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After the Storm

October 26, 2010

For those of you who may have missed my note in the comment box on Monday, that was the only way I could access WordPress.  Sunday’s storm put a twist of some sort in my land and cell phones. Neither worked. I even tried to log onto WordPress this morning through the public library computer, but no luck. The day wasn’t a complete loss, though.

After giving the technical world a rest (no sense trying to compel a dead force), and AAA unlocked my car to retrieve the keys dangling in the ignition, I decided to drive to Lockhart Seeds in Stockton for the shallot sets I’ve been waiting to purchase. A good spirit up-lifter.

As far as I’m concerned, shallots are the best tasting onion one can put into his or her mouth. Shallots are so sweet and yummy you can’t help wanting more. Supermarket shallots are pricy and never find their way into my grocery cart. The sets weren’t cheap either, $30 for 5lbs. Nevertheless, I’ll have enough to last a year.

This will be my first time growing shallots, and I hope Monday’s weird happenings haven’t jinxed these tiny brown orbs. I don’t have to be asleep to dream big about the harvest. The vision is there on the palm of my hand, on my tip of my tongue, and in dishes dressed with tasty shallots.

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39 comments

  1. My mom use to grow shallots all the time. I only grew garlic. You have given me hope. I love pickled shallots. I think I’ll try growing some, too. However, 5 pounds seem an awful lot of shallots. Maybe I can get my friend to share a bag. I am excited about the thought of growing them, too.

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  2. Dianne, I am glad that you’re back online. We have all locked ourselves out of house or car at one time or another. I know I have. This usually happens when we are in a rush to do something. You were lucky to have AAA. I had to phone a friend.

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  3. My mother and father used to pickle shallots also. They were very good. I don’t know if my dad grew them or bought them. One of my dad’s favorite hobbies was his garden.

    When I was a little girl in England I remember my dad had an allotment. I guess he paid some amt. of money for a small piece of ground to grow vegetables. Our house was small and out the back door was a SMALL square of cement with an outhouse in one corner/

    I must have inherited my love of gardening from my dad. Thanks dad.

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  4. In her later years my mother lived with us in Lodi. I couldn’t leave her alone for long at all. I lived off Ham Lane and took my car down about a 1/4 of a mile or so to Lakewood Gifts (Drug store) (gone now, but a wonderful store). Came out and I had locked the keys in the car. I was in a panic, particularly because of my mother. Luckily my son was at his home and came and helped me out.

    From that day I always have an extra set of car keys in the zippered compartment of my purse, just in case!! That was in 1988.

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  5. I purchased some shallots at the local supermarket. A fellow gardener told me that they will grow just as well as the ones purchased at any nursery or seed store. I will plant them and find out.

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  6. I planted my shallots in front of my snow peas. I was surprised to see that there were several pods ready for picking. I hope to have enough for a meal by this weekend.

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  7. The storm broke several limbs off my persimmon tree and smash some fruit when they fell off. The crop is looking lean but good. The fruit is large and meaty. Some are sunburned but otherwise, still edible. I ate two and they were sweet! I am harvesting the real ripe ones before the birds get to them. There’s nothing like the taste of tree ripen fruit.

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  8. A short note to let you know the difference between the Fuyu and Hachiya persimmons. The Fuyu is shaped like a tomato and is usually eaten like a crisp apple. It may be eaten soft and can be used in baking. However, most people use the Hachiya for baking. It is pear shaped and must be very soft before eating or baking. Keep this in mind when purchasing persimmons. You generally do not want to purchase any soft Fuyu, but if you like them soft then go ahead and buy it. The Hachiya are generally picked before maturity (the ones in the store ) because they can be easily damaged and do not store well when soft (they have to be eaten right away or frozen). I do not recommend buying any green persimmons as they lack flavor.

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  9. As I continued the clean up after the storm and moved from one section of the yard to the next, I noticed that the storm had caused the weeds to grow overnight (at least it seemed that way). The removal of the weeds slowed me down considerably, but it was relatively easy because the ground was still damp and the weeds came out without a hitch. Once a section was cleared and cleaned, I set out snail bait to keep my winter vegetable crop from being eaten.
    I cut back all my tomato plants and left only the limbs containing green tomatoes. I yanked out the last remaining green beans, but one—left for seeds. My remaining summer crop consists of egg plants and bell peppers.

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  10. You guys are wearing me out and thank God we have a gardener, who does all the hard work!! We just putter nowa’ days. That freed us up to go to the movies today and out to lunch. And of course we had to stop at Rite-Aid for a couple of things. Now it’s home to take a nap!
    But, I sure am enjoying all the ‘comments and helpful information’ flying back and forth. Keep up the good work!!
    Next week we are going to Lockhard Seeds buy some winter stuff. I guess it’s never too late!

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  11. Maybe I shouldn’t have taken out my summer garden as early as I did. When I read about people still getting produce from their crops, I wonder…. my summer crop was looking pretty sad at the time though.

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  12. I hate to put out snail bait, because I do not like using “bad” things in my garden, but sometimes I guess you just have to. I know I find black slugs sometimes when I pick up a leaf. I sure don’t want my lettuce ,spinach, etc. to get eaten. So far, so good. I am keeping my eye on it.

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  13. I do not know a lot about persimmons so I appreciate the information that Betty posted. I don’t think we had them in England so I never grew up eating them.

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  14. Location, location, location. Location and environment will determine how long the crop will last.

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  15. Valerie, I just mailed you some info about Lockhart seeds that I got off the net.
    You’ll love that store. It’s small and compact and they have tons of seeds. In fact they supply farmers from all over the West with seeds and information.
    Lets go over there together, maybe next week sometime.

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  16. I don’t like to put out snail bait either, but necessity is a fact of life. I try to be very careful because like Dianne, I have a dog that follows me around the yard, too.

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  17. Thanks for the nice article, Dolores, on Lockhart Seeds. The article said that they carry up to 600 varieties of vegetable seeds. I hope nobody goes there who can’t make a decision easily!!!

    The article makes the store sound very quaint.

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  18. Thanks Dolores, that’s a date.

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  19. Tomorrow I have to travel into Lodi for an errand so I will stop by the nursery and see if they have their Stockton Reds and Walla Walla onion sets in yet. Maybe I can beat the oncoming rain.

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  20. If you love persimmon cookies, you’ll love other baked goodies. They are always welcome gifts during the holidays.

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  21. Most of the seeds at Lockhart Seeds are behind drawers and/or out of sight. Generally most people go there with something specific in mind. They ask the salesperson for the seeds and it is retrieved for them.

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  22. Lockhart Seeds is located on Wilson Way. It is a very busy street with heavy traffic. You will find parking on the side street a lot easier.

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  23. Wow! My computer died and I’ve been off-line for about 3 weeks now. What a lot of comments on the storm! As I said before my computer died (I did have to buy a new one – got a laptop and sill learning how to function through it)I just love rain and wind.

    Since I last posted, we planted grass seed to fill in some big bare spots on the front lawn where they don’t get any water. I think we did a pretty good job for amateurs, will let you know what happens.

    also, today we are going to get plastic to cover the cactus garden as the temps dipped into the 30’s last night. i’m afraid for our cactus.

    will get more information at the cactus club meeting this thursday – the event will feature ‘staging’ i.e. potting your cactus to look attractive.

    we also gave 2 family members a cactus birthday gift (they both like cactus) and the gifts were the hit of the party.

    i also wanted to comment on betty’s (i think) mention of persimmions. I have never liked persimmon cookies or baked goods and I’m well over 60 years old. I believe they are made from the tear drop shape fruit. But a few years ago i tasted a tomato shaped persimmon and it was absolutely delicious! We actually bought a basket with about 12-15 small tomato shaped persimmons from the fruitstand this week and had some yesterday – yummy! i guess persimmon taste is all in the shape/type of fruit you buy.

    Note to valerie – do you live on a corner in north stockton? If you do, you are Val my pal, because she is from England.

    Diane – please keep up the blog, i do so enjoy reading it. bernadine

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  24. Welcome back Bernadine! I wondered what happened to you. You were always so good at commenting. Have fun with your new computer.

    I got my first just before Christmas last year and I have SO SO MUCH to learn.

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  25. I would love to be able to tell you, Bernadine, that I am your friend in Stockton, but alas, I do not live there.

    If you find out, tell me what county your friend Val is from in England. I came from Lancashire.

    Funny , just met a girl (younger than me, so “a girl”) in the store today and she was from Manchester in the County of Lancashire. (Just like the Beatles). It is a small world really.

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  26. My mother-in-law, who is no longer with us could grow the most beautiful cactus. They would grow really big and they have the most beautiful flowers. She had most of hers pretty sheltered under a covered patio but they could get sun. They did not get rain. She may have moved them back under cover on the patio when the rain came.

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  27. I was disappointed to find, on my trip into Lodi today, that the nursery I usually go to still does not have the onion sets I am waiting for. I should have called before I left home. I did have other errands so it wasn’t a wasted trip. They will not get the Stockton Reds till Nov. 1st.

    I checked my soil before I left and it was a perfect consistency to plant, but it will have to wait.

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  28. Cactus is one of the easier plants to grow as long as you don’t over water it. Yes, you do have to protect it from extreme cold. Some live for a very long time. I had one that was almost a half century old. I traded it in for another plant.

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  29. Bernadine I’m glad you decided to give the persimmons another try. Most people who do not like the texture of the Hachiya persimmon love the Fuyu.
    I’m sorry that you do not like the baked goods. I guess that why our Creator gave us a variety of food–fruit and vegetables. Something for everyone’s taste.

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  30. I don’t think I was meant to grow cactus. It is the kiss of death for the cactus. I know I probably overwater it.

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  31. Luckily, the soil was dug up with one of those “little” rototillers so it is very fluffy and today would have been perfect. I will hope for the best when the onion sets come in. So far, so good.

    I want to get something planted. The cat occasionally decides it likes that dirt too and that is a bad thing!! I don’t know if it is our cat or a neighbors. There are lots in the neighborhood.

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  32. A favorite topic of mine besides gardening is food. Now is the season for pumpkins. I went to a “coffee” at a ladies house today and she served a delicious pumpkin cake. I asked her for the recipe as it was so moist with a wonderful topping of moist nuts and probably brown sugar etc.

    To my surprise, she said she bought it at Raleys and that it was a pumpkin bundt cake with the topping over it.

    Just get one cut it in slices and put it on your prettiest serving plate and no one will know. (Unless you tell them) – which of course, I would if they asked!!

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  33. Unfortunately I don’t have a dog to chase the cats away. So I keep my eye out for piles of dirt and keep it cleaned up. It is a job I do not relish, but must be done. I know the spots that are chosen by the cats.

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  34. I shouldn’t go and buy one of those yummy pumpkin cakes either. I am supposed to be on a diet. The story of my life (just like a lot of other people). Bought some doughnuts the other day and they lasted 2 days. Made myself (almost) sick). Too much sugar.

    I know better. Good thing I don’t do it too often.

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  35. Today though, I need to use some of the apples I bought at Apple Hill. A friend gave me a delicious recipe for Apple Crisp. It takes 6 Granny Smith apples. I bought 12 so that means I have to make it twice.

    Oh, Oh, there goes the diet again!!

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  36. I have a wonderful plant – Heliotrope (hope I spelled that correctly). It has the most beautiful scent. When you walk by it, the scents just wafts up at you. The only drawback to that plant is that it is not frost tolerant. I am going to put it in the garage for the winter. It has purple flowers and if you keep it deadheaded it re-blooms nicely.

    I also have stock in a planter nearby and their scent is lovely too.

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  37. We all have a “sweet tooth” and buy sweets on an impulse. Once we have eaten the forbidden fruit, we always kind of feel guilty.

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  38. Extra produce can always be frozen. Baking more than one cake at a time can save time. It can be frozen and eaten later. Nice when you want some baked goodies and don’t feel like baking. Baked apple goods freeze well.

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  39. Many people have plants that are not frost tolerant. They either bring them into the house or put them in the garage for the winter. If the plant is too large to move, they cover it up to protect it from the frost.
    I bring all my hanging plants in for the winter.

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