Morfydd St. Clair

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since Feb 09, 2015
Hamburg, Germany
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Recent posts by Morfydd St. Clair

I grow greens as per the book Michelle cited.  I try to start one mixed tray and one pea tray per day, for salads and adding to cooked dishes.  I started out just using up old, likely spent, seed packets (which germinated much better than I had expected), and now buy in more bulk from a wildlife feed store (  It's fun and takes very little time once you're set up.

Oh, and since the specific question was about which seeds to grow:  I like peas as they taste good and are sturdy enough to hold up to cooking (and they'll regrow from cutting once or twice).  The book recommends black-hulled sunflowers - I got the stripey kind and they taste... off somehow, so I can't recommend.  The book also talks a lot about certain greens being very spicy - I haven't gotten anything but a mild tang from any of my seeds, so I wouldn't worry about that.
1 day ago
Thank you, Dean!

I don't water my rhubarb - it's really wet here year-round.  So any asparagus will have to live with wet feet anyway.

We do have harsh winters, with rhubarb dieback starting in September.  (I should go weed my rhubarb as they're no longer shading everything else out.)  Last time I divided, I definitely didn't see a single mass of roots, but it's a good point that they could outcompete asparagus.

I think I'll try it anyway (because why not?) and also put crowns in a bed a little north that used to be a compost heap.  You would think that this would be perfect for asparagus, so I've tried there before.  It... grows nettles really well.

Your rhubarb story is awesome.  Keep watering!
1 week ago
Along these lines, I have what I think is a bright idea but... probably isn't.

In my garden, I inherited a small rhubarb patch.  It's nice loose soil, elevated a bit from the soggy clay that is the rest of the garden.  Can I interplant asparagus with rhubarb?

Why I think it would work:
--Rhubarb is pretty short; asparagus is tall.  They shouldn't really be competing with each other.
--They seem to like similar soil conditions and amendments.
--As perennials, they'd be happy with mostly undisturbed roots together.
--I have to divide the rhubarb this winter anyway, so putting in asparagus crowns while I'm digging would be easy.  (I am lazy.)

Why I have doubts:
--They'd be jostling each other in early spring, and asparagus would have to get tall before the rhubarb forms a canopy.
--I would have to divide the rhubarb every few years.*  Can asparagus take that kind of regular disturbance?
--No one else is doing this.  What am I missing?

*Or just pull/kill extras, I guess.  I've divided them already and have happy healthy rhubarb all over the garden, so I'm not in deep need of more plants, just allowing the ones there some breathing room.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
1 week ago
So my German "Wild plants and animals" book has only one likely candidate, here super loosely translated:

"Lysimachia vulgaris

50-150 cm. 1-1.5 cm wide flowers in a sparsely branched panicle; crown of bloom bare, comprised of red-spangled calyx leaves. Blooms June to August. Stems indistinctly angular, short haired; Leaves are opposite or in whorls of 3-4, they are ovate-oblong, 14 cm long, dotted.

In broken and rolling forests, on banks, in trenches and bogs.

The pollination is done by insects. Closely related to the pennywort."

PFAF says the leaves are marginally edible - that's my experiment for next weekend!
3 months ago
Nifty!  I only put my lonicera in winter before last ( Wojtek, Blue Velvet, and Duet from ) and they haven't fruited yet.  At least they're still alive, which is tricky in their boggy/shady area.  It's ok, I'm drowning in currants right now anyway.

How do you plan to use the honeyberries, aside from eaten fresh?  Is there a recipe available for the liqueur?
3 months ago

Daron Williams wrote:Got another plant ID for you all. This has shown up in a couple spots on my property - not sure what it is. Anyone know what it is?

Ironically, I was thinking all weekend of posting precisely that plant!

In the book "Botany in a Day", I found two matches, both with the common name loosestrife.  But one has 5 sepals/petals/stamen and the other has the squarish stem and leaves in sets of 4, but only 4 petals.  Argh.

(I'm in N Germany, while BiaD is North America-based.  I was thinking that perhaps I just had some European ur-loosetrife - maybe not. :) )
3 months ago

K Putnam wrote:My goumi is going crazy.  So crazy I can't figure out what to do with all the berries as I can only eat so many raw before the astringency gets to me.  I actually signed in her for the first time in awhile to see if anyone has actually figured out what to do with them!  I know I only have a couple of days before they hit that magic stage of ripeness and the birds eat them all.

My plan was to try steam juicing them and then making jelly.  Steam juicing them resulted in a watery pale liquid that smelled strongly of tomatoes.  Must be the lycopene.  I cooled the juice off and mixed it with some sugar to test the flavor.  Not great.  Steam juicing them knocked the sweetness out of them and the tomato flavor was just bizarre in what had been a fairly sweet fruit. 

Sooooooo, I would really love to find a way to get the seeds out and make jelly or fruit leather or SOMETHING with them.  Almost all the references I read suggest that they can be used in pies and jams and wines but I have yet to stumble across an actual recipe for any of this! 

You could give us suggestions for this thread! ;

My silverberries aren't fruiting yet.  I could also plant goumis in the same hedge (someday it will be a hedge.  so far it has killed everything planted there except the elaeagnus x ebbingei silverberry) but fear it might be overkill.

I have a bumper crop of red currants and am contemplating running some through a meat grinder then forcing them through a sieve, all cold, and doing something with the syrup.  Would something like that work for you?
3 months ago

Bryant RedHawk wrote:I use a captive dart, right through the brain, instant death. The dart is better than a bullet, it can't damage the trap, is less messy, and it puts down the animal instantly.
I conferred with a vet about what was the best way and took their advice.

LOL I thought you wanted to know about the raccoons and opossums.

Ok, I'm dumb - what is a captive dart?  Googling only gets me poisonous frogs. :)

For all, if you use traps, please monitor them regularly.  I'm still traumatized by the squirrel in my grandma's attic who had scraped all the skin off the top of his head, down to his skull, in panic.  He went to a nice park a few miles away but I can't imagine he did well...
3 months ago
Thanks to both of you!  I'll start contacting companies!
4 months ago
I'm kind of always looking for the same thing.  This Google go-round, I'm seeing lots of references to "Anny's Summer Red" which looks like a European-style chestnut.  The European sellers are saying it will top out at 2-3 meters high, while the American ones suggest 4-6.  I'm tempted!
4 months ago