Monday, November 21, 2011


I ventured out on a sunny, 45 degree day to turn my leaf bin in hopes of getting more air into the pile so it would start decomposing. When I dug in, I saw some whiffs of steam. i stuck in my hand and the pile is warm. Turns out that it is already in process due to the addition of compost starter and rain.

Wonder if I can "cook" the Christmas ham in there? In one of my favourite books, "The 3,000 Mile Garden," (a correspondence between a food & garden writer for Yankee magazine in Maine named Leslie Land and a food writer in London (Roger Phillips) who managed one of London's most prestigious squares....(well, you have to be a gardener I guess to enjoy the book)...anyway, Roger gets the bright idea to roast a 20 pound ham for New Year's in his compost pile! He put it in for 24 hours after pre-heating it in the oven. The next day he had a fully cooked ham!
Probably my pile isn't big enough for that! But I am temped to try! Maybe a smaller, boneless ham that is already cooked but just needs heating up...Could work...

Monday, November 14, 2011


Our new yard has two big-ass maple trees and they can put down a lot of leaves. We knew we needed some electric help so we purchased a Worx electric leaf shredder from Sears.
We discovered that if we run over the newly fallen leaves with the lawnmower and then run them through the shredder, we get a nice fine product that we can mulch. Since maple leaves are not high in cellulose, they should decay quickly so we can use them next year around the plants in the garden. Our cubic yard wire bin bought many years ago from Gardener's Supply holds them in check whilst letting air and rain get to them. I add a bit of compost maker to the layers to help things along over the winter.
Luckily for me, Mr. A does the grinding!

Thursday, November 10, 2011


After waiting for many years, those of us who have had to go out of town to shop at Trader Joe's will be able to stay right here in Medford and enjoy Trader's bounty. The Mail Tribune calls us TJ shoppers "a cult following."

Sunday, November 6, 2011


Those little brown morsels on the right side of the plate are one of our favourite breakfast treats...fresh Pacific oysters, direct from Costco. Every year about this time when the weather cools, we get a hankering for things oysterish, including oyster stew. I always save out a few for breakfast. Served with eggs, grits, bacon & toast...we don't have to eat again until dinner! Is that a fog horn I hear?


Yeah, we knew it was gonna happen soon...tons of maple leaves have covered up the yard, making it a sea of mainly yellow with a bit of orange & red. Mr. A has been grinding them up and adding them to our wire bin that we hadn't used since our days with the big oak trees at Dark Hollow. Turns out that maple leaves have far less cellulose than oak so they grind up easily and will turn into leaf mulch a lot faster. Something tells me we'll be spending a noticeable part of this winter in leaf management!