Tom sent me a couple pic’s he took from the trip. The most interesting is the shot of the double jack catch. The fish are still in the river, hanging over the side of the boat. Before it was all over, the hook on the lure actually broke. Jack are really powerful fish and fight stronger than their size would indicate; when one grabs your lure it’s like you hooked onto a freight train. They’re not much to eat so most people don’t fish specifically for them. I wonder if they’re like bluefish – most people don’t eat them but they make great smoked fish for fish dip. If we lived there or if the fish wandered as far north as the Tomoka, I’d probably give it a try but as it is, on a trip like this we throw them all back. The other is a Loxahatchee Bass. Not too big but fun anyway. Sorry about the sideways pic but I couldn’t get it turned around right.
My first crop of parsnips was underwhelming. It reminds me of my first crop of carrots, beautiful green tops but wimpy roots. In this case I planted two batches about a month apart and fairly well separated so I’ll know more about it in a month or so. She made me feel a little better by telling me that no matter how bad I thought they looked, they would have cost about $10 at Publix. In any event, that first batch is down the hatch as part of Nancy’s latest gourmet meal, balsamic braised beef shoulder with pureed parsnips, Harvard beets, and red romaine salad. This meal was nearly 100% from the garden – even the beef. I count the beef as a garden byproduct since we got it from Nancy’s friend who raises cattle and gets greens and cherry tomatoes from us. As to the carrot comparison, wow, this new crop is incredible. I have the carrot thing down pat. If you put mine right beside the super market variety, you’d pick mine – no doubt about it. That’s why I’m hopeful that I’ll break the code on parsnips too. If this next crop, which is growing in a sunnier spot, isn’t any better, I’ll try another variety.
Hedging my bets by putting in a new plat of lettuce and at the same time, putting in tomatoes. This is a few weeks later than I would usually put in lettuce and a few weeks early for the tomatoes. I’m also putting in a couple summer squash seeds a tad early. I have three different summer squash seed varieties and will put in a patch of each separated by 2 weeks. I’ll put a protective mesh cover over these when they germinate to protect from boring insects. That’s usually what gives us the most trouble now that I seem to have some control over the nematodes. The cover will also provide a modicum of warmth just in case winter reappears.
I have to guess that even the Dem’s reading this are shaking their heads in disgust or despair as the US loses international creds. Between Kerry and Obama we have to have the weakest international leadership ever. They finally took over the low spot from the Carter administration. Embarrassing. Naive. Shallow. Pick an adjective. French, Italian. It’s like we’re fielding a Little League team to play in the Big Leagues. I’m sure glad I am no longer in business meeting with friends and customers around the world. What an embarrassment that would be.