Tuesday, July 28, 2015

First Meal from the Garden.

Just a warning to my vegan friends... The following contains pictures of perfectly good pea pods cooked in a most non vegan friendly way!

Today we picked a nice basket of peas and then set about looking for a recipe for them. In the past, my peas ended up in stir fry, but I wanted to try something different. Google to the rescue!

I'm not usually a huge pea pod fan. I mean I like them in my stir fry, I'll eat them fresh straight out of the garden, but that's about it... Or it was until I tried them cooked this way. Here's the Rachael Ray recipe for Sugar Snap Peas with Onions and Bacon  from the Food Network web site. They were so good I had to go back for seconds!

The flavor of the pea, bacon and onion combination kind of reminds me of pea soup. I make mine from dried green and yellow peas with ham and vegetables.

We had the peas with garlic/honey chicken cooked on the grill and a baked potato.

LOL, I just realized that the cooked pea pods match my Kawasaki! (required motorcycle content)

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Garden Report.

OK, so I haven't been taking any long distance motorcycle trips this summer. I did do a 4 day trip to Road America this spring, but I've only taken the bikes out for local day trips since then.

This is our first year with a garden in Wisconsin and I've spent a lot of time in it! I am very happy with the results so far. I posted about tilling and hauling in compost for the garden back in May. The typical date of last frost is usually right around the fist of June and I planted about that time.

The rhubarb, tomatoes, tomatillos, green and jalapeno peppers are from small starter plants from the garden store. The sugar snap peas, zucchini, bush beans, and green onions I planted as seeds.

I'm proud to show the first edible produce from the garden.... sugar snap peas.

The last couple of weeks have been quite warm and the effect on the garden has been great. It seems like most of the weather up until the last few weeks has been cool and the plants just hadn't taken off like they have in the last week or so. We are just now starting to run the air conditioner.. that's how cool it's been.

Here is what the garden looked like 2 weeks ago.......

And today.....

The tomatillos have tons of blossoms and have started to set fruit. The tomato plants have lots of fruit. The zucchini has lots of blossoms, same as the beans. The dill is tall and fragrant, and the rhubarb is doing nicely.

Zucchini flower...

Tomatillos a plenty...

Bush style green beans...

I made my tomato cages from a 50' roll of 5' wide, 6" x 6" square, welded wire concrete reinforcing mesh. I cut off 5' long pieces and cut the bottom wire off to make feet, secured the ends...

Nancy and I have a lot more flowers and plants on the back patio and around the outside of the house.

We continue to be visited by all sorts of wildlife.

More as the plants produce!

Richard asked me about fencing to keep the abundant deer out of the garden.... Well, to answer that, I did a lot of research and watched a lot of videos on youtube, before I finally decided on what to use. I originally thought about making a 7' high fence with electrical conduit and light weight mesh. But I was intrigued by the monofilament fences I saw. Several people have reported good luck keeping deer out of their gardens using not much more that fishing line.

Here's what I did. I started with 4 steel fence posts, one at each corner. Then I ran a row of 2' high poultry fence AKA chicken wire, around the garden, in the same line as the steel corner posts. I used some wood lath to keep the chicken wire fence upright. It stands about 1.5 feet high, as I put about 6" of it on the ground to discourage small critters from going under it.

Once the low fence was in place, I used a roll of clear 20# test monofilament fishing line and circled the garden with 6 strands.

The theory is that the deer brush against the fishing line and because they can't see it, the back away from it, and because they're unsure of what's there, they won't try to jump it... in theory.

So far, it has kept everything out... We'll see.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

An Early Season Road Trip.

I don't have any cross country road trips planned for this riding season. My new garden, some home repairs and yard projects will take up a lot of my time this year. I did manage a nice 4 day trip this last weekend. My riding buddy, John, came up from St. Paul, MN last Wednesday evening.

On Thursday, May 28th, we had the bikes packed and we were off to Oshkosh, WI. We were going to stay in Oshkosh and ride back and forth to the Super Bike races at Road America in Elkhart Lake, WI. The races were taking place over the next three days, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I had booked and paid for three nights at the local Super 8. John had purchased the event tickets for all three days. We were set!

At the Oshkosh Super 8.

A MiG-21 we could see from the motel.

Friday morning we woke up and checked the weather. It was looking like there was some possible rain later in the day. We had breakfast and decided to check out the EAA Museum that was just down the street from our motel. We could have spent the entire day there. More than 200 aircraft, a large library of books and manuals, countless displays of historical artifacts... Too much to see in just one morning.

Everything from a German WWI tri-plane to a Piper Cub. Lots of experimental aircraft and even a replica of the 1903 Wright Flyer.

A collection of WWII nose art...

There were even a couple of Harley-Davidson powered airplanes.

Then things went bad... On our way out of the museum it started to rain. We quickly made our way back to the motel. Once we dried off, we checked the radar. It looked like we were in for at least a half day of rain. We waited out the rain while watching the Turner Classic Movie channel and checking the news and radar. By the time it cleared up enough to ride to the track, the races would be over before we would get there.

Saturday wasn't any better. It rained heavily the whole day, and the temperatures had dropped. We spent almost the entire day at the hotel.

Sunday was sunny but very cool. We made the hour drive to the track and watched some practice races and real races. We spent some time walking around the paddock and vendor areas before sitting at turn 5 to watch the races. We both would have liked to stay much later and watch the Supermoto races, but the cool temps and 6 hour ride home made us rethink our staying late.

There were several cool motorcycles at the track. It seems everyone had a scooter or a small bike of some kind. There was even a candy lime green Concours 14.

Even with the rain and cold weather it was a fun weekend!