Appalachia Gardening

My Fall Garden


Calendula flowers growing in western nc

Chatter’s Calendula flowers are still blooming strong. Hard to believe anything is growing let alone blooming in this terrible dry weather we’ve been having. The cows walking across the pasture down the road are sending up dust clouds. With forest fires going all around we desperately need rain.


Sow True Seed Turnips

My Sow True Seed Turnips are doing really good-again I’m surprised how good in spite of the drought.


sow true seed kale

The first kale I planted never showed one little green leaf. Since the turnips were doing so well in the backyard I re-planted my kale back there in a raised bed. The plants aren’t exactly thriving, but at least they did come up. I’ve been trying to water the kale at least once a week. I think a cold spell and some rain would help it really take off.


Heirloom Plants Chicago Press

Several months ago, the kind folks at Chicago Review Press sent me the fascinating book above. Here’s a short quote from their website about it:

Heirloom Plants includes information on almost 500 exciting cultivars to be grown and harvested, along with detailed profiles and cultivation tips for each plant. In addition to edibles, the book also has chapters on antique herbs and flowers, from Cup and Saucer vines to Sweet William carnations to Empress of India nasturtiums. Trowel and book in hand, let your motto be, “Growing the past, saving the future.”

I’ve had so much fun reading through the book, the only downside to it-I want to grow every plant in it! The book is a great read for anyone interested in growing heirloom plants and in preserving those precious plants for future generations.

Chicago Review Press generously donated a copy of the book for a Blind Pig Reader too. Leave a comment on this post to be entered in the giveaway for the book. Giveaway ends on Saturday November 12, 2016.


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  • Reply
    O P Holder
    December 1, 2016 at 5:12 pm

    great prize. Hope I win. This is my kind of book

  • Reply
    Pam Danner
    November 12, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    hat a beautiful flower and those turnips look delicious, I love turnips! Wow what a treasure that book would be!
    I hope you are safe from the fires! I am just heartsick that our beautiful mountains are burning and hope all of the precious animals can stay safe. I’ve just been in tears.

  • Reply
    Barbara Gantt
    November 12, 2016 at 8:32 am

    That book sounds wonderful. My goal is to just grow heirloom plants. Im doing weel wit the green beans and tomatoes. I know that I have a lot more to learn. Barbara

  • Reply
    November 12, 2016 at 7:56 am

    I would like to be added to the drawing for the book. Thank you

  • Reply
    James Smithson
    November 10, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    Please add me to your drawing.

  • Reply
    L. bryant
    November 10, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    The book sounds so interesting. I have been working to add as many heirloom plants as possible to my gardens. I have 3 beehives and the bees seem to “know” the heirloom plants and prefer them.
    Thanks for the offer!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    November 10, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    I think Malinda might have her states backward. Greene County, TN was formerly part of Washington County NC. Tennessee didn’t become a state until 1796. Before that all of Tennessee was part of North Carolina. There was a state of Franklin that attempted to join the United States in 1784 but failed. There is a Greene County NC down in the eastern part of the state that was formerly known as Glasgow County until 1798. It is about 350 miles east of Greene County, Tennessee.
    Put my name in the hat for the book. If I don’t win it maybe I’ll win the hat.

  • Reply
    sheila brown
    November 10, 2016 at 8:24 am

    Good morning,
    As I set here and read your blog each morning at work, I was especially interested in your blog on heirlooms. I work with Dr. Jeanene Davis at the Mountain Horticulture Crops Research and Extension center. She specializes in organics and heirlooms. Therefore I’d love to read this book and of course share it with Dr. Davis. Please enter me in your contest. Thank you for this awesome blog.
    Sheila Brown

  • Reply
    anita griffith
    November 9, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    I would love to have the book.I’d rather read books than read computers.

  • Reply
    November 9, 2016 at 4:40 pm

    I would like my name entered please.

  • Reply
    Melinda Rowe Kessler
    November 9, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    Isaiah Row/Rowe, his wife Elizabeth Rawlston, and their small children left Green County, NC in the very early 1800’s. He had settled in TN but his address changed without his ever moving: NC was formed. His young relative, Jesse Row, accompanied them.
    Elizabeth’s pregnancy became advanced so they laid over at Limestone/maysville KY. The baby arrived & thrived while Isaiah explored into OH. In order to make room to get their wagon into Fayette County he & Jesse used a machete to hack away the overgrown path. The future site of Buena Vista OH was their destination.
    Isaiah & Elizabeth’s son, Samuel,later settled & built a cabin near Rattlesnake Creek in northern Highland County OH. He married a Straley girl from Nieghboring Ross County, She bore 9 children – only 4 survived into adulthood. Two sons fought in the Civil War. Only one, my great granddad, Lewis, lived through the war.

  • Reply
    November 9, 2016 at 3:26 pm

    I stayed up late watching and enjoying the election last night and today right after dinner, my tars had come in and I had to have them put on. (Richard Petty calls tires,
    tars) I thought that was cute.
    Maybe my back will be better and I can have a garden next year. I miss it so much! About all I ever plant is mostly Nantahala Half Runners and Hickory Cane Corn, both of them I save from year to year. …Ken

  • Reply
    Melinda Rowe Kessler
    November 9, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    PinnacleCreek reminded me of Mom’s experience: as a newly wed ‘town girl’ she found that a baby would come that first year while Pearl Harbor terror had happened only a few month after their marriage. What an uncertain time to bring your first baby into the world!
    Mom decided she would grow & can everything possible. Neighbor shared seed & starts. Dad plowed & reddied the soil. Mom planted & planted & planted. Only radishes & Swiss Chard produced much. Radishes were not well digested, but tolerated with effort. Swiss Chard was abundant! Beautiful big crinkled green leaves were taken by bushel baskets to the only running water…the outdoor pump. Mom wasn’t going to have bugs or grit in her canning – she washed & washed: pumped & pumped & washed some more. All that Chard would surely get them through the winter…or maybe even Two winters!
    But, alas, it was not to be. Blanching the first big tub full was going fine until Mom looked in & saw the measly little amount of shrunken limp Chard…barely enough to fill 3 jars.
    No joy in the little tenant house by the hill.

  • Reply
    November 9, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    Beautiful flowers! I would love to have that book! Praying for rain for you folks!

  • Reply
    Charles Ronald Perry, Sr.
    November 9, 2016 at 1:30 pm

    Please enter me in your book giveaway. Thanks for all of your efforts in publishing this newsletter each day.

  • Reply
    Jim Tenhunfeld
    November 9, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    I love to grow things I haven’t seen or heard of in years and can’t find locally. So enter me in you book giveaway if you would.

  • Reply
    Cheryl Soehl
    November 9, 2016 at 11:01 am

    My favorite plants are the ones shared with me by other growers. Some years ago, I thought I wanted to plant bamboo and called in to a local radio trading show to find some. A nice couple invited me to their home to show me what runaway bamboo can do to a yard. I was duly warned! Instead of the bamboo, they gave me a load of plants, including a couple of vinca plants. From those two plants, I now have a large shade garden full of vinca where pretty much nothing else would grow. This past year, I shared some vinca with my sister in law who planted them at her Maggie Valley house. They grow there much bigger and more impressive than here. Soon I will be digging up some volunteer camellias from the 40 year old plants from my yard and saving for her home in Murrells Inlet, SC. Passalong plants, especially the heirloom ones are the best. You might like to see the many heirloom varieties available at: (an heirloom seed company where my college friend, Ira Wallace, works.

  • Reply
    November 9, 2016 at 10:54 am

    Having moved into my new home last year, I am looking forward to putting in a garden in the spring. My neighbor has a beautiful garden and we enjoy sharing ideas and plants. This would be a great book for us to be inspired by!!

  • Reply
    Wanda Devers
    November 9, 2016 at 10:31 am

    I would love to win the book!

  • Reply
    November 9, 2016 at 10:28 am

    Sometimes, I see a strawberry bud coming from my plants. I have flowers that should be blooming in the spring, giving me beautiful flowers to enjoy early. I just can’t imagine what those plants will be like come spring. I really enjoy reading books about gardens and plants. I do, however, look forward and pray that we will receive a nice rain.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    November 9, 2016 at 10:27 am

    Boy oh boy, could I eat one of those turnips. That is a mountain girls treat. A washed turnip, sometimes peeled or sometimes not, a handful of salt for dipping. I love me some raw turnips.
    I also love cooked turnips. I cook in a small amount of water, drain and mash with a bit of butter and milk and seasoned with salt and pepper. Yep, turnip mashed (taters) so good, and kinda diet if you leave out a bit of the butter and whole milk.
    None of our greens did well this year. In fact it was so dry we gave up on turnips. My husbands brother blessed us with some early white turnips and greens in June. Theirs didn’t do well later either, just too dry!
    I would love a copy of the book too. So drop my name in the hat.
    Do you think William Dotson would share his recipe for turnip kraut? Somehow thru the many years of pickled this and that, sweet n’ sour recipes, I never heard of Turnip Kraut. Would love to read about it and how it tastes, if like regular sour kraut.
    Thanks Tipper
    PS Great pictures, I hope your Kale and other greens take off after this rain we are supposed to get in a few days.

  • Reply
    November 9, 2016 at 10:04 am

    I’ve had so many injuries since mid Summer that I didn’t get a Fall garden going. I have to depend on the fellows in my church for Fall vegetables and greens. Maybe I can heal over the Winter and get back into it in the Spring.

  • Reply
    Janis Sullivan (Jan)
    November 9, 2016 at 9:55 am

    I know what it is like to want to grow old and rare and “antique” plants. My aunt had a transplant of a plant my grandmother called “purple stuff” which she shared with me. It was from my grandparents’ old farm. I was SO PLEASED to get it. I researched it, and it is a rare type of blooming wandering jew. I have spread pottings across the country to my cousins. People locally have come and taken pictures, and, of course, received pottings. I am hoping not to make it so rare. I enjoy this tremendously. Please put my name in for the book. Jan

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    November 9, 2016 at 9:29 am

    I am really glad that local farmers markets, community supported agriculture, fresh foods, gardening and heirloom plants have become a rather common thing in my lifetime. One big reason is that it gives farmers and gardeners with small acreages a chance to make a decent living in areas that are often economically depressed where for generations people moved away. When we travel, we often look for the local farmers markets as a preferred place to food shop. It is especially nice to buy from someone who grew what they sell themselves and can tell you about them from their own knowledge. It is frustrating to me to buy vegetables that are not identified as to variety because you don’t learn anything about the ones you like best and least.
    Sadly, I have given up on a fall garden, just no rain.

  • Reply
    Richard Beauchamp
    November 9, 2016 at 9:27 am

    Please enter me in the book give away, I would love to read it !

  • Reply
    November 9, 2016 at 9:15 am

    Please enter my name. Looking for more flavor, more natural smell, – heirlooms seem to be the way to go.
    Glad your garden is doing well. Between the weather and general circumstances, except for the green beans and the limas, our garden has been dismal. The okra didn’t even take off until October! Such a weird year in so many ways; yet such a good year, all in all, for our family.
    Hope you, your family, and you readers have “ridden the waves” well also.

  • Reply
    Melissa P (misplaced Southerner)
    November 9, 2016 at 9:07 am

    I’ve been concerned about you and yours since hearing about the fires. Praying for rain for y’all and for the most beautiful place on earth!

  • Reply
    Patsy Small
    November 9, 2016 at 8:58 am

    The Kale we planted didn’t do much and I was disappointed. The weeds on the other hand took off.
    I would love a chance to win the Heirloom Plants book.

  • Reply
    November 9, 2016 at 8:46 am

    Everything in my garden was of the heirloom variety except two tomato plants I picked up at Kroger when they marked them down in late spring. It makes for a great conversation when I share melons and tomatoes my friends and family have never seen. I was able to find Mom a specific heirloom apple tree years before the internet made searching easy. She passed away a few months after we planted it. I transplanted it in my yard and it had fruit for the first time in 2016. Talk about the excitement of growing a fruit I had heard about all my life but never dreamed I would be so blessed to enjoy.

  • Reply
    William Dotson
    November 9, 2016 at 8:36 am

    Tipper, my turnips are doing great and I have made 20 pints of turnip kraut and my make more if I have enough big ones to make it with, I really enjoy this kraut. Did you ever make it this way?

  • Reply
    November 9, 2016 at 8:26 am

    I know I’d feel the same as you, Tipper – wanting to grow everything! Still, it’s fun to dream, especially as the mornings have gotten chilly enough that I’ve had to break ice in the goats’ buckets a few times. I’m hoping we get some rain before the ground freezes, though. Brooks around here aren’t low anymore – they are dry.

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    November 9, 2016 at 8:12 am

    Your garden is beautiful, one of the things I miss the most living in a condo

  • Reply
    Lonnie Baker
    November 9, 2016 at 8:11 am

    I’m facinated with heirloom plants, especially those from these mountains. I’d love to win this book.

  • Reply
    November 9, 2016 at 8:09 am

    I would love the book. Your vegetables look really great. I always seem to do well with swiss chard.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    November 9, 2016 at 7:24 am

    Those turnips are looking good, I may have to stop by and visit the garden!
    It’s kind of spooky Tip, to have smoke and burning smell here when the fires are so far away and it’s a little scary that the fires are so close. I know that’s a contradiction but that’s the way I feel about it!

  • Reply
    Darlene Debty
    November 9, 2016 at 6:55 am

    Hey, Tipper!
    Please put me in the drawing for the book.

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