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Ruth Meyers

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since Feb 28, 2017
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Nearing retirement and looking forward to getting on with my gardening. I've got several acres of wild blackberries and have come to terms with that. In fact, I've decided to cultivate them and wrestle their space back from honeysuckle and cat briar. I make a cordial that is well received wherever I introduce it.
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Recent posts by Ruth Meyers

Sounds very sweet!  Envying the t-posts and the root cellar and your view in particular.  Congrats!
2 years ago
I think you’re on the right track.  If they came from the US east coast, I would say Longneedle or Loblolly.  Those are on the small end of cones I have in my backyard in WV from loblolly.
And they volunteer sprout fairly readily.  But never when or where you want.  I’ve been trying to encourage closed cones to open and sprout since fall.  Giving them soil, moisture and visits to the freezer.  Still nothing.

My names suggestion is Pete and Repete.
2 years ago
I was just reading about something similar.  Chinampa are “floating” gardens built by layering creek silt with other organic matter and retaining with pilings; either within the water or adjacent.

Pre-Aztec agriculture from the 1200s.
2 years ago
My attempt at the conundrum this year:

1. Retire, so that all of your time is your own.

2. Acquire an empty house with no obvious deficiencies.

3. Slowly furnish it with the cream of your belongings.

4. Stop moving things in when you’ve reached perfection.

5. Take up unfinished projects as you find them, and finish them.

6. Start reading some of the great books you’ve been collecting.

7. Spend time in the old space with the remaining stuff.  Commune with it.  Scratch your head and consider what to do with the amazingly cool stuff you’ve accumulated over 66 years.  Feel glad there is little pressure for immediate action.

8. Sigh.  Admit you are a hoarder and enjoy it.  For a little while, at least.
2 years ago
It looks more like a button down shirt to me.  Look at the buttoned cuff and I think I see buttonholes on the open edge.
2 years ago
Single person household here and my waste stream is pretty small.  I’m managing to keep plastic containers to mostly PETE #1.  No!  I just looked and milk jugs are now HDPE #2.  Hmmm.  I was buying milk in glass returnable ; gotta find another source.  It tastes better in glass.
But my focus is on flexible plastics.  I refuse plastic bags, but as I understand it, anything that crumples like a bag is a candidate for Trex lumber and can be dropped off at Lowe’s and other sites.  Meiers grocery accepts them too.  And I do buy the occasional Trex board for framing windows and doors.  
2 years ago
Alex, if that tube thingie in the second photo is fired clay under the dirt, that's the "tube" portion of "knob and tube" electrical installation.  Holes are drilled through the structural member and the tube is inserted before the bare wire is threaded through.  Acted as the insulator.  I removed them from my house and was amazed that the structure hadn't burned down.  Original lights were gas though; so just fortunate all the way around.
3 years ago
After 8 years of picking the same acreage, I'm developing a theory that different varieties produce different size, shape and progression of maturation.  I've got uprights at the bottom of the slope (that are definitely not thornless); and they produce plump, round berries all at the same time.  The long reclining canes upslope produce thumb-size and shape berries; ripening starting with the terminal berries and taking the whole season to produce.

My impression is the amount of sun is less important than other factors.  Some of my brambles are still overgrown with honeysuckle and other aggressives, and the berries are still coming on and good sized underneath all that heavy shade.  I carry my pruners with to find them.  The slope was much clearer when I bought the property 10 years ago.  Lots of young trees have grown up within the fields since then.  I'm thinking the blackberries do appreciate living alongside and into the branches.  And reaching up to pluck berries is much easier on my back than bending down so much.  Now that I'll be there full time, I'm considering managing the trees as pollards, so they don't get too big.  And mowing more!

This year the berries are much delayed.  We had a hard frost three days in May.  I've still got tiny green berries at the top of the slope; and I doubt they will ripen before the cane decides to shut down vascularly, which is beginning to happen.  Typically, last week would be the peak picking time, but I've struggled to get a gallon a day.  I think peak will be next week and the one after.  Very late.
3 years ago
Does she have access to any bitter herbs for snacks?  Are there weeds close enough to the pen so that she can browse?
3 years ago
I have that type of ant on my KY ridgetop, and just leave them be down on the sloping woods below the yard.  When they try moving into the yard, I do the gasoline method.  It doesn't take much to burn out the nest.  I'd first pull away some of the dry duff you have on yours.  Wait a while for the chaos you create to calm down.  Then wait briefly for the liquid to trickle down some ways into the tunnels and the fumes to fill the side tunnels.  The fire is very satisfying and lasts longer than you would expect.  It burns completely, so there is no worry about residual contamination.  Don't overdo the gasoline - perhaps a cup to begin, and with that much, stand back!  You can always do it again.

When they tried building right next to the pond and under the pond liner, I used boric acid, spread right over the entry holes.  They track it into the nest and it gets consumed.  No need to add sugar.  It's difficult to find large containers of boric acid anymore.  Try the hardware store.  Don't buy the 4 oz. bottle for $7.  You can buy it much cheaper elsewhere online.

ETA info I found from a pest control firm:

Boric acid is most often used in pesticides, and can be found in tablet form, liquid form, powder form and in various types of traps. It kills insects by absorbing into them, poisoning their stomachs, affecting their metabolism and abrading their exoskeletons. It’s far more likely to kill pests than borax is, due to its finer grain, which is harder for pests to detect and easier for them to ingest. When pests come into contact with it, whether through a trap or through walking across it a thin layer of it, it sticks to them, and they ingest it while cleaning themselves.
3 years ago