Dem Krebs

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since Jun 17, 2018
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Northern Minnesota
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Recent posts by Dem Krebs

Summer squash was going to be my pick for easiest, but I have to hand pollinate it which led me to leave it off the list. I totally forgot about runner beans, I grow them every year for the hummingbirds and they always do well, even with a lot of neglect.
Also zone 3 (Minnesota near the Canadian border), and pretty new to growing things like fruits and nuts. I have few established trees, with the exception of one very old apple that I believe is a Haralson and has been here since long before I was. It does phenomenally, even through horrible weather. I've never had a failed crop in zone 3b, regardless of weather.

I have other apples but none established enough to recommend yet. The same goes for plums and pears. And the Manchurian apricots.

Other fruits and nuts I grow include:
Hazelbrush (productive, but the squirrels love them)

Red raspberries (wild, and the cultivars Latham, Boyne, and Killarney)

Serviceberries (no known cultivar, but my wild ones have been selected for fruit quality)

Highbush cranberries (I live in a swampy area and these guys love the permanently wet areas)

Blueberries (wild and both low and high bush varieties like Northblue, Chippewa, Superior, and Northcountry)

Wild plums (Canadian wild)

Rhubarb (it's used as a fruit, so it gets included)

Nanking bush cherries

Hansen's bush cherry

Carmine jewel sour cherry ( the nearby orchard also grows Romeo and Juliet varieties with great success)

Chokecherries (and chokeberries, though I didn't currently have any)

Strawberries (I have Honeoye and Sparkle)

Gooseberry (unknown cultivars, but they are green/white and red)

Currants (red and black but unknown cultivars)

That's all I can think of right now, especially this time of year. Other things I am growing but am unsure of their long-term survival are: autumn olive, pink popcorn blueberries, goji berries, black raspberries, and Siberian stone pine)

Other fruits that are in plans to try are mountain ash varieties Rabina and Shipova, Victory quince, elderberries, mulberries, lingonberry, bilberry, and grapes.

6 days ago
I really hate to be another cautionary person, but I want to mention to also check liability laws. If someone drops a jar and it cuts them badly enough to need stitchea, the last thing I want is for you to risk being sued.
I think this is a fantastic idea and I really do hope it works out if you try it!
2 weeks ago
I'm curious as to the variety of seeds they send. Say, it you get 5 packets of tomatoes, what would you end up with? Would you get different varieties? Sizes? It's really not a lot of money to have them shipped, if you're not picky about the varieties.

Thanks for posting it, I'll mull it over for a few days. Please update the post with what you get once it arrives!
1 month ago
Hmm, it depends in your area, of course, but I find peas to be easiest. Just give them a trellis and they're happy to go until the weather gets too hot. Just so long as you keep them picked, of course.

Peas also have good germination rates and are typically pretty forgiving of poor soil and cold, damp spring weather. They're pretty pest resistant too. I had aphids on them one year, otherwise no bugs bother them here. Just powdery mildew at the end of the season.

Of course, peas will grow from the end of May until usually the end of July for me. This year they went going right through August too, though. I imagine in a hotter place, peas are a right nightmare to time correctly for new gardeners and they wouldn't find them that easy to grow.
I'm in the same camp as other people with slow internet and not many options. Satellite is all well and good,  unless you don't have a clear view of the North side, or if you get a lot of bad weather and snow. I tried the satellite option and was without functioning internet basically all winter and a lot of the summer during the stormy weather. Options aren't always actual options. It's unfortunate, but a real reality in some parts of the country.

As it stands, though, you can only do your best to make a nice website. It isn't fair to you to sacrifice your hard work for a few people. It's your website, you should be able to run it however you wish.

Back to the topic at hand! One thing you could do is set up a text only section, where your most popular articles are as low tech as possible, without photos or banners.

When my internet is in a tizzy, sometimes websites will load as text-only, which is quite annoying in some cases. By making a section like that to start - with proper spacing and such - it will be quite like what they are used to, except better. That's because there wouldn't be weird gaps in the text or finding a link to somewhere else in the middle of a word.

It's just a thought, if the idea of people not being able to use your website really bothers you. Best of luck!
1 month ago
I can certainly tell the difference between varieties. With blueberries, not only is there a wide variety of flavor but there's also distinct differences in texture.

Taste: Things like sweetness and tartness, full blueberry flavor or blandness are quite apparent, with a couple of varieties being quite similar. For lack of a better way to describe it, some blueberries simply taste more blueberry-ish.

Texture: This is much more obvious than flavor sometimes, some blueberries are firm and juicy, some are soft and mealy, some are almost crunchy and some are more on the smooshy side of things.
1 month ago
I spent 4 years running a library in an elementary school. Book glue and book repair tape (both the clear kind and the fabric kind) will repair the book well and not damage the book with time. There are some good videos on YouTube (Demco makes several good ones) that show how to repair broken spines/hinges, even if you use products that are different. Whole not the most permie products ever, they are effective! Even if you choose to use less gicky materials, the technique shown is solid.
2 months ago
My must-grows are cucumbers, tomatoes, potatoes, green beans, peas, greens in general, summer squash of several varieties, carrots, and especially kohlrabi. No one really grows it around here, so I have to grow it myself. I get winter squash and melons at the farmer's market. There's probably more staples I'm forgetting, since the garden has been asleep since September
2 months ago
I've never direct seeded winter squash, and my transplants always do well for me. I personally make little pots out of paper, like newspaper and the brown paper from packages. My neighbor taught me how to fold them so they're sturdy, and then when it is time to plant, I soak them really well and remove the paper.
A good indicator of living in a frost pocket is if foggy mist gathers and hovers over the land in the mornings and evenings, after and before the fog has cleared off in a lot of other places.
I could grow other squash, and do test at least one New variety a year, but I can only eat so many of them, and I have to grow varieties that other people like, too.
4 months ago