Articles (Blog)
Posted on November 11, 2019 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
Have you been on the Creekside Trail lately?
If you haven't, you should take a walk down there and see Al's handiwork.  He has spent hours raking, trimming, and clearing leaves so that we can all enjoy the trail.  
Thanks, Al, it looks better than ever!!!
Posted on November 8, 2019 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
Rosemary at the church is blooming!!!  Mine at home is not!  Hmmm!!!!
Anyway, let's talk about Rosemary.  
Rosmarinus officinalis, has a reputation for strengthening memory. OK. Good reason right there for using it every day. 
The leaves are resinous and leathery. But it dries easily, and retains its flavor for a long time.  Plant it in full sun, and protect it from cold winds.  Give it enough room to grow;  typically it grows 3-6 feet.  
Once it is established you can use it in almost everything.  Our favorite use for rosemary is to crush the dried leaves into dough when making bread or pizza crusts.  We also use the dried stems as skewers for chicken and vegetables on the grill.  
There are various other uses for rosemary:  decorative, cosmetic, and especially aromatic.  Try growing your own, and explore the many uses of rosemary. 
Posted on October 26, 2019 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
Success!!!  With a picture that was already oriented correctly.  I'm still working on my other pix.  Stay tuned for Monarchs, Marigold, and Rosemary.
Anyway...It's worth a trip to Blairsville to see the Red Maples in the Methodist Church parking lot.  They are beautiful!!!  Botanically, Acer rubrum, not sure of the cultivar, possibly October Glory.  There are lots of native red maples in our woods, and they are all showing their 'October glory,' right now.
Look up, it's starting to look like fall!!!!
Posted on October 25, 2019 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
This one is a Monarch on my marigolds.
Posted on October 21, 2019 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
On October 19, 2017, I wrote about cotton growing in Virginia.  
I was on my way home from another trip to Virginia Beach.  Well, the cotton was so pretty THIS trip, I had to stop again and take another picture.  It is so beautiful, it takes my breath away.  
That article was pretty thorough, so instead of repeating myself, how about you go to the archives and look up the blog for October 19, 2017, and learn about cotton in the field. 
Posted on October 18, 2019 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
According to The Farmers Almanac it's time to plant spring flowering bulbs.  I see that the best days this month are the 19 and 20.  So get out those daffodil, tulip, lily, crocus and hyacinth bulbs.  
Since garlic is also a root crop, I'm going to plant my garlic on Saturday too.  We had such a great harvest this year, all I have to do is separate the cloves and plant them, leaving the paper on.  They don't take up much space, so you could even plant them in your flower beds.  Plant about 2 inches deep, and 5-6 inches apart, pointy end up.  We add a couple inches of mulch on top to protect the bulbs from freezing temps.  That's it!!!  They will start to grow the bulbs over the winter, then sprout green leaves in the spring.  And in July we'll have more garlic than we can use, again!!!
Love it!!!  
Posted on October 16, 2019 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
I saw these bushes on one of my morning bike rides at the beach.  There are also some in Linda's neighborhood in Yorktown, VA.  I love them.  The botanical name is Myrica cerifera, and they are commonly known as Bayberry, or Waxmyrtle.  
Bayberry are large bushes, reaching 10-12 feet, and they grow in sandy soil.  I've read that they can withstand top burning, leaving the roots to resprout.  Of course, they can only survive a couple years of that harshness, but still...that's pretty amazing.
Growing up in Virginia, we often went to Colonial Williamsburg and Jamestown.  We learned that the colonists used bayberries to make scented candles.  Today, candles are made differently, but the bayberries are still used for the scent.  This Christmas, notice the scent of bayberry candles.
I have checked the gardening books for North Carolina, and couldn't find much on Myrica, except that they do grow in this hardiness zone.  Not much sandy soil around here though, maybe that's why we don't see them.  Too bad, cause they are really great for a screen plant:  evergreen, tall growing, and bushy.  And they are so pretty this time of year.  I wonder if the deer would eat them...probably.  
Posted on October 14, 2019 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
Categories: A story to share
I spent a few days with my three sisters at the beach in Nags Head, on the Outer Banks of NC.  
We rode bikes and walked on the beach every day.  We got lots of fresh air and exercise. We saw sunburned tourists, wind surfers, and beautiful Brown Pelicans.  
I looked for fun things to blog about, but it wasn't much different than here:  persimmons on the trees,  the start of autumn, and beautiful blue sky (read: no rain.)  Oh yeah!!!  I did see some bayberry bushes loaded with berries, and fields of cotton.   I'll show you those pix another day.
Today, I wanted you to see the flock of Pelicans flying over the Atlantic Ocean. 
I AM BACK!!!  Missed you.
Posted on September 25, 2019 8:00 AM by Gerry Trout
Categories: A story to share
I am leaving today for Virginia.  My three sisters and I are getting together for the first time since Momma died in March.  Our plan is to go to the beach cottage at Nags Head, on the Outer Banks of NC.  We're going to ride bikes, walk on the beach, and drink wine for lunch.  We're going to look at the old pictures, and tell all our great "Momma stories," and laugh and cry together.  Just the girls.  
Here's a picture of us when Momma turned 80, in 2003.  We were all a little younger then, but it's a good picture of us all dressed up.  From left to right:  Betsy, Julie, Momma, me, Linda.
I'm sure I'll find some fun things to blog about, but give me a few days.  Talk soon.  
Love, Gerry
Posted on September 22, 2019 8:27 AM by Mark Conde
Categories: Home Technology
I bet you didn't know it was septic field month? Our septic systems are often the least understood system in our homes. 
We all have question about how to treat them, make sure they don't fail, and if we should pump them out once in a while.
Here are three of my favorite flyers from CDC/EPA to help you out with these questions...
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