Friday, June 5, 2015

Can you identify this fly?

Here we have a very small fly. He and his buddies have been hanging out in the green beans, cantaloupe and green beans for weeks. Any ideas? Please leave a comment at the bottom of this page.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

How to grow oregano

If you like to make Italian food, you'll benefit from growing your own oregano. What's spaghetti or pizza sauce without the savory little herb?  

Oregano is my most successful herb, and here in Zone 9, it never really dies back in the winter. I checked the seed packet so I could tell you that the kind I grow is Origanum vulgare hirtum. There are many types of oregano, but the experts say to stick with English strains. Check with your ag extension service to see which specific types do well in your area.

Oregano is a perennial -- comes back year after year on its own -- in Zones 5 through 9. If you're in a colder zone, oregano is an annual -- needs to be planted every year.

Wherever you're growing it, oregano is going to like full sun and will reach up to 18 inches in height. Mine is more of a spreader, with the stems get up to 18 inches long.

If you're putting in oregano seedlings, space the plants about 10 inches apart. If you're planting seeds, you can plant the seeds close together then thin them to 10 inches apart once they start coming up.

Oregano is easy to grow, so why not put some in so you can harvest some fresh. - QC Karen

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Not blanching tomatoes?

 Last summer I didn't want these beauties to go to waste, so I ran a little experiment. I froze some of my tomatoes without blanching or cooking ahead of time. Some were cut, some weren't. It seemed to work when I was ready to use them. The skins slipped off when I ran them under water. I was able to dig out the seeds. What do you think? Is there any reason (say, enzyme chemistry) to always blanch tomatoes before freezing them?

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Bad hair day

Excerpt from my next children's book:
"Oh, dear," said the pig with the asparagus-fern hair.
"Now where did I put my anti-frizz shampoo?" - QC Karen

Monday, June 1, 2015

Just like Momma

"But I wanted to do (waterproof) mascara just like you, Momma."

- QC Karen

Sunday, May 31, 2015