Columns

Gardener's Grapevine 2016.05.25

By JO ERBSKORN

What a beautiful weekend this past one turned out to be. Don’t you just love this weather? We spent Saturday afternoon as family time. Art and our son-in-law built a “climb” as Max calls it. It’s one of those cedar fort/slide swing set things. This fascinated me due to the fact that it came shipped in a box about seven foot by two foot by one foot. Slide, swings, wood, everything— and this is not a little play set either. There is an engineer somewhere earning his greenbacks and doing a good job of it.

Gone are the days of the rusty old swing sets in the back yard. These little numbers blend in well, are compact, and keep kids from screaming "I want to go to the playground" every five minutes.

Art and I are blessed in the fact that we’ve lived in this old house so long we stored a lot of “stuff” from our kids' childhood and we just “shop” in the basement and attic. The old horse on springs was a huge hit a week or so ago. The tricycle that is almost 30 years old is also popular.

If you’ve read this column often you know I’m not a fan of tossing out things just to get rid of them. Thank the lord we live in a large house that accommodates that. I think if you were to visit the garden shed you would learn a lot about me. There is a lot of reclaimed or saved things such as big pickle jars to put things in or use as garden cloches when frost is still a threat, and pots and containers of all different sizes. You just never know what you might need.

This week our little Max turned three. He is our joy and at the age when he makes everyone around him laugh. Saturday his mother made a very tasty casserole for our supper. Max said, “I like cat rolls." Well, OK then. Max loves to help and the garden is a great interest for him. It was last year also, but now he really gets the gist of what plants are all about. He loves to water and points out the weeds, which is anything green to him.

The strawberries are blooming and I told him that the flowers were where strawberries came from. He said “no, berries come from store.” Someone is in for a little surprise in a week or so! My strawberries have gone gang busters due to the onions that are mixed in with them. They are companion plants and do excellent in the same bed. However, we do have a lot of onion sets coming along so when they get to a point I will cut them off and probably put them in a basket out front for anyone wanting some. We use the onions all the time in many different dishes and they are excellent. We also give them to the neighbors and our friends. If we don’t eat them when they are small they will grow to about the size of your fist and we can store them for winter.

Today I have to harvest the rhubarb and get it frozen for winter. It made some excellent stalks and I think rhubarb crisp might be on the supper menu tonight.