Round Two.

Discussion in 'Members' Systems' started by mischief, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    The flowers on my Viet mint are pale pink. Very pretty. They've been out for about a month now.
    I gave some to all my friends until I thought they would stop liking me.... I have just started using them in the kitchen. It still feels kinda odd when I'm used to a sponge but it's free so I'm getting used to it!
    I'm REALLY worried as there are about 4 BIG ones high up in a tree where I can't get to them and they have gone all brown and dry. Next time there's a decent wind they are going to shatter and drop seeds all over the place. So next year I'll have even more... I wonder if you can weave baskets from the vines?
     
  2. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Never thought of that, give it a go and let us know how it went.
    I still think that if you have a couple of rubbish bags of Luffas, that you should set up a stall at your market and sell them.
    Im loving using our new scrubbers, we used to use the green pads or steel wool thingies which are terrible on the hand.
    The Luffas feel so nice by comparison and look good too.

    I got the first three hoops up in that garden.
    They are over the new strawberry bed.
    Im glad this is just across the path from the compost bin because I used the first bin I filled up for the very first time to raise the bed for the strawberries.

    I managed to get most of the compost on the bed and not on the path but parts of the path are looking alittle black now, which is annoying.
    I think next time we will put down a tarp in front of the bin to try and keep it looking pretty as long as possible.
    The last thing I want is for compost to build up on the paths and encourage weeds to grow in them again.

    I got given a bucket of old strawberry plants from a client who was pulling out their garden to make way for a garage, so these are now planted out with ours and are covered with bird netting to stop that dratted starling.

    The Half wine barrel has been moved to the path by the parking area and is underneath the regrowing cabbage tree there.
    I have some watercress seeds and am going to put a pot full of compost in that and sow the watercress in that, I'll leave that til spring though.
    Hopefully, they will like to have their roots in the compost inside the barrel.

    I would really like to get some waterchestnuts to go in with them.

    I checked up on the Avocado tree to see how its fruit are coming along.
    We have lost heaps of them due to not giving them that extra water we were told they needed over summer,but there is still fruit there so thats good.
    It seems like they are taking forever to grow to a size that we can eat, they are only about 2 inches long.
    We play a guessing game trying to figure out what variety they will turn out to be, my bet is for the green smooth skinned one, I think its the Haas type.

    It is unfortunate that the tree is so close to the neighbours driveway because I feel that they will not like it if I start mulching the ground under this tree- Its right by their letterbox which the previous owner moved from where it was to put it closer to the road.
    Sometimes shared driveways are just annoying.

    At this time of year we are munching on the Mandarins.
    What I like about these is that they tell you by feel, when they are ready for you to eat them, unlike oranges which can look ripe but peel your tongue with their acidity.
    When the skin feels soft and bendy due to the gap that it gets between the skin and the actual fruit, then you know its time.
    The other thing is sometimes you want flavour without intensity.
    With mandarins I sometimes feel like I'm having a drink of cordial, it seems like they have more water in them.

    My daughter and her partner have moved into their new flat and apparently are actually going to stay put for more than 6 months.
    They want to put a vegetable garden in the back yard and have permission to do so from the landlord.
    They want me to design their garden for them!!
    Ahhh!!!
     
  3. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    That'll be fun! I fancy getting to play with someone else's yard.
     
  4. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    This week we have put in a trellis next to the strawberry bed for peas.
    Snap peas actually, they are supposed to be alittle more hardier than the normal peas which we are supposed to leave til early spring.
    The trellis is made from 2 of the old clothes line poles,they were alittle bent from when the kids used to swing on them so after carefully taking the sledge hammer and beating the hell out of them they are now quite straight.
    I decided to use the old clothes line line as well seeing as it wasnt really long enough for hanging clothes on.
    These peas are supposed to be a climbing sort but the packet doesnt actually say how tall they get so I dont know if the trellis is too high or not.
    We may have to put some twigs in as support, I cnt quite see how 3 well spaced lines will hold the plants up but they may surprise me.
    The seed were put in a rough line under this and then covered with some lovely black compost.

    I decided to see how things went under the frost clothe so we set up one over the Broad beans when we saw that the wild birds were starting to scratch madly around that area, hopefully we got this up in time to save our bean seeds from being stolen.
    When I checked yesterday they were just poking up out of the ground -about 2 weeks since they got planted so it didnt speed up the germination rate ( they have been under cover for a week now)

    The other set of hoops is over a bed that has carrots, turnips, leeks and kohl rabi at one end and loose leave chinese cabbage and kale from a friend at the other end.
    Im not too sure if these are supposed to go in at this time but the packets did say so.
    So far the turnips and chinese cabbages have sprouted.
    One of our cats was encouraged not to go in under the hoops, even he could see that this was a great place to get out from the cold and have a nice quiet moment of contemplation.

    Its been a funny winter so far.
    Its still quite warm, well it must be if the lemon verbena and nasturtiums are still flowering, makes me quite nervous about spring, I have a nasty feeling that we will be getting all the freezing cold then instead of now and its usually so changeable any way its probably just as well we got the hoops and frost clothes for the garden.

    We have been eating more and more of the NZ spinach that is growing under the orange tree, have to cos otherwise it takes off over the path.
    I have found that if we take the leaves off the stems and chop up the stems putting them in the stir fries or whatevers before the leaves go in then everything is cooked at through properly.
    Before when I put everything in together the leaves were over cooked or the stems werent done.
    I think I like this better than silverbeet, it has a flavour that works better with alot more dishes, silverbeet can taste too strong in some dishes.

    The hedge has mostly been trimmed.
    The sides have at least.
    I did start to top it and was stopped by the rain which is just as well cos I decided that it needed to be alittle lower than it was and when I looked at the hedge compared to the height of the dome I realised that it did have to be alittle higher or the wind coming over the top of the hedge could catch the top of the cover and flip it over.
    At the moment those strong southerlies have whipped over the top and not been a problem.

    I found the site for the Bio Dynamics association NZ and got hold of them to get a copy of their calendar in the hopes that this will help me become alittle less disorganised.
    This has just arrived so I will be studying this and the other bits that arrived with it.
    I did think that it would be all laid out for me but at first glance,I am going to have to learn the symbols and jot down notes to myself.ooohh
    Unfortunately they did not have the wheel thingy on their catelogue so I will have to keep looking for that.

    I have also found "Gaias garden" at the Book Depository and this should be arriving sometime real soon, meanwhile Im reading John Seymours The self suficient gardener, from the library.
    Im sure I've read a couple of his books but hadnt seen this one our library before, even though its obviously quite old-should put a request in that if they ever get rid of it that I would like it for my home library.
    I thought this would be good reading for me as his climate has 4 definite seasons similar to ours although I would say his winters would be alot colder in Wales.

    Interestingly, I thought you guys would like this, The Biodynamics assoc.magazine had an article in it where it was stated that permaculture is starting to take off but the demeter system(?) doesnt seem to be.
    I thought that the demeter label was quite well established, so there you go.
     
  5. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Last week I was saying to myself that this so far has been quite a warm winter, didnt stop us from lighting the fire though.
    We've only had one real frost so far which almost made me late for work cos I couldnt get into my truck!!!
    But now its really windy and cold and it does feel like winter is here.

    Not much going on in the garden but I did clear the stalks from the Jerusalem Artichokes.
    Most of it was broken up and put on the compost heap while some went back onto their bed.
    I had almost finished breaking them up when it occurred to me that these might be strong enough to support the snap peas and help keep them along their trellis.
    There were just enough thick stalks to do a row on each side of their narrow bed.
    These have been pushed into the ground quite firmly and angled so they lean up against the trellis.

    The Peas are poking their heads up through the compost right along the row now.
    I was alittle worried that I had put too much compost ontop of them and that they might rot instead of grow,so I am relieved.

    I have been spending my time studying and thinking.
    My 'Gaias garden" arrived and this has given me alot of food for thought.
    I quite often come across things that to me seem contradictory in alot of books I read.
    I do understand that some of this is because every situation Is different to any other one even though they can seem similar, but when I read 'dont dig the soil' and then read something completely different, its confusing.
    example.
    A couple got contractors to take the soil off and compost it so it can be used to feed the soil, thats all good, but then he goes on to say how they then got truck loads of compost brought in and tilled into the soil...;.;.ok...I just dont agree with this.
    How is this possibly going to maintain the soil structure or not kill all the worms that may actually reside there?

    This concept of getting organic matter into the soil has become confusing to say the least.
    In the Bio Dynamics book, I pretty much run into the same thing, so I must be missing something here.
    On one hand you want the humus in the soil, you can get it there two ways 1. dig it in..2.put it on top and let the worms pull it in.
    B>D say its best to put well rotten compost ontop of the soil, yet Marias Thuns book said put it on in autumn and dig in in spring.
    Then they say humus as acts as a sponge holding water and that you dont want the humus ontop as this will hold water close to the surface when you want it down where the roots are making the need for hand watering less.hmmm.

    Then I take another look at our compost, of which I am particularly proud, and realise that there are no worms in it at all, in fact there are no bugs in it at all.
    Does that mean that its not great compost like I thought?

    It feels slippery, its mostly broken down all though I can see where the horse manure was due to bits of sawdust that are still sawdust shaped,its black, smells like soil.
    I decided that it is great compost and there are no worms in it cos its completely broken down and nothing left for them to eat so they have moved over to the next bin.
    Also there are no other bugs because they mostly are debrie munchers and again nothing for them to munch on.
    I cant see the point now of just putting it ontop because the worms are not going to be interested in it...so I may as well have dug it in so the sponge effect is down where the roots are.
    Dammn, and its ontop of our peas.

    Another thing I have been contemplating is companion planting/guild planting.
    The first one came about due to our problem of decrepid garden stakes.
    The stakes on offer in the shops are pathetic and once you're well grown tomato feels a reasonable puff of wind it snaps and there goes the plant all bruised and sorry looking.

    After looking at what plant could be used(after considering and rejecting the idea of using the reinforcing mesh trellises)...
    I hit on an ingenious solution.
    If we grow the tomato plants so they are quite leggy then plant them deep in compost, taking all the bottom leaves off so they dont rot,leaving their heads showing,... then planting a sunflower next to them and when they are close to needing to be 'tied' to their stake, planting a pole bean/sowing a pole bean to act as its very own tie.
    The nature of the pole bean makes it want to twine its way up something and I dont see why that cant be two somethings.
    This way the tomato will have roots quite deep and all the way up the buried stem, giving it a chance against competition from the sunflower.
    It the three of them are planted/sown in a shallow bowl, they can be fed with more compost and mulched without raising the soil level too much, which should help keep the moisture around the roots.
    If I pinch out the laterals after they have set one lot of flowers then I dont feel cheated and those shouldnt add too much weight for the pole bean to handle.
    (could be a good theme for another thread actually....guild plantings )

    On the companion plantings I was trying to work out why it was said that broad beans are good companions for potatoes...the timing is all wrong so it must be a sequence thing first the beans in winter then the spuds in spring.

    When I was looking at where the best place was to transplant the asparagus, I was annoyed with myself.
    They like to grow with their roots undisturbed, dont like to get too frosted on and like to be well mulched with their own fronds as well as other things.
    Peas like having something to grow up so they dont sprawl (or rather I like them to have something to grow up so they dont smother everything else).
    Peas grow when the asparagus are dormant meaning no competition.....
    I wish now I had thought of this earlier and transplanted the asparagus before I sowed the peas!!!!
    Now we will have to leave the asparagus where they are til next winter.
     
  6. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    As its now well into winter here, its time to buy TREES.

    I have been putting off getting trees for the garden for a number of reasons...
    I felt the garden was too narrow and would make vege gardening harder.
    When I first heard about Food forests, I couldnt see how I could put as many trees in the yard as some people were doing.
    (and ok it might have had something to do with a certain hard nosed individual who seemed to hate annuals, and made me cry,lol).
    Realising that I didnt have to plant them in the vegetable garden helped-I still have the rest of the section to work with (so long as I leave hubby space for the workshop!!!)

    I decided it was time to get over myself and so this week have been listing out what fruits and nuts we would like to eat as well as what coppiceable trees we could get to help defray our firewood costs.

    After hearing about the Black Mulberry, we just had to have at least one.
    Im hoping to use it to shelter some other tender baby with it, as well as all those juicy berries.

    I have fond memories of being in a lovely Plum tree as a small child gorging on the most delicious Black plums so of course we have to have a black plum but maybe not quite such a large tree.

    Sweet persimmons are a fruit I do not like to share so this is on the list as is the sweet cherry, even though it will probably need its own net to stop the birds from taking them all.

    The pomegranate was on special so it had to come to a good home, I looked at this when I got home and did wonder if I had made a mistake, I dont even know what it tastes like let alone researched how it grows yet.Not good.

    The coffee tree was added when the sales lady said hers is in a pot still at year 4 and has started to grow berries.
    I figured by the time this will need to go in the ground, that something else will have reached a decent height and will shelter it from the sun in summer and frosts in winter.

    The Tea Camillia was bought to replace the one that just gave up, it does look alittle more robust than the earlier one so hopefully I will do better with this one.
    I have been enjoying those cups of green tea that my mums boss makes with whole dried green tea leaves, its been ages since I had a cup of black tea.

    The red Gooseberry came home because I wanted a red one but could only find the green one last time I looked and hubby just had to have that lovely crabapple.

    We were going to buy alot of Hazelnuts and chestnuts to coppice for firewood along with the silver acacia but they were just so expensive we settled for 2 each of different sorts to get a good pollination and perhaps we can take cuttings of these later or keep an eye on the bargain bins.(I did learn that Oderings have their yearly sale at Easter so this might be a time to have another look).

    The roadside garden has been allocated to grow alot of the firewood trees, mainly cos I just hate being so exposed to the road.
    This caused a bit of a problem in choosing the right sort of tree.
    The rock wall couldnt be concreted in place due to being on TransitNZ land (no permanent structures without consent- and after the head aches we had to not get the driveway finished down by the road I didnt want to go there).
    I've ordered the Italian Alder, which is supposed to have roots that go straight down rather than spread out, so these should not push the wall out onto the road.
    This is supposed to be a good nitrogen fixer, a good wind break tree.
    I figured it would be a good one to help repair to churned up soil that the wall holds up.
    To go with these, we've ordered some silver acacias and a couple of honey locusts.

    We were going to put the Hazelnuts and Chestnuts there too but I didnt do my research properly on the distances needed for coppicing trees and there wouldnt be enough room.
    To be honest I still am not certain just how far they should go, I've found info to say 1 metre apart which to me seems alittle close and now the latest which was 2.5 which seems to be alittle too far- maybe thats for farm shelter belts.


    I had a major light bulb moment,again, on something thats really obvious that I knew intellectually but not conceptually and that is this thing on Diversity.

    I was reading the Designers manual and came across the part where he talks about diversity and stability.
    ....It is not enough to simply place as many plants and animals as you can in a system,as they may compete with each other....
    ....So the importance of diversity is not so much the number of elements in a system;rather its the number of functional connections between these elements...
    ...It is not the number of things but the number of ways in which they work together.

    And here I was trying to work out some guilds to try out to just solve perceived problems, so I have started to take a better look at this area again.
    Good thing its winter so I still have time to work the next seasons game plan out.
     
  7. pippimac

    pippimac Junior Member

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    Ah, trees. My place is tiny and to begin with I refused to consider espalier and multiple grafting as it seemed, I dunno, too controlled, or something.
    Then I got over it! What's a Cox's orange apple but a product of centuries of control? I couldn't squeeze it, a pear and a plum, let alone their pollinators unless I got down with the two-dimensional, multigrafted tree.
    Just checking that you've got a properly self-fertile plum, or a guaranteed pollinator?
    How about 2m apart for the coppice? My worry would be if I didn't prune for some reason, at 1m apart I'd have an impenetrable wall of twigs really fast.
    I'm in the Wairarapa at the moment and winter is most definitely here, anyway!
     
  8. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Pomegranate. Mmmmmm.... Don't worry you made the right decision! Very yummy.
     
  9. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Hi Pippi,
    I just heard about someone not too far that is grafting plum and apple trees, Just have to find them.
    The plum is a guaranteed self fertile so Im really looking forward to this one.
    Ah yes an impenatrable wall is not something to look forward to.
    I've still got time to get it right cos I've only just ordered them so it should take a week or two for them to arrive.
    I was thinking that maybe I could do them at the max spacing and then infill with either the Gooseberries or Black currants or even the Hazelnuts.
    Its going to be so good not to have everybody staring at me from across the road!!
    Forgot to say that I do also have the Tommy Toe and Beef steak tomatoes, if you wanted to try these.

    Eco,
    Im glad you think Pomegranates are tasty, thats a relief, now to get that right spot.
    I have heard about this, but know absolutely nothing about it.
    Its on my list of things to do this week to find out!

    Forgot to mention that I found some Elephant Garlic bulbs so these have been planted in amongst some wall flowers away where they wont get walked on or chook pecked when they are just about ready to be harvested.
    Also put in some shallots but havent even sown the onions yet,which I justified by saying they will get done on the next fertile root day.
    I did sneak in some Bought Asparagus roots too and carefully dug out along the side of the Strawberry bed where there werent any planted.
    Hopefully these are far enough inside the bed, I think they are and are definitely deep enough.
    So we might get a spear or two each this year.
     
  10. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    I got the trees planted out this week, not the right time according to the moon calendar but it was the only day off I've had for ages and I'm not sure when I will get another full day off yet.

    The 'firewood trees', have been planted along the rock wall, I didnt realise that silver acacia was considered a weed here, oh well.
    The Alder and Silver acacia are alternated except where there is already black wattles self sown.
    Strange but true, they just happen to be growing at the right spot for them to be 2m's away from the others.
    To make things look more consistent, I planted the Alders on each side of the black wattle rather than a Silver one.(are they wattles or acacias? they sort of look the same except the silver acacia has slightly redder leaves.
    At the curve in the wall next to the driveway, I put a Kowhai.
    This is supposed to be the tall type and so far is looking okay although I do worry about the snails etc eating them before the get growing.
    I figured that when it came time to start cutting for firewood, that the Kowhai would be pretty safe from damage at this spot and hopefully it will give the Tuis something else to munch on at some point.
    I was alittle annoyed to find that the chestnuts I got are grafted, I suppose this will mean if they are coppiced then I will not have that type grow in the regrowth,so just in case, I took two cuttings of these to see if we could get them to grow.
    I'm not too worried about whether we get nuts from them, I know that wont happen for years but I do want stakes from them.
    Chestnut is supposed to be quite good for this sort of thing too.

    The leftover silver acacias got planted along the boundary and again I found selfsown wattle/acacias regularly space out.
    The two chestnut cutting got put in just in from the Tuis' tree- a bottle brush, (yellow unfortunately not red.)

    I seem to have lost the Persimmon and Plum tree.
    I was so sure we'd got these but I cant find them to plant out and I've lost the receipt, so I couldnt check.

    The Black Mulberry got planted away from where we park as did the Hazelnut trees.
    I put these closer together and was tempted to plant them really close and take cutting to see if we could get a little hedge of these but common sense prevailed.

    I've left a gap for where I want to plant the Elderberries near the compost bins but on the other side of the trellis.

    The Cherry got put closer to the house and nearby I put in the lemonade tree which wont grow as tall.
    It was in the wrong spot inside the garden and needed to move.

    When I was putting the Crabapple in by the existing Apple tree, I noticed that the Apple trees trunk has all these splits up its trunk.
    It doesnt look very good and I dont know why this has happened.
    Im sure it wasnt that way over summer.
    There is another healthy looking shoot coming away from the side of the trunk and I am wondering if I should cut the old trunk out and let the smaller shoot take its place.
    It looks like its well balanced and would make a nice looking tree.
    We decided to wait at least until the Crabapple was fruiting before we made our decision on this.

    The coffee shrub is still in the bathroom where its nice and warm along with the Lemongrass.
    These will be kept in pots and brought inside for winter-especially the lemongrass.

    I spied alittle flower bud on the coffee which was exciting.
    Maybe we should get another one.

    I couldnt decide where to put the tall Alder tree or the seedless grape and fig tree.
    The fig tree we have does not produce very impressive fruit and we are hoping that this different type will do better.

    When the Nectarine tree lost a whole huge trunk and branches when strong winds blew it over the fence into the neighbours place,it meant there was less protecting the baby Avocadoes that were still under it.
    Luckily the Bear breeches protected the lower portion of these so they are still very green below the shrivelled up top part.

    We decided to move these to along side the driveway where there are trees and hedge type plants they can shelter under.

    I did wonder if we should replace the Nectarine tree with the taller Alder that we got and plant the seedless grape next to it so it could grow up through the tree.
    Ever since I saw a program where this sort of thing was still being done in Georgia,
    (country not state), I have wanted to try it.
    Grapes are supposed to grow really well up through Mulberry trees but I think that may just be too much temptation for the birds.

    I decided that the Grapefruit could grow by itself without the pineapple sage this year.
    It was looking alittle congested and we have pineapple sage growing elsewhere.

    I'm doing an experiment with the garden peas to see if the broadbeans will act as a trellis for them and so have sown the peas down the middle of the double rows of broadbeans.

    With the snow peas, Im having trouble with snail/slugs which have eaten half the row, the half I sowed a single line so I have been naughty and put some snail bait down and resown a thicker row to replace them.
     
  11. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    A couple of weeks ago, we had snow!!!
    My daughter decided to have a bach party by the seashore even tho it was winter, so we were fishing when this sort of hail but not quite came floating down.
    It was getting quite cold so it was back to the bach to cook up the catch for the day for lunch.
    I caught all 4 fish, hehe.
    It was quite disconcerting to look out the window and see snow flurries especially on the coast so far north.
    Unfortunately, this burnt alot of the Avocadoes, even the mature tree has singed leaves and the fruit not sheltered by the leaves are withering and turning black which is disappointing.
    I decided to put off seed sowing til next month when hopefully it will be warmer.

    The Plum tree finally got planted out but I cant find the persimmon at all, I hope I didnt leave it in the carpark or at the checkout.

    We've cleared out alittle more along the north side of the bank and put the plum in there along with the tea bush and underplanted these and the cherry with strawberries.
    All the trees have a ring of garlic planted around them and later I will sow some beans underneath them too.
    I read somewhere that trees grow better when they were planted with beans so we will see how it goes.
    Beans and garlic arent supposed to be good companions but I'm going to try them together anyway.

    Its pretty hard to see what things are good companions and there seems to be conflicting ideas for example tomatoes and brassicas arent supposed to be good together but in our first season all the tomatoes had brassicas in with them and all did well except for the broccoli that didnt form heads which is why they call it having blind heads.

    Anyway, this year we really need to tidy up the boundary line of the vege garden, this was supposed to be done in the first year but didnt happen and things were just let go along here.
    It did look pretty with the 4 o'clock marvel self sowing everywhere.

    Now that we've put the trees in I feel much better about having trees that might grow enormous in the middle of the section.
    They are all deciduous and so wont affect the winter light into the house but will still help break the winds.
    Under the main trees I want to put some smaller ones and underplant this band with herbs and beneficial insect plants.

    The seedless grape is now along side of the north wall of the house.
    The soil got dug out and replaced with lovely compost and its been put a couple of feet out from the house.
    Still hasnt got its trellis yet so for now I will just use a tall sheet of the reinforcing mesh I use as trellises in the veg garden.

    I got a lovely surprise in the mail the other day.
    Pippimac sent me some of her Georges beans and perrennial chillis!!!! with afew other goodies.
    I knew there were such things as perrennial chillis but didnt think we had any in this country so Im am really excited about this and have been raving to my friends about it.
    We now have orders for at least one plant each of this.
    Thank you Pippimagic!!!
     
  12. pippimac

    pippimac Junior Member

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    My pleasure mischief.
    We all chat away online, but nothing like seeds in the mail to remind us that we're actually real people!
    My rocoto seeds came up within days on a heat mat. Pubescens can sometimes take weeks to germinate, so yay!
     
  13. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    I'm practising restraint this year so I am going to wait til it warms up before I sow my seeds.
    We dont have a heat mat and the hot water bottle trick didnt work for me last year so we wait for the sun to do its thing.
    It was cool getting pressies thru the mail.

    I have decided to become particularly fond of snails.
    I happened to watching the food channel recently when there was a program with a segment on a snail farmer.
    The main problem I had with the idea of eating snails was how on earth do you make sure they are ok to eat?
    Well the answer was you put them in a container and keep them without food til they stop pooing which is about 3-5 days when they then look nice and creamy beige coloured.
    hehe

    When I was very small, my grandmother fed us winkles-a type of sea snail as far as I was concerned.
    She didnt have enough cats eyes to finish a shell box she was making and could only find ones that were the right size...but still attached to the snail.
    So we got a gourmet meal and she got the small round bits to finish her box.
    They didnt really taste like much but then nothing does when its all boiled to death.

    A few years ago my sons mother in law gave us some of the sea snails they had collected.."Its a Maori delicacy" They didnt taste like much either actually, so I have never bothered to collect these when we have been on the coast.

    Our local council in their infinite wisdom decided to gift me with a completely useless double bucket contraption in order to encourage me to send them my compostables.
    Not sure why when they dont have the resources to do anything practical with this and wind up sending what they do collect to a recycle centre 2 hours drive away by car.
    Hubby uses one as a waste paper bin and the other sat in the porch where I would often look at it wondering what I could use it for.
    This inside bit doesnt have solid walls but sort of slats and soft plastic so its not all that sturdy.

    Anyway, I was working on moving the flax bush away from the garden to somewhere snails could congregate in peace without disturbing my peace, when it occurred to me that these snails were really big.
    Off I went to get this useless basket and sure enough the snails were too big to get through the slats.
    I was busy filling this up when I got snapped.

    There I was nose in the flax bush looking for delectable morsels to practise on when I hear..
    "Do you want a cuppa...um what are you doing"
    "Collecting snails."
    "Ah ok, theyarentfordinnerarethey?
    "Not tonight no"
    "Oh.... thats good" as he disappeared inside again trying not to look too worried.

    We learnt that when it came down to it , we just couldnt kill the old chickens, but I can and do kill snails.
    I have often seen and heard about escargots,and it high school, we were supposed to get to taste these in our french class but they never arrived.

    Soo... now we have a basket full of various sizes.
    They do have some lovely mustard lettuce leaves to eat cos I need to be able to sort out the larger ones out into another container and let the not quite so big ones grow a bit.
    I asked my mother if we could have her recycle basket to use for this as she also uses a compost bin.
    When that arrives I will sort them all out and keep the big ones separate without the leafy greens.

    And after all that excitement, I discovered that the flax was now riddled with English Ivy, probably arrived via the birds.
    I couldnt get it out so the flax bush has all its leaves cut off to become mulch for the garden and the bush itself has been dug up and moved to allow it to dry off so it wont be so heavy when I take it to the dump.
     
  14. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    We just finished reworking the chooks dome for the next season.
    All the chook mesh has been taken off along with all the wire ties, thankfully before they rusted right through.
    The broken bit of pipe on the bottom has another shorter piece wired to it making the circle whole again.

    We replaced the mesh with windbreak clothe, using a thick type of fishing line to 'sew' it onto the frame.
    For the top we put over some bird mesh which was sown onto the top of the windbreak.

    This has made a huge difference to the weight of the dome and to make sure the frame was still ridged, we replaced some of the wire bracing and tightened most of them by taking the pliers to them and twisting so there is a kink in the wire.

    Now we're off to locate the new arrivals to go into their newly refurbished home.
     
  15. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    I wound up giving mum back her recycle basket, land snails dont taste like much either...
    onions garlic,parsley, mint and oregano and not much more.
    I waited til hubby wasnt home before I tried them.
    I decided they just were not worth the effort,the texture wasnt too bad tho, I suppose it helps when they are just cooked through, abit like calamari rings sort of.

    So I guess I learnt that if we ever have a dire need of protein, I know how to catch them, process them and cook them.
    Maybe I should have tried them in a chilli or curry type sauce.
     
  16. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    Well done for having a go at the snails mischief - chilli sauce sounds like the go. Your new type of dome seems similar to mine with much less wire and much lighter.
    You crack me up!
     
  17. Grahame

    Grahame Senior Member

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    I think the 'commercial' snail growers tend to 'clean' the snails the collect for a while before eating them. By that I think it means feeding them on fresh clean grass for a while. Something like putting carp into clean fresh water for a while before eating them...

    I don't intend this as being alarmist, but I have a vague recollection of some issue with botulism and snails/slugs. But that may just be a cooked vs raw thing
     
  18. mischief

    mischief Senior Member

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    Dont worry Im still alive and feeling pretty good after having a good work out today tidying things up again.
    I hear about botulism too but havent found any one who actually knows somebody who has been made ill from it, not saying that it doesnt just that I find it strange that nobody knows anybody who even got ill from it let alone died.
    Mine got lettuce mustard and rocket then nothing for 4 days but water.

    I do feel reassured that if at any point I am starving that I know of one resource that I can kill and eat.
     
  19. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

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    Which probably makes the rest of the family happy that you wouldn't eye them off as the first option!
     
  20. pippimac

    pippimac Junior Member

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    I've heard stuff about parasites in snails being an issue. Never botulism, which always seems to involve Americans canning strange things.
    The parasites thing could be a complete urban myth though!
     

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