Live Life Outside Monthly Digest
I’ve been informed by a reader that an old Farmer’s Almanac says the dog days of summer are from July 11th till August 3rd, for 40 days; of course piquing my curiosity, I had to investigate a little further…
August Issue 2020
The Farmer’s Almanac has a fascinating history and kept me entertained. Here are a few things directly related to the Almanac about the dog-days; the poem first:
Dog Days bright and clear, Indicate a happy year;
But when accompanied by rain, for better times, our hopes are vain.
“…the period of sweltering weather coincides with the year’s heliacal (sunrise) rising of Sirius, the Dog Star, which is part of the constellation Canis Majoris. Not including our own sun, Sirius is the brightest star in the sky.” The article can be found in full on www.almanac.com, then in the search bar enter: dog days of summer. You’ll find the full article with some interesting artwork and links to watch the video on the Dog Days and the Dog Star. You can also order a copy of the 2021 Almanac in late August for $7.99 plus shipping from the website. We always see it in the hardware store, but honestly haven’t owned a copy. I’m trying it this coming year, let us know if you do too. The new addition will mark the 229th year of continuous publication, the oldest U.S. periodical and they boast an 80% accurate weather forecast.
“Dog days are approaching; you must, therefore, make both hay and haste while the Sun shines, for when old Sirius takes command of the weather, he is such an unsteady, crazy dog, there is no dependence upon him.” -The Old Farmer’s Almanac, 1817
Summer’s Herb Bounty
Fresh mint from our herb garden.
I love mint and I’ve been carrying around the same basic plant my Grandmother gave me 20 years ago; transplanting, giving away, propagating, cutting back… so many mint adjectives. Mint is a rhizome; which means it has a central root system and sends out smaller feelers that continuously re-plant themselves as it goes along underground. So be warned, it can take over! We have reclaimed cedar 4 X 4’s as our herb box perimeter. We use a lot of pressure-treated pine in our line of work, but for herbs and edibles, NEVER use pressure-treated pine, the process of pressure treating wood is done with chemicals and should never come in contact with anything edible. Natural woods such as cedar are perfect. Here are a few of my favorite uses for my ever-increasing mint crop:
- Cut to use in flower vases in the kitchen. Mint stays green for a long time, is a good filler with flowers, entices your appetite, and is in a handy spot to snip for cooking.
- To use in ice tea; always add mint to the pitcher before you pour hot water over the tea bags, the hot water releases the mint oil and infuses for a richer flavor.
- Make sensational ice cubes for any cold drink. Layer leaves in ice cube trays, top with a thin lime or lemon slice, fill with water & freeze. Great for lemonade!
- Mint makes a great gift. Fill any flower pot or container ( large coffee mugs, unused kitchen bowls, watering cans, etc.) halfway potting soil, add a big scoop of mint from your garden with roots intact, then water lightly. Add a thick ribbon around the top of the container, and a card taped to a bbq skewer and secure into the dirt. Don’t worry about the bare spot in your own garden it’ll fill in quickly.
We’ll highlight another business or product we love that mixes with living outside.
Are any other squirrel lovers out there? We have a few squirrels who remind us of naughty boys with a hand always reaching into the cookie jar, so sometimes we like ‘em and sometimes, we don’t. But ever since we saw this little gem of a squirrel feeder at Hudson’s Hardware in Castle Hayne, they seem harder to resist. It’s a tiny picnic table for squirrels! They are made locally and cost $24.99. You attach a corn cob or leave out nuts & seeds and the squirrels “sit” to eat. Maybe we’ve just been cooped-up too long and our sense of humor is easily tickled but if you’re interested, go by Hudson’s and say hello. They’re an ACE hardware and have an eager staff to help with any needs. They stock feed for animals at good prices and start loading your car for you before you are out the door. It’s everything a neighborhood hardware store should be. If you come north for a visit, travel a bit further to Rocky Point and grab a few hot dogs at Paul’s Place. On Saturdays they have a flea market, produce stand & picnic tables; it’s a step back in time.
HUDSON’S HARDWARE 6301 Castle Hayne Rd, Castle Hayne, NC 28429 910-675-9205 www.hudsonsdoitbest.com
PAUL’S PLACE FAMOUS HOT DOGS 11725 US-117 Rocky Point, NC 28457 910-675-2345
Here’s to the dog days, remember to enjoy every minute, Michele and Chris Pasch
1121 Military Cutoff Rd. Suite 154
Wilmington, NC 28405
Please note: We are not paid to advertise any business, person or product and do warrant any of the products or businesses mentioned. Simply, we are sharing with you our family recipes and outdoor suggestions of the things and experiences we have enjoyed recently.