Catie George

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since Oct 20, 2016
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Ontario - Currently in Zone 4b
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Recent posts by Catie George

Let's picture that for each of your parents, their parents were siblings. And their grandparents were siblings... Going back generations. And only children that 'looked the Same' continued the next generation.

We have two copies of our chromosomes, essentially (neglecting some detail), one from each parent.  One from each parent. Two copies of each gene.

If you interbreed a thing for long enough, you end up with both copies of genes, from both parents, being the same for traits we care about, like colour, days to maturity, size, sweetness, etc.  So it doesn't matter really, always, you will have the same progeny (ignoring a mutation, or a few other things), so long as you keep breeding that line.

If you take two inbred things from different "varieties" we can predict pretty exactly what the progeny will have for genes. It's repeatable.

Say the father has genes


and the mother has


All the offspring will be


Those genes behave predictably - so we know that all offspring of very inbred parents, will essentially have the same genes.

But if we start crossing the hybrid offspring, things get way less predictable! Because the parents have a mix of genes, and we can't predict which offspring will get which. And we start getting super cool things happening, from traits that may have more than one gene controlling them.

You can get more technical and start talking about recessive, dominant, and codominant traits. But that's the basics.

Since your parents aren't inbred for multiple generations, you and your siblings should definitely not look identical :)
3 months ago
I have found that I can get away with overplanting if I have good soil fertility AND provide supplementary water, frequently. The wild card is having enough sunlight to keep disease at bay.

If I do my normal thing of trying to only water once a week, little to no added fertility, I need the more traditional spacings.
Well they arrive today.

Not only did the forecast change, so this week isn't supposed to be wet (we got a storm last night that was all dry lighting, scary with how dry everything is), we're in the midst of terrible air quality from Quebec forest fires.
Yesterday wasn't as bad, and I was already needing an N95 to step outside, lest my poor asthmatic lungs and heart seize up. Even just letting the dog out and opening the door, my lungs were spasming. We have a Corsi Rosenthal box running which makes a huge difference.

Watering isn't a big deal unless we go into a water ban, but I'd hoped for rain and definitely wasn't planning for smoke.

It's not the worst smoke I've seen, but definitely the worst I have ever seen in Ontario.

Jenny Wright wrote:

I gave into the tempting sales this year and got four new grapes- I just got the email saying they shipped today. Grapes are pretty resilient and I plan to keep them in large pots by my front door until the fall. Whenever I plant bare roots in the spring, half of them seem to die but if I wait until the fall, I rarely lose a plant.

So you pot up bare roots, and nurse them in pots until fall, then?
Well, thanks to these encouraging anecdotes, I ordered a bunch of apple trees and berry canes to be delivered in a week.

$25+ shipping apple trees is hard to beat, considering last time I looked in a local nursery, they were $120+...  I haven't let myself set foot in a nursery in 2 years, don't even want to imagine what current prices are. I chose Monday as a shipping date so that they hopefully won't end up stuck in a truck over the weekend in the heat.

Fingers crossed for success, forecast looks a bit cooler and damper then. Right now it's horrifically hot and dry for May.  
Every year, I watch as various companies sell leftover bare root fruit trees, shrubs, and perennials on deep clearance (often 50-75% off) late in May and in early June. There are some in grocery stores, which I am skeptical of, due to how they keep them (dry, dry, dry!) but also some from mail order companies who ought to know how to store them.

Every year I'm tempted, but wonder if I'd just be wasting money on something that is too dry, or it's too late in the year to get established before being hit by heat and drought.  50% off isn't a good deal if half of them die!

If you have bought them, what did you buy, and did they survive?

Did you plant them immediately, and baby them with water?

Did you plant them in pots, and transplant in the fall?

Do you plop them in the fridge, and plant them in the fall?
I typically press flowers in wax paper, in between two hardcover books, and then stack a bunch more on top... You could also add a thin piece of cardboard on each side if you are pressing particularly lumpy/hard flowers. Picture a tall stack of hardcover books (textbooks are great for this) abandoned in a corner. Those kids books with the hard covers are also good, and a bit thinner (with textbooks on top). Cardstock, boards, stiff cardboard... Depending on the flowers I think there's a lot of options.
6 months ago
I grew nothing but teensy garlic one year.

I finally bought a garlic press and it is the best thing ever. All the tiny garlic smash in seconds, no peeling required so absolutely none of my hard-grown garlic is composted.

I grew enormous cloves last year thanks to good soil and good rain, and even my little cloves were pretty big. I find it funny that I am a bit annoyed at the 'middling' ones, because they don't fit in my press, so I have to  peel and chop them the old fashioned way.

As a lover of tools that make it easy to make good decisions (like not composting my tiny garlic) a garlic press, which is something I scoffed at for years, is great.  Just buying super market garlic? Probably not necessary. But for a garlic lover growing my own it's wonderful.
6 months ago

John Weiland wrote:An interesting discussion that I will keep tracking on.  Now I'm wondering about osteosarcoma as well, as this took 3 of our Anatolians across a ~12 year span of time, each becoming afflicted and having to be put down around 3-4 years of age.  Although anecdotal, a colleague from Turkey was confused at our rate of loss as, in the Turkish rural areas this person did not feel such losses were common.  Are dietary differences between 'standard' North American feeding habits and that of working dogs in Europe and Middle East at work here??  Also interesting that a more typical 'carnivore' diet would provide much if not all of necessary Vitamin C.....don't know if higher-end processed dog food has supplemental Vitamin C?

Not sure if your Anatolian were altered, and if so, at what age, but there have been several studies that show that early spay/neuter significantly increases the rates of osteosarcoma in various giant breeds. There may also be some association with hip dysplasia, cruciate tears, and some autoimmune diseases.

The thought is that altering before the skeletal structure is finished maturing deprives the dog of the hormones needed to signal while they are building bones, and may alter their final confirmation. Delaying altering may mean not altering before 2 or even 3 years for giant breed dogs.

We had a dog die of osteosarcoma. Painful, horrific disease. I can't imagine watching it in 3 dogs!
8 months ago
Are sonotubes or micropiles acceptable foundations where you live? They tend to be cheaper than a traditional foundation. If they are, put in a couple extra for a deck at the same time.

If you aren't putting in a basement, it's also nice IMO to have access underneath for later and that might help you with removing cribbing and jacks to put it into place. Many people finish around the bottom with something like wood or vinyl to block the wind and critters but that isn't strictly necessary.

If Sonotubes/micropiles are common where you live, your inspector should know how code wants them to be attached. I wonder if you could treat the whole trailer frame as a rim joist?

Not sure where you live, but your current foundation plan with the blocks. wouldn't work anywhere with frost heave- the blocks on bare ground would be a problem and shift.
8 months ago