Garlic past its prime

Some of the garlic I have from last season is starting to sprout and it makes sense since the garlic out in the ground is sprouting also.    It must sense that it’s time to grow!   At this point, the garlic is still very edible but it has lost its youthfulness and freshness.   I decided to dry some up in the Excalibur dehydrator and save it this way.   I will take it a step further and powder it for simple sprinkling into recipes.

This garlic press/slicer I found and purchased over the summer has been a true time saver!    Previous to buying it, I would cut each individual clove into slices and it did take forever.   Now I just pop the clove in the garlic slicer and presto …. nicely sliced garlic!

Patiently awaiting their time in the Excalibur

Here we have the garlic sprouting outside …

Planted in October to be harvested in July!

Make sure to add your recipe to Munchie Monday tomorrow.   I will be adding Garlic Herb Croutons … easy, easy!

Ultimate Blogging Party 2011 #UBP11

Ultimate Blog Party 2011

I am happy to participate in the Ultimate Blogging Party 2011 this year.   I follow @5minutesformom on Twitter and luckily spotted their tweet this morning and hopped on the party bandwagon!   Looks like a fantastic way to meet some fellow bloggers and there are even some prizes offered.

For those stopping by from the party and this being your first visit here … I am Debbie also known as The Running Garlic. I blog about Gardening, Cooking, Crafts and every day life.   I am participating in the WordPress Challenge and have started a Facebook group to help support all the bloggers who are creating daily or weekly blog posts.   The Challenge has been very rewarding and a wonderful way to connect with others; being Freshly Pressed and receiving 4,500 hits to my blog in 2 days was beyond exciting!

Along with this blog, I also created Garden Dish to share some recipes and Munchie Monday where you can link up and add your own.   Ok….enough about me, I am headed back to the Ultimate Blogging Party to make some new friends!

Facebook page = The Running Garlic Twitter handle = @RunningGarlic

Happy April 1st …. Nice to meet you!

Calling all Generation Y Gardeners

Recently I learned that another young lady in my circle of family is going to start a garden this summer!   I am really excited,  and I hope to share in her gardening adventures and have already picked out some pepper and tomato seedlings to add to her plan.   She will be graduating college in a few weeks and her nutrition studies will be an excellent foundation for some Healthy Garden Grown dishes.

I will share her stories and adventures here, but I am hoping she will start a blog of her own where she can post photos and videos and relate first-hand how it feels to garden.   Tracey will be a recent college grad and falls into the Generation Y category (these are children of Baby Boomers).   My own two children are also from the same generation, so I can fully relate and there are some very important observations I can share.   The young adults from this generation (born 1982-2000) are very computer savvy and have grown up in a time where much of their social interaction has been via the computer.  They are very keen on information and have traveled the world through the social media giants such as Facebook, YouTube and MySpace.  

They can harvest quite a bounty of crops on Farmville, and although I have never played this internet game, I am hoping there is a wealth of information to be gained there.   Does it encourage the young adults to actually get out and start their own garden?

Actual hands on gardening, digging in the dirt and pulling weeds, is something they may have watched their parents do or talk about … but they never took on this feat themselves.   They will look in awe at canned pickles or tomatoes in disbelief and wonder.    There are pictures of ancestors in the fields harvesting the daily meal but not many Generation Y adults have had the experience …

My hope is that through Tracey’s learning and growing right here on the internet, maybe…. just maybe a whole new Generation that has let the gardening tradition pass them by will … 

Stop and reclaim the right to Grow their own Food.  

SHE is going to plant a Garden!

SHE is my daughter!

She is away at college and plans to continue going through the summer.   During our phone conversation she tells me she is going to plant a garden!   Beside the fact that I managed not to faint, I wasn’t sure I heard her right.   She feels she will be bored after classes and work and needs something to do …. so she figures a garden will be a good project.   She has a yard (and there’s really not grass, and the soil is “not sure”, and she likes tomatoes and watermelon).

So I am to email her instructions how to garden.

I offered to send her seeds since I have plenty, but she said “nah, isn’t it just as easy to just get them at the store”      me:  “but I have good seeds”

nevermind … we will just go with it

I am told to just email instructions later today.

Dear Daughter:

Since your gardening season will start earlier than ours here, make sure to pick up seeds the next time you are out.   I will make sure to save you some of the seedlings I have growing under the lights and you can add them to your garden (if you want).    You will need a shovel or hoe to break up the dirt in the area you plan on growing your garden.  I don’t think bunnies will eat tomato plants or watermelon unless they are different down there.  You probably don’t know your last frost date there … can you google it?  This is somewhat important since the little sprouts will die if hit with a cold frost and you will have to start over again.

Ok… read the instructions on the back of the seed pack.  You can start the seeds indoors but you will need pots (which you can make on your own with newspaper – if you do this, I will send you a link).   Otherwise, take the seeds from the packette and put into the ground spaced as stated on the package.   Both tomatoes and watermelon will GROW so allow plenty of space.  The tomato plants will need some support which you can also make on your own with large sticks and string.   As the season moves along, you want to make sure to keep the weeds under control – pull them when they are small since it will be easier at that time.   What is a weed you ask?   Well,  just remember where you planted  your seeds (mark the spots with a stick or something) and anything that grows elsewhere is a weed and pull it out.

Keep the plants watered but don’t over water since this can be not good – they just need enough to grow….like a good drink every once in a while.   You will get the hang of it.   Just call me or better yet send me pictures if you have a question.   I want to SEE pictures anyways……I am excited for you and sad I can’t be there to show you how to do this.   I am betting that you are going to have some Awesome tomatoes and watermelon (heck, probably even better than the ones I plan to grow).   Keep me posted!

Love always, Mom

Whirlwind of a Week

Yes, it has been a crazy week which just flew by – makes you step back and think …

“Life goes quick, better make sure to live it right and enjoy”!

We can’t control everything around us but we can make sure to stop and experience some wonderful events happening.   Little miracles that can go unnoticed if we let the whirlwind of life take hold.

This week the Swans have Returned!

Every year a pair of swans are placed in a nearby pond for the season.   The pond is located at a local hospital and the pair do a great job of protecting their piece of water from the many geese while at the same time adding their massive beauty for all to stop and enjoy!   They have a constructed nest placed for their convenience and each year they bring  a family of baby swans into the world.   Last year I was gone most of the summer and missed a lot of their daily life – if I remember correctly, there was only one swan baby.   A couple of summers back the family of baby swans totaled six and I captured many beautiful photos as they grew.   I anxiously await the arrival this year and hope for lots of babies!

They were out swimming and feeding when I arrived for my walk.   Once I stopped and started taking pictures they hurried over to the nest and checked to make sure all was well.   I am guessing they have eggs in there. 

After a short bit of time, as I rounded the corner of the walk and glanced back…there was Mama Swan sitting up top on the nest.   Nature at its best and even with the whirlwind of traffic flying by!

I do want to mention the Post A Day Group over on Facebook is still going strong!   Some of us have decided to cut back on daily posts and either post weekly or several times during the week.   If you are participating in the challenge, stop by and join the group … a wonderful bunch of bloggers!!   I will be posting here and also at Garden Dish where I mentioned a great Flavor Blast this week ….  stop over, see what it is and give it a try!

Don’t forget to step out of the busy whirlwind from time to time and enjoy the marvels surrounding you!

Spring Daffodils

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A Look at Little Plants

I thought I would share with you some new seedlings that are just pushing their way through the soil.   Many new gardeners like to see what happens – I remember how I would (and still do) stare at photos of something I was planning on growing.   It is amazing how a seed you bury in the soil will produce food you can eat in 60-80 days … a true wonder.

These are tomato seedlings which were planted March 9 … so this is their progress at just over a week.   I have them under heat lamps about 12-14 hours a day.   I did have them covered with Saran wrap to keep the moisture in, but have now removed it, since they are telling me it’s time by pushing it out of the way.   They want to Grow!

Next … more Dill and Basil which were planted March 10th and March 11th, respectively.

Basil

Next…Pepper plants of which I have bigger ones ready to plant outside (yes, it’s way too soon for that here).   These are Purple Pepper I started a few weeks ago.

And last but not least … Baby Lavender seedlings!   I have many well established plants growing down south and these little lavenders were started from seed that I obtained from those mature plants.   Lavender takes a good 2-3 years to produce flowers and will return year after year.

I hope this enticed you to start some seeds and grow a garden this year if you haven’t made that decision yet.   It really is a continual learning experience and it doesn’t always work as I plan, but I keep right on trying.   My new and different plant for this year is “Pumpkin on a Stick” … make sure to watch to see how that goes!

Thanks for stopping by!