Archive | November 2013

Thankful for My Garden

Gourds

Thanksgiving is a great time to reflect on how good our gardens were to us this summer.  If you’re like me, you had a few failures along with successes. But I’m a “half-full glass” kind of girl, so I dwell on the joy the garden gave me. Here are my top three fun crops for 2013.

Jade Green Bean Row

The Jade Green Beans that I ordered from Gurney’s was an unexpected “hit” in our family.  They were tender, stringless, flavorful, and froze well.  My stepson, who is a meat-and-potatoes eater, recently spent a week with us and he loved them. I never thought I’d get excited about green beans, but I am about these.

Crimson Sunflower with Bee

Our sunflowers were also a joy.  We grew some Mammoth Yellow and Vivid Crimson Red Sunflowers that I bought from our local hardware store.  The reds were beautiful. The Mammoths were…well, mammoth. Both varieties fared well during our “flash drought” and they handled some fierce winds, too.  In addition to their beauty, I loved how they attracted bees. I welcome all pollinators! I plan to grow them in more places next year.

Lynn and Sunflower

The Virginia Jumbo Peanuts, which I wrote about in my last blog post, were also great fun.  I’m definitely inviting them back next year.

Dirty Peanuts

I’m thankful for these and for all the vegetables and fruit we grew last year.  Watching the tiny seeds produce numerous 25 pound watermelons or “tons” of tomatoes is quite a thrill.  To me, a garden is a place where miracles occur.  This Thanksgiving, in addition to my family and loved ones, I’m thankful for being blessed with a garden.

Happy Thanksgiving to You All!

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Feeling Like a Nut…a Peanut

Virginia Jumbo Peanuts

As  I peruse my garden catalogs in the dark, cold nights of January, “hope springs eternal” in my heart and I’m ready to re-plant past failures, such as peanuts. Two years ago, the gophers or moles made a run right through the middle of them and gobbled them up.  Last year, a rabbit ate the green leafy plants to the ground.  Despite those troubles, I couldn’t resist ordering a package of Virginia Jumbo peanuts.

North central Missouri had a cool, late spring this year.  It even snowed about 7-8 inches on May 2. On May 11, as soon as the snow had melted and I could work the ground, I planted the peanuts.  My husband had reinforced our garden fence and the gophers weren’t as active, so the peanuts did well this summer.  Below is a picture of them taken on October 1st.

Leafy Peanuts

When the leaves began to yellow, I pulled up a plant and found that the peanuts were mature.  I pulled all the plants on Oct 19th and was pleasantly surprised at how easy the plants came out of the ground.  I thought I’d have to dig them like potatoes. I knocked the dirt off the peanuts and let them dry for a couple of weeks before I roasted them.

Dug Up Peanuts

I roasted them in the oven with their shells on at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, turning them over every five minutes or so.  After cooling, they’re ready to eat.

Perseverance paid off with the peanuts this year.  The third time was the charm.  Below is a picture of my reward.  Sort of looks like a bucket of gold, doesn’t it?

Bucket of Peanuts