Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Holiday fruits and flowers are here

While I was out of town for Thanksgiving, my Christmas cactus burst into full flower.  Since it does this like clockwork every November, it now is officially my Thanksgiving cactus.  I wish you could see the hot pink pistil and ring around the mouth of the inner flower.  I leave these cacti outside all spring, summer and fall, and bring them in just as thing start to get really cold.  Apparently that is the secret to getting flowers out of them, because they put on quite a show.  Too much water is the biggest enemy of these plants, so the fact that I tend to forget they exist most of the time actually is a good thing.

Here it is, the first tangerine off my coastal North Carolina tree!  The two we have harvested weighed just under a half a pound each.  The peel just pops off in your hand, they have almost no seeds (0 to 1 seed per segment), they are very sweet and very juicy.  I can't believe that they have grow here, outside, and produced!  Lets hope the winters stay mild, as now I can't imagine not having fresh tangerines to eat and orangequats for eating and cooking (I made orangequat chicken last night for dinner).

This morning the frost is heavy on the vegetable garden.  I have not yet put together any season extenders to protect the plants, so we will see how they hold up.  I will let you know in the next blog.  The hens have started to molt.  Poor Lena looks like a buzzard with nothing but the pins of new feathers on her head.   I'll try and get a photo or two.