Spooky Action Ranch Report: Week Three 2015

Live Oak Stage Two

Winter Greens!

Spinach and Lettuce

Cleaning up a harvest of spinach and lettuce for an evening salad.

The beds of lettuce and spinach have finally filled in well enough to warrant regular harvests.  We are now enjoying daily salads on the ranch.  As a native northerner, it has taken me a bit of transition to think about salads in the winter.  For me, January used to be a time for hibernation and comfort foods.  The fabulous winter weather here in Central Texas, however, brings days filled with sunlight and plenty of time enjoyed outside.  And salads.  Lots of salads.

Our spinach is Bloomsdale Spinach, an organic heirloom variety we purchased from Botanical Interests.  It grows well in the colder season, but is also really slow to bolt, which means we can harvest spinach further into the spring.  It has a fantastic flavor too, very nutty.  We compliment it with a very simple dressing we make out of peanut oil and raspberry balsamic vinegar.

Our lettuce, also supplied by Botanical Interests, is a variety known as Black Seeded Simpson.  Like the spinach, it handles freezing weather and frosts while being slow to bolt once the weather turns warmer.  Additionally, it is a type of lettuce which is known as ‘cut and come again.’  This means we can harvest leaves from the plants, which will simply grow new leaves for later harvest, rather than harvesting the entire plant.

Wimberley Art Fest

Art Fest Display

A sample of items that will be for sale at Wimberley Arts Fest.

This week was the deadline for application to the Wimberley Valley Art League’s Wimberley Arts Fest.  The festival, now in its seventh year, will be held at Wimberley’s Blue Hole, April 18th and 19th.  It is the same weekend as the EmilyAnn Theater’s Butterfly Festival, and several thousand people are expected to attend.  There will be live music and food, and it a wonderful time to come out and check out this lovely hill country town.  I am excited to be involved in my first art show, so I hope you will come and check it out.

I will be selling 4″ x 4″ oil paintings framed or mounted on magnets from my first solo show Gross | Life in Pieces,  as well as a number of larger originals and framed prints.  I also hope to put together sets of greeting cards, bookmarks, and other useful items and will be offering custom services.  You can see more of my work on my personal website http://www.dawnyoungs.com.


Finishing the Paths

The work on the front gardens has continued with an upgrade to the paths.  We originally laid in a layer of pebbles on the earth paths, but have found that the smooth stones moved easily, washing away in the rains, and made for a less than stable walking surface.  We also did not lay the original pebbles down thick enough to fully defeat our determined grasses from growing up into the paths.  This go around we have chosen a larger sized crush granite.  This gravel, with its course texture, creates a solid walking surface and its lighter color has helped the paths stand out in the moonlight, for easier star friendly nighttime strolls.  We have been laying the gravel down at a depth of about 3″, so we will see how that much gravel does as a weed deterrent.

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