Monday, January 18, 2010

Spoiled (oh, the simple things)

Went up to visit family in Ohio just over the weekend (thus no post-age) to pick up an old car that I was VERY grateful to get from my dad as my old mini-van crapped out.  My parents are very generous with giving us any old stuff they have around, and as they take care of things very well, I'll accept a '94 Toyota with 120,000 miles just fine if it doesn't mean spending thousands on fixing this stupid engine issue on my Sienna.

ANYWAYS, on top of that spoilage (I suppose that can be in the "me being spoiled sense" and the booty/bounty kind), my dad gave me a slightly better digital camera than my current one which has been crapping out and the lens got weird and not focus-y (3 years old, but like I've said, I'm not picky) and my mom gave me some Swiss chard seeds that a friend of hers harvest (red and white chards, but no specific variety name.. oh well).

(seeds my mom gave me)

The only thing about the Swiss chard seeds she gave me is that the seeds don't look like swiss chard seeds that I've dealt with before... and luckily had a few leftover as reference.  I had heard that chard and beet seeds are actually a large seed head with many teeny tiny seeds inside, so I crushed up one chard seed to see if there were any seeds within that looked like the ones my mom gave me.

(leftover chard seed I had, w/crushed up one on bottom)


Oy.  MooOOoOOoooom!!!!!!!!!

So, may I also explain that my mom is NOT a gardener and after 10 years of owning herb plants that I planted years ago she still cannot recognize what is what?

I'mma gonna call my mom and get her to find out what seeds I have been given before I plant them because I just had a near garden blow-up experience!  (It's still too cold to have planted them but knowing me, I might have "experimented" planting some anyways as "chard" is a cool weather crop, but THIS is definitely not chard.)

I think it looks more like salad/lettuce seed of some sort or maybe even black eyed susan seed.  Sheesh.

On another spoilage note, husband and I went to my favorite store of all time, a grocery store by the name of Jungle Jim's.  If you live in the Cincy region or even around the tri-state of Kentucky/Indiana/Ohio, Jungle Jim's is your go-to destination for food.  I could literally spend the entire day there in bliss checking out all the exotic foods, vegetables, teas, honeys, international this and thats. Mmmmm.  Their okra still isn't as fresh as mine, but whatever, they had reduced red peppers at $1.59/lb (we got about 5 flats of them)!  I can't find that ANYWHERE in Memphis.

(Woot! Red peppers!)

What really excited me is when I saw SUNCHOKE roots:



there, when gave me hope because I wanted to grow these fun things this coming season as I 1) couldn't find the seed for these anywhere without resorting to going online and paying shipping which I am trying to avoid as much as I can to save costs, and 2) I like the idea of seed saving and growing from the grocery store.  Plus, now I can give them a little tasty-taste :)

My only nervousness about the sunchokes, aka Jerusalem artichokes is that they can be invasive (not always a bad thing when it comes to food... "oh no! I have too much deliciousness!) and I've heard that sunchokes can give a person massive gas.  Pleasant, I know.  The description of it in the wiki link is sort of frightening, but as I am sort of vegetarian and eat lots of beans already, well... 

Finally, my being spoiled and gratitude towards others went through the roof when a very nice fellow local gardener gave me some tomato and other plant seeds earlier last week to help me out.

He had some great varieties and I only need about 5 seeds of each kind because I have yet to find a non-viable/hardy tomato seed.  I find that I tend to grow more tomatoes than I need so this is a great way to keep my garden from becoming overgrown.  Plus, now we can see who can grow a meaner tomato as that we have the same type and live in the same climate! (I'm sure he'll blow me out of the water on this one :P)