Godless in the garden

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Godless in the garden

Discussing all aspect of gardening.

Location: Planet Earth
Members: 179
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Comment by Joan Denoo on October 12, 2012 at 5:01pm

Plant Paradise Country Gardens

This is an incredible garden with great combinations of colors, forms, and  textures. These ideas are keepers. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on October 10, 2012 at 5:02pm

A Brief History of the Wonderful Tomato

For those interested in history, here is a fun one on tomatoes. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on October 7, 2012 at 10:54pm

Annie, thanks for the lead to Ira Flatow and Steven Strogatz. A great interview. Feynman is one of my heros, a scientist who reflects on the consequences of his work. It is information such as these men discussed that convinced me no god is necessary. Natural processes have their way of creating cosmos out of chaos. Mathematics, the language of science, makes so much more sense because there are certain laws that either exist, or do not, and there are explanations why a law doesn't fit in different circumstances. Gravity is a low of the earth, but with enough velocity objects can escape earth's gravitational pull. From a universe point of view, laws of gravity apply. There is not a simple, absolute answer, it is all relative. Oh! I've heard that one before.  

Evolution is so much more interesting and exciting than creationist dogma, it explains processes of gravity, electro-magnetism, strong and weak forces making a mystery dissolve, even as these processes lead to even more mystery. Noticing patterns, as revealed by fractals and Fibonacci sequence, I knew natural order exists and all is not chaos. 
See my Fractals in Nature Photo Album: 

Fractals in Nature

Or, Fibonacci Sequence:

Fibonacci sequence

Comment by Annie Thomas on October 7, 2012 at 3:36pm

Beautiful web, Sentient!  And Joan, your comment made me think of the Science Friday episode a few days ago.  Ira Flatow was interviewing Steven Strogatz.  He wrote the book, "The Joy of X: A Guided Tour of Math, from One to Infinity."  Flatow brought up a Feynman quote about finding joy in knowledge, and asked Strogatz if he agreed (which he did).  He gave the example of seeing the Fibonacci sequence in so much of nature, from the number of scales in a pine cone's spiral to the seeds in a sunflower.  It's funny, as it is things like this that perhaps could be the only way to convince me that there is any type of god or "creator"... but it doesn't. ;-) If you are interested in the program, you can listen to it here: http://www.npr.org/2012/10/05/162372203/steven-strogatz-the-joy-of-x

Sentient:  Do you know what type of spider created this web?

Comment by Joan Denoo on October 7, 2012 at 1:49pm

An incredibly beautiful evidence of fractal geometry in living things, and the existence of patterns in nature. I wonder how the spider knows how to build a web? Perhaps, one day, we will be able to understand the workings of the brain and body. But for now, I can just enjoy the shapes, forms, textures, and colors all around us and realize I/you/we exist following the same evolution processes to make life as we know it. How could we ask for anything more?

Comment by Joan Denoo on October 5, 2012 at 1:23am

Red oranges from Sicily! I wonder what the chemical components are to make such a flavor. Are they able to bottle it, or freeze it? But then, that goes against my principle of eating locally. Oh yes, we do need to make some changes. 

Comment by Plinius on October 5, 2012 at 1:07am

Of course there is terroir! You made me think of the red oranges that grow in Sicily on volcanic soil. The taste is unforgettable - and you cannot grow them anywhere else with the same result.

Comment by Annie Thomas on October 4, 2012 at 6:34pm

So glad you are enjoying the topic!  There is a wonderful book titled, "Terroir: The Role of Geology, Climate, and Culture in the Making of French Wine" bu James E. Wilson.  It's a large and rather expensive book, but I wonder if your local library would have it?  It is written by a geologist and the biggest complaint about the book is that it is so heavy in geology (which is one of the things I enjoy about it).

I remember watching the movie "French Kiss" many years ago.  I love the scene where the main character brings out a box he made as a school project that is filled with little vials of different scents.  One has lavender, another truffles, etc.  This was my first introduction to the concept, but also made me wonder what other plants retain something from the soil they are grown in.  Now, some believe there is really no such thing as "terroir", but I beg to differ.

Comment by Annie Thomas on October 4, 2012 at 6:07pm

Sentient- The "weird thing" you think about is not weird at all, but actually a whole study of agriculture.  "Terroir" is a term used to describe a specific area of soil and all of the characteristics of it.  It includes the climate, the topography, the native vegetation, minerals in the soil, and many other things that are escaping me at the moment. ;-)  I always interpret it as the flavor of the land.  It is most commonly used when discussing wine, the terroir of an area also affects coffee, tomatoes, and a growing list of plants (some are even using it to describe and differentiate cheeses).  It is a French word, but the concept of terroir is now believed to date back as far as 3000 BC Egypt, as they understood the importance of the interaction between the environment and the grape vine.  If you google "terroir" you will get plenty of information, in case you are interested in further reading.

I wholeheartedly agree that the local soil gives a certain flavor to some harvests.

Comment by Joan Denoo on October 4, 2012 at 1:44pm

No, I probably have just been at it longer. Maybe. Also, like you, I look to research to verify "old farmers' tales". Does clover feed grass? yes! Does soil need to be treated in healthy ways? Absolutely! Other than that, I just experiment, observe, record, ask questions, read research and then do what seems to make the most sense.
Raised beds make excellent sense if you don't use power cultivators, although there are small ones available. I like to get my hands and shovel into the dirt.
Your strategy to plant clover or beans in new raised beds is a good one. Crown vetch works too, but is pesky because it sticks to everything. Turning it in the spring is a big chore and I don't do it any more. I used to. Now, I plant peas or beans and just trowel them in or compost them in the spring. Not at all physically demanding like turning earth. I am doing more no-till gardening and get excellent results. Companion planting is a given. 
I love your comments, suggestions and shared pleasures of a garden. We had heavy frost in my garden but the Spokane weather reports stated overnight lows of 34. My garden definitely got below 32 degrees. My water pipes are scheduled to be blown out tomorrow ... hopefully before they freeze and break. I usually have at least one pipe explode when we turn water back on. It is a pretty sight, but requires immediate repair. 

 

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