Neighbor Nancy is eaten by her garden…instead of the other way around.

( Out of breath and holding a garden soil smudged glass of lemonade, Neighbor Nancy plops in front of the computer.)

Whew! Am I exhausted?!

Please forgive the recent drop off in quality and quantity of posts.

After a relentless week of rain and cold, my formerly beautifully tilled gardens are waist high in weeds. Okay, not waist high, but it sure as heck fire feels that way. Plus some new weed with roots in China is trying to take over the mini orchard.

I am so far behind now that it is not even funny.

Please forgive me, but you’ll have to hang out in the hammock for a couple of weeks, while I catch up. Feel free to help yourself to some strawberry lemonade and a Philadelphia sticky bun. Most of the books are in the attic. Help yourself.

Now there’s no need to take me off your blog reader.

I’m not disappearing forever. I just need a solid block of time to focus or else I’ll have to start writing about blog writing instead of real life and that just seems dreadfully mundane.

Please use the comments to ship topics you would like to see covered. Feel free to share recipes and links so we have more topics to dive into. Any quick questions can be e-mailed to I’ll try to get back to you as soon as possible.

Also, in the beginning of June, we need to start discussing canning and preserving more seriously as the strawberries ripen. So get that stuff ready. The recipes I will be teaching are mostly free of store bought pectin. Usually no more than fruit, sugar and a little lemon juice. That kind of thing … very simple. I’m going to challenge everyone to make at least one batch of jam. We’ll use the water bath method so no pressure canner needed. A pasta or stock pot will be fine. Don’t worry. It will be easy. Maybe messy, but you’ll be kicking yourself for not trying it sooner.

Now don’t forget you can use the search bar above the calendar to search for stuff, too.

I’ll be back as soon as I can. Keep those questions, recipes and frugal ideas coming.

(Neighbor Nancy contemplates washing some of the mud from her hands and the keyboard. Instead, she flies out the back door toward the garden with her apron strings fluttering behind her as the screen door slams shut.)

See you after a bit.

What would you like to read more of?

Do you have any backyard animals? chickens, goats, rabbits?

What is your favorite “making do” tip?

What is the weirdest thing you ever found a second (recycled ) use for?

Have you tried making your own bread? sourdough?

How is your garden coming?

What are you growing this year?

Do you sing while you pull weeds? ( Don’t tell, but I sometimes curse.)

What’s your favorite frugal meal?

Share these thoughts with your neighbors in the comments section. Answer once. Answer a million times. And for pity sake get to know one another. You all are wonderful friends.

Published in: on May 15, 2009 at 9:18 pm  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Nancy, Hi, this is Cee from Las Vegas – where it’s 100+ degrees already. I’m so excited to tell you that one of my grape vines is producing grapes for the first time ever, this year! I’ll have to send pictures of it. I keep watering the dickens out of it due to our high heat and LOW humidity – don’t want raisins to come before grapes! LOL!!

  2. Hey Nan! Dawgy! I’d knowed whut cha been tawkin about. One time, my brother, Bubba, he went out to collect them water melons and he ain’t never came back! All we found wuz hiz flannel shirt and boots! Never knowed where his pants went…. be careful out there, hunny, it’s a wild child, that garden!

  3. Hey Nan,

    I’ve awarded you a “One Lovely Blog” award on my site:

    If you re-surface from the garden, pass along the bloggy love and tell us about some blogs that you think are lovely!


  4. Double check that my e-mail with more info and full of links didn’t land in your SPAM file.

    Supposedly, lettuce seeds can be planted for up until 3 weeks after your final frost date. Although, lettuce is not really happy in the summer heat. I would plant a few seeds at a time. Some this week, more the week after that, etc. Why? You probably don’t want them to all come to maturity at the same time because lettuce doesn’t store so great — it doesn’t can or freeze. So unless you are having a lettuce party, I would recommend successive sowing.

    1. Central Ill. hardiness zone is 5. So theoretically, you last freeze date would be Memorial day weekend.
    But according to the Springfield weather forecast…no frost this week. That’s good because tomatoes don’t tolerate frost.

    Anyway, ready?
    You could direct sow (meaning plant the seed right in the soil: )
    Any kind of bean, beets, canataloupe, carrot, chard, corn, cucumber, Soybean (edamame), kohlrabi, leek, lettuce, parsnip, pumpkin, radishes, scallions, Summer and Winter Squash, watermelon

    You could transplant: Broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, any sort of melon, cucumber, eggplant, kale, kohlrabi, leek, peppers, scallion (green onion,) Summer and Winter Squash, tomaoto and watermelon

    Feel free to dig through the many articles in the beginner gardening category to your right for more help and hints

    Welcome to the adventure and dig in.

  5. Hey I was wondering, in central IL, is it to late to plant lettuce? I’m new to gardening and have beans and maters out. What else can I plant this time of year?

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