Archive for October, 2009

Lazy Sunday Saturday, October 17th, 2009

66F – could that be true? At least that’s what our weather graphic will say in Sunday’s paper. Holy kee-rap, nice. What’s even nice is that I have the day off. I feel like singing. It’s been a long tough week here having lost a dear friend and coworker. He was kind, gentle, humble and generous. I’ll keep his spirit with me always.

Projects tomorrow: not much to do with gardening, but sort of. I’ve made a push to get our front walk-in porch cleaned out, the bare drywall mudded and the whole thing painted. My parents recently added new heavy-traffic carpet to their laundry/entry room and were generous in giving me the extra that should just about cover my porches’ entire floor.  The point of this renovation is to make better use of storage space for everything from small garden odds n ends to coats, boots, vacuums and brooms. Perhaps even a spot to throw recycles.

The layout is a walk-through, deeper set on the left. We ripped out the old closet with sliding doors, bowed hanging rod and wilting shelf. The 8′ length means plenty of room to add a tower of shelves for stacking pots, potting soil and small, frequently-used tools and a couple levels of shorter rods for long coats, kids coats and snowpants. I’d like to tuck in a couple baskets to hold errant scarves and mittens and have a taller shelf under which my vacuum and broom can be tucked. It’s asking a lot, but here’s hoping. One wall is mudded, seams are taped and I should be well on my way to painting by Thursday – my next day off!

Falling away Monday, October 12th, 2009

When I stepped out and saw the snow I sighed. Snow just kinda does that to me. It was a que sera sera type of sigh. My leaves left on the ground, good intentions of doing a last mowing, it all faded away. But, I see a warm future. The end of the week to the weekend may be in the 50s. sounds like it’ll be a good time to get those last minute detail in. Garden cleanup, mowing, raking, garlic planting, bulbs if I had any. All of these can be done now. We’ll see if the weekend forecast holds true. Sigh.

Extra Apples? Friday, October 9th, 2009

Our kindergartener had a note sent home saying her class can always use extra snacks. One suggestion was apples. If you have apples coming out your ears, call a local elementary school and see if they could put them to good use.

Pear butter Friday, October 9th, 2009

From my Mother: Pear butter seems to be a favorite – I add a little orange zest, orange juice, and nutmeg to the cooked pears and cook until the mixture mounds on a spoon. Put in hot jars and seal with canning lids.

What a pear! Friday, October 2nd, 2009
Anjou pear

Anjou pear

This pear came from my mom’s tree. It is a variety of Anjou. She picked this type because it fruits later in the season, than say a Bartlett. The window for picking is a only a couple week. They quickly turn from green to a limey yellow color. When green they still have a sweet taste but an exceptional crunch. When yellow the sweetness intensifies and they become quite juicy but still pretty resilient.  They will get gritty if you don’t pick them right away when they’ve turned yellow. You are better off picking green ones as they will continue to ripen off the tree. To hasten ripening store the fruit in a fridge until ready to eat.

Pear trees require cross-pollination, in rare occasions they have been known to self-pollinate but the harvest tends to be smaller in number. So, plant a pair of pear trees. Semi-dwarf trees should provide a harvest in 3-4 years. Full-size trees could take up to 8. Semi-dwarf will be easier to manage in both the process and amount of harvest. Prune trees annually to make picking easier. This can be done in late winter.