A New Garden Option

The garden is taking shape for the season.  Planted seedlings of cauliflower, broccoli, kale and swiss chard this week.   The cabbages, peppers and tomatoes I put in last month are mostly doing well whereas the earlier planted squash and cucumbers are being routinely consumed by the critters and becoming fodder for the compost pile.  I only planted those on hopes of a cooler season but, if anything, it was hotter and more humid than usual.  I’ve also planted a few seeds for a new crop.  Trying to grow fennel.  Nancy uses fennel in her tomato sauce and it’s not alway easy to get.  Never tried to grow Fennel so not sure what to expect.  It’s a fairly fast crop, 50-60 days so may be ready before any frost.  

And, another option surfaced regarding gardening on the neighbors property.   Still no complaints from them but the neighbor on the other side, the Ashcraft’s,  suggested that I plant a garden on their property.   I really wouldn’t relish starting over from scratch but it is an alternative that I hadn’t considered.  Brian and Amy Ashcraft have decided to fix up the old double wide on the property they inherited from their Grandmother, May, and move in.  They (Amy) had considered tearing it down and building a new place but instead they (Brian) opted for the renovation and adding a large, steel shed for his business.   He’s going to open some kind of handyman business.  Their plans include building a nice dock and a new ski boat so I think my garden would be secure there for as long as we’re here.

Egg-Chard Barter Plan

Have had basically zero interface with the new neighbors except for a 5 minute chat at the garden.   Clearly there will be no immediate problem with the garden.  They are way too engaged with the house to worry about anything in the yard at all.  Gretchen confirmed that they are vegetarians and planning to start raising chickens since eggs are such a big part of their diet.  I’m just proceeding as in the past, assuming they will be eager eaters when my Dazzling – Blue Kale and Bright Lights chard turn on.   Maybe I’ll be able to barter eggs for Chard.

We found a new (to us) Chinese restaurant.   It’s in South Daytona and showed up in a survey as the best Chinese restaurant in Volusia County.  We were in Daytona and decided (actually Nancy decided) to give it a try.   We had looked it up on a Maps program a month or so ago and had a rough idea where it was but I really had my doubts as to how difficult it would be to find  on a high traffic, 3 lane each way kind of road – buried in a commercial shopping area.   Since Nancy can’t see, I was fairly sure I’d be wide open trying to navigate the traffic while looking sideways for a Chinese restaurant sign buried in a strip mall. We didn’t even know which side of the road it was on or exactly what the name of the place is.  I did know another good place in the general area so had it in mind that we’d go there when the Chinese exercise proved futile.  As it turned out, I happened to look in the right direction at just the right time to spot a sign way off the road.  We were, of course, in the wrong lane and I had to navigate a U turn but we actually found the place.    Really good and I’m sure I’ll be eating there a lot more than I want. 

New Neighbors

Well, it looks like the sale of the garden (AKA  the house next door)  is going to happen.   Barbara has to be gone by 10/9 and the new folks are scheduled to move in on the 11th.  I may get a cucumber or zucchini but nothing else.   The garden is really looking good this year and I hope they either agree to share it or at least farm it actively to take advantage of the high quality soil that I’ve built over the last 10 years.   It’ll be about 75% planted out by then.   Another loss to be dealt with as new neighbors move in is the burn pile.  As with the garden, we share a large burn pile where we both dispose of tree and brush trimmings.   Doesn’t sound like much but you’d be surprised just how much “tree litter” we deal with.  Up until now, this has been a good thing since the wood ash adds nutrients and mass to the compost piles – so eventually ending up in the garden.

I was more than a little proud of the gators almost beating Alabama.   From here on out, “almost beating” doesn’t get it.  I was hoping that the Jag’s would show up with a winner this season rather than pulling up the rear as usual.  So far, not so good.   Ditto the Dolphins.   I’ve never been a Buc’s fan but …………….

We’ve had lots of rain over the past week.  I’ve dumped the 6” rain gauge 3 times in the past week and the lake is the highest we’ve seen for several years.   It’s about 6” from overtopping Barbara’s dock.   The good news is that we’re past most of the hurricane season with no signs of anything to worry about.   Some of the green bean plants in the garden are looking shabby which I suspect has to do with excess water.   Their roots are probably deep enough to be in saturated soil – great for rice but not so great for beans.


Met the new neighbors – Frank and Gretchen.   He looks like a “Frank”, she doesn’t look like a Gretchen.  They come to Florida by way of NJ.   Very close to where Chris lives – within 15 minutes.  The guy’s parents are from south Jersey, near Philadephia – how weird is that!  Look to be in their 50’s, look Italian, and the wife is a vegan – crazy about greens.   They definitely plan to use the garden on a mutual basis.  Ditto the burn pile.   It just so happens that I burned it out this morning.   I think this is going to work out OK.  So far, so good.