Jane Reed

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since Feb 06, 2013
USDA zone 9a
2300' elevation
Fair Play, Northern California
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Recent posts by Jane Reed

A company called Inergy makes a compact (20 lb.) lithium battery pack which is recharged from your household current or, optionally, by using a small solar panel.  Their popular model is the Kodiak.  It has several standard outlets for plugging in things like lamps or other household electric device that plug into regular household current, even your refrigerator.  It also has USB ports.  It allows you to daisychain deep cycle batteries.  It’s a little pricey but not outrageous, in my opinion.
2 weeks ago
It looks like mullein to me.  The fuzzy-leafed rosette at the base combined with the tall flower stem with yellow blossoms....just like what I have on my property.
2 weeks ago
I use the Pyrex cup method also but I don't use a metal strainer. I prefer to use a paper filter in a plastic (gasp!) cone, as I like my coffee clear.  I've tried several other methods but this one results in the fewest dirty dishes to wash.
3 months ago
Not sure of their endangered status but I do know my 2 plants are collected thoughtlessly in the wild. I grow white sage, Salvia apiana, and sweetgrass, Hierochloe odorata. 

Here's a story about the sage.  A local demonstration garden, run by a Master Gardeners group, has stopped growing white sage because people kept tearing off stems and ruining the plant.  They replaced the plant twice and then gave up on it.

White sage is easy enough to grow from seed and the seed is easy to obtain.  But I understand that in the wild the plant is harvested by people who sell smudge sticks at art fairs and it has become scarce in the wild on that account.

I believe sweetgrass suffers the same fate.
3 months ago
One reason why fruit trees, which bear fruit on spurs, don’t bear for a few years after planting is that the spur wood takes time to develop, 2-5 years in some cases.
5 months ago
Acrylamide is formed when coffee is roasted and not when it is brewed.

Some researchers believe it is related to the Maillard reaction.  If so, any food you cook at home which is browned could create this substance.  

There have been no human studies.  In animal studies the animals have been subjected to doses of one thousand to ten thousand times the amount one could normally expect to find in human food.  Moreover, human digestion is a little different from animals, so direct comparisons on that score are not possible.

Just another scare story?



7 months ago
Years ago my brother tried to teach me to weave rush seats.  He was refinishing some old chairs for a customer.  They had a section of rush in the center of the wooden seat which had worn through.  He told be that this weaving was something that refinishers often had a hard time with as they, themselves, didn't usually like to do but it was difficult finding someone who would. 

Perhaps either of these jobs would suit your circumstance.  Find some broken down furniture at thrift stores to practice on.  A table or chair and supplies would cost under $100.  Your local library will provide the instruction.
8 months ago
I have apple, cherry, peach, and pear.  I have pruned them all to have an open center and when I first planted them I cut the whip as low as I could, given the placement of existing branches.  I don't want trees so tall that I need a ladder to harvest fruit.
8 months ago
The experts usually advise a bare root whip ought to have roots that are in balance with the trunk and branches.

If your whips were pruned quite a bit when they left the nursery, the roots should be trimmed back also, according to this philosophy.  The nursery will snip off branches and the leader but I've never had them offer to trim the roots, although I think they will if you ask.  Perhaps they think it's best if the roots get trimmed in the minutes before the tree is planted.  That way there is less chance of the roots drying out.

Me, I've never trimmed the roots of my bare root trees, unless they are broken.
8 months ago
Aida, I live in zone 9a but have winter's cold enough to kill very young figs to the ground.  Once the root systems is well established you will have a better chance if the stems surviving winter intact.  A deep mulch is very helpful.

Here is something I have done this winter with my two figs which died to the ground a year ago.  Atop the mulch I created a double ringed cage made of poultry wire.  The inside ring stands away from the plant's crown and stems by 6 or so inches.  The outside ring extends another 6 inches away from the crown.  Between the two rings I stuffed more mulch, which I made 4-6 inches deep. 

The idea is to give further protection to both roots and crown and stems.
8 months ago