Pigeon Pea, The Elusive Chicken

A few months ago our neighbor unloaded five defective chickens on us.  His old mother had gotten them as a bunch of straight run laying chicks,  and they had already unloaded the dozen roosters they had ended up with on us the year before.   Now she was going on vacation and the five chickens were getting…

Dried And Frozen Persimmon Treats

Glowing orange and as sweet as candy, the cultivated persimmons are ripe and abundant right now.  They are one of the delicious treats early fall has to offer, along with sweet potatoes, roselle, and pumpkins. These cultivated persimmons seem huge and mild compared to the wild persimmons we have already enjoyed. This was the first year we…

Roselle Soda

The garden is behind.  With Ethan out of town it has been hard to get things going when i had wanted to,  but I’m not too worried.  Those fall greens grow so quickly,  and the roselle is in its fall glory,  laden with deep red pods waiting to be picked. This,  I know from experience,…

Hurricane Days

        This season always brings uncertainty and shifts in weather,  and with that,  the hurricanes.  Here in the North and the middle of the peninsula, we are usually sheltered from the worst of the winds that devastate the coasts.  The last really intense hurricane season I’ve experienced was the fall and late…

Sam’s Shrimp And Roselle Leaf Curry

  Roselle is a large, beautiful hibiscus relative that bears fleshy red calyxes that can be cooked or dried and made into sauces, jellies, desserts, tea, etc.  It is also called the Florida Cranberry for it’s cranberry-like flavor.  I have almost always grown roselle in my garden.  It becomes a large, beautiful plant, over my…

Wild Persimmon Tartlettes

    The wild persimmons are ripe, hanging from the fall-tattered branches like small ornaments.  Wild persimmons are, at best, a gamble.  They are rather like how my brother’s girlfriend once described my mother’s cooking – either really good, or really bad.  It all depends on the particular tree. Some trees bear fruit that will…

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

    Pumpkin seeds are easily the most delicious part of a pumpkin.  It took  me awhile to realize that it was well worth the trouble of separating the seeds from the stringy pulp. Before that, I gave the seeds to the pigs or goats, who were very happy to eat them.  This is also…

Turning The Season

  This time of the year, the summer seems to hang over everything like a thick, sweat-drenched blanket.  Still, in the midst of it there are suddenly magical moments that I come on by surprise, like clouds of yellow butterflies mud puddling on the fresh cow pies that rise up in a bright whirl around…

End-of-Season Sriracha (With A Twist!)

  At the end of the season here, the only things still hanging on in the garden are cassava, roselle, sweet potatoes, and hot peppers.  This year even the hot peppers are flagging – they really haven’t appreciated all the rain this summer.  No matter, last year the hot peppers were in rare form, and…

Cloudy’s Kitten

    A new kitten showed up in the middle of a rain storm at the beginning of the summer.  We heard a small mewing outside, although it was so squeaky, I kept telling myself it was a strange-sounding frog.  In the morning, however, I saw a little white-and-tabby blur streak away from the barn…

Straight-From-The-Garden Ketchup

The Matt’s Wild Cherry tomatoes held on longer than most of the other garden plants, but we have gleaned a last harvest from them now, too.  They are small and very sweet and flavorful, and grow in dripping clusters.  I grow them every year, whether I plant them or not – they are always coming…

Pumpkin Pie Ice Pops

    The family all start groaning when the pumpkins are coming out of the garden.  They claim they are still sick of pumpkin after the last season, however, I am skeptical because of how quickly these ice pops disappeared. I am harvesting quantities of pumpkins now,  in huge wheelbarrow loads between rain storms.  Each…