I discovered one of my favorite vegetables fifty years ago in Arizona.
Arizona is so hot in the summer; traditional cucumbers don’t pollinate well and become bitter once the temps stay over 90+ degrees.
Browsing through a seed rack at a local store, I found a packet with an odd-looking striped green serpent-shaped fruit on the front.
This delectable cuke may also be called the serpent melon, and the plain, light green type is known as the Armenian cucumber.
In my extensive experience, all the variants tasted the same; sweet and delicious with thin, edible skin.
When I was a child, I listened to the words of Big Wicked Bill and cried for the dog.
Now my heart knows why Stuart Hamblen sang, “Sometimes in the hush of an evening when the winds have grown tired and are stilled, By the fire, I sit dozing and dreaming letting memory bring back what she will…
Trying to write about myself, back through time, my mind wanders; I smell high-bush cranberries ripening in Alaska autumn, creosote bushes after a summer cloudburst, my horse loping through the Arizona desert. The silken feel of a newborn baby nursing at my…
It seems oddly unfair somehow. It’s July, day after day, the temperature stays over one hundred degrees and the nights are seventy-five and humid.
All I want from my garden is crisp lettuce, juicy tomatoes, and yes, maybe a watermelon.
Not midwest hot and humid with nights in the mere sixties and days in the eighties. This is Texas hot, Arizona hot.
And no, we can’t grow lettuce outside in the summertime. Now, December, yes. Primetime for greens is in the winter for us down here in the Sunbelt.
I spend a lot of time talking to new gardeners, and…
I never expected it to be this hard. Possibly, writing a memoir while feeling lonely during the forced isolation of a pandemic is not the wisest choice I’ve ever made. Or, just maybe, it’s given me the time to dig deeper than I might otherwise have done.
“In some ways, writing a memoir is knocking yourself out with your own fist, if it’s done right,” Karr writes in The Art of Memoir.
I was born in July 1953. In August, Alfred Kinsey released his book Sexual Behavior in the Human Female. …
Have you ever published something and gotten a resounding echo in response? Nobody read your article, the editor rejected your book, or you sold one lonely e-book?
What went wrong? You thought your writing was interesting, structured properly, and your grammar was correct. I’ve had this happen, and it sucks!
The answer, “Because I think it’s good,” or “Because I think it’s funny, interesting, or educational,” won’t work.
Next question. “How do I discover what my reader cares about?”
Most of my writing is for business blogs and websites. I must know what my reader is interested in. …
What can you plant in the sweltering days of summer? I mean 95 degrees hot and a heat index over 105 F, hot.
One of my favorite suggestions is beans. Noodle beans, yard-long beans, Puru beans, snake beans, Chinese long beans—whatever you call them, they’re a winner in the mid-summer heat.
Their Latin name is Vigna unguiculata subsp. sesquipedalis, a word as long as a bean pod. Related to cowpeas and black-eyed peas, they love hot weather.
Last year I wrote an article Explore Exotic & Delicious Vegetables: We’re missing 99.99% of the edible crops. …
As a writer, I need to get the best return on the time I invest in creating content. When I work for a client, they expect a maximum return on their investment, and I expect no less when writing content for my own business.
Generally, my content clients provide the keywords they want me to focus on in a specific article, and often they request I include a snippet.
The definition of snippet commonly refers to a short paragraph describing the result of a Google search. …
This week on my older brother’s birthday, I will head out to visit him a thousand miles away. I’ll be there in a couple of days, God willing, and the creeks don’t rise, as I learned in west Texas.
I’m writing a memoir, and he’s a star in all the early chapters — my hero and role model. Three years older, he could run faster and climb higher, and I loved him as only a younger sister can.
I remember a day; it was June in Alaska. The sun highlighted the tender green of the new leaves on the birch…
I suspect trauma began with the first human, and its painful results have continued ever since.
My interest began with personal experience: a mother with severe untreated mental illness raised my five siblings and me. All of us were hurt, some more than others.
We had one ambition as children: to never be like our mother. With no example of how to be different, I’ve spent my life learning and healing. And of course, that has led me to a study of trauma and its effects.
Now experts recognize generational trauma is real and are learning to help us break…
Zucchini and summer squash can be prolific, but they’re also susceptible to squash vine borers in much of the United States. So what’s a gardener—or a cook to do?
Let me introduce you to the Tatume squash. Like all of the plants we call squash, this variety originated in Central America and Mexico, where it was cultivated as long as 10,000 years ago. Gradually, the seeds were brought north, and are summer squash is now widely grown.
In Mexico, you’ll likely find Tatume, called calabacita bola, round little squash. It’s common in the markets along with grey-green zucchini called calabacita…