Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Down on the farm.....

Blogging is now SO MUCH EASIER and faster thanks to the super PC that Jim Porter gave more TEDIOUSLY slow pic downloads! Thanks so much Jim plus to Mary Jo for the older Mac she gave me and the invaluable how-to-stop-fearing -your Mac- and- new- PC procedures she walked me through by phone to use my now-active external Fantom external hard drive (turns out it has been CONNECTED but not RUNNING for two years due my never having actually installed it!) to back up, copy and transfer all my photos (almost 13,000) and articles into both of my new computers.

Despite the humid heat I weeks ago, as I have since I was ten, "felt" on a cellular level the shift towards autumn, and so today will start some tomato seeds plus do my first rough sort of my winter crops seeds and will try a super early trial of Brassica in 1-2 Water Wise Container Gardens just to see what I can get away with.

I just sprayed the hordes of mealy bugs on my eggplants and molokhiya, then in a few will spray the light infestation on my two Thai peppers. I used the homemade spray based on Kirk's Castile soap I wrote about for years in The Rocky Mountain News and The St. Pete Times, and will later post one of those articles here.

Yesterday I laid the last of the pavers and red clay bricks Tom gave me for my work in progress driveway. Next I take Cracker to Picnic Island Beach to swim, play and get a few 5 gallon buckets of sheashell grit to sweep into the cracks between the paver and bricks...the test area I did last night looks great. I will take pics or a video once it is all completed.

'Gray Street Grape' and 'Triumph' muscadine are now past peak but still laden with ripe has been a joy to eat fresh grapes right off the vines daily for weeks now. I might give making home made raisins a try as raisins with seeds would not bother me.

Now that Ryan and his two friends and I have almost completely wiped out the horrific weeds of the front yard I can accelerate burying more Water Wise Container Gardens made from plastic buckets, one rose per bucket, plus plant more perennials and annuals and papayas between them as part of the drastic revamping of my front yard devastated by years of drought and being consumed by the now-gone giant climbing rose 'Mermaid' (thanks Pat!) to again have a wondrous collection of roses but THIS time use MUCH less water since drought is the new norm for Florida. I will be sure to post pics at my Rosegasms blog.

My two Holy Basil plants (Ocimum sanctum) grow by leaps and bounds, despite blooming and seeding non-stop, one in the ground, one in a Water Wise Container Garden on my back porch. Since it is a known adaptogen with a 4,000 year history of use in Ayurvedic medicine I want to begin drinking a cup a day of the pleasant tasting tea. See pic of one of my plants.

Today I will be listing some of 5 month old, adult sized Muscovy Ducks for sale, here and on Craig's List. Soon I will man up and kill my first duck as I have too many poultry mouths to feed plus I hear and read that Muscovy Duck meat is a gourmet treat, dark and lean like cow meat vs. greasy like White Pekin ducks. The ducks are $20 each and I can now sex them due to the males' beaks showing sexual maturity is close at hand.

Thanks to the folks who've ordered seeds from me....I hope they thrive in your gardens. John

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