Friday, May 1, 2015

Why One has Insurance .... or

This is SO How I Did Not Want to Spend my Day Off!

Remember our new - well, nearly new - hardwood floors?  We had them installed just over four years ago.  [Here]  They looked a lot like this ...

Two evenings ago Mitchell heard water dripping ....

Turned out to be the hot water line from the water heater to the kitchen sink.  And, it was gushing, not dripping!

Fifty gallons later, we got the water shut off and started damage control.  There are no photos of all our bath and beach towels blotting up the small river flowing thru the kitchen - we were a bit busy at that time.

Today a nice "man" [he appeared to be slightly more than thirteen] came and ripped up the rippled floor and left us with five large fans and one huge dehumidifier.

Pulling up the warped boards.
It could be worse.  Only the kitchen and dining area have to be re-floored.
Is that even a word?
Insurance has been called, and they will cover most of the damage and repair to the floor.  We have returned to the source of the floors and found one that will match almost perfectly.  That means we will not have to replace the "good" floor, too. 

All will be well in a few weeks , but I really had planned to spend my day off digging and planting.  Maybe tomorrow will be a better day!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

A Different Kind of Guest Garden

Single Brothers Garden - Winston-Salem, North Carolina

We made a quick trip to Winston-Salem this weekend to test out a car for possible purchase.  I had hoped to spend a good bit of time touring the gardens there, but the weather interfered.  Fortunately, I did get a few minutes between rain drops in the Single Brothers Garden.
Do you recognize this vegetable?

When I go looking for gardens to tour, I tend to think more BBG or Longwood and not so much about kitchen gardens, but Old Salem got my attention in a new way.  Had I been thinking, I would have realized that settlers in the 1780's had more pressing needs than flowers on the table - altho i suspect a few did appear.

They needed to provide food for the village and these were all kitchen gardens - tucked up in the back yards of many houses.  But nothing to compete with scale of the Single Brothers garden.

The entire space was the equivalent of a large city block, divided into six "plots" that i paced off as something close to 50 feet by 50 feet each.  There is 25-50 feet separating the individual plots, all in beautifully maintained grass.  Somewhere i read that they are now rented out to Salem residents.
 At the moment the individual plots are in all stages of planting.  One was completely plowed and ready to start over for the spring.

Others were partially turned over and partially filled with the remaining fall and winter veggies.  Several were top-dressed in  loads of beautiful, black compost and many were mounded almost like raised beds.  The individual "rows" were about three feet wide and 25 feet long - not your typical kitchen garden.
Cabbage in the left, onions on the right, and - wait for it - sunchokes in the center.
Yep!  It's horseradish!  What a beautiful plant.

But my very favorite were two squares with impressive beds of horseradish.  These reminded me of my dad.  He used to raise very small crops (two plants) and share his special recipe with us.  I think it was grated/ground horseradish with salt and vinegar.  Delicious, but tear-inducing to make.  He burned out several blenders before he happened upon an old fashioned meat grinder that did an excellent job!

Even as my kitchen garden grows, it in no way resembles this one!  How about yours?