Friday, December 18, 2009

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

The place to go for your heirloom seed needs!

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Thanks to St. Jude Thadeus for answering my prayer for my daughter to pass her nursing final yesterday. Once again, he has not failed to come to our rescue in times of dire need. Thanks be to God the father of Jesus, Thanks be to Mary, the mother of Jesus, Thanks be to Jesus, the son of God, Thanks be to St. Jude for interceding on our behalf in our time of need. You never have failed us yet. AMEN!!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009 Gold in the Grass: Rags to Riches Through Soil Reclamation and Sustainable Farming. A Back-to-the-Land Adventure from 1954 (9780972177054): Margaret L Leatherbarrow: Books Gold in the Grass: Rags to Riches Through Soil Reclamation and Sustainable Farming. A Back-to-the-Land Adventure from 1954 (9780972177054): Margaret L Leatherbarrow: Books

This is an old book brought back to life. It is excellent not only for those who are homesteading/farming but also for organic/permaculture gardeners. It is highly recommended for an interesting read on every level. A love story, a success story, and a lesson we all must learn and abide by.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Homegrown Evolution: Stirred, Not Shaken

Homegrown Evolution: Stirred, Not Shaken

A Beautiful Fall

October left much to be desired here in the deep south. A lot of rain and chilly temperatures were not the norm for this time of year, but now that we are into November it is more like our October should have been.

Temps are in the mid to upper 70's with low humidity and sunny skies. It is a joy to be working out in the gardens now. I am looking for shrub and tree cuttings now to start over the winter. I am going to make a willow hedge across the driveway to block out some neighbors who seem to be golfers and like to hit their balls into our driveway area. It is obvious that they have hit our vehicles at times. I have been saving up the balls and have a bagful so I will put them in their mailbox with a "sweet" note asking them to please cease and desist from this least aimed at our property.

I bought the turkey for Thanksgiving. They had a good sale on a few weeks ago and I couldn't pass it up. I know they will go up as the date gets closer. Now I have to show Db some of the desserts I have planned to see which one's he would like. (such terrible English usage I have!)

Not much new so will end this here.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Create a Minimalist Home - wikiHow

Create a Minimalist Home - wikiHow

How to Create a Minimalist Home

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

A minimalist home is less stressful. Clutter is a form of visual distraction, and everything in our vision pulls at our attention at least a little. The less clutter, the less visual stress we have. A minimalist home is calming. It is also more appealing. Think about photos of homes that are cluttered, and photos of minimalist homes. The ones with almost nothing in them except some beautiful furniture, some nice artwork, and a very few pretty decorations, are the ones that appeal to most of us.
And importantly, a minimalist home is easier to clean. It’s hard to clean a whole bunch of objects, or to sweep or vacuum around a bunch of furniture. The more stuff you have, the more you have to keep clean, and the more complicated it is to clean around the stuff. Think about how easy it is to clean an empty room compared to one with 50 objects in it. That’s an extreme example, of course, as this article doesn't recommend you have an empty room, but it’s just to illustrate the difference.
There are actually no set steps to making your home minimalist, except to change your philosophy and shoot for the ideals in the previous section above. This article merely presents you with some ideas for how you might approach changing your home into a minimalist one.


  1. Change one room at a time. Unless you’re just moving into a place, it’s hard to simplify an entire house at once. Focus on one room, and let that be your center of calm. Use it to inspire you to simplify the next room, and the next. Then do the same outside!
  2. Start with furniture. The biggest things in any room are the furniture, so it is always best to begin simplifying a room by looking at the furniture. The fewer pieces of furniture, the better (within reason, of course). Think of which furniture can be eliminated without sacrificing comfort and livability. Go for a few pieces of plain, simple furniture (example of a minimalist coffee table) with solid, subdued colors.
  3. Keep only the essentials. Whether looking at your furniture or anything else in the room, ask yourself if the item is truly essential. If you can live without it, get it out. Try to strip the room down to its essentials — you can always add a few choice items beyond the essentials later.
  4. Clear floors. Except for the furniture, your floors should be completely clear. Nothing should clutter the floor, nothing should be stacked, nothing should be stored on the floor. Once you’ve gotten your furniture down to the bare essentials, clear everything else on the floor — either donate it, trash it, or find a place for it out of sight.
  5. Clear surfaces. Same thing with all flat surfaces. Don’t have anything on them, except one or two simple decorations (see below). Donate, trash or find an out-of-sight storage spot for everything else. It will make everything much, much more minimal-looking.
  6. Clear walls. Some people hang all kinds of stuff on their walls. No-can-do in a minimalist home. Clear your walls except for one or two simple pieces of nice artwork (see below).
  7. Store stuff out of sight. This has been mentioned in the above tips, but you should store everything you need out of sight, in drawers and cabinets. Bookshelves can be used to store books or DVDs or CDs, but shouldn’t have much else except a few simple decorations (not whole collections of things).
  8. Declutter. If you are clearing flat surfaces and the floor, and storing stuff in cabinets and drawers, you’ll probably want to declutter your storage areas too. You can do this in a later stage if you want.
  9. Use simple artwork. To keep a room from being boring, you can put a simple painting, drawing or photo, framed with a subdued, solid color, on each wall if you want. Leave some walls bare if possible.
  10. Use simple decorations. As mentioned in the above tips, one or two simple decorations can serve as accents for a minimalist room. A vase of flowers or a small potted plant are two classic examples. If the rest of your room has subdued colors, your accents could use a bright color (such as red, or yellow) to draw the eye and give a plain room a splash of energy.
  11. Prefer plain window treatments. Bare windows, or simple, solid colored curtains, or simple, wooden blinds are good. Too much ornate stuff around the windows is clutter.
  12. Adopt plain patterns. Solid colors are best for floor coverings (if you have any), furniture, etc. Complex patterns, such as flowers or checkers, are visual clutter.
  13. Make the most of subdued colors. You can have a splash of bright color in the room, but most of the room should be more subtle colors - white is classic minimalist, but really any solid colors that don’t stress the eyes is good (earth colors come to mind, such as blues, browns, tans, greens).
  14. Edit and eliminate. When you’ve simplified a room, you can probably do more. Give it a couple of days, then look at everything with a fresh eye. What can be eliminated? Stored out of sight? What’s not essential? You can come back to each room every few months, and sometimes you’ll discover things you can simplify even more.
  15. Have a place for everything. In a minimalist house, it’s important that you find a place for everything, and remember where those places are. Where does your blender go? Give it a spot, and stick with it. Aim for logical spots that are close to where the thing is used, to make things more efficient, but the key is to designate a spot.
  16. Sit back, relax, and enjoy. Once you’ve simplified a room, take a moment to look around and enjoy it. It’s so peaceful and satisfying. This is the reward for your hard work. Ahhhh. So nice!


  • Minimal furniture. A minimalist room would only contain a few essential pieces of furniture. A living room, for example, might only have a couch, another chair or love seat, a coffee table, a minimalist entertainment stand (not a huge one with a bunch of shelves), a television, and a couple of lamps. It could even contain less (couch, chairs, and coffee table, for example). A bedroom might have a simple bed (or even just a mattress), a dresser, and perhaps a night stand or book shelf.
  • Clear surfaces. In a minimalist home, flat surfaces are clear, except for one or two decorations. There are not a whole bunch of knick knacks, and definitely not stacks of books or papers or other items.
  • Accent decorations. A home completely clear of things would be a bit boring, actually. So instead of having a coffee table completely free of any objects, you could have a simple vase with a few flowers, for example. Or a clear desk might just have a family photo. An otherwise empty wall might have a tasteful piece of art.
  • Quality over quantity. Instead of having a lot of stuff in your home, a minimalist would choose just a few really good things he loves and uses often. A really nice table, for example, is better than 5 pieces of press-board furniture.
  • Examples. The photo at the top of this post is a nice example of a minimalist home. Traditional-style Japanese homes are another great example of minimalism.

Things You'll Need

  • Less of everything

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

  • Original source of article from the very generous Zen Habits. Please feel free to visit and support copyright free information providers.
  • Learn more about creating a Custom Small House

Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Create a Minimalist Home. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Cooler Sunday

This has been a crazy gardening year. Drought-y summer with high heat and humidity half into October until yesterday when the pattern finally broke.

Our usually dry October has been anything but! Rain, rain, and more rain, but at least it filled the pond back up and our friends who are fishermen are anxious to get back to our pond and catch "the one that got away". :-)

Most of the vegetables did not do well this year due to the strange weather. My hot peppers which usually do great only gave me a few peppers and the tomatoes were awful. Gourds I had planted at the base of trees as is my practice did nothing all summer but are now late to make anything.

Everyone around the Eastern part of the country has been complaining about how badly their gardens did this year. I guess it is just an "off" year like happens sometimes.

Today we just worked outside cleaning up and doing some trimming around the pond. I had made some pizza dough earlier in the morning so I came in around 2:00, took a nap and then got up and made pizza's. They were very good. I make mine in my cast iron pans and it seems to give them more of a brick oven taste and texture than using pizza pans. I do have a pizza stone, but I always forget to drag it out and the cast iron pans are always in easy reach.

Tonight is supposed to get down to 37 in town so I think we may get our first frost out here since we are usually about five degrees cooler. I really hope not. The later the frosts come the shorter winter seems. Fingers are crossed for Jack Frost to postpone his annual visit.

Make Hot Tamales - wikiHow

Make Hot Tamales - wikiHow

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Sustainable Living

It is a stormy night here in deep south Alabama. It got me to surfing about for information on my favorite passion, "sustainable living".

Anyway... I was just thinking about how wonderful it would be if everyone started to live and work together in a sustainable fashion in areas with-in their own towns or counties...certainly no larger than counties. Sort of like in the old fashioned times when you had your farmers, your general store, your baker, butcher, blacksmith, doctor, etc., etc.. Everyone had a place and was able to sustainably live with-in these small communities through barter, trade, and a bit of money through selling whatever they had to sell.

This system worked so well and one of the reasons it worked so well is there was not a lot of competition. Why? Because there was not an overly large population.

People cannot stand it when you start to talk about controlling human populations for some reason. Even though it makes total sense and would solve so many of today's problems, to bring it up in this country is all but taboo. You would better be able to talk of something as deplorable as incest as to talk about controlling the size of ones family.

Until we wake up and see that this is as necessary as controlling over-run animal populations with neutering or spaying, our numerous problems cannot be fixed nor will they go away. And by the way...I'm "fixed". I saw the need way back in the early 70's that people had to stand up to the plate and take responsibility for their procreation abilities. I just wish that more people would have thought as I did and do.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Fall Is On the Horizon

This has been the strangest summer I have experienced in many a decade here in southern Alabama. Where was the non-stop heat and humidity? I have no idea, but the insects were ravenous!

My Willow trees were decimated by mealy bugs, the Catalpa trees skellitonized by Catawba worms, and the tomatoes and peppers just sat there doing not much of anything.

I am starting over now that fall is on the horizon with my fall/winter plantings of all different lettuces, spinach, carrots, cabbage, turnips, mustard, collards and any other green that happens to catch my eye while going through my seed drawers.

So far I have quite a few planters going as well as big semi-tires that I have been using as composters all spring and summer and stb fall...the lettuces and spinach are popping up like gangbusters, though they slow down in growth on hot days like today where the temps hit the low 90's. Greens do not like high temps. PERIOD! I might should have waited but I got antsy for something to plant and I have them in the shade of one of my bamboo groves so they are not too unhappy.

I started writing a book awhile back so some of my time has been spent working on that in the evenings. All I will say about it is it is called: The Little Pink Trailer and is about an older lady who moves to Florida and gets heavy into the Permaculture movement with a little love on the side. Nuff said!

I will try and post more often now that it is cooling off for the season. I do so look forward to fall and winter after our long, hot,and humid summers. God bless!



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Be Happy - wikiHow

Be Happy - wikiHow

How to Be Happy

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

So happiness - isn't that the thing that all of us strive to find and keep? Nobody is happy all of the time, but some people are definitely more fulfilled than others. Studies on what makes people happy reveal that it doesn't have much to do with material goods or high achievement; it seems to whittle down to your outlook on life, and the quality of your relationships with the people around you.


  1. Be optimistic. In the 1970s, researchers followed people who'd won the lottery and found that a year after they'd hit the jackpot, they were no happier than the people who didn't. They called it hedonic adaptation, which suggests that we each have a baseline level of happiness. No matter what happens, good or bad, the effect on our happiness is only temporary and we tend to rebound to our baseline level. Some people have a higher baseline happiness level than others, and that can be attributed in part to genetics, but it's also largely influenced by how you think.[1] So while the remainder of this article will help boost your happiness, only improving your attitude towards life will increase your happiness permanently. Here are some excellent starting points for doing that:

  2. Follow your gut. In one study, two groups of people were asked to pick out a poster to take home. One group was asked to analyze their decision carefully, weighing the pros and cons, and the other group was told to listen to their gut. Two weeks later, the group that followed their gut was happier with their posters than the group that analyzed their decisions.[2] Now, some of our decisions are more crucial than picking out posters, but by the time you're poring over your choice, the options you're weighing are probably very similar, and the difference will only temporarily affect your happiness. So next time you have a decision to make, and you're down to two or three options, just pick the one that feels right, and go with it.

  3. Make enough money to meet your basic needs: food, shelter, and clothing. In the US, that magic number is $40,000 a year. Any money you make beyond that will have negligible effects on your happiness. Remember the lottery winners mentioned earlier? Oodles of money didn't make them any happier, and it won't make you any happier. Once you make enough money to support your basic needs, your happiness is not significantly affected by how much money you make, but by your level of optimism.[3]
    • Your comfort may increase with your salary, but comfort isn't what makes people happy. It makes people bored. That's why it's important to push beyond your comfort zone to fuel your growth as a person.
    • Don't assume you're the exception, as in "Sure they didn't use their lottery money wisely, but if I won it, I'm spend it differently, and it'd definitely make me happier." Part of the reason many people are unhappy is because they don't think research-based advice about happiness applies to them, and they continue chasing more money and achievement and material goods in vain.[4]

  4. Stay close to friends and family. We live in a mobile society, where people follow jobs around the country and sometimes around the world. We do this because we think increases in salary will make us happier, but the fact is that our relationships with our friends and family have a far greater impact on our happiness than our jobs do. So next time you think about relocating, consider that you'd need a salary increase of over $100,000 USD to compensate for the loss of happiness you'd have from moving away from your friends and family.[5] But if your relationships with your family and friends are unhealthy or nonexistent, and you are bent on moving, choose a location where you'll be making about the same amount of money as everyone else; according to research, people feel more financially secure (and happier) when they're on similar financial footing as the people around them, regardless of what that footing is.[6]
  5. Stop expecting your job to make you happy. Many people expect the right job or the right career to dramatically change their level of happiness, but happiness research makes it clear that your level of optimism and the quality of your relationships eclipse the satisfaction you gain from your job.[7] If you have a positive outlook, you'll make the best of any job, and if you have good relationships with people, you won't depend on your job to give your life a greater sense of meaning. You'll find it in your interactions with the people you care about. Now that doesn't mean you shouldn't aspire towards a job that'll make you happier; it means you should understand that the capacity of your job to make you happy is quite small in comparison to you outlook on life and your relationships with people.
  6. Engage in making the little moments special: Research indicates that when you smile, whether you feel happy or not, your mood will be elevated. When we smile at others, we pass on our mood to to the people we smile at. With this in mind, it is important to consider the implications for happiness that the very act of smiling at another in passing has on not only our psyche, but that of the larger good. More importantly, when we smile at another, it shouldn't be with the expectation of having a smile in return. Sometimes the people we are smiling at who don't return the gesture may be the ones who need the smile the most. Just the act of doing something positive -- sharing a smile -- is enough to send our endorphins in the right direction, regardless of the response.
  7. Keep yourself preoccupied with healthy people, healthy places, and healthy activities: Avoid going to locations where negatives commonly occur, such as bars or casinos. Avoid people who encourage you to make unhealthy choices, such as engaging in cruel gossip or starting unhealthy habits such as smoking. Avoid activities such as drinking, smoking, swearing, and other reckless behavior. Some healthy choices to consider include getting invoved in some type of spiritual practice, whether it be with a local Church or through reading a positive self-help book or by simply sitting down and dedicating ten minutes to meditation every night before bed. Studies indicate that involvement with spirituality increases the level of happiness for the individuals in question. Healthy environments include the local gym, the library and book stores, museums and cultural places, and the local church. Making good decisions for oneself has significant implications for the eventual outcome of happiness.
  8. Consider an anti-depressant: If you are seriously ill and have been thinking about taking your own life or have been seriously depressed for some time, an anti-depressant might be beneficial in returning your life to a healthy balance. Anti-depressants could also be taken in conjunction with herbal medicines, although medical advice should be sought in these cases. Saint John's Wort is a herbal medicine that might help alleviate some symptoms, but should be used cautiously, due to potential adverse impacts. B-100 vitamins are another natural way to elevate the mood, and should be considered as a daily supplement for better overall health.
  9. See the best in others: When we strive to look at the best in others, we end up seeing the best in ourselves. Shortcomings in others can be met with compassion and understanding, which removes any resentment or disdain that might otherwise surface. When we look at others with a healthy sense of acceptance, love, and compassion, we find that our moods naturally elevate to a higher level of happiness. Author of "Wealth" Kirby Thibeault suggests that we see what we feel and think. When we see the beauty in all others, the beauty within ourselves becomes more apparent.


  • Just because something seems to make other people happy doesn't mean that it really does. People are very good at pretending they're happy, especially when they've invested so much into the things that are supposed to make them happy; it's hard to admit that you've been placing all your eggs in the wrong basket.
  • Sport. It makes you healthy and boosts your self-esteem. It also gives you the endorphins (hormones of happiness)
  • Hobby. Have a hobby. This could be from playing a guitar to collecting stamps.
  • Self-actualization, goal, meaning. Have goals in life, evolve as a personality, have a purpose.

-someone please edit this properly; it could be one of the main points- Note: I don't remember the exact reference, but giving and sharing with others generally makes one happier than accumulating things for oneself.


  • Happy people aren't happy all the time. Everyone has times when they feel sad, frustrated, guilty, angry and so on. Happy people are just better at bouncing back to a state of contentedness. We may all feel negative at some moment in our lives, but try to bounce back and live in the moment, and be content with everything you do.
  • Sometimes unhappiness can be caused by malnutrition or sickness. Make sure you're getting all the essential vitamins and minerals and eating well.

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations


  2. The Social Animal by Elliot Aronson






Article provided by wikiHow, a wiki how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Be Happy. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Planting a Fedge....Say What?

I have been trying to think of a way to fence off some parts of our land that is inexpensive, not too difficult for we old farts to accomplish and that is attractive to all who see it.

In my many searches across the internet I cam upon the term "Fedge" which is a combo word meaning "fence" and "hedge". What it boils down to is making either a decorative fence or privacy fence from Willow rods from 5'-7' tall. You can read how to do it in an article I wrote on the subject on Associated Content. Just click on the title to this blog and it should take you right to it. If you like it and think others may also, pass it around.

Why I like "Fedges": They are natural, attractive, cheaper than any other kind of fencing, will keep small livestock and pets enclosed, and is a fun project for anyone who loves gardening.

Have a good day!

Sunday, June 07, 2009


90 Expected today. Lot's of rain lately which is great for the plants but also great for the mosquito population as they use the tiniest bit of water to expand their numbers. UGH!

Db painted the cast iron swingset last night after work and today he and Chad will put the shiny silver chains on. It hasn't been painted in ten years and the chains were rusted through. Glad it will now be all fixed up safe and pretty once again.

We have a new pup! His name is "Cujo" and Chad found him running around along the busy highway we live on. We took him to the vet last week and he is about 7-9 weeks old and a Chocolate Lab. I love his face! He has this sad look all the time even though he is quite happy here. It is just the breed. They have a serious look to them.

Cujo's paws are huge so I can just imagine how big a dog he will turn out to be. He has an outrageous appetite!

Well, time to go do some gardening so all for now.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Wet Spring Indeed!

It has been a very wet spring. Unfortunately, It didn't help the bamboo groves from the past drought and the Phyllostachys shooting has been dismal to say the least. Sad, because this is a once a year event and a bad one means that we have to wait a whole 'nother year
I am slowly getting things planted out there but it is not happening as quickly as I would like. Db is not able to do as much due to his leg ulcer and I, of course, have little energy these days with my own health issues. Chad helps out all he can, but he has a life, too.
I am hoping to get some Alocasia 'Borneo Giant' planted out in the gardens this week. They have been in pots for the past four or five years and would really enjoy the change, I am sure. When I first got the original mother corm the leaves came out about 6', but after being divided and growing inside, it has put out much smaller leaves. It would definitely enjoy getting out of the restrictive pots.
We took one of our dogs to the vet today. Little Boo is two years old and needed his yearly checkup and shots so Chad and I took him in early this morning. He is doing very well and was a very good boy for Dr. Trotter.
Db has a doctors appointment this afternoon and wants me along so I best get some things done around here. Later gator!

Saturday, April 18, 2009


If I didn't know better I would swear it's early March. The weather is exactly like it would be in March and many of the plants are acting just like it is March.

My bamboo, which should have started shooting by the first of April has been sitting in limbo with a few culms here and there but nothing like it should be. I am certain it has to be because of the cooler than normal nights. One good least the Moso was not shot down this year by shooting too early nor a late frost. it did get down to 30 one night when the culms were around eight feet tall but apparently it was protected enough by the pond directly opposite and our home and back porch. It is now around 30' tall with nice, fat, culms.

I've been trying to get some veges going but the weather has been causing me to falter. I did get potatoes planted in the big tires and I planted the fruit tree cuttings from the USDA program at Cal tech. They are all doing well and growing like gangbusters.

Since I am implementing permaculture and biodynamic agriculture to my organic homestead I am spending the nights reading and my days planning and constructing this or that. At 60 and not in the best of health, it can be quite tiring by weeks end. Perserverance pays off though, and the sense of personal satisfaction can't be measured.

Rain coming in the next couple of days. The drought is definitely over and the wetland woods is filled with the black ponds that remind some of the old horror movie, "The Creature From The Black Lagoon"....I love to go for walks on the many paths that Db has cut into the eight acres of woods and see the reflections of the trees and an occassional glimpse of blue sky/clouds over-head. I think it is quite magical. How easily I can imagine little fairies living in these woods and enjoying all of it's wonders. One of my favorite hobbies when I have the time is to build "fairy houses".

Well, there is much I need to do today and I best get to it. God bless you all who keep up with this journal of my life here at The Bamboo Jungle N Gardens. Later gator!

Sunday, March 29, 2009



HR 875 The food police, criminalizing organic farming and the backyard gardener, and violation of the 10th amendment
Freeze! Maam... we're here to confiscate your tomatoes!
Friday, March 26, 2009 Health Freedom Alliance

This bill (HR 875 is sitting in committee and I am not sure when it is going to hit the floor. One thing I do know is that very few of the Representatives have read it. As usual they will vote on this based on what someone else is saying. Urge your members to read the legislation and ask for opposition to this devastating legislation. Devastating for everyday folks but great for factory farming ops like Monsanto, ADM, Sodexo and Tyson to name a few.
I have no doubt that this legislation is being heavily influenced by lobbyists from huge food producers. This legislation is so broad that technically someone with a little backyard garden could get fined and have their property seized. It will effect anyone who produces food. Even if they grow for personal consumption. It will literally put many independent farmers and food producers out of business with the huge sums of money it will take to conform to factory farming methods. It will enable them to be very selctive in who they want to harass. And of course the cries injustice will go unheard because its just 'one grower' who will be lambasted in the media as a 'danger' to the community. If people choose to farm without industry standards such as chemical pesticides and fertilizers they will be subject to a variety of harassment from this completely new agency. That's right, a whole new government agency is being created just to police food... for our own protection of course.
The more people who read this legislation the more insight we are going to get and be able to share. Post your observations and insights. Urge your members to read this legislation and to oppose it! ANY FORM OF IT! Find out more and Take Action! Remember it always starts moderate and becomes increasingly draconian...
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Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Lotus. The very name evokes visions of a southeast Asian garden with vines clamoring up tall tropical trees and the lovely Lotus flower rising up above the water reaching for the sun. The round leaves beading up the rainwater as it softly splashes down from the tall canopy above the black reflecting pond.

Every year I start new Lotus plants from seed and this year is no exception. I love to grow them in containers of all kind from the lowly plastic tub to tall urns with an Asian motif painted on the ceramic glazed surface.

Lotus can be grown either from rhizomes or seed. I do both, but I enjoy the thrill of growing from seed the most. It is like giving birth for the first time. It is a wonder and a joy all in one.

Lotus have a rock hard shell of a seed coat and in order to get the seeds to germinate you must nick that seed coat somehow. I prefer to use a stone bit on my Dremel tool as it works the best I have found. It's quick and sure and only take a little practice to get it right.

The whole point of nicking the seed is to expose the pale beige coloring of the cotyledon from which the germination will take place. It is not my intention to give a lesson here. Go to for in-depth instructions on growing Lotus and Water Lilies.

I grow many different colors of Lotus here at the jungle. My favorite I guess, is the large leafed Lotus from southeast Asia. (nucifera) The seed is a bit bigger than the American Lotus and has an oval shape to it. It is not hardy even here in southern Alabama and has to be brought into a heated sun room or greenhouse to over-winter if I want it to flower.

Check out the link in this post and you will get hooked on growing some of the 700 Lotus, too!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Pond Almighty!

It was a beautiful Sunday and Db and I spent the morning and part of the afternoon working outside getting ready for the summer season.
Ornamental grasses were cut down to the ground, swing set was taken down so new chains could be purchased this week, old shutters out of an antebellum home that were sitting out front for a couple weeks were moved into one of the sheds. Exhausting but invigorating day!
Around 3:00 a load of Chad's friends drove in from town for an afternoon of fishing and relaxing. The young men were kind enough to see that our cement table top was on the ground and the umbrella in the woods where a tornado last summer touched down. Way too heavy for us to move without a lot of strong arms.
My big truck tires are filled with compost and should be ready to plant herbs in a few weeks now that the heat is here. I have strawberries in one, potatoes in another, and the other three will be planted with culinary herbs for my recipes.
I hope your Sunday was just as nice! Later gator!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Square Foot Gardening

I am a huge fan of Square Foot Gardening. It just makes so much sense and is lovely to look at, too!

When Mel Bartholomew first came out with his first printing of this book way back when he had me hooked from the start. He also had a show on Square Foot Gardening on PBS if memory serves. Wish I could get copies of those tapes!

In this day and age when being frugal with all of our resources is more important than ever, his system just makes perfect sense. It saves time, labor, water, and does not have to take any fossil fuels in order to re-till it every year. If you combine Mel's theories with the theories in the Lasagna Gardening book, you have a perfect combination for any and all gardeners. It doesn't matter if you are into doing it with the squares as he suggests or if you garden in containers. It's all the same and it will all work together very well.

I highly suggest picking up a copy of both these books. I can guarantee that you will reach for them time and time again in your gardening daze ahead. Want it now? Just click on the link below and it will take you right to the book section. Be sure and let me know how you enjoyed these books by placing a comment on my blog...later gator!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Yes, It Snowed Sunday

And no, I didn't get any pics of the inch that fell. Was definitely pretty, but was glad it didn't stick around more than a few hours. I am NOT a snow bunny by any stretch of the imagination.

I am getting into high gear with the spring gardens and have been since mid February. Potatoes planted, Strawberries transplanted, green peas, onions, greens, all are underway.

Let's hear what you are planting/doing in your gardens!!!! Leave your info in the comment box below. Later gator..deb

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Micro Eco-Farming

I recently purchased the book, Micro Eco-Farming by Barbara Berst Adams. So far I have read it from cover to cover three times. Why, you ask? I guess because it describes my own life. Making a living from my own place by doing what I do best. Soon, my dh will join me here to do what he does best.

Micro Eco-Farming is sustainablly living on your own property, no matter how small, and managing to make a living for yourself and or your family. It is being done all over the country and world but is just now becoming noticed. It is not for everyone, but those who are not afraid of hard work and do not want to have a boss hanging over their shoulder 8-10 hours a day, it is a dream job!

Those who read my posts on a regular basis know that I grow rare plants for plant collectors and bonsai enthusiasts. I also make garden art under the pseudonym, 'Lenora', sell my home baked cookies and other delectable, in a tiny gift/tea cottage next to my greenhouse and love to talk "dirt". I also sell a wonderful plant elixir that I developed myself over the past 40 years that will provoke miracles in sickly plants or new cuttings.

My dh is an auto body shop owner and has built a 30' X 50' shop next to my greenhouse and cottage that resembles a red barn. He is moving here shortly to semi-retire at stb 65 in August. To retire completely is in neither of our vocabularies.

I am not going to give anything away on the above mentioned book, but I highly recommend you read it if you are wanting to "live the good life". You won't be sorry. It will give you the encouragement and ideas you need to step out of the mainstream and step into another realm. Small, interesting, and inexpensive so give it a read.

*I have no connection with the author and am receiving no renumerations for mentioning her book here.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mother Earth News

Received my latest issue of MEN the other day and of course I read it from cover to cover in the bathtub. (my favorite "library") I am glad to see that the magazine has gone back to it's roots because for some years in the 90's it really got lost in the "yuppie" movement to the point that I stopped subscribing or ever reading it. I would like to know when it went back to it's old ways so I could catch up on those issues. If any of my readers knows, please let me know in the comments section here on my blog. TIA!

How I would love to be able to incorporate some of the alternative energy sources subscribed to in MEN. The best I can do is open the blinds in my sons south facing window on a sunny day in winter and get some passive heat into our mostly East/West facing home. Better than nothing, though, as I am able to keep 3/4 of the mobile home warm that way here in southern Alabama. Our electric bills in this all-electric home are terrible in the winter, running about 300.00 in December and January so far. I hope and pray that February is not a cold month.

The sun is trying to peak out today and it will be a big help since it is only in the 50's. Unfortunately, it is not burning off the overcast sky like I hoped. It is now 10:11 AM and still mostly cloudy.

The days are now over thirty minutes longer than they were a month ago and that makes me thrilled. I look for this every winter because I know that the sun is higher in the sky and that causes everything to start waking up here in the deep south. My poor Forsythia bush by the dock is blooming it's head off and has been for the past week. It's in a protective spot where it enjoys a micro-climate position. I also have a Chinese Fan Palm tree and tropical Bambusa in that spot but neither can stay evergreen throughout the winter. They do come back in late spring but will never be at their best because of the die back every year.

This is it for today so later gator!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Happy New Year

Well, it has been a hell of a week! We had to take our little nine year old Chihuahua mix to the vet the day after Christmas. She had developed an infection of her uterus that was so bad that she ended up infected in her pancreasis, liver, and kidneys! We thought we were going to lose her for sure but the wonderful Vet, Dr. Trotter, in Prattville pulled her through and I finished the healing process with my homeopathics and herbal remedies. Now she is almost back to her old self. No, she was not a "breeder". My husband in his innocent ignorance, just couldn't stand the thought of her going through a painful surgery when she was younger....guess what? She ended up having to have a complete hysterectomy anyway! Hard lesson to learn, eh?

I have no desire to make any New Years Resolutions as one never sticks to them so why bother. I will be 60 on Groundhogs Day so I am just thankful to still be alive and kicking and will take what comes along with as much grace as I can and help those I am able with as much zeal as I can. You can't do more than that.

The economy has really struck us here in Alabama like many of the US. When I think of how inept our government is in handling the country, it sickens me to my stomach; and I mean this "literally", not figuratively. Crooks, sex addicts, demons....that is what is running this country right now.

Our country is now a Plutocracy and has been for quite a few generations. Of course not many people study up on governments and what each entails so the word would seem foreign to most folks. Look it up and learn!!!! You will see that I am right on this.


I guess I am going to expand the gardens this year in order to supply as much of our food stuff as possible. Even Db is hyped up on this project. He is not a big vege eater, but I am and will try and make sure to get as much growing as possible to help stretch the meager food budget we find for ourselves now. With food prices doubling in the past year, it has been very difficult for us. If I had the pasture land, I would definitely raise a couple of beef cows, but that is not an option here on our wetlands. I could raise a couple of pigs, but Db will not hear of it. Too bad. Since he was a butcher in his younger years, he could have even done the butchering....unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, Db is soft hearted as mush.

I will leave you here now from warm but overcast southern Alabama till next time. God's blessings on you and yours, Amen!