Category Archives: Healthy Living

Wordless Wednesday…Carrots! Carotte! Cenoura!

Another entry for the Wordless Wednesday Weekly Photo Challenge…

 

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Suncreek Garden Chronicles: The Tomato Debate

 

Suncreek Garden Chronicles...The Tomato Debate

 The tomato was once referred to as the Love Apple, Moor’s Apple and a Wolf Peach.  The name wolf peach comes from the long-held belief that the tomato was poisonous.  One 17th Century cookbook declared, while it was safe to eat a cooked tomato it was “not advisable”.  However eating a raw tomato would cause instantaneous death.  Although untrue, this lethal accusation lingered until the early 1800’s.

The controversy over the toxic tomato was only the beginning of the tomato debate.  An additional debate was most likely the topic of many garden conversations…was the tomato a vegetable or a fruit.  The issue seemed to cause such division that the debate was taken before the United States Supreme Court.   In 1887 the issue was settled when the powers to be decided to split the difference.  The Court ruled that although “botanically speaking tomatoes are the fruit of a vine” they were vegetables “in the  common language of the people.”

Here at Suncreek Garden there really isn’t much of a debate.  We grow heirloom tomatoes.  We enjoy them cooked as well as raw and thus far no one has fallen ill or even worse.  Also, we don’t prefer the tomato fruit over the tomato vegetable or vice versa…we just prefer tomatoes!

*On a side note…The tomato serves as both the official state vegetable and the official state fruit of Arkansas, in honor of the South Arkansas Vine Ripe Pink Tomato, sometimes known as “Bradley Pink.”

What say you about the tomato debate?

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Suncreek Garden Chronicles…garden fail, who knew?

Suncreek Garden Chronicles…garden fail!  I think this may be what brussels sprouts look like when grown under the wrong conditions…  Out of 6 plants this is the only one with significant sprout growth but… these sprouts have just stopped growing! 

I am not sure we have truly failed at growing brussels sprouts.  I have done a bit of research in the past few days and it seems that we just lack knowledge.  Our winter temperatures have been on the warm side, but it would seem not too warm for the brussels.  It also seems that the plants may be just waiting on us to take the next step.  I have read that we should begin harvesting the lower leaves and sprouts of the plant to stimulate continued growth of the remaining sprouts.  Who knew?

Well someone knew and now I think I know…how to over come our possible garden fail. 

Suncreek Garden Chronicles...Fail

Of all of the winter veggies we planted I was most excited by the possibility of growing our own brussels sprouts. Which in itself blows my mind. You see before last year I was not a fan of cabbage or brussels sprouts. Of course my professed dislike for these veggies had no real basis to it. As I child I had associated a bout of stomach flu with eating cabbage at my aunt’s house. So for years and I do mean years I refused to eat, actually I refused to even try a dish that contained cabbage or brussels sprouts.

My husband really enjoys eating cabbage. Also, there is a lady that I work with who goes to an incredible amount of work making cabbage rolls. We are talking over 100 individual rolls. She is so sweet and makes this dish out of love and there is just no way to refuse to eat this dish when she makes it for you. So between the two of them they have worn me down. I finally had to give in and give this incredibly humble veg another try. Guess what? I like it! I do. Now I am not going to go out of my way to make fried or stewed cabbage or even cabbage rolls. But I will eat a serving if it’s offered to me.

On the other hand I have fallen in love with brussels sprouts. I can not explain it. I don’t think I want to try. But I really like these little bite size morsels.  I find myself adding them to my grocery cart whenever they are available. Who knew?!

Sometimes things just don’t work out the way you plan…we planted a winter garden and then winter failed to show up.  We built a temporary greenhouse so we could start the seedlings for the spring garden…our placement of the greenhouse may have stifled the growth of a couple of our cold weather loving plants.  Whatever the outcome of this first attempt at growing a winter garden will give us knowledge and experience as we make our plans for next seasons attempt at growing a home garden. 

 

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Suncreek Garden Chronicles…Man Cave!

The focal point of a typical Man Cave is ususally the BIG LCD 52″ 1080p flat screen tuned in to ESPN for the latest sports updates; Scores, Hits, Hirings and Firings, Trades, The DL and The NFL.  The conversations range from….Will Peyton Manning ever play football again? and How does his little brother feel about playing the game of his life on his big brothers hallowed grounds? To recollections of days gone by… Yes all of this goes on in my Hubs’ indoor man cave…but lately the Hubs has been focused on his outdoor man cave.  Now before you get too excited this outdoor man cave does not include an outdoor kitchen or flat screen television.  There isn’t a tiki bar with a built-in fridge…This man cave is a combination of pvc and heavy duty plastic filled with garden tools and a compost bin.  Although once the Hubs reads this he will surely get a few ideas….. 

Suncreek Garden Chronicles...Man Cave!

 
 The Hubs, In anticipation of frigid winter temperatures constructed a temporary greenhouse.  So far…there has been no sign of old man winter.  Currently the temps are holding steady from a low in the mid 40’s to highs in the upper 70’s.  It’s downright spring time!   The temporary greenhouse has become the outdoor man cave
 

Suncreek Garden Chronicles...Man Cave!

The Hubs is spending quite a bit of time in his outdoor man cave…planting seeds, transplanting seedlings, weeding the rows and basically puttering around. He is one proud gardener…not to mention he melts my heart when he brings in the daily harvest. 

Suncreek Garden Chronicles...Man Cave!

We typically enjoy our fresh from the garden harvest during dinner time.  Almost every evening as we are sitting at the kitchen table enjoying the veggies of his labors, the hubs will exclaim…”That’s the best…lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower, sugar snap peas….(you get the picture) I have ever eaten!”  You know what?  He’s right..it is!

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Wordless Wednesday…Naturally sweet!

Wordless Wednesday…Naturally sweet! Sugar Snap Peas…

Wordless Wednesday...Naturally Sweet!

 

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Suncreek Garden Chronicles…Brussel Sprouts

Suncreek Garden Chronicles…Brussel Sprouts

Suncreek Garden Chronicles...Brussel Sprouts

This is our first attempt at growing one of our favorite veggies…I have read that brussel sprouts flourish when the weather is frosty…today the high was 70 degrees…no frost in sight.  I hope we will enjoy the veggies of our labors before the warm temperatures encourage the appearance of aphids or cabbage worms.

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Suncreek Garden Chronicles…Seedlings!

Suncreek Garden Chronicles…Seedlings!

The South Texas winter of 2012 has been mild and uneventful.  The temperatures this week are moderate; lows in the mid 40’s and the highs in the mid 70’s.  We are finally getting some well needed rain and we are very thankful for it.  The combination of these favorable conditions has lengthened our growing season. 

Our first try at a fall/winter garden has been a success.  We are harvesting green leaf, red & green romaine and butter lettuces, sugar snap peas, broccoli, cauliflower and a few surprise root veggies.  The fall/winter garden season should be wrapping up by now but the veggies are not showing any signs of fading.  This is a good thing!  Well, it is and it isn’t…well it is more than it isn’t… well you don’t want to look a gift horse in the mouth.  Exactly what does that saying mean?  Anyway, I digress.  The only reason a longer fall/winter growing season isn’t a good thing is that we are now beginning to plan and plant the early spring garden.  This means somethings will be removed before they run their course.  That makes a gardener/farmer very sad. 

Currently, Farmer Hubs has started the seeds for the spring lettuces, sugar snap peas, cucumbers, peppers and tomatoes.  We will not plant the seedlings in the garden until after the last freeze.  Which could have already happened but in all actuality will probably rear its ugly little frozen head sometime in early March.  We will definitely consult the Farmers Almanac, Bulldog (my Dad), Dear Abbey and Judge Judy and weigh out all of the advice and then turn around and do exactly what we want to do.

Houston…the seeds have been planted and we have lift off!

Suncreek Garden Chronicles...Seedlings

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Wordless Wednesday…Sugar Free

Wordless Wednesday…Sugar Free…doesn’t mean calorie free but that’s all I am going to say about that because it’s Wordless Wednesday and it is Sugar Free!!!

Wordless Wednesday...Sugar Free

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Suncreek Garden Chronicles: A Gardener’s Companion; Prudence and Patience

Suncreek Garden Chronicles: A gardener’s companion; prudence and patience!

There are so many things to consider before planting a garden.  You must consider the location in relation to trees and buildings.  You also want to consider how convenient the location is to the house and the water source.  You must decide on the size and shape of the garden plot. There is also the layout of the garden beds, the type of fertilizer and what you will do to control pests and critters.  Then the piesta resistance and almost as time-consuming as the entire rest of the project is the seed selection and their placement in the garden.

Suncreek Gardens...Prudence and Patience

However, there are a couple of things you won’t find on any of the thousands of lists available on the internet instructing you on growing a garden.  The first one missing from the list is prudence…using caution with regard to practical matters and discretion.  Oh they skirt the issue when they make references to using good judgement when it comes to your resources. However, Prudence is something that comes through experience.   We have learned through trial and error and trial again that planting and entire row of anything lacks prudence. Planting an entire row of cucumbers is over kill unless of course you are going to make pickles.  Also it may not be prudent to use nitrogen rich chicken manure on the entire garden.  As we found the zucchini was none too fond of it.  Also it may be more prudent to plant those tiny lettuce seeds on a day without wind.  Unless of course you like having little tufts of lettuces growing outside of the garden area on the off-chance one of Beatrix Potter‘s Rabbits happens by.

Suncreek Gardens...Prudence and Patience

The other thing that is missing from every “how to” list is the recommendation for a potential new gardener to bring along a good measure of patience.  Gardening requires steady perseverance with even-tempered care and diligence to work with quiet patience.  My husband calls the time he spends in the garden…therapy.  Gardening affords you many opportunities to grow…personally.   Growing in patience is one of those areas.  After planting the seeds you patiently wait for them to germinate.  Once the seeds germinate you patiently wait for them to grow enough to transplant them to their respective garden bed.  Once planted in the garden you wait patiently for them to grow and to flower.  Once the plants have flowered you patiently and expectantly wait for the veggies to appear.  It really is all you can do!  Well that and pull weeds!

After months of exercising prudence and practicing patience tomorrow we will harvest our very first  broccoli spears. There were moments when we doubted this day would actually come to fruition.  In the coming days the Hubs and I will discuss numerous recipes that will include our fresh home-grown broccoli. 

Suncreek Gardens...Prudence and Patience

Meanwhile, friends, wait patiently for the Master’s Arrival. You see farmers do this all the time, waiting for their valuable crops to mature, patiently letting the rain do its slow but sure work. Be patient like that. Stay steady and strong. The Master could arrive at any time.” James 5:7-8 The Message

“But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.” Galatians 5: 22 The Message

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Finding Focus and Balance Through Reflection

My life is out of fous.  There are too many loose ends leftover from the Christmas Holiday.  There are too many new projects vying for the front burner.  All of which deserve and need my attention.  Some are more urgent than others…but each one carries its own weight of importance.

 

The other aspect of my life that is out of focus but has the ability to bring clarity to the lens I view the new year with is the time I spend taking stock of this past years accomplishments and short comings.  The accomplishments are the jumping off point for an exciting new year.  The short comings will channel my goals.

I know I am looking for balance in the coming year…balance between my spiritual life, husband, home, work, health, hobbies and relaxation.

Sometimes you have to say no to a really good thing in order to say yes to a really great thing.  Where do I draw the line?  What gets the yes?  What gets the no? Do I continue to blog 6 days a week? Should I submit that article to the paper? How often should I go to the antique center to fluff my space?  What about exercise…Where am I going to fit that into my already over crowded schedule? How can I balance all of my online time…with my need for real people interaction?  What about that special quite time to get my day started off on the right track? What about Hubby time?  What about house cleaning and gardening?  The dogs need to go to the vet for their shots?  The list continues but I think you get the picture…I only have one day off a week and I am having a little trouble working out the balancing act in order to get it all done. 

Just this week alone I have read at least three blog postings that have inspired me to think about this coming year with a different focus. 

JannaT wrote in her Sunday blog about digging deeper into her spiritual life.

“My Sunday posts are the most challenging ones for me to write because I’ve committed to “dig deep” and ask myself questions like: What made me feel ‘full’ this week? Why might I feel ‘empty’? In what ways have I stumbled? How could I feel closer to God next week?”

My Pajama Days is adopting a theme for the year to help her stay focused on her really big goals for 2012!!“

“Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.” – Kahlil Gibran”

Miss Mustard Seed has landed on a single word to inspire her in 2012…Celebrate!!!  Miss Mustard Seed has so much to be thankful for and to celebrate. 

Sometimes we get so busy doing life that we forget to slow down and enjoy the life we have worked tirelessly to create for our family and  ourselves.

So…I am thinking I will spend time each week reflecting on the deeper meaning of life…did I say no to good things so that I could say yes to great things?  I will start each day with prayer and thankfulness reading God’s Word. I will say no more often to the computer calling my name so I can spend more face to face time with my BFF, my beloved Husband.

I have chosen my theme for the year; Faithfulness, Family,  Fuel and Fitness.    I will focus on taking care of me by feeding my body good nutritious natural foods and exercising to build a stronger healthier me. 

My word for the year is Balance.  The rest is just the proverbial icing on the cake…

How do you maintain balance?

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