Thank you for reminding me of the floating garden. There's plenty of water here. It isn't mine, it's public. I would like to make a small floating garden in the water next to the community garden of Permacultuur Meppel. I have some pieces of styrofoam ... I know that isn't 'sustainable', but it floats very well ...
Stephanie NewComer wrote:I’m currently growing 10 apple trees in my kitchen. Waiting until they’re a few feet tall before they go outside. They are currently a foot or less. Jonagold, ambrosia, golden and pink lady. Also growing 2 orange trees. Seeds came from fruit we ate and purchased from the farmers market.
FYI some fruit purchased from you run of the mill grocery store will never produce fruit because the growers treat them so others can’t grow from them.
Your little trees will grow, and some of them may be fruitful. But seed-grown trees will not be true-to-type to the parent apple. Well over 90% of apples grown from seed are really bad. Birds may still eat them, as might other animals like pigs, but rarely will you get anything close to the parent fruit.
However, occasionally you do get a winner. You mention Ambrosia. That variety was a discovered down in a ravine growing close to an orchard in British Colombia. A farmer was clearing out volunteer apple trees and other brush that was growing down in this ditch below his farm and he was just about ready to take a chain-saw to one of the trees when he reached up and picked one of the apples off the tree. It tasted fantastic. There were only 4 apples left on the tree. He picked them all, took them home, and shared them. Everyone loved them. He went back and marked the tree so that he wouldn't cut it down, and that winter he pruned it for production. The next year he had a great crop off that tree—great apples, high brix levels, very little blind wood or bitter pit . . . a great little tree.
So they grafted a ton of new trees off that mother tree and started growing them for production. With good root stock and standard growing conditions, they realized that they'd found a winner. They named it Ambrosia and started to sell graft wood to other growers under an exclusive ownership agreement. The apple grew in popularity and everything went great until one guy decided to stop paying royalties to the original family. Other People violated the growers agreement and now there are all kinds of lawsuits about protecting the Ambrosia variety. But it's one of the most profitable apple varietals in the world, and it was discovered growing wildly of to side of an orchard.
Mark Shepard is calling for American school children to plant seeds (like you have done), with the hypothesis that if millions of children planted a couple of seeds each, and those trees were allowed to grow until their fruit could be tested/tasted, America would be able to discover a bunch of new varieties.
Best of luck with your seed-grown experiment. I hope that at least one of those trees turns out to be eatable. If not, apple is a great wood for smoking BBQ, and any living tree is good for the soil that surrounds it.
Mike Jay wrote:Ok, here's my report. All the varieties made a ton of tomatoes. This year was unusual, we had three Augusts and it was dry. So better than average tomato weather. As you can tell from the photo I haven't been harvesting them lately. We've found most of our tomato harvest is either for the market or for canning. We did harvest and sell every other week for market, but picking them for canning isn't worthwhile. I taste tested them all and the only one I was really interested in was the rogue yellow pear one. So I saved those seeds.
I was impressed that they took off and fruited so quickly. I probably should have put them on trelli or something. Maybe these are the only situation where those crappy tomato cages would actually work (due to the shorter stature of the plants).
Do you think the yellow pear one is a dropped seed or a hybrid? Is it yellow? Some of the sweet cherriettes are pear shaped but red, before I thought that was what you were mentioning.
I hear you about the flavor. I really only see the ultra early reds as breeding stock. For instance: I have it in mind to cross sweet cherriette with coyote and amethyst cream both of which are small cherries with better flavor in my opinion. Sub project is to get better flavored and fancier ultra earlies in general. Josephs Brad x yellow pear is a step in that direction as is his Big Hill. Big Hill x Blue Ambrosia kind of kills a few birds with one stone. Both parents are exserted. Blue Ambrosia has good flavor probably from Sungold ancestry. Big Hill is a bicolor which are also very good flavored. They both have open flowers so my planting them together this year should lead to some natural crosses next year. Only problem is they are only medium early probably in the 55 day range from transplant. Good enough I think for direct seeding here, but maybe not in a little bit shorter season. Maybe if I get a cross between those two I will cross it back to something really early like 42 days.
That's my approach too, when it doesn't look broken, don't go fixing it. But it did start to look sad during the summer in the previous years. This year so far it's only been soaked once, but on the other hand, we did have an unusually wet spring and early summer, so I'm not really getting a clear signal on how much it has already "grown up".
Briony Beveridge wrote:Hi -
Does anyone have any comments on his holistic spring sprays?
Isn't neem oil a bit mean to the good microbes, especially when cut with soap?
Is liquid fish the same as liquid fish fertilizer?
I have been going through Micheals books this winter and plan to work my way towards implementation this year. Certainly Neem oil would contain anti- microbial and anti fungal compounds. You have to sometimes kill some of the good along with the bad. He talks about this in relationship to copper and sulphur. They work well in organic systems but not completely without consequence. The soap is needed to emulsify the neem so it will be water soluble to a degree. The neem oil has fatty acids that feed the arboreal food web as it breaks down.
The fish is fish fertilizer but Micheal makes the point many times that not all fish fertilizer is the same. His choice is rich in fatty acids and amino acids. And processed in a specific manner.
I found the type he suggests at whiffletree Nursery ion Ontario.
Now would be the time to go to their facebook page and see the events they will attend over the next month. Make your list now. I got their seeds directly from Rachelle on the Seedy Saturday last year. All of the corn save one seed germinated and that was accounting for mice and pocket gophers so I thought I did pretty well. The variety was new to me so I don't know if it had particular cold vigor but the corn on my plot was the first to mature out a community garden plot of hundreds. So I'd go so far to say it is Sk tested.
I grew up in Arkport, N.Y., but currently live in southwestern Montana. You could try growing catnip, interplanted with borage and hollyhocks. The flowers will draw pollinators, and the catnip will seed everywhere. It'll drive the whackos bonkers.
I came across Daniel Brandt today. Ohio no till cover crop farmer with a clay pot factory for a neighbor. Started with yellow clay at half a percent organic matter. Forty years later he is at 7.5 percent. Done with cover crops.
Glad to hear you're making progress with different trees. This year for me was a bust, with the move out to the country,trying to sell a house, busy at work and being pregnant, nothing got done this year as far as propagation/seeding...to be honest, I barely got anything out of the garden. There's always next year right? Haha!
Anyways, I started tasting bur oak acorns to try and find some that were palatable, and did find some at Wiggins park in Saskatoon...I don't know if this weird season is what made them good, but there was no bitter tannin taste whatsoever, it was truly bizarre. I gathered some and will keep you posted on how they taste next year from the same tree. Also, if you want Limber Pines, go to the corner of Broadway and 12th street (5 corners it's called) and there is a huge planter that contains about 4 or 5 mature specimens. Bring a trowel and simply dig out as many seedlings as you want, they're usually between 1 and 4 years old...I was there a few weeks ago and they were looking good, I just never got the chance to go back yet...I'd rather someone takes them to grow out rather than them getting weeded out by the city next spring! I've been doing this for years! I found a few more sugar maples growing throughout the city, but haven't been by any lately to collect seed...I could give directions if you're interested. I have a northern catalpa on my boulevard that seeded lots this year, could be something worth trying, has not died back in about 5 years. I hope to work with you someday (sharing seed etc) to get a nice variety of reliable food trees for our region. I'll see if I can get more Mandchurian Walnuts again this year, they sometimes take a few years to germinate when you don't prepare the seed well, so the sooner the better! I would like to get some butternut someday when I have some places prepared to plant them. Good luck!
I too was working on walnuts this fall. I have about 40 trees on my ground. This was my experimental year as I have not harvested them before. I made a contraption to hull them. I don't have a pic but I will try to explain. I started with a plastic barrel. I cut the top off of the barrel and attached legs to the barrel that raised the bottom of the barrel about 4 feet of the ground. I then cut a hole in the bottom center of the barrel about 8 inches or so. I fashioned a slide gate onto this hole. Next I took chicken wire and rolled it up a few layers deep and made a tube about the same size as the hole in the barrel. The tube was then fastened to the slide gate on the bottom of the barrel. Another slide gate was fastened to the end of the tube. Basically so far you have a barrel up I. The air with a steel mesh tube below it with slide gates to control the nuts in and out of the tube. The barrel simply acts as a hopper to hold the nuts. Underneath the tube I put a bucket on the ground. Now is the fun part lol. I got the pressure washer out and went to town. Using the highest setting, the washer easily blew the hulls of the nuts and washed them perfectly. After the nuts in the tube were bulled and cleaned I wud empty them into a bucket, then fill the tube again and start over. If you use an empty bucket under the tube while you are spraying them, water will collect in it and then you have wood stain. I found this to be the best way to hull and clean the nuts all in one step.
Also I found that if I put some nuts in the food dehydrator, they could be ready to eat very quickly. I have dried some of mine for 24-36 hrs and they are ready to crack and eat.
yeah I tend to plant way more plants that I need for our family and friends..and if it all grows and flourishes and I get a harvest maybe I'll even be able to sell some..I always do give some away every year to needy folks..and have sold a few things..but not enough to make any kind of living at it..which would be nice.