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Yell County Farmer’s Market Plant Sale

  • Posted on April 15, 2014 at 1:28 pm

Hi – I’ll be at the Yell County Farmer’s Market on Saturday, April 26, 2014 from 8-noon at the Dardanelle Public Library.  I’m going to have quite a few plants at market on Saturday.

Below is a listing of some of the plants and herbs I’ll be bringing, plus there will be lots of other good items, as well as the offerings from the other farmers.  Stop by and see us, you know you want to!

Hi – I’ll be at the Yell County Farmer’s Market with my plants and herbs from 8-noon at the Dardanelle Public Library.  Some of the items I’ll have are listed below, but stop by to see what else I might have in stock.

Herbs

Aloe Vera – 3”/6” pot – $3.00/$5.00

Basil (various) – 2”x3” pot – $3.00

Lavender Provence – 3” pot – $3.00

Lemongrass – 3” (clump ready for planting) – $3.00

Mint (various) – 3” pot – $3.00 – (Chocolate, Kentucky Colonel, Orange, Mojito, Peppermint, Pineapple, Spearmint)

Rosemary (Barbeque) – 3” pot -$3.00

Sage (Berggarten) – 3” pot – $3.00

Thyme – Lemon – 3” pot – $3.00

Perennials

Blackberry – Triple Crown – #1 – $5.00

Butterfly Bush – #1 – $6.00 – (waiting for them to bud out  – Attraction (Violet), Bicolor (purple & orange), Black Knight (Dk Purple), Honeycomb (yellow), Lt Purple, Pink Delight, )

Quince – #1 – $5.00

Wisteria – #1 – $5.00

Floral Special

Avocado seedling – #1 – 1 year – 12-24” tall – $10.00

Angelwing Begonia – 6” -$5.00 – (Brazilian Lady, Looking Glass, Miss Mummy, Pink Cane)

Pencil Cactus – 3” pot – ( ‘firesticks’) – $4.00

Christmas Cactus (red, pink or ??) – 3”/6” – $3.00/$5.00

Fern – 6” pot. – $5.00

Palm – Nepentha Bella – 3”/6” – $3.00/$5.00

Gardening Supplies (styles/types may vary)

3” plastic pot – 3/$1.00

6” plastic pot – 2/$1.00

#1 plastic pot (gallon/tradegallon) – $1.00

#2 plastic pot (2 gallon) – $2.00

Tomato Towers (3’ tall field fence w/4” squares) -$2.00

 

I have lots of plants still ‘getting ready’, so it’s going to be a great Spring.

Thanks, Ellen

 

Growing an Avocado Tree from a Seed

  • Posted on February 3, 2014 at 3:30 pm

Whether you are a green thumb guru, or a serial plant killer, I’ll bet you’d love to have a gorgeous avocado tree in your collection. One thing that has often held me back is the cost of the lovely things in nurseries or online, way more than I want to spare. What I want to suggest to you, if you can have some patience  is the idea of ‘growing your own avocado tree’. This could even be a project with your kids and they will LOVE it!

Now – I can’t promise that your avocado will grow up and produce lovely baby avocados, and even if they do produce it will take probably 4-15 years before you can expect to see any ‘fruit.  In some cases your tree will never bear fruit, but I would hope you can enjoy an interesting addition to your plant collection.

However, if you want a fun activity for anytime of the year, but especially now when the weather outside is so icky and I can’t wait for Spring to get here.

Avocadoes

1 – Go to the grocery store and buy 1 or 2 avocados, they will probably be very hard which means they aren’t quite ripe enough to eat yet.  Take them home and set them on your counter for a few days to a week to ripen.  It also doesn’t matter if you get the smaller palm sized darker avocados or the larger Hass-type avocados because they will all have a large nut-like seed inside.

Cutting the Avocado Seed

2 – When the outside of the avocado yields to a slight squeezing, they are probably ready.  Take a good knife and slice around the outside of the avocado going around the longer side. Slice down gently until you feel the seed against the blade of the knife and try not to press too hard against it.  The blade should cut through the avocado flesh very easily.

3 – Be sure to clean the avocado off the seed with a paper towel, and possibly a brief soak in water before cleaning with paper towel.  Be sure to leave the brown papery seed covering on the seed to protect it.

Avocado Half

Avocado Half

3 – Now that the avocado is cut in half, twist the top and bottom pulling them gently apart. This will reveal the yummy green goodness in the center with the large seed in one half.  You can pop the seed out and set it aside for a bit (even a day or so will not hurt) as you decide how best to eat your avocado – the other benefit is the enjoyment of eating the avocado.

4 – I’m going to take a break now and eat my own avocado and give you a few suggestions for yours:

  • Baked egg in avocado – This recipe is full of Omega 3’s and contains heart-healthy fatty acids and a high protein count.-What a terrific way to start a day or enjoy anytime..  Preheat the oven to 425.  Crack one egg per avocado half and pour the egg into the hollow left by the seed.  You might need to hollow out enough of the avocado for the egg to fit comfortably in the center.  In a small baking dish place the avocado half/haves.  Cook for about 15-20 minutes depending on the size of the avocados and the heat of your oven. Remove from the oven and garnish with a bit of salt and pepper to taste and any fresh herb you may have.  You can also at a dollop of your favorite salsa.  Now, Enjoy!
  • Easy avocado salsa – After you’ve halved your avocado, you can fill the pit area with your favorite salsa.  Sit back and relax and scoop out avocado and salsa for a decadently delicious and incredibly easy/no-mess snack or appetizer
  • Guacamole – use your avocado in your favorite guacamole recipe, there are so many delicious ones out there and enjoy!
  • There are tons more ways to eat these delicious avocadoes, what is your favorite recipe?

5 – Opps – sorry about that. I got just a bit sidetracked thinking about the deliciousness of the avocado. Now, back to growing your very own avocado tree.

6 – There are ways to grow these avocado seeds by placing in a pot in a soil-less mix and I’ve grown a number of avocado seedlings this way.  However, one of the easiest and most fun ways is to take 3 toothpicks and gently insert them at about the ‘equator area’ of the avocado seed.

avocado seeds

7 – Then using a small glass or plastic cup, balance the avocado in the glass allowing the toothpicks to suspend the seed about half in/half out of the cup.  It’s very easy to tell the top and bottom of the seed, so just be sure the ‘bottom end’ is the side that is down in the cup.  I have quite a few seeds here in water cups… hmmm… Husband is looking at me strangely.  He seems to think I’m overdoing it on avocado seeds…. oh well, nobody is perfect!

8 – Pour enough water into the cup to be sure that the bottom of the seed remains wet, then set the seed and cup in a safe place.

9 – Every few days check your seed to be sure it has enough water to cover the bottom of the seed and add water if it needs more.  If you see the water starting to get ‘cloudy’, pour it out and add fresh water possibly every 5-6 days.  NEVER let your seed dry out after this point.

Avocado taproot

10 – In time (and the ‘time’ varies and this is where you need the patience), the seed will crack and then a white taproot (about the size of a pencil lead) will push its way out of the seed downwards.  You can leave this in the water cup for a while, watching the root grow and then the small stem begin to poke its head upward. This is SO exciting, but remember to NEVER let your taproot dry out!

avocado seedling

avocado seedling

11 – When you are ready to plant, I would suggest a medium small pot about 8”-10” or maybe a pot the size of a nursery gallon plant with a rich planting soil mix.  This will enable the roots to grow but not overwhelm the new plant.  Put on a sunny window and watch it grow.

Small avocado

Small avocado

12 – After the stem gets to be about 12” tall, you will want to pinch out the tiny growing tip to help the tree to produce more side leaves.  After that, about every 6” you will want to pinch out the tip to let it continue growing at a good, but slow pace.

12 – An avocado is a tropical plant and probably doesn’t want to be in temps below 45ͦ F.  So if you have cold/freezing winters, the plant will definitely want to be indoors in a sunny window.

13 – Also, if you let your seedling dry out too much, the leaves will dry out into a papery substance and then drop off.  Remoisten the plant and if it’s not dead, it will grow new replacement leaves.

 

Fun Avocado seedling

My favorite Avocado seedling

Lastly I’ve started a lot of avocado seeds this past year and had the best time doing it.  Occasionally Mother Nature will through a twist into something that is usually very basic. The stem of this particular seed popped out of the seed with 5 distinctly separate, but touching in a straight line, stems.  They continued to grow and as you can see they’ve started to separate and 4 of the 5 have leaves at this point, but the ‘pinky’ stem is till holding in there.

Cautions:  No – there is no guarantee that EVERY avocado seed you try this way will grow, however most will if you maintain the moisture on the bottom side of the seed.

Thanks for letting me share my love of avocado seedlings with you.  If you love eating avocados as much as I do, or even if you only eat them occasionally, try starting an avocado from seed.  You’ll have a great time!

Take care and have a great week! – Ellen

Slow-Cooker Garlic Lemon Chicken

  • Posted on December 12, 2013 at 9:35 am

Slow-Cooker Garlic Lemon Chicken
Serves 2 to 4 with leftovers

4-6 chicken breasts (or you can use a whole chicken

For the seasoning rub:
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 sprigs thyme, leaves stripped and minced

For the cooking liquid:
2 lemons, quartered
1 head garlic, cloves separated and paper covering removed
¼ cup chicken broth or stock (plus 1 chicken bouillon cube for stronger flavor)
2 sprigs thyme (Lemon Thyme works great)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 sprigs rosemary

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels.

Mix all the seasoning ingredients together in a bowl. Drop the chicken breast in the seasoning on both sides to cover it in the rub.  Place the chicken breasts in the crockpot.

Squeeze and reserve the juice from one of the lemons. Stuff the rinds into the cavity of the chicken along with one whole bouillon cube and a few garlic cloves. Crumble the other bouillon cube over the chicken and rub it into the skin. Arrange the remaining lemon quarters, the rest of garlic cloves, and the thyme around the chicken. Combine the reserved lemon juice, the soy sauce, and the broth, and pour it over the chicken.

Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on high heat for 4 or for 6 hours (according to your slow-cooker’s instructions and particular settings). Thirty minutes or so before the time is done, add the rosemary sprigs. (Rosemary can get bitter if you cook it too long).

Remove chicken breasts from the slow-cooker and allow it to rest in a baking dish for 5-10 minutes.  The chicken will fall apart, which is normal.

When ready to serve, serve the chicken breasts with 2 of your favorite vegetable side dishes.

Herb Recipe – Cantaloupe with Fresh Basil

  • Posted on November 6, 2013 at 8:00 am

Herb Recipe – Cantaloupe with Fresh Basil

 

A very easy and extremely delicious way to  cold cantaloupe.  Breakfast, brunch or an easy appetizer course, serve chilled – you’ll love it!

Serves: 1 cantaloupe cut into inch cubes maybe 4 people

Ingredients

1 medium cantaloupe

3-4 tablespoons chopped fresh basil (any variety will work)

Step by Step Instructions
  1. Peel the cantaloupe and serve in cubes or slices,
  2. Mix with the fresh chopped basil, chill until ready to serve, display on pretty saucers or shallow bowls.  It looks VERY elegant!

Enjoy and let me know how you like it, Ellen