Garden Chick - Notes from the Garden

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Squirrels need love, too

We have several feeders at our house and feed the birds all summer long. For a number of years we didn't have any squirrels. I think our dogs kept them away, but now that they are getting old, the squirrels have returned. We decided not to try to fight them, but have provided them with feeders of their own. As long as they are kept full of corn or sunflower seeds, the squirrels tend not to destroy the bird feeders. My husband hung this cricket bucket on a hanger and as you can see it gets visited frequently. (I think this one was laughing at the dogs lying on the deck watching him.)

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Garden's harvest

I picked these out of the garden this afternoon. Lot's of great cucumbers, squash, greenbeans, and a couple of zuchinni.

While looking through a new book I bought at Books a Million today, I found a recipe for chocolate zuchinni bread. There are several books by Laura Childs called the Tea Shop mystery series. I love mysteries and especially like these books since they are set in Charleston, South Carolina. The heroine is the owner of a tea shop and each book includes recipes and ideas for hosting tea parties. I also like the fact that the books often give great ideas for marketing a business, and since I have opened the Jasmine Moon Shop I am always looking for ways to get more people into the shop. You can find out more about the books at This recipe comes from "The Jasmine Moon Mystery". (This is where I got the name of my shop, although in the book, it refers to the Jasmine Cemetary where a "ghost walk" is being held.

Here's the recipe, I am going to try it in a couple of days and take some to the shop for customers.

Haley's Chocolate Zucchini Tea Bread
3 cups all purpose flour
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups shredded zucchini
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate bits

Combine flour, eggs, sugar, oil, vanilla, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and buttermilk in a mixing bowl. Beat at medium speed for two minutes. Stir in zucchini and chocolate bits. Pour batter into two well-greased loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees for one hour and 15 minutes. Cool, slice and serve with cream cheese and orange marmalde.

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Mackenzies garden

I love having my granddaughters in the garden. If you check out my website, you will see "Mackenzies Garden" products. I have sold quite a few of the fairie garden kits, and here you see a picture of the garden we planted using one of the kits. These little kits in purses have planting instructions, seeds, and stickers (either fairie or butterfly depending on the kit). We built a raised bed which makes it easier to weed, and Mackenzie scattered the seeds over the surface, lightly patted, watered and watched. These kits make great party favors, and presents for the little girl in your life. They can't be planted until next spring, but the seeds will be good next year. Here are the flowers in Mackenzies garden, all of which are great for attracting butterflies, or the "wee folk" into your back yard. The flowers include cosmos, zinnias, nasturtiums, sunflowers and others.

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The Garden

In my last post I talked about the water shortage here in Georgia. I saw a church sign about 3 weeks ago that said "Pray for rain, pray for the farmers". Well, it worked. For the last two weeks it has rained about 9 of the last 14 days. The grass that was turning brown, and the potted plants that couldn't be resussitated even with daily watering, are all flourishing. My husband has mowed the grass once, and was on the second mowing today when, what else, it rained.
We have already harvested cucumbers, squash, peppers, black eyed peas, and greenbeans. Our corn was knocked over by the wind in the last rain, but by the next morning had straightened itself up, reaching for the sun.

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