Monday, August 4, 2008

Beginning Gardener plants poisonous plants NOT

Well, hello everyone! I'm going to be your tour guide today. We are going to tour the maze of Rana's life in the country and take some side excursions, just for the fun of it. You see, Rana is a beginning gardener and she is quite excited about all the new and exciting plants that she wanted to try this year. Not only did she order and plant some fun stuff, she also was sent for free, some other weird stuff. It's all good in the end of course, but it has caused some anxiety and frustration as well. Well, lets go see what she has done.

This year, Rana planted some different varieties of potatoes. Some are red, some are white, and some are blue. They all taste pretty good. They all look pretty good. But, if she wants to pick just a certain potato, she has to dig in several different places to find the right one. Why? Well, because things didn't get labled very well. And of course, they are all planted together, right next to each other. What was she thinking?! (That's what happens when you let the hubby in on the plans.....they change!) Rana also planted 3 varieties of tomato. Now, she still doesn't know which are which, but at least she can see those! They start out as flowers, then get little green berries which turn into bigger green tomatoes which eventually turn red and then you pick them. Pretty easy. EXCEPT, she didn't stake them, so they are falling over and the tomatoes are lying on the ground. She also didn't trim the bottom two branches off, so all the branches are hanging low. Oh, and yes, those peppers. That's right, she planted peppers. Some are hot and some are sweet. The hot ones where pretty easy and obvious. HOWEVER, the sweet peppers had her baffled. Yes, the plants look the same, yes, they have peppers on them and they are even turning different colors. (She planted the 'Carnival Mix') But, there was one kind of plant that she was just sure was purple peppers, but the plant looked different. It has a million little purple berries on it. It was the strangest looking plant. She went to the internet to investigate. Yup, the leaves are the same as purple peppers, yup, it must be a purple pepper. A few days later, not satisfied with this answer, she did another investigation. She asked people about peppers. Nope, it's not a pepper. Well then, what is it? They hadn't a clue. Oh, my, what has she planted? What is this mystery fruit? Is it huckleberries? She planted some free huckleberries which died and never came up. Nope, not huckleberries. The farmhand informed her it was some poisonous plant. Something like 'nightshade'. Oh horrors, she's planted a poisonous plant, the whole family could get sick and die. Oh, what to do, what to do? Well, she thought, she'd better wait just a little longer and investigate some more. She got out the seed catalog, she got out the other seed catalog, she looked at all the stuff she ordered, she looked at all the free seeds they sent her. Well, there is a garden huckleberry in here. The fruit looks like what is in the garden. Hmmmm....Hubby looked them up online. OMG! These stupid things are GARDEN HUCKLEBERRIES. They didn't die! They came up! She transplanted them into the garden! How mortifiying. Oh, and by the way, Huckleberries, tomatoes, and peppers are all a variation of 'nightshade'! You can't eat them till they are ripe and or cooked! Now, Rana has learned an important lesson. No matter who helps plant the garden, she needs to make sure all plants are labeled properly, including those that are to be transplanted. How terribly embarrassing for Rana. She feels just so low. Oh, well, mystery solved!

Speaking of mystery....Mystery Girl has finished her last book report for the coming school year. Today, she is starting Spelling. What as relief to have that out of the way. I think it was her hardest subject! The rest of the year should be easy now! Ha, Ha, Ha! Oh please, oh please!

Tomorrow, my sis-in-law and daughter are coming to visit for a week. I am quite excited. She is coming to help me in the garden and canning. I hope she knows what she is getting into! This time of year, there is no rest for the weary! Our landlord's wife is letting me borrow her pressure canner for a couple of weeks and my time is almost up. I have been canning from can see to can't see. So far, I have done green beans, split pea soup, 10 bean soup, Boston baked beans, and strawberry jam. Today, I am canning pizza sauce, tuna (because my hubby buys tuna in 2 pound cans, like I can use it all at once!) and making some beef stew to can. With all this canning, I forget to cook meals to eat, so my family is subsisting on cereal and hot dogs. Maybe I should save some stuff out for eating! On top of all the canning, I am attepting to clean house before the sil gets here and I am working on a resume for someone. Today, I just finished making bread, so the rest of the day should go well.

In fact, if I'm going to get all this stuff done, I'd better get going! See ya!

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