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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Brazil Buzz

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Today the sun is shining brightly. When this groundskeeper looked out across the walkway this morning, I noticed something standing in my shaggy green carpet. I grabbed my eyes off of my nightstand and went back to the window to catch a closer view.

Tiny dew drenched maple seedlings dot my backyard playground. That was unsightly and a call to action, and; I answered.

I knew when those airplanes soared down from my handsome shade tree and landed; the maple's seeds had been dispersed. There would soon be a lot of babies born on my space. The tiny trees were coming out of their little carriers, peeking from beneath the cover of their well-traveled landing pad.

I'd rather deal with dandelions. Those leaves are edible and oh, if one eats enough of them the medicinal value goes unsaid. Add some lean bacon and boiled eggs and that's a feast that is fit for a king in my books. Elvis loved them, imagine that!

Usually, I am on the landing strip mowing the maple and sassafras starts down before they have time to dance in the breeze. Again, I am losing ground. Come Wednesday my health provider can address my concerns. If not, I'm only going to have a leg to stand on. The left one feels like it's suffering from a painful nervous breakdown.

Our garden is looking good. The sweet corn was knee- high by the Fourth of July and bug dust is keeping insects and other pests away. Strategically placed milk crates keep the deer from eating the buds and blooms on the green beans and other plants that they tend to enjoy. Rabbits don't bother the cabbage and leafy dark greens, opting for plantain and sweet clover outside the fast growing garden. Marigolds edge the garden nicely. The odorous smell those orange, yellow and maroon flowering composite herbs have is capable of making a foraging critter run for the hills. How would you like carrying that around on your paws all day?

This gardener believes that nothing tastes quite so good as home- grown food. A healthy winter store is a must and a plus for this household of old timers.

Root "cellaring" is an old idea that extends the pride and pleasure of year -round gardening.

The cold, dark one- room cellar in our home was located beneath the floor of our only bedroom. In the day, it was necessary since refrigeration was unknown to our household.

The walls were constructed of bricks and chunks of hand cut sandstone; the latter brought in from Otter Creek. I wasn't too crazy about the smell of the place, but I sure did appreciate what it did for our family.

Imagine, a rich store of abundance, tons of new Irish potatoes, with clear eyes, in the home-made wooden bins, bushel baskets heaped high with crisp and juicy Jonathan apples and other varieties for both cooking and eating lined up side-by-side on the cool packed down earthen floor. Heads of cabbage that would last well into the winter stored in orange crates. Bunches of dried large white onions and our favorite butcher's own, gauze bound home cured country hams hung from the rafters, jars of home canned goods--meats, fruits, vegetables jams and jellies, a kaleidoscope of colors; the harvests carried us through and beyond those harsh winters that seemed to last forever.

Today's root cellar, though, no longer so romantic an image, is also adequate cold storage for fruits and vegetables. The cellar could be a crude pit or as simple as a well mulched barrel dug into the earth. The ultimate is to have one that is convenient and effective, temperature and humidity controlled, a well-insulated room in the northeast corner of a modern basement. I wish!

There is an old abandoned root cellar on the incline in my front yard to the east of the house beneath a grassy roof. Years ago my neighbors used it to store their food. Later they decided to construct a fine one - room cellar. Today, it remains, dark, damp, and in disrepair. Two deep freezers sits on the cement floor above it, in my little blue out- building, at the end of the road awaiting for a large portion of this year's anticipated bounty and more.

Hopefully, we will fill fewer sacks at the super market. For sure, we will be eating high off the hog, perhaps; right up there with the Joneses. We might be asked to share with them before this economic mess we Americans are in eases up, and, of course; we will.

I can be reached at 446-4852 or drop me a line to 613 No. Elm St., Brazil. IN., 47834 or by email at pmlsartor@aol.com.