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Using Bone Ashes in the Garden. 12.9.18
Daniel, I like the use of dog bones to nourish the garden by burning them and using the ashes for minerals.
At an atomic level, pondering cycles of life and imagining that some of the atoms in your flowers and fruits last resided in some cow or trees on the back woodlot before warming your sore joints by the woodstove, is close to religion.
Joan, thank you for those recipes! Those sound delicious and I will try them!
I was thinking about what to do with the beef bones after Rufus is done with them. Most people would throw them into the trash or bury them, but I like to see if things are useful. Since I do much of the heating with a wood stove, I wondered if I could mineralize the bones and spread that in the garden along with the wood ashes. It appears the answer is yes.
First, bone ash is mostly calcium and phosphorous. In my soil test, calcium was very low, and phosphorus was somewhat low. So at least in the small amounts that I use, these are needed mineral nutrients. The wood ashes are also mostly calcium, so it's kind of more of the same thing, similar to adding lime. Except wood ashes are also high in potassium and there are some other nutrients.
Here is a link to someone who wanted to use human ashes in their garden. I imagine those are mostly from bone, with the other parts going up in smoke. The problem with using some human ashes in gardening, is they might contain lead or mercury.
Bone ashes are much more brittle than the original bone. I put some bones into the woodstove. When I cleaned out the wood ashes, there were some small chunks of bone remaining, which were very brittle, like filo sheets only a little tougher than that. Most of the bone disintegrated. So I just put the intact pieces back into the woodstove for the next go-round.
At an atomic level, next year when I admire the bearded irises, or eat some figs, I'll ponder these cycles of life, and imagine that some of the atoms in those flowers and fruits, last resided in some Bessie the cow, or were trees on the back woodlot, collecting sunshine for 45 years (I counted the rings), before warming my sore joints in the woodstove. That's about the closest I come to religion.
Sounds tasty Joan.
Daniel, how tall should my deer fencing be?
I don't want deer getting caught in the fence how small should the holes be?
My two favorite apple salad dressings.
My usual vinaigrette
Yogurt salad dressing
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?
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
Loam, looking at the top picture before anything else, I was surprised that you grew some watermelon.
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.
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