While on a recent walk through the orchard I came upon my one and only pear tree. I started looking very closely, wondering "where are the pears?" I scoured the ground and the branches ~ not one could be found! As you can see by the photo there was no lack of them the very last time I looked. I had put some pelletized lime underneath the branches to balance the ph of the acidic soil. The tree was very responsive! There were 30-40 pears, and I was planning on a bountiful harvest. Well…. there was a harvest, but not by me. I was able to locate one overlooked pear, and that was the end of it. The deer in the area are better fed for it and fortunately the tree was no worse for wear. This time, it was first come, first served!
There is a world of fresh produce at your local farmers markets!
Be sure to seek out your local farmers markets. They are worth the trip and return healthy, nutritious food for your efforts. Supporting your local farmers is an investment in our own future.
You can find vegetables, home made breads, farm fresh eggs, milk, cheese, fruit and to make things even better - meet the producers. Use a trip to the market to make some friends, enlighten your awareness of what is involved in creating your food, and get outside and enjoy the summer weather. Let's go!!
Antrostomus carolinensis, while checking on the progress of the hazelnut bushes we had planted a couple of months ago, we came upon a small nocturnal creature, caught in a fence. Working quickly, we were able to untangle the precious creature and we thrilled to see it sore over the pasture and into the tree line. The sound they make at night calling back and forth to each other is one of the sweetest sounds I know, pure magic.
Had a great time at the Master Gardener Show, Crossville, TN. www.ccmga.org. We got to meet a lot of new people, hear some great ideas and share ours. We had some requests for the design layout to be posted on line. So please check it out! A design takes a while to layout ~ but even a longer time to develop. A "good, functional, truly sustainable" sight is a long term, well thought out plan. It does not happen by chance, nor does it happen without the input of many knowledgable people. Permaculture people are just plain "share-happy". We met over 500 people at the event. We had fun sharing our story during our presentation and we were eager to share answers with the questions presented to us. The weather was great on Saturday and Sunday, but the company was great always. The Master Gardener group took care of us as vendors looking out for us with food, drink and comfort.
Viola papilionacea - pansy / wild violet
When you do a visual checklist of your garden, you can appreciate all your efforts and the beauty and value of Mother Nature. What is in your garden that you don’t see? Underground, there is a whole additional world going on. There are billions to hundreds of billions of soil microorganisms in a mere handful of a typical, garden soil. That single handful might well contain thousands of different species of bacteria (most of whom have yet to be classified), hundreds of different species of fungi and protozoa, dozens of different species of nematodes plus a goodly assortment of various mites and other micro arthropods. Almost all of these countless soil organisms are not only beneficial, but essential to the life giving properties of soil. The “no till” version of gardening and agriculture has evolved with respect to not only the value of labor reduction, but with respect to the interaction and intense infrastructure of the inhabitants underground. So, the next time you are in your garden, tread lightly!
Red Wigglers ~ Eisenia Fetida - will be making an appearance at the Master Gardener show in Crossville, TN on April 25, 26 & 27th. We will be demonstrating the value of these great earth moving participants and how we can encourage their efforts. Come out and see us! We will be incorporating their contribution to the permaculture plan of healthier living and healthier communities.
The upcoming show in Crossville, TN at the Community Complex is April 25, 26 & 27th. They will have educational opportunities, informative speakers, plants and new & creative ways to garden easier and achieve more return for your effort. Check out their website www.ccmga.org for more information
Wiggle Farm is under way. My favorite color (today) is green. So, Wiggle Farm works for me. It is about 2 feet high and about 18″ square. It has expandable trays (5 additional ones). Which seems to be a good idea as the wiggling masses report to reproduce 100% of population in 90 days. If I do the math – that is 4,000. Hmmm, who would have guessed?
They are named “Francis” all of them – which makes life easy. Does Francis have enough food? Is Francis warm / cool enough? However, this morning it was “Oh, Francis got out!” They are curious! It is a little uncomfortable handling them, only because they are slippery, and to hold them securely, well . . . you wouldn’t want to overdue it!
What I learned about them is the temperature. Currently there is a thermometer inserted in the farm that is registering at about 110°. I was surprised when a picked a bunch up for show and tell – that they were warm. They do feel a little like overcooked spaghetti – takes a minute to acclimate to that. More reports on Francis as they progress.
Pictured is a Tulip Tree (Magnolia tree) (Liriodendron tulipifera). Planted about 6 years ago. It is about 10-12 feet high. There are two trees about 25 feet apart. It is important to anticipate the final growth size. Clearly it is indicated “plant 20 feet apart” however when you first plant them – them look so small! They can’t possibly mean that far apart! But, like children, they grow quickly and get bigger quicker than we think. These two look like they are doing well, in spite of deer snacking. They bloom really early in the spring – kind of a “wake up call”. Low maintenance is their middle name – works for me! Thanks for looking!
This is a snapshot of our site. There is plenty of opportunity to continue to create a multi-faceted, diversified functional system. We are continuing to implement our knowledge into a tangible environment.
Diane C. Morey
Making our environment,