A correction, a month ago I posted a photo of shoots coming up between old milkweed stems, and I thought due to the location that they were milkweed. However, as they grew they were NOT milky, and soon became apparent that this was gooseneck loosetrife (Lysimachia clethroides) that had invaded my milkweed patch!
Now a month later the TRUE swamp milkweeds (Asclepias incarnata) are emerging as pencil-thin, rubbery textured light green shoots, with the loosetrife in the background:
In another area, larger common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) is also shooting up.
Here is is surrounded by violets, coneflower, and columbine:
And a view of the geometry from above:
Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) now in its prime. I have never seen it with a burgundy leaf like this one.
Blazingstar (Liatris aspera) is just starting to come up, one of the later perennials.
I think this is some kind of Rudbeckia, like Black-eyed Susan.
Maybe by using less sugars than called for you are inadvertently fostering a less-tasty fermenter than what was intended? The bread kvass (or Estonian Kali) recipes I have seen use a large amount of honey or sugar, it is almost like a short-fermented mead. The botanicals may only be used for part of the fermentation too.
Thanks for the encouragement. I realize that I made some careless mistakes with the soil and the drainage for my planter; I can fix that, thank goodness. I am nervous about the disease thing, however. Last year was freaky. I am directly east of PA; I live on Long Island, NY. So many people around here experienced the same thing as the cucumbers.
One thing to consider with cucumbers is whether they might have succumbed to cucumber wilt; which is a disease spread by cucumber beetles. That tends to get my cukes late in the season, and can have a sudden effect. I am going to try some odorous companion plantings this year to see if that might confuse the beetles. We'll see if it works out.
I agree that you should complain to the company about the anaerobic compost. However, unless you are growing in straight compost or using a very thick layer, I doubt it will harm you garden. I've had home compost go anaerobic before; it is slimy and annoying, but a thin layer quickly dries out and ceases to be anaerobic.
FWIW, I think you may be expecting too much perfection. The basil looks pretty good, just a couple tiny brown spots that may be due to injury. And you say you had a good cucumber harvest before the vines died off, so maybe that is all the cucumbers had to give.
Best investment strategy is to use your money now to build the society you want to live in tomorrow.
A Recession or an economic depression is not a thing that happens just to an individual or just to a family; it happens to a society. You cannot make your own estate or family "recession proof" unless you have made your community and your society "recession-proof." It is like building a flood wall around just your house. IF everyone does that the water just tops them all eventually.
I guess what I mean to say is do not use you money with an eye towards *weathering* to next recession, but rather with an eye to forestalling it.
L Anderson wrote:
Here’s the rub: all of the changes to the clothing industry captured by the ‘fast fashion’ concept now make it difficult for people of average or lower means to wide up and trade quantity for quality. It is very difficult to find clothing that is well made using good materials and that is also classic enough in design so that allows people to feel that they are not walking anachronisms. This is especially true for younger people and for people in white collar jobs earning median wages. The buying options may be out there, but are not always easy to find. Add in a couple of kids, maybe a spouse, time is short.
Exactly the problem. I grew up in the 80s/90s in a small town with 1-2 clothing stores, and what we didn't buy in town we bought in the next larger town which was still an under-100,000 market. We were a middle income family not into high fashion. Still, I always had some lambs wool sweaters some silk shirts, and a lot of cotton, and these were things you could buy in a store catering to teens in a mall in a mid-sized town. Now I live in a huge city, and in big department stores and stores catering to adult women it is a sea of polyester crap. I had told my family that what I wanted for Christmas this year was a wool sweater, my husband looked at all the standard clothing stores before finally buying from 10,000 villages. He told me I was not exaggerating about the crap that fills up the women's clothing departments now.
From today's Washington Post about insect survey in a public garden in Delaware that found 135 species of bees, including specialist and generalists not previously known to be native to the area. A quote:
"The survey suggests that if enough home gardeners plant targeted plants, the bees’ habitat loss will be mitigated, and the bees will show up. “These are very small animals; you don’t need 100 acres to make an impact. A tiny bee can do well in a small residential setting,” Sarver said. “It’s a great opportunity for conserving biodiversity, but enough of us have to do it.”"
I was right about the Jack-in-the-pulpit, here you an see the leaves and flower beginning to break through their sheath. You can also see a smaller spike emerging in front of the larger one. In the background is wild (Canadian) ginger.
My trilliums are now in their prime. Looking at different wildflower websites, I am not sure if these are actually prairie trillium (Trillium recurvatum) or sessile trillium (Trillium sessile). Both seem to go by the alias toadshade, and the latter is also called "little sweet betsy" by some people. I guess it does not matter so much.
The liliy-of-the-valley is more recognizable now, as its graceful vase shape unfurls.
The same fern crown as from past photos, the fiddleheads are at good eating size now.
White snakeroot (Ageratina altissima) is starting to emerge. the new crumpled leaves are tinged with purple and a bit shiny, though they will be dull, dark green at maturity. This plant is an easy to grow (some my say "hard to kill") plant that provides late-season nourishment to pollinators. However, all parts are toxic to mammals and this was the cause of "milk sickness" in past centuries. Google it! Fascinating story of two women solving a medical mystery and not getting much credit. So...if you have dairy animals best keep them away from this.
Prickly lettuce (Lactuca serriola) is a Eurasian species that has naturalized. You can really see the resemblance to domesticated lettuce at this stage in spring. It is a good spring green, this one here is tender and mild enough to eat raw. The "prickles" are actually quite soft and not bothersome at this stage. Larger leaves are better cooked.
I am not sure what this is. The leaves are thick and resemble milkweed, but I do not recall having any milkweed in this spot. I will keep and eye on it.
Note sure about these either. They look a bit burdocky, but the texture is wrong. Also to keep an eye on.
It looks like a complicated and laborious method of planting; maybe worthwhile if you are trying to grow a tree in ground that is not otherwise suitable. Maybe something to try if your trees are not growing well in native earth. I can't see going through all that prep as a general rule, though.
I recently read a book about nineteenth century Japan that focused a lot on clothing. The robes then were designed to be actually taken apart at the seem for washing, then sewn together again. (clearly people were not washing their clothes between each wear.) I expect with a lined robed you could have a lingin of a fabric which could take harsher wash conditions that the more showy outer layer. Or maybe the other way around?
I want high ceilings in the summer and low ceilings in the winter. I have thought about constructing some type of temporary loft over my living room with panels that could be easily removed or swung upwards and secured during the summer.
Interesting that you just wrote this. Yesterday my family and I were discussing the whole "high ceiling" thing and I mentioned that I recalled that at Wheaton Labs, one winter they used fabric as a "lowered ceiling" in their tepee. I had had a similar idea at one time that I hadn't acted upon as it hadn't been critical path, so we discussed how something like a fabric "roller blind" that went horizontally across a room in the winter, but rolled up against a wall in the summer might be a cost effective way to improve an existing situation. Your idea of panels that actually made for temporary living space has merit - so many homes are larger than really needed just to accommodate occasional guests!
Hopefully someone at Wheaton Labs will see this and know whether I'm remembering correctly or not, and how it worked out.
A similar idea to the old-fashioned canopy beds; creating a small, cozy chamber which traps body heat so you are comfy without using so much energy to heat a whole room. Maybe we should make a "canopy couch" for winter family TV-watching?
Jay Angler wrote:Hubby agrees with your figures, John.
More seriously, I can remember reading "A Pattern Language" and the author stating that we need more "working housing" - small production products for the neighborhood produced in ground floor workshops with housing behind and above. I'd change that to food production behind and housing above. People will eat better if they have some fruit trees and veggie gardens on their own land. Some people figured that out with the Covid crisis last year, but I really wish more had figured it out 3 decades ago before our communities were filled up with big houses on tiny lots. Unfortunately, most communities actually consider having a "business" in your home to be a breach of planning rules.
Alternatively, I can remember seeing plans for solid small homes built in China which were sturdy enough to have serious roof gardens. Having the garden on top ensured better sunlight.
You may be interested to know that in Chicago the city government actually just relaxed the rather restrictive home business ordinance in response to how people's lives changed during pandemic. It will be much easier to (legally) run a "cottage business" out of your home now. Roof gardens and green roofs are also a big thing here.
The green fiddleheads of the ostrich fern are now beginning to push through their brown sheaths. This is the same crown pictured earlier.
Palm Sedge (Carex muskingumensis) shoots up from among last year's leaves, some of which are still green.
Young leaves of prairie coreopsis (Coreopsis palmata) are like long-fingered hands. The stems are reddish now, but will be green when mature.
Red Baneberry (Actaea rubra) puts up a thick purplish stem with a little fist of fringed leaves on top. This is an interesting woodland flower. Wildlife eat the fall berries, but I am told all parts are poisonous to humans.
I believe this is a Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum), but I will need to watch it over the next week to be sure.
Rains this week really got the plants shooting up.
Here are is the bellwort again, more shoots and taller now:
Astilbe (Astilbe chinesis) shoots look like little reddish-purple question marks or fiddleheads rising out of the soil before the leaves unfurl:
The pointy shoots of lily-of-the-valley (Convallaria majalis) are sheathed in purple/gray when they first break the soil. This heady-scented flower grows in shade. The plant spreads by rhizomes and forms a thick mat of fibrous roots which exclude other plants.
Purple peony shoots almost look like flowers.
Gooseneck loosetrife emerging from the soil. This plant spread rather aggressively.
I was worried that I killed off my rhubarb last year, but this one little shoot has come up! It emerges like a little wrinkled version of the mature plant.
The dark green, almost stemless, pointed leaves of purple coneflower (Echinacea Purpurea) coming up in front of the rounder leaves of a rosette of tall bellflower.
Queen of the prairie (Filipendula rubra) shoots look like a larger version of astilbe. Long, purple-red curved stems emerge with the leaves tightly furled. As the leaves spread open, they become greener.
Some worthwhile perennials which thrive but stay put in my garden:
Native to midwest:
Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata), the pale flower unbels smell like vanilla!
Golden Alexander (Zizea aurea)
Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)
Button blazing star (Liatris aspera)
Ozark bluestar (Amsonia illustrus)
Bloodroot (SAnguinaria canadensis)--one of the very earliest bloomers
If you don't want to cook on teflon, then it seems like (c) is the best option. Sanding it off seems like causing more problems--clouds of teflon dust, and maybe you are left with a surface that is not great for cooking on.
Personally, even though I would not choose teflon when buying new, I do have at least one teflon pot that I still use because it's there and it was free to me a decade ago. The decade of boiling spaghetti in that pot has not had a discernible effect on my family's health. I would not want to do all my cooking on teflon--it's harder to care for than cast iron AND full of bad chemicals.
Spring marches forward into April here in the midwest.
First some progress pics from last week's plants:
The bloodroot are in full bloom! Not hard to identify, but I do love them so here they are:
Many more leaves of Canadian wild ginger have pushed their way up, but they have not yet unfurled:
New arrivals this week:
The leaves of Bigleaf ligularia (ligularia dentata) are the largest around this time of year, though nowhere near their summer size. Another plant that starts out red. This specimen is surrounded by creeping charlie/ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea )
Maple seedlings are cropping up all over. Unless you want a maple forest, pull up these sprout with the two long shiny leaves.
I don't actually know what this is, but it is a sort of very soft weedy annual that gets maybe 20 inches tall and comes up everywhere. I pull it anyplace I am try to grow other things.
Spearmint (mentha spicata) just begins as a tiny version of its future self.
Star-of-Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum) is an attractive but invasive flower. I am constantly digging the little bulbs out of all of my beds. It does make a nice "lawn" in low-traffic areas. The grassy foliage is reminiscent of crocus, and shoots up very early. However, the white flowers do not emerge until late spring, nearly summer.
What is this brown knobby thing like a fist forcing its way out of the earth? That's a Ostrich fern (matteuccia struthiopteris) crown, each bumpy little knuckle is a tightly curled "fiddlehead" still wrapped in its papery brown cover. Maybe in a few weeks the fiddleheads will be ready for eating.
This is one of my personal favorites, Bellwort (Uvularia grandiflora), the shoots are purplish striped cones pushing up out of the earth, rather like hosta shoots though a bit smaller. I don't know what the little green sprouts are, but they are unlikely to bother the well-established bellwort.
Many trillium are spreading their leaves now. The first picture is a close up of Prairie trillium (Trillium recurvatum) which will have a maroon flower, surrounded by green rosettes of the biennial tall bellflower (Campanulastrum americanum). The second I believe is a patch of yellow trillium (trillium luteum). Each individual flower has its own stem and a collar of three leaves.
Mayapples (Podophyllum peltatum) push their little umbrella leaves up through the soil.
Swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) shoots emerging among last year's stems. Note also a little green nub which may be a branch bud actually growing out of the base of one stem. As with many plants, these early shoots are reddish even though the mature plant is not.
Ozark bluestar (Amsonia tabernaemontana) shoots emerging among last year's stems. With a cicada skin.
When I was in Estonia and Russia, a lot of rural houses did not have indoor plumbing, and they would have an "outhouse" actually attached to the house. Like an unheated lean-to that you enter from the house. It does not get so super cold since it is attached to house, and you do not have to bundle up and trudge outside. Sometimes this was a pit toilet, sometimes it was a composting system. I do not know the logistics of constructing or maintaining these, but it was pretty standard in the villages, and for the most part did not smell if you kept the lid down.
This thread is to identify various perennial plant as they first emerge in spring.
First here are bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) emerging. Each closed flowerbud is tightly hooded by a single gray-green leaf as it pushes up through the soil.
The large leaves of Canadian wild ginger (Asarum canadense) first emerge as tightly folded triangles; flattened whitish fuzz gives them a dull waxy look. The bright green sprout in this photo is Siberian squill (Scilla siberica), which will soon sport a stalk of blue-purple flowers.
The furled leaves of columbine (Aquilegia) look almost like green carnation flowers pushing out of the soil. The leaves may have a purple cast to them in cold weather.
Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica) may emerge with purple leaves or green leaves. In the first picture, green snow-on-the-mountain (Ageopodium podograria), aka bishop's weed or goutweed, grows next to a purple-leafed bluebell. In the second, green-leafed bluebell grows near some common blue violet (Viola sororia) rhizomes.
A closer look at violet rhizomes, and a picture with new leaves opening up.
Jacob's ladder (Polemonium reptans) may be purple, especially in cold weather. The compound leaves look almost like tiny fern fronds. Also visible in this picture is a columbine at left and an aster just above the Jacobs Ladder.
Native asters, like many perennials and biennials, have a low-growing "rosette" of leaves which survive the winter, or else emerge very early in spring. (best if they have a bit of cover from fall leaves and snow). This little sprig of fuzzy, spade-shaped leaves gather energy from the sun so that in late summer the plant can put up a tall stem which will support large panicles of flowers. The leaves which you will see on the mature plant later in the year look much different from these on the early spring rosette. This is Short's ast
er (Symphyotrichum shortii)
Here is Bee Balm aka wild bergamot (Monarda sp.), which looks pretty much like a miniaturized version of the mature plant.
I believe this is Phlox (Phlox sp.) emerging from its fallen fall stems.
The shiny, wrinkled, light green leaves of late figwort (Scrophularia marilandica) look almost like little lettuces.
IN cold spring weather, lovage (Levisticum officinale) may be tinged red or purple. Here new shoot emerge from last year's dry stems.
Hosta's thumb-sized conical shoots push up through the soil. This is another plant that may first emerge as purple, regardless of the mature leaf color.
Canada goldenrod (Solidago canadensis) may have reddish highlights on its shoots of shiny, yellow-green leaves.
Golden alexanders (Zizia Aurea) similarly has a reddish cast to the early leaves and stems.
I am prone to muscle spasms and tightness in my shoulder, usually attributable repetitive motions or too much time spent in bad position. Besides stopping whatever behavior I think is causing the pain, I also try to spend some time in a position that relaxes the problems area. For me, the yoga position "child's pose" really relaxes and opens up the shoulders. Child's Pose Wikipedia
Those are last year's leaves that somehow made it through the winter, which is why they do not look so good now. The plant should start putting up new fiddleheads in a few weeks, depending on local conditions. Check back in and see how it is doing.
Matthew, I love your idea, especially collaborating with the church to better reach people. I am trying to figure a way to do something similar on a much smaller scale with my garden produce--particlarly during berry season.
I am privileged enough to own an urban property large enough for a small "food forest." However I have been thinking that so many of my neighbors do not have this privilege and the produce of the land should be shared.
I thought if maybe a "little free family stand" in the yard, nut I am not sure how well it would work out logistically just in my yard. E.g would people take what was offered? Would I end up with wasted items that have sat out all day?
I think maybe the better way would be working with one of the existing food banks in the neighborhood to supplement their food giveaways.
I live a bit north of you, and I think I have usually made the mistake of waiting too long to plant potatoes. The ones that did the best last year were a couple that accidentally overwintered and got a jump on the rest that I planted in early April. Plus, the overwintered volunteers did not get any pampering-- no trenching, no extra layers of compost.
I don't think all potatoes reliably overwinter in our climate, but the fact that some can shows that it's okay to get them out early.