Noel Young

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since Oct 12, 2019
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Recent posts by Noel Young

We had a lot of hornworms early in the season this year. The parasitic wasps eventually showed up but I picked many before I saw any sign of them. After I saw one hornworm with the little wasp cocoons I saw no further hornworms of significant size.
1 month ago
A couple pictures from the summer garden...

So many tomatoes. Unfortunately, a bunch have also split open this week.
1 month ago
The most interesting GMO project I've seen is trying to restore the American Chestnut using transgenics. There are also programs that are modifying the native chestnut by breeding to more resistant Chinese chestnut and then breeding back to American over generations. Which is better? They're both modifying the genome. I'll be interested to see how both projects play out over time.
1 month ago

Larisa Walk wrote:We had our first taste of one of these from a friend this year. Very productive and fragrant but bland. We tried peeling, slicing, and dehydrating to concentrate what little sugar is there and the end result is still bland. They seem like a good melon to experiment with crossing to get their early productiveness into something with better flavor? We've grown Sakata's Sweet for several years, a Japanese melon that is eaten skin and all. It dehydrates nicely and tastes almost date like when preserved by that method. But their thin skin, while convenient for eating and slicing, offers no protection from rodents and their button end, like buttercup squash, is where the rodents tunnel in to get to the seeds. They can be grown on a trellis but maybe crossing them with the Tigger might make it possible to grow them on open ground? Just a thought.

It was definitely less sweet than a larger melon but this one was pretty ripe so maybe not as bland as some? I ate it paired with a cup of black coffee so maybe that made it seem less bland? Or maybe growing conditions affect taste? I haven't had a second one yet. I will have to look at the Sakata. If compatible definitely might be interesting to try crossing. I like the idea of a smaller snack size melon. Thanks for the reply post!

Mk Neal wrote:How long does this little melon take to mature?  My garden is short on sun,  so I am on the lookout for a melon that will ripen faster,  seems like a small one might.

I planted these in June. Package says 80 days which sounds about right. My other melons are definitely behind these but I think they're listed as 90 days. So, not much shorter unfortunately based on the packet info.
I grew tigger melon this year on a whim. It's a small melon about the size of a baseball. Reviews were mixed mostly stating they smelled divine but the taste was bland. I ate the first of them today and was pleasantly surprised. This melon smelled like a cantelope and tasted similar to honeydew. It wasn't overly sweet and the skin was thin leaving little rind. I honestly wonder what the reviewers expectations were. Is it my favorite melon? No. But it's tasty and more importantly it's conveniently sized for a snack. Lesson here is take reviews with a grain of salt.
You might have to separate them from the chickens in the run if they're that young.
2 months ago
Honestly I'd put them back into the garage until I felt well enough to get them otherwise safely situated. Or keep them in the chicken run assuming it's fully enclosed. In assuming the chickens roost in a shed or coop the run is attached to.
2 months ago
Ditto the freezing comment. Grated for baking and sliced or chopped for other dishes. In my experience they freeze well.
Thought I would share a little sweet potato project from this year...

I had a past prime purple sweet potato from a neighboring farm that was just begging to grow slips.

Grew out slips. Made a planter box from scrap wood and other materials I already had lying around to place on a shelf in the duck/goose pen. The shelf was whitewashed (first experience with that) using leftover paint and lime.

Rationale being deer love sweet potatoes as do other critters. We have a large herd of very friendly deer that graze our meadow/field. Placing the planter box in the pen fences it in from critters. If the vines ever grow long enough the ducks and nip at them for entertainment.