Jack Frost Is On His Way

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by Ann on October 17, 2014

Fall is, hands down, my favorite season of the year. The temperatures are mild and the air has a clarity not seen as much during other seasons. My garden also seems to enjoy the weather, putting on a spurt of growth and end-of-year blooms that cheers the heart.

I’m enjoying this right now but I know that soon the first frost of winter will be knocking on my door. For those of us here in northern Texas that day is somewhere around the middle of November. Why do I care? Well, the first frost date marks the end of the growing season and my last chance to harvest tender annuals such as basil. When I hear the weatherman warning of near freezing temperatures, I get out there and cut the basil down to the ground. Anything left after the first solid frost will wither and turn black overnight.

Do you know when your first frost is likely to happen? Fortunately we can check with the people at the Old Farmer’s Almanac who have a handy tool online to look up this bit of date. Just type in your zip code and you will see the predicted first frost of fall and the last frost of spring. Mark you calendar and be prepared for a ginormous end of season herb harvest. Then you can smile at the freezing weather, knowing you beat Jack Frost to the punch.

Historical Postscript: My faithful readers know I couldn’t resist looking up Jack Frost. this is apparently a relatively recent personification of Old Man Winter, sort of a mischievous younger son. He appeared as a character in a couple of stories by L. Frank Baum, best known as the author of The Wizard of Oz (the classic children’s tale, not that modern day doctor always showing up in our spam mail).

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News From the Homestead: Happy Fall and I’m Still Here!

October 1, 2014
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Greetings on this fine fall afternoon. It’s been over two months since you’ve heard anything of significance from me. In that time, I have dealt with at least one domestic crisis (you really don’t want to hear about it), taken a trip out of town to Pittsburgh (where a good time was had by all), […]

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A Brief Interlude

August 18, 2014
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Am sending this quick note to let you know my blog software appears to be out of commission. There will be a brief interlude while I tinker with the installation and get things back in working order.

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I Rant About SuperFoods and Other Bogus Supplements

July 20, 2014
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During my study over the years of herbs and their uses I have come across many fads, myths and downright lies about how they should be used to improve foods and promote health. All this came to mind recently when my darling husband purchased a container of “organic superfood” made from a “blend of green […]

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A Yummy Granola Recipe

July 8, 2014
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I have been on the lookout recently for a good granola recipe. I find that granola is a healthy and satisfying snack for me but it’s relatively expensive in the store. Finally I found one that, with a few minor tweaks, suits my taste and just might suit yours too so I’m sharing it here. […]

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Coffee For Roses – A Book for Every Gardener

June 16, 2014
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I love this book. Okay, in the spirit of full disclosure it is written by a dear gardening friend and I’m quoted in the book but I still LOVE this book. And you will too. I promise. The author C. L. Fornari is a garden radio host and self-confessed out of control plant lady. In […]

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A Book For All Texas Gardeners

June 4, 2014
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Normally I stick with herb-specific topics, but this time I want to alert my fellow Texas gardeners to a newly-revised edition of a must-have gardening book for the Lone Star State. I am referring to Neil Sperry’s Lone Star Gardening. This comprehensive hardback reference is a distillation of Neil Sperry’s decades of experience with Texas gardeners and […]

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