September 30, 2009

We just planted Brandywines, which is our current favorite, and the fruit (or vegetables) contained great amounts of water, maybe because whenever we felt we should water them and did, it would then rain.  We know next year will be lots better.

Our dairy farming neighbors had a lousy year, because the price they are paid for their milk is terribly low.  Why then, is Ice Cream at the grocery store not only much higher in price, but packed in a smaller container, for which they ask the higher price?  I used to get upset when I opened the same sized container, and found it less full, less heavy, but the same price.  Are the people who are attacking Obama’s efforts (apparently without always reading the bills they are attacking) not buying their own food?  We hope next year will be better for everybody, except the complainers and certain politicians.

I really enjoyed, learned a lot, and respected the officials of the State and County Extension officers who maintain the Master Gardener program.  Take it, if you can find the time!  There is an annual dinner, with good speakers – we used to bring a dish to pass and, for a while, had to provide our recipe for anyone who wanted to copy it.  The organization grew larger, now the meals are prepared and served cafeteria style, I guess, so if anyone gets sick, they will know who to sue – although no one has ever gotten sick to my knowledge.

 A few years ago, we had a couple from nearby who had a successful “Satek Winery,” in northern Indiana, near Michigan, and near Pokagon, a beautiful Indiana State Park on Lake James.  They started growing grapes in 1992, and opened the Winery in 2001.  She was a school teacher, he was a business executive.  They brought a computerized slide presentation, which he operated while she talked.  She said she hoped to explain grape growing, and wine making, and he showed pictures of some of their vines and bottles, while she talked about what we were seeing.  She said she would tell us about which grapes made which wine, and the next picture was of a bottle of raspberry wine.  I felt I had to ask if they would take questions, and she said “yes,” and I did, and she answered, to our satisfaction!  Take the course!

We only grow Concord grapes, (coons ate our recent plantings) and Judy had an old recipe for Concord grape pie, which we would be happy to send you if you write the editor of this paper, and the messages reach our home. It is unbelievably good.  For my 82nd birthday, Judy promised to make me a pie every month this year – and we have only one frozen grape pie left in our freezer – but frozen ingredients for a few more!  My first taste of wine was bottled and sold by Mogen David, and it is still our favorite dinner wine.     

Well, now that you know how old and decrepit I am, you know how much I appreciate Judy doing all the flower and vegetable weeding that requires getting down on one’s knees.  I can get DOWN,  I just can’t always get back up!  She puts the weeds, after shaking all the dirt off the roots, into plastic pails, which I take down to my burning area where we are still allowed to burn prunings of shrubs, trees, and plants.  We have a steel burning barrel, where we can burn paper scraps, but when we put the large amounts of plastic containers into the barrel, they burn at such a high temperature that the heavy steel barrels melt. 

We were really glad when our county started a recycling service, collecting clean cans, paper, and recyclable plastic containers!  We used to use the newspapers to start our winter wood stove fires, but we now have a propane look alike, and Judy still reads three (3) papers!  Unfortunately, one of her papers said, my Whitley County officials have terminated the recycling contract.  I WOULD PAY MORE!  I LOVE RECYCLING!  If you do, and your County says it is cancelling the contract, do SOMETHING! !.  .  .  .  .  Good Gardening

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