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X-mas Cactus (Schlumbergera). 10.15.18
I was taking absence of regulars as boredom, talking of social life at a gardening forum made me more concious. I never expected such intrest. Thanks to you all.
One period of my life which amuses my children, students and even me when I think of it today was my village society in my childhood. Actually I was in grade 7 when electricity came to our area. Before this it was centuries old life which seems to be a fairy tale even to me today. Let it postpone for some latter time.
Sentinent! Our chief crops are wheat, rice, cotton, mangoes, oranges and lemon. I included later three in chief crops as they are planted commercially on million of hectors. Here people take them as crops instead of fruits. Hilly areas are good for graps, apples and dry fruits of all kind.
Our climate is very fruit tree friendly. I wasn't concious of it before your question, I can count up to 25 different kinds of fruit trees planted successfuly in houses of my surroundings. Yes three or four figs too. But it is more successful in hills.
Amer, I think your description of your environment is interesting.
Thanks, Sentient! My greatest success with citrus was simply inheriting two honey murcott mandarin trees from the previous owners of my house. I planted a blood orange tree two years ago. Although it is still very much alive, it is not yet thriving. My greatest desire is to grow avocados. I had a frost-resistant tree that unfortunately was taken out when a neighbor's tree feel on it during a storm. I plan to get another one from the University of Florida, as they are working on breeding frost-resistant strains. It's a frustrating time to be a fruit gardener in my area, as temperature shifts have left us teetering in between two different planting zones. Old timers in the area talk about growing more tropical varieties, but in recent years, we've experienced longer and harder freezes than ever before. I am a novice gardener, but I enjoy it so much!
Loved the Ogden Nash poem, Joan! Fun and true! Years ago, I led a student group on a rain forest adventure in Central America. I explained to them that they should prepare for the trip by thinking of the rain forest as one giant organism whose job is to decompose everything within it... including humans. When you look at it this way, one prepares better by bringing antifungal ointments, protective clothing, etc.
I am checking emails after being offline for a couple of days. Although I have not been part of this conversation, it's been fun Saturday morning reading. Amer, I find your descriptions of where you live fascinating and educational. I live in the US, in Florida, but enjoy hearing about what life is like for others around the world. Thank you for sharing!
Some insects feed on rosebuds,
And others feed on carrion.
Between them they devour the earth.
Bugs are totalitarian.
~ Ogden Nash
Amer, your comments interest me greatly and I suspect others enjoy them as well. Thank you for describing your customs and traditions; the article on mountains of Pakistan offers a perspective of the challenges living and gardening in a country of such sharp contrasts.
Johan! my name is pronounced like Aa-mir. My mother tounge is punjabi. I teach chemistry, biology and physics in English. We use British English in our schools so it might look a bit different to Americans.
I perhaps talked too much about my area and that too at a wrong fourm. Many people are getting bored already, but one or two more intresting informations. My small area is called pothohar(means semi-mountains). It is right between thousands of kilometers of plains and world highest mountains.
with amazing altitudes where snow never melts. Sometimes it snows in mid summer. There are cities like Gilgit and Skerdu in these mountains where construction is done only in months of June and July, in rest of year cement refuses to dry up.
I enjoy both seasons. Summer of plains(where people use fans during winters) and winters of mountains(where people use heaters in the summer).
Thanks Joan, you always make such nice compliments! I'm patient with any that tries to do well - people, animals or plants - but when I see that they don't want to do well, I stop caring. Result is that I'm surrounded by happy life forms.
It won't be very cold here, we're just 20 KM from the North Sea - we'll have some weeks of 0 or -2 °C and perhaps a few nights of -5 °C.
For a farm animal is's not idyllic here: there are lots of factory farms here - most of them neatly hidden. What you've seen are probably small farms belonging to people with ideals; a beautiful showcase for the tourists. Now and then I read in the paper that a farm burnt down and that thousands of chickens or hundreds of pigs perished; I can't prove it but I think it's done for the insurance money. There are laws here that should protect farm animals, but too few, too little, too late. Cows are usually kept in enormous barns and almost never allowed to walk outside. Pigs are loaded in trucks and hauled to Italy - three days without food or water - there slaugtered and made into Parma ham.... I can go on like this, there are so many wrongs. It's the reason that I eat only a little wild caught fish or an egg from a happy chicken with my vegetables. It doesn't help of course, but I don't want to be part of such a despicable system.
Amer, thanks for the info on the cactuses!
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