Morfydd St. Clair

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

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!
1 month 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?
1 month 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. :) )
1 month 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?
1 month 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...
1 month ago
Thanks to both of you!  I'll start contacting companies!
2 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!
2 months ago
Hi all,

I've had my Kleingarten for a few years now, and it's becoming clear that there's something I'm not understanding about my soil, and I'm unnecessarily killing plants.  In the US I'd call my handy dandy state university Extension Office and arrange for a soil test.  My bf used to work for the Federal Ag Research Center and says my options are several thousand euros for a commercial test... or nothing.  This sounds odd.

Is there anything like that here in Germany?  (Or the rest of the EU - I'll ship!)  I'm willing to pay a reasonable amount for a commercial service, but I'm mentally predisposed that a government office would be cheaper and more objective.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
2 months ago
I hate being too hot.  (I also hate being too cold, and my optimal temperature range is about 68-72 degrees.  Life is hard. )  I also used to like going to Burning Man.  These things have worked for me, in a hot arid environment:

--Cool Vests really are awesome - pair them with the bandanna and wristlets for optimum usage.  Buy at least 2 sets so one can be sitting in the bucket soaking up water while you're wearing the other.  They will give you 1 minute of "OMG dying of cold", 30 minutes of "this is quite nicely cool" and another hour or so of "ok, moderately more comfortable than not wearing them."
--They also sell the powder that's inside the vests, so you can make your own garments.  I made a cute Victorian bodice filled with the stuff and a bustle out of my water pack.  Bonus:  I got to carry around a parasol, which also helps.
--Lightweight but covering clothes.  Long robes, head coverings, the like, out of cotton/silk/linen.  This isn't for modesty, this is to block the sun.  Hats help too.
--Shade.  "Hard" shade is thrown by buildings, cars, mountains,... and is 1000% better than "soft" shade, like from trees or awnings.  Trees and awnings are still worth it, though.
--Water.  As cold as you can get it, as much as you can drink.  With electrolytes/coffee/fruit at least some of the time so you don't get water poisoning.
--Spray bottles.  You and your stuff will be annoyingly sodden all the time.  Worth it.  Reapply your sunscreen.
--Sunscreen.  Sunburned skin cannot regulate temperature - you will be miserable in the heat AND in the cold when the sun goes down.  And sunburn hurts.
--Siesta.  Just accept that X hours during the day you can't do anything but try desperately to rest in whatever shade you can find.  Maybe you can make it up after dark.
2 months ago
I planted my linden trees specifically because I read you can make a chocolate substitute from the flowers and seeds, though it doesn't keep at all. 

This link is as close as I can get to a real recipe:

Backwoods Home has a vague assurance that it can be done: - late flowers and early fruits for chocolate paste, mature seeds for cocoa drink.

This person tried and had no success, possibly because she was using American linden:

PFAF warns that the flowers may have a slight narcotic effect if "too old" - picked too old?  stored too long?  Sigh.
3 months ago