Friday, July 2, 2010

Happy 4th July Weekend

When I was young, wearing perfume was so important to me. Getting that special bottle of perfume for Christmas was the best gift. Now that I am a Grandmother, I don’t even own a bottle of perfume but my favorite scent to have on my hands or in the house is Basil. Silly, but when I pick Basil, I always bring it to my face to take a whiff of the magical smell and as I cut it when preparing foods, I just love how it radiates into the kitchen and how it makes everything taste so fresh and wonderful. I have a very long row of basil planted out in the garden, but each year, I always have it planted in several places very close to the back door of the house. That way, if at the last minute I want to have Basil in pasta, or chopped on top of some squash, it is right there close by the kitchen.
When my daughter and I would go antique shopping when she was young, I would test her at the stores to see if she could tell the difference in types of silver, sterling silver, coin silver or silver plate. I thought that teaching her about silver were good lessons in knowing about the finer things in life. Seemed important at the time 20-25 years ago!!
Now I test my grandchildren but in different ways, in the garden. I pick vegetables or fruits and I have them tell me what they are; or I pick pieces of fresh herbs and I have them guess tell me if it is Thyme or Oregano or Sage or Rosemary. They call everything I pick, Basil because they know I like it the best and besides, they are only 3 and 5 years old. Most of the time, they do pretty great. The only other scent I love as much as basil is the smell of lemons and limes. What heavenly smells.
I have had such high spirits about the garden lately, not only how it looks but how it is producing. But yesterday, I was so discouraged because I found 2 large gopher mounds, one in my beautiful cutting flower section and the other in the fruit orchard. And I found 2 bean plants cut off or chewed off right at the base of the plant. Having had lots of experience with gophers, they don’t always eat plants from below. They will also come out of their holes and eat from above.
Rosie, my garden shed resident cat in the past has done her best hunting around the place, but she has an unlimited supply of cat food at her disposal in the shed. So I think she doesn’t go too far from her perch on the garden shed window sill, unless a mouse or gopher happens to walk by just below it!!
Once gophers start eating beans, it can be devastating. They have to be dealt with swiftly before their numbers multiply and expand. Last year I had the most beautiful crop of beans that were at least 3 feet tall and the plants were full with beans just ready to pick. In less than a week, I had lost about 2/3s of the crop to gophers.
I have started putting out the green beans and flowers at my roadside stand. I held off for a few weeks as the weather was so hot, I was wasting the produce and did not want my customers to end up with soft fruits and vegetables.
This weekend is the 4th of July. At Windmill Farm, we fly our American Flag every day. In fact, we have many flags flying at all times, along our fence out front, on my farm stand sign and in front of Frank’s shop. Particularly this weekend, we want to extend our sincere love, thanks and appreciation to all the wonderful military men and women past and present who have made sacrifices. Thank you for the sacrifices you and your families have made so we can all live in freedom. You are in our hearts this weekend.
God Bless, Happy 4th of July and Happy Gardening!! I am off to get me some gophers!!!

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