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Archive for the ‘Garden’ Category

The Summer sun, lifting above the trees, illuminated a sparkling cloud of no-see-ums billowing through the roses. Their retreat and advance appeared as breath drawn and exhaled. Cicadas chorused. Trying to beat the heat, the Mockingbirds had already begun their daily tasks, which were many and, naturally, included sampling the ripeness of every fig at the top of the tree.

There is always give and take in the garden. Always a balance.  If it is a game, it is not strictly played fairly by some residents. Weather-wise, this season had the Gardeners one up on the fig side and down by three on the other fruit trees. The summer had produced a goodly amount of figs – enough for everyone, really, but the Mockingbirds love to have the very last warble and often can look you straight in the eye while beaking your fruit.

EPSON MFP image

The fledgling sharpens his technique.

 

Agapanthus was pleased to have worked as part of the team that had rescued figs when so many had come ripe all on one day. Two afternoons of jam-making had produced a reasonable supply. The Fig ‘n’ Strawberry went into the freezer. The Fig and Lemon was properly canned and suitably labeled…a salute to the opposition and a game well-played.

Jam Labels Agapanthus

Hitty Agapanthus labels the jars of fig jam.

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~~~Like a hell-broth boil and bubble~~~

Macbeth Act 4, Scene 1

Not altogether weird, but definitely sisters, Hedydd and Panthy got up to a bit of brewing in kitchen, preparing for the possibility of a sniffle this rainy summer. A fire-cider is not too different than the old family cure-all, hot lemonade – a great deal more chopping and many more ingredients, however. The kitchen smelled as aromatically, even if a bit heavy on the garlic…and really, is that a bad thing?

Fire 7

The rosemary fresh from the garden was fragrant, but the jalapeños made even painted eyes water, poor Hedydd!

Fire 8

Layers of horseradish, onion, garlic, turmeric, jalapeño and ginger.

Topped with lemon juice and apple cider vinegar, the cider must mature for a month in a cool place. Fingers inadvertently dipped while adjusting layers and sampled afterward found the concoction already bright and tasty.

Fire Cider 6

It’ll cure what ails you, no doubt.

 

The Wiregrass Hitties and Mad for the Farthing Crowd tried this recipe for their first brewing of Fire Cider:

https://www.mommypotamus.com/fire-cider-recipe/

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Hitty Dixee brought home delicious fresh bounty from Aunt Katie’s Community Garden. The visit was spur-of-the-moment, prompted by an interview heard on the local public radio station and another spectacularly beautiful afternoon.

The garden is right in the middle of downtown Dothan, Alabama and serves the folks that live in the neighborhood, as well as the wider community.  There is so much growing in that delightful half-acre! It is hard to take it all in…and Dixee was blessed to take some out! She came home with kale, carrots, beets, herbs and sweet potato slips…plus a heap of knowledge and encouragement imparted by Ms. Belvia Jones: Teacher, Hostess, Gardener and remarkable human being.

Aunt Katie's Bounty

Tiny carrots for Hitty Dixee

 

You really should go, but barring that, to find out more visit:

Aunt Katie’s Community Garden

and

The Dubois Institute For Entrepreneurship, Inc.

 

 

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What was meant to be an hour or so of tidying following a rainstorm turned into an afternoon of berry-picking. Hedydd was startled to hear the whoops of glee from the front garden. It was a rare moment of perfect timing and worthy of celebration.  Now, it was not an abundant crop, but the berries were close to ripeness and not yet greedily consumed by the neighborhood birds.

Am I Blue Too Too

Nobody really minds sharing, but it is pleasant, occasionally, to enjoy the literal fruits of one’s labor. Hedydd picked baskets of blueberries and dewberries, even a pineberry or two. There was enough for supper and to spare…and a gracious plenty left for feathered friends.

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The days have been busy, but blissfully sunny and cool…practically a miracle in the Wiregrass. The Bean Tipi is coming along nicely. Gardening began in the kitchen on Saturday evening, with the pole beans soaking in warm water.

Bean Bean 2

Come Sunday, Panthy soaked the peat pellets in a pie plate, (Say that three times fast!) before pressing a handy chopstick into service, poking holes so the beans could nestle cozily in a warm dark cocoon.

Poking Holes

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Agapanthus isn’t anyone’s fool this April 1rst, but she might be stringing a pair of Old Fools along. Up and out early in the vivid Alabama morning, she convinced the Gardeners of her expertise in the construction of bean towers, or at least her willingness to help.

Panthy and the Tipi 2

Agapanthus balances high on the green bean tipi.

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Perhaps it was simply an accident. Perhaps it was a deliberate act. No evidence was uncovered, though a thorough search of the garden was made. The missing was never found; the victim not made whole. Was this a bungled attempt at Murder Most Fowl?

Rather than play at sleuthing, the Hittys Hana and Agapanthus performed a Mission of Mercy for the old stone rooster and provided him, until such time that proper care could be rendered, with a somewhat piratical prosthesis and cozy beak-warmer.

BrokeBeak1

Brave Hana balances carefully as she adjusts the prosthetic beak.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As always, many thanks to the Sweet Home Hittys of Vestavia Hills!

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