Growing Vegetables- Summer 2014- Part 6

The growing season is in full swing here on Long Island and it’s been quite a good season at that.  We grow garlic every year and I’d highly recommend it.  It’s a simple crop to grow, the seed stock is very inexpensive, bugs seem to ignore it, it’s very good for your health and it’s delicious !  -they say it chases away the vampires too ;-)   For more infoabout garlic visit :

The garlic was plentiful this year.  Having planted it in September, the “early italian” variety is harvested during the first week of July. Even the brutal winter couldn’t stop this great crop we got.


This shot was taken mid June when the garlic was approximately 18 inches high.  It ultimately gained about an additional 6 inches to full maturity.

digginggarlic  garlicharvest

Once the garlic is out of the ground,  we let it air dry for approximately 2 weeks prior to cleaning and trimming.  NEVER WASH THE FRESH GARLIC!  Store it somewhere where the soil that falls off won’t cause a problem.  The drying soil helps to dry out the bulbs and keep the garlic from becoming moldy.  After a couple of weeks the garlic looks like this…


At this point I cut off the roots and the long dried out stems.  I gently rub the outer skin of the garlic causing a few paper layers to come off, carrying the last of the dried soil with it.

cleaned garlic

The final product looks like this and is ready to be stored.  We have used wicker baskets and brown paper bags to store the bulbs and have had good success,  most of the produce lasting up to a year.  This year we are usung some fruit netting that we got when we purchased melons.  I’ve hung the garlic in the downstairs workshop. There is no odor as the garlic dries.  If you notice a strong smell the garlic is is either sprouting or is moldy. Both of these situations are rare when the garlic is freshly picked.  usually it’s a pretty painless procedure.

Posted in Gardening, Growing Vegetables | Tagged | 2 Comments

Big Mouth’s Miscellaneous Ramblings-July 2014

I know a lot of you probably hate this weather but I love it!  Gimme a nice warm summer day and I’m about as happy as I can be! It’s been steamy around here lately but hey…it’s summer right?  When you’re wiping your brow and feeling the sweat running down your back just remember last winter shoveling the ice and snow, 40 mph winds blowing into your frozen face.  YUCK. Gimme the sun, the sea and the sand any old time!


The NBA’s annual free agent madness has come and gone and for once I think the players actually did the right things.  I find that I hate LeBron James


English: Basketball player LeBron James during...

English: Basketball player LeBron James during the game Washington Wizards versus Miami Heat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

just a bit less than I did last week.  The self proclaimed “KING” decided to take less money and head back home to Ohio, to the delight of the Cleveland fans.  This was a really cool and commendable move on his part.  Then Carmelo Anthony did a cool thing for fans of the Knicks by staying put, taking less money and vowing to help build a winner here in NYC.  Another class gesture.

Carmelo Anthony, Bradley Beal

Carmelo Anthony, Bradley Beal (Photo credit: Keith Allison)

Will somebody explain to me what the heck is going on at SCOTUS?  On the heels of their absurd pronouncements that racism doesn’t exist in 2014, and that corporations are people who can spend unlimited funds on elections…really..?  I mean really…!??!?!  they have now decided that employers can selectively pick and chose those laws and regulations they obey based on their religious beliefs?  Really?  So if my religion doesn’t accept birth control, I don’t have to offer it to my employees? If my religion doesn’t accept medical care at all should I not be forced to make that available to my employees?  And I suppose if my belief system says that African Americans, or Italians, or Jews, or American Indians or women or whomever… don’t fit into my world view as the kind of people I want to employ then I don’t have to do that either? Really? There have been raging arguments on the right and the left why this decision is OK or not OK.  I’m not going to get into all of the talking points here but suffice it to say,  allowing exemptions from the law for various organizations based on religious, political, cultural or societal beliefs is just dead wrong and as Justice Ginsberg put it in her dissent, “In a decision of startling breadth, the Court holds that commercial enterprises, including corporations, along with partnerships and sole proprietorships, can opt out of any law (saving only tax laws) they judge incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs.”  Wow.  The ramifications are incredible but hey,  what the heck do I know?  But this could open the door to a myriad of crazy lawsuits seeking exemptions from EVERYTHING !  There’s your precedent.  YIKES!


Veering back into the sports arena, I just wanna’ say THANK YOU to the New York Rangers for giving me some fun, excitement and great TV while they were skating their way through the NHL playoffs.


New York Rangers logo (used 1935–48)

New York Rangers logo (used 1935–48) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve always been an Islander fan but when were they in the playoffs last…? My Knicks were home watching after a miserable season,  and the METS are stinking it up once again.  The Jets didn’t make the playoffs after a so-so season of growing pains.  Eli Manning looked like Eli’s coming and the even the mighty Yankees suck,  so it was nice to watch some intense sports action.  It was fun!  A note on the METS…get a couple of bats and you’ve got a serious contender for next year.  They have enough pitching to go toe to toe with anyone but they need to hit the ball a bit more often and with power. Anybody ready for some football?!??  Both New York teams look like they should be pretty darn good and make the playoffs in their respective divisions but way way too early to tell what’s going to happen but the speculation will begin earnest soon.


Speaking of music, ( were we…?)  I just wanted to say that I recently purchased a copy of David Crosby’s new CD “CROZ”

David Crosby

Cover of David Crosby

from Amazon last week and I am floored by it.  It’s his first solo release in almost 20 years and it was most definitely worth the wait.  The music is a bit downbeat in feel but soaring in terms of poetry, chord changes, vocal harmonies, arrangements and musicianship.  It is truly a wonderful collection of songs that drift through a sort of folky Americana feel bordering on light jazz.  I plan on doing an entire post on the album soon.  If you want to hear something tasty and thoughtful from a great classic rock talent,  I’d highly recommend “CROZ”.  It was both eye and ear opening.


I also wanted to make mention of something that drives me crazy.

Joe Klecko

Why isn’t Joe Klecko,  the former JET defensive lineman from the late 70′s and 80′s in the Football Hall of Fame?  I saw him play…LIVE and in person… and I can say without reservation he was one of the smartest, strongest, toughest players I’ve ever seen in my 45 years watching NFL Football, both on TV and as a JET Season Ticket holder in the stadium.  He was courageous.  He was a leader. Simply put the guy was a beast.  Definitely another post dedicated to #73 coming soon.


Lastly let me put my two cents in on the LIRR labor negotiations.  The union wants X.  The MTA is offering Y.  Talks have broken down because neither side will budge. Hey people…get back to the table and try to meet in the middle.  Isn’t that why they call it negotiation?  Nobody gets everything they want.  It would be silly to think that could ever happen.  It’s called a compromise and before we send the entire commuter force on Long Island into a major tizzy,  innocent working people just trying to get to their jobs, before we add another burden on all those good people,  let’s make a mammoth effort to settle. Compromise is what made this country great.  Seems like we’ve forgotten how to do that in recent years.




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New York Jets 2014 Draft- Rounds 4 thru 7

Many of the draft gurus have stated that the JETS 2014 draft may have ben one of the best in the team’s history rivaling the 2000 draft when  they took Chad Pennington, Shaun Ellis, John Abraham and Laveranues Coles.

The new NFL logo went into use at the 2008 draft.

The new NFL logo went into use at the 2008 draft. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This year the team had several holes they needed to fill. They also had a few other other positions where they needed to create competition.  It appears to me that they were extremely successful in both areas


Let’s take a look at what they did with the 12 picks they had this year.  In my post of JUne 9 we looked at the first three rounds.  Let’s turn our sites on rounds 4 thru seven.




It’s been said that the great teams make their living on finding the hidden gems to be found in the later rounds of the NFL draft each year.  Some of thegreatest players in history came via the late rounds with a perfect and glaring example being 6th rounder Tom Brady of the Patriots.  Montana, Marino and many others were middle to late round picks and we know how they turned out.


In the fourth round of this year’s draft the JETS took a very large man.  Dakota Dozier is a 23 year old, 6-4, 313 pound offensive tackle from tiny Furman.  He dominated the competition in his league but scouts questioned his ability to play against the big boys.  When Furman played LSU Dozier more than held his…he excelled…and that raised his draft grade substancially. Draft expert Mel Kiper says, ” Dozier is a player who is really aggressive and is able to generate a ton of power as a run blocker”.  That’s a good thing.  The JETS are looking for aggression and with their offensive backfield of Ivory, Johnson and Powell, run blockers are a good thing to have.  But can Dozier do enough as an every down player?  Can he protect the QB?  Probably not in the beginning.  Like many fourth rounders he’s got the raw skills but they need to be fine tuned.  Most likey he will be playing guard in the NFL after being a tackle in college.  Chances are it’s going to take a while for him to adjust.


In the fifth round the JETS took a real tough guy at inside linebacker.  Jeremiah George from Iowa State is a hard working tackling machine but once again as we reach the later rounds, this player will need seasoning, coaching and time to be a productive NFL player. He’s a bit undersized for the position at 5-11 234 but as Dan Leberfeld’s JETS CONFIDENTIAL Draft issue says “George Loves hitting people. He’s coming in as a backup ILB so Special Teams will be a big part of his job.”  A lot of lesser players tend to make their bones in the NFL running like crazy men down the field on kick returns and punts.  That may be this player’s ticket in.


Rex Ryan loves his corners and he looks for those rare individuals that can play zero coverage out on an island.  The Jets sixth round pick Brandon Dixon is just such a player in Brandon Dixon.  Asked to describe his playing style Dixon said, “I’m a press-man coner. I like to get my hands on on receivers and get physical on the line of scrimmage”. Again his skill set is something the JETS have been looking to acquire but can this sixth round pick make it in the NFL?  Only time will tell.


Lastly with their seventh round pick the JETS selected another wide receiver.  Quincy Enunwa from Nebraska is a large wideout at 6-4 225.  The league seems to be moving in the direction of large wideouts and this player fits the bill. Dan Leberfeld points out that the player has inconsisten hands and though very strong and smart and durable, he will need plenty of work on his route running and catching skills.  Nolan NAwrocki of said  he has the sheer ability to block out corners.  Maybe this player makes it to the practice squad?  The Jets have a great number of receivers out to prove something and make this year’s team.  It won’t be easy with Decker, Nelson, Hill, Kerley plus 4 draft picks ahead of him.  Throw high pick and excellent receiving Tight End Jace Amaro into the mix and there will be quite a bit of competition here.

I think the JETS 2014 Draft will be remember as a successful one but really,  as is always the case, only time and game competition will show us how good a draft it turns out to be.


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Guns Guns Everywhere…My Solution

My solution to the gun situation in America today is so simple that I am amazed that no one else has advanced a similar idea.  Could it be that the people so enamored with firearms (sport shooters, hunters, the NRA etc etc) are so sensitive to any sort of logical and reasonable regulatory idea that they oppose all solutions out of hand because they somehow feel feel threatened?  That’s probably the case though few will admit it.

OK Big Mouth.  What’s your marvelous solution that will end 98% of the gun related problems we face in 2014.



That’s right…treat guns like cars.  When you think about it there are many many similarities.  Allow me to explain.

People love their cars.  They clean and customize them.  They tune ‘em up.  Cars make getting to work their friend’s homes much easier. They enjoy long vacation drives to the ocean or the mountains. To many people cars symbolize FREEDOM.  Americans have had a long love affair with their cars.   Those affluent enough to do so collect them. So in general cars in the hands of reasonable, properly trained people, cars have a positive affect on the people who own them and their families.

People love their guns.  They clean and customize them.  They tune ‘em up so to speak with fancy inscriptions and added accessories. They enjoy target shooting with their pals or a day out the woods hunting. Some people feel safer by having a legal gun in their home. To many people guns symbolize FREEDOM.  Americans have had a long love affair with guns. Those affluent enough to do so collect them. So in general guns in the hands of reasonable, properly trained people, guns have a positive affect on the people who own them and their families.

It is our right to own cars.  It is our right to own guns. But like most things in the world there is the DARK SIDE.

People turn their cars into deadly machines of mayhem.  They drink and drive.  They do drugs and drive. They drive when they are not rested.  They drive with an mean aggressive streak not caring for the safety of the people they share the road with. They drive too fast oblivious to what’s happening around them on the road.  They text and drive.  They talk on cell phones.  Some people have mental illness or physical limitations and shouldn’t be behind the wheel but there they are cruising down the highway. Many people have no insurance.  Many people have no license but they drive illegally anyway. Bad behaviour turns a potentially good thing…a car…into a most deadly device.

People turn their guns into deadly machines of mayhem.  They drink and shoot. They do drugs and carry concealed weapons. They use their guns to portray a mean and aggressive streak not caring for the safety of people around them. Some people have mental illness or physical limitations and shouldn’t be involved with guns but there they are at gun shows getting their hands on them. Many people have no license but they possess illegal guns anyway. Bad behaviour turns a potentially good thing…a gun…into a most deadly device.

So my solution is to TREAT GUNS LIKE CARS.

1-If you really want a gun,  you take a Firearm education course…like Driver’s Ed and learn about guns; their uses and their dangers…just like you do with a car.

2-You take a written test to demonstrate you have some reasonable understanding of what guns are all about and how to properly use them just like you do with cars.

3-Once you pass the written test, you would go to a shooting range and show an instructor/expert that you can actually handle a gun.

4- Then you register your gun.  The fees to register guns will go towards training and education the same as they do with cars.

5-Once registered, you buy an insurance plan the same as you would when you buy a car. Everyone should have a minimum 100-300 policy, so if and when the misuse of a gun occurs,  (either accidental or intentional) and that incident results in harm to property, life and limb, there is an actual price to pay.  This part is open to interpretation but you get the idea. If you are involved with a gun “incident” , you are put into a high risk pool and your rates go up.The monies that higher risk people pay will be divided up amongst the victims of gun violence,  which hopefully will be reduced by implementation of this simple plan. If you are involved in more then 2 “incidents” in a 10 year period of time,  your right to gun ownership in revoked permanently. If you are involved in a gun “incident” that results in someone’s death,  your right to possess a gun is revoked permanently.

5-Make logical “no gun zones” a part of society.  Hospitals, restaurants, stadiums, schools would all be off limits to guns.  You wouldn’t drive your car into a crowded public place on purpose so don’t bring your gun either!

6-If at anytime in your life you have been diagnosed with ANY MENTAL ILLNESS,  your right to posses a gun is revoked permanently.

6-If at anytime in your life you have been convicted of DOMESTIC VIOLENCE (or violence against children)  your right to possess a gun is revoked permanently.

7-If you have been convicted of ANY SERIOUS crime your right to possess a gun is revoked permanently.  If you are caught with a gun after your right has been revoked,  the first offense would be a mandatory 5 year jail sentence.  The second offense 25 years.  Any crime committed with a gun would receive an additional 25 years added to whatever sentence was handed down for the initial crime.

That’s my solution.  TREAT GUNS LIKE CARS.  I’d love to hear what YOU think.


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Guns Guns Everywhere…Is this what the Founding Fathers Really Envisioned?

This is one of the steaming bones of contention in 2014 America.  It’s right up there with abortion, gay rights and immigration reform.  People turn blue in the face, (or red in the face depending on where you are) when this emotional and extremely controversial subject comes up in conversation.  I must admit that through the long list of gun related atrocities that have plagued the country the last 20 years, I’ve had my opinions, sometimes expressed, but oft times kept to myself.  It just another one of those hot button topics that will instantly earn you a label, that will immediately piss off someone within earshot, that will brand you as a progressive thinker or a subverter of the Constitution!  I’ve decided that before I weigh in with my thoughts on guns in America, I’d do a bit of research and see what exactly all the brouhaha is about.

No discussion of guns in America can even begin without an investigation of the 2nd Amendment.  You know that pesky little piece of legislation that the Founding Fathers felt was necessary to be included in the Constitution as an item in the Bill Of Rights.

Cover of "A Well-Regulated Militia: The F...

Cover via Amazon

The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” The exact intent of this language has been debated ad infinitum.  To be sure it was a different world in the America of the late 18th century.  Could the Founding Fathers have envisioned the society that has developed over the last 230 some odd years.  I think not.  Having said that I believe their meaning to be quite clear.  If you need to defend your self against an oppressive government,  you must have the right to bear arms.  If was an interesting and no doubt “revolutionary” idea back then.  When applied to the conditions that exist today it is as outdated as riding horses and keeping slaves.

Cornell University on their web site says,” On the one hand, some believe that the Amendment’s phrase “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms” creates an individual constitutional right for citizens of the United States. Under this “individual right theory,” the United States Constitution restricts legislative bodies from prohibiting firearm possession, or at the very least, the Amendment renders prohibitory and restrictive regulation presumptively unconstitutional.”  This is the argument that is voiced by many on the right and in the conservative camp in today’s political climate.  Cornell continues,” On the other hand, some scholars point to the prefatory language “a well regulated Militia” to argue that the Framers intended only to restrict Congress from legislating away a state’s right to self-defense. Scholars have come to call this theory “the collective rights theory.” A collective rights theory of the Second Amendment asserts that citizens do not have an individual right to possess guns and that local, state, and federal legislative bodies therefore possess the authority to regulate firearms without implicating a constitutional right.” This second interpretation is generally espoused by those on the left and by those who consider themselves progressives or common sense thinkers.

Where exactly did the idea for this even come from?  According to WIKIPEDIA the Second Amendment was “based partially on the right to keep and bear arms in English common-law and was influenced by the English Bill of Rights of 1689″. Sir William Blackstone described this right as an auxiliary right, supporting the natural rights of self-defense, resistance to oppression, and the civic duty to act in concert in defense of the state.

So where does Joe Refano and his big mouth stand on this issue?  Let me say right here that my interpretation sides with the left in that I feel the Constitution sought to protect the people, as represented in their regional states,  from an oppressive centralized government and not to guarantee every citizen the right to carry a firearm.


I believe it doesn’t matter one bit which side of the fence you’re on. Why??? Because what we need is a logical, rational and workable plan that addresses the problem with reasonable solutions.

I HAVE JUST SUCH A PLAN and I will clue you in as to what my solution (s) for the gun violence epidemic in my next posting.




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Taking a Look at the NY JETS 2014 Draft – Rounds 1 thru 4

Many of the draft gurus have stated that the JETS 2014 draft may have ben one of the best in the team’s history rivaling the 2000 draft when  they took Chad Pennington, Shaun Ellis, John Abraham and Laveranues Coles.

This year the team had several holes they needed to fill. They also had a few other other positions where they needed to create competition.  It appears to me that they were extremely successful in both areas

Let’s take a look at what they did with the 12 picks they had this year.

The number one selection was an outstanding defensive player…Calvin Pryor…the hard hitting safety from Louisville.  Dan Leberfeld of JETS CONFIDENTIAL describes Pryor as a “heat seeking missile” with “off the charts toughness”.  But it is obvious to anyone who watched the film of this young man that physicality is only part of the story.  He has great hands for the interception and excellent coverage skills. He covers a whole lot of ground in the defensive backfield.  He’s a true stud safety…something the JETS have not had too much of.  LaRon Landy was only around for a short time and Jim Leonard, though a fine player,  was never an enforcer at the position. Pryor is an exceptional player and I think a great pick for the JETS.  They needed to upgrade the toughness and leadership on the back end of a pretty good defense.

Their second round pick actually solved two problems.  They got a large athletic tough guy tight end with swagger who catches EVERYTHING. 6’5″…265 pounds with 4.7 speed. Not a fun day at th eoffice for defensive backs.  Can you say Gronk?  People have been talking a lot about the JETS’ lack of production at the wide out position.  This pick addresses the need for another big body…the need for a great pair of hands, a safety valve for Geno Smith and a guy who brings a lot of swagger to an offense in desperate need of some production.  Jace Amaro I believe have the chance and ability to be the best tight end the JETS have EVER had bar none.


In the third round the JETS tapped Dexter McDougle and tough speedy corner from Maryland.  His numbers are also impressive in an area the JETS were looking to fortify.  He ran a 4.42 40, showed off a 37 inche vertical leap, a 10-2 broad jump and a 4.18 20. He’s got the tools.  Can Rex mold the young man in his defensive image? We all know about Rex defensive skills and he loves his corners.  I’m sure there will be a steep learning curve for the McDougle as there is for all corner and wide outs coming into the NFL.  How long and how steep?  Only time will tell but the player looks like a good addition to the team.  Rex wants guys who are aggressive and this guy fits the bill

In the first of three fourth round picks the JETS took a speedy elusive wide out in Jalen Saunders from Oklahoma. He’s only 5-9 165 but he can flat out fly.  His moves are fluid and FAST.  He can be productive on quick screens, out of the backfield, reverse plays and he also returns kicks.  According to Terry Bradway, one the JETS draft brain trust,” He’s a dynamic playmaker with the ball in his hands”.  The operative word here is “dynamic”.  The JETS have not had a dynamic player on offense since Santonio Holmes had a great year a few seasons ago for the JETS.  Another name that comes to mind is Leon Washington who lit up the Meadowlands with his running ability.

With their second pick of the fourth round the JETS went wide receiver again but this time they decided on the opposite of Saunders and took a huge guy in Shaq Evans from UCLA. He’s 6-1, 213 and plays more like a tight end than a classic wideout.

With their last pick of the fourth round the JETS took an offensive lineman in Dakota Dozier, a small college player that impressed scouts with hi splay against LSU.  His 313 pounds and 6-4 size didn’t hurt either.  Mel Kiper the draft expert said, “Dozier is a player who is really aggressive and is able to  generate a ton of power as a run blocker”.  Aggressive seems to be one of th ekey words for the JETS these days.  GM John Idzik is looking for people with athletic ability and aggressive playing styles.

We’ll pick up with the later rounds in part two of the JETS 2014 draft review.





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Growing Vegetables- Spring 2014- Part 5

English: Different potato varieties. – The pot...

English: Different potato varieties. – The potato is the vegetable of choice in the United States. On average, Americans devour about 65 kg of them per year. New potato releases by ARS scientists give us even more choices of potatoes to eat. Deutsch: Verschiedene Kartoffelsorten (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you are on Long Island in New York you know that spring is now in full bloom and summer is just a few weeks away.  The weather by and large has been pleasant and pretty good for growing vegetables.  Not too much rain,  not too much heat…just a comfortable mix of the two and the early vegetables have been productive and tasty!


We got our first batched of asparagus and they were delicious.  There were a few “stringy” stalks but by and large it’s been great for the first harvests.  We were told by a friend and awesome gardener Mike to allow some of the stalks to go to seed to strengthen the plants for future years.


We even had some mild success with broccoli rabe this year.  We’ve never had a huge harvest but we did get a couple of dinners out of it this time around.


The lettuce is ALWAYS GREAT on Long Island.  So far we’ve had green and red romaine and ruby red.  It’s readily available as plants or seends from many sources and it’s super easy to grow.


Here I am with armfuls of escarole,  a vegetable that my grandmother always made around holiday time.  Delicious and healthy, great for the digestive system (at least according to the old italians) We cook it up into a soup and freeze it fro a warm tasty delight during the cold winter months.

Now that the early sping is passing us by,  there are other vegetables beginning to make appearances.  Our snow peas are about 12-14 inches high and with a little more rain and a little more warmth we should be seeing peas shortly.  The plants usually make massive amounts of edible pods…some years 50 pounds or more!


This year we put in red skin potatoes.  Only need a few.  We don’t eat a large amount of potatoes but if we get 40-50 that will last all year.  Potatoes arean interesting situation.  As the plants grow you have to continue to bury them in peat moss and straw.  This prompts the plants to make the potatoes in the losse covering above the ground,  and makes it a whole lot easier to pick them come end of season.



English: Different potato varieties. – The pot...

English: Different potato varieties. – The potato is the vegetable of choice in the United States. On average, Americans devour about 65 kg of them per year. New potato releases by ARS scientists give us even more choices of potatoes to eat. Deutsch: Verschiedene Kartoffelsorten (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

bury the red potatoes



Beets and herbs are always easy.  The Long Island environment is perfect.


Most of the herbs are perennial so that’s a bonus.  We have Russian sage, Greek oregano, rosemary and onion grass in the plot.  Later in the year we’ll add basil, parsley and cilantro.  Of course the garlic we planted last September os now 18 inches high and getting ready to be picked the first week of July.


Ok gardeners…get out there and pull those weeds!  Part 6 in a couple of weeks once the tomatoes are larger and the peppers are in.


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If the METS spent half the time improving their team as they do trying to BS their fans into thinking they are going to be a good team, one day they might actually be a good team.

Mets Logo

Mets Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The list of fan grievances is long and paved with the ever constant reminders of management’s blunders and folly. No one could suspect that the Madoff crisis would cripple the team’s ability to field a competent group of players for such a long time.  I listened to Mike Francesca’s show about 2 and a half years ago and listened as the Wilpons promised that the METS would be back and that the plan was to be active in the free market. They out and out lied.  They signed no one and they put out a group made up of basically minor league players.  That might fly in Kansas City or Denver, but in the largest baseball market on Planet Earth it has become an insult to the fans.  It’s become a deep festering wound that refuses to heal because MET management is trying to get by without spending a reasonable amount of cash to create a good baseball team.  In the end it cost Omar Minaya his job.

New York Mets Omar Minaya before a Mets/Devil ...

New York Mets Omar Minaya before a Mets/Devil Rays spring training game at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sooner or later it will end Sandy Alderson’s tenure as GM as well.  This off season we heard nothing but how good the MET situation was.  Plenty of money coming off the books.  Some good players available to mix and match with an upcoming young team tired of losing and ready for success.

Did they address the complete lack of relief pitching?  NO

Did they address their anemic lineup?  NO.  I’m sorry  but one Granderson does not an offense make.

Did they address the absence of a major league shortstop? NO..well actually yes they did,  They decided Tejada was the man rather than bringing in Mr. Drew. Another stupid shortsighted move that could have made a big difference in this year’s team.  Anybody else sick of waiting for next year, next year, next year!??!

And so the yearly swoon METS fans have become accustomed too is visiting Flushing by The Bay yet again this year.  They don’t hit and they don’t stop anyone from hitting.  If they didn’t have the makings of a wonderful starting rotation,  they would be blown out of every game they play.  Sandy Alderson is an

Sandy Alderson

Sandy Alderson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


experienced baseball man who has enjoyed some success in his career.  This is not of his doing.  he is just another pawn in the idiot shell game being played by the Wilpons. This is the nightmare ownership of the METS…the Wilpons…who have done everything they can to wreck New York’s National League franchise. I feel bad for David Wright.  I feel bad for Daniel Murphy.  I feel bad for Matt Harvey.

New York Mets third baseman David Wright befor...

New York Mets third baseman David Wright before a Mets/Devil Rays spring training game at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Great players forced to endure the Mickey Mouse BS perpetrated on them,  and METS fans by their ridiculous owners.  When Sandy Alderson remarked that the METS could win 90 games my first thought was sure…if they extended the season to next March.

Until the METS spend the money necessary to address key holes in the team they will continue to flounder year after year.  The latest buzz is the plan to spend in the free agent market NEXT YEAR when big bats will be available to go with the great young pitching the METS are bringing up. And what will the fan reaction be in 2015 when the lying Wilpons sit on their hands, close the checkbooks and see who blinks first.  If the losing continues this season,  as I suspect it will, it’s going to get a whole lot uglier in Flushing.  The fans know they’ve been lied to consistently and by design by an ownership that gives lip service to winning and then does very little to make it a reality.

And please…enough with the messages from player alumni asking for my continued allegiance. Field a real team and I promise I will support the METS.  Keep playing the B team, and you can be sure to continue to stoke the fans wrath.

Fans Ride LIRR to Mets' 2014 Home Opener

Fans Ride LIRR to Mets’ 2014 Home Opener (Photo credit: MTAPhotos)

They won’t be seeing me in 2014.  Well maybe one game.


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Growing Vegetables-Spring 2014-Part 4

It’s been a rainy cold spring so far…good for something I guess but definitely slowing down the growing process at our farm plot!  It’s also getting in the way of some of the hardening process back at the house.

English: onion

English: onion (Photo credit: Wikipedia)




The lettuce, broccoli rabe, garlic and onions seem to be moving along.  Everything else is taking it’s sweet time.  We’ve had just enough sun and just enough so-so days that things are growing but very slowly.

We did get our first batch of asparagus this week. After all the hard work with the bed and the planting, mulching and organic material,   that was pretty exciting!  There are quite a few new spears coming up as well so hopefully this will be a great year and they will continue to produce into the fall season. The broccoli rabe we picked tasted pretty good and we also got some onion grass and ruby red lettuce.  This week the Long Island weather forecast calls for several days in the 70′s so I’m expecting things to really get rolling.  The beets and potatoes are just starting to show signs.

Rapini and Preserved Vegetable

Rapini and Preserved Vegetable (Photo credit: Laurel F





In the house we’ve been working on the bok choy, bell peppers and 3 different kinds of tomatoes.  I have a small portable greenhouse that we use to get the seeds started.  They are now about 5-6 inches tall.  Each day for the last 2 weeks I’ve been placing the trays of plants out back so they are exposed to the weather outside to get them “hardened”.  It’s been a bit of a chore this season because I didn’t want to shock the plants by exposing them to too much cold raw weather…it’s been windy too…which could damage the young plants.  They should be ready to go into the ground last week of May when any possible chance of frost will be gone from this area. These plants aren’t too thrilled with cold weather and frost is a definite no-no.

During the past two weeks we’ve put in quite a few hours at the farm plot rebuilding the blueberry cage that was damaged during this rough winter we had.  Also replaced the fence around the plot and did some work bringing in fresh manure and mulch. Didn’t want too many of our furry friends to be feasting on our lettuce !


More after the tomatoes are in!



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Onions and Potatoes-Spring 2014-Part 3

Onions and Potatoes-Spring 2014-Part 3.

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