While we were in Texas for the holidays and our wedding party, my dad gave us a bunch of pecans from the trees on his property. My brother gave us a new nutcracker so we've been enjoying this winter activity.
My pecan trees are all native (wild) trees, which I do not spray with anything, or fertilize, or water except for what rain they get, so I guess the pecans could be called organic. The small hard nuts seem to have a lot of natural resistance to insects, and such things as fungus etc. We have a crop of nuts every year, though some years much better than others. This past year was quite good, and with eight or ten pecan trees on the place, we have more pecans than we can pick up. I hate to see them go to waste, but I just have not been up to getting them all this year.
Here you see some of my family picking pecans in the shadow of one of the big trees. On the right is a shot from last summer where a branch is propped up so that Dad could mow under it.
We tried out our new bird feeder for the first time using a seed mix for finches. It was immediately inundated with sparrows by the dozen who drained the whole thing in a day, pooping everywhere in the process.
We were hoping to attract some other species that we know are around such as cardinals, blue jays, mourning doves, house finches, mockingbirds, etc. Perhaps another type of food would be better. I've heard that sparrows won't eat Nyjer thistle seed. Like starlings, pigeons and seagulls, these birds are already so numerous in this area that they need no extra help.
At this point, I'm at a loss as to how to proceed. How to promote bird diversity in the city? I've read that sometimes sparrows will alert other species to the feeder and perhaps their poop could be nutritious in the compost.
Do we continue allowing the crazed barrage of sparrows? Try a different seed mix? Save the food until a better time for different birds? I'll have to do some more research.
It ain't too pretty, but this is winter in my garden.
If you look closely near the fence, you can see the tiny holly shrub I added last spring which was to provide winter interest. So far it's too little to be of much interest to anyone but me. The varigated yucca is a little flopped, but at least looks vaguely alive.
Here is the holly up close.
UG. The most depressing during winter, this side of the garden is mostly reserved for vegetables. Every winter I think: Forget it! I'm going to plant this side with shrubs and stop growing veg so it will look better all year around, but then the thought of tomatoes lures me back.
Never-picked collards are still surviving out there as the lone green item. I am longing for spring.
Came home one day to find our trash can missing. Didn't think too much about it — sometimes they get dragged off down the street, but we didn't see it anywhere. We asked our neighbors if we could use a spare one they had out back, which was fine.
The very next trash-pick-up day THAT one disappeared too!
Not sure what to think.
Many folks are out there writing wonderful food blogs and I won't try and compete with them, but in the dead of winter there is not a lot of gardening happening so I'll briefly tell you about a wonderful meal we created thanks to a great new cookbook we received as a wedding gift.
We often experience withdrawl symptoms for the cuisine of our home state: Tex-Mex. No one in these parts seems to get it right so we made ourselves some wonderful Enchiladas suizas and a very decent batch of homemade refried beans if I do say so myself.
Yum! This meal really hit the spot.
For more on this particular topic visit Homesick Texan — a wonderful blogger and cook who really sums up the longing.
We married at City Hall in Brooklyn on December 14, 2007 and had a small party at The Black Rabbit in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Then on December 29, we had a big reception in Texas with all our family and friends at the oldest dance hall in Dallas, the Sons of Hermann Hall. Both events were wonderfully memorable and great fun. Many thanks to all who attended. (Photo by Kevin McDermott)