Rita Bliden

+ Follow
since Jul 28, 2018
Rita likes ...
dog forest garden trees chicken cooking ungarbage
Ever optimistic tree hugger. Grew up by the Jersey shore, rode horses, shoveled shit, worked for vets, then retail( health food store), junkyards, and now practice manager for 4 horse veterinarians. Married, no kids, one dog, and now own 7 shady acres. The words "food forest" give me hope.
Pinelands of New Jersey
Apples and Likes
Total received
In last 30 days
Total given
Total received
Received in last 30 days
Total given
Given in last 30 days
Forums and Threads
Scavenger Hunt
expand First Scavenger Hunt

Recent posts by Rita Bliden

Wow what a response! Sorry I missed out. If you need round two, I would be honored to test.
Excited for your cookbook!
Have fun everyone-happy testing!
1 month ago

Stanton de Riel wrote:I'm in zone 6b (Trenton NJ area), and figs are booming in our hot summer.

Hey neighbor! I work 8 minutes from Trenton, and live in the Pine Barrens. "It's a small world after all". Sorry if I just planted an ear worm!
My figs plants look great, but only about a dozen figs on the oldest one. I do prune them back when I bring them in the garage in November. I am going to attempt some propagation from cuttings. If I find the receipts with the varieties listed, I will do some research to find out their attributes.
1 month ago

Anne Pratt wrote:I really want to grow figs.  There is a variety that's supposed to overwinter here (Vermont, Zone 5).  That hardly seems possible to me, but it's tempting.  I think I'm going to get better at growing what I have before buying more fruit trees.  I haven't actually killed any, but a few arrived dead due to shipping delays.  Still, I think I'll be a better gardener next year and the year after.

I love figs.  Fresh.  Delicious, and absurdly expensive the few days a year they are available here.

I love figs too! I don't know if it counts as "natural" to grow them in tubs and move them into a garage for the winter. Yes it is more work, but the trade off is you get figs!!! Bill's Figs in North Jersey has so many varieties I think he lost count. He grows them in self watering tubs, and moves them into an unheated dark garage from November 15-March 15. (he has lemon trees too!)Those dates would be different for VT. We experienced some extreme late frosts here in Jersey this year. I moved my 3 back in the garage for two of the frosts, but missed the warning on the third. The 4 yr old fig (forgot variety, it's on a receipt some where in my files) didn't lose any leaves, but the 2 and 3 year olds leaves were toast. Right now only the 4 yr old has figs. It may be the others are too young, or that they had to restart after the frost damage.
My 4 yr old started producing figs the first year I got it as a 2 yr old, even though Bill said it would not start until it was 3. Plants! Gotta love em!
The CSA I belong to planted figs along the side of one of their farm buildings, and then built a green house frame , which they cover in plastic,  to protect them through our winters.

1 month ago
Wow Daron great information. I don't know if we want weasels, because we plan to get chickens. It's such a balance. We are on 7 + shady Pinelands acres. NJ has a Woodlands Steward plan, for folks with at least  5 acres not including their home. The paperwork for our plan is due 8/1, and I was just  looking for wildlife habitat ideas  when I found you on the Permies dailyish. We need 2 habitats per acre (6 acres in the plan) Our property is mostly oak and pine, with a few maples hiding some place. Typical sandy loam. I have had to amend any where I have wanted to plant .
The ticks and chiggers are our biggest "pest" problem. We can't walk off our driveway with out being suited up with sprays and treated clothing. We will celebrate in October when we can visit the rest of our property. And install the wildlife habitats.
I have found a few small garter snakes, one in some leaf litter and one in our wood chip pile. I have come across a tree lizard and a few frogs in the front yard. Chipmunks have become scarce thanks to the raptors that cruise through our woods. There are squirrels ,but our dog chases them off. I have yet to see a rabbit. We do have wild turkey too.The deer pressure here is off the charts. We put up 7' deer fencing around the front yard in an effort to protect our raised vegetable beds, but something ate and or removed all the tomato, pepper and zucchini plants. I love shade, but most of the veggies we are trying to grow do not. The front yard is the sunniest area, so we  tried protecting that first.
2 months ago
All the tomato green bean and pepper plants that were eaten or disappeared were purchased already started.  Same for the kale, cauliflower broccoli nasturtium parsley red vein sorrel basil dill and rosemary. I was happy to support the local csa and organic farms that were selling the starts.  The kale never went in the ground. Half was in hanging baskets and half in large pot on my front porch which gets morning sun. Something ate all the kale.  Parsley is doing well in hanging basket. So are nasturtiums,  but heat is starting to affect them. The herbs are doing ok. Anything that went in the ground got eaten. I think the radishes bolted even though I started them in Match in a cold frame.
And the deer fence is 7' not 7". I didn't have my glasses on.
I will plant for fall and see if I can do kale in cooler weather.
Growing up we had great success with cukes, tomatoes peppers and zucchini. Great soil, great water, and lots of sun. I lived in a  bunch of rentals between then and now, so buckets were my only option. Now we own 7 shady acres in the Pine Barrens. We would really like to grow any of the veggies mentioned. I love radishes and was excited how fast they grow. I will try again. I think my focus needs to be on shade tolerant and then try to protect them from whatever "took" all our tomato plants. We have 7" deer fencing up. Moles and or voles may be our issue as well. We are not giving up! Hoping to have some luck this fall.

Laura Johnson wrote:The ants are farming scale. Watch for the scale - which look like little dots. Clean them off with rubbing alcohol and a rough rag. Then get some good worm castings to put around your lemon. For some reason it prevents scale.
It does not say what zone you are in. Lemons are hardy to 27 degrees.
I have a Meyer Lemon that is about 20 years old. It is in a huge pot. I bring it in to the greenhouse every November with a furniture dolly. The lemons ripen , then It blooms and sets fruit in the greenhouse.
If you live in a frost area, a few do not have a place to over winter the lemon, you can build a pvc pipe frame. Cover it with clear plastic and put some light bulbs in ther to turn on when it gets cold. The old kind of light bulbs that give off heat.

Hi Laura, I am in zone 6B, smack in the pinelands, with lots of oak and pine trees around (SHADE!). I bought a lil' Meyer lemon on Etsy, and want to repot it. What do you like to use as potting mix? How much bigger would you suggest I go with the pot size? I plan to bring the lemon tree indoors in the winter. I may have to go with artificial lights, because our home has a front and back porch, so the natural light is limited. A green house is in our future, just not this year. Currently it is enjoying the southern corner of our east-ish facing front porch.
I hope you don't mind me picking your brain about your 20 yo Meyer lemon tree. I think you may know a thing or two!
Smooth wink wink.(I  am half way through your KS how to doc)

it just warms me to the bone

I get it. It crossed my mind that folks should be generous in response to obvious generosity. That's the way I am wired.
I also trust with so many KSers behind you , you may know a thing or two or three. And it all starts with $1.
Thanks for being a generous giant.

3 months ago
I am in total admiration of Paul and all his Wheaton Lab "rats"! Your hard work and creativity and devotion are outstanding.  I am in to support this kickstarter, probably at the $50 level.
Is it just me, or are you too generous at the dollar level? I get there will be benefits to infecting minds by getting this information out there, and what better way then for what everyone can afford.
Since I have never been on the other side of a KS, I would not know just how many folks contribute at the dollar level, nor how complicated it gets to add more levels.
I should go read Paul's how to do a KS. I am sure it will be eye opening.
Yeah team Wheaton!!
3 months ago
This is awesome stuff! Missed two freebies :-( My honey was in the hospital with pneumonia,so I was a little preoccupied. Excited to find more and get to watch them! Thanks dudes and dudettes! You rock!