Godless in the garden


Godless in the garden

Discussing all aspect of gardening.

Location: Planet Earth
Members: 181
Latest Activity: 20 hours ago

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Comment by Daniel W on November 22, 2017 at 2:08pm

Randy, good for you, getting outside and doing gardening!

I have been cleaning up around some of my fruit trees.  The older / taller ones are less trouble, because they are tall enough that deer don't seem to bother them.  So they are not enclosed in fences, which makes maintenance much more challenging.  I cleaned up around those, pulling weeds, mulching with leaves, and doing minor pruning.

Here are some Collard Green stems that I had pulled up because they were in the way of my blackberry fencing project.  Since there were a lot of them, I threw these into the chicken yard.  The hens picked them free of leaves, and some of the buds as well, but left the main stems and roots.  So I trimmed them up a little, and replanted.  If they don't grow, it doesn't matter  If they do grow, that will be fun.  The Collards that I overwintered last winter are still growing new branches and leaves, so I'm starting to think of them as a perennial, maybe even a weird shrub.

Geraniums are getting some nice fall color.  I moved these into the garage this week.  They will sit there, dry and dormant, until Spring.

Blackberry trellis.  Finally done.  Looks like sort of a Davey Crockett version, but I think it will do the job, and the poles were free / sourced from my own yard.

Comment by Randall Smith on November 22, 2017 at 6:51am

I finally had a chance to work in the garden yest cleaning up cages and poles and clearing out asparagus fronds. I also spread a blanket of leaves over strawberries. Have a nice winter, garden. See you next spring.

Comment by Daniel W on November 18, 2017 at 6:19pm

Randy, horseradish us super-easy to grow, and just as easy to harvest and process.  You can probably grow it from a grocery store root.  I got my start from the big box store garden section, about 10 years ago.  They are said to bd invasive, but mine havd behaved vety nicely, no spreading, just get bigger each year.  When I have dug them up, new ones grew from roots that broke off underground, but that is no different from oriental poppies or rhubarb, which do the same thing.

Today I dug up some more gladiola corms to dry out and store for the winter.  Alnost like digging onions or potatoes.  Also dug some tigridia.  I dont know if they will survive that treatment.  Maybe.

And I finished building the blackberry trellises.  The posts are almost log-size, from trees I cut some time ago, and the horizontal parts are old bamboo poles.  So the cost was zero.  Can't wait for a blackberry crop next year!

Comment by Randall Smith on November 17, 2017 at 6:59am

Horseradish is something I've never grown. Good reason why not: I have a 10 year old bottle of the stuff in my fridge! I seldom use it and I don't know why not. I love it!

Comment by Daniel W on November 16, 2017 at 8:04pm

Today I made prepared horseradish from the roots that I dug up.  It was not as involved as Joan's reminiscence - I used a small food processor.  Did have to leave the kitchen briefly when it was to pungent.  I love that stuff.  Planted some small side roots back in the garden, see if they grow into a big root in a year or two.

Comment by Daniel W on November 15, 2017 at 10:26am

Joan, I loved reading your recollection.  You are a national treasure.

Randy, I haven't tried growing almonds.  I have an order in for one more chestnut tree, to plant this month if they ship it soon.  That's it for me and nut trees.  Then comes living long enough, and some luck in the growing department, to taste them.

Raining today.  Typical Pacific NW late fall weather.  It's gloomy, but the consistency is reassuring.

Comment by Randall Smith on November 15, 2017 at 7:05am

Wonderful looking 'simmons, Daniel!

Enjoyed reading your horseradish story, Joan.

I gathered almonds yest off the ground and tree (with ladder). The ones I've cracked already look good, albeit only about half of them are viable. I'll be busy all winter with almonds and walnuts.

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 15, 2017 at 2:09am

Daniel, those beautiful fruit hanging from the persimmon tree look like crown jewels. 

Horseradish is an event I remember from my childhood. My Dad's sisters and brothers and their families came to our house. We had tables set up in the garage made of saw horses and plywood table tops. We connected several hand-cranked meat grinders to the stands so they wouldn't wobble off onto the floor. Strong fans moved air from the back of the garage to the outdoors in an attempt to keep the horseradish fumes blowing outside. We had a stack of Dad's handkerchiefs at the end of tables so that people could wipe away tears with clean cloths.  

Dig up long tubers of horseradish. You can't pull them up because they break and leave large chunks in the ground. 

Everybody who had a vegetable peeler peeled off the skins. An adult with a sharp knife cut off both ends of each radish and put in a large bucket of ice-water. 

We didn't have a recipe; however, we did have cups of salt at each grinder, some water if needed and bottles of home-made apple cider vinegar. It was strong and had lots of "mother" which are strands of friendly bacteria, proteins, and enzymes that give vinegar a cloudy, cobweb-like appearance. Modern cooks use Braggs Vinegar because it has "mother" in it.

When the hand grinding started, the kids handed each grinding person horseradishes and kept them supplied with cold ones. Some of the kids with clean hands ran to fetch fresh handkerchiefs as needed to wipe away the tears of the one suffering. The men did the grinding, and the women gathered up the ground horseradish in bowls, measured it out, added salt and apple cider vinegar according to some ratio then into sterile jars sitting on another saw-horse-plywood table. They, too, needed their tears wiped away. 

The grinding completed, the jars of horseradish filled, wiped clean, and sorted into paper grocery bags, the cleaned tables turned into picnic tables. 

Out came the food, the usual picnic menu potluck. There would always be cold fried chicken, potato salad, cabbage slaws, fruit salads and mixed vegetable salads, a variety of pies, cookies, and cakes.  

Off they went, each family with a bag or two of horseradish. We kept ours in the refrigerator, opening the last jar for Christmas dinner. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 15, 2017 at 12:12am

Daniel, I cook my smelly stuff, sauerkraut, brassicas, fish, outside on the back, south, covered deck. It has an electric outlet, BBQ, Smoker, tables, and chairs making it a comfortable place, except in the bitter cold. However, it spares the house of the smells I don't like and I don't think others do either. 

Laura and Larry both smoke in the garage on the north side of the house. 

Comment by Daniel W on November 14, 2017 at 9:09pm

Joan, thank you for providing that wise advice regarding chestnuts. 

Fortunately I don't have to worry about neighbors being unhappy with me for cooking cabbage.  Our worst cooking odor problem is when Ning cooks meat in the slow cooker.  When I'm aware that he is doing that, I tell him to put the cooker in the basement or garage.  Otherwise the entire house is permeated with, what to me smells like sewer gas.

On the brighter side, here is one of my persimmon trees now.  It's nice getting fresh fruit in mid November.

I did start removing fencing from raised beds in the kitchen garden, in anticipation of removing 6 of the 12 beds, and using the soil and some of the wood and parts of the removed beds to raise the level of the 6 remaining ones.  The 2 that I did already are nearly planted  with alliums - garlic, chives, garlic chives, and perennial winter onions, and some remaining Chinese radishes and turnips.

Oh, I dug up some horse radish roots today.  Now I have to learn how to prepare it.


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