Converting Veggies into Brew

I mentioned picking radishes in the last post. That needs just a bit of expansion lest you think I’m growing plain old radishes. These guys are purple skinned – perfectly shaped and not even slightly pithy. Very mild.

Picked another batch of tomatoes which we’ll be converted to sauce within the next few hours. That will make the fourth batch so far and there are still plenty of green tomatoes on the vines. Each batch gets us about 6 quarts – a dozen one pint Talenti cups. One Talenti cup of sauce covers one medium pizza; 3 cups works for a pound of pasta. The tomatoes will play out by the end of this month and I’ve already got the seedlings for the spring/summer crop on the porch. That’s the May – June crop and the official end of the tomato season in the garden. It’s just too hot and humid for tomatoes in Florida July through October. We’ve been on this schedule for several years now and have never run out of sauce. The biggest problem is running out of freezer space.

Any way I measure it, this garden has been the most productive ever. I think I’ve spent more time tending it than before – keeping it weed free, trimmed, harvested and mended with a steady supply of new compost – but it’s really showing. That plus the weather has been nearly perfect – cool but not near freezing; moisture but no frost.

The other thing that’s outstanding this year is the azalea bloom. I trimmed it back a little stronger than usual this summer and the bloom has really been fabulous. I think if we ever decide to sell this place – not that we will – we would do it in February. The walk down to the lake is incredible this year with several different, super bright colors on display.

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My Friday walk in Palm Coast has turned interesting. I usually walk about a mile and a half from Waterfront Park to the European Village adjacent to the Hammock Bridge, have a brew at Moonrise brewery, then walk back to the car. A few weeks back my routine was interrupted when Moonrise was closed for a personal event. As luck would have it, there’s an Irish Pub just a few doors down and I decided to try that as an alternative. Wasn’t sure I could walk all the way back to the car without a refuel. It was mostly empty but the few people there and the bartender were friendly so I mentally set it up as a good alternative. All the patrons were old retirees, mostly down from NY for the winter, so easy to engage. One topic of discussion was the garden. Nothing special but the next week I was greeted with concern from the bartender, Denise, regarding the cold weather we’d had the night before and that she had worried about the garden freezing. It surprised me that anybody would even remember let alone worry. I asked her if she liked greens and learned that her daughter was a Vegan and they’d love fresh greens. The next week I brought a giant bag of mixed greens only to find the Pub, Farley’s, closed. There was a patron outside that told me that Denise had fallen behind the bar and had been 911’d to the hospital. Luckily my old haunt, Moonrise, was open and the gal behind the bar there just loved greens. Anyway, this week I called Farley’s and made sure that Denise was there and still wanted greens. Turns out she had had a pulmonary embolism (whatever that is) which had caused the fall and hospitalization but was back at work and wanted the greens. I brought a gigantic bag of kale and chard which blew her away. She wouldn’t let me pay for my beer so I’ve got a new gig – trading kale for Tangerine wheat.

Political – read no further.
The Dem’s are getting scary at this point. Seems like the end choice for them will be either a Socialist/Communist or a Billionaire New Yorker. Once they took the impeachment path, that killed off Biden. I just wonder whether that was intentional or a lack of judgement. How is it possible that they could end up with candidates who are not really Dem’s- Bloomberg being a Republican or independent at best; Sanders being a card carrying, no apologies Socialist. If you could be a fly on the wall, the best place to be would be the Carville’s – “it’s the economy, stupid!” listening to Mary and James have at each other. Might also be fun to listen in on the Clinton’s or the Obama’s – all straight down the middle, old fashion Dem’s. We’re seeing a classic circular firing squad. I think in the end, this election will be a choice between adults and kids, independent of party affiliation.

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