Carol Denton

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since Oct 27, 2017
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Central Arkansas zone 7b
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Recent posts by Carol Denton

Last spring we had so much rain we couldn't mow the front yard for at least a couple of weeks. One morning the sun was just right and I saw hundreds of wild onion plants that were budded out and about to bloom. I popped them off by the handfuls thinking I could make capers from them. I had enough to ferment one pint and pickle another pint with a spicy, sweet brine. They didn't taste like capers, but they were delicious and a true delicacy, even causing a chef friend to gush about how he would use them. The pickled ones were everyone's favorite and didn't last long at all, though the fermented ones were excellent as well. Rain or no rain, that onion patch is staying! I can't wait to do the same this year.

6 months ago
If you used bagged potting soil it's possible that it is contaminated. Three summers ago I got a truck load of composted manure/hay from a big horse farm and applied it to a new garden spot. I also put some in a separate tomato bed at my neighbor's house. The plants in both locations ended up looking exactly like your blackberry leaves. At first I thought it was a water issue, then some kind of tomato blight, but I had a nagging feeling it was the horse compost. My neighbor ended up pulling out all of her tomatoes.
I didn't plant anything there last year and just let it sit fallow, but this year I did plant, hoping that whatever was there had broken down. I was wrong. The tomatoes are struggling with the same severely upward curling leaves, though they are better than the first year and are setting fruit. Now I suspect that the hay from the horse farm was sprayed with Grazon, a broadleaf herbicide that is wreaking havoc on gardens everywhere and showing up in purchased bagged soil. I hope that's not the case for you and that it's just some blight, but I heard someone say that leaves curled downward is disease and leaves curled up means chemical damage. I don't know if that's true.
There have been many rants about it on YouTube for the last few weeks and I'll link one. What a mess!
1 year ago
We've been using a Berkey for almost six years now for all our cooking, drinking, coffee, etc. and wouldn't be without it.  We have the three gallon and wish we'd gotten the bigger one. It seems pricey I know, but it really is worth every penny, as are the optional fluoride filters. I'm thankful for our clean city water but some days the chlorine smell is just over the top and that's when I love pouring it through the Berkey the most. We love our Berkey!
2 years ago
If you're wondering what to do with the extra books coming in your upgrade, here's an idea from Joel Salatin's newsletter today. A prison library may actually get more checkouts than the local public library.
To quote Joel, "Here is a guy who chose to make the most of his situation.  He didn't wait for someone to fix his problem; he didn't seek vengeance or fixate on the weaknesses of the system.  He rolled up his sleeves, took advantage of what he could,"
2 years ago

Heather Sharpe wrote:When you get a UV flashlight, hoping to find the source of a cat pee smell, but then upon using it, realize it causes all sorts of other organic matter to fluoresce in interesting ways. So you end up spending half the night playing with it, looking at herbal salves, collected rainwater, wood, rocks, the composting toilet, spiders and insects, basically everything in your house other than potential locations of the smell you ostensibly got it to find...Then after seeing how neat fungus in your firewood looks with it, you start contemplating taking it out to explore the yard at night once the new moon rolls around and it's dark enough out there for it to work well...

And, tomato hornworms glow at night using a UV flashlight. Even the tiny quarter inch ones light up. Take a jar of water with you.
2 years ago
Well Paul, your letter in the daily-ish did it. I'm upping to the $65 level. It was the sentence that said, "think of it as the annual fundraiser." Of course.
It's kind of like public tv and radio, free and mostly quality and I never minded chipping in a little because I am happy to have it.
2 years ago

Ralph Sluder wrote:I second the grandkids.  
They love to help around the gardens.
 When they are not around..
A garden spade.   I love to use it and seem to need it every day. With my clay and hardpan it breaks clumps, mixes compost in, removes that terrible grass, digs small drainage channels and even kills cottonmouths. We have a lot of them here, see photo.

Oh my, Ralph. Bless his heart! A copperhead bit my cousin when she was about that age. That was years ago and I vividly remember every detail.
Yes, I would say grandkids would be the best tool to have around if only my grown kids would get it together and give me some!
2 years ago

Ralph Sluder wrote:  Here in the 8b deep south the bluebirds are showing up en-mass. Spent the last several days replacing and rebuilding their birdhouses and cleaning out last years debris.
We love watching them go through 3+ broods every year, but the benefit to my gardens is worth the effort alone. They can sure put away beetle larvae and grasshoppers while feeding their young.

I'm so happy to read this! Arkansas was in that major Texas snow storm in mid February where we received over a foot of snow and below 0 temps, very unusual for here. After it was all over we found 7 dead, frozen bluebirds in our bluebird box and one dead on the ground. We haven't seen a bluebird or a wren since then. Thank God they were smart and moved to Georgia, hopefully accompanied by the wrens. Even the seed eating bird numbers seem low this spring. They plowed through a 50 pound bag of sunflower seeds in just a few days during that snow week but there are less birds overall than in past years.
2 years ago
Thank you for hanging out in the forums this week Raven. I'm looking forward to gleaning more tidbits of your fiber wisdom!
2 years ago
My sticky note says it all. One of the seed packets is from last year that never got in the ground because I missed the planting window but I'm determined not to miss it this spring.
Fantastic video! Thank you! And I love the smocked aprons....❤️
2 years ago