10 June 2008

McGardening, Salads for All Seasons and Preserving What the Garden Produces

Remember when the expression McMansion came into our vocabulary? It was when people started tearing down small-ish houses and building big homes on the lot, crowding the neighbors. Also, the term is used when someone buys a hillside and puts up a ginormous house that isn't quite a 50,000 square foot Steve Jobs size place but an eyesore nonetheless.

Today on the radio, a panel was discussing McThinking. They say Americans McThink now that we are drowning in McFacts. We do not take the time to actually think and we are dumber than our parents were.

An Internet search on the word McThink yields the usual two-million results with hits for McWriting (blogging), McReading (scanning everything available on the Internet and magazines as well as skimming books), etc. No real reading or thinking.

Annie of Annie's Annuals calls McGardening, the practice of shopping only for common plants in full bloom.

I was doing what I considered McThinking today while McGardening. I was actually pulling weeds halfheartedly while thinking about not much at all. What are some of the other things we do half- heartedly that could be named with some sort of Mc preface?

One of the Mc-activities I love is reading books about gardens, gardening, and all the related topics. Here are a couple of new ones for your McConsideration.

Organic grower Piers Warren has a new book out, How to Store Your Garden Produce

from Chelsea Green Publishing.

The premise is an excellent one. How do you preserve more of the summer's bounty for the winter table?

Grocery bills can be reduced and health improved by growing some of our own produce. Taking it a step further, Warren suggests that we become more self-sufficient by planting enough to store food to feed a family of four.
How to cure onions, make pickles and apple cider, freeze fruit, make fruit butter and jam - all packaged in a paperback 135-pages long.

The author gardens in England but all the recipe quantities provide U.S. equivalents.

Another book I could suggest for a day of McGardening (lying in the hammock)
for your reading pleasure is
Salad Leaves for All Seasons: Organic Growing From Pot to Plot
by Charles Dowding

Stay out of the grocery produce and grow your own using the advice of experienced grower Charles Dowding. To see Dowding's organic gardening website click here.

The first eight chapters provide practical growing information. How to sow, space seeds, harvest, build raised beds, planting schedules, sowing dates, garden pests, etc.

Part two is which salad leaves to plant in each season and then about 20 pages of recipes. Part three describes possible varieties of salad greens, their growing needs and how to maximize your results.

If you love salad greens and have been wondering how to have more of them throughout the year, this volume will give you lots of ideas.

The problem with both of these books is that they are really good and they will inspire you to get up and do something which is completely out of the realm of summer McLaziness.

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