Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Pocket Hose. Kevin's Review

As the Pocket Hose promises: 

"The Hose That Fits In A Pocket But Grows To A Full Size Hose".


Now let me start by saying this,  "Time will tell".  The reason Im going to start at this point is because I have been scouring the internet reading other peoples reviews and they are less than promising.  I have only owned this hose for a couple of days, and have not had any of the problems listed but I do in fact have my doubts:

"Plastic end pieces crack or leak"
"Hose develops pin holes and drips"
"Hose, if left full of water under pressure, will burst"

The Pocket Hose expanding garden hose, shut off, material
The Pocket Hose expanding garden hose

What I do love about the Pocket  Hose, and the reason for my write up , is the fact it is super light and very easy to manage around the yard.  The Pocket Hose has yet to tangle or kink, and stores super easy in a flower pot sitting right by your hose bib.  If this thing lasts, I plan on purchasing a couple more....

Cheers ~ Kevin

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Thursday, June 6, 2013

My Luck with Growing Green Arrow peas

How to, Growing green arrow peas, wind damage, green arrow pea flower
Green Arrow Peas garden bed, flower, pea pod.
The weather this Spring has been a little crazy.  We just recently experienced some nasty winds that blew through our area and had lasted just long enough to do a little bit of damage to some of our gardens. Fortunately it didn't completely ruin everything but that is part of a gardeners life: Dealing with the unexpected.

Last year was so hot, so early, I had a terrible time trying to grow one of my favorite vegetables.  Green arrow peas are "usually" one of the easiest to grow but for some reason I haven't had much luck.   So you can understand the joy I had this morning when I went out and saw some pods hanging from the vines!  I have another area in the yard which I plan on sowing a different variety of pea there and hope it goes well. 

Cheers ~ Kevin

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

How to find wild asparagus...

...is like googling how to locate the best fishing spot on a specific lake.  Its a guarantee you will come up empty handed.  So how does one find the "How-to" when it comes to foraging for the elusive spears? Take a hike!
Hunting for wild asparagus, foraging for edibles
The author carefully planning his next move.

 No really, get your shoes on and start searching. However I warn you now, it is much easier to stop at the local grocery and buy a bundle of asparagus then spending hours coming back with only a few.  So why do it? Why get out and do anything? Why do hunters hunt when our local deli's are stocked with fresh meat?  Why do fisherman spend all day trying to catch a couple fish to make a meal when the market has pounds upon pounds of freshly caught or farm raised fish?  I dunno, but what brought me on this adventure for the first time was the experience.  Hell, we only live once and I want to say I have "hunted for asparagus" along with the other adventures I still wish to experience.

Hunting for wild asparagus, foraging for edibles
An asparagus shoot, past its prime.

*See that beauty right there is what I was looking for.  I thought it screamed "Hey dummy.  Right below me in this grass is a bounty of fresh spears". Boy was I wrong...

Hunting for wild asparagus, foraging for edibles, skull
Some kind of skull. Possibly a T Rex?

Nothing. Nada. Zip.  The search continued.  I scoured the ditches along a looong gravel utility road and came across a very similar scenario every single time.  I started to doubt my eye sight. I started to doubt my timing. I even started to doubt what I saw standing tall and proud was asparagus.  Of course it was, but those long walks have you questioning a lot when you are empty handed.  But I wasn't. I started noticing a pattern right about the same time I had to get back to my daily routine.  So where were the asparagus? I was looking in the right spots: along the road in ditches, along old fence lines, and at the edges of farm fields.  What I had found in almost every case was a few tall asparagus standing tall and proud not because they were marking the location of their fellow spears, but letting me know I missed the opportunity to a bunch of "asparagus hunters" whom had combed these grounds before me! I was late to the game but it all wasn't a waste.  After heavy rains, asparagus roots will send up new shoots.  In some cases these new shoots will grow 6" in a single day.  If my research is correct, they stop sending up shoots around the second week of June in my area. I am not a veteran hunter, but I do plan on combing these few asparagus patches I came across again in a couple of days.  

What do I have to lose?

Hunting for wild asparagus, foraging for edibles, wild columbine
Wild Columbine

Why is asparagus good for you, health benefits of asparagus
Health benefits of Asparagus

Cheers ~ Kevin

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers

Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers
Stuffed Mini Sweet Peppers


Fresh Pesto:

  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro 
  • 1 clove garlic 
  • 1/2 pecans 
  • pinch of salt 
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup parmesan 
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice 
Additional Ingredients: 
  • 1/2 lb bag of mini sweet peppers 
  • 4 oz goat crumbled goat cheese 

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Leaving the stem, cut off the bottom of the pepper and scoop the seeds out with your finger (may take a little digging). 
  2. Stuff the peppers with goat cheese, place on a baking sheet and bake for approximately 10 minutes or until the peppers are soft. 
  3. Remove peppers from the oven, plate, and spoon fresh pesto over the top of each pepper. 
  4. Enjoy! 


Whats "growing on" during the last week of May....

We began this week remembering those who had lost their lives fighting for our freedoms.  Emily and I both, come from families that have had many fighting men and women who have served in various branches of the armed forces and we are very grateful for them......  
USMC Platoon 1107 San Diego, Calfornia MCRD
Author Kevin McGrath circa:1997
I myself "did a little time" as a Marine and can relate to how much sacrifice is necessary to keep our beloved country free.  As a matter of fact, on this date (June 2nd) almost 20 years ago, I placed my feet on the ground where so many have before me and swore an oath and committed to those sacrifices. 
Most of us know of, or have had someone close to them who have lost their life in battle.  
As the saying goes about all service men and women: 

"All gave some - but some gave all".

Some of the brave men I had the privilege of knowing.

Most families and friends spent this past week barbecuing, partying or just enjoying the time off of work. Memorial Day does "earmark" the beginning of summer. I can only hope you have, as my family has, taken the time to remember those who have been lost and reflected a little bit on your own life and the privileges you have. 

brindle boxer and girl
Emily & Beckman 
(left to right) Autumn, Devin & Me

One of the greatest privileges I have, is being with my family and having the time to garden.  See for me being in the garden is more than just growing beautiful flowers or the biggest of vegetables.  It is more like therapy and a place where I can escape to and leave all my worries behind.  

Autumn Grace

There is nothing I enjoy more than to walk our very small piece of earth and witness the beauty of the plants we have growing.  This is my time to reflect on life and the decisions I have made.  

I hope you enjoy our walk... 



5 color swiss chard garden
5 color swiss chard

"Autumn Joy" sedum
"Autumn Joy" sedum

burning bush leaves
Burning bush

celery raised garden box

Raspberry bushes side garden bed
Raspberry bushes

red and white Potted tea rose
Potted tea rose

yellow and white iris side border garden

Tomato plants raised garden boxes roma
Tomato plants

Raspberry blossoms
Raspberry blossoms

Pansies in window flower box
Pansies in window box
Pansy and coleus flowers in window box
Pansy and coleus flowers in window box

Herb Sage flowers in bloom
Herb Sage flowers in bloom

Zebra ornamental grass by sidewalk
Zebra ornamental grass
Our Front Porch


storm clouds antioch il
storm clouds

boxer dog chasing bubbles
Beckman enjoying his bubbles.

Cheers ~ Kevin


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