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My Blog

Gardens and Pickles

Good morning to all.  Seems like it is becoming more of a challenge for me the last couple days to get an early start here on my blog.  Today, I was working on trying to resolve a problem with the garden.  Our neighbor has put up a new fence, and though it is gorgeous...it has further encroached on an existing problem.  We, of course, do not want to make this a big deal, because we are quite grateful for the new neighbors and they did us a huge favor by cutting down an obnoxious tree which the previous neighbor refused to do.  The tree had uprooted some of our driveway, no to mention the mess it caused, being that it was diseased.  Well, the old neighbors also built up the property, leaving the mess of dirt to slide into our driveway.  My husband, such a willing man, is willing to try to fix the existing problem that didn't seem as daunting before...but I must step in quick before his quick fix drives me over the edge.  Therefore much of the morning was spent trying to figure out how to make some lemonade out of some lemons...if you get my drift.  I also received a call from my Chamber of Commerce, that my art sketches have been approved and they will drop off the 3 X 2 feet roses today for me to start painting.  I am very excited over that! 
Well, as for today's blog...I thought that it would be on gardening.  I must say, I am so thrilled to see all the growth from the seeds I planted last week.  I used heirloom and organic seeds and was thrilled to see them sprouting their heads.  It has only been a week.  I am thrilled.  They look wonderful...and I am anxiously awaiting their transfer, which has spear headed the idea of building a raised organic bed.  this will kill two birds with one stone.  It will solve the problem of the falling dirt in the driveway and give me the opportunity to plant the vegetables in an organic way.  I love Pinterest.  It had so many wonderful ideas and I have made my decisions and it will get started today...hopefully, without thunderstorms.  When I was diagnosed with psioriatic arthritis, the one thing the doctor told me was that I could no longer do the normal gardening that I was accustomed to.  Which meant, no longer would I spend 12 hours out in the yard.  I must contain myself to container gardening.  So last year, I had my husband erect a somewhat square arch to make into a vine base for climbing vegetables and recently had a neighbor ask why we had plumbing on the outside of ourhouse...which my husband explained as another one of my ideas...hopefully to be completed this year. 
As a young girl, I always remembered the side yard as our vegetable garden, Grandma always had tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers and peas growing.  I remember how she would can all summer for the winter, those wonderful tomatoes for winter spaghetti sauce.  I can also close my eyes and see us snapping peas into a bowl as we sat on the front porch in the summer.  Well, I didn't plant any peas, but I have plenty of green beans, cucumbers and zucchini to grow.   
It has been many years that I have made homemade pickles in a large jar to enjoy, but hopefully the end result will be plentiful and I can make some.  There is nothing better than having a homemade garlic kosher dill pickle that crunches as you bite into it.  Did you know that if you are dehydrated, drinking pickle juice is a good remedy along with eating a pickle on a stick during a hot day.  Not only is is delicious, but healthy for you as well. 
While one small Kosher dill does contain a number of vitamins and minerals the amounts are minute. The pickle does supply 16 mg of calcium, which help build bone density, 34 mg of potassium, 4 mg of phosphorus, 3 mg of magnesium and trace amounts of iron, zinc copper and manganese. Dill pickles also supply 14 mg of vitamin K, used to produce blood clotting factors and trace amounts of B-complex vitamins as well as 3 mg of vitamin A. One mineral found in abundance in Kosher dills is sodium, used in processing. A single pickle contains 324 mg of sodium, or around 13 percent of your recommended daily allowance of 2,300 mg. Too many dill pickles in one day could use up your entire daily allowance of sodium  Which you need to be careful about if you are on a restricted sodium diet.
In the current days, it seems as though you hear more and more about container gardening, especially since so many are living in condo's and high rises.  It is a great thing to do for more than the obvious reason.  It is a wonderful way to meditate and relax.. 
When I think back to the time when I helped my grandmother garden, I never recall any chemicals being used either.  It was all the scraps from the house that were mulched in.  The only thing I remember aside from egg shells, coffee grounds and bananas was Epsom salt and sugar. The only additional thing that my grandmother used that was bought was bone meal.  Nothing ever went into the garden with out it. The only weed killer we ever used was called out hands.  We would go out into the garden and pull out the weeds. Especially right after a good rain.  It not only gave us a weedless garden but it gave us the needed exercise as well.  Even though I can no longer get down on my knees and do the gardening, there are other options that I continue to track and experiment with.  When harvest time arrives, it is not only vegetation that is reaped but satisfaction as well. 


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