Thursday, July 20, 2017

Home Grown: Planting a Second Crop


It may be midsummer, but you can make it spring again in your vegetable garden. Don't let the summer heat cheat you out of more fresh vegetables. Go for two crops this year.

Gardeners across much of North America generally plant summer vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers, squash, sweet corn, southern peas, snap beans, cantaloupes and eggplant in March and April and finish the harvest around the middle of summer.

Much of the continent has a subtropical climate, however, and that means another round of summer crops can be squeezed in before the first frost in  mid-October or November.

Continued in... Planting a Second Crop

Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
Plants and Seeds
Artwork: Kentucky Wonder Organic Beans

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Recipe Archive: Puree of Asparagus Soup


from
The Historic Kentucky Kitchen
Traditional Recipes for Today's Cook
by Deirdre A. Scaggs and Andrew W. McGraw

According to authors of The Historic Kentucky Kitchen, this 1897 soup recipes packs a lot of flavor, considering how simple it is and how few ingredients are in the recipe. To make the soup more elegant and add texture, reserve the tips of the asparagus spears after poaching to use as a garnish.

2 ½ cups chicken stock
3 cups chopped asparagus
2 cups cream
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 teaspoon pepper

full recipe at Puree of Asparagus Soup

Artwork: Asparagus Soup
Recipe Archive
Farm Kitchen
Asparagus

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Rural Delivery: Where Oliver Found His Place


by Michael Hofferber. Copyright © 2006. All rights reserved.

This is the 1960s, and a wife's place is at her husband's side, as Oliver testifies:

You are my wife!"

Lisa had forgotten about the Hungarian Parliament's "Big Dumb Law of 1924," which stated: "All Hungarian women have to do  whatever their husbands want them to do, no matter how dumb it is."

Goodbye city life.

And so the Haney Place becomes the Douglas Farm -- with all its clutter, fallow fields, and telephones mounted atop telephone poles -- for six television seasons. Oliver struggles gamely to make his farm a success while Lisa brings some graciousness and finer things of life to their rural experience. They stand side by side, in a parody of American Gothic,  and declare:

Green Acres, we are there!

Continued at... Where Oliver Found His Place

Rural Delivery
See the Movie, Read the Book
Farm Supply
Artwork: Green Acres Poster

Monday, July 10, 2017

Rural Delivery: Flown The Coop

by Michael Hofferber. Copyright © 2005. All rights reserved.

Nowadays, I'm hard-pressed to find a chicken coop. We have no chickens. None of our neighbors keep chickens. There are chickens around and eggs for sale someplace nearby, I'm sure, but I couldn't give directions.

We've talked about raising chickens. Every spring, as the slugs rise to gnaw on the strawberries, my wife says, "We ought to have chickens." Free-ranging hens are an effective deterrent to slugs, grasshoppers and many other insect pests. They'll also keep down the weeds and add nutrients to your soil if you manage them carefully.

Every time I trim the fat off a fleshy store-bought chicken I'm preparing for the grill, I tell myself, "We ought to raise our own chickens."

Chickens convert feed to meat efficiently. Most broilers will gain a pound of weight for every two-and-a-half pounds of feed. If a bird is allowed to free-range, not only will it be less fatty, but nearly half of its feed will come from foraging grubs, weeds and worms.

Continued at... Flown The Coop

Rural Delivery
Out of the Past
Husbandry
Artwork: Chicken Coop at Eugene O'Neill House in Contra Costa County, California

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Rural Delivery: Folks


by Michael Hofferber. Copyright © 1997. All rights reserved.

Grayce grew up on horses. By the age of seven she was riding alone. At 18, she drove stage teams for her uncle up to mines in the Ochoco Mountains. She'd ride up from Prineville, stay overnight at the stage station, and return the next day. One day up, one day back, day after day. It was great work.

"My mother wanted me to be a lady. That was always a bad word with me. I just wanted to be me," Grayce explained.

For a time, she lived with her mother in Portland, working at a dimestore. But soon as she could arrange it, Grayce was back in Prineville. There were two problems with city life. First, there were no horses. ("Horses were my first love.") Second, she didn't like the people.

"I don't like people," she said. "I like folks."

"What's the difference?" I asked.

Continued at... Folks

Rural Delivery
Out of the Past
The Corral
Artwork: Oregon Summer Cowgirl by Paul A. Lanquist


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Rural Delivery: Full Bloom

by Michael Hofferber. Copyright © 1996. All rights reserved.

Have you ever wondered why the tulip drops its petals just as orchids are unfolding and while pansies and petunias go on blooming? Is it the heat of summer that makes them fade? Or some aversion to longer days?

Blame it on plant genetics. Flowers don't die off; they are deliberately strangled by the rest of the plant.

A tulip's bloom, however beautiful, serves one purpose to the plant: pollination. A lingering flower saps the energy a plant needs for bulb and seed development. Once pollinated, its beauty is a useless distraction from unpollinated flowers, and so it dies like Desdemona at the hands of Othello, its life tragically cut short.

Continued at... Full Bloom

Rural Delivery
Out There
Growth Spurts
Artwork: Tulip


Saturday, July 1, 2017

Here's How To... Cook With a Dutch Oven


When baking with a 12-inch Dutch oven, generate bottom heat by placing five or six hot charcoal briquets in a circle between its legs. To generate a higher temperature place 18-24 briquets "next to each other around the outside flange of the lid, with two or three spaced evenly around the lid handle," Welch advises.

For roasting, generate heat the same as for baking, but if the dish has cooking liquid in it increase the number of briquets beneath the oven by 50 percent.

Follow the link to... Cook With a Dutch Oven.

Here's How To...
How To Do It
Artwork: Dutch Oven