Category Archives: Gardening

Spot for you to do some reading on gardening and staying healthy. Also a great place to put your feet up and relax for a bit.

Tea Time Problem Solved

Well not a bad day here.  Decided on cleaning the shop a bit along with my shop vac.  Then since it’s such a nice day would leave  the door open to air out the place, the shop that is.  You know I have been giving this tea a bit of thought. One thing us folks in the country have to deal with is scum on our tea.   It’s nothing to do with anything being wrong with it, it’s the hard water we have.  The minerals and things tend to cause this scum.  Over the years folks have tried all kinds of things to eliminate it with out to much success.  The folks that raised me years ago had a simple remedy and thought I would share it with you.  Simple and one doesn’t need a diploma hanging on the wall to figure it out. Lemon, yep that’s it.  The acid in the lemon counter reacts with the scum and prevents it.  Simple huh?  Well I got to be honest here as I didn’t remember what the solution was till one night while I was sleeping.  I dreamed that Laura the lady of the house was putting a touch of lemon in her tea pot.  Then it all came back to me. So in the morning I got up and tried it. Took a bit to get it right as I don’t much like the lemon taste in tea. But after four or five mornings of making tea we finally got it right.  About a 1/4 tea spoon per tea pot.  Works slick and no more scum.   Talk Soon

Cure For The Common Cold ??

Well I know you are probably asking or should say thinking,  that there is no cure for the common cold.  For years my old Dad and Grandfather used to use leaves and blossoms from the Linden Tree or some call the Basswood Tree,  to stop a cold or flu in its tracks.  The leaves to use aren’t the big ones that is on the tree year round,  they are the long slim pointed ones that come out when the tree is in blossom.   There is two of them that go with each bunch of blossoms, those are what you want to harvest.  It’s not hard to find a tree when it comes out in blossom,  as if you put your nose to the wind come mid summer you can smell them a mile off.  Well at least here in the North where the air is clean.  Once we find a tree my wife and I pick all we can.  We take the blossoms and the slim pointed leaves home, sometimes a bushel at a time if we are exceptionally lucky.  She then takes them out of the bushel and lays them on news paper and lets them dry for about a month or so,  each day turning them a bit.   Once dry we separate the leaves from the blossoms.  The blossoms are good to cure the cold and the leaves are used to fight a fever.  I like to mix a couple leaves with my blossoms,  as that seems to be the fix for me.  At the first sign of a cold, which is usually a punky feeling,  my wife brews me up a cup. The simplest way is to go and buy yourself a thimble that you can put loose tea in. Usually you can buy them at the dollar store or an old Country General Store like we have here in Port Loring.  She then just crushes up enough to half fill the thimble and hangs it in a glass of hot water with a touch of sugar or molasses for taste.  In about two or three minutes of dunking it in and out one just sips away on it. I should say it tastes great and what medicine today can you get that tastes great and works.   A few weeks ago I was to town and sure enough I must have picked up something. I felt a bit down a week later so the wife made me up a cup of the blossoms just before retiring to for bed.  In the morning was back to my old self again. Can’t beat that huh?  We have been  using that remedy for years now and my Grandfather and Father before that. It is widely used in Germany and Switzerland still today. Oh and I would like to say one more thing about the blossoms. If you let them go to seed you can take the seeds, grind them up in a coffee grinder and you will have the best hot chocolate ever. Talk Soon

Garlic Is In The Ground

Well weather is suppose to drop in temperatures tomorrow night, so got busy and planted my Garlic.  I got to tell you I sure love the stuff and you can’t get anything more healthier to eat.  I put in one row this year which is about twenty feet long.  I just take a couple sticks and put a piece of twine from stick to stick. Reason being so I know where they are come spring when I go to plant the rest of the garden.   Also it helps me keep a straight row. I don’t know but I got a thing about crooked rows.     Once I get the line up I just take my hoe and dig a small trench about four inches deep.  I then plant the garlic about five or six inches apart.  Once all planted I then like to take a few handfuls of cow manure and sprinkle it over the cloves just before I cover them up. Once covered up I put a bit of straw over the top or leaves depending on what I have on hand.  That’s it don’t take no effort at all. One thing to remember though, wash your hands before you have dinner, Hmm I thought my piece of cheddar cheese tasted a bit different.    I also took an old white tarp this year and wrapped it around my grape vines as I got froze back last winter. Took all summer to grow new vines so didn’t want that to happen again.  Wife likes Concord Grape Jam and if they keep freezing back one don’t get very many bunches.   I also took some old half rotten boards I had laying around the place and cut them up for kindling so all set now for starting the old stove in the shop.   Sure nice to be able to enjoy life up here in the north and do things that one wants.   Talk Soon.

Preparing Red or Green Peppers For Winter

Well I would think most folks have dug or picked their veggies for winter. I got mine in but this year I had a few extra red and green peppers. So what to do? Simple really,  the wife took the peppers and cut them up in small pieces.  She then set them on a cookie tray and put them in our oven. We have a Propane stove here in the country as we love to cook with a flame, also nice when the power goes out.  Just seems to be a nicer way to cook,  at least for us.   The nice thing about a gas or propane stove or wood stove is it has a pilot light or flame of some kind going at all times or maybe now a days that isn’t right as the new stoves might not have a flame any more.  Anyways, if you happen to have one of these stoves or a dry place you can put your peppers after you cut them, well then get to doing it as come winter when you want a real tasty home made soup you will have the fresh garden ingredients to put in there.  My wife dries them in the oven for a few days and then once dried she grinds them up in a coffee grinder a hand one and then puts it in brown paper bags for storage. I got to tell you nothing is more tasty come winter.  Hmm Good!  Talk soon.

That Time Of Year

Well it’s that time of year most of the things in my  garden has been dug and put away for winter.  I got most mine in a week ago but left the turnips and Brussel Sprouts to last.   I like them to have a touch of frost, seems to make them sweeter.  I have had a lot of folks ask me in the past week how to prepare them for winter. Some folks cover them with wax for myself I find that to much work and to costly.  That’s me though.   What I do is I dig them and then cut off the tops leaving about three or four inches of stem.  I also leave the roots with a touch of dirt on them. Just a few shakes after digging takes off what is necessary. No need to waste all the good earth in ones garden.  I then put them in my root cellar.  I try and keep it around the forty degree mark that seems to be the magic number for vegetables to keep for a few months.  Once in there they will keep most the winter but when they do start to get a wee bit soft my wife takes them, cuts them into quarters and blanches them.  Then puts them in meal size plastic bags and throws them in the freezer. No waste.   More Later.

A Good Day

Well had a busy day here but a good day got up to around 77 degrees here today, can’t beat that. Trying to get things done up before the cold weather sets in which is suppose to be later on this week. Going down to around 20 Degrees F it says. I still like the old scale in telling temperatures and things. Guess to old to change. Either that of just refuse to change, think that is more like it. Got all the leaves cleaned up and put it in the gardens and the straw I bought last week I put it down also. Then got out the old tiller and went to work. Looks good now and it has all winter to rot. Come Spring we will be in good shape. One has to remember that the Fall of the year is every bit as important as the spring in preparing the soil. I don’t use chemicals any more. Ever since we sold the farm I decided not to use it any more. Just to much of it out there and folks are suffering for it more every day. I also went out to the bush and cut some good branches for my weather sticks for next Summer as they seem to be a big hit in our small store. Simple things that tells folks when nice or stormy weather is about to hit. I some times think the old way is better than the new way., I do have a weather station thought my Son Karl set up for me you can click on to the link on the right if you like and have a look. He has it set up real nice and it uploads to the net every ten minutes or so. Nice to have back here in the bush were we live as one never knows what is going to happen. Well it’s Moose season here right now I don’t get out much any more. Not that I don’t have my licence or nothing I do just haven’t felt up to it these past couple years but might get the urge to go deer hunting next month. The first two weeks of November is deer season so figure I might try it out for a change been awhile. Folks have been getting their freezers full of moose meat this year so that is good. A lot of folks rely on it as a meat supply for winter around here. I know some are against hunting and things but one has to realize its a way of like in some parts. Big event when it opens as most all the stores close down for the first week of the season. I also dug up some roots from my ASPARAGUS patch today and planted it in a new garden down below our house. I just got it growing but put in some raspberry plants last year and they kind of took over so figured I like rasberies better so moved the Asparagus. I did leave a few so I would have some for next year. I also dug up the turnips and got them in the cold room for winter so should be eating pretty good here this winter. Well guess thats it for now. Talk soon.

How¿s she going?

Well Still raining here as it has been for the past week or so. Calling for a bit of sunshine for tomorrow so got my fingers crossed. I do got some garden work to do yet with covering the berries with straw and working in the leaves and some more straw into the vegetable gardens. I got out my old tiller last week so it will make things easier. Once and awhile I like to use the shovel and turn it all over but now that I am getting a weeee bit older I am finding the tiller is a bit easier. Got the old wood furnace going here today again. Started early this season burning wood but it sure feels good. I also filled up the oil tank as a back up so that should last us around two years or so. This morning I have been working on another short story for my column and just about got it finished so if things go right might get to starting another one this afternoon. Talk later.