Lots of Summer Vegetables Available

I wish there was a Farmer’s Market close to my house. I don’t know of any except the one downtown, and I hate to drive downtown. I end up spending an extra $10 in gas to go all the way downtown and an extra $10 to the trip for paid parking. So the cost of fresh vegetables is already $20 before I even pick out the first one.

The last time I went to the Farmer’s Market, the price of vegetables was not any cheaper than what I can buy at Kroger grocery stores. I’m not sure there is much advantage to shopping at Nashville’s Farmer’s Market other than you are supporting local farmers and local businesses rather than a big grocery store chain like Kroger and whatever farms they decide at a corporate level to buy from.

There is a little place on the side of the road that sells fresh vegetables and fresh flowers on Lebanon Road. I don’t usually take Lebanon Road to go anywhere, but when I know I am going that way, I usually stop and buy a few things. I went by there yesterday and found lots of summer vegetables. They are a little cheaper than Kroger and the owner tells me that all the produce is grown locally. So I don’t mind supporting this guy and his wife.

I tried to grow some tomato plants on my patio, but they did not produce much. The tomatoes are so small and colored funny that I ended up throwing them out. It was nice to find a fresh picked, field grown tomato at the vegetable stand. One slice of their tomato covers the entire piece of bread! So I enjoyed a fabulous tomato and mayo sandwich last night. And I’ll have another one tonight for dinner, with a couple pieces of bacon and some lettuce on top.

Critters Getting Into My Garden

I have a garden that I planted this year. It’s in the only spot of my whole yard that gets enough sun to grow anything. My neighbor lady is mad at me for planting the garden there – she says that I should have put it in my back yard instead of the side yard, because “no one wants to look at that!” I have to tell you – I was actually offended that she told me that. I don’t see anything wrong with having a small vegetable garden in the side yard, and there are so many trees in my back yard that nothing will grow back there – not even grass!

For the past several mornings when I go to check the garden and water it, I have found one of the bean plants broken off and ruined. I suspect that some kind of critter is getting into my garden at night and braking off the bean plants. We have skunks, foxes, rabbits, raccoons and deer in my neighborhood. Do you think any of them are interested in beans?

I have no idea what kind of critter it would be – and I sure hope that it is not my neighbor doing it to spite me!

March Comes “In Like a Lion”

The old wives tale for predicting the weather here in the South is if March “comes in like a lion,” then it will “go out like a lamb.” So, in other words, if the weather is strong and rough in the first week of the month of March, then it will change to mild and warm and pleasant by the end of the month. I don’t really see the logic in that, as spring usually means mild and warm days anyway.

Anyway, here it is the first week of March and the weather is awful. It turned cold and rainy and windy, and it is supposed to stay like this all week! So I guess we can all take comfort in the thought that if the old wives tale is true, that this will all be over with in a week or so and the rest of the month will be lovely!

I can’t wait for the chance of frost to be gone so I can get my garden started this year. I am being very ambitious and trying some extra vegetables this year. I used to be content with just a few tomato plants and a couple of pepper plants. But this year I am planting yellow squash, zucchini, and green beans, too. Those always seem to do well in this climate and don’t need a lot of care – just pulling a few weeds once in a while and that’s it. So maybe next weekend I can get the seeds started and I can have an early harvest of fresh vegetables from my own yard!

Last Full Moon of the Year

I hope the skies are clear tonight so I can see the last full moon of the year. This month is special with our night skies, as there are planetary alignments and Jupiter is extra close to the Earth so it is the second brightest light in the sky, after only the moon.

Last night it was mostly clear but something in the atmosphere made the moon appear to have a large halo around it. I could not stop staring at it. I love the night sky, especially after midnight when everyone in the neighborhood is sound asleep and there is no traffic. It is a magical, peaceful time.

Pumpkin Patch Hunting

Today I went to the local Pumpkin Patch and hunting the most perfectly round big pumpkin I could find. I had a large one last year that was taller than it was round and it carved really nice. But I wanted something different this year.

The pumpkin patch had the pumpkins grouped by size. The really big ones were $40! Wow! I couldn’t believe that people are willing to spend $40 on a pumpkin that they don’t even eat – they just carve it and set it outside to decorate their porch.

The one I decided to buy was beautiful and I only paid $25. I think I could have found one cheaper, but this is a charity sale for the church youth group. I figured that since Halloween is supposed to be a holiday for the kids anyway, that supporting a youth group with my money was the right thing to do.

Starting My Garden Seeds

This is a big day for me. I am starting the seeds for my vegetable garden. There are new seed packets at all the stores here and I bought a packet of Big Boy tomatoes and a packet of early peas. In a couple of weeks I will be able to set out the peas and start even more vegetables from seed.

This year I want to have several rows of fresh green beans and also summer squash and zucchini. I’m not sure anything else will grow easily in this soil, but I’ll try a few more things if I see something intriguing at the store.