The new Rod scores!

I’ve focused for two days on cleaning the jungle along the lake front by the dock. My usual method is to cut hard and heavy for a few hours one day and then clean up and catch the things I missed on the next day. Today was the second day so I anticipated a lighter work out and completion in about an hour. There were some dead palmetto fronds that I had missed right adjacent to the dock – where the entry way to the dock and the dock intersect to be exact. In order to reach them I had to position myself with one foot on the dock and the other on a stump protruding from the shore and then lean in towards shore. Just as I was stretched out to the max, the stump broke and I went tumbling into the lake, trapped in a 2’x2’ section between the dock and the shore. Naturally I was fully dressed with heavy clothes that I use to protect myself from cuts and insects. The water was armpit deep so it was not obvious how I was going to get out of the predicament. In addition to that, naturally I dropped the clippers in the lake. I thought about trying to swim under the dock to get outside into more open water but with the lake so high, I couldn’t be sure that there was an air space between the lake and the dock so I opted to try to crawl up onto the dock. I somehow managed but it was certainly a thrilling morning. At least the water is warm.

Well the celery experiment crashed. I suspected the seeds were probably too old and I’m going with that. I planted upwards of 50 seeds from two different packs and two different varieties and not the first one germinated. Good sign that the seed was just dead. One of the packs was dated 2013 and stated that the life of the seed was 3 years so…….. I’m trying the root planting method using the root end of a commercially grown, grocery store celery. Nancy cut off all the useable stalks and left me the base with a couple small sprouts popping out in the middle. I planted it in a starter medium, actually where the seeds cratered. I’m a bit dubious, not in the approach but whether it will survive the mid summer heat. I’m keeping it moist and out of the direct sun. We’ll see.

So far 100% on the white sweet potatoes. Even some new growth.

Between Nancy’s doctor office visits this week, I managed to squeeze in a couple of tackle shops to start the search for a new surf rod. I ended up finding one in Deland. I knew I wouldn’t be able to duplicate the old one but I found one that was about 80% and it was priced about half what I was prepared to spend so I jumped on it. Today is Monday, beach Bridge game day for Nancy, so I rigged up the new rod and gave it a field test. Success. A nice whiting. Another Monday ritual that is working out is to use the delayed bake mode on the new stove. We put the meal dujour in the oven and set it to finish cooking just about the time we arrive back home. Works every time.

Celery time

Since the garden is nearly done, you’d think I have more time on my hands but cleaning up and getting it ready for the fall season is a major effort. Pulling all the residual plants and weeds is a big job and the main source of material for the compost piles. I usually get 2-3 hours in before noon and totally wearing out. It’s a load for Nancy too because I go through 2 sets of clothes each day. But it’s about done and I’ve actually planted the first seeds for a new start. According to a new book Tom got me, I should be able to plant celery now. I have my doubts but I have plenty of space and a couple packets of seed so nothing to lose. I’ve grown celery before with mixed results but I’m going to do this crop by the book.

The other reason I wanted to try the celery was that the author suggested that home garden celery should be treated as a cutting crop – which means cut the outer stalks when you need celery rather than cutting the whole plant. New stalks originate in the center of the plant which will just keep producing. Meaning you can get plenty of celery with only a few plants. The other suggestion that I’m going to try is to buy celery at the grocery store, slice off all the stalks to eat and then plant the root end in the garden where (supposedly) it will root and start putting out new stalks. I never heard of doing that but it’s sure easy to try (and it does work with pineapples). The other tidbit I picked up was that it’s impossible to overwater. Celery needs lots of water and I’m fairly sure I wasn’t aware of that. on my previous crops. With the heavy rains we’ve had, the side of the garden closest to the lake is really wet – too wet right now to grow most anything – so that’s exactly where the celery is headed.

We made another batch of eggplant Parm – the first go round was so good, it needed a repeat batch and I just happened to have two ripe medium size eggplants ready to pick. We set up a real production line. I peel and slice the eggplant (in this case two medium size eggplants); Nancy dips the slices in egg and bread crumbs, I fry them and Nancy does the assembly work – adding cheeses and (our home made) sauce. We made two casseroles, each oven ready for a party of 4 (or 2 with leftovers). One of the two will be frozen for future use.

Nancy didn’t have a fun week with an iron infusion and B-12 shot on Thursday and the eye needle on Friday. The infusions and B12 shots are a weekly event; the eye shots every 8 weeks. Starting to get hard to find blank spots on the calendar.