Update – it was an otter, not a bear

I think there was a bear on the dock last night. I went down this AM to make a few test casts and noted that the rods were laying on the dock and so was the heavy ladder I had standing up. One chair was on it’s side. It had been windy the day before but unless it really blew hard while we were sleeping, this had to be a critter hit.

I ordered most of next season’s seeds with special attention to the tomatoes. I selected highly disease and nematode resistance cherry, paste, and regular eating types. A really expensive selection as those things go. The cherry tomatoes and paste tomato varieties are ones that thru the process of trial and error have proved reliable but I have never really found a consistent regular eater but I’ve spotted one that sounds like it might be the one. You just don’t know until you try it. I’ve also upgraded the eggplant selection to a hybrid Italian offering called Dancer. Hard to find, expensive seed. Since since we’re eating more of it, why not go to the top shelf. Tried and true on the peppers and cucumbers. Still trying to find a consistent squash performer – some years I think I’ve found it only to be disappointed the following season – but mostly the problems with squash are bug oriented. I overhauled an old spray container and plan to go after that problem externally.

I mentioned that we had traded some collard greens for sweet potatoes. I decided to extend that by trying to sprout one of the potatoes into eventually becoming a summer crop. It’s a simple process but one that takes time, patience, space and warm weather. I sliced off the end of a potato and set the tuber into a container of water and set it in the kitchen windowsill. The plan is for the potato to start putting out stems and leaves within a couple of weeks. Then, after a month or so, you remove the sprouts and plant them in the garden. Each sprig will take root and produce a vine on the surface and tubers underground. In about a 100 days, you harvest a few pounds of potatoes for each sprig. I did this once before a few years back with nominal success. The disadvantage is that the vines really spread and put down more roots along the vine so it really really spreads and becomes hard to control. The big advantage is that they love heat and thrive when all else has succumbed.

Good News – They’re opening a Hidden Treasure restaurant on Flagler Beach. The one in Port Orange has been my favorite place since Nancy and Joanne accidentally found it a year ago. There was a similar place in Flagler about 10 years ago that we really liked but it closed down several years back. Hidden Treasure is going to the same location. Full report will be blogged in March.

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