These are the cranberry hibiscus, also known as False Roselle, which we planted last year. They're one of the survivors reappearing after the freezes of this past winter. The plants died back to sticks but now are coming back at ground level simliar to the picture shown above. The leaves are not only beautiful, like a japanese maple in appearance, but are delicious edibles tasting of lemon...tart and bright. I'm so glad they're back!
We faithfully stick to our
Tonight, the air was heavy with spice. Truly. There is a sweet and thick and earthy fragrance to the slightly cool nights now due to the higher daytime temps and the bursting forth of all the spring growth...everywhere.
Here were some highlights from the past few days and some of the plants that are now back in the running:
1. Volunteer calabaza seedlings now populating the holes where Jack's been throwing away/composting the leftover rinds throughout the winter. He'll likely let some of them go to town, and I'll put in my two cents worth about heading the vines toward the vacant lot rather than the house...too hard to mow around if allowed to go where it wants.
2. Moringa! The tree trunks went from seed to 10 feet plus last year, tremendous growers. The freeze killed the trunks but new leaves are appearing again from the bottom. We'll have to get some loppers after those bare trunks and cut them to the ground. We've decided moringa will be harvested by us best if allowed to be cut back hard after each batch of new branches matures with leaves...ECHO global farm has a lot of success with theirs and gets I think at least 4 or 5 harvests a year by alternating cutting and letting them regrow.
3. We have LOADS (I count at least 8) of stable manure on the empty lot (it's our lot, if anyone's wondering...we just don't know what else to call it). Last year's experiment growing cowpeas (purple hulls) and okra smack on top of stable manure raked out onto the existing not-so-fertile ground AND despite the flush of bermuda grass still reaped rewards for the lazy researchers we are...the cowpeas did much better than the bush green beans and survived all kinds of heat, drought, and monsoon...and bermuda. As a result, we now have an interesting new crop of pasture plants on that site, ones we've not seen on that location before.
4. One of the new plants appearing on last year's cowpea site is CLOVER. Why am I so excited about clover? Because it's at the head of my wild edibles list! It's chock full of nutrition, namely veggie protein, and I included it in some of our smoothies last week with no noticeable ill flavor effects. It can be included in salads, too. We just don't see a lot of clover around here and were told at the feed store it doesn't grow well in this area due to nematodes. So before the 'todes get 'em, we will enjoy them to eat :)
5. The malangas are back. We've never had a harvest of them yet. But they come back every year. We'll plant them out of the buckets this year. The buckets must go. Live, little malangas, live...
6. Did I mention the night air is so fragrant right now??
7. I love blue and white and cream as colors in my bedroom. Those are the colors of our comforter. One day it'll wear out and I'd like to (don't die laughing) make a quilt with those colors before then. Yes, the girl who knows one thing...sewing a hem by hand... and who nearly failed the sewing portion of Home Ec has gotten uppitty ;-) Well, I figure after reading the Foxfire books that if I can sew a hem, I can sew two piece of fabric together. If it comes out straight I'll act like I intended it to be, and if not, it'll be called a crazy quilt, ha :) In the meantime, when I sit to watch a vid with Jack, I am tearing old clothes into strips and trimming all the loose threads off. I've purged through a bunch of his old work shirts and some torn bed linens and some of my old jeans that way and it feels nice just looking at the stack of long rectangular strips I have stacked from it. A sewing machine would make short work of some of that straight line sewing. I might see if anyone on craigslist might want to trade me for my guitar I never use.
8. I'm still writing on the side. Some of it started being about my (scant) college days. I've laughed and laughed as things I seldom remember come back to mind. Man was I young and gullible :)
9. My dog's toenails seriously need clipping unless I want to have striped legs soon.
10. Two blueberry plants show possible signs of life.
11. A friend of mine is getting married in July.
12. I love chocolate and have discovered that a piece of chocolate cake, when dropped, usually lands frosting side down. I also like chocolate kisses, especially the kind I get when my husband has just eaten chocolate cake ;-)
12 1/2. (I came back to add this. Can't believe I forgot it) We were out for a quiet drive tonight and with tomorrow being trash day, we noticed an item at the curb and couldn't believe our eyes. It was over 6 feet tall and made of steel...a HUGE, rolling, portable cage for birds, all the parts there, everything heavy duty. It looks like someone just wanted it gone, but wow, it was too good to pass up. Glad there were two of us because it took two of us to get it into the back of the truck. It's in the garage for now. We'll clean it up and disinfect it really well, but that thing is just shy of being big enough for a chicken coop. We have enough projects at hand outdoors for now, but it'll keep...those things are priced in the hundreds of dollars and both of us had the same idea when we saw it....doves and pigeons (actually pigeons that look more like doves, the King pigeons that are eaten for squab). Or maybe two bantie chickens? We'll fantasize a while but it's a great thing to have on hand. Even if we don't use it, it'll clean up for resale and help us with debt. We'll see...pretty cool find, eh?
13. Um, that's all. I'm still thinking of chocolate, and my husband. Mmm hmmm. Chocolate, husband. Husband, chocolate. Must be time to say goodnight to my keyboard. :) (Hey, Jack...woohoooo....)