"And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress and keep it". Genesis 2:15

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Insect Control with the Water Wand

This summer I have been trying out a new device to control spider mites, aphids and other garden pests.

It is a store bought water wand with a head that can rotate to various angles, that has been extended with an adaption. The extension in length allows you to comfortably stand upright as you spray the underside of the plants leaves with the water wand's head resting on the ground. The head is adjusted to spray upward at a nighty degree angle. This makes spraying the underside of the plants leaves so easy and really saves your back. I have used a water wand without the extension, but it is a struggle to get the wand at the right angle to spray the underside of the leaves, and you have to stoop over to get the wand up under the bottom leaves of the plant.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Why I love Swiss Chard

Here I am with a bucket of one of my favorite greens - Swiss Chard. This is one of two buckets I picked that day from around the edges (outer leaves) of four chard plants. Why do I love chard? For one thing you dont have to replant it every year since its a perennial. Every year it just gets bigger and better and I can pick on it almost all winter. Chard has very few pests and is heat and drought tolerant. You can use it in anything you would use spinach in (except fresh salads) and it is so good for you.

Here is the mountain of chard sitting on the washing machine. Look how big those leaves are! I used my super big laundry sink to clean it all, they my mom and Anna helped me strip and chop all the stems, chop up the green part, and cook about 6 batches of chard with bacon and apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper and garlic. We ate one batch that night for dinner with cream and Jack cheese added, and packed the rest in freezer bags for the freezer.

Swiss Chard cooks down a lot. Here is what was left of that mountain once it was cooked. Two very large bowls of stems and one large bowl of greens. Its enough chard for 6 meals though. Use any Southern greens recipe for Swiss chard, but don't forget the vinegar when cooking the stems or they will turn brown.

Nothing to do with Swiss Chard, but Claire finally got a picture of the critter that has been digging holes all over the back yard. A big Armadillo! He is hiding under my rain barrel in this picture. Since he eats grubs, I don't mind him too much.