Godless in the garden

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Godless in the garden

Welcome to gardeners, growers of veggies, fruits, flowers, and trees, backyard hen enthusiasts, worm farmers, & composters!

Location: Planet Earth
Members: 179
Latest Activity: 3 hours ago

Welcome to Eden!

If you like to dig in the dirt, grow flowers, putter around the yard, dig in the kitchen garden, raise backyard hens, or just like daydreaming about the garden, this is the place.

Many topics have been discussed in the archive.  Revive a topic by adding your 2¢ or start a new topic.

Everyone likes photos of the garden, so if you like to share photos of your prize dahlia, your favorite hen, or your first tomato, go right ahead!

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Comment by Randall Smith on November 29, 2015 at 7:57am

Wow, Daniel. Here you are, ridding your property of blackberry thickets, and I'm trying to cultivate one in my pine trees! Around here, farmers spray fence rows (what few remain), and I have a difficult time finding patches. Admittedly, they are a thorny bramble, not exactly desirable for anything but the actual berries.

I spent nearly 4 hours "pulping" persimmons the other day. Got about 3 pints. It's very hard work which makes me wonder if it's worth the effort. However, my pecan/persimmon pie was delicious!

Comment by Plinius on November 29, 2015 at 12:39am

That's quite a struggle, Daniel, but you'll never be without blackberry conserve!

Comment by Daniel W on November 28, 2015 at 5:54pm

Here is a before and after of my blackberry bramble and thicket clearing garden project.  The thicket is on the edge of my property, and occupies roughly 1/4 acre.  One the other side is more woods, then a ravine, then on the other side there are houses again.  I think - fairly sure - the state wetland laws prevent development of the ravine area, so it should stay wild in perpetuity.  Blackberries are nonnative and considered a noxious weed.  The thickets are at least twice my height, more like 3 times my height in some places.

Most of the work is just cutting sections of blackberry bramble, pull them out, cut more, pull them out. Some are thicker than my thumb, and covered with thorns. They fight back. Blackberries are the kudzu of the Pacific Northwest, a state-designated noxious and invasive weed. Our county week commissioner stopped by last summer, but there's not much he can say, with much of the area covered in blackberries, including state lands. Here is an after photo of one section. This took a month, a little at a time. At this rate, I should get most of it cleared by Spring, maybe. One area that I cleared last year is completely covered again, having grown during the summer drought when I was not up to mowing. Plus, the ground was to rough for the mower.  Here is the after. I am only cutting the hawthorne trees that have fallen over or are near dead. I think this is a nice peaceful garden / woods. It's nice being outside working in it, and hearing the water trickle in the creek, the birds sing, and watching the occasional bluejay in the branches.  I only do what I can, there is no hurry.  The mounds are chopped-up blackberry brambles.  They will go into a compost pile to decompose for a year or so.I might check tomorrow to see if the ground is soft enough for some bulb planting.  If it is, I can plant some daffodils.   If not, then no big deal.  I would like for the fallen leaves to prevent return of blackberries, but they have already proven me wrong.  Maybe so me grass under the trees for occasional mowing.

Comment by Daniel W on November 25, 2015 at 8:55am
Randy, I think I was liking the idea of persimmons more than actual experience. The unripe Asian ones leave something to be desired. But ripe ones - holy moly they are good. I read American ones have a better, more complex flavor, just smaller. Some things we just have to grow ourselves, and persimmons are included in that.

I think of persimmons as the ultimate American fruit - native, one of the largest pre -European fruits, evolved on the North American continent. I hope to taste some from my own trees in 2016. :-)

Bertold, were those in the Midwest? probably American persimmons too. If we are fortunate, maybe in 5 years I can supply you with some local grown. :-)

I think the main challenges getting more people to grow them are - horticultural literacy, most people just dont know; difficult to transplant, so you have to start with a really tiny tree, and then it might be 4 or 5 years to get fruit, And most American persimmons require both a male and female trees, although there are exceptions.

A few years ago I was at Shorty's nursery in Vancouver, they had some nice 5foot tall persimmon trees. I asked the sales person if it was male or female, he said they dont come separately. I also asked if it was American or Asian, he didnt know, and I asked for the variety, he said persimmons dont have varieties. None of those responses are true, he was just making it up, and i didnt buy one,
Comment by Randall Smith on November 25, 2015 at 7:22am

As a matter of fact, I'm making persimmon pudding today! However, nobody will eat it but me. I'm thinking about calling it something like "brown sugar delight", omitting the word "persimmon".

Comment by Bertold Brautigan on November 24, 2015 at 10:23pm

Frozen persimmons are a great dessert. My auntie used to make a wonderful persimmon pudding for Thanksgiving.

Comment by Daniel W on November 24, 2015 at 10:14pm

Persimmons - Around here, some of the grocery stores carry fresh Asian persimmons.  They are usually the size of a small apple.  These are "non-astringent" - eaten when firm and crunchy.  If you did that with an astringent persimmon, it would be like a mouthful of talc.

I don't like nonastringent crunchy persimmons.  To me they have an off taste.  I read that all they need to do is ripen, and you can eat them like jelly.

I placed them into a bag of apples.  Apples emit ethylene, which ripens fruit.  After 3 or 4 days, the persimmons were soft, like over ripe tomatoes.  Cut in half and scoop out the flesh with a spoon.  So good - super sweet, like a spiced apricot only much juicier.

Deviled alligator eggs.  The grocery store sold small avocados in an egg carton - like container, calling them alligator eggs.  I cut them in half, scooped them out of their "shell", took out the seed, and filled the center with salsa.  Ning said he wouldn't like it, but he did.  They were like deviled eggs, only green, with red "yolk" instead of egg yolk.

Sometimes it doesn't take much to amuse me.

Comment by Randall Smith on November 23, 2015 at 7:04am

Daniel, I commented on your garden blogspot.

I hand picked a whole bunch of persimmons to be sold at the farmers market by my kids. They sold exactly NONE! Nate said people were totally ignorant about them. How sad. Now I have to grind them into pulp--that is, if he didn't throw them away.

Comment by Plinius on November 23, 2015 at 12:36am

I can hear you counting the days, Daniel! 

Comment by Daniel W on November 22, 2015 at 4:23pm

Randy, maybe that old barn burned down.  The wood ash could cause alkalinity.  Or the cement.  Or maybe they had piles of lime there for use on the farm.  I guess it doesn't matter - it's alkaline regardless.

First frost today.  Low was 23.  I'm glad it came.  Now I can clean up the borders and vegetable beds.  I wanted to wait for a killing frost.  I don't know why.  Now I have to wait for my next week off work, which is the first week of Jan.  Weather and energy permitting - clear borders and kitchen garden beds.  Clear some more blackberries.  Not too much - last time I overdid it and couldnt function for 2 days.

 

I found sources for scion for another Purdue-Rutgers-Illiniois disease resistant apple,  Goldrush.  I want to add that to a multigraft, and the old 1700s variety Baldwin, and a couple more.  I like grafting and it isn't physically difficult at all.  Planning ahead for late winter.

 

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