Gardening/Homesteading/Farming/Permaculture

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Astral-Pepe

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They're the same wild black ones @Astral-Pepe and I talked about above.
I transplanted a bunch of them last year into a few spots around my property. I think I mentioned this earlier in the thread. The ones I transplanted are looking healthy.

My greenhouses are popping.

I'll get pics of everything going on soon.
 

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KookWaffen
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I'm not sure what this means. I'm one of those Aryan types that is blond but also is able to tan quite dark after an initial burn or two. I don't think about sun damage or anything like that too much. I usually take my shirt off to work outside in the warm weather.
For the past 10 years my 80yo Aryan father is now having to go get shit (small skin cancers) removed from his face, neck, shoulders and arms. He said it all comes from working without a shirt outdoors for most of his younger years.
 
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Astral-Pepe

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He said it all comes from not working with a shirt on outdoors for most of his younger years.
Yeah, I try not to get a burn but I have worked outside with my shirt off in the Summer for so many years. It feels good.
 

CMcGillicutty

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I transplanted a bunch of them last year into a few spots around my property. I think I mentioned this earlier in the thread. The ones I transplanted are looking healthy.

My greenhouses are popping.

I'll get pics of everything going on soon.
I took a picture of one of my wild cucumber vines. Just kind of an oddity I'm growing. No economic value. But you can see all around it are fledgling black raspberry canes. This area used to be overrun by ground elder, one of the most difficult plants to remove permanently known to man. A lot of gardeners claim its simply impossible to remove, but I just kept playing wack-a-mole and removed it all over the last two years. In its place, lots of these wild black raspberries sprung up, along with a few blackberries, and strawberries. Areas becoming a big fruit patch.

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As for sun burn and tans, I just try to work in the morning before 10am, and in the afternoon after 2pm. The spics have the right idea about the siesta. White people gotta realize, we're living in the Southern Mediterranean here in North America in terms of latitudes. We're below most if not all of Germany and the UK in terms of latitude. So the sun is more intense here vs what many of us Celto-Germanics are used to historically.

As spring goes by I gradually tan and I don't mind working as much during midday after that.
 

CMcGillicutty

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This is a blackberry shoot that's grown up from an underground leader. A lot of people wouldn't look at this as a vegetable, but the injuns actually ate these as a vegetable similar to asparagus and nettle. The thorns are pretty rubbery and benign, and boil and steam down well at this stage. I'm going to let this one grow into a fully mature adult blackberry cane later this summer, but if you have a lot more of them than I do, and I've seen prolific wild patches around here, you can try foraging for and boiling and steaming the shoots. Blackberry leaves can also be used in teas.

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Elsewhere my lettuce is starting to really take off. This is a quick 65 day variety and it's been a month since they were planted.

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I've got two varieties of peas. Snow peas and Lincoln shelling peas. Going to start staking this weekend. I wanted to grow more Lincoln peas but only found four seeds left, and one seems to have fallen prey to squirrel predation. So I'll have to save some seeds from the surviving three. Snowies in top photo, shellies bottom.

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Couple green onions, looking forward to using them in bourbon chicken.

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First of the radishes are starting to swell up. So I'll be getting my first dividends very soon from the garden.

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If I wanted to I could already eat the beet leaves as a green similar to the Swiss chard, some people grow beets just to eat the leaves. But I want the roots so I'll keep mine on.

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Cabbages are exploding but still just forming heads on them now.

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I do have some carrots that have popped up but pretty small.

Here's a butternut or White walnut tree in full bloom. One of the best wild nuts to eat in this part of the world.

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I also went to the hardware store and picked up some hot peppers. Got jalapeΓ±os, srirachas, dragon roll, and habaneros, so those will be fun to chronicle later in the year. They're actually further behind than the bell peppers I grew from seed, which I'll include in later updates.
 

CMcGillicutty

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This is a wild choke cherry tree/shrub in full bloom quite prolific compared to the European sweet cherry, but the cherries are quite tart and small. Still, these fruits were a valuable crop for the injun primitives. These days they're mostly left for the birds, but you can forage for these fruits. They're better dried and mixed in with fat and meat in a pemmican, but could be dried and mixed with a trail mix as well. The juice can also be fermented into alcohol.

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Meanwhile my cultivated, European sweet cherry dropped a couple blossoms. That's to be expected any fruiting year. A reminder not every blossom becomes a fruit. The stress of the variable la nina jet stream probably hasn't helped. It's been a stormier Spring which meant the blossoms lost their petals to hail and torrential rain earlier than quieter years, and last night the mercury plummeted down to the high 30s, from the low 90s some of the days in the last couple weeks. I have however seen cherries already set on other trees so I'll keep a look out for some on mine.

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CMcGillicutty

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Got up close to some baby mallards.

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I in fact got up so close, I could have easily grabbed a couple of her ducklings and taken them home with me. Of course, I didn't do that namely because it's illegal where I am, and I don't need food that badly. But, it's worth keeping in mind the domesticated white duck evolved from the mallard. If you get ahold of some wild ones at a young age, they can be socialized. And there's going to come a day I think when food is that critical a concern for Americans, and govt so weak, that it's worth considering all options. And capturing the eggs and infant offspring of game birds, and raising them at home, is a good option for food to have in your back pocket in a SHTF situation.

Ducklings will hit adulthood by the middle of summer early fall depending on how early they were born in the season. Of course if you are raising ducks, you need a pond and or a coop. Preferably a coop in North America because we have more duck eating predators here vs Europe. You also need food, but the good news there, and the reason I mention ducks here is ducks can form a symbiotic relationship with a garden. At least mallards can. Some ducks eat minnows, mallards prefer to eat food on the river bank, and a lot of that food includes pests that prey on vegetables and fruits, like slugs. So you can allow ducks to free range a bit in a vegetable garden, and in return collect eggs from them. Just make sure to use chicken wire in places with falcons, coyotes, wolves, foxes, bobcats, mountain lions and so forth. You can also raise them for meat.
 

CMcGillicutty

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This is a pin cherry tree in full bloom.

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These wild cherries grow on trees larger than the choke cherry. The fruits are larger than choke cherries and less tart as well, but much smaller than European sweet and sour cherries. The flavor tends to be rather insipid. They're a better fruit for preserving with, like the choke cherry.

Also, venison anyone?

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Astral-Pepe

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I haven't been participating much on the bbs the last few days. I have been reading the front page articles and a few threads including this one. It's planting time and I have been super busy outside.

My new grow light is set up:



That's a pretty good light, very rugged and nice looking. It's one of these:


I like it so much I'm getting another one and I will set up another grow table.

The greenhouses looked more crowed when I took these pics than what they are like now. Most of the seedlings are in out of the trays and in the garden beds now. The larger pots have more space to allow things to grow.

The large greenhouse:



Both the smaller ones look like this:



This year I have tomatoes, peppers, kale, pumpkins, squash, sunflowers, corn, broccoli, spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, Swiss chard, garlic, parsnips and several types of herbs on the go.

There's about 10x as much garden as you can see in these pics:











My new hens are still a bit small but they are settling in and they have started producing eggs. Soon I will open the little door for them to get out into their run but for now they are staying in the coop all day.



I transplanted some of those black caps/black raspberries to about a dozen places around my property. I did that last year and they are budding in nicely right now.






Soon I will go around them with the brush saw and knock all those weeds out of their way. After that they will dominate those areas.

I also transplanted some lilac saplings and potted some of them as well. I might try to put the potted ones in the greenhouse over the Winter.

Anyway, I'm very tired and I'm getting too much sun. I usually guzzle ice water all night after a day in the sun so that's what I'll be doing tonight.
 

CMcGillicutty

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Updates from the garden. Cabbages starting to look like cabbages. Heads have really started to come in over the last week. Not long now to harvest. I started all these plants indoors on March 1st if you nibbuhs recall:

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As for the other coles I harvested my first radish this afternoon, the others should come in over the next week or two.

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Something small took a bite out of one of my lettuce plants. I think it's probably a small rodent. A mouse, chipmunk or mole. But the lettuce is otherwise doing alright.

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Beets are coming along nicely.

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As for my legumes I've staked the snow peas which are growing up faster, I think they're more cold tolerant vs the shells. Letting their tendrils do most of the work for now but will tie them to the stakes as they get taller. Will stake the shell peas this weekend.

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And as I mentioned last time some of the carrots did come up but not nearly as many as I had hoped. So those were a bit of a crop failure. Will have to do more research on them to understand why.

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The green onions are still growing up albeit not at the rate of the others. I also need to do a fair bit of weeding in where they are this weekend as well. Like the carrots they didn't do so wonderfully which may be down to seed predation, but they did do better than the carrots.

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The garlic I transplanted behind the onions are doing a lot better, but I still think they'll be better for scapes than bulbs this year. I have a lot of other garlic stalks growing up sporadically around the yard from old grows so I should have lots of scapes in a few weeks.

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CMcGillicutty

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Elsewhere (had to break this up into two posts due to photo upload limits) the peppers and tomatoes that I started from seed have started to flower. Some have already been transplanted into the ground, some will be transplanted into the ground and larger pots this weekend.

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I've also got hundreds of these little Virginia strawberries which will come into season in about two to three weeks.

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Astral-Pepe

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Something small took a bite out of one of my lettuce plants. I think it's probably a small rodent. A mouse, chipmunk or mole. But the lettuce is otherwise doing alright.
Yeah, I'm having trouble with mice and chipmunks as well. I have chickens so that means rodents can thrive from the chicken feed. There isn't much I can do about them. They ate a few of my squash seedlings and they dug around in some of my pots. They do that every year. I don't have a good solution because they aren't hungry enough to take poison bait and that really wouldn't put a dent in their population anyway.
 
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CMcGillicutty

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There are actually two toxic plants of the same genus in the following photo:

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You can see those giant leaves in the middle, that's the much hyped giant hogweed. Spill its sap on your skin in sufficient amounts and then expose it to sunlight, and it can cause third degree burns and long lasting scars. The white flower plant is cow parsnip, basically the mini-me version of giant hogweed. It flowers earlier. You can see though it's leaves are smaller, how similar they are in pattern and shape to the giant hogweed. Cow parsnip can burn people too, but the burns are usually less inflammatory. Both are members of the heracleum genus of the carrot family. Citrus peels contain similar compounds that, when exposed to sunlight, can cause chemical burns to human skin. In the rare case of eye contact and light exposure they can cause blindness as well. However cow parsnip is native to most of North America. Giant hogweed comes from the West Asian Caucasus and is invasive to much of New England, the Mid Atlantic, the Upper Midwest and some other states. If you have pets or kids, you don't want these plants on your land, but they become a good defensive plant if you're some old guy living alone inawoods. Giant hogweed is one of the few temperate vascular plants that can outgrow a person in height.

Here's some feral yellow iris or water flag, as the latter name suggests the plant is semi-aquatic and it grows right on the banks of streams, creeks, and rivers next to cat tails/bullrush and . Not edible but this European wildflower which can be found in many North American riparian zones now is believed to have inspired the French fleur-de-lis which before the revolution, was the symbol used on the French flag, and is the symbol still used on the French Canadian Quebec flag.

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CMcGillicutty

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This latest heat wave has lead to my black raspberry canes blossoming. Though the mid day heat is hell on the coles.

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Black raspberry flowers like many fruit and vegetable flowers, are not that showy. It helps to attract pollinators near by. I've got some perennial cornflower, a mountain wildflower from Europe, and some Persian onion they both love. You could dig up and eat the Persian onion bulb, it's a true onion, but in the Anglosphere it's grown more as an ornamental plant. It's actually taken on a somewhat feral invasive nature here in North America and it showed up as a weed on my property, but I let it proliferate seeing its value as a showy ornamental attractive to pollinators and a source of emergency onions. Corn flowers are inedible.

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The highbush blueberries are also in full bloom and starting to shed the single petals in some cases, which take the shape of those Chinese lanterns.

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The coles took a lot of heat stress from the heat wave Sunday-Tuesday but we got some garden variety thunderstorms last night and they've all seem to have recovered quite well as of this morning. I've been harvesting some of the cherry radishes, but I grew a second variety called German Giant radishes which can swell up to four inches in diameter, where the cherries swell up to one. Before the heat wave the GGs were smaller than the CRs, but now after the heat wave the GGs are starting to swell up over an inch, approaching two inches. Can see how robust the stalks are on them. All that plant energy should hopefully lead to explosive growth as temperatures cool back to seasonal. All the coles were wilting yesterday and Monday including the radishes, but I guess they do well in the warmer nocturnal soil.

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Elsewhere the beets are getting bigger and bigger as well. Probably looking at another three four weeks tops until they can be picked.

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And the best cabbage heads are the size of baseballs now. They took the heat the worst. Exposed to too much heat stress and they will go bad, and become woody and develop seed stalks in a process called bolting. But we've only had about 10 days above 80 and four above 90 this spring so they're okay for now.

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Garfisch

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Here's some feral yellow iris or water flag, as the latter name suggests the plant is semi-aquatic and it grows right on the banks of streams, creeks, and rivers next to cat tails/bullrush and . Not edible but this European wildflower which can be found in many North American riparian zones now is believed to have inspired the French fleur-de-lis which before the revolution, was the symbol used on the French flag, and is the symbol still used on the French Canadian Quebec flag.
I have these as well. I read somewhere that the leaves were used to weave into shallow baskets.
 

CMcGillicutty

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Depending on the variety, grow conditions, and cultivation techniques, each of the first set of true cabbage leaves can grow to be the same size as a larger fry pan, and are often the largest leaves you'll find in a temperate garden. And they'll keep growing in size for weeks. After
Remember when I said back in March how cabbage leaves are the biggest leaves you'll find in a vegetable garden growing to the size of fry pans in diameter? Well here we are rapidly approaching the end of spring cabbage season and I've got 10 inches in diameter as my largest cabbage leaf.

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The heads themselves are about three-four inches at their largest now, the size of baseballs. Ideally this variety, called the Golden acre cabbage, should swell up to about six-seven inches in diameter at harvest or the size of a grapefruit. But there are outliers above and below that and you harvest cabbage based on other metrics than size. You actually could pick and eat this one now, but I want more bang for my buck so will let it grow two-three more weeks tops.

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Hard to believe this was just two little leaves and a stem three months ago. I don't know how people don't believe in God, and intelligent design, watching something like a plant go from a tiny seed into a thriving, massive organism like this.

Flashback to what they looked like first week of March:

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KookWaffen
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Heres my update. No cotton. Didnt sprout. I found out it was also illegal to grow in my state so oh well. Tomatos starting to show fruit. Beans will be making pods soon.

Cucumber has been a horrible failure. Only 1 plant out of 2 packs of seed. I got another pack and will try again. Not sure what could be going wrong there. I have only noticed very tiny ants, no other pests. Furthermore, the beds are raised so rabbits cant get in.

I got zuccini, yellow squash, and 2 pumpkin plants all getting started in a new bed where an old tree was fell and stump grinded. My container herbs and spices doing well too.

Perssimon 4yo tree looks like it will not fruit this year either.
 

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There are actually two toxic plants of the same genus in the following photo:

View attachment 103377

You can see those giant leaves in the middle, that's the much hyped giant hogweed. Spill its sap on your skin in sufficient amounts and then expose it to sunlight, and it can cause third degree burns and long lasting scars. The white flower plant is cow parsnip, basically the mini-me version of giant hogweed. It flowers earlier. You can see though it's leaves are smaller, how similar they are in pattern and shape to the giant hogweed. Cow parsnip can burn people too, but the burns are usually less inflammatory. Both are members of the heracleum genus of the carrot family. Citrus peels contain similar compounds that, when exposed to sunlight, can cause chemical burns to human skin. In the rare case of eye contact and light exposure they can cause blindness as well. However cow parsnip is native to most of North America. Giant hogweed comes from the West Asian Caucasus and is invasive to much of New England, the Mid Atlantic, the Upper Midwest and some other states. If you have pets or kids, you don't want these plants on your land, but they become a good defensive plant if you're some old guy living alone inawoods. Giant hogweed is one of the few temperate vascular plants that can outgrow a person in height.

"Round my parts thems is called "cow killers." :oops:
 

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Rabbits been in the sunflower patch so hard, they have destroyed everything. I had to secure the perimeter like an urban pawn shop. Rabbit fence is up now. Stay the fuck off my bee attraction, rascally wabbits.
 

CMcGillicutty

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Radishes are all done now. Some of them bolted and got cabbage maggots so I just pulled them all. The ones that were okay were pretty good ringed, fried in butter, and garnished with salt, pepper, and parsley. You don't have to eat them fresh. The mustard oil cooks down when fried so they're milder too, but still some heat.

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I also planted four varieties of tomato and they are all bearing fruit.

Beefsteak tomatoes for sandwiches:

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San Marzano tomatoes for sauces:

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Princip Borghese tomatoes for sun dried tomatoes:

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And Chadwick cherry tomatoes for salads:

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Some of the bell peppers have also come in, however not all of them have been planted yet as they don't grow as explosively as tomatoes and they like the ground a little warmer so I'm in the process of planting them now in Early June. You could already eat that pepper, probably plant seeds from it into a hundred new plants if you wanted. Interestingly it's a yellow bell. Yellow bells are rumored to mature a bit earlier than their red counterparts, and no red nor orange bell pepper vine has a pepper this big on it yet.

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As far as perennial temperate fruits, it seems none of the cherry blossoms pollinated, I don't see any fruit on my tree. This could be for a number of reasons and as I said it's a lone tree and this is the first spring it bloomed, and there were maybe two dozen blossoms at most, which got wiped out early on by a hail storm. Sweet cherry trees need another tree's pollen to pollinate but there are other sweet cherry trees within 100 yards, so I just hope we get a more prolific blossoming next year and more time before the spring storms wipe it out. Other sweet cherries in my neck of the woods do have fruit on them.

Meanwhile however, the wild virginia strawberries are just weeks, and days away from harvest. You can see the larger older fruits are starting to pinken up a bit.

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The black raspberries have also developed fruit from their blossoms:

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I also have garlic scapes coming in. Those should be ready to harvest in a week or two. I'll probably fry those up and eat with steak and potatoes as a green.

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CMcGillicutty

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Well you can see why they call it the current moon the strawberry moon. It's actually uncanny how accurate these moons predict natural activity. Before this moon I had no ripe strawberries. After it peaked two nights ago they all began ripening.

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Again these are wild Virginia strawberries. Genetically one half of the commercially sold garden variety strawberry which is an enlightenment age hybridization between Virginia and Chilean strawberries. They are the tastier half of the hybrid, Chilean strawberries are more insipid and watery, but they have stronger membranes and the shelf life lasts much longer, which is why you'll almost never ever find wild Virginias for sale even at farmers markets, these ones were sourced growing wild on my property, and slowly and slowly over the years a colony of a couple dozen wild Virginia strawberries grew into a colony of hundreds. They'll even grow on rocks, without soil.

But yeah going back the the moon talk, before this, there was the pink moon, and the worm moon, and it seemed just like the strawberries all the flowers and the worms burst on scene the day after those moons. Before the worm moon the ground was frozen and snowy. Like within a day of that moon the ground had thawed and robins could be seen pulling them up with their beaks.

It's 90f today with ample humidity and the nightshades are just growing explosively. This is about as warm as they can take before they start slowing down from heat stress. Despite being tropical vines, peppers come from the Amazon jungle and tomatoes come from the Andean foothills. In the jungle it rarely gets hotter than 90f. High 80s is typical. The constant deluge of rain in daily and semi-daily thunderstorms cools the jungle, keeping the climate cooler than arid tropical savanna and deserts which climb well into the 100s regularly, although extremely humid. While the Andean foothills are dryer and can get a bit warmer than 90f on occasion, the air up in the hills tends to be cooler on average. Again you're not getting 100-120f there. So the nightshades have a lower heat tolerance than a lot of people realize. Any hotter and they'd stop setting fruit. You couldn't grow tomatoes outside in Phoenix right now. Melons are the hardiest when it comes to heat. They tend to come from old world deserts. Cantaloupe comes from Iran. It can thrive I'm 100-120f conditions, and the more arid the better as this reduces fungal infection. Water melon comes from the Kalahari desert in Southern Africa.

Although it got so hot here it was overcast. So the coles did better today. My biggest cabbage is still a little ways away, but it'll be ready around the solstice. It's about five inches in diameter. Already had to boot a cabbage looper off of it. Thank God for paper wasps which get most of the loopers for me.

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CMcGillicutty

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As I mentioned it hit 90f yesterday, and it soared back into the 80s today while hovering in the mid 70s last night. Strawberries love that heat, and a lot of the strawberries still had white underbellies yesterday so I waited today to pick my first bunch.

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Again, these are wild Virginia strawberries, about 1cm or a third of an inch in size, with very fragile membranes. You can't find these at stores nor farmers markets. You either have to forage for them here in Eastern North America or cultivate them yourself. And you really ought to eat them fresh as I'm about to, or freeze them. They will rapidly shrivel up even in a fridge. A fridge gives you about 12-36hrs longer shelf life depending on how old the berry is. I both cultivate and forage for them. But the difference in yield between foraging for them and cultivated them is in orders of magnitude. I might find a few dozen foraging for wild fruits during the summer. As you can see here on my first day I've already gathered a full dozen and they'll keep coming in between now and just after Independence Day. The number of cultivated berries ebbs and flows. On my best days I've taken in dozens of fresh berries, on slower days you may get fewer than six. It all depends on the weather and how far along in the season it is. Same for any fruit crop.

A couple days ago I found myself wondering where my pea flowers were. I sowed them into the soil back in late April or on May 1st, I can't remember. But they're going 40-50 days and have hit maturity. Today I went outside and multiple pea vines had sprouted flowers, which in two-three weeks time will grow into fully fledged pea pods. The flowers on some peas are harder to discern than other varieties, but the pale yellow-green part are the petals.

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Also an update on the white oak twins. I tried to separate the oak twins and save both trees, but they were siamese twins, shared a root system. So I had to kill one off. Still got the survivor indoors, to see that it heals and doesn't grow back a new sprout where the other twin was, and to let it get big enough that squirrels (who hunger for acorns and are attracted to the smell of oak sapling roots, often digging them up and gnawing in them) can't harm the tree. For the longest time it was just one little twig with a single oak leaf, but over the last two weeks, the stem has shot up by three inches and four new oak leaves emerged. So hopefully by Autumn this will ready to plant outside. These trees are incredibly hardy, I've seen them keep their leaves until December 20th some years when all others shed theirs. And the wood is par excellence, whether you're building with it or burning it. This one as I said is a memorial for a relative though.

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CMcGillicutty

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Well it's a little smaller than ideal but I have my first head of cabbage. I also have my first beet.

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This is a shorter season, smaller variety of cabbage. It's about the size of a grapefruit. And it's rock solid. And that's how you pick a cabbage. They're like balloons. Eventually the pressure gets so great they burst open and out comes a stem with flowers, and the plant is inedible, outside of chicken feed. So I had to pick this guy even though he's a bit on the smaller end of the bellcurve of an already smaller variety. But I do have a much bigger one that's about a week-two weeks behind. This cabbage will probably be processed into cole slaw over the next couple days. The larger cabbage will be devoted to a jar of winekraut (saurkraut cooked in white wine and then jarred). This beet I will probably prepare like a raddish and eat. It's an outlier too in that it was ready well in advance of the other two or three dozen I have growing.

I haven't shown much of the Boston pickling cucumbers I grew from seed, but they've grown explosively with this tropical heat the last week, and the female flowers, from which the fruit will emerge upon successful pollination, can already be observed, so the ETA on first cucs is early July, as of course these melons are harvested prematurely before pickling and slicing, unlike their cantaloupe cousins, who we will have to wait until August for.

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The other thing growing explosively in the tropical summer heat is the San marzano sauce tomatoes.

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I prune all the suckers underneath the first set of fruit, and thin some more above that. You gotta prune the suckers, i.e. the little branches that emerge out of the pits where the leaves meet stems (not this only applies to indeterminate tomato varieties). If you don't prune the suckers, the plant will get all bushy. When that happens disease spreads easier, a septoria infection can decimate a crop just as hundreds of tomatoes are two three weeks out from harvest and drastically reduce plant yield. In addition to this, the plant when left uninhibited performs a balancing act between devoting energy to growing more stems and leaves, and devoting energy to growing fruit. When the suckers are removed, the fruit grow more rapidly. Not only that, but the fruit will be larger. A tomato vine with all of its suckers will grow dozens of smaller tomatoes. A vine with regulated suckers will grow fewer, but larger tomatoes at a faster rate, with a reduced risk of blight. For larger indeterminate varieties, it's an absolute must.

Peas are growing very fast too, but the peas don't like heat, and by late July they will have dropped off in production before drying up and perishing in the heat. A second crop can be sowed as temperatures cool at the end of Summer. This variety in particular is the snow pea, which can be eaten pod whole, though these peas are usually best cooked in stir fries, and are a staple of most Oriental run restaurants.

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The highbush blueberries are also starting to swell up. But they'll take another month to grow to full size and ripen. Birds are notorious for predating these berries nearer to harvest, but can be repelled by predatory animal sculptures with eyes and flashy objects.

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CMcGillicutty

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The snowpeas are in season.

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A good rule of thumb for picking snowpeas is, you want the pods to reach the length of all four of your fingers positioned horizontally to their vertically. Another White guy told me this, so this would pertain to the average white guy. Probably women and Asian gardeners might want to tack on an extra quarter-half inch to this rule.

Just remember, these peas we're eating more for the pods moreso than the underdeveloped legumes inside. We're picking and eating them prematurely before they become fibrous and lose sweetness, like many other vegetables. That tends to happen after they hit that three inch and change mark.

This is in contrast to the English or Shelling peas most normies in the Anglosphere eat with corn and sometimes cubed carrots, where we're eating the underdeveloped peas inside the pod, totally discarding the pod. We don't eat the pods of those, just the peas. But we still do harvest and eat shelling peas before they become viable seeds. There are also of course sugar peas, a happy middle ground plant hybridized between the two, where you eat both pods and legumes, but you let the legumes swell up first. But to reiterate, once the legumes start swelling up inside snow peas, the natural plant sugars are depleted as the pod grows more fibrous and they're past their prime. Of course if you were growing any pea variety for viable seeds, you would let them go for weeks longer.

But anyway these are growing explosively. Yesterday not a single pod met the four finger test. Today six did. You can even see the petal on one pod still.

Now you can just pull the pod from those little cups/remnant flowers the pods grew out of, what the plant academics call the calyx, by hand. And that's the easiest way to do it. The cups/calyx are well attached to the plant. If you try ripping them off by hand you will likely end up damaging the plant at some point. So I use the small blade on my Swiss army knife to nick the calyx-cups off the vine. Reason being I'm going to steam these later on tonight or maybe tomorrow for dinner or lunch. And by keeping the calyx on the pods, it'll hopefully keep them a little fresher and more hydrated in my fridge.

Now you can also freeze any peas too. Some people just throw them into Tupperware containers fresh off the plant and put them into cold storage for the long term as is. But if you have a lot of peas, and you're planning on filling up the freezer and eating them over the long term, they're going to preserve better if you blanch them in hot and ice water first before putting them away in cold storage. I'm not going to blather on any longer typing up an effort post about how to blanch vegetables and herbs, just know that it's a rookie mistake to freeze them as is and there's a better way out there. Very simple youtube tutorials on how to blanch peas and other plants if you plan on freeing homegrown produce.
 
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