Monday, September 19, 2011

Drought Recovery In Progress

In a normal season, the raised beds would be chocked full of fall tomato plants and greens right now. With the endless days of triple digit temperatures and no rain fall since last fall, well, that just wasn't the case for us this year. We are in recovery mode and One of the easiest points of recovery in this years drought is in the raised beds.It's in here we can dig out the centers and fill them full of green manure we've gathered by mowing and chopping in few areas where grass was still growing. GREEN IS GOOD STUFF!!

One of the compost bins is rapidly being emptied and added to the raised beds. MORE GOOD STUFF!! And if you notice, no cost so far either.

Here we are with some progress being made. Half of the raised beds were completed last week. After compiling the green manure and compost, we layed paper across the top of the whole thing. Then we used the garden mix we had delivered from our local nursery. We used about 3 to 5 inches on top of the paper. The paper will help choke out any weeds that may want to germinate out of the green manure and compost. Next it was a matter of watering them in really good all week, each day. Then we were blessed with a few of the first rain showers I can remember in a very long time. This weekend we were able to seed half the beds with lettuce, Kale, carrots and spinach.
I'm trying not to look at the devastation any longer and found this whole adventure to be more like a complete remodel job. We decided to take these raised beds out this winter and begin a whole new area of expansion. The raised beds will be replaced with a cover crop before a spring planting of that gorgeous Native Texas Dent Corn. We will use the seed we saved from this summers harvest. Put with that corn some more Native Cornfield beans and pumpkins and we have the makings of a new Three Sisters Native Garden area. It's all good, and we shall recover!! Just gonna be a bit of hard work and a few less veggies to harvest from the fall garden this year.

I'm so thankful to be digging again. Enjoying a little cooler temperatures and seeing a small bit of rain come to Texas.Planning for a better season with more natives and drought tolerant varieties will make a big difference next season. Adding as much organic material back into the soil will help retain more moisture. That's about as ready as one can get!!
Happy Gardening!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

From The Mist Of My Garden "Wildfires"

As my thoughts had been concentrating on recovery plans for the garden from his horrific drought, they were soon consumed with protecting my heirloom seeds. I took this picture from our driveway as the Waller County Wildfires burned just over our treetops. For 5 days we hung on the edge of the evacuation areas, wondering if we would be next to have to leave. It's crazy all the things that go through your mind in such a situation. Watching the news as many folks had to rush to evacuate and were given less that 10 minutes to go was evidence enough that we needed to get prepared and quickly. 

The hardest part of this whole ordeal was scrambling to find information. The local news stations were no help at all. They couldn't even report the name of our County properly. On several occasions they called us Walker County. And where the fires were burning in Waller County was actually a large community called Field Store. The news reported it as Field Stone on occasion. It made one a bit apprehensive about getting accurate information. Since this was a Tri-County fire, it included 3 counties. Montgomery, Grimes and Waller. From the looks of things the fires originated in Montgomery County, which is to the East of our home. The fires had then spread into the other 2 counties. While Montgomery and Grimes Counties were quite efficient through their Sheriff's offices using social medias to keep us posted with updates and press releases, we were greatly lacking information for Waller County. It wasn't until a couple of local residents formed a FB page called Waller County Wildfire Info. They were life savers to most of our community in trying their best to keep us posted on where the fires were and evacuation areas. They kept up with reports from our county officials to report back to the citizens of our community. I really need to reevaluate our public officials in Waller  County and whether we need to be looking for folks that can command in the 21st century with social media. 

Here is one of the many road blocks in Waller County at the intersections of 1488 and Field Store Road. There were several news crews at this intersection as well. But yet when the evening news came on there was still not any specific information on the fires burning in our area. Another very concerning thing was when you left your home through one of the road blocks, you were not allowed to return. That was a bit disturbing since our home was not in the evacuation zone. Surely we could have shown I.D. to return, but that didn't happen, so we found our way around the back roads to get back. 

Praise be to our Father who protected us during this time. I do give praise to the many hard working firefighters who devoted endless hours in fighting this fire. They are truly remarkable. I also give tremendous praise to all the local citizens who band together to help the many families and their livestock during the evacuations. All in all we have much to be thankful for. Field Store and Waller County people may not be recognized by the news media, but they all shall be recognized in the hearts and minds of all its citizens who lived through and together in this horrific disaster.I am so blessed as well by all the friends and families who prayed during this time. Thank You So Much!!

May We All Find Peace Within Our Garden As We Continue To Have Hope For Our Future Generations!!


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Cocoa Nuttie Yogurt Pops

I think personally that these Cocoa Nuttie Yogurt Pops should be for grown ups only, but that is just my personal opinion. If you've ever had chocolate cheesecake and loved it, then you will appreciate these. They are made with pure Greek God Yogurt and I couldn't eat more than one. Very rich and will take care of any chocolate craving and sweet tooth. My Editor in Chief from Natural Family Today Magazine started this craze earlier this summer by posting a recipe for Strawberry Yogurt Pops and it has opened a whole new world for my entire household. Just check under the recipe section.
They are quite simple to make and cute to boot. I just used simple Dixie Cups and Popsicle sticks.Mixed it up and stuck them on a tray in the freezer. This recipe made one dozen tasty treats.


1 - 24 oz. carton of Plain or Honey Greek God Yogurt
1 - 10 oz. bag of Ghirardelli semi-sweet mini chocolate chips
1 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 tsp. raw organic sugar (optional)
crushed walnut or pecan pieces


In small saucepan on medium to low heat slowly melt the chocolate chips. Stir frequently so they don't stick to the pan. In a large bowl put in the entire carton of Greek God Yogurt, add the vanilla and sugar. With a rubber spatula add the melted chocolate. Beat with hand mixer until well blended.

Put a small amount of crushed nuts in the bottom of each Dixie cup. Spoon in the yogurt mixture. Sprinkle on a bit of the crushed nuts on top of each filled cup and gently press it on. Place your stick in the middle of each cup. Set your tray in the freezer and wait for them to set. The paper peels off easily, but  I did take sizzors and cut a tiny slit at the top of the cup and then peeled it off. 

Happy Gardening and Happy Yogurt Blissfulness!