carolinainmymind

can't you see the sunshine….

Spring Farmers’ Market Visit

A few days ago I finally wandered out to the State Farmers’ Market, here in Raleigh. If you go on a weekday, the crowds are not too bad. Here is my haul for the trip

In Italy, I used to buy fresh, in-shell English peas at the regular grocery store. They were a little bit pricy, but in season they were so good. I would buy a big ole bag and shell them. There was a Julia Child and Jacques Pepin cooking show where they compared in their fresh pea cooking methods. I don’t remember Jacques’ method, only Julia’s. In a sauce pan, tiny amount of water, hunk of cold butter, kosher salt and a bit of sugar. Then get your hands in there and ‘bruise’ the peas. Cover and cook for a few minutes. Ben and I would squabble over these they were so good. Then the dog who moved with us to Italy, ‘the Sainted Siena’ discovered them and started demanding her share. Our grocery budget was shot.

These were sugar snaps so I just cleaned them up a bit and lightly steamed them. I also got some fresh, new crop red potatoes. Freshly dug potatoes are as good as freshly picked corn or properly ripened and stored summer tomatoes. Our friend BK, brought to Italy some of her Momma’s freshly dug potatoes. They were about the best I have ever had.

And I got some strawberries. They were certainly better than store bought but I thought they were a little watery.

I feel for the farmers. We have had wild Spring weather. A good bit of rain but it could have been spaced a little better. (Really! Seven weekends in a row, RAIN!) Monday, the 13th there were tornados close by. And hail. Then there was a cool spell when night temps dropped to the 40s. And now it is in the 90s during the day and will stay that way with small chances of rain for at least the next week. I’ll spare you whining about the hail damage to my Elephant Ear Forest.

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Fall

We didn’t really have Fall in our part of Italy.  Lots of non-decidous trees; pines, cypress, cedars, live oaks.  This is our first full fall back.  Here in NC because it has been so warm still (it was 80 degrees on Monday, 11/6) the trees are just starting to turn now that we are having a cold spell.

The hoo-ha over Monday being the last warm day for a while prompted me to go out and plant daffodil bulbs in the front.  Earlier in the summer I thinned the cannas.  Many years ago my neighbor was an older man of European descent who loved to garden and had the beds around the front of his unit and mine looking very nice.  He is long gone and no one has really touched them since.  The cannas had taken over, even  covering a couple of azaleas.

There is a lawn care service that comes every Monday at the CRACK of dawn.  In early September they put out grass seed, on the day that hurricane Maria was supposed to swing by.  Well, we got about a teaspoon of rain from the storm and no other rain for over 30 days.  I realized that the seed was not going to come up unless someone watered.  And my neighbors were getting married at the end of September so I thought it would be nice if that grass grew.  So I watered, two times a day, every day for over two weeks.  The Monday, after spreading grass seed, the lawn care staff was back, cutting, raking and blowing.  The next Monday the same thing happened again.  That was when I gave up watering the entire front.  What is the point if someone is going rake/disturb all the seed.  I did finally find a lawn patch kit that I spread on the bare spot by our door and barricaded it off so no will tramp through it.  I have been watering again.  Reseeded another time and finally have a reasonable amount of grass coming up.  Even though I whine about the lawn care folks I do appreciate that they come and cut and rake and blow leaves so that I don’t have to do that.

Back to my daffodil bed, while thinning the cannas I discovered some day lilies.  I also went on Craig’s List and traded some of my cannas for more day lillies.  So every daffodil got a day lily friend planted with it.  After the daffs do their thing, the day lillies should be coming up and will fill in and cover the dying daff foliage.  Behind them is some bee balm that did not do well in the planter in the back and a few other prennials.  That whole front bed should be pretty low maintenance next summer but blooming and colorful.

This is at least the 4th daffodil bed that I have started.  I always think of my grand mother when I plant daffodils.  She had them in her yard in Kentucky.  I think I helped her plant some.  She died in early November many years ago.  So it is nice to remember her as I plant bulbs and start a new flower bed.  Think she would be happy that I did.

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When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang

Upon those boughs which shake against the cold

Bare ruin’d choirs where late the sweet birds sang

                                                                                         Shakespeare

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