatoes are very time intensive, unless you want
      to use chemicals. Those little rascal potato beetles, can be an
      awful nuisance. If you use powder to keep the bugs away, you have to
      re-apply every time it rains. I tried row covers last year, without
      any luck. Actually, it made more work. Those little buggers got in
      there anyway, so I had to open the row covers, to pick off the bugs.
      I really hate to use chemicals, but I may have to resort to desperate
      measures. And, the cost of the chemical that is safe for vegetables,
      must be factored in. We do love digging those potatoes, tho, and
      probably feel like the effort is worth the result. But there is a
      potato farmer nearby, who deals with all the trouble for us, and we
      can buy bags of seconds pretty cheap in the fall, and that is
      important to keep in mind. That is a good thing to think about, if
      you have lots of great farmer's markets, and the prices are fair, why
      bother with a garden at all? You have to love gardening, have the
      time, and the equipment. You have to know what your goal is.

      Now, if you want to can, the easiest things to can are
      tomatoes, applesauce, pickles, relish, chili sauce, and grape juice.
      Peaches and pears aren't too bad, either. When you can process 50 or
      so jars in one day, that is pretty cheap food. If you have a
      pressure canner, you can do beans, corn, and other low acid
      vegetables, but I can buy cans for less than 30 cents a can in the
      fall at the canned goods sales that last the winter, so that is the
      route I take with them. We grow beans and corn just for the table.
      And, there is nothing so good as a fresh ear of corn straight from
      the garden! Who needs dessert! I love self-sufficiency, but only to
      a point that it makes sense. When you can buy a good product
      cheaper, then why go to the trouble?

      I like to grow a few hills of winter squash, because you can
      keep them in a cool place and they will last a long time, without any
      special treatment.

      I also like to grow summer squash and zucchini. They make
      great summer vegetables, and there is hardly and care to them. It is
      easy to throw a couple bags in the freezer for winter, but I don't
      think freezing a lot of vegetables to be eco-friendly. I save the
      freezer for mostly meat and fish. You can can meat, such as venison,
      with a pressure canner, also.

      Another thing to keep in mind. If you plan a big garden,
      unless you have a lot of time on your hands, equipment is a big
      factor. Will you need a tractor, or roto-tiller? How important is
      it that no weeds come up in your garden? I've been in gardens (there
      are a couple) where weeds disappear before they hardly see the light
      of day. But there are always a few weeds in my garden. I just never
      can keep up, and it isn't so pretty, but, summer is too much fun to
      keep my garden weed free. And, it takes quite a few weeds to
      actually hurt the harvest. And, even if you have a perfectly weed-
      free garden, weed seeds will still blow in, so you are never really
      ahead of that game. So don't worry about it. The corn you pick
      doesn't care if there were a few weeds between the rows. Sometimes,
      weeds can be a good thing. I actually read an article once about a
      man who didn't even try to weed his garden. He just planted, and let
      things come up through the weeds. He was of the idea that the weeds
      were like a living mulch. That is true, to the point that the weeds
      could be too much competition, and steal the moisture from the
      vegetable plants. When we think about nature, even a bare spot in
      the grass, will fill in of its own accord.

      One year, a neighbor asked to plant some tomatoes at the back
      of our garden. Since we had extra space that was all ready to plant,
      we agreed. Those poor tomatoes had very poor care. Forget about
      weeding! They would get watered just a tiny bit, when they were
      absolutely wilting! And this was a drought year. Even if I wanted
      more work, I had enough work to take care of my own plants.
      However, those plants went on to produce a bumper crop. There were
      way to many tomatoes. And the neighbor who planted them, decided it
      was too much work to come pick them. So I was giving bushels of
      tomatoes away to anyone who would take them, and canned some myself,
      even though I had enough of my own. But it was an interesting thing
      to watch. We laughed, thinking those tomatoes would never amount to
      anything, but nature got the last laugh, since there was a late
      frost. I've rarely had a harvest compared to those tomatoes that
      refused to die.

      So, even if you don't think you have any green thumb at all,
      think again. A few small plants or seeds, and nature is just about
      all you need.

      * * *

      Simple BBQ Chicken

      4 skinless boneless chicken breasts or thighs, or legs
      1 c. catsup
      12 oz. can diet or regular coke
      Put chicken in non-stick skillet. Mix catsup and cola, pour over the
      top. Bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat and cook for 45 minutes.
      Uncover,turn up heat and continue to cook until the sauce become
      thick and adheres to the chicken. It turns into the most delicious
      barbeque sauce.

      Send me your favorite simple recipe! I would really like to
      share it with our group!

      Keeping it Simple,
      Sheryl

      Email: thesimple_life@...
      Join the online newsletter to print recipes and look up previous
      columns.
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/thesimple_life
      We find comfort among those who agree
      with us - growth among those who don't.
      ~Frank A. Clark
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