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Brock is at it again.

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Cannot wait for spring!!!

My Mother use to stand on a box and harness a team of horses like these and go out and cultivate corn, she was 10 Years old at that time. When I was 10 Years old, my Grandfather would drive the team (different team of course) and my brother and cousin and I would follow the hay wagon and pitch the hay into the wagon. When the wagon was full we would pitch the hay in to the barn loft. When I reached 14 years of age my Grandfather was to old to farm any longer and I was busy chasing girls.

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Dandelions and a dandy Great granddaughter and Great grandson

This is Macy and Brock Edwards

Macey

Brock

 

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Robert A. Hall “I’m 83 and Tired”

 

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This should be required reading for every man, woman and child in Jamaica,
the UK , United States of America , Canada , Australia and New Zealand and
to all the world…

“I’m 83 and I’m Tired”

I’m 83. Except for brief period in the 50’s when I was doing my National
Service, I’ve worked hard since I was 17. Except for some serious
health challenges, I put in 50-hour weeks, and didn’t call in sick in nearly
40 years. I made a reasonable salary, but I didn’t inherit my job or my
income, and I worked to get where I am. Given the economy, it looks as
though retirement was a bad idea, and I’m tired. Very tired.

I’m tired of being told that I have to “spread the wealth” to people who
don’t have my work ethic. I’m tired of being told the government will take
the money I earned, by force if necessary, and give it to people too lazy
to earn it.

I’m tired of being told that Islam is a “Religion of Peace,” when every day I
can read dozens of stories of Muslim men killing their sisters, wives and
daughters for their family “honor”; of Muslims rioting over some slight
offense; of Muslims murdering Christian and Jews because they aren’t
“believers”; of Muslims burning schools for girls; of Muslims stoning
teenage rape victims to death for “adultery”; of Muslims mutilating the
genitals of little girls; all in the name of Allah, because the Qur’an and
Shari’a law tells them to.

I’m tired of being told that out of “tolerance for other cultures” we must let
Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries use our oil money to fund mosques
and madrassa Islamic schools to preach hate in Australia , New Zealand ,
UK , America and Canada , while no one from these countries are allowed to
fund a church, synagogue or religious school in Saudi Arabia or any other
Arab country to teach love and tolerance..

I’m tired of being told I must lower my living standard to fight global
warming, which no one is allowed to debate.

I’m tired of being told that drug addicts have a disease, and I must help
support and treat them, and pay for the damage they do. Did a giant germ
rush out of a dark alley, grab them, and stuff white powder up their noses
or stick a needle in their arm while they tried to fight it off?

I’m tired of hearing wealthy athletes, entertainers and politicians of all
parties talking about innocent mistakes, stupid mistakes or youthful
mistakes, when we all know they think their only mistake was getting
caught. I’m tired of people with a sense of entitlement, rich or poor.

I’m really tired of people who don’t take responsibility for their lives and
actions. I’m tired of hearing them blame the government, or discrimination
or big-whatever for their problems.

I’m also tired and fed up with seeing young men and women in their teens and
early 20’s be-deck themselves in tattoos and face studs, thereby making
themselves un-employable and claiming money from the Government.

Yes, I’m damn tired. But I’m also glad to be 83.. Because, mostly, I’m not
going to have to see the world these people are making. I’m just sorry for
my granddaughter and their children. Thank God I’m on the way out and not
on the way in.

 

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Pittsburgh’s Indian Trail Steps

Beginning in colonial times and continuing through the 1930s, one way to get from the flats along the Monongahela riverbank up the steep hillside to Duquesne Heights was a narrow pathway known as the Indian Trail. The route weaved it’s way along the slope of Mount Washington. In 1909, the city built a wooden stairway, from Carson Street to Grandview Avenue, that became known as the Pittsburgh’s Indian Trail Steps.

The Indian Trail Steps in March 1910. Many hilltop commuters walked these city steps to and from work each day.
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Trout season just over the horizon.

A native brook trout stream at camp in Potter CO, PA.

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Cabbage hash and Hot Chicken sausage

We had to do something with the unused cabbage from Sunday. I think DW did well and I’m on a diet.

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Doctor’s appointment tomorrow so we had our St Patties Day today.

I had two of these. Rolling Eyes

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Hey I got a Phalaenopsis Orchid

The cost was $15.00 at Walyworld. I picked one out of about 20 that had two Orchids in the pot. Now I have to learn the best way to care for it. Rolling Eyes
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What do retired guys do?

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Ice jam in Oil City.

I hope Mother nature is kind to us. Oil City is about 80 mi upstream from us. Click on image to enlarge.
Oil City ice jam

railroad bridge

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Pittburg Hays Bald Egale

Pittsburgh Hays Bald Eagles – First egg 2-19-2014 at 4:45 PM       

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This one is for Annie

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My Great Grandson Brock

Is he a boy or what?

Brock

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10 Blooms at the same time

The photo was taken in the summer time. Bloomed one day and died the next. Had to wait another year for a bloom.

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Frank “Sugar Chile Robinson”

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How I spend my time in the Winter

When Butch goes outside to do his business in the winter he has to get warm when he comes in. Have you ever had to use a mouse with a dog hanging on your arm?

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Tommy Johnson

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33 tonight, 31 tomorrow night, 32 the next night (*^$^%&$@

For the next seven months the tropicals will be inside giving off oxygen in return for tender loving care. The problem is they are getting to big for us to be moving. The Christmas cactus and ferns are getting to wide to get through the door. I wonder if they would be worth putting on Craig’s list.

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Biggggg eggplant

We have all the eggplant and other veggies in the freezer we can use this winter and people who live around us do not care for eggplant. The result was, I have neglected the garden. When mowing the grass today I noticed something that looked like an eggplant. Upon inspection, there were three huge eggplants. Is there any use for eggplant this big? Tomorrow I will check the peppers.

BTW these were grown in 100% compost.

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Am I becoming a crotchety old man?

I have been watching more TV as of late and am appalled at the poor programing and acting. Also the commercials are directed at morons. Am I going to buy from some one that thinks I am a moron? I think not. As a result I have turned to Youtube and watch old programs like Soap, Frazier, Cheers and some of the old comedians that didn’t use cuss words. One program that I do watch on TV is Cops. The problem there is the program will make you paranoid and afraid to go out at night. Almost all episodes are about scum bags that either are on parole, of have felony warrants. What is wrong with these judges that think the prisons are too crowded? My solution is build more prisons or add more bunks.

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My good old days

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Four of the very best

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A must see video. (or old timers)

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Smoking a Chuck/English roast

After reading on “Smokingmeats” about smoking Chuck/English roasts, I decided to give it a try. Our local grocery store had them on sale for less than $2.50 per pound. They were marbled like a choice steak. I didn’t keep track of time for the photos but it was smoked at app 250 deg. for 5 hours and at 300+ deg. for 1 hour. I used McCormick steak rub and the flavor was very good and tender. I will do another one the next time they are on sale. Smile

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Becoming a non packrat in preparation to move

    After saving things, hear after referred to as stuff, for app. 53 years and having to downsize our residents, I am now throwing stuff out big time. I have always been a do it yourselfer  and saved any stuff that had a potential to be used for something else. I would save stuff that someone else had thrown out. A friend of mine and I used to say, whoever dies with the most stuff wins.

    Even though I used a lot of the stuff there is a lot left to get rid of. We are planning on moving into a Condo. hopefully early next year. Condos in our price range have very nice living space but have limited storage space. We both know our limitations and are psychologically  ready to make the move. This photo is our current house and the second photo is representative of where we will be living. As you can see it will be a hard move.

1 House 1

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Adding an offset fire box to a vertical smoker.

There have been many hits on this post and I thought I would bring it to the top of the journal. Probably the time of the year. John

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I hate politics, but watch this film

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For all my Kids, GrandKids, and Great Grandkids

For all my Kids, Grand Kids, and Great Grandkids that never seen me in a suit and tie. Take a good look, you will probably never see it again.  Pap

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Propagation Chamber

Time on the year to think about propagating terminal cuttings.

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Am I geting too serious about peppers? JohnW

With respect to gardening, other than this blog and a few conversations with neighbors, I stick to myself.  But in one of those conversations, I’ve been told that there is a debate raging about how best to quantify the heat of hot peppers.   Thinking, the conversation was with Jean Romero-Stevenson, who it turns out is a bit of a pepper head.   Though, she’s a sane pepperhead.   Nina Winand is an insane pepperhead, having started over 60 varieties last year.  You read that right?  Not 60 plants, 60 VARIETIES.

But back to the conversation with Jean, and the debate.   If I understand the debate, there is one group who thinks Scoville heat can be done by purely quantitative chemical assay.  Another, the equivalent of vinyl fans (remember vinyl phonograph records?), the ‘purists’ (not mockingly)  who maintain that human taste is quite complex, and that other factors in the pepper affect the sensation of the capsaicin, so Scoville ratings can, should, and will always be better done by humans.  Expert tasters if you will.

I’m sure somebody out there cares where I weigh in on this.  Well, like my politics, I pick the best from both sides.  Let me start by criticizing an article that beat me to LC-GC magazine called “Simple and Fast Quantification of Capsaicinoids in Hot Sauces Using Monolithic Silica Capillaries and LC-MS”, by Simon Forster and Stephan Altmaier.  What I did not like about this article, and to be fair, the authors goals were certainly not to quantify peppers, or even the taste of hot sauces, so from the outset my criticism isn’t fair.   That said, here it is:  what is the real value to pepperheads of quantifying the levels of capsaicinoids in hot sauces?  And, double disappointment, I didn’t even see a key to tell which brands corresponded with which results.

So how do we relate Scoville heat, the taste of peppers, the ratios of specific capsaicinoids, hot sauce, and whatever else we pepperheads cherish?  We don’t, yet.  It’s a complex problem, and though the previous study gives us a hint at what we’re contemplating, certainly half the challenge is to understand what it is we’re setting out to do, and how it should be done in order to accomplish something of value.

My general approach is to be quantitative, but peppers are more than the capsaicinoids.  What makes a jalepeno a jalepeno?  What makes a habanero so darn worth all that heat?  I’m not even going to go near hot sauces.  That’s a decade away.  What is it about the pepper themselves that works with or against the capsaicinoids to produce the flavor behind the heat?   This is a serious question, and to get started, I’ve installed an HPLC system on a cart in my workshop/lab.

HPLC system

This is it.  It’s an Agilent 1100 (last gen, not latest gen) HPLC system.  I’ve set it up on wheels, as I’m prone to do, so it’s moveable, and can be easily cleaned around.  To do this, I had to place the pump, solvent tray and de-gasser on the bottom shelf, so the whole assembly wouldn’t be top-heavy.  To do this, I made up a special 0.007″ ID stainless steel fluidic link 1.3 meters long.  So instead of the traditional (top heavy) arrangement with the pump on top, I pump the solvents up to the sample handler on the top of the ‘stack’ on the top shelf.  From there, the fluid path proceeds as normal, down through the column heater unit and finally to the detector, which is at the bottom of the stack on the top shelf.  This is a really handy arrangement.  Note the ‘data system’ (the computer) sits handily to the left, is generally away from solvents, and there’s still enough bench space for odds and ends.

So, what’s next?  System qualification.  Then, initial method development.  Standards development.  exploring, poking around, and with luck, this fall, when the peppers are harvested, I’ll have a very basic method which will probably not even separate the various capsaicinoids, but with some luck will separate some of the flavor elements of the peppers.  Babe in the woods? Yea, I know.  Real chromatographers are laughing their a$$es off.

But so what.  It’s not what you don’t yet know that’s important, it’s what you’re learning.   The body of knowledge in this big crazy world is probably not even imaginable by any individual in it.   I’m not sure if that’s happened yet, or if we’re close, but for a big chunk of very recent history I suspect it may have been possible for the very best of the Renaissance men (Jefferson, Franklin, and their like) to know a darn big chunk of available theoretical human knowledge.  Say what?  5%?  even 0.5%?  That’s a big percent of the available theoretical knowledge at the time.   The knowledge of how stuff works.   Today, it’s not possible to be as broadly educated as our predecessors.  But don’t let that stop you.

My cousin inherited a book from my Grandfather Best, which was a compliment to the ‘Poor Richards Encyclopedia’ set.  This book was about 4 inches thick, printed on bible paper.  It was said to contain a vast amount of knowledge, and sold to farmers so they might have at least all the practical knowledge they might need living fairly independently on the rural farmstead of the late 18th century.  I hope that books still around somewhere, because I would surely love to thumb through it.  I wonder what indirect references there were, pre-echos, to what we can know today.  It’s a great time to be alive.

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Mobile garden on a rack.

Mobile garden on a rack.

This is my start for 2013, Only the top two racks are needed, so the bottom ones are put to other temporary uses. Note each red solo cup has a hole poked in the bottom so you only add water through the big tubs. The individual plants suck up the water from the tubs just fine.
Tomato’s, peppers and eggplant here.

Mobile?  well, it built on a rack I bought at a big box store.  I reckon I’ll wheel it outside as soon as it’s warmer.  This is a long Winter, here on April first I should be able to take them out during the day.   At least it’s consistently cold.  That warm March last year, followed by a cold snap wrecked my fruit trees and if not for a second flourish of grape buds, those would have been wiped out too.   I can’t imagine farming on a large scale back in the days before crop insurance.

By the way……..we got 25% germination from eggplant (Black Beauty) from a big box store.  My wife replanted triple seeds in the ones that didn’t come up.  By contrast, tomato seed from last year (saved) from three varieties germinated 100%.  Peppers (also saved) came up at 80%.  We didn’t get fancy with the wet paper towel tricks.  We just planted them in soil. watered and waited.   Eggplant was two weeks, peppers and tomatoes were faster, around a week and a half I think.

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A Garden in a box, shoe box that is.

Nearly all of my garden is in five shoe boxes. The exception being my squash and onions. I don’t know whether to plant onion sets or onion plants. I am hoping to transplant the third week of April and plant in the garden the middle of May. Keep your fingers crossed, we are due for a good gardening year.

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I vow to Mother Nature to be on time this year.

It seems that I am always behind when it comes to gardening. Sometimes it is beyond my control but not always. This year it will be different please please  please I will be starting my eggplant this week, the peppers two weeks from now and the tomatoes and broccoli three weeks from now. When I transplant will depend on how well the seedlings are doing. The plants will be set out during the first two weeks of May depending on the weather forcast. In the meantime I will be hoping for a great gardening year. Sch…, sch…did anybody hear mother nature make her vows???????

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If you are wondering how you got here…………..

If you typed www.jbest123.com that page redirected you to www.johnsgardenjournal.wordpress.com.

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Restoring a 1960 Wheel Horse 550

This winters project will be restoring a Wheel Horse 550. It is in worse condition than the photo shows. My Dad had one in the 60s and I inherited it and used it for many years. I caught the previous owner in several unchallenged fairy tails and bought the tractor anyway. I am sure he thinks he pulled the wool over my eyes. He didn’t know what the tractor is worth but was glad to get rid of it. The first photo is as recd. And the second photo will be as restored. John

 

 

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Harvest Thursday

Finally getting something from the garden. It has been a three year wait but worth the effort. The subsoil was double dug with lots of compost spaded in. The two boxes for the bed were 10” X 30” X 8’ each and filled with 50/50 compost and horse bedding and lots of lime. This photo is the first years growth.

These are Jersey Giants and are living up to there name. That is a quarter atop the left hand sprout.

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To all my visitors and Blogging friends

To keep spammers under control, only registered users can comment on the posts. All that is needed is a user name, password and email address. Unlike some unsavory web sites, I will not reveal any personal information.  Also all new users can auther/contribute posts but I will ban any user that abuses the journal.

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A major life style change.

Well after $60,000.00 just for testing,(insurance paid all) I have PAD, AFIB,COPD (Google search for description) and an aneurism on my aorta . I want to continue gardening but the garden will need some major changes. The beds are not high enough and the pathways are not wide enough and at some point I will need hand rails. There is not much information on the wed and I will need you to use your imagination for suggestions.

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Correction on the previous post

I posted about smoking meats inside with a range hood. It worked very well with propane and the small wood chip box but when I tried it with the off set fire box with sticks it overwhelmed the range hood. On one of the forums, someone posted this photo and it gave me 2nd, 3rd and 4th thoughts. My previous post was not a good idea and I hope that nobody tried to duplicate my setup. I think that is a very good demonstration of the value of the forums.

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Happy New Parsnips!

Parsnip harvest on January 1, 2010?   Prior to today, about half of the 10 foot row of parsnips had been removed, one at a time, as my wife used them in soups since this fall.  Here it is January 1, and I’m lucky the ground isn’t seriously frozen.   This morning here in State College PA, it’s frozen only about 1-1/2 to 2 inches deep at most.  This morning it was an unusually warm 40 degrees out, so what better way to start off 2011 than to go out and dig in the garden a bit?

These are the two best ones.  There were a number of larger parsnips but they weren’t as pretty.    I weighed the harvest from about  5- 6 feet of a row, we got exactly 22 pounds (10 kilo’s) of parsnips without greens, but with a wee bit of soil.  I put them in a bag in the bottom of the beer fridge.

Regarding their use, they have a good taste, I’d say they add a bit of a sweetness, and can be added to almost any kind of soup.



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Only 14 DEG F outside so……..

Merle Haggard & George Jones – Yesterday’s Wine

I decided to keep my butt inside and bottle some wine. This is the white Grape and Peach wine in the previous post. It has a pleasing aroma and taste very good but you can tell it needs to age awhile. The second photo is a close up of the label. This leaves me with one empty container and several empty bottles with a long winter to go. Hmmmmm what should I try next?

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2010 sweet potatoes & winter squash harvest

The temps are supposed to be in the mid 30s this week end so its time to get the SP and SQ into the storage bins.

The squash are Burpee’s  hybrid Butter Bush. They have nearly if not the same flavor and texture as the Butternut squash. We prefer the Butter bush for its smaller size and it has been a constant producer. This years harvest is about 55 lbs.

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The sweet potatoes are Vardaman and did well for the slips that survived. I bought a pack of 25 slips for about $13 and planted the best 20 slips. Of the 20 slips planted only 12 survived. This problem will be solved by next planting season. I have planted two small potatoes in pots and will take vine terminal cuttings this winter and determine which rooting techniques work best for me.

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This the largest sweet potato harvested at 2#.

These came from one plant at 3.5#.

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And this is the total harvest from 12 plants At app. 22#. I will let them cure here before  putting them in the bin.

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I am out of my league and need help

The area in my landscaping that needs the most attention is under two large maple trees. They are in competition for the moisture and create the dense shade. They both have surface roots, so I plan to raise  the bed 12”-16” with tapered sides. Now what do I plant there? The plants must survive zone 5b in dense shade, compete with roots from large trees and a direct SW winter wind. Any and all suggestions are appreciated.  John

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A vacation in the hospital


http://www.jbest123.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Ernest-Tubb-In-The-Jailhouse-Now.mp3

What caused my trip to the hospital were heart arrhythmias. The symptoms can be a fluttering in your chest, a racing heartbeat, a slow heartbeat, chest pain, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, dizziness or fainting or near fainting and I have every damn one of them. Along with heart arrhythmias comes an increased chance of blood clots so the Doc put me on Coumadin (rat poison). As a result of that most of my other meds have to be changed and fine tuned which requires weekly blood tests, med adjustment and retesting. I feel like a porcupine turned inside out. I have to eat the same amount of vitamin K every day as it affects the Coumadin and could have very bad results. The table below shows various vegetable and the vitamin K they contain. Keeping track of my diet past and planning future diets for the amounts of vitamin K would be a hassle so I plan to avoid vegetables with high levels of vitamin K. As a result I will be giving many veggies away this year.

 

I have started planning next year’s garden as to what to plant where and the spacing and nutrient requirements.

 


Vegetables

Amount

Vitamin K

Artichoke

1/3

Low

Asparagus

7 spears

Medium

Green beans

3/4 cup

Low

Lima beans

1/2 cup

Low

Beets

1/2 cup

Low

Broccoli

1/2 cup

High

Brussels sprouts

5

High

White cabbage

2/3 cup

High

Carrot

1/2 cup

Low

Cauliflower

1/2 cup

Low

Celery

2 1/2 ribs

Medium

Swiss chard

1/2 cup cooked

High

Chives

2 cups chopped

High

Collard greens

1/2 cup

High

Cilantro

6 cups

High

Corn

2/3 cup kernels

Low

Cucumber (remove peel)

1 cup slices

Low

Eggplant

1 cup diced

Low

Endive

2 cups

High

Kale

1/2 cup

High

Leek

1 cup chopped

Low

Bibb lettuce

1 cup chopped

High

Red leaf lettuce

1 cup chopped

High

Iceberg lettuce

1/2 cup

Medium

Mustard greens

1 1/2 cups

High

Shiitake mushrooms

5 mushrooms

Low

Button mushrooms

1 cup

Low

Okra

1/2 cup

Medium

Green onion

2/3 cup

High

White or yellow onion

2/3 cup

Low

Parsley

1 1/2 cup

High

Parsnip

2 parsnips

Low

Green pepper

1/2 pepper

Low

Potato

1 medium

Low

Radish

1 cup sliced

Low

Spinach

1/2 cup cooked

High

Yellow squash

1/2 cup slices

Low

Acorn squash

1/2 cup

Low

Sweet potato

1 cup

Low

Tomato sauce (bottled)

1/2 cup

Low

Tomato

1

Low

Turnip

4 ounces

Low

Turnip greens

1 1/2 cups

High

Watercress

3 cups

High


Categories: Greenhouse Gardening, My Gardening Journals, Square Foot Gardening, Uncategorized | Tags: , | 12 Comments

I don’t think dogs are interested in gardening

Butch was on my work bench and decided to nap…… on my key board. I don’t think he was interested in gardening.

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I didn’t touch the key board and there was no sound on the next screen but something woke him up

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An easy way to plant tomatoes

This is my grand daughter Jessie, she planted a 4th of July tomato and is just finished planting a Gardeners Delight cherry tomato. I suspect that these will get a little extra care this summer. John

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True confessions or Inquiring minds want to know

There are times you have to do things that are not what you want to be doing. Those times are when your body is giving out. You know like the mind is the first thing to go and then there is the sex thing. Well I want you to know I can well remember the sex thing. There is a recent post about composting leaves that I responded to and thought I should explain myself. To extend my gardening years there are things that I must change that will not have a negative impact on my garden. Two years ago I converted my conventional row garden to a raised bed/no till garden. The results are fantastic, no bouncing around behind a tiller and virtually no weeds to pull. This year I am giving up composting (gasp). All lawn and garden debris and leaves are going to a commercial compost facility via city hall. To give you some idea of the volume of just the leaves, I have taken six pickup loads of shredded leaves to city hall and an estimated four to five more loads to go. It is not the collection of all the material that is the problem, it’s the number of times you have to handle them before they are ready for the garden. I have a source of composted horse bedding in any state of decomposition that I want. I have used it heavily for the past two years with great results and plan to use it exclusively from now on. John
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2009 Winter garden update

The photo in the previous post about the 2009 garden was taken on Oct 8th.   The plants on the top left shelf toward the end are tomato and pepper plants. They are hard to make out but they are about 4 weeks old. Every thing else was seeded just before I snapped the photo not counting the fern or poinsettias.

This photo was taken 29 days later. Every thing is growing in compost rich in HM.

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 The tomatoes are in blossom and I will have to get the Qtips out. The toms are Early Girls and I hope to have fresh ones by Christmas.   John

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Categories: Greenhouse Gardening, Uncategorized | Tags: | 6 Comments

Be careful what you say or do.

Be careful what you say or do. My great granddaughter Macey is keeping an eye on you guy/gals while I am off line.    John

Macey-Monroe

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Phew what a time we have had.

Phew what a time we have had. Since about the middle of May, there has been preschool graduation, kindergarten graduation, high school graduation, collage graduation, graduation parties, and birthday parties. All of the activities were in nice sunny weather (good gardening weather), which is amazing considering haw many cold rain days we have had. We have had so many rain days, that I decided to get rid of all the junk that I have pack-ratted over the years. After 50+ years of saving junk, it will be an ongoing process. This week my DW had an operation and tomorrow I am having a test, the one that requires you to drink 4 liters of prescription fluid the day before, oops, wait a minute…..sorry about that. If you are over 60, you know the one that I am talking about, oops here we go again……boy is this fun 😦 . I have been taking many photos and have lots to post about, so hopefully I can get back to my journal and the forums.

I have saved the best news for last. Guess who is a Great grand pappy? I would like you to meet Macey Monroe named after her G grand pappy, John Monroe. How about that.

Macy

 

As usual, all comments are welcome.   John

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I have to apologize to my Bloging and Forum friends

This time of year, when I get up in the morning, I am anxious to get started on the goals that I had set the day/night before. When evening comes, I am so tired that I can hardly click a mouse key. I read all the forums and blogs religiously but my responsibility lies with my own journal for my grandchildren and great-grandchildren and so on. I would love to post on the forums and comment on the blog posts but I am just too damn tired and dreary. You can all blame it on me trying to keep up with Granny, I should know better.

 

John

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Lost comments

I wrecked my journal three times in three days. I was able to get everything back except the comments on the last three or four posts. Just wanted you to know, I did not delete them.

John

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Chitting Potatoes among other things

About twelve days ago, I removed the Kennebec seed potatoes from the fridge and placed them in a standard nursery flat and covered them with another flat upside down. p4220171 

 

This photo taken yesterday shows the sprouts starting to grow.p5020854 

 

As you can see, the spuds are forming many sprouts. After all the sprouts are formed, I will remove all but the two nicest ones in an effort to reduce the number of small potatoes. It is claimed that this will increase the size of the remaining potatoes, we shall see.potato3

 

Speaking of potatoes, I added four inches to the top of my sweet potato bed, bringing the depth to twelve inches (11”).p5020853 

 

Some of the plants are on the way to there new home. I have several to get rid of yet and mine will be planted this week or next. The GH will then be closed down until mid to late August when I will start the winter garden.p5040219 

 

As usual all comments are welcome.     John

Categories: Greenhouse Gardening, My Gardening Journals, soil blocks, Square Foot Gardening, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Anxious for warm weather

Today the hi temperature was about 54 with rain and I am as anxious for nice warm weather as anybody is. Saturdays hi temperature is supposed to be 83 and warm for about a week after that. Some of the apple blossoms are wide open and by next week, they all will be open. If we get a frost, it will be the end of the apples. If they have enough time to develop into little green apples then it will take a killing frost or freeze. I am keeping my fingers crossed.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Since the apple blossoms are opening, I had to turn the orchard bees loose. The bottom two houses contain the new bees. The one on the left is partially filled tubes and the one on the right are filled tubes. The two on top are new tubes for this years bees. I only hope they get enough pollen and nectar to survive.

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As usual, all comments are welcome.   John  

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My Junk Yard Dog

While a junked-up shop dog anyway. It’s raining too hard for us to go out and play in the garden, so we will just sit here and I can pick my nose and he cal lick his you know what.   It was good timing though for planting the asparagus and potatoes. The soil should be well saturated by now. The apple blossoms are ready to bust wide open and next week it is supposed to be in the mid to high 70s. I hope we have an early spring because a frost/freeze now and it is good by for apples this year.  The second photo is the first tomato for 2009. I won’t count it in my 2009 harvest though because it was born and raised in the GH.   

As usual, all comments are welcome.    John

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New Asparagus Bed

The asparagus crowns arrived yesterday. My goal today was to get them planted before the roots dried out.  I dug two trenches about 16ins apart and will place the crowns about 16ins apart in the rows.

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The light colored material you see is wood ashes. They have been there for 3-4mo and should be well leached out. The crowns are planted about 5ins deep and as soon as the shoots appear, I will top-dress the beds another 2-3ins.

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All the crowns are in place and all I have to do now is to water them good.

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If the weather holds out long enough tomorrow, I will plant my Yukon Gold potatoes in the first two boxes. As usual, all comments are welcome.   John

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Categories: My Gardening Journals, Square Foot Gardening, Uncategorized | Tags: | 5 Comments

Back to where I thought, I was

I wanted to lookup something from an older post and I found out that many of the older posts no longer had photos. It turns out that when photos are uploaded, they are resized to the requirements of the domain. When you backup/export a journal/blog, the photos are also back upped with the old size included. Subsequently, I had to download all those photos resize them and upload then to the new domain, what a pain. It took me some time to correct the new journal but I think everything is ok now. I have been neglecting the journal and forums for several days but hope to correct that also.

 

Today was a near perfect day 71 Degs low humidity and I got a lot accomplished. The lawn was mowed, the asparagus arrived, I top dressed ½ of the RBGs and I am ready to plant (a secret (later post)).

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The apple blossoms are ready to burst open but it is too early yet. Maybe we will get some cooler temperatures after this warm spell.

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The quince is in full blossom, but we have not had any quince for years. I do not know if it is the lack of bees or what.

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An update on the seedlings;

The toms are doing quite well and will probably be in blossom by the time they are plated in the beds.

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The peppers are about where they should be at this time.

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 The eggplants are a little behind but that is ok. They will catch up.

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 As usual, all comments are welcome.   John 

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Cuttin Farwoood (thats for EG)

After they got finished logging the farm there were several logs the sawmills would not take because of bad spots in the center of the logs. You can zoom in on the logs and you will never guess what kind of wood they are. It was a chance to get some easy firewood for the fireplace. It was very easy to park right beside the logs and start cutting. It would only take two logs to fill the trailer and the truck, almost a full cord. I keep my equipment behind the seat in the truck. In the first photo, the trailer is almost full and the cut pieces and the log closest to the truck filled the remainder of the trailer and the truck.

1stload

In this photo, I have the second load cut and loaded, and about to head home, about 50 mi. I estimate there were about 4 – 6 more loads. Because of limited space, I had to split and stack the wood to make room for the next load. A week later I returned for the next load and guess what, the pile was gone, vanished into thin air. I got my third load but not quite as easy and there was enough wood left to last my lifetime. Well guess what again, that was in 2006 and today, all the wood is gone. It makes it difficult to keep a rosy mental photo of mankind.

2ndload

 

p.s. the logs in the photo are sassafras and it smells great in a fireplace.2ndload2

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Camp and feed plots for critters

A good friend of mine has owned a camp in McKean Co. PA for about 40 years. I retired in the spring of 1993 and spent all of May at camp except for two weekends. I still do not know how we got away with that. The camp is centrally located on about 40 acres of bottomland, which is bordered on two sides with trout streams and a small stream through the center of the property that has native brook trout in it. It is common to see deer, black bear, turkeys, grouse and songbirds. It is uncommon to see a coyote though but it does happen. I have put together a few photos at camp and a short video of planting feed plots for the critters. Hope you enjoy it.

 

John

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Superficial Conservation

Something has been bothering me for some time now. Its people that make a superficial effort at conservation then feel good about it. They claim that if you scale it up to millions of people it would make a big difference. What bothers me is the assumption that millions of people are also doing it. In addition, if you put many of these people under the microscope, you find out that they are extravagant with unrenewable resources in other areas and will not hesitate to tell me how I can be more conservative.

Descendants of PA Dutch farmers, who lived through the great depression, raised me, my parents. I have been a conservative all my life because of the standards, they instilled in me. Of coarse the motivation has been financial and not concern for the planet. The only way to curb today’s appetites for more energy, apparently regardless of price, is for a major life stile change by the masses. I do not think that is going to happen voluntary with the, me, I want it and I want it now and buy a cheap one if it breaks, throw it away and bay another one syndrome. As much as I hate government in my life, I thing it will take legislation in more areas than one.

 

John

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