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Pics from Greg's Forest Garden

 
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Some quinces on one of my quince trees.  I'm struggling with these as the varieties I have are prone to damage from fire blight.  I'm going to have to replace them (makes me very sad).  I really hope to somehow get my hands on fire blight resistant quinces as I love these trees in flower as well as in fruit.  But if not I'll figure out something else for these spots.
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Greg Martin
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Enough pics for now....just one last one of my laptop cover for fun :)  Thanks for checking out my pics!
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Wow Greg! I love the jungliness (not a word, I know) of your forest garden. We're just at the start of building our forest garden in our new place so this gives me some great inspiration.
 
Greg Martin
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Thanks Robin.  One of the things I love about it is that every year for more than a decade I've gotten to experience multiple new tastes I'd otherwise likely never have gotten to try....and almost all have been very good experiences :)

Here's another plant I love that I've introduced over about a half acre of my gardens, Allium tricoccum….ramps.  This picture is from springtime and they are growing around the base of a serviceberry.  They are spring ephemerals...plants that shoot forth from bulbs they use to store the energy from early spring photosynthesis.  They leaf out when on the forest floor before deciduous trees leaf out and cast heavy shade, when the ramps then drop their leaves.  Later in the year, when it's warmer for pollinators, they flower and then set seed.  I keep spreading the seeds and ramps are slowly walking across my acreage.  They taste wonderful.

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Robin Katz
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Greg,

I tried ramps in Denver and the heat kicked their little allium butts. I think they will do better up here with less blazing sun. I had great luck with garlic chives and egyptian onions there and managed to keep some alive until I could plant them in the new kitchen garden.  

I love alliums in all their shapes and sizes so I'm hopeful ramps will do well here too. Love the pictures!
 
Greg Martin
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Robin Katz wrote: I love alliums in all their shapes and sizes so I'm hopeful ramps will do well here too. Love the pictures!



I've got my fingers crossed for you Robin!  I'm with you on Alliums.  I sometimes think I have too many....and then I add a bunch more.  Still several more species on my "to add" list.
 
Greg Martin
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Robin Katz wrote:Wow Greg! I love the jungliness (not a word, I know) of your forest garden. We're just at the start of building our forest garden in our new place so this gives me some great inspiration.



Robin, I forgot to say thank you for your comments!  I used to argue with folks that we could have jungle like forest gardens up north, so I love you saying my forest garden is exhibiting jungliness….I agree, and more and more with every passing year.  I can't wait to see what it will look like in another 10, 20 or 30 years from now, if I make it that long .  
 
Greg Martin
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A few pictures from my zone 5 citrus breeding experiment.  These are from an F2 Poncirus x Citrus bed where something like 95% died last winter, but you can see a few that died back to the soil, a few had top die back, and one in ~200 in this bed seems ok.  These pics were in the spring.  Since then those that didn't die back to the soil look really nice as they continue to grow.  We'll see what next spring brings.
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Greg Martin
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Here's a groundcover of Houttuynia cordata and 'Dugereirhong Purple' garlic chive, a northern Chinese selection, growing between some fruit trees.  I got seeds for these garlic chives along with several other goodies from the extreme gardener (darn I miss her blog!) years ago through Seed Savers.  Every time I look at them/eat them I think happily of her posts.

This Houttuynia is the Japanese chemotype...it smells like oranges when you crush it.  A friend from NJ came by to pick up some figs I started for him.  We walked through the forest garden with a shovel to add to his haul.  When he saw the Houttuynia he mentioned to me that he has the Vietnamese/Chinese chemotype that smells like coriander and that he'd send me a plant!!! (very excited).  Does anyone have recommendations for how they use Houttuynia in the kitchen (either chemotype)?  I've found recipes for the coriander chemotype online but not for the orange chemotype yet.  Looking forward to playing with these flavors.  

Houttuynia is a great ground cover for shady conditions and makes a great "sea" in an "islands in the sea" ground cover style (the garlic chives being the islands in this planting).  It crawls all over to fill in the gaps and looks gorgeous doing it.

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Greg Martin
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I planted seeds of Siberian purslane, Montia siberica, years ago on the wet shady edge of my forest garden that have since seeded themselves into the adjacent forest.  Siberian purslane leaves taste exactly like beet roots for all you that love beets like I do.  The poorly focused picture is mine, so I also attached a great picture of it in flower that I pulled off the web.

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Wonderful. What a result.
On 20190817_101724.jpg I think its Chinese leek. Allium tuberosum.
 
Greg Martin
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dirk maes wrote:Wonderful. What a result.
On 20190817_101724.jpg I think its Chinese leek. Allium tuberosum.



Dirk, thank you very much for your kind compliment as well as for your help with my Allium!

That Allium does have some traits in common with my A. tuberosum selections, such as the flat leaves of good culinary quality, but it differs in a few ways.  It blooms about a month earlier, has lilac colored flowers with a rounded umbrel, while my A.tuberosum umbrels are much flatter and white, though I think there are some varieties with purple flowers.  I need to work a little harder to identify it.  I'm kind of leaning towards A.senescens or a hybrid of it at the moment.  I bought it years ago from a nice woman at a farmers market who was growing it in her flower garden.  I'll take a closer look at them together tomorrow and taste them side by side to see how they compare.  Also, I want to see if it's forming seeds or if it seems to be sterile.  Next year I'll have to pay close attention to how the flower stalks open as well as try eating the flower shoots when they are young and tender to see how those compare to A.tuberosum.

One nice thing about this plant is that it is spreading nicely.  I'll have to move it to the base of the climbing rose on the other side of the arbor as well as a few more places to make sure it's safe.
 
Greg Martin
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I've been picking chicken of the woods (growing wild in the forest right near my house) and wine caps (cultivated in hardwood chips on a shady path in the forest garden) lately.  Chicken of the woods are great for beginning mushroom foragers as there's really nothing that looks quite like them.  And yes....they really do taste like chicken a decent amount and even develop a very chicken like texture.  Here are some pics of these photogenic chicken of the woods:

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Greg, those are excellent looking mushrooms. Very pretty growing on the log. What type of tree was it? We have all conifers here so I'm looking for anything that might grow on them. I may inoculate with different types of mycelium just to see what happens (can't take the researcher out of me).

I'm especially envious since we're having our first snow of the season and it's a big one. Good thing we got in all the tomatoes and peppers from our first year proto-garden.
 
Greg Martin
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An update on the American Spikenard.  It's such a big plant that makes sooo many berries.  Each little cluster ripens all at once, but the spike of berries ripen over an extended time.  They've passed now, but these are pictures from a few weeks ago when I was snacking on them.

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Greg Martin
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Robin Katz wrote:Greg, those are excellent looking mushrooms. Very pretty growing on the log. What type of tree was it? We have all conifers here so I'm looking for anything that might grow on them. I may inoculate with different types of mycelium just to see what happens (can't take the researcher out of me).

I'm especially envious since we're having our first snow of the season and it's a big one. Good thing we got in all the tomatoes and peppers from our first year proto-garden.



Robin, you probably don't want to know it's 77F here then  (was in the 80's for 4 days a week ago....our season has dramatically extended due to the warming in this area....Maine has seen some of the greatest warming on Earth....mixed feelings).

It's growing on a hardwood tree, sorry to say.  I can't recall for sure, but I think it's oak (it's lost it's bark so I'm not good enough to ID that).

I've read that chicken of the woods can grow on conifers here, but that those have caused poisonings and might actually be a different, but related species.  But here's some info from Fungi Perfecti that differs on that....might be a different strain?


SOFTWOOD

Douglas Fir: Chicken of the Woods,

Fir: Phoenix Oyster, Turkey Tail.

Pinon Pine: Phoenix Oyster, Turkey Tail.

Spruce: Chicken of the Woods, Phoenix Oyster, Turkey Tail.

Source: Fungi Perfecti Catalog.
 
Greg Martin
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The German fig that overwintered outside for me this past winter is ripening it's breba crop right now.  (I opened my fig spreadsheet so you can see the variety name in the background in case that is of any interest)

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Robin Katz
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Thanks Greg for the info from Fungi Perfecti. On the weather being warm there, I think I'd have mixed feelings too - love the weather but wonder what it's doing to the ecosystem.
 
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