Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The Garden Fence

A garden fence is a must have hardscape of the farm yard, especially if you have yard birds running amok. We have over twenty chickens (I'm scared to count because I don't want to know how out of hand I've become) and one pet turkey that would love to scratch out all the seedlings, peck any emerging produce, and feast at the compost bin.

This year, instead of just protecting the crops, we have a sight to behold. A riot of almost white, pink roses. We had roses last year, but not this huge wall of color. We have about 30 feet of pink.

These are old roses that I took from my mother's yard. I clipped five pieces three years ago. Now, I get to enjoy the amazing scent of thousands of roses as I hoe, plant, and harvest. I get to sit in the kitchen and enjoy the bouquets Princess clips, and I get to enjoy the shocking display every time I step out the back door.

Some of life's greatest pleasures cost nothing. Enjoy!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Sugar Snaps

Sugar Snaps grow only during the spring and sporadically during the winter here. We get too hot to have a long growing season with delicate pea plants, lettuces, broccoli, and carrots. We have been in the 80's this week which means my precious peas won't last much longer, but this week we are enjoying this fantastically crisp and sweet treat in abundance.

We like them barely cooked, either steamed or sautéed with some sesame seeds. Last night, I was home alone and I threw a few into my pasta water at the last second, then added some Parmesan. Of course, when I was picking my supper, I popped a few into my mouth right off the vine. I have caught my children, on several occasions, standing suspiciously at the raised beds containing the pea plants and the carrots. Yet, I can't get upset because I can't think of a more healthy snack.

Sugar snaps, or at least these, claim they don't need staking, but I find that everything does better with a little support. These are growing on pieces of cattle panel braced by some triangular tomato cages and have grown to about four feet tall. Since they aren't touching the ground, the heavy rains haven't harmed the blooms or rotted the peas. If I could just control the heat, I could have wonderful peas all through the summer. I bet they wouldn't seem so special if I could have them all summer long.