"Bayou Bill" Scifres
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Copyright © 2008 by Bill Scifres

THE GARDEN GOURMET--April 2008

If you are inclined to growing your own bedding plants from scratch, my good (fishing) friend from North Carolina would like to share his latest modus operandi with you--it’s a final fling for old coolers.

That’s right, you grow your bedding plants in an old cooler that once hosted egg-salad sandwiches, deviled eggs, and pop bottles for picnics.

Terry Shive, my good fishing friend whom I met several years ago on the on the Avon Fishing Pier, NC, tells me he brainstormed the idea earlier this year.

Terry says he simply punches a few holes in the bottom of an old cooler, fills it halfway with good soil (maybe an inch of sand or gravel In the bottom to aid drainage),) and places his seeds in the soil. Terry waters often with a very fine spray.

He pulls the cooler out of the garage by day and opens the cover. On cool nights he closes the cover and pulls the container back in the garage to keep the fledgling plants warm. Thinning and other chores may be done at your discretion, fertilizer, too.
 
Producing bedding plants is undoubtedly less expensive than buying well-established plants. The store-bought plants often are sturdier. Still, if you plan to produce your own, this is the time to do it.
 


BAKED ZUCCHINI

Last summer, with several healthy zucchini plants producing large numbers of big veggies (I had trouble giving them away), rather than let them rot away, I developed a loaded, twice-baked zuch dish that turned out to be very appetizing--so appetizing, in fact that I will add a couple of plants this year (maybe more).

That recipe, will be found on the “wild recipes” page of  http://bayoubill.com. But I have later learned the second baking is superfluous. Do both operations in one baking, if you like, or stick with the recipe.

However, before baking the dish twice, you can bake it only once. The thing that makes this possible is the fact that one can first scrape out the seeds of the zuch halves and scrap most of them (save the little seeds). 

Then scrape out some of the “meaty” sides and bottom of the “canoes" and save it for stuffing.

Mix the zuch meat (you scraped out) with various meats, fish,berries or fruit. Stuff the little canoes with this mixture and take it from there with the rest of the recipe.

(Notes: Be very careful when scraping out the zuch meat so as not to damage the outer skin). The hot zuch, when it is taken from the oven, is easier to handle if baked on foil pieces. The foil pieces are merely held by their ends at the middle of the zuch).


MATURATION INFO

The backs of seed packets usually provide a wealth of information from planting to harvest. In the case of some plants it will be necessary to get this information from garden shops where the plants are sold. 



 
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All columns are copyrighted by Bill Scifres and may not be reproduced in any form without prior permission from the author.  For reproduction permission and media usage fees, contact: Bill Scifres, 6420 East 116th Street, Fishers, IN 46038, E-mail: billscifres@aol.com

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