About Aunt Rosie and Uncle D

Aunt Rosie and I love to grow plants of every kind. We also love to recycle and compost stuff. So, every kitchen scrap (except bones, meat or fat) goes back into our gardens and raised beds. Vegetable scraps. Food waste. Egg shells. Coffee grounds. In fact, Rosie even collects coffee grounds from where she works. The retail store she works at has a snack bar and she has them save their coffee grounds for her. With alll these kitchen scraps and coffee grounds, Rosie is very proud of her growing livestock population. Worms, worms and more worms. She is proud to tell her co-workers she has worms. I cringe when she says it that way. They always think "Poor Rosie has worms.". Then, she explains and there is always a sigh of relief on their face. When available, she brings home the shredded white paper from work. That goes into the soil also.
Our ground is like a lot of the soil in hilly Tennessee. Rocky! So, we kind of have to make our own dirt and we do that by using raised beds. We do purchase composted cattle manure to enhance the soil also. Rosie has been collecting the neighbors grass clippings (the neighbors have 4 1/2 acres). I use a riding mower with a pull behind grass catcher which allows me to collect the grass clippings from the orchard and the back "fourty". The grass clippings go into either the compost pile or are used as garden mulch. We also use straw on top of newspaper to mulch. Our garden beds are starting to look better. Still picking rocks out of the beds but the number of rocks are starting to taper off and get smaller (we picked most of the big ones out already).
We also love the idea of "edible landscaping". That is, plant and landscape your property with plants that produce food or can be eaten. So, that is what we do. There is no grass to mow in our front yard. We have raised garden beds for vegetables and we grow vegetables as landscape plants around our home. Rosie has herbs planted everywhere. She even took a pair of my old work shoes and filled them with dirt and some herbs. I've followed suit by planting 25 fruit trees in the front yard. Vegetables, fruits and herbs as landscape plants. Doesn't that sound wonderful! We get the benefit of eating fresh fruits and vegetables. Fresh and dried herbs for cooking. Great landscaping that looks like a park and no grass to mow. Now that is what we both love.

For my fruit trees I try to use as few chemicals as possible but still have fruit that doesn't look like a ball of shriveled up moss. I use dormant oil and lime sulphur in the late winter and early spring to kill the eggs the insects laid on the tree bark. If the bugs and/or dieseases look like they are starting to damage the tree and/or fruit, I will resort to the next level of sprays. If I didn't, I wouldn't have any fruit to sell or maybe even trees. I use them as little as possible. We eat the fruit also! IT MATTERS TO US.

Did you know that most of the fruit you buy at the grocery stores in the winter comes from South America or other countries in the southern hemisphere? After all, our winter is their summer so they are harvesting their crops when we are shoveling snow. They don't have anywhere near the level of restrictions on what they can spray on their fruit and vegetables. In fact, some of the chemicals that have been banned here in the U.S. are sold to other countries. They then spray their fruit and vegetables with those banned chemicals. Those fruits and vegetables then are SHIPPED BACK TO THE CONSUMERS IN THE U.S.

Also, since their produce has to spend so much time in shipping, it has to be harvested before it has fully ripened. Picked green and hard so it will hold up during all the handling and shipping. Some of the produce is still green and has to be "gassed" with etyhlene gas. That gas turns things like tomatoes red. They are still not ripe or do not have anymore flavor. The gas just turns them red to make them look ripe. Did you know that a lot of apples are waxed to make them look shiny and prettier in the store? No waxes or gases used at Uncle D's Produce! Maybe every piece of fruit or vegetable might not be as perfect looking as those in the grocery stores, BUT, they sure will taste delicious and be good for you and your family.

Ashmead's Kernel apple

An old English russet apple, Ashmead's Kernel, originated from seed planted around 1700 by a Dr Thomas Ashmead in Gloucester, England. Medium size, golden-brown skin with a crisp nutty snap. Fruit explodes with champagne-sherbet juice infused with a lingering scent of orange blossom. Flesh is dense, sugary and aromatic with intense flavor, characteristic of russets.

Rubinette apple

Rubinette considered by many the best-flavored apple. A cross between Cox's Orange Pippin and Golden Delicious, Rubinette's flavor comes almost primarily from Cox's Orange Pippin, but shape similar to Golden Delicious. Unsurpassed balance of sweetness and sharpness with the Cox's aromatic qualities. Medium size fruit with bright red striping over golden ground color and slight russeting. Created in Switzerland in 1950s.