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Falling Back & Turnip & Bee Thankful – A Garden Celebration

November 6, 2016

The clocks were set back an hour this morning which gave us an extra hour. I used that to my full advantage and got things done. I had to leave by 9 to head to Hot Springs Village with my son to tour the Coronado Center for an upcoming workshop we are doing there. hsv-nov-16-2

Similar to one I have done at Garvan Gardens, this one features me doing holiday plants and decorations, and my son is filling in to cook a fabulous meal.  We had to look at the facilities and see about set-up as this will be our first time doing this here.  My schedule is too crazy for it to work any other time.  hsv-nov-16-1 hsv-nov-16-3  I made it back to LR with time enough to do a quick grocery store run before meeting up with friends in NLR at the old St. Joseph’s Orphanage, now home to a community garden and much more.  Their fundraiser: Turnip & Bee Thankful  was a jam-packed afternoon.  They had tours of the old orphanage, still pretty much like it was in the day. st-joseph-urnip-bee-thankful-a-garden-celebration-32 st-joseph-urnip-bee-thankful-a-garden-celebration-42 

They had a dedication/unveiling of the sculpture of St. Fiacre (the Irish saint who is the Patron Saint of Gardeners) by Kevin Kresse.  st-joseph-urnip-bee-thankful-a-garden-celebration-33We also got to tour the community gardens with one of the garden managers and MG.  Her garden was amazing, with huge vegetables. st-joseph-urnip-bee-thankful-a-garden-celebration-11 st-joseph-urnip-bee-thankful-a-garden-celebration-13st-joseph-urnip-bee-thankful-a-garden-celebration-14st-joseph-urnip-bee-thankful-a-garden-celebration-16

The gardens looked really good for this late in the season.  I would say the beds are a tad large to be able to work them without stepping inside, but there are individual plots which can be rented for the cost of watering, st-joseph-urnip-bee-thankful-a-garden-celebration-4and then a St. Joseph’s plot with produce sold at the farm st-joseph-urnip-bee-thankful-a-garden-celebration-26st-joseph-urnip-bee-thankful-a-garden-celebration-35 st-joseph-urnip-bee-thankful-a-garden-celebration-36

A new butterfly garden is in its infancy but doing well. st-joseph-urnip-bee-thankful-a-garden-celebration-31

They had a delicious lunch and there was such a nice mix of people of all ages, enjoying this beautiful day outdoors. st-joseph-urnip-bee-thankful-a-garden-celebration-39 st-joseph-urnip-bee-thankful-a-garden-celebration-40

I have been hearing about this project for months, and glad I finally had time to go see it. Very impressive.

Then it was home to water and do a few more chores.  I then prepared dinner with my tomatillos.  Tomatillos or husk tomatoes are in the nightshade family and closely related to tomatoes, but their taste is between a crisp sour apple and mild lemons–if you eat them raw.  You have to remove the outer husks and the underlying skin is as sticky as super-glue, but it does clean off with fresh water.  tomatillos-16-2 tomatillos-16-3  Uniformity was not my strong suit, so the larger ones I cut in half and the smaller ones I kept whole.  I added some other peppers, both mild and hot along with garlic and a chopped onion. I roasted those in the oven, then put it in the food processor with some cilantro and made my own salsa verde!  I tomatilla-chicken-16-3 tomatillos-16-1

Once roasted, I pureed it in a food processor with a bit of chicken stock. tomatilla-chicken-16-1 tomatilla-chicken-16-4

It was quite tasty.  I put that over chicken I had cooked with onions, garlic and cilantro, and lime-cilantro rice. It was a big hit with the whole family!  tomatilla-chicken-16-5 tomatilla-chicken-16-6

This falling back is nice in the morning but the early darkness will take some getting used to.  It is also feeling quite a bit later right now. I have a workshop at Garvan Gardens tomorrow, so early to bed and early to rise, sounds pretty good.

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