Anita Martin

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since Aug 16, 2018
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Certified translator for Spanish, former Project Manager in the software business, gardener, book-lover, mother, home-maker, hobby genealogist, crafter and much more
Southern Germany
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Recent posts by Anita Martin

It does look strange, but I don't think it is mold - especially as it was overgrown in the following days.
I would keep an eye on the batch and maybe dip the scoby under the liquid from time to time to make sure it is surrounded by acidic beneficial liquid.
2 days ago
In a small pond the duckweed is actually beneficial as it provides shade for the water (preventing overheating) and gets the extra nutrients into a "solid" form which you then can rake off. But if your pond is bigger and you can't just rake off the duckweed it will only provide some relief in summer before it starts to decay in autumn (and releasing those nutrients again).
So I think you are right, you need some bigger plants that capture the nutrients and which are easier to remove than the duckweed.

Congrats on the frogs and salamanders! Amphibes are a great indicator for a healthy ecosystem.
5 days ago
100% sure it is melilotus officinalis (sweet clover). The white variety has a far sweeter scent, but the yellow one is very popular with bees and other pollinators. The plant is native to Europe and Asia (some subspecies to Africa) therefore it might be unfamiliar to you.

Nancy Reading wrote:

Anita Martin wrote:I would have posted this in "Objects I have found in my yard..." if there were such a thread.

Oh - you missed this great thread here then Anita!

Obviously! I thought I had seen a similar thread but when making almost a dozen different search runs with terms like "unearthed", "curious", "backyard", "yard" etc. I could not find what I wanted and thought I was mistaken.
Thanks for pointing me in the right direction, and I hope I can remember the thread title when I dig up the next treasure, haha!
1 month ago
I would have posted this in "Objects I have found in my yard..." if there were such a thread.
So I am including it here, although my finding is rather exceptional:
Yesterday when weeding in the allotment I found an object that looked like a flimsy coin and slipped it into my pocket.

Today I took it out and cleaned it a bit, and to my surprise it is older than I thought. 10 Pfennig from the German Empire, dated 1875. This is before my great-grandparents were born!

Too bad that the contact with earth had impacted it so much, otherwise I could have sold it for several hundred Euros (maybe). Well, I will keep it as souvenir.
1 month ago
There's seems to be a variety of garbage disposal systems. I would be interested to hear how this is dealt with at your place?

Here in my part of Bavaria, Germany (depends on the district) we have:
* Non-recyclable garbage every two weeks (fill up half a bin usually or less) - mandatory; no landfills, all waste will be incinerated in a thermic power plant
* Recyclable packaging (metals and plastics) every two weeks - mandatory
* Paper and cartons once a month - optional and free of charge
* organic waste including food waste every two weeks - optional, we don't use it as we compost

In addition to that I can go to the Recycling center any day and get rid of additional packaging, garden waste (obviously we don't use that), styrofoam, wood, aluminium foil, cartons etc. - free of charge for normal volumes excepting waste like rubble from a building site, a larger amount of garden waste or big appliances like a fridge.
There are also the containers for single use glass. I go there about once a month.
They have some categories of waste that I cannot recycle in our normal garbage system (like the mentioned aluminium and glass, also cork).

About twice a year the mobile toxic waste vehicle comes to our village for things like left-over paint and similar - free of charge
There is also a deposit for toxic material waste like asbestos five minutes away from us, but we never had to go there (I guess it is for contractors or similar). They charge based on material and volume.
1 month ago

Melissa Ferrin wrote:
I'm sorry, I've travelled the globe and no chocolate chip cookie sold anywhere in the world in any supermarket is anything like homemade. I wouldn't even consider them the same thing. A chips Ahoy or other packaged cookie bares very little resemblance to a homemade cookie--I would be though that there are bakeries and cafes in Europe with decent cookies, just as there are bakeries and cafes in the US with acceptable scones, strudels, and baklavas.

Certainly nobody would deny that! This happens with so many things where there is a processed version to buy and a homemade version.
That's why I wrote that many people (including me) make them at home.
If you do a google search for German recipes for Chocolate Chips cookies you will get a ton of results ;-)
1 month ago
Hi Barbara,
it is very hard to tell by your photo. Are they propelling by little spurts? Then they could be mosquito pupae.

In any case, it is both hard and not advisable to try to keep water insects from populating your little pond. They will help keep the water clear and soon form a balance. Some will eat the others, you will probably get dragonflies, and if you are lucky even amphibes.

I would not worry too much but welcome the life forms in your garden.
1 month ago

John Suavecito wrote:

Anita Martin wrote:J (trout is of European descent and was introduced into the US).

Thanks for the link! The regular trout ("Forelle") I know is of European descent (hence Schubert's Forellenquintett) so I assumed you referred to the European one - which was indeed introduced in other parts of the world.

1 month ago
Just a short reply as I don't want to get into trouble ;-)
Europe is a continent with vastly different cuisines. Some people are adamant that the British one should not even be called cuisine, lol.
Trout, sauerkraut and horseradish are eaten very commonly here (trout is of European descent and was introduced into the US).

Other things that were mentioned like sweet corn on the cob, chocolate chips cookies, pumpkin and peanut butter can be found in most supermarkets and the cookies are prepared at home by many families.

I would be most curious about native food, like nopales, something with chipotle, local berries, meat like bison etc.
And good Mexican food is hard to get. On the other hand, we have very authentic Italian cuisine so most Germans would be skeptical to eat something like deep dish pizza or spaghetti Alfredo or with meatballs.

In any case I guess the kind of people you attract will be open-minded and enjoy anything prepared with love! Let us know how things work out!
1 month ago