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Posts Tagged ‘fruit’

I get up way too early in the morning.   I do it because I have so many irons in the fire that I could not get everything done without rising early.  I’m not proud of it.  I’m not ashamed of it.  It is what it is.

This morning is a rare leisurely one.  I got the rabbit chores done, checked out a few of my favorite news sites, then sat in my recliner with a cup of coffee and started daydreaming about what I would do if I was forced into a survivalist mode here in the burb.  Some people dream about winning the lottery, my miswired mind runs toward self sufficiency.  I blame talk radio.

So, what would I do (and…what would Brittan let me do…..) if I was suddenly thrown into a situation where I had to fend for myself?  Here’s what I’ve come up with so far…

  1. Since we grow so many fruits and vegetables already, I’d be pretty good there.  But I would need to save more seeds.  Right now, it’s easy to buy them off the internet, but B got me a good book last Christmas about seed saving, and I could easily make that move.
  2. I would grow more beans.  They are prolific, nutritious and provide most of their own fertilizer by pulling nitrogen from the air and trapping it in the soil.  They are also a good food source for the animals we would keep.
  3. I would pay more attention to my berries.  Raspberries and blackberries are easily grown and spread.  They are an excellent food source for humans and animals.  I should consider more strawberries.
  4. We already have fruit trees.  I think I’m good there.
  5. I would grow more cantaloupes.  If I could figure out how to keep the dogs from eating them, that is.
  6. I would pay more attention to my worm composting.  I would greatly expand that project.
  7. If I could only keep one edible livestock, it would be the rabbits.  They are quiet.  They easily reproduce.  They eat what we grow in our garden and yard.  They provide the best fertilizer in nature.  They are a tasty and healthy food source.
  8. Next, I would sneak in the Nigerian Dwarf Goats.  A buck would be a bit of a challenge, because of odor potential, but we’d work it out.  A buck and two does could provide an ongoing supply of dairy and meat.  I don’t love goat’s milk, but it’s healthy and the goats are small and quiet.  Our Nigerians are much quieter than sheep, chickens or cows.  They would eat the brambles and weeds in the yard and would help with post season garden clean up.  Since they are small, they’d take up little space and would not tear up the yard.
  9. I would try to keep some chickens.  This is the tough one.  I could hide two or three laying hens, but that would only work for two or three years.  Without a rooster, the chicken thing comes to a halt fairly quickly.  Roosters are noisy.
  10. Finally, there is a piece of the puzzle I have yet to acquire, namely the aquaponics tanks.  With a 200 gallon aquaponics tank, I would be able to raise tilapia, all the food for the tilapia and additional vegetables and greens for human and animal consumption.  It would also require a breeding pair of tilapia.  Since I don’t have that, but live near a major lake and raise my own worms, a supply of fish is fairly convenient already.

Many other pieces of a suburban survival plan are already in place.  Brittan already cans copious quantities of produce that we grow.  So those supplies are available.  We have stockpiled things like candles, soap, toilet paper and toothpaste.  We have a pretty good quantity of water purifying tablets and all weather clothing.

With a little tweaking, we are ready for the apocalypse.  I figure that if something really dramatic happens, our HOA would become irrelevant, so I don’t worry too much about them.

This may be the oddest post I’ve ever written.  But, hey, it’s Saturday morning and I don’t watch cartoons.

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First the bad news.  I came home from work yesterday to find that all of our tiny oranges had fallen off the little tree.  Not one survived.  I’m bummed.  I don’t really like oranges, but B does.  And seeing them grow was pretty cool.  Oh well, maybe next time.

The good news; as I was watering last night, I found half a dozen peaches on one of our patio peach trees.  They are about the size of a squash seed right now.  I’m very excited.  After all, this is Georgia.  Peaches make sense.

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B and I had an amazing time in Hawaii.  I could move there in a heartbeat.  But all good things must come to an end, so now we’re home.

We were a bit concerned about the garden while we were gone.  Leaving for 6 days is risky, but we watered thoroughly before we left and figured that with all the disasters we’ve already encountered this spring, what’s one more risk?

Despite a lack of sleep on the crowded plane, and severe cases of jet lag, we went straight to the garden to get a status report.  Everything looked great.  In our absence, the beans, squash, melons and cucumbers sprouted, along with our replacement crop of greens.  All the tomatoes and

cherries

peppers were thriving.  Some of the early tomatoes are really growing.  I will have to stake them soon.

Our first big surprise was discovering……..cherries!  We planted bush type cherries when we first bought this house back in 2008.  They were tiny twigs and I took a lot of grief from Brittan over being so cheap and not spending the coin for larger plants.  She was right, of course, but that’s a whole nother story……….

Anyway, this year the cherry blossoms were beautiful.  Sure, our bushes are not as large or showy as the big ornamentals that line the streets here, but the flowers are just a pretty and the smell is just as nice.  Now we have something all those people with the big ornamental cherry trees don’t have.  We have fruit!  I was as giddy as a school kid.  There aren’t many cherries.  This is, after all, the first year for fruit.  But they are there and I am so

strawberry

proud.

Finding cherries would have made the day perfect in itself, but Brittan shouted, “We have a strawberry!”  Sure enough, the blossoms are starting to produce.  Yabba dabba do!

And the hits just keep on coming.  I found plumbs on our fruit cocktail tree and figs on our brand new fig tree.  I was particularly surprised by the figs, because the tree doesn’t even have many leaves yet.  There are only three fruit, but as far as I’m concerned it’s a virtual bounty.

oranges

The biggest surprise of all, however, is in our sunroom, where we are experimenting with tropicals.  We have a banana tree, a tangerine, a lemon and a very shaky navel orange.  The orange tree suffered badly from leaf drop after we brought it home from the nursery.  Only one branch lived.  We have seriously

fig

discussed taking it back and asking for a replacement.  Suddenly, all discussion has ceased, because what to my wondering eyes should appear……….. Yep, you guessed it.  Our one living branch has become two and there are tiny oranges on them.  About a half a dozen, to be precise.  I am delighted.

Some day, our little orchard will produce an incredible harvest.  But these first fruits will always be the most special.  All the work, time and effort really are worth it.  The burb is blooming.  You should try this at your place.

plumbs

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Hey, that kind of rhymes.  Lyrical or not, it has been frustrating to watch our dwarf orange tree lose leaves by the bucket full.  So, I did a little research.  The good news, ‘leaf drop’ (what an original name) is rather common.  The bad news, it’s my fault.  I have done everything wrong since we got this little tree.

First, I let it get too dry.  Then, apparently I over watered it.  I also let it get to cold then warmed the roots too fast and too high.

It would appear that so far I have done nothing right by this poor plant.  What a knuckle head.  I think I can save it.  The tree is not dead, so there is still hope.

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Figs Anyone?

We love figs.  They are sweet, tasty and downright addictive.  They make great desserts and are wonderful to eat on their own.  When we saw some varieties on sale at our local nursery, we decided to pick up a couple.  B talked me into something new:  instead of buying ‘twigs’ as she calls yearling plants, we bought three year old trees that should begin producing the first or second year they are out.  If it ever stops raining around here and starts warming up just a tad, I’ll actually plant them.  Right now, they are sitting in pots in the garage looking all forlorn.

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New Fruit Varities For 2010

We’re adding some new fruit to our garden this year.  In addition to expanding our blueberry, strawberry and raspberry collections, we will add some exciting and surprising twists as well.

Since our focus is planting fruits and vegetables that anyone can grow in a suburban or urban setting, we are careful to choose varieties that grow equally well in the ground or in containers.

First up, single stem apples.  We found these beauties and just had to have them.  They are ideal for smaller or cramped yards.  We found both golden and red apples and best of all, they will pollinate each other.

Next is the cutest little peach tree.  This little beauty will grow up to about 5 feet in a tub.  It is self pollinating and produces nearly half a bushel of peaches.

We found an asian pear and a cherry tree that have three varieties each, ensuring self pollination.

Last year we bought some black currants and this year we are bringing in it’s red, white and champaigne cousins.

We also ordered a dwarf quince, but I forgot to download a photograph.

Any, or all of these, would make an attractive, tasty and nutritious addition to any edible landscape.

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