Thursday, September 19, 2013


We all think about something a little different when someone mentions sunflowers.  Many of us think about summer days eating a handful of sunflower seeds while others may think of the huge flower heads growing in a neighbors yard.  They grow like weeds around here, possibly due to the abundance of people wanting to grow them for one reason or another.  When we went to harvest some in the wild a couple months back we found they were extremely sticky, not an image most of us would bring to mind but not it's what comes to mind first followed closely by eating a handful of seeds in the summer.

While sunflower season is nearly over here there are still occasional flower heads that you can see along the highway or in a field near the tree line.  I'm sure there were plenty of them this year that next year come summer we'll see even more of those bright flowers popping up all over the place and just in time to feed hungry little birds emerging from their nests.

If you are thinking about growing some of your own you can even choose a variety that is something besides yellow.  I know that it's the usual color we see but there are so many other varieties out there these days you might find one you just like the look of better.  As far as I can tell the seeds taste the same.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Harvest Season

Summer is nearly over and the harvest time is upon us.  One of the things I look forward to each year are the pears.  A friend of ours has a pear tree and doesn't like eating them himself so just yesterday he gave us a box, about 25 pounds, of pears.  We spent yesterday evening making pear butter and today I believe the wife is wanting to make a chutney or something of the sort.  We'll see how things go.  Many of the pears weren't quite ripe yet so we left them in the box to ripen.  It's cardboard so it should do nicely for ripening them up. After we get a few more ripe ones I'll have to make the chocolate pear tart, always a crowd pleaser.

Apples are also coming into the harvest season with quite a few already on the shelves.  Unfortunately I don't have an apple tree myself or know anyone who does.  I have seen some in the neighborhood though so if I planted one it would be sure to get some pollen.  Lots of crabapple trees too.  Of course when apples are plentiful then they get cheap and we're able to make all sorts of apple treats.  What fall would be complete without a good apple pie with some ice cream on top?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Blueberry Bushes

I don't think I watered quite enough for the blueberry bushes this year. I don't think they're dead but they sure don't like the heat that has come back.  We left for a few days and most of the leaves are now gone. The stems still look healthy though so I'm not giving up on them just yet. If this month is anything like a typical September then we should be getting some more cool weather coming soon which these guys will love.

Similarly the tea plant isn't happy about the heat but it looks pretty good still.  We'll see what happens this winter when it has to bear the cold and wind.

The tomato plants are still pretty happy though.  I thinned the weeds out of part of the bed but left quite a few just in case the heat came back, which it did.  Still have plenty of flowers and hopefully in a few weeks I'll have plenty of tomatoes.  The back beds have died back with little or nothing to show for them.