Tag Archives: compost

Early peaches

ripe early peaches ready for pickingWe are harvesting and putting up peaches this weekend from our early variety (Mike can’t remember the name, but it might be Candor). A somewhat strange occurrence is that we haven’t had any leaf curl or insects on our fruit. Every peach is perfect looking. I wonder if last summer’s heat and drought killed off the insects? Mike has peach slices drying in the dehydrator and the oven, and I made peach fritters today (see recipe and pic below). I exchanges some peaches for my friend’s cucumbers, so tomorrow I’m going to make some peach-cucumber salsa.

Mike has beenĀ  spending a lot of time with the chipper-shredder and we have another huge batch of compost cooking. I’ve already distributed one batch this spring, and this new one should be ready in a couple of weeks. It is amazing how much organic matter one medium-sized city lot can generate!

peach frittersFresh Peach Fritters – This recipe makes about two dozen small fritters. Combine the following in a bowl and let sit while you make the batter:

  • 2 cups sliced and chopped peaches, with skin
  • 1 Tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Sift together:

  • 1 to 1.25 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp almond meal (optional, you can add flour instead)

To the flour mixture add:

  • 1/2 C milk
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1 egg, beaten

Last of all add:

  • the peaches and any juices that have accumulated in the bowl

Drop by the spoonful (about 1 Tbsp) into hot oil. I never use a thermometer, but you want the oil hot enough that the fritters don’t absorb a lot of oil, but not so hot that the batter “explodes.” The fritters should be irregular and flat, not neat little balls. Turn the fritters over and cook until golden brown. Drain them on a paper towel or newspaper. Dust with powdered sugar and eat right away with some good strong coffee or mint ice tea.

And now, just because I can’t resist, my beautiful granddaughter…

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Piled higher and deeper

Shredded leaves and garden waste for compost

The start of something beautiful...

The title of this post refers to two wonderful things that happened recently.

  1. We bought a chipper-shredder. Yeah!!! I’m so excited thinking about all the fabulous compost about to happen. Since our vegetable garden rests atop an old gravel parking area, we are highly dependent on compost.
  2. I finished my PhD in educational psychology. So weird – Mike and I are both Dr. Nelson. Very weird…

We got a Troy-bilt chipper shredder mulcher vac which should take care of our yard and garden waste. (Larger branches we burn in our fire pit or turn into charcoal.) Although our city has a facility where residents can get free compost, I prefer the texture of our own compost, which is more like peat moss than the city stuff. Also, I’ve been reading some articles lately about “killer compost” which worries me a bit (see these articles from the LA Times, Ohio State University, the US Composting Council, and Mother Earth News).

In addition to leaves, garden waste, small branches, and the cleanings from the chicken coop, Mike started adding our (shredded) junk mail to the compost pile this year. It decomposes rapidly, and makes the compost a bit fluffier.

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In praise of chickens

Although we live in the center of town we keep five hens in our backyard. No one has every complained, and we keep them sort of hidden where they aren’t too obvious. But still I hear people walking down the alley saying “Did you know they have chickens in their backyard?” Anyway, I love our chickens! Shall I count the ways?

Rhode Island Red chicken

  1. They take up very little room
  2. They’re the best recyclers for kitchen scraps, old leftovers, garden weeding thinning, etc.
  3. After they’ve had their way with the items above, the cleanings go into the compost pile and heat it up fast.
  4. Their poo goes into manure tea for my garden seedlings.
  5. Eggs! Big, big, organic, intense yellow yolked eggs!
  6. Entertaining – they are fun to watch.

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