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When inspiration hits dirt

22 Apr

Back ground: Winter 2021. When will pandemic end? Seed catalogs: Shumway and Jung. Delightful dreams of spring planting. Adventure! For the first time I ordered strawberry, raspberry and asparagus roots.

The good news (maybe) is that I reconsidered where to plant strawberries and asparagus to prevent them from becoming snacks for wildlife. These are my trials/experiments…what’s my vision?

Veg in One Bed by Huw Richards, Wales

The Family Garden Plan by Melissa Norris, Oregon

Both are excellent! Great photos.

Several years ago, I followed the Instagram account (grandoakfarmtn) of Grand Oak Farm’s launch of a three season three acre project to supply farmer’s market with fruit, vegetables and flowers. I could see what they were doing, but I did not comprehend how it was orchestrated. Some areas of the field were planted with three different crops. What? How did they go together? Veg in One Bed (with photos) discusses three season gardening plan. However, as helpful as the plan is, it did not include examples with my favorite produce.

I turned to The Family Garden Plan which focuses on “likes” and growing quantities to supply the home kitchen year round. Very well done. Bible verses introduce each chapter. Illustrations and planning charts are outstanding.

My long term memory (40 years ago) of the kitchen gardens of Colonial Williamsburg Virginia kicked in. Ah! Ha! Charming. Fruits. Vegetables. Herbs. Flowers. Right out the back door. Narrow paths. Three season. Less than 1/2 acre.

Hmmmmm. There’s a future post on this subject. ūüėČ

rock, paper, scissors

15 Oct

Or wood, steel

Red, White and Blue

5 Sep

 

2020 has been the best year in seven years for Red Hibiscus.

Hydrangea and Purple Wave petunias

God Bless America!

Book Review: A Drop in the Ocean

11 Aug

Jenni Ogden skillfully juxtaposes:  University based health care research scientists and Wildlife researchers in the Great Barrier Reef.

Perhaps one could say Jenni developed a matrix juxtapositions of scientists and researchers in settings of…

Island life where supplies are delivered every two weeks…no utilities or ground transportation in the Southern Hemisphere contrasting with one of the oldest communities in Europe…Unst, the northern most inhabited island in the British Isles.

Book Review: The Miraculous Fever Tree-the Cure that changed the world

27 May

 

“Absorbing and SUPERBLY researched” with my emphasis on superbly. ¬†I agree with Miranda Seymour! ¬†Rocco¬†is an award winning investigative journalist. ¬†Her interest in medicine began with her grandparents in Africa in the 1920s. ¬†They were blessed to get quinine tablets made locally because cinchona seeds/trees from Peru had been planted there decades earlier.

World history over four centuries is told from

  1.  Tragic loss of life due to malaria in Europe, Africa, Panama, South America, Middle East, India and Asia.
  2. The cure identified by Jesuits in Peru in the 1600s as quinine (so bitter tasting, people thought they were being poisoned) written documentation in early 1630s.
  3. Theories challenged!  Treatment changed!  (Malaria DNA dates back to 5th century.)
  4. Rocco accessed original records from 1624 and more periods…exquisite documentation, details that enrich readers with life, times, goals, accomplishments of key figures.
  5. “Tree of Fevers” published in 1713 in Madrid
  6. The narrative fully immerses the reader wars, exploration, building the Panama Canal, challenges of exporting seeds and cinchona tree to other continents to save thousands of lives globally.

Enjoy reading!

 

 

Walk this way

30 Apr

Planting purple wave petunias concludes five days freshening flower beds

with seven cubic yards of hardwood fine mulch.

Stay at home!  2020

Spring Gardening or…

9 Apr

what are they?

 

Spoiler alert:  Amazon sells them.  (That is how I discovered the name.)

I have been in garden centers often over the years and never saw one.  I acquired them from an estate a couple of years ago.    They are:

rotary tillers (with a broom type handle)

Applied testing: ¬†It does a nice job freshening up last year’s mulch and also works well mixing homemade compost with clay type soil.

 

Acorns: Spring planting

11 Mar

We removed dozens of trees @ Owl Creek in 2019…Some had been dead for a long time… ¬†Some were volunteers too close to driveways or barn…Some were contortions of trees…bent, split, broken. ¬†Several logging projects in the past 50 years harvested hard woods…walnut, maple and oak trees. ¬†Our understanding is that oak seedlings are difficult to locate.

 

To get 2020 spring plants off to a bigger start, I gathered acorns from the backyard.  Mostly green, squirrels had not run off with them.

“How to Grow Oak Trees from Acorns” Shelly Wigglesworth Oct 16, 2018, published in New England Today, Living

How to Grow Oak Trees from Acorns

I like the idea of refrigerating with peat and barley in a sealed container over winter.

Shelly recommended discarding acorns with pin holes. ¬†They are made by “inch” worms exiting the hull. ¬†I believe the worms enter under the cap. ¬†After checking closely and drying ¬†about two weeks, I discarded 20 acorns of the 60+ I had gathered from our backyard.

Here we “grow” again…today March 11, 2020…

Responding to the loss oak seedlings ruined by squirrels going for the meat of the acorn…I have turn the table! ¬†Using a small cage to keep wild life out and protect future tree…rather than keep animals IN. ¬†45 acorns in peat pots.

Hmmmm…what yield will we have?

 

 

Winter Gardening

7 Jan

Winter gardening means trimming dried perennials and raking leaves. ¬†That is…until my neighbor gave me an amaryllis bulb kit. ¬†Delightful! ¬†(The kit includes one bulb, glass jar and growing medium.)

Jan 6 (Ephiphany)

Makes cents!

18 Nov

“Regenerative agriculture claims that the solution doesn‚Äôt lie in new technology or mass machinery. It may be right in front of us: livestock.”

Check out this article from the Huffington Post:

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/meat-save-planet-regenerative-farming_l_5d261f7ae4b0583e482b0192?guccounter=1

 

Check out this article from Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group:

https://www.ssawg.org/ssawg-blawg/2019/8/15/the-impossible-pasture

‚ÄúWe have this huge planetary food system enhanced by synthetic fertilizers and chemicals, but there are ways to balance that out now, and that‚Äôs through raising animals in balance with the ecosystem‚Äôs restoration. Nothing else can do what a cow or sheep or buffalo can do.‚ÄĚ

– Jack Algiere, farm director at Stone Barns for Food and Agriculture