Godless in the garden


Godless in the garden

Discussing all aspect of gardening.

Location: Planet Earth
Members: 181
Latest Activity: 30 minutes ago

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Comment by Loam Gnome 30 minutes ago

Spud, they do have that watermelon look!  The skin color does not reveal the color within.

Patricia, these do tase good.

Joan, these are sweet and tart, kind of like a McIntosh, but something more fruity in the flavor.  I only had enough to eat them raw.  Im no gourmet, but they taste good to me!

Amy apple trees in your yard will need protection.  Deer will destroy entire young apple trees.  They also need a second variety, or a crabapple, to pollinate them.

I like apple salads too.  What goesinto yours?

Comment by Joan Denoo 21 hours ago

Daniel, a beautiful apple; are they sweet or tart, crisp or soft, good for eating and/or cooking? I have just the spot where I want to plant some fruit trees ... after we get the forest cleaned out this coming spring and moved back farther for fire protection. The color of the flesh looks perfect for an apple salad. The skins are pretty, too. 

I have been making a lot of apple salads lately; they taste so fresh as the greenhouse greens peter out. 

The sight of deer in the yard feels good to me as long as the garden is protected 

Comment by Idaho Spud yesterday

Loam, looking at the top picture before anything else, I was surprised that you grew some watermelon.

Comment by Patricia yesterday

Looks tasty.

Comment by Loam Gnome yesterday

I'm always looking for something different in the fruit department.  I certainly don't need more fruit trees, but trying different things is part of the enjoyment.

European growers are promoting red flesh apples.  These are red on the inside, mostly a splotchy red pattern although some are completely red.  I think they obtain their red coloration from a Russian or Tajakstani type called niedzwetzky apple, hybridized with modern orchard apples.  In Europe the red flesh apples are called "Redlove".  They are described as more disease resistant, and have more interesting fruity flavors, possibly related to the red pigment. 

One nursery in my area offers six varieties of red flesh apples.  I'm already growing one - marketed here as Mountain Rose.  I got it as scion for grafting a few years ago.  The flavor is nice, and they are early to bear fruit.

Historically, there has been interest in red flesh apples since the mid 1800s, and one grower in California created several varieties.  Those never took off, but some are being rediscovered.  I suspect the newer ones might be better because of disease resistance.   The one that i grow was accidentally discovered in Oregon in the 1960s and has been given multiple names, which is confusing.

Here are images from my garden.  I think the European types have more red throughout the flesh.

Comment by Loam Gnome on Wednesday

There was another visit from the deer family today.  This time I got a good look at their tails - definitely black tailed deer.   So far not a lot of winter damage.  I don't see antlers, maybe no buck this time.  They were too skittish to get a good photo.

Given this area, they must be Columbian Black Tailed Deer.

Comment by Joan Denoo on Monday

"From the cat's point of view not only do birds not play fair by flying and having eyes that can see beyond the back of their heads, but they can positively cheat by using loud alarm calls and throw the cat's chances of catching any others."

~ Tabor, Roger (1983) The Wild Life of the Domestic Cat. Arrow Books. ISBN 0099312107.

You arouse a laugh in me with "It's interesting that these invasive cats live among the invasive Himalayan blackberries and invasive English Ivy, and eat invasive rats and invasive mice.  And are admired by invasive humans."

~ Loam Gnome

Comment by Loam Gnome on December 3, 2018 at 10:06am

Joan, bird lovers rightfully hate feral cats.   They have the data to show that cats kill lots and lots of birds.   As skeptics, we can look at the data and its sources, and think about complicated outcomes.

We must remember, the most invasive species of all, the one that changes everything and causes the most extinctions, is Homo sapiens.  

Cats do reduce vermin numbers.  Those vermin do cause disease and crop loss - rats, mice, voles.  I think Randy mentioned terrible crop losses due to meadow voles, and I've seen the damage in my trees.  By far the largest number of killings by cats, is "small mammals" which for is, is mice, rats, voles, moles, rabbits.  Rats kill birds too - we lost several ducks to rats and also to racoons.  And cats kill small and baby rats.

The cat has been let out of the bag on this issue.  This is a form of evolution, caused by humans but taking its own course.  Bird populations will shift and there will be changes.  We need to remember also, 30% of cat-killed birds are non-native; raptor numbers are also down; many of cat-killed birds are the sick and wounded; habitat destruction is the cause of biggest losses.

Wikipedia -cats and wildlife

You are soft-hearted for the animals.  So am I.  I was sad when the last cat visitor quit visiting.  Maybe I will put out food for these.  I have some high-placed bird feeders too, although the birds spill seeds and pick them off the ground...  hmm...   I also love the birds. Birds kill harmful (and beneficial) insects too.  It's a web of life, full of complex interactions.  It's interesting that these invasive cats live among the invasive Himalayan blackberries and invasive English Ivy, and eat invasive rats and invasive mice.  And are admired by invasive humans.  

Comment by Joan Denoo on December 2, 2018 at 6:20pm

Cats, feral and domestic cats, get rid of unwanted vermin and wanted birds on our property. My nature reserve in the meadow outside my window attract critters of all kinds. I feed the birds high in the trees and place water out of reach of cats. The wild turkeys seem to fend for themselves. 

The bird species population increased since I first feeding them and I hope to see more diversity in that population.

More gardeners use Permaculture strategies even though the ranchers continue with huge fields for their beef, sheep, goats, and other meat and dairy animals.  They, too, will benefit by managed grazing, but "they have always done it this way (large fields without managed herds). 

Your cat visitors look very healthy; not the scrawny, rib-showing ferals of our property. 

When a larger predator takes one of our animals, we feel a great loss because we have made pets of every sort. A coyote carried off a very special goose and his loss affected all of us dearly. A raccoon got banty hen we called "One-a-day because she left us one egg a day. The dogs killed the raccoon and I felt a mixed feeling. We fence the place but not enough to keep out coyote or raccoon. We talk about stringing a hot wire, except we would have to monitor the border of our 17 acres to see that grass and other growth remained cut. Our most fun intruder is the neighbor's horse who comes for our green grass on occasion. 

Comment by Loam Gnome on December 2, 2018 at 3:40pm

Thanks for the comments.

I grow things that I think help pollinators.  Each year I grow a big bed of Zinnias.  They are visited by lots of bees.  I have lots of herbs - mints, lemon balm, catnip, cilantro, that pollinators like.   Also lots of echinacea and rudbeckia and gallardias, which are dry tolerant perennials that bloom for months.  Plus pollinators love fruit tree blossoms in season - plums, peaches, apples, etc.  I can help others do similar, if they want information.  My garden is in view of the road, and people sometimes compliment me on how they like looking at the flowers.

Yesterday these visitors were in the border adjacent to the woods.  I don't know if they are feral.  Probably.  They let me close enough for the photos. 

I've seen lots of things about how bad feral cats are, how many animals they kill.  I've never seen a balanced report.  If the cats are not killing field mice, voles, moles, rabbits, rats, as well as birds, what happens with those populations?  Predators are necessary.  The ecosystem is way out of balance.  I read the main problem is cats are decimating the songbird populations.  That's not good.  As for these two, I have a neighbor who is the "cat vigilante", traps them and takes them to the humane society.  I don't know how long these will be here.


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