Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Growing Figs in Your Home Garden


If you looked at my yard and garden, I would probably deny that years ago I completed the Master Gardener program.  It's more to save face for the MG program than myself, lol.    However, I still love getting my hands in the dirt and watching things grow.  One plant that I found that's super easy to grow and gives a great reward is the Brown Turkey Fig tree.
  


I purchased this fig tree at Lowe's about 5 years ago.  It started as a small plant about a foot tall and has grown quickly to a huge fig producing monster.  We are in Zone 7 here in Tennessee and the fig tree has done very well here.  Just make sure you plant it in a spot with future growth in mind.  I planted a Rose of Sharon on each side of mine and will now have to relocate them.  



The tree has a very pleasant smell all summer long.  It actually smells even more fragrant right after the first frost that kills the foliage.  All that's left after the frost are tall bare branches.  I cut these back to the ground each winter.  New shoots will grow every spring, producing more and more figs.





While this season's figs are still green, the picture above is from last fall.  

Fresh figs are great but I prefer to dehydrate them.  They taste just like a Fig Newton cookie!  I also made fig preserves last fall for gift giving.  I'll be sharing that recipe later this fall when the figs ripen.

I hope you give figs a try.  They are super easy and yield a lot of fruit. 

In the meantime, here's a fresh fig recipe to whet your appetite!

Southern Living Recipe

Ingredients


  • 4 ounces chopped cooked bacon or country ham 
  • 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese, softened 
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped toasted pecans
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 12 fresh figs
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Toasted baguette slices 

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Stir together bacon or country ham, softened goat cheese, finely chopped toasted pecans, and chopped fresh thyme. Cut figs in half. Press back of a small spoon into centers of fig halves, making a small indentation in each. Spoon bacon mixture into indentations. Bake on a baking sheet 7 minutes. Drizzle with honey. Serve immediately with toasted baguette slices.  Southern Living AUGUST 2010





I hope you feel inspired to give growing figs a try.  Thanks for stopping by and God bless!
Angie

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continue reading "Growing Figs in Your Home Garden"

Friday, July 25, 2014

Launch of Reality Check Feature

Here it is ladies...the very first Reality Check feature!  Reality Check is an idea that came to me as I was attempting to upcycle an area rug to use on my deck.

DIYers have a drive or a hope that a project has potential.  It's what motivates us to keep at something, through the ugly stages, the frustration stages, and the "what was I thinking" stages.  That hope is what pushes us through and we see the results in a great finished product.  

However, what happens when that hope is driving you and it's really just not happening?  I think many DIYers can relate to the fact that sometimes the ideas in our head don't always translate in reality.  Of course, you may never see those projects displayed on blogs or in magazines.  Why should they?  They ended up (if they were even finished) bad. 



In trying to keep it real that not everything I attempt is post worthy, I want to encourage when you have a project that doesn't go as planned, you're not alone.  We all do.  Sometimes there are projects we just need to scrap and move on.  The rug upcycle was one of those projects.  


This rug was old, had been in the garage for a while, used as a scratching post for the cats, and who knows what else.  So, why did I want to try to even  upcycle that for my deck??  Because our two cats and I are at battle over the territory of the deck.  It's not a great deck and it's usually too hot to sit out there most of the summer.  It's small, uncovered, and poorly constructed.  BUT, it's my deck and, by golly, I would like for it to look nice.  I figured if the cats were going to live on the deck, I wasn't about to put one more nice thing out there for them to ruin.  









So, I tried painting the rug thinking it would give a nice appearance.  Good in theory...bad in reality.  No amount of painting or stenciling was going to hide the fact that the rug was beyond saving.  So I decided to stop the insanity and save my paint.  Scrap it...take it to the recycle center...it's done!  And I'm okay with that.  Actually, I was relieved.





What is important is that we keep trying.  Think about some of the famous people who have their claim to fame from some great invention or accomplishment.  What isn't always shared about that person is all the failed attempts they went through to get to that final victory.  

source

So, don't give up!  I encourage you to know, it's okay to scrap a project and move on.  Not everything is meant to have turn into a fabulous creation.  


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JENNIFER RIZZO
HOME STORIES A TO Z
FROM MY FRONT PORCH TO YOURS
HAVE A DAILY CUP OF MRS. OLSON
COASTAL CHARM'S NIFTY THRIFTY TUESDAY
STONEGABLE
UNDER THE TABLE AND DREAMING
continue reading "Launch of Reality Check Feature"

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Here's Your Sign!


Do you love signs?  I do and I have a small collection.  Three constitutes a collection...right?  Good, because I have five. :)



This is one of my oldest signs.  It was painted by yours truly back in my high schools days.  I painted it for my brother who had just married and they were starting a farm.  Shallow Branch Farm is still the name of his farm today.  It's painted on a piece of old barn wood from my papaw's farm where my brother lives.  This sign hangs in my kitchen today.  My brother was sweet enough to let me have it.


I guess a chalkboard is still signage.  It wasn't used as a real sign in it's past life but I love the fact that I can change the message of this sign at any time.  This hangs on a door in my kitchen that leads into the laundry room.  If you notice the door frame, you'll be able to see some of the marks we've made over the past 9 years of our girls' growth.  I think I'll have to take that piece of trim with me should we ever move.


This is a painting I created about 10 years ago.  The house and occupants represent me, my husband, and three girls.  The writing around the house are of all the addresses we've had since we were married.  We've had a lot of addresses.  From 1999 to 2005, we flipped houses, that were also our primary residences, as we worked our way through Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace to get out of debt.  I could do a whole post on our journey out of debt and may do it soon.  It's not easy but s-o-o-o worth it.


Ok, so this one is another chalkboard but I love it.  I purchased the frame at a yard sale many years ago.  It was painted bright pink and had cork board in it.  I began removing the cork board and discovered the tin (which is what I eventually painted with chalkboard paint) was covered with newspaper from the 1950s.  It was cool looking at the old articles and ads.  This chalkboard hangs in my office on my map gallery wall.


The "JOY" sign brass stencils were purchased at a local antique store.  I used them during the holidays and then sold them but I kept another one, the letter F for our last name.

And finally...

Another one of my DIY signs.  I loved all of the grocery signs that were popular recently but I could never find one.  So what does a DIYer do?  Makes it herself.  The piece of wood had been used for something else originally and was pretty beat up with dings and nail holes.  Perfect.  This sign was hanging in my kitchen window before I took it down to create the silverware snowflakes display.  Now it hangs on the deck.  

What are some of your favorite signs?  Do you make your own too?

Thanks for stopping by and God bless!
Angie

I'm linking here:
THE STYLE SISTERS
JENNIFER RIZZO
HOME STORIES A TO Z
FROM MY FRONT PORCH TO YOURS
HAVE A DAILY CUP OF MRS. OLSON
COASTAL CHARM'S NIFTY THRIFTY TUESDAY
STONEGABLE
UNDER THE TABLE AND DREAMING
continue reading "Here's Your Sign!"
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