Tuesday, February 9, 2010
French Creek Pete
The esteemed weather seer, French Creek Pete will appear and make a prediction about winter on February 30th at an undisclosed location. There will be no suspense since we already know winter will be leaving one of these days.
So Pete's 100% accurate. Sure Punxsutawney Phil is better known, but he saw his shadow as did three other popular groundhogs. But three different groundhogs did not see their shadow meaning winter is over.
Pay attention to Pete, he is always right, winter will end sometime.
With winter's ultimate demise in the somewhat foreseeable future, vegetable gardens, yard work and yard improvements are more common thoughts, wishes and hopes.
A vegetable garden can provide a lot of good, healthy food. Done properly, a vegetable garden can also save a lot of money.
A vegetable garden properly planned can also make some money even after the bounty has been shared with neighbors, friends or donated to food banks. Perennial vegetables offer a great opportunity to make some extra cash.
Asparagus is one good example. Once planted and established, an asparagus bed can last for decades and keeps on producing with just a little maintenance work every year. Asparagus is an easy crop but it normally has a three year year waiting period until asparagus can be fully harvested.
Good quality asparagus sells for top dollar even when it is on sale at supermarkets. It is a good vegetable to consider as a source of income; it takes little space, continues to produce for decades and is a popular veggie. Horseradish is another good choice for a little extra income as is rhubarb. For more ideas on a little extra income, click here.
And while we are waiting for French Creek Pete and a likely six more weeks or so of cold weather, it is a good time to plan what to plant this year. This link provides an interesting tool for home vegetable growers.
I've been fiddling with it for a week or so and it has some possibilities and some limitations. But the link is worth a look. Also be sure to view Dan's Blog below, Urban Veggie. He has a review of Soggy Creek Seed Seed Company.
Tomatoes and Companion Plantings
With spring approaching, hopefully, visions of fresh garden tomatoes are moving out of the day-dream stage. Next month is a good time to start seedlings, depending on regional climates. Hopefully, the late blight stays away this year and the growing conditions will be better than last year.
Consider planting the heirlooms this year; they are proven winners and certainly for many are the most flavorful. The seeds from heirlooms can be saved for next year, something not possible with the seeds from many hybrids.
There are companion plants which can be planted with tomatoes which many gardeners believe helps them to grow, taste better, and help to protect the tomatoes from a variety of pests. Borage is one.
Borage, also known as the bee plant, is believed by many to improve the flavor of tomatoes. One thing is certain though, it does attract bees, a lot of bees and it is an unusual and attractive plant with blue to purple flowers.
Some other possible good plants to have near the tomatoes would be:asparagus, basil, beans, calendula, cosmos, nasturtiums, peas and sage.
Tomatoes don't get along too well with cabbages, corn, eggplants, peppers, and potatoes.
February 15th is Presidents' Day this year; some might call I Crooks' and Liars' Day but whatever. But it is a national holiday set aside for huge sales in department stores and, well, a day set aside to remember our leaders.
Seriously though, it should be a day with some reflection on those who have helped to make the nation what we enjoy today. Here is a story about George Washington's early days before he became a revolutionary and the leader of the revolt. There is more about this person than just wooden teeth which didn't fit right all the time.
Since a lot of people will be stuck inside this weekend due to snowstorms and blizzards, it might be opportune time to refresh or catch up on some colorful early American history. Or think about planting an Oak Tree, the designated national tree, for more information, here is the link.
If the snow and weather are really horrible this weekend, here's the story of Old Mossback and the LeBoeuf Creeper. These events are within sight of where Washington once visited. Besides, French Creek Pete, spring and a vegetable garden, it's time to dream of fishing.
Good Blogs to Read
On Your Way to the Top
Kathleen is learning tolerance.
New York's Southern Tier
Vincent di Fondi
Dan reviews Soggy Creek Seed. Company this week. Fascinating post.