Goodbye 2010

I take a lot of pictures, but most never make it to the blog.

Some are failed experiments, some are just too strange.

Even for me.

So to end this year, I thought you might enjoy seeing what I haven’t shown you.

Where we keep our garden gloves, so Mandog can’t chew them:
garden gloves

The proof that the mice are plotting against us:

Don’t ask:
gravel in the compost bins

I met a few new friends:
frog in mushroom soil

Always wanted a tractor:
GJ's tractor

I never show you the stuff hanging around the house:

drying hot peppers

How I test the marinara:

marinara sauce

Okay, okay…I know what you’re thinking-
GJ, what is that sculpture you’re standing next to?
Hahaha…just kidding. I know what’s really going through you’re mind:

gardening jones

GJ, are you wearing a dress?

Me, practicing to be a grandmother:

little people in the corn patch

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it ;-)

wee mop and bucket

homegrown onions

mother natures bar code

Happy New Year everyone- Grow well, live healthy, and laugh often!


Categories: Keeping up with the Joneses



How to Grow – Blueberries

baby blueberry bush

baby blueberry bush

You would think putting a stick in the ground; one with roots that is, would be simple enough.

And it is.

If you want a productive stick, however, there a just a few things you should know:

1. Blueberries like coffee.
Well, actually, they like acidic soil. Check yours to see what the ph. is, most likely you will want to add coffee grounds or blueberry feed to improve it. You will want it in the mid to high 4′s. Really, this is definitely a case where it’s worth the effort.
2. Blueberry’s like it wet.
Dig a hole about 12” in diameter and fill it with water until the water stops draining. Don’t make a lake, just enough to sop it. Then add the bush and cover with the soil it came in and a good healthy composted soil. Mulching helps give your blueberries the moisture they like.
3. Blueberries like interesting company.
Not just like, they require it. You need at least 2 different varieties of blueberries for them to produce. I have 2 early, 2 mid-season, and 2 late. It doesn’t matter what kind, you just need at least 2 different varieties.
4. Blueberries take their time.
It’s best, like strawberries, to pinch off the flowers the first season to help them establish a good root system. Blueberries usually produce starting their 3rd year. You can buy 1 and 2 year old bushes, so you won’t have to wait too long.
5. Blueberries like the sun.
Give them a good location; they’ll thank you for it. A healthy Blueberry bush can live a decade and monre.

Botanical name: Vaccinium
Yield: Prolific perennial.
Spacing: 4-6 ft.
Days to maturity: 3 years
Harvest: As the berries ripen.
Storage: Dehydrate, freeze or can.

Categories: Fruits, How to Grow



Triple Berry Jam

homegrown red raspberries

mmm...tastes like summer

Many of the recipes I use are ones born of need, or laziness.
I had strawberries. I had blueberries. I had red raspberries.

I just didn’t have enough of any one to make jam.

You know what it’s like when you crave something?
I wanted jam.
So I improvised.

This is now our favorite flavor- I hope you like it, too.

Have everything ready before you start.
NOTE: Do NOT double the recipe.

1 cup raspberries, crushed
1 1/2 cup blueberries, crushed
1 1/2 cups strawberries, crushed
7 cups sugar
1 pouch Certo brand liquid pectin
1/2 tsp. butter (opt.)

The jam is made the same way you would normally using liquid pectin:
Mix sugar and fruit and stir over medium heat to dissolve the sugar.
Add butter (this reduces the amount of foaming).

Turn heat to high and, stirring constantly, bring to a full rolling boil.
Quickly stir in pectin (have the pouch open and ready) and return to a full rolling boil.
Boil exactly 1 minute.

Fill (hot and sterile) half pint jars to 1/8 inch of the top.
Wipe the rims and add the hot 2-piece lids.
Process in a hot water bath canner 10 minutes.

Carefully remove jars and place on towel to cool.
Check to make sure the jars seal. If not, store in the refrigerator and enjoy eating sooner.
Otherwise store in cupboard up to 2 years.

It won’t last that long-
That’s why there’s no picture of the jam.

Categories: Recipes



Snow, You Know?

snow in pennsylvania

I do not like you snow, you know
You turn cold my fingers and toes
You make red my cheeks and nose
I do not like you snow, you know

snow dog

I do not like you snow, you know
You cause slippery my paths and roads
You cover where I shoveled
When the cold wind blows
I do not like you snow, you know

snow in the woods

I do not like you snow, you know
Though you glisten in the sunshine
And in the moonlight, glow
You keep safe my tender bulbs below

Perhaps I like you – but just a little
Snow, you know

©2010 Gardening Jones

Categories: Keeping up with the Joneses



Dill Cheese Bread

recipes em masse

contained disorganization

I was gathering all my recipes hoping to find some you may like.
What a mess!

One little recipe card fell out that I received from my sister-in-law when I was first married.

Later we made it at the restaurant and the customers loved it-
hmmm, perfect; if they liked it perhaps you will too.

I did try this in the bread machine and it worked, but I had to really keep an eye on it because the dough comes out very sticky.
If you are making it by hand you should grease your hands a bit so the dough doens’t stick.

Dill Cheese Bread
1/2 cup warm water
1 cup cottage cheese, warm a bit
1 egg
1 Tbs. melted butter
2 1/4 cup flour
2 Tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. minced onion
2 Tbs. dill weed
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking soda
2-2 1/4 tsp. yeast
(more yeast if you are using wheat flour)

If making by hand, mix ingredients and form into ball. Let rise in greased bowl 1 1/2 hours, punch down.
Place in bread pan and let rise 1 hour. Bake 350 F 40-50 minutes.

This bread is great as is, or served with soup.
Our Recipe Box

Categories: Recipes


1 Comment »

Peas to Please

growing peas

pea vine

I’m in gardening withdrawl, are you?

I love green peas mainly because they are one of the first seeds to go into the ground in spring.
As soon as the ground can be worked – one of my favorite sayings – you simply push that pea seed in.

Regular green peas are the ‘shelling’ type, meaning they are grown until the seeds- the peas- are plump and are removed from the pod for eating.

Snap Peas and Sugar or Snow Peas are eaten pod and all. Sugar or Snow Peas have flat pods and are often seen in stir fry and other Oriental dishes.

Peas are usually given support, though there are varieties that don’t need it. They grow quickly too, giving you fresh produce before the tomatoes are even in the ground.

All peas can be frozen, shelled peas can also be dried.
Oh, if you are wondering what the fuschia color is in the picture above, it’s 2 inverted tomato cages.
I couldn’t resist the color even though I don’t use tomato cages.
Worked pretty good for the peas!

Categories: How to Grow, Peas



Pennsylvania Proud

I’m Pennsylvania born and raised, and like other Americans – proud of the state I call home.

Here’s a few facts about Pa.-

  • it’s the only state that refers to itself by it’s abbreviation (if you’re thinking LA- its not a state)
  • it was featured in a Bill Murry movie and a Glenn Miller song
  • near to where I live, Horace Greeley spent the ‘year without a summer’ – where his commune picked up and went west after frost on the Fourth of July
  • the county I live in boasts the highest per capita population of Black Bears in the state
  • nearby Lake Wallenpaupak was for many years the largest man made lake in the country
  • Pennsylvania was, at one point, the Capital of the country

I could go on….

But on this auspice occasion of the First Day of Winter I’d like to talk weather.

You see, here in Pa. we have 4 very distinct seasons:

fall in pennsylvania

Almost Winter

winter in pa


spring in pa

Still Winter

penn dot at work

and Construction

You know you’re from Pa when
50 States Trivia
more about Horace Greeley

Categories: Jonesen'



Nov. 15th. – Dec. 19th.


It’s almost the end of the season and there is not a lot going on in the garden.

scholozera and parsnips winter over

see you in the spring?

This year I tried my hand at a fall garden. I didn’t do too well.
I can blame it on the unseasonably cold temperatures, but in reality I did not mulch like I should have.
And the ground seem to freeze before I knew it.
So although I did get a nice crop of greens and some root veggies, I didn’t get them all harvested before they were frozen.

Plan for next year- build a smaller fall garden near the back door.
Since I did not succeed on a large scale, I’ll try a smaller one.

This fall I ‘squashed’ the idea of eating stuffed zucchini flowers in the winter in favor of saving electricity.
Sorry guys :-(

giving up the plant ghost

farewell zucchini

I saved a tree by downsizing with an indoor Norfolk Pine:

norfolk pine

not quite Charlie Brown

I gave in and bought a heat base for the Ladies (really, it’s for them- not me):

heated water tank

it really is just for them

But mostly I planned and dreamed about next spring, and along the way…scored some free windows, in hopes of building a cold frame.

discarded windows to build a cold frame

one person's discard

After all, it’s ONLY 12 weeks until the snow peas can be planted.
I better get ready.

Categories: Jonesen'



Beans for Boobies

think pink

think pink

A while back I entered an Iron Foodie contest sponsored by Foodie Blog Roll and Marx Foods.
Although I didn’t make the final cut, the generous and fun people at Marx Foods decided to give all the entrants a free sample box, no strings attached.
We were invited to choose 5 different items from a list of their products.

As soon as I saw Pink Beans, I knew what I wanted to do.

marx foods

foodie freebies

This recipe not only tastes great, it is high in fiber and omega-3′s and low in bad fat.
All the good stuff we’re supposed to eat to prevent all the bad stuff.

saute your goodness

saute your goodness

Beans for Boobies
1 cup Pink Beans
1/4 cup chopped Red Onion
1/4 cup chopped White Onion
2 Tablespoons (1 whole, dried) chopped Ancho Chili Pepper
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
1/3 cup gently crushed dried Oyster Mushrooms
juice from 1/2 Pink Grapefruit
1/2 teaspoon Camelina Seeds
1 teaspoon Maple Sugar

Soak the beans in cold water in the fridge 8 hours or overnight. Drain, rinse.
Boil until al dente, about 30-40 minutes.
Drain and rinse in cold water.

In a little olive oil, saute the onions, mushrooms and red pepper until onions are carmelized.
Remove from heat and add the remaining ingredients and beans.

Chill so the flavors blend and the mushrooms and peppers soften.
Garnish with a pink grapefruit slice.

Pink Beans for Boobies

sugar and spice and everything nice

The name for the recipe came from a bracelet my daughter bought to help support breast cancer awareness among teens, it reads:
I <3 Boobies
Gotta love it.

Marx Food ingredient descriptions: Pink Beans, Ancho Chili Peppers,
Oyster Mushrooms, Maple Sugar, Camelina Seeds-these are really cool

PS Mandolin wanted me to make it a Chili recipe…I’m not going there ;-)

Boobie Bracelet Ban
Help support:
Inspirational Stories to help the underinsured
Keep a Breast Foundation
for awareness
Susan G. Komen Foundation for a cure

Categories: Recipes



Ham and Broccoli Au Gratin

baby broccoli

baby broccoli in the garden

Broccoli and cheese seem to be naturals together.
Just the other night I fixed a few Baked Potatoes and stuffed them with steamed broccoli and topped with cheese. Mmmm.

This recipe goes way back to when a wonderful Chef showed Mandolin how to make a dish that proved to be one of the all time favorites on our restaurant’s smorgasbord many years later.

3 bunches Broccoli, cut into florets
12 oz. Smoked Ham, large dice
2 cups Chicken Stock
3 Tablespoons Flour
3 Tablespoons Butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
Dash Worcestershire Sauce
Dash Tabasco Sauce
2 cups grated Parmesan Cheese
1 cup grated American Cheese
2 Tablespoons fine Bread Crumbs
Hungarian Paprika

Cook the broccoli in salted water 3-4 minutes, drain.
Place in casserol dish, add ham.
In a saucepan, bring chicken stock to a boil.
Mix flour and butter into a paste, and slowly add to the stock; stirring until thick and smooth.
Remove from heat.

Add cheeses, sauces and garlic.
Stir, then pour over ham and broccoli.
Sprinkle bread crumbs and paprika on top.

Cover dish and bake 35 minutes in a moderate oven (350 degree F.)

Categories: Recipes


1 Comment »

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