Figs for lunch

It’s another cool and overcast morning, quite unusual for August. Everyone’s wearing a light jacket/sweater.   Poor plants are just as confused as we are.

We recently we tried a delicious new fig recipe since we’ve been inundated with figs (the fruit trees are finally maturing!) —Fresh Fig Quesadillas, along with some steamed freshly picked green beans. The fig quesa’s, made with homemade flour tortillas (we like to make things from scratch around here) and topped with homemade salsa, were absolutely scrumptious and this will definitely be added to our favorite dishes.

There was a request for the alfalfa bread recipe. This bread is our absolute favorite, I don’t know the origin of the recipe because it’s hand scribbled on the back cover of a 1975 sprout recipe book called ‘Add A Few Sprouts.’

Alfalfa Sprout Bread

10 Tbl honey ( I like to use raw)3 C water (warm)4 Tbl oil4 tsp salt4 C sprouts (home sprouts are best)8 cup flour2 Tbl yeastMix water, oil, honey and yeast. Set asideMix 4 cup flour with 4 cups sprouts. Add year mixture. Mix.Add 4 cup flour – one cup at a time. Knead. Let rise till double 1 – 1/2 hours. Punch, divided into loaves. Put in prepared loaf pans and rise again till double. Bake 350 for 1 hour.

Saturday morning breakfast

One breakfast tradition on Saturday morning is to “splurge” and enjoy pancakes cooked on cast iron (forget teflon folks, cast iron is better — and more healthful) griddle. Thanks to the blueberries for weeks now, we’ve been enjoying blueberry pancakes. Now that a new flush of strawberries are ripening, we cut them up too and put them on the pancakes for simple, delicious Saturday breakfast.

State of the garden

We’ll, sad to say, it’s not doing too well as well as previous years. We haven’t seen anything like this in our many years of gardening here. The bumper summer harvest isn’t quite panning out due to the unusual, extreme weather. Although the weather this year takes much of the blame, we, too share some of the blame since we’ve been so busy working on the roof. And also taking out the concrete patio, set the planting back quite a bit while we re-designed the backyard.   Sure, we can sense something is different in our bones, but the numbers are proving this a bad year and the numbers are depressing.

Looking back on our records, there’s a significant and dramatic drop in numbers compared to previous years. Normally, we’d be harvest 100+ pounds of tomatoes a week and this year we would be lucky if we harvested 100+ pounds this month. Also, our favorite peach tree still has small green fruit and they usually are ripe and ready to eat months ago. Yikes!

Funny thing with farming/gardening compared to another skilled occupation, each year you should get better and better as you gain more knowledge and experience – you do, but nature has a thing or two to say about it and once and awhile (more so now with the effects from global warming) she throws you something you don’t expect.  

Farming/gardening besides providing hours of pleasure and good food also can bring heartache and frustration.

Seeing Stars

We enjoyed an up close and personal star studded evening last night with friends.   No, not those Hollywood stars, but the ones in the heavens.  

A friend of ours brought his new, high resolution telescope so that we all can enjoy the Perseid Meteor Showerand other heavenly constellations

First on the evening’s star/planet gazing was Jupiter and its four moons. Being in the city, the night sky was distorted from the city lights, but that aside, we got a close look at Jupiter and if you looked hard enough you could see the rings.  Around 11pm we waited patiently for the moon to rise above the trees and the lens then focused on the soft grayish, blue object in the sky.   The telescope was quite powerful, you could see almost every crater on the moons surface. As for the meteor shower, we kept looking and looking at the sky and the only lucky person to spot a meteoroid was Jordanne.    For a brief time, you were taken back in time – hundreds of hours, or even millions of light years. 

So you see we did spend an evening with the stars! What a wonderful and awe inspiring night that was.
Common Household Chemical May Harm Lung Function {via Forbes}

Air fresheners, toilet bowl cleaners, moth balls and other deodorizing products may be easy on the nose but tough on the lungs.
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{ White vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda work just as well}
Bill McKibben: A Deeper Shade of Green {via National Geographic}

At times he can seem like a biblical prophet, lamenting how our human failings are destroying the planet. Yet listen more carefully to Bill McKibben—environmental essayist, activist, and author of the best seller The End of Nature—and you’ll hear a redeeming message that transforms the idea of what “green” can mean.
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Gore isn’t quite as green as he’s led the world to believe {via USAToday}

Graciously, Gore tells consumers how to change their lives to curb their carbon-gobbling ways: Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs, use a clothesline, drive a hybrid, use renewable energy, dramatically cut back on consumption. Better still, responsible global citizens can follow Gore’s example, because, as he readily points out in his speeches, he lives a “carbon-neutral lifestyle.” But if Al Gore is the world’s role model for ecology, the planet is doomed.
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The good life in Havana: Cuba’s green revolution {via Energy Bulletin}

Experts, such as Professor Pretty, believe Cuba may be one of the only countries in the world to have adopted wholesale a self-sustaining system of agriculture. “They had no choice,” he said. “Their only choice was to look inwards, to the resources they had and say: ‘Can we make more of these resources?'”
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No Comments

  1. Darryl says:

    Yeah – nothing like having Mother Nature remind you who is in charge. I am having to replant most of my winter crop items next week – the horrendous heat from two weeks ago either killed my new transplants or didn’t even allow seed to germinate. I’m hoping we are through the heat wave – I love broccoli and cabbage!

  2. stella says:

    when do you add your 2nd 2 cups of sprouts?

  3. coffeepot says:

    Love your site.

  4. denise says:

    Thank you for the bread recipe. 🙂

  5. Wendy B. says:

    I know this is going to sound stupid, but where do you get alfalfa seeds? I’d love to make some “sprout” bread, and I’ve seen sprouts in my grocery store, but you’re right – home grown is always so much better. A fact, I’ve learned intimately over the past few weeks of participating in the “One Local Summer” challenge :).

  6. littlejennywren says:

    Our last two summers have been poor in the vegie garden and for some reason,probably old age, our glorious meyer lemon tree died. Perhaps the garden is going through a period of readjustment following this loss as the tree was at least 40 years old. Hopefully this year will be better.

  7. Roger Gray says:

    We have had a weird garden year too. squash we planted has not produced much at all, but nearby pumpkins have gone to town and produced bunches. Our best producing apple trees have a dozen apples each (!) and the fig, while prolific, is down for this fig tree. Boysenberries were prolific (and predicted to be such by an apple grower friend way back in April) and our two about-to-pulled as non-productive grape vines put out vines like crazy but only three bunches of grapes.

    On the other hand, I am enjoying the honest autumn weather. Bet its 96 F on the first day of school . . . (Grin)

  8. Anais says:

    Hi Wendy

    You can get alfalfa seeds from local health food stores or online. Search “sprouting seeds”

    Happy Sprouting!