Saturday, September 27, 2008

Fruit trees

All those tiny blue plums from David Kemp have turned out to be Blue Damson. It's an old heirloom variety that isn't popular because they're so small, but they're the traditional cooking/canning/kitchen plum in the American east. They don't do well in the grocery store because they're so small, but that shouldn't concern us.

Louis Van Horne has a larger blue plum that has volunteered next to his driveway. I do not have time to fool with it this year, but next year it would be a good one to plant or make cuttings from.

He also has those peaches.

None of these are cuttings, so there's no easy way to tell what will come up out of the ground from the fertile pits, but I suspect we'll be okay. The key is that all these trees are producing heavily with no pruning, no spraying, no fertilizing, no watering, and no specific care of any kind, in this climate.

Pity you can't eat Osage Orange. There's one up on the ridge road doing very well.

By the way, I scattered several hundred Blue Damsons in the beeyard, and across the road along the fenceline. I don't know whether any will survive the Microtines, because they will spend the winter under the snow looking for seeds and pits, and the early spring eating the bark off any that come up. I have another bucket of Blue Damsons that I want to plant in an open-bottom frame so they can chill over the winter, and those may be the only ones that we can use.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Onions, Garlic, Artichokes

I ordered the Egyptian onions from Ronniger's today: 15 sets. Enough to start a nice little patch.

Also, Ordered a variety of hard-neck garlic called Purple Glazer, which is supposed to be attractive (a pretty purple-streaked wrapper) and taste nice. Not too hot, so maybe the kids will eat it. Just half a pound, to give it a try.

Ronniger's also offers a few varieties of Jerusalem artichokes, which I have never seen before. Usually, companies just offer, "Jerusalem Artichokes." Anyway, I bought a pound of Red Fuseau to try, which they say is sweeter than the ordinary sort. Also, it's very pretty in the picture, and they say the tubers can grow up to six inches long, sort of like red, shiny carrots. If we like it, we should be able to save enough tubers to plant out a bigger patch next year. Oh, yeah. Side bonus: They say the plants grow up to ten feet tall, and full of blooms!

If you are interested in thinking about produce for farmer's markets, the Red Fuseau is intriguing. (And might as well find a pretty garlic, too.)

I didn't order the fingerlings. Ronniger's says they need to ship garlic and potatoes separately. So I'll order the fingerlings later in the year. They don't go in the ground 'til early spring anyway.


We need to cross-fence the place eventually, if you want to raise replacement heifers or otherwise put livestock over on the east side.

The acre over by the barn will need better water than that old WPA tank, if you want to keep the horse in there. I can run a line under the road through the culvert or make arrangements with the township to cut up the road.

Or forget the horses and just do kangaroo rats that never drink.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Egyptian Onions

I found a source for Egyptian Onions online: Ronnigers Seed Potatoes. We had their paper catalog about 15 years ago, and they sold Egyptian Onions back then, too. But we've spent a lot of time moving around since then.

My mom had Egyptian onions in her garden when I was a kid, and they were fabulous. Mostly they were beautiful. But also they were perennial, so we didn't have to Do anything with them each year, and they were good scallions in the early spring. So I have always wanted my own.

Do you want to order any seed potatoes from Ronniger's when I send in my order for E.O.'s this week? Purple ones? Gold ones? Blue ones?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

two things

two things I want to have.
one is I want to get a bunny.
the other is I want to join 4-H.
and I want to do it soon.

add enceyclapeda

add the enceyclapeda of country living to the side bar

Off the Beaten Path

Well, here we go.....

We've owned this particular 25 acres for six years now, and we've been "meaning to do something with it" for that long. And now that the kids are getting older, and AIG is bankrupt, and no one has ever really recovered from Katrina, and eggs are nearly two dollars a dozen, and milk is over three dollars a gallon, and you and I ain't getting any raises....... or, for that matter, getting any younger.....
It appears to be time.

Over the years, we have talked about lots of things we want to do with the place, but the plans never get put down anywhere easy to get at. Hopefully, this little blog will fix that.

So, these are the basic topics we have agreed to use as labels:

Are there any others you can think of right now that we may want to use?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Song of the Turtle

My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.
For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;
The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;
The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.
--Song of Songs 2:10-13