Readers, Welcome to my blog (formerly Birds, Blooms, Books, etc). I'm entering a new decade taking on the challenge of moving from Maryland after living there 46 years and learning about my new home here in New England in the Live Free or Die state - New Hampshire. Join me as a write this new chapter of my life.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

My Mom's Garden

 My mom is a gardener and has been for many, many years.  For the last 15 years she has lived in a retirement community in Pennsylvania, 11 of those years with my dad who is no longer with us.  She gardens in the front and back of her single level cottage planting an assortment of flowers and perennials.  For vegetable gardening she has a portion of the community garden a short walk from her home.  Mom is 93 and she's still gardening!

Today my sister and I joined her to get the vegetable garden going.  Fortunately for us the grounds crew had rototilled most of her garden otherwise I'd still be there digging it up.  They couldn't do it all because of the strawberries, spinach and peas she'd already planted.

The photo below is the before.  Her portion extends to the right to where the soil seems to be tilled in a perpendicular direction and to the left where you can see some spinach growing.  It's a long rectangle.  At the far end are some raspberries that I think she inherited.  This year her plot is double the size it was last year.

The major accomplishment today was to lay out defined beds and walkways wide enough for her to get around in the garden. She uses a cane most of the time for balance so it was important to make it easy for her to walk about.  Last year she had such narrow paths which made it difficult to walk about.

Below are three narrow beds.  From left to right we have spinach (planted earlier this spring and in the fall) and beets planted today, then in the middle a long narrow row of peas planted today in a wide trench, and to the right some peas she planted earlier with strawberries planted who knows when.  The paths are wide enough for her here.  Beyond these we made mounds for her to plant hills of squash.  The soil there had been tilled so it was easy to rake it into mounds.

In this newly tilled part below I made some raised beds for tomatoes, squash, beans and potatoes in the back.  She had some compost from the horse stables which we dumped on the beds for now.  Again I left space between the beds for her to manuever easily

Unfortunately the water spigot had not been turned on for the season by the grounds crew so we couldn't water.  The soil is very dry and the peas and beets we planted will need watering soon.  Mom and my sister may have toted water from the cottage after I went home. I hope so.  It was a good day in the garden and I know we were a big help to her.

Thursday's Kitchen Cupboard

 Tuesday's dinner came from the crock pot.  I went looking for a recipe in my Crock Pot Cookbook called "Crockpot: The Original Slow Cooker" as I sat down to lunch.  I knew what I had in the freezer so had to find a recipe that would finish by 6 o'clock using ingredients I had or that could be substituted easily.  This is the one I picked.
I had frozen peppers and frozen zucchini which even though the recipe didn't call for I added anyway.  It got mushy but it was chili so that was fine.  I also used 1 tablespoon of chili garlic sauce for the salsa.  At the end I added the black beans but also one can of corn.

 Before cooking.
 After cooking but before the beans and corn went in.  
Sorry no serving photos.  When it was time to eat taking photos slipped my mind.  I served it over brown rice with a dollop of sour cream on top.  
Spicy and good.