Mary Hysong

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since Apr 17, 2012
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Recent posts by Mary Hysong

Wow those are some amazing strawberries and the leaves look huge!. I too am working on the soil and adding minerals. This coming year will be the first year with adding minerals according to soil test. Last year I had major issues with root knot nematodes. They were probably in just a couple of beds years ago but over time, not knowing what was wrong with the plants, I spread them around through the compost. Really hoping that minerals and mycorrhiza help!
5 months ago
be very careful with spiral leg bands, zip ties, ect, if the bird is still growing and you don't check and change them often enough (every 2 weeks while they are young) their leg will grow over the band and cripple them.  I toe punch all my chicks at hatch and record the mark for each mating. You do need to make sure you get a clean punch, and you get the whole bit of skin out of it so it doesn't grow back. not counting no punch at all you have 15 different combinations. Toe punching is just putting a hole in the web between the toes and is best done the first week after hatch. I do it as I take chicks from the incubator to the brooder.

The zip ties and the celluloid numbered bands tend to get broken and fall off older birds over time.

Around 5=6 months when I decide which birds I'm keeping they get a permanent numbered metal band. These require a special pliers to put on but the ones I get have 3 sizes so fit all the different birds I have and work sort of like a rivet. There are also numbered wing bands that can be put on small chicks and which stay pretty good. I have a friend that uses them. Occasionally a bird will do something crazy and catch a wing band on a wire fence and rip it out, but normally they are there for life. On an older bird they are pretty much invisible. I find that since the numbers are small they are real hard for me to read without a helper holding the bird and pulling the feathers out of the way. I have occasionally had a bird lose a metal leg band but I think those may have been some of the first ones I did and maybe I didn't get them applied quite right. The metal bands come in a dozen or more different colors.

Since I show and breed it is very important that I know exactly where a particular bird came from so I really need permanent bands.
5 months ago
If not a hedge, could you add a privacy fence of wood or something on that side? That would stop spray drift, then you could plant something a bit in front of that
6 months ago
I found a little bit that might help you do further research; some of these on ebay have some history ect in the description  https://www.ebay.com/bhp/antique-butcher-block

It sounds like you might have seen this one already; https://www.butcherblock.com/information-resources/how-tos/dating-your-block/
6 months ago

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:I grow gallons of sunflower seeds every year. I don't know how to turn them into food.



Somewhere I think I still have a little booklet from Rodale Press (or maybe Mother Earth New....) It was about self sufficiency and such and gave numbers for the area of sunflowers needed to grow for oil. It showed how to process them with home built tools. A grain grinder with the stone set just far enough apart to crack the shells of the seeds. Then a winnowing box, I think it used on old vacuum cleaner motor, some how it separated the shells from the seeds.  Then a small press to press the oil out. I dont' remember any more of the details but if I find it I'll let you know.

If you just wanted to separate the shells from the seeds you could crack them in your grinder then put in a bucket of water, the shells should float off and the seeds should sink. Then spread out to dry. You could add to granola and trail mix, breads and crackers, sprinkle over lots of different kinds of foods. If your grinder can handle oil seeds or you have a food processor you could make sunflower butter and of course your chickens will pick them right out of the flower heads and turn the into meat and eggs ;-)
6 months ago
I didn't know dahlias were edible until I ran across this thread. Last year I grew some cactus flowered ones from Baker Creek seed. Some in pots and some in the ground. The potted ones I kept by layering the crowns in a giant tub in peat based potting soil. To my surprise the ones in the ground survived on their own, but we did have a real mild winter.

This year I've been tasting the roots as I harvest. The main flavor /texture is crispy, crunchy, juicy. Some have almost a spicey flavor and one had a piney/resinous after taste. I've been packing individual crowns in old feed bags of potting soil with a note on flower color and taste written on them. Some were a little fibrous but not bad. Next spring I'll propagate the ones I liked best with the prettiest flowers and I may start the rest of the seeds I have from the original packet to see what other colors and flavors I get. I sell a lot of flowers at market so getting a twofer is great.

I'll see if I can attach some pics of the flowers.
6 months ago
I would prune tops rather than roots. Roots are almost everything for plant survival and if there is a big healthy root system for a small top it will soon grow a big top. If the top is too big for the roots to keep fed and watered it's going to die.
6 months ago
for what ot
s wprth the flat orange one was very watery and bland. The green one had a lot more flavor, approaching buttercup but not quite as strong. It was also a little watery. I did realize these have been waxed and that's probably part of the reason they are a little watery, they haven't been able to respire some of their excess fluid off. So the flat orange one and it's seeds went to the chickens. Going to keep some seed fromm the green one. Will be a few edays before I cook the biggest one
6 months ago
OK so I rarely go to Walmart and I never buy food there (still mad they ran my fav grocery store out of business). But tonight I had to pick up my sister's Rx and saw this big box labeled pumpkins. They looked interesting so I bought 3, each one different. Currently cooking the flat orange one. Just wondering if anyone has thoughts as to species/varieties?
6 months ago
wow that is quite a pumpkin / squash! how is it tasting as a winter squash? Is it dark orange or light yellow inside?
6 months ago