Sunday, March 30, 2014

Master Gardeners host plant sale and Market Day

Master Gardeners Plant Sale and Market Day
The Jefferson County Master Gardeners Plant Sale and Market Day is when you can stock up on what grows good right here. Go for colorful annual and perennial bedding plants, shrubs, tropicals, bulbs and corms, citrus, avocado, olive and landscape trees, herbs, vegetables and more. Y’all know I want the herbs.
If plants aren’t your thing (why aren’t they?) go for handmade crafts, jewelry, etc., including locally-grown honey. There’s a kid’s corner with face painting.
The event will be from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 5, at the Jack Brooks Regional Airport Hanger #4. Admission and parking are free. For more information, call 409-835-8461.
Jane McBride, publicity chair, assembled some herb tips:
·         Among the easiest to grow is basil, which loves our summer heat. Plant in well-drained, rich soil. Harvest often and pinching flower buds before they emerge. Prune by a third every three weeks.
·         While we can’t grow tarragon here, we can grow Mexican Mint Marigold, which has a similar flavor. It takes heat well and produces fragrant yellow flowers on long stalks that brighten a bed.
·          Rosemary should be in every garden. It’s beautiful, provides strong fragrance and is a must for Italian cuisine.
·         Oregano and thyme also do well here, providing low, trailing mounds of fragrant green leaves.
·         Enjoy your herbs year-round by making butters, herb-infused vinegars and pestos.
·         and Melissa Starr, Out in the Yard columnist for Port Arthur News.
Tony Lucenti is president of Jefferson County Master Gardeners. Stellina Reed and Phyllis Smith are event chairs. And Melissa Star is editor of the newsletter The Latest Dirt, found on their web site. Star also writes the Out in the Yard column for Port Arthur News and may be reached at the AgriLIfe Ext. office at (409)-835-8461.

Taste of Gumbo, Etc.
The Port Arthur Rotary Club packed the house again and everyone seemed happy and full. One of my non-gumbo favorites included chicken salad from Courtyard CafĂ©. I wasn’t shy about asking for my third sample on a slice of  French bread instead of a cracker, and they obliged. Christus St. Mary offered boudain-jambalaya in a cup and Texas Roadhouse gave out bags of nuts that my family enjoyed on the patio to relive what we liked best about the gumbos. Catching up with old friends is just about the best part of the whole deal, plus knowing how Rotary will help area charities with the funds raised.
Queen Gumbo Libby Arnold rounded up a great krewe.

Spring greetings from candy
Tulips butterflies and cartoon chicks must still need help, because there’s also a “Happy Spring” message on the package. Anastasia Confections offers Coconut Patties, which are heavy little squares laden with rich, sweet tastes from your youth. They call it a creamy coconut confection dipped in a rich dark chocolatey coating. I did spell “chocolately” right? The Orlando, Florida company makes other fruity flavors dubbed a “souvenir from the Sunshine State.” I enjoyed my Easter basket-ready bite tremendously, and promise to eat no more than one a day. There’s a reason it’s suggested you bring a box as gifts. You don’t want to be tempted. It’s a coconut and palm oil-infused flavor from your past.

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