yes, walt your kids sound just like mine. Putting stuff in the mouth is a popular activity. two weeks ago it had just rained after a long dry spell, and there was a flush of mushrooms at the edge of the garden. One (or possibly both) babies mouthed/ate a possible Amanita destroying angel. Spent a fun 4 hours in the emergency room pouring activated charcoal down their throats, and a tense 48 hours waiting for symptoms of liver damage.
All was well.
But oy, the 'everything in the mouth' can get hazardous... somehow my first two kids managed to avoid poison pretty well, so this was my first go 'round.
Come to think of it, this absolutely qualifies as a homesteading activity
Last Edit: Oct 25, 2017 13:01:06 GMT -5 by mskrieger
Growing in a coastal zone 7a in the Northern Hemisphere. Hot humid summers and cold snowy winters. Plenty of rain. Sandy loam topsoil over clay subsoil, whatever the glacier left behind when it made Long Island.
My kids are now in their 40s. Still loads of fun to be with. A couple of weeks ago, I visited my daughter, The first thing she wanted me to do was go with her to buy a chain saw and show her how to maintain it and use it safely. The cost of cutting up and removing a fallen branch was 3 times the going price of the chain saw. That much she knew before I arrived. Likewise she knew that a new ladder was cheaper than someone coming and cleaning out her rain gutters once. She recently bought a house, after years of apartment living, with tomatoes in 5 gallon buckets by her front steps. No store-bought tomatoes for her. She has standards.
Got my new Asian pear trees all cozy in the ground with plenty of protection from the deer. Put this in homesteading instead of orchard cause I am hopeful we will be moving to a new place in next couple of years. With that in mind we went to the big international grocery up by Cincinnati couple weeks ago and hit the jack pot in the past prime fruit department. Got a couple dozen packs of apples, pear apples, pears, plums and even a few peaches, total cost about $25. They only had fresh cherries and they were pricey so I'll find some later.
Weather cooperated to make a nice plant bed and I sat on the tailgate and processed them all for seed. They were old when I got em and been sitting for a couple weeks but a lot of the apples and pears were still good. All I wanted was the seeds so the chickens, bees and dog got most of the rest. Must have been two or three hundred seeds all together, happily in the ground under boards till spring, a technique someone here on the forum told me about a couple years ago and that works very well.
A whole new orchard getting ready for a new place.
Might it be to your advantage to pot those trees up for eventual relocation? Granted, perhaps not worth the trouble, if you can get those varieties commonly. I've found that trees I hold for a year, up-potted, do much better than those I buy and plant out, perhaps due to my being able to plant my potted trees at the beginning of the rainy season, rather than when the bare-roots show up in January or later.
One hopes your eventual "new" place will be a "forever" place, so you can play and work to your heart's content, regaling and informing us with your plant-based adventures.
I harvested a few of the last teparies, planted elephant garlic and narcissus, did some weeding, shut off the riega until next late Spring (mud-dauber wasps had built a lot of nests in the breaker-box; didn't expect that when I opened it; took a moment to grasp what was going on, that not having happened before; wasn't a problem for me; I just knocked them out; still got the paper-wasps hanging out inside the shed door, waiting to die, poor buggers; so long as the wind doesn't blow the door and them on me, we're good.) The more I think about the paper-wasps, the more I'm struck by them as a metaphor for life; they're born to serve the reproduction of their queen; when that ends, they have no meaning, so they patiently wait to die. Wow! Selflessness? Thy name is paper-wasp worker, having no life except the furtherance of your species, in the person of your queen, having no grasp of a world outside your obligation to serve your queen, having no desire whatsoever for yourself nor for anything that might survive you, except, perhaps, your queen. Wow!
So many raptors coming through in the Autumn migration, I find new smirges of feathers or fur every week (found a bunny-leg in one of my out-lying trees; somebody used my tree-cage as a perch while chowing down); commuting is hungry work; I don't disrespect the prey species, but I admit to most loving the predators; hunting mobile prey is more difficult than looking for seeds or plants, which can't run away. Golden eagle, Red-tail Hawk: that's about what I can identify; I'm very ignorant of birds, being a herptile kind of guy; I need to remedy that; something to do in my spare time, in the event I have any.
I'v had best luck with starting seeds directly in the ground, their crowded, had so many apples I kinda sowed em. I'll treat them almost like a vegetable next spring and thin if necessary. Next fall I'll lift them all out bare root and transplant to pots.
The new place is mostly just a day dream, the trees will probably end up being given away or sold at the flea market, but just in case...
Nothing ruins a neighborhood like paved roads and water lines.
This may be the year I make an effort to gather and plant acorns from many oak species; the main dissuasion being the rapidity with which they blast a tap-root, making potting undesirable; they need to be planted directly, so they need to be caged from the git-go; won't be doing any caging/re-caging until the soil has had some hydro-therapy; it's still much too tense for me to pound posts, that's the PITA; also time to stop waffling and seed rowans, not for fruit (still not sure I'll ever want to eat that), but for trouble-free trees and glorious Fall color; Peruvian Pepper trees, as well. So long as I cage these trees from deer/elk trashing, I think they will all do well on the farm, un-irrigated, but well-mulched. Afforestation is my mission, among other things; gotta get some shade and wind-buffering on those outer acres, to reduce the insolation and drying; I see the back ten as where the critters will live, so it needs to not be desolate and scorched, if only so my liberal heart feels they've had decent lives before I slaughter them for food; pet cats, yes; pet pigs, no; pet dogs, yes; pet cattle, no; if SHTF, I may have to re-evaluate the dogs; the cats?: we'll talk. I don't doubt one of us will wind up eating the other, one way or another; surely there ought not be any hard feelings, however; one does what one must and there is no shame in that, so long as it is need, not vulgar desire.
Apparently, one can make booze from Peruvian Pepper tree fruit; who knew? Peruvians, I suppose.
reed: don't disparage your dream of "the new place": aspire to what you'd rather have; you'll never get it otherwise.
"Yesterday is history; tomorrow is mystery; today is a gift, that's why it's called the present." E. Roosevelt "If the world is to end tomorrow, I would plant an apple tree today" Martin Luther
Mowed a planting-lane to prep for tillage when more rain comes (damn it was hard to get the mower to spark, but industrial-strength starter fluid did the trick); planted a mix of finger potatoes, also field peas (tips for salad); harvested the last of the limas (none of the other vulgaris beans did squat) and some teparies; the ground-squirrels cleaned out the remains of the Cucurbits; cut the bottoms off plastic bottles for pea-cloches (I've lost several varieties of peas entirely to critters; hopefully, this will help).
Closed the vent-windows in the pump-house; it is officially Winter; just personal, I know, but when I get up to pee at night, it's better if it feels like indoor, rather than out. The Winter Solstice is coming (yay! and our Great Father will stop turning away from us and return; hard cheese for you in SoHem, but it's a cyclical thing we're all accustomed to.