Growing Garlic- 5 Reasons Why You Should

Is it possible to have a favorite herb? Maybe, but I haven’t been able to choose one yet. BUT, Garlic is definitely one herb I won’t ever be without.

How to grow garlic and five reasons you should.

A- garlic- bulb- that -has- been- harvested -and -is -ready- to -be used. -Garlic- has- a -dry -paper-like- skin -once -it -has- been- harvested- and -dried
A garlic bulb that has been harvested and is ready to be used.

Five Reasons to Grow Garlic:

  • Garlic is an anti-bacterial– there are many studies that show how garlic combats harmful bacteria. You can read one study done on the effectiveness of garlic against bacteria in food that would cause the consumer to get sick. The extract of the garlic kills and/or inhibits the pathogen from multiplying.
  • Garlic is anti-viral– long before the Coronavirus became national and global news, there were and are many virus that attack the respiratory system as well as all the systems of the body. As you may know, a virus cannot be killed by an anti-biotic. Also, by nature a virus will mutate as it spreads making vaccinations largely ineffective. So, with studies showing naturally occurring compounds in garlic to be effective against the respiratory diseases, garlic an incredibly valuable herb.
  • Garlic is anti-fungal– when it comes to fungus, there are few that we really welcome into our lives. Mushrooms being the most popular. There are also fungi that wreak havoc on our bodies and Candida albicans is one of the most common. The natural compound Allicin is a powerful compound and can neutralize the fungi.
  • Garlic is delicious- When it comes to bringing flavor to the party, garlic is a heavy hitter. The more the merrier, I always say. It goes great with lots of food, one of my favorite dishes is a French dish of scalloped potatoes.
  • Garlic keeps Vampires at bay- Now, I know vampires are lore, but after the previous two years- why not just cover all our bases? For centuries, garlic has been said to have supernatural powers. This stems from the fact that during the plague, garlic mongers did not get sick. So, folks deduced that it must be the garlic and they began to wear bulbs of garlic around their necks to ward off the evil spirits that made you sick. We now know that it was all those anti-microbial qualities of garlic that we discussed above that kept the garlic mongers from getting sick.
a-beautiful-garlic-bloom
Nothing Prettier Than A Garlic Plant In Bloom

As we get out and about now selling our herbs a Farmer’s Markets and Garden Festivals, I am frequently asked if I have any garlic.  When I ask questions to clarify just what the customer is looking for, I am surprised that they are looking for seedlings so that they can grow their own Garlic.  How marvelous!  Just one problem…

If you want to grow garlic in Texas or anywhere in the South, you need to plant is in September or October, the same with strawberries- but that is a whole other blog and soapbox.  Once planted in the early fall, the bulbs will sprout and grow all winter long then in June or so, the tops will start to turn brown and it is time to harvest.  Yes, no matter where you live garlic takes that long to grow.  But, it is so worth it and it really is easy.

How To Grow Garlic

To get started, you will need something to plant- right?  Garlic can be purchased in the store as a bulb.  In that bulb are many cloves.  Each clove when planted will produce another bulb and the cycle just keeps going.  So, once you purchase your garlic you will not ever need to purchase more, just save some cloves from your harvest and you will be good to go.  You can plant the garlic from the grocer or you can order from a seed company.  If you order from a seed company you will know exactly what variety you are getting and in the supermarket you will have no idea.  I have planted plenty from the grocer and did just fine but ordering from an organic grower means you know what you are getting.

Two suppliers that I like to order from are:

Baker’s Creek

Southern Exposure Seed Exchange

The looser the ground, the better for growing garlic.  However, I have grown in clay and done fine.  Just dig a little whole twice as deep as the clove is long and plant the clove pointy end up.  Then wait.  You can inter plant with something like lettuce that has a shallow root system to make use of the open soil and double your harvest from the same square footage.  For the best harvest, you will need to water- but no more than you would for any other crop. One inch once a week is perfect.

Laying- Out- the- Garlic- cloves -in -prepared -soil.
Laying Out the Garlic cloves in prepared soil.
bright- green- leaves -of -the- young -garlic- plants
Young Garlic Plants

You will know when to harvest by the fact that the stalks have bloomed and now are beginning to turn brown.  Use a pitch fork or something similar to loosen the soil.  Gently pull the garlic up.  Spread the stalks on a dry and flat surface and let the cure (dry out a bit and the outer “paper” will dry).  Garlic can by stored for the better part of the year easily meaning that if you plant enough you will never need to buy garlic again.

Some-varieties-of-garlic-have-beautiful-purple-stripes-like-these-pictures
Gorgeous- inside and out!

Regardless of why you grow garlic- for use as a natural medicine or to create culinary masterpieces- Happy Planting!

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5 Reasons Rosemary Should Grow In Your Garden

Upright Rosemary

“What’s your favorite herb?”

This is probably the question I am asked most often.  I couldn’t pick a favorite herb- possibly a Top 10 list, but never a favorite.

Rosemary is an herb that would ALWAYS be on this list and very likely in the #1 spot.  The reasons are many- from ease of growing to the powerful medicinal benefits- but for sake of time, I will narrow it down to five reasons you will love Rosemary.

5 Reasons To Grow Rosemary

#1 Rosemary loves heat.

I have always gardened in Texas and it is ALWAYS hot in the summer.  Rosemary doesn’t care, in fact- it likes it!  Because Rosemary hails from hot, arid conditions in Northern Africa and the Mediterranean, its DNA makes it perfect for Texas gardens and the great majority of the United States. This is definitely an herb that should be a foundation of your herb garden.

#2  Rosemary Protects Against Alzheimer’s

Rosemary may also become useful in preventing and treating Alzheimer’s disease in the near future. Researchers have discovered that certain phytochemicals in the herb prevent the degradation of acetylcholine, an important brain chemical needed for normal neurotransmission. A deficiency of this chemical is commonly seen in Alzheimer’s patients.  See full article here

I, personally, am not waiting for all the test results, I have started including rosemary in our family’s diet on a daily basis.  An easy way to use rosemary medicinally is in a tincture.

#3 Rosemary Makes A Great Hedge

Rosemary can be utilized as a shrub.  If you are feeling creative, rosemary can be shaped into topiary.  But more simply, plant as a hedge and trim like any other landscape hedge- except save the clippings and make a tincture!

Rosemary is heat and drought tolerant so it saves on water usage.  Very few pest or fungal problems exist with rosemary.

It blooms!  Very pretty light blue flowers appear in spring and continue for several weeks.  Some years, rosemary will bloom again in the fall.

#4 Bees LOVE Rosemary

Its becoming common knowledge (THANK GOD) that our bee population is in trouble and if the bees go, we go.  Two of every three bites we eat are pollinated by bees.  As we have said, Rosemary needs little care and won’t need spraying of any kind to look beautiful, so it is a great choice for feeding bees, butterflies and a whole host of beneficial insects.  So, plant some rosemary for the bees.  Don’t worry about getting stung, the bees have way too much work to do to worry over you.

#5 Rosemary Will Make You A Great Cook

Well, I may be over-selling rosemary’s abilities just a bit. However, it can’t hurt.  Rosemary can transform a dull chicken or homely sweet potato into something fantastic with very little effort.  Just sprinkle the chopped rosemary in the pot and – VIOLA!

Not only does rosemary taste great, but by adding it to your food you are taking advantage of the health benefits and those are many:

“Indigestion

Rosemary leaf is used in Europe for indigestion (dyspepsia) and is approved by the German Commission E, which examines the safety and efficacy of herbs.

Muscle and joint pain

Applied topically (to the skin), rosemary oil is sometimes used to treat muscle pain and arthritis and improve circulation. It is approved by the German Commission E for these purposes.

Alopecia

Historically, rosemary has been used to stimulate hair growth. In one study of 84 people with alopecia areata (a disease in which hair falls out, generally in patches), those who massaged their scalps with rosemary and other essential oils (including lavender, thyme, and cedarwood) every day for 7 months experienced significant hair regrowth compared to those who massaged their scalps without the essential oils. But the study was not well designed, and it is impossible to say whether rosemary caused the hair growth.

Neutralize food-borne pathogens

Several studies show that rosemary inhibits food-borne pathogens like Listeria monocytogenesB. cereus, and S. aureus.

Improve memory or concentration

Rosemary is often used in aromatherapy to increase concentration and memory, and to relieve stress. One study suggests that rosemary, combined with other pleasant-smelling oils, may lower cortisol levels and help reduce anxiety. Another study found that the use of lavender and rosemary essential oil sachets reduced test taking stress in graduate nursing students.

Cancer

Several studies suggest that rosemary extract may inhibit tumor growth by preventing cancerous cells from replicating. One study found that rosemary, on its own and in combination with curcumin, helped prevent breast cancer. A second study found similar effects of rosemary on colon cancer cells.” Article here

So, you see, Rosemary should really be in your garden or at least in a pot on your patio!

I am also sure that you understand that I am NOT a doctor nor have I tried to diagnose or treat any of your ailments.

Bee on the Rosemary Bloom herb
upright-rosemary.jpg

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Dividing Perennials- Now Is The Time

Fall- the perfect time to divide perennials in the South.

Gorgeous- pink- crinums- in -Galveston- Texas- in- front- of- a -beautiful -front -porch -
Pink Crinums blooming in Galveston Texas

Fall is a great time of the year to thin out perennials that grew over the summer season.

In the lives of perennials, there comes a time when division is needed.  The plant has gotten too dense for the area in which it lives and it is time to make more plants.  These are often referred to as “pass-along plants” because they are easy to pass a division on to a friend.  

Dividing Perennials

To divide a perennial it is best to dig the plant out of the ground.  This way you can make more cuts producing more plants with far less damage.

Once the plant is out of the ground, clean as much dirt off as possible and cut the vegetation back by at least half.  Take your knife and cut down through the crown (the point at which the root system and the vegetation meet) and then separate the roots and continue cutting.

You can make as many cuts as you like, but cuts with a good thick part of the crown, plenty of roots, and vegetation will recover quicker.

To divide a cluster of bulbs or rhizomes, you simply dig up the bulbs or rhizomes and pull them apart.  The dug bulbs and rhizomes can be transplanted to another bed or spread around the existing area.

Materials Needed:

  • Sharpshooter Shovel or Other Shovel
  • Knife
  • Pruning Shears
  • Water
  • Pots (if plant is to be potted)

Now you have more plants to expand your gardens or to share. To share with a friend, simply bag them up and send them along.  If your friend lives far away, wrap the bulbs and/or rhizomes in damp newspaper to keep the plant material from drying out.  Just drop them in the mail and your friend will be happy to check the mailbox.

If you are new to gardening, you might like learning about herbs and about choosing plants for the shade. Often times, designing gardens for shady areas can be a challenge. New gardeners are often interested in knowing how to make trouble spots work. Choosing the right plants for shade is a lot easier when you have some basic information to start with in the beginning. Herbs are also a subject that a lot of new gardeners ask about, they are such fascinating plants.

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Lettuce Get Planting! How To Grow Lettuce In Texas

Growing Lettuce in Texas and Varieties of Lettuce That Grow Well In The Heat

organic- Leafy-green-winter-density-lettuce-grown-in-a-raised-bed
Winter Density Lettuce

Why Grow Lettuce

There are some nasty rumors going around about lettuce.  I hear that it is really hard to grow with lots of insect problems.  It has also been said that lettuce grown in Texas tastes bitter because of the heat.  Lies, all of them.

The misinformation comes from the fact that  the instructions on the back of seed packets and those great little farming magazines are written for folks living in the areas of the country that actually have four seasons and one growing season.  Now do not misunderstand me, I love my gardening magazines, but the time lines do not line up.

Welcome to Texas Gardening.  There is a rhythm to gardening in Texas that is as unique as our Texas spirit.  Once you learn the rhythm you will be amazed at what you can grow.

However, for now we will focus on lettuce and its cousins.  It perturbs me to no end to have to purchase greens of any kind in the grocery store.  Homegrown greens are so easy and tasty!  Also, it is so much easier to have a bed of lettuce and just go pick you some whenever you want, than to have to go to the store when you want a salad.  If you are like me, lots of times what’s for dinner is not something planned very far in advance.  So, having items growing in the garden to have on hand is just the ticket.

One of the perks about lettuce and all the other greens, such as arugula, chard, spinach, etc. is that they can by eaten at all stages.  Baby greens make for a scrumptious salad or sandwich.  Many people, like my children, do not like mature spinach but love baby spinach.  So, while the plants are growing you can pick the outer leaves and enjoy the garden abundance for many weeks.  The greens( the term greens refers to all types of lettuce, herbs, kale, greens, spinach etc)  do not take a lot of space.  One 5X12  foot bed of greens will keep my family of 6 in fresh greens.

You can even tuck lettuce plants into a container!

Spring- flowers- and-lettuce-in -a -container -garden- fertilized- with- compost
Spring Container with blooming flowers and lettuce.

Lettuce Myths Busted

First, that lettuce is hard to grow.  Not so, you just have to know when to plant it.  If you read many of the labels on lettuce sold in Texas, the labels  say to plant after all danger of frost has passed.  The problem with this is that if you wait that long in Texas you can have as little as 2 weeks until the temps are consistently in the mid- 80′s.  The proper planting times in Texas are February- April and September- December.  Lettuce is a cool season crop.  When most areas of the country are having dead of winter, we are having our cool season.   When we have had a mild winter, I harvest greens from September until June.  That is only 2 months of store-bought greens in a year.  That makes my heart happy! Most lettuce varieties,as well as spinach and collard greens, can stand temperatures down to 23′ degrees.  Some winters we don’t even get that cold once so you can have a productive garden all winter.

Second lie- lettuce has many insect problems. Now there are certain worms- Cabbage Loppers for example- that do like lettuce.  However, these are easily dispatched with Bt.  Bt- (Bacillus thuringiensis) is a naturally occurring bacterial disease that only attacks caterpillars.  Bt is organic and you can eat the produce with no worries that synthetic pesticides bring.  There are other insects that can be a problem at times, but I have found in my gardens that Bt is all I need to keep things in balance.  Also, there are other methods of insect control, but again the Bt is simple, easy and effective so that is what I use.  You can find it at most hardware and garden supply stores.  If you have fertile soil fed and amended with organic compost and fertilizers, most other insects won’t pose a large problem.

Third Lie- lettuce grown in Texas tastes bitter- hogwash.  Again, you just need to know when to plant and what varieties to plant.  The types that are considered “slow to bolt” are the best for planting in the spring.  Bolting refers to sending up a conical shaft with blooms that will produce seeds.  Warm weather signifies to the lettuce that it is time to make seeds.  So, those lettuces that are slow to bolt will be the most tolerant of warm weather.  While you are looking in seed catalogs for heirloom selections (heirloom refers to varieties that will reproduce consistently if the seeds are saved) look for ones that were developed in Louisiana, Arkansas, Texas- of course- or Israel.  These areas have climates similar to ours and those varieties will usually do well here for the spring planting.  Look for varieties labeled “Cool season” or “cold tolerant” on the lettuces, these will be the ones for planting in the fall.  When it comes to the spinach, swiss chard, and kale- these are not even stopped by a freeze so they will grow all winter.

lettuce in compost raised beds
Tom’s Thumb Lettuce with Spinach, Kale, and Herbs

Some of my favorite varieties of lettuce are:

For Fall Planting:

  • Black Seeded Simpson,
  • Drunken Woman,
  • Tom Thumb,
  • Oakleaf

For Spring Planting:

  •  Oakleaf,
  • Jericho- awesome,
  • Tom Thumb

Spinach- Longstanding Bloomsdale is great year round.

Most of your annual herbs like dill, Salad Burnett, chives are best planted on the same schedule as lettuce.
I like to sow the seeds in wide beds.  I thin the seedlings and use them in salads as baby greens.  Keep the lettuce or greens watered one inch once per week and a little shade is very helpful for extending the growing season in the summer.  The seeds usually germinate and emerge in 7-10 days.

So there you have it- the truth about lettuce. 

Now what are you waiting for?  September is coming to a close and October is upon us,  I can just taste the homegrown lettuce now.

Lettuce- and- Greens- in -Bushel -Baskets-organically-grown
Lettuce and Greens in Bushel Baskets

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Where To Eat In Galveston, Texas

Miller’s Seawall Grill- Where To Eat In Galveston!

So, I want to tell you about my favorite restaurant in Galveston. But then again, I don’t. I like knowing the local spots and if any more people find out about this gem, then I will have to wait longer. But then again, I live here full time and I can eat when all the tourist have gone home and the island settles into the off-season.

Here it is- Miller’s Seawall Grill

Their gumbo is the best on the island. A cool thing they do is to offer samples before you order. This way, you know you like it before you order. And that is great because gumbo is a controversial kind of food. How ever your grandma made it- that is the way it should be. But everybody’s grandmother makes gumbo differently. Its one of those types of foods that there isn’t a recipe written in stone, you just add a bit of this and a pinch of that. That is what makes comfort food comfort food and Miller’s has plenty of choices if the gumbo is not your first choice.

The waffles they serve are the best I have ever had in my life! Seriously, they are fluffy and crisp on the edges. They serve it with melted butter and syrup. Yeah, not gonna lose weight on this meal, but you will enjoy it all the way down to your toes. They serve breakfast all day. My husband and I love to share the Moby Dick breakfast platter (it comes with the above mentioned waffle).

The rest of the menu is so good. Lots of comfort food and basic seafood- all of it cooked well. The fish is great grilled or fried, same for the shrimp. If you are not a seafood lover, that is okay. Their chicken fried stead is huge and delicious. The au gratin potatoes are yummy and my preferred side of choice. Dinner plates are about $13.00 and that, my friend, is a steal on the island.

Not only is the food scrumptious, but the atmosphere is incredible. Sherry, the owner, and her staff are awesome. The design of the restaurant allows every table to have a view of the water. The location on Seawall means that you can enjoy the views of the water while you wait for your table. During the summer and most weekends year-round, there will be a wait of at least 30 minutes and as much as an hour and a half. But the wait is worth it.

One day, I might share a local hack so that you know where to eat that doesn’t have the long waits that the Seawall locations have, but not today.

Any of these restaurants above are kid-friendly if you are traveling with children. While there might not be a kid’s menu, there are definitely foods on the menu that kids love. Galveston Island is a very family friendly and kid friendly place, the food scene is no different. Miller’s does offer a children’s menu and my grands love the shrimp, mac & cheese, and calamari.

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Leo’s Cajun Corner

Where to eat in Galveston: Leo’s Cajun Corner

If you are looking for local eats with a Cajun flair- Leo’s Cajun Corner is the place!  You know you are in the right kind of place when you pull up and you can see the smoker going and wood piled all around.

This shop is small but packs big flavor.  Leo’s offers ribs, brisket, sausage, and more by the pound, but have great choices for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

I picked up a shrimp po’boy for lunch and it was the best I have ever had.  And I have eaten a LOT of po’boys.  The slaw on the sandwich paired with the spicy, lightly breaded shrimp was scrumptious.  I ate it all.

If you’ve never had boudin balls, you are missing out.  I had never had one until I moved to Galveston- now my life is changed.  Those deep-fried, spicy nuggets are the things I dream of when I want food I am not supposed to eat- which is often. 

We’ve also eaten there for breakfast and had a breakfast bowl and a toaster.  Just simple, basic food that tasted fabulous.  One of the best things about eating at Leo’s is that the food is, well- cheap.  Not in the way it’s made or the portion sizes, but the price.  On an island that can be a bit pricey because of the tourism, Leo’s is a nice surprise.

You’ll find Leo’s Cajun Corner at 3201 Broadway Avenue J, Galveston, TX 77550.  Next time you crave a little kick in your belly but want to keep some green in your wallet- give them a try!

If you are vacationing on the island check out these other local favorites:

Any of these restaurants above are kid-friendly if you are traveling with children. While there might not be a kid’s menu, there are definitely foods on the menu that kids love. Galveston Island is a very family friendly and kid friendly place, the food scene is no different. Miller’s does offer a children’s menu and my grands love the shrimp, mac & cheese, and calamari.

All of these restaurants are kid friendly if you are traveling with children. The food scene in Galveston is amazing and one the best parts of calling Galveston, Texas home. You can find out more about Galveston in Texas Travels categories such as the Galveston Train Museum. There is so much to do on this island and fun for all ages. Foodies, surfers, writers and more call this place home.

If you call the island home, what are your favorite places to eat?

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Where To Eat In Galveston- Taquilo’s Tex-Mex Cantina

Tex-Mex in Galveston is just as good as the seafood when you Eat Local.

The Post Office district of the Strand is an eclectic mix of elegance, island vibes, excellent shopping, and even more excellent eats.

Neon-sign-for-taquillos-texmex-cantina-in-galveston-texas-at-sunset
Excellent Tex-Mex in Galveston on Post Office St.

Taquilo’s is a fun Mexican cantina with terrific food.  The Mexican food is Tex-Mex but with a fresh twist and cooked perfectly.

The tacos al carbon were filled with tender steak with the perfect char wrapped in homemade tortillas.  The guacamole is fresh and made in-house.  The menu was extensive and offered plenty of seafood options- I mean you are in Galveston, after all.  Everything we ordered was fresh, flavorful, and scrumptious. Crispy tacos, enchiladas, charro beans, refried beans, chips and salsa- we ate it all! Of course, the offer fajitas, quesadillas and so much more.

There is outdoor seating as well as inside.  Most of the year, sunset and early evening is the best time to sit outside. It is such a cool vibe as the neon lights start to come on and the nightlife begins to awaken on Post Office Street. In the cooler times of the year, it is great to sit outside at all times of the day.

The bar is full service, and the staff is so friendly and professional. 

The Strand is an historic area of the island. The Post Office District is an area of the Strand with lots of great eating at local eateries and shopping in unique shops.

If you are looking for more great eating in Galveston, check these local eats out:

Any of these restaurants above are kid-friendly if you are traveling with children. While there might not be a kid’s menu, there are definitely foods on the menu that kids love. Galveston Island is a very family friendly and kid friendly place, the food scene is no different. Miller’s does offer a children’s menu and my grands love the shrimp, mac & cheese, and calamari.

If you are vacationing in Galveston, you won’t be disappointed with the great food that you will find on this island. If you live here, the local food scene will quickly become one of your favorite aspects of being an Islander By Choice (IBC). If you are traveling with children, all of these restaurants are kid friendly. Taquilo’s is a dog friendly restaurant as there is outdoor seating.

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Making A Hog Waterer From PVC Pipe

PVC Pig Waterer DIY

If you have ever had a pig on your place, then you know how much they love to wallow in mud.  Pigs love it so much they will dump their drinking water over to enjoy the fun of wallowing.  The problem- they have no water to drink, except the muddy stuff.  The muddy water seems to suit the pigs fine, but as a person who wants to provide the best for the animals in my care, it doesn’t suit me.

The challenge is that pigs are so strong that they can flip a trough weighing hundreds of pounds like it was a marshmallow.  The choices you are left with is securing a concrete water trough that is about as heavy as the Titanic or going with an automatic system. 

The concrete waterer is not an option because:

1. Because my husband refuses to move anything that heavy without a tractor and we don’t have a tractor.

 2. I like to move the pigs around to till new ground for me and we don’t have a tractor. 

So, that left us with an automatic type of waterer.

There are several ways of using automatic waterers, but again because I want to be able to move the pens around, I decided on a PVC type waterer.  I have seen these many times at livestock shows made out of green PVC and being about 2 1/2 feet tall and about 4 inches in diameter.  The pigs bite the water valve and water flows out.  When the pig stops biting on the valve the water stops.  This means that a pig’s pen can be kept dry if needed. 

The waters are wired into the corner of the pen eliminating the pig from being able to flip it over.  I do not have any intention of denying our pig the joy of wallowing in mud, so I will fill the hole dug by said pig with water just for fun.

In the following pictures, you will notice that my pipe is not green but white.  Also, I chose the heaviest grade of pipe available, 8 inches in diameter and 5 feet in length.  This is because I do not want to fill this everyday and I thought the heavy grade pipe would have a longer life as pigs can be very rough.  The water valves were purchased at our feed store but sometimes these can be hard to find but you can order them here. The other supplies came from the local hardware store.  I purchased a 10 ft piece of pipe and had the store cut it into 2 pieces along with 2 caps to fit each pipe.  All total I spent about $55.00 and will have two waterers when done.

To construct a waterer:

PVC Pig waterer- PVC Pipe with watering nipple inserted

About 6 inches from the bottom of the pipe (the cap is about 4 inches deep) drill a hole using a drill bit with a circular saw blade attached to it.  This bit cuts a circle, a hole in the pipe.  The hole should be just a bit bigger than the nipple valve.  The valve has threads on it so that you can insert it into the hole and screw it in.  The bit I used was the same size as the valve because the next size up in the bit department was bigger than the valve.  So, I used the drill and bit to wallow out the hole some by just drilling around the edge until it was large enough.  Being that I have small hands and not enough strength to manhandle much more than a small goat- I gripped the valve with a pair of vice grips so that I had enough leverage to screw in the valve.  This is the hardest part- which was not that hard.

cleaning PVC pipe so that the glue will adhere and the pig waterer will not leak.
alcohol is also used to clean the PVC pipe and the cap so the pig waterer will not leak

After the valve is in, the pipe needs to be cleaned to prepare them for the plumbers cement and putty.  If the cap and pipe are not cemented together the water will leak out. Also, the valve needs plumber’s putty to keep it from leaking.  First, I cleaned the pipe and cap with orange oil and vinegar to get all the dirt off.  The orange oil was followed by alcohol so that the surface would be super clean and dry faster.  When you are trying to glue anything, dirt and moisture are not your friend.

Plumbers putty rolled into a snake to seal the nipple waterer into the pig waterer

For the valve: scope out about a quarter’s worth of putty and roll it into a snake (think play-dough and preschool).

wrapping the valve with the putty snake
water valve with the plumber's putty all smoothed out

Wrap the snake around the valve where it meets the pipe.  Then, press the putty down pressing out all air bubbles and smoothing the edges.  There were no directions on my tub I just had to guess at it.  Also, I thought I would have to wait until it hardened then I read on the tub that it never hardens.  So, I wasn’t really sure if this would work, but it did.

Inside the pipe

I did the same thing on the inside of the pipe- just to be certain.  This is what the other end of the water valve looks like.  As you can see, there are threads and a screen to keep debris out of the water valve.

plumber's cement that will be used to glue the PVC pieces together on the pig waterer
spreading the cement

Whereas the plumbers putty was labeled as completely harmless, the cement was plastered with warnings.  One of the warnings was not to breath the fumes.  I find it sad that that warning had to be printed.  The fumes are awful and it was obvious that I should not stand too close.  The lid of the cement has a little ball on it for spreading.  Generously spread the cement on the pipe all the way around.

spreading cement on the lid as well as the pipe

Do the same on the bottom cap.  Then put the bottom cap on the pipe, you may need to use a hammer to tap the cap down. DO NOT glue the top cap on, this is where you will fill the water later.

Pig waterer supplies

An ingredient recap-

Tools

  • drill,
  • drill bit with circular saw blade
  • hammer
  • vice grips
PVC Pig Waterer
PVC Pig Waterer

Once all the pieces and joints are clean and dried, now is the time to fill the waterer up! Simply remove the top cap (the one you did NOT glue on) and fill with a water hose.

As we have used these waterers, we have found that they work best in pens with a single pig. With multiple pigs, even with multiple waterers, they fight over the favorite waterer and this gets ugly. So, if you are raising a feeder pig or using a pig for garden tilling in a mobile pen, these work great.

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Compliments To The Chef is FREE today!

A free romance novel for you!

Today is my birthday and I LOVE a day of reading. I thought you might like a free day of reading, too!

Compliments to the Chef is free today and available on Amazon.

Cover -photo -of -romance -novel- Compliments- to -the -Chef

Enjoy! Be sure to leave a review and share!

You can also find more books here.

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Holly- K. -Ross,- where -happily -ever -after -is- a- way -of -life.-Writer- on -Galveston -Island

The Blessing of ADHD From An Adult Living Happily With It

ADHD & Adulting

So, I may have mentioned in previous posts that I have returned to college to finish that psych degree that I started 30 years ago. I am loving the classes and subject matter just as much as I did all those years ago.

BUT, I am taking some huge issues with the diagnosis and prognosis for those with ADD or ADHD. I have no issue with diagnosing people with ADD or ADHD- it is REAL and I know what I am talking about because I have it. I was not diagnosed as a child because mine expressed itself as day dreaming mostly and I was labeled a ditz versus ADHD and I am so grateful for that mistake. But, I have huge issues with saying that the way these brains work is a flaw.

The reason I am grateful is that if I had been properly diagnosed I would have been “properly” labeled and fed a total load OF CRAP. Like that fact that I would always struggle with keeping a job or wouldn’t have friends. I do not argue with the fact that my brain operates differently than other brains. I do not argue the fact that interpersonal relations are difficult at times but theses differences are not necessarily bad, they are just different.

My brain is VERY active and I do have trouble sitting still for long periods of time.

So, what?

Yes, to the classroom setting or certain job settings this can be a problem- not for me but for the others who have set ideas about what makes for a good student or employee.

I produce a LOT, much more than the average person BECAUSE I have ADHD. In the course of writing this article, I will have gotten up from the desk no less than three times. BUT, in those moments when I had to get up and move- I washed and folded three loads of laundry, emptied the de-humidifier, watered my plants, and sent three texts. Let’s also not forget that while I was physically active, my brain was putting what I wanted to say in order. I was crafting my response to the information I am reading and thinking about what I wanted to say to those of you who share in the blessing of ADHD or are parenting a child with ADHD. Remember, my brain is NEVER still.

While I write, I wear earbuds so that the hyperactive side of my brain is busy so the other side can write.

Another falacy in the preception of hyperactivity is that we can’t focus. This is completely UNTRUE. I can focus but I have to really be into what I am doing. When I am writing fiction, reading, being creative, gardening or any other one of my passions, I can focus so intensely that I do not hear a thing that goes on around me.

Some see this as a flaw- why?

Because I am different from the average that makes me flawed? Nope, that makes me unique.

Stop framing these people that operate differently than the average as flawed. Just because a kid does not perform well in school is not a sign that they lack intelligence. More than likely they perform poorly because they are more intelligent than the average and are not interested in what you are teaching. Or, they need the material presented in a different form.

Saying that those with ADHD have memory deficits is also a lie when applied as a generality. I have an amazing memory. If I read it, I can remember it. If I write it, I can remember it. If it is interesting to me and I hear it, I can remember it. However, I can forget an appointment because I was engrossed in a project. This is not a memory problem. If I find you boring, I won’t remember you or what you said. Not because I have a memory problem but because you are uninteresting. Furthermore, just because I am doodling on my paper it does not mean that I am not paying attention. I won’t lie, I found it insanely satisfying when a teacher tried to put me on the spot by calling me out and asking me to repeat what she just said. Yes, I was doodling and “not paying attention” in your world, but in my world? I heard every word and could repeat it back to you. Which I did, much to their consternation.

How about instead of trying to force every human to learn a certain way, we attempt to teach in a way that engages the brightest of minds and encourages the celebration of differences.

If you believed what you were told as a child concerning your brain, reject it now. Lean how to yoke your strengths and compensate where you are struggling. For instance, wear earbuds and listen to music when you need to concentrate. Choose a job that allows you to be physically active if you need it. Set timers on your phone so you can remember important dates and times.

But, for the love of God, do not put your beautiful, active mind into a boring box that pleases society because you no longer challenge the “norms”.

I acknowledge that to be a friend or family member of mine comes with some challenges. I might forget your anniversary date, this DOES NOT mean that I am not stinking proud that you have built a beautiful marriage against all odds. I might forget your birthday, but this DOES NOT mean that I am not glad that you exist. Because my thought process are randomized, you may get unexpected notes in the middle of the year as a total surprise. But here is the thing, I have to accept you and all your flaws, as well if we are going to have a relationship.

I guess the thing that just irritates me to the point of desired violence is that the basis of a diagnosis of ADHD is based on that human performs based on society’s norms. How many times has society gotten it wrong? Really, do we even want every person able to sit quietly in a room for hours and never have moments of passion in which they can’t control themselves? How boring.

I would like to qualify my thoughts with the fact that I understand that there is a range of intensity in which the symptoms express themselves. I also understand that medication is needed at times. I am not judging on the choices that people are making, I am simply stating that if we framed it differently, we would see the gifts in these brains versus what is “wrong”.