With decades of experience growing organic edibles, Gardening Jones is a former restaurant owner and food processor, as well as being HAACP licensed in food safety. She provides Simple tips and information from a self-proclaimed gardening addict.
Most seasoned growers have their particular favorites when it comes to the most popular garden veggie.
Still, if you are new to gardening or if you have some spare room, it is fun to try some tomato varieties you have never grown before.
Here is a list of just a few of the many tomatoes available. HL refers to an heirloom or open pollinated variety, and F1 to a hybrid.
Ind is an indeterminate type, and Det a determinate tomato.
Like many newlyweds, we were pretty poor our first Christmas 40 years ago. The angel pictured is a tree topper I had made while we were still engaged, and our only holiday decoration.
I did also make some snowflakes out of white paper to hang in our apartment windows, which was festive enough for us. We were going back to Pennsylvania for the holiday anyway, so not having a tree wasn't a problem. Not to mention the fact that in NYC where we were living they were $35 for even a little one.
Our entire Christmas budget was $30. That would have to cover our combined 9 brothers and sisters and 4 parents. Tight, but doable.
At that time Bill was working for a company that was running the food service for an area college. The hours were long and we only had one car, but I did what I could to help earn some extra cash. I did some door-to-door sales and babysat for his boss Joe, and his wife Mary.
I kid you not.
One evening Mary offered to take me to the mall to shop as I had no other way of getting there. We had fun and I was able to get something nice for everyone on my list. I knew I had only a few dollars left, so was shocked when I looked in my wallet and found a $20 bill.
We were in the car on the way home, and I said "I must have gotten the wrong change from someone. We have to go back."
"We'll never be able to figure out which clerk it was, there were too many. Anyway it's late and we have to get home."
I always considered that to be my Christmas Miracle. Recently Bill and I were reminiscing about Christmases past and this story came up. I mentioned that I had always wondered what had happened.
Then he said "Did you go to the Ladies Room before you left the mall?"
Thinking back, "Yes."
"Did Mary hold your coat and purse?"
"Yes, yes she did."
"I bet she put that money in your wallet. That's the kind of person she was."
I thought back to the scene in the car. She had asked me how much money I had left.
And I remember when I was saying that we had to go back, that there had been a mistake, she was smiling.
It wasn't about the money. It was about the giving.
Please Note: This is the 2016 picture. The new soaps will have the word Joy on some, and a picture of Holiday Candles on the others.
Because we enjoy playing Mad Scientist and mixing essential oils and other natural ingredients, we've decided to offer a few exclusive edition soap boxes for your enjoyment as well as ours.
Our special edition is for the Christmas Season and will include one 3.5 oz bar each of:
The scent of Mountain Snow is combined with Fresh Pine Infusion from our trees and Cranberries from our garden. It's like a brisk winter walk in the woods to find your Christmas Tree.
Among his many great fictional works, Charles Dickens, author of A Christmas Carol, was quoted as saying "No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another." We hope this soap will do just that with its combination of Mulled Fruit, Spices, Roasted Oatmeal Stout, and Vanilla.
Ol' Saint Nick
Back in the old days a Christmas gift might have been some precious food, like a fresh orange or apple. This refreshing bar combines Orange, Lemon, a wee bit of Pine and Vanilla to bring back memories of Christmas in simpler times. The vitamin C from fresh homemade Orange Zest is also great for your skin.
We Three Kings
A rich combination of Myrrh, Frankincense, Patchouli, Jasmine, Dragon's Blood (no dragons were harmed), Rose, and Woody Musk will just make any stressful day melt away.
So here are the details:
The soaps are made in advance and allowed to cure, which takes 3 weeks. We will be making small batches of each variety, and when they are gone that's it. First come, first served.
We will ship Priority Mail about Dec. 10th., so you will receive them in time for Christmas.
The cost is $35 shipping included. If you would like this shipped as a gift, please just leave us a message in the comment area of the Paypal order form.
Bump It Up!
Give 2 Gifts-In-One with our Wool Felted Soaps. Covered with Alpaca Wool, a natural anti-microbe fiber that helps remove dead, dry, skin safely. Also hand-detailed with assorted flowers made of wool similar to the ones above.
This package of 4 bars is only $3/bar more. A pretty good deal for a wonderfully unique gift.
$47 inc. Priority shipping.
Please note: Dish not included.
Contact us for shipping to other addresses and outside the US. We will inc. actual shipping charges only.
I say it that way because at that time, I was considered by many to be the best at what I do in the area. Certainly I had been doing it much longer.
There wasn't a particular reason for letting me go, it was more a matter of bruised egos and small town politics. But no need to go into that.
Less than 2 months later I was offered a similar, but better, job. The only hitch, it would be a new position that I needed to help create. No need to go into that either.
I'm not one to sit and lick my wounds, and expecting to be gainfully employed again in about 6 months (it actually took a year, thank you government regulations) I dove into many DIY projects I had been wanting to get done, some for years.
It was 10 years ago that himself and meself boarded a plane and flew across the pond to Ireland.
Unlike most tourists, or so they told us, we were not there to discover our family history. We are both of Irish descent though. Himself‘s mother was 100% American-Irish, and while mine was also, my Dad has some Irish blood in him as well. That pushes me over the halfway mark.
Sure we wanted to see the country, but mostly we wanted to experience it. The music. The brogues. Chowder made fresh from the day’s catch.
We also wanted to learn more of the history of the country, which much of the music is based on. So we drove not to the tourist areas so much as the smaller towns and back roads. We went to small museums and local music festivals.
We heard renowned artists like Mick Lavelle and Olcan Masterson in their own elements, in their wee hometowns you might say. Pubs with wooden floors and only a smattering of the locals, people of all generations, there to enjoy the evening.
One thing we hadn’t expected was the language barrier himself would face.
You see, when I was a child, my Great Grandmother from Ireland was still alive. To this day I can remember her talking different, I was enthralled by her speech. They tell me that I would talk with the same brogue she had whenever I was around her. Since she lived close by, that was fairly often. And from what I understand, the adults found it delightfully funny to hear.
I still tend to be something of a language chameleon, picking up accents unless I am careful not to, and easily understanding just about any person who speaks differently than me.
This has come in handy over the years. First when I worked with individuals with varying mental and physical challenges, and later on with older people from other countries. Rarely has there been anyone I could not understand.
But that was not the case for himself.
“Tell me when they are speaking English?” he would ask.
“They are speaking English.”
What made it even more interesting for us, was the way they looked at him. I may as well have been wallpaper, but everyone looked at him wherever we went. It was as if he was seen as standing out, and I wasn’t. A taxi driver told me “Until you started talking, I would have sworn you were a local.”
But it wasn’t until our last night, sitting in the airport’s pub, they we really found out what they were thinking.
Returning to our table with drinks for us, I told him how there was a gentlemen at the bar trying to guess where all the travelers were from. When he spoke to me he said
“Which county then?”
“No, America.” says I.
“Well, you could have fooled me” says he.
“I wonder where he will think I am from?” responded himself to me as I conveyed what had taken place.
Now let me repeat that my husband is half Irish descent, the rest is ¼ German, and ¼ Italian. He has ‘shoulders like an ox’ as they say in The Quiet Man, and a thick head of hair. Throughout Ireland, where they looked at him as if he didn’t belong, he wore jeans with a navy blue blazer that only accented his shoulders, and polo shirts.
So when it was time for another round, he went up to the bar.
“What part of Italy are you from?” asked the gentleman.
“Actually,” himself responded, “I’m half Irish, and one quarter each German and Italian.”
“Well then,” the gentleman said, “Clearly, Italy won.”
Side Note: When we returned from the trip, I told this story during a slideshow presentation at a senior center comprised mostly of participants that were first generation American-Italians.