Monday, November 2, 2009

Where are YOU planted?

I participated in a blog-a-rama type thing once, and someone asked where in the world was everybody. We were to post about where we live, and link back to the original poster so everybody could read what everybody had to say.

I enjoyed it very much, and I was thinking that since we are such a global community, and everybody is so unique, it might be a good thing for us to do. It has not been done since I have been here, I know, so.....I will go first. Here goes.
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Just a bit of Texas history.....

TEXANA, TEXAS. In 1832 Dr. Francis F. Wells and his sister-in-law, Pamelia McNutt Porter, founded a community in south central Jackson County that later developed into Texana. The village was originally named Santa Anna after Antonio López de Santa Anna, at the time a popular Mexican liberal, soldier, and politician. In 1835, however, after Santa Anna had proven himself an enemy of republican government, the residents of the settlement changed the name to Texana. During the Texas Revolution of 1835-36, Texana served as a port of entry and training camp for many volunteers from the United States. Dr. Jack Shackelford's company of Alabama Red Rovers camped around Texana for about two weeks before joining James W. Fannin's command at Goliad. In the spring of 1836 the citizens of Texana joined the Runaway Scrape. "Uncle" Jeff Parson, a slave during the Runaway Scrape, told how the "old town of Texana was abandoned, not an individual was left on Jackson County soil, all were in flight-where they were going no one knew."
After the battle of San Jacinto, when republic officials organized the surrounding area into Jackson County, Texana-one of the oldest American settlements-served as county seat. In the summer of 1836 the Army of the Republic of Texas established Camp Independence on acreage belonging to Sylvanus Hatch about four or five miles from Texana. The next year Camp Independence was the site of the famous duel between Felix Huston and Albert Sidney Johnston. That year also saw a public sale of town lots that encouraged set
tlement. In 1840 Texana incorporated as a municipality. By 1880 the town had acquired regular steamboat service, mail and stage routes, a booming business section, and its own newspaper, the Clarion. As late as 1882 Texana was a thriving port with as many as twenty ships docking each week. In 1883, however, the New York, Texas and Mexican Railway bypassed the settlement, precipitating a sharp decline. Shortly thereafter county voters elected to make Edna the county seat, and by 1884 Texana was a virtual ghost town.

From "Handbook of Texas Online- Texana, TX"

Actually, what happened is that the town of Texana refused to allow the railroad a depot in town, so the railroad established a town of their own. It is called Edna, Texas, and survives as our County Seat today.

And now, they built a lake over Texana, and called it Lake Texana. I thought that bit of our history interesting.

These are my ideas about where we live, and the place we now call home.

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Where in the world am I?

Why, I'm in Texas! The only place for me!

We are in Jackson County, Texas, with Edna being the County Seat, and a hub of activity. We are in the Gulf Coast area, about 90 miles north of Corpus Christi, 100 miles south of Houston, and we can't go much farther east. We are in zone 9a, about 35 miles from Victoria, Texas. This is "Texas Revolution country", and Jackson County was one of the original 23 counties formed in Texas. On this map, we are between Refugio and Palacios, at that spot where the bay nips into land the farthest.Refugio is pronounced Re-fure-e-o, by the way.

We garden year 'round. I am growing veggies right now- cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, onions... even tomatoes and peppers still.....Brussels sprouts.....(I hate eating these vegetables, if they are cooked, but I love to watch them grow). I have lots of flower seedlings; Poppy, snapdragon, calendula, sweet peas, viola, pansy, and dianthus are all starting to peek out of the ground. Things are still leafed out, as our foliage usually falls around Thanksgiving. My confederate roses are in full bloom, and they are just gorgeous. Hibiscus are also blooming, as are my roses, and lots of other flowers.

We have nasty black gumbo for soil, but we can grow anything in it. It is among the most fertile of soils, just doesn't have much air in it. Slick when it is wet. Hard like a brick when it is dry. I figure I am going to use some of it to throw some bowls one of these days. Our primary problem with our soil is that it is very alkaline. That is hard to fix.

I have been a Texas Master Gardener for about 11 years. We have a fairly active group, and I have served as secretary, vice president, and president. Now, I am resting. There is always some project or another going on. We put in a nice Native Plant garden, with a Rain garden incorporated into it, in partnership with the 4-H kids. It was fun, planting this, and I am very proud of it.

This is a very rural environment. Even in town, it is 'country'. We don't live in Edna, but in a small community about 10 miles away, if you take the back roads. We do have a post office, where we live, but no mail delivery. We have to go to the post office to collect our mail. It is o.k.

In Edna, we have a WalMart, an HEB grocery store, several florist, Mexican restaurants, Pizza Hut, Chinese restaurant, LOTS of attorneys, about 5 banks, and goodness knows how many churches! Maybe 8 churches? or more. We have a hospital and 3 nursing homes in the county, I think. A lot of doctors (Specialists) come in on a regular basis from Victoria or Houston, or wherever. Beauty shops and barbers, furniture stores, jewelers and dentists. We have it all.

Important to me, we have a good hardware/lumber yard that will usually give the big BOX stores a run for their money. I love to buy lumber, and hardware, paint, glue, whatever......

We are actually almost on the bay, but the way things are laid out, we have to go around about 17 miles to get to the salt water to fish or whatever. That is fine with me. We also have hurricanes around here, too, sometimes, and we keep an eye on the sky and an ear to the weather report during storm season. I have a list of everything to pack up, and it gets updated, even in the winter.

Lots of ranching, and farming here, so we have good feed stores. Most of the kids do 4-H and/or FFA, and most raise an animal for the fair.

We have lots of cows, rodeos and real cowboys, and country music dances on Saturday night.

Our county is very generous to us gardeners. They maintain a brush site, where we can haul all kinds of refuse from the garden, and they grind it up for mulch, which eventually turns into compost that they will load for us, free of charge. We also have a cotton gin close to where I live, (a few blocks) where I can get all the cotton gin trash that my little heart desires. It has been composting there for years, and is BEE-ut-i-ful!

This is a good place to live. I invite y'all to visit, when you can.


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I hope you have enjoyed reading about where I live, and I hope you will share with us your thoughts about where you live. Maybe name it in a similar manner, so we know you are participating. I am looking forward to learning more about everybody.


tina said...

I enjoyed reading about your garden area. I did not know your soil was very alkaline. A hard fix indeed. It is wonderful to be able to grow and garden all year round. Someday perhaps I'll visit and see this area for myself. I have a sister who lived in Beeville but I never got to visit her. Now I wish that I had since I've heard so much about the gardening here. I'll try to get a post up but most of the days for this month are already scheduled. My little town is similar to yours though, but we have acid soil.

Mary Delle said...

Janie, So nice to learn more about your area. Sounds like you have the right idea about your soil. Compost and more compost will help your alkaline soil.

Anonymous said...

Dear Janie, Its so nice to read new thing about different gardens in different parts of the world.
This is very good idea!

gld said...

I enjoyed this very much. I also learned a great deal about your gardening world. I had never heard anyone describe Texas soil as 'growing anything'. Sounds like my kind of town and community! You have everything you need.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing a bit of history about your home state with us. Nice read. :)

Anonymous said...

Oops I just realize you added OpenID to your sign in. Thanks Janie. :)

Scott & Liz said...

Janie, I can relate to high alkaline soil as our is limestone. Our county used to have free mulch we could pick up but they wern't to tidy about it, lots of trash in the mulch.
Glad to here a little about your area.

Rosey Pollen said...

It was interesting to read about where you hail from. I love this idea. I will try to come up with something. Get ready for weirdness.

Amy said...

Hi, Janie - Nice to learn more about you and where you live. Our soil is sooooo rocky I need a pickax to plant a pansy.

janie said...

Thanks for your comments, everyone.

LOL, I know about the pickax in your part of the country, Amy. I lived at out farm in Coryelle County, and we couldn't break ground with a big tiller. We had to hire a DitchWitch to cut a trench to lay water lines. Solid rocks! But, they are pretty in the garden- on TOP of the ground!

Anonymous said...

Hi Janie, I came back to leave a link of the original post I did, right after starting to blog on a similar meme, maybe even the one you were talking about:

Geography Lesson-Fairegarden, Tennessee

This is such a good idea. I love knowing more about different areas where our friends are gardening. :-)


Country Mouse said...

Thanks for this idea. Town mouse and I both created entries using your theme -
is mine and has a link to Town Mouse's really informative post. It is interesting indeed to contemplate the diversity of planting and planted places!

Autumn Belle said...

Janie, I have been inspired by this brilliant idea of yours. I have done mine and I posted it on Jan 3, 2010. In my post, I have also linked back to your post. My link is here:

Thank you for the initiative and may you have a great start to 2010!