Time to plant those hot weather plants | Leaf Probably

Pumpkin season is here

Orange pumpkins now adorn street markets, fruit stands and church lawn fundraisers throughout Surry County. One of the pumpkin’s positive appeals is that it has a long shelf life and can be enjoyed over the long season from now until after Christmas. Their bright orange will adorn from now through Halloween and Thanksgiving, filling tables with puddings, tarts and cakes, as well as decorations, jack-o’-lanterns, and Harvest and Halloween displays for many weeks to come.

The best pie pumpkins

The round orange pumpkins with stems attached are best for carving a jack-o’-lantern, but the oblong pumpkins are the best pumpkins for cakes and desserts. These are not always orange on the outside, but brown or beige or bronze-colored and delicate on the inside. With their elongated shape, they’re easier to slice open, core, and chop into chunks to cook to a tender mixture and texture, then drain and run through the blender on grater mode or mash with a potato masher. To preserve squash, pour the mashed, drained squash into sterilized pint jars (one pint usually makes two pies), wipe the rims of the jars with a paper towel, seal the jars, and tighten the lids. Leave half an inch on top of the jars. Process in a pressure tube at 10 pressure for 50 minutes. Pumpkins are low in acid, so they require this long processing time.

Enjoy pumpkin bread

The clear October nights speak volumes for pumpkin breads in all their flavorful goodness. Not too sweet, not too spicy, but just the right recipe for a sparkling October night. Real pumpkin bread has a moist texture and is easy to make. For this recipe you will need 3 1/2 cups flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice, four large eggs, milk, 15 ounce can Libby’s canned pumpkin or pint canned pumpkin, 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, 2 cups caster sugar , 1/2 cup chopped golden raisins, 1/2 cup chopped pecans, 1 tablespoon vanilla flavoring, 1 tablespoon orange flavoring. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice and set aside. In another large bowl, beat the four eggs well, add the crisco oil, milk and pumpkin. Mix these ingredients together, add the lemon and vanilla flavoring, raisins and chopped pecans. Pour the mixture into two loaf pans that are well greased and floured with Crisco shortening. Place a sheet of aluminum foil on the bottom of the loaf pan and grease and flour the filling as well. Bake for an hour, if not done, bake for a few more minutes. If the cake springs back when touched, it’s done or if a toothpick comes out clean. Chill the loaves in the pans for fifteen or twenty minutes. After wrapping, run the knife around the edges of pans and aluminum foil. Place in clear saran plastic wrap. This keeps the bread fresh and juicy.

The mighty oaks bring two cropss

Other trees have delighted us with a crop of colors in leaves of gold, yellow, bronze, red, tan, purple and beige. We used the leaf blower, rake and blower to transport them to the garden plot and the compost heap and trash can. The oak trees are now producing not only a double crop of leaves, but also a lot of noise from acorns bouncing off metal roofs on barns and sheds. My grandma from Northampton County lived in a house with a tin roof. At this time of year we heard acorns banging on the roof all night. Keeping a close eye on the acorns falling from the trees, she said, “If you walk on acorns in October, you can expect to walk on snow all winter.” As October progresses, we might have a clue as to what old winter has up its sleeve for us.

Improvement of the soil in the next year

Vines, stems, leaves, grass clippings and clippings, and garden residue from the season behind us can be the ingredients for improved soil for next year’s garden. The grass clippings will help heat the compost, and you can also use Plant-Tone Organic Vegetable Feed and Black Kow Composted Cow to heat and break down the ingredients in the compost bin or heap. When you build a compost heap or bin, you create an ecosystem that feeds the bacteria that thrive on organic materials. Most households with gardens generate more than 1,000 pounds of lawn and garden waste annually that could be turned into compost with very little space or effort. You can start a compost pile with just a pitchfork to stir the pile once a week, or you can use several treated fence posts to form a bin, and it’s both inexpensive and practical and useful.

Halloween candy and treats

Halloween has arrived in supermarkets and big department stores with colorful orange, yellow and brown displays of all kinds of traditional Halloween sweets. Everything for the Trick or Treaters. The season brings several varieties of candy corn, including the old-fashioned orange, white, and yellow combo, as well as orange, brown, and white Indian corn, and the relatively new brown sugar combo of tan, white, and yellow. Peanut brittle in boxes is also making an appearance ahead of Halloween. Other Halloween favorites include the fall mix of Hershey’s Kisses, Hershey’s Miniatures, Marshmallow Pumpkins and Ghosts, Halloween Packs of M&M’s, Three Musketeers, and a variety of candy bars. We always enjoy the exhibition that Food Lion puts on in front of their supermarkets, which catches our attention in October.

The stillness of an October evening. The fresh autumn air at dusk sharpens the nostrils and the lower humidity makes the coming night air easy to breathe. The scent of freshly fallen leaves also contributes to the evening air. The graceful soft sound of the still falling leaves completes the majestic experience of the autumn twilight.

Make a butterscotch squash pudding

This pudding doesn’t have a crust, but you can use vanilla waffles for a crust if you like, or use graham crackers as well. In a mixing bowl, combine a can (15 0z) Libby’s pumpkin or a pint of canned pumpkin, three large eggs, a 3-ounce box of instant butterscotch pudding mix, a cup light brown sugar, a stick light margarine, a half a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice, can evaporated milk, a teaspoon of vanilla flavoring, a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of maple flavoring (optional), half a teaspoon of cinnamon. Line a 13″ x 9″ x 2″ baking dish or pan and top with vanilla wafers or graham crackers as desired, or make the pudding without the crust. Mix all the ingredients together and add to the pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Serve with Cool Whip or Dream Whip.

Harvest festivals, Halloween parties and chicken stews

October is the festive month for hay wagon rides, haunted houses, chicken stews, harvest festivals, Halloween parties, trick or treating, Halloween carnivals and costume contests, and cake walks. Combine all of these events with a hot dog roast and roasted marshmallows, s’mores and a campfire and you have the makings of a night of fun for all ages.

Keep an eye on late tomatoes

The closer we get to mid-October, the more talk there is of the first frost of the season. It has no effect on vegetables in cool weather. We know the calendar date for the first frost date is October 15, but we don’t usually get a deadly frost until later in the month. Even as October progresses, it’s still advisable to keep an eye out for frost warnings. The late tomatoes specially sown for a pre-frost harvest should be harvested before the onset of frost, wrapped in newspaper, stored in box lids and covered with newspaper clippings and stored in a warm room or cellar. They should be checked for maturity once or twice a week. Place an apple or two in the crates to encourage ripening.

Last chance to put out flower bulbs

With the first frost date just a few weeks away, spring bulb planting season is almost over. You still have at least two weeks to put out the bulbs or spring flowers. Lightbulbs can be purchased at Home Depot, Lowe’s Home Improvement, Walmart, Ace Hardware, most nurseries, and hardware stores. Buy a bag of onion booster or bone meal to give the onions a good start.

Hoe, hoe, hoe

“Principal.” Teacher: “Johnny, could you please pay more attention?” Johnny: “I’m already paying as little as I can!”

“Wow Buffalo.” Traveler: “I’d like a ticket to New York State, please.” Ticket office: “Would you like to go with Buffalo?” Traveler: “No thanks, I’d rather take the bus.”

“Cake in Heaven.” Diner: “Is that peach or apple pie?” Waitress: “Can’t you tell by the taste?” Diner: “No, I can’t.” Waitress: “Well, what difference does it make one way or the other?”

“dropout”. Bill: “What school do you have to drop out of to get your high school diploma?” Jill: “Paratrooper School.”

2021 was a great firefly year

The landscape was full of fireflies in the summer of 2021. From mid May to early July there were many as we moved into the month of June. Her most glorious spectacle came on Monday evening, June 21st. We counted 169 fireflies glowing during a five minute period. We saw the first fireflies on the evening of Sunday May 16th. That night we counted 49 in five minutes. We saw an exhibition almost every evening. They seemed to appear at dusk and peaked around nine o’clock at night. With the number of fireflies over the summer, next year should produce even more fireflies.

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