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Bedford Ramblings
Steve Mills

The final Weed'em & Reap garden meeting of this year is over.

Posted Monday, November 18, 2013, at 7:47 PM
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  • On a side note, I have already begun my seed purchases for the new year. As I mentioned earlier, I stopped by Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds while on a recent trip.

    Usually I can resist catalogs. I can enjoy them but placing the order usually ends up in either cancelling or trimming the order down to something much smaller than the original order.

    BUT, having the seed packs in my hands and "feeling" the possibilities was almost impossible for me. I was able to put some back but still came home with ten packs.

    Here is my start:

    White Belgian Carrot

    Extra Dwarf Pak Choy

    Mizuna ( I was able to taste this straight from their garden)

    Black Cherry Tomato

    Georgia Southern Collards

    Russian Red Kale

    Ping Tung Eggplant

    Rainbow Swiss Chard

    Michihli

    Jumbo Pink Banana Squash

    They also had a good selection of books. I had to put a few back there as well but ended up with the Heirloom Life Gardener by Jere & Emily Gettle (even got it signed) and a book by an old acquaintance from my time in Mississippi, Slow Gardening by Felder Rushing.

    I've already finished Jere's book. It was an easy read and full of interesting facts about his seed searches and the seeds history and I just started Felder's book but I might be done with that by meeting time. so ask me about it. I should stretch the pleasure out but once I get started, I have a hard time putting it down.

    If you get the book, be sure to read the introduction by Roger Swain ( a long time host of PBS the Victory Garden). It sets you in the right frame of mind for Felder's wit and wisdom.

    Now all I need is horse manure and rotted hay. :-)

    -- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Nov 18, 2013, at 7:45 PM
  • I have four "mosquito" plants rootings to give away at this week's meeting. If you speak up early, they will be saved for you. Otherwise it will be a first speak-up basis at the meeting.

    They have been in Styrofoam cups for 3-4 weeks now and some of the original cuttings did not make it, so these that are still green must have roots.

    I would not remove them from the cups for at least another month or even better until they start putting out growth again.

    The jury is still out about their effectiveness for repelling mosquitoes but I have never seen a mosquito on one. :-) Surely the strong citronella smell would repel insects but by itself it is not a guardian that repels insects.

    http://bonnieplants.com/growing/growing-mosquito-plants/

    -- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Nov 18, 2013, at 9:42 PM
  • FYI- The seed catalog was picked up today at the t-g office," Thanks John", I'll bring it with me Friday.

    And I must say "What a reception up there, they are some of the kindest warm greeting folks I have encountered in quite some time to be as busy as they have been lately" I even got a hug, I grabbed me a few cookbooks and must also say its great...If you don't have one your missing out. Those cookbooks might go fast, better hurry.

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Tue, Nov 19, 2013, at 1:50 PM
  • By the way, the pressure is building for red flint corn bread. I was in town yesterday, chatting with some folks(as usual)and one woman brought up the fact that she was going to try some red flint corn next year.

    Of course I mentioned that there was a good chance we would be tasting some corn bread made from that and she immediately took down the information about our meeting time. She works two jobs and has young ones at home, but maybe she squeak away.

    Of course I told he top bring her younguns since we are not too worried about sanity. :-)

    -- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Nov 20, 2013, at 6:49 AM
  • The iron skillet is ready! Looking forward to sharing the Floriani Cornbread on Friday.

    I'm hoping everyone will enjoy this flavorful and healthy cornbread... I grow the corn organically, and my recipe is low in sugar and does not use hydrogenated oils {no shortening or margarine}.

    I'm bringing copies of my recipe for anyone that wants it. I know we have some good cooks in the group that may want to make their own alterations, but I figure having my recipe will at least give them a reference point.

    Garden on!

    -- Posted by mg.mark on Wed, Nov 20, 2013, at 7:46 AM
  • Anyone planning on making a soup or chili to bring?....if not i'm making a big pot of chicken soup....let me know, Ill be glad to save you the time and ingredients, or you can bring yours if you already planned, no worries....

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Wed, Nov 20, 2013, at 8:15 AM
  • Deb was planning on some chili but don't let that stop anyone. I am not sure she will be able to do it anyway. Too much going on in her world.

    Worst this is that we all have some extra to take home, so it would not hurt to bring an extra container.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Nov 20, 2013, at 1:01 PM
  • Sounds like a plan....bring you a spoon!

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Wed, Nov 20, 2013, at 5:26 PM
  • I would bet we will have more food there than we normally can consume, so please come and help us.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Nov 22, 2013, at 8:16 AM
  • I hope to be there.

    -- Posted by quantumcat on Fri, Nov 22, 2013, at 5:32 PM
  • Steve, if u happen to have the Floriani ear I left, please hang on to it for me if its not too much trouble... That's the last one I had for this season. Thanks

    -- Posted by mg.mark on Fri, Nov 22, 2013, at 8:42 PM
  • fWe are glad you made it QC. After the meeting broke up there were so many side conversations that I missed when you left. My apologies, and that goes out to others who I missed as well.

    mg.mark, I have your corn and not a kernel missing. I am glad you gave Deb a copy of the cornbread recipe. Mine went to the "keeper of the list" with everyone's name on the back.

    chefgrape, I meant to ask if you kept the chicken separate for those who might be vegetarian or if there was a culinary reason for doing that?

    Thank you to all who made this one of our best meetings this year. It was an impromptu "pot luck" but I think we all lucked out well.

    We don't EVER want ANYONE to feel uncomfortable about not bringing something. Or if change up and we go to a restaurant occasionally next year, we will make sure the restaurant knows that not everyone will eat, so do not let that stop you from coming. PLEASE!

    Thank you Judy for accepting the KOTL (Keeper of the List) position. It should go without saying but, if that list is distributed, let's encourage the only use of it is for gardening club purposes, not to "market" anything to each other.

    Judy, my interest in that community service weeding program is starting to grow. I would like to discuss the possibility of developing that into a garden/mentoring program.

    Speaking of young people, is there anything your daughter might enjoy incorporated into our meeting Mark? Maybe we could start expanding something for other younger folk?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Nov 23, 2013, at 8:09 AM
  • I would respectfully suggest that we try seating "in the round" at the next meeting... tables arranged in a circle or rectangle so everyone can see and hear each other better. Perhaps having an agenda, topic, or theme for each meeting would be something to consider too.

    The "informality" of the group is fine, to a point; but I've got to be honest that I (and my daughter) get disinterested or frustrated when there are several conversations going at once.

    -- Posted by mg.mark on Mon, Nov 25, 2013, at 2:45 PM
  • Great comments Mark and I really appreciate that your daughter has spoken up and taken interest!

    When we first started out I used to have a presentation for each meeting. That was when we were meeting monthly and once a month was not too big a deal for me to work something up.

    Then we changed to bi-monthly and honestly, I got worn out. We talked about others doing a presentation, but no one ever seemed to step up and take it on.

    Eventually I just let it settle into what you see now. I try to bring us back on track, but we definitely need structure.

    Personally, I think every two weeks from late February until just before Thanksgiving is too much. I see the two week schedule being good up until the end of May because we have a lot of things developing in the garden at that time.

    Then once a month for June, July, August and after Labor day we could go back to every two weeks for the harvest and garden prep for the winter until just before T'Day, then off until the next Spring again.

    That works out to be 9-10 meetings from early Spring to early Summer, then 3 meetings during Summer and 5-6 in the Fall. Too much?

    With a known framework, we could then schedule a 30-45 minute presentation, publicize the topic a month in advance (or even set it up for the whole year and publish a year calendar) and after the presentation we could have the open discussion or internet searches, etc. for another 30 minutes.

    What do you think? Feel free to disagree because I REALLY, REALLY do not want to make all the decisions.

    Likewise, I do not want to put on all the presentations. After we set up the basic schedule, then we can choose topics that apply to the time of year or special interests.

    After the topics are chosen, we look for presenters, or if we have an open date, we look for a presenter and see what they want to discuss.

    Anyone chime in here, this is not just a discussion between mg.Mark and me. Once we get to topics, I hope your daughter will give us some ideas that might interest her.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Nov 25, 2013, at 4:32 PM
  • P.S.: We need to set up a time to get that corn back to you. Deb goes into town several times a week, so if there is a place she can drop it by, that would be great! One of my emails is Steve@mybedfordcounty.com if you want to discuss that off-line.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Nov 25, 2013, at 4:34 PM
  • The chicken was separate so it would not become stringy and mushy....the noodles were seperate also, adding them right before I left the house...being fettuccine broken up, I went ahead and put them in because they are a tighter packed type of noodle as a dried pasta to start with, any meeting in anyway anyone wants is good with me I really enjoy everyone but setting more in the round would help with that many folks, I got there early and due to that Christmas party already set, we just dragged and set never thinking of order, but its always a good idea, a little order off sets chaos in a thinking mind according to Plato or was that Pluto oh wait! wasn't Pluto Mickey Mouses pet?....anyhow I agree!....

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Mon, Nov 25, 2013, at 4:47 PM
  • In case anyone is interested....here is a link to a little vintage "Pluto" chaos....http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mrwztZ9i3MA

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Mon, Nov 25, 2013, at 5:03 PM
  • Pluto sounds good to me. Plato was too heavy for my mind. :-)

    -- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Nov 25, 2013, at 5:13 PM
  • Definitely lots of good ideas Steve. I think the group will benefit greatly with a little more structure and pre-planning for the meetings. I will shoot you an Email so I don't fill up the blog.

    -- Posted by mg.mark on Tue, Nov 26, 2013, at 9:42 AM
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