Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Down On The Farm Today

I got in last night from a couple days with my poor Dad back in the hospital again, this time for a "day visit" for a test that has turned into an extended visit due to catching an MRSA blood infection due to an improper procedure done at his hospital in Okeechobee...poor man has had a hellish 2011 at 81! I was stunned at how SOGGY SQUISHY wet that part of Florida is as here in Tampa we have to water. Dad seems to be on a new rebound and hopefully goes home soon.

A good day here...I potted some more seedlings from a Caribbean Red papaya into 4 inch pots, and planted other older ones (2 seedlings per 4 inch pot in case 1 is male) into my south inventory bed to compliment the bones of a food forest comprised of a Meyer's Lemon, three bananas, a Jamaican Cherry, a Chaya, apple seedling given me by a student, a fig, a  ten foot tall citrus seedling of unknown origin bearing its first ever fruit, and a baby rambutan and Barbados Cherry recently planted together in a buried 55 gallon Water Wise Container Garden. My goals are to create a light shade canopy while various crops are produced, including ripe papayas as a sweet fruit plus green papayas as a staple in salads and stir fry dishes, with my growing beneath and between them the potted plants I sell from my honor system front porch plant sales cottage business. Even though is not edible I also planted a Sesbania punicea for color, to obscure my open-air rain barrel based on a scavenged dinghy (sp?)  boat cover, and to nitrify the soil around it. I will allow a few self sown seedlings of Cassia alata to mature for cheery splashes of yellow and pockets of shade. I wish I'd of thought of, and commited to this last spring.....if so I'd have papayas ready to bear!

When I fed the Muscovy ducks restaurant scraps in the pen that kept them safe from predators when young I was able to grab two INCREDIBLY strong males, clip one wing each, then place them in my center garden to feast on "Spanish Needle" bidens plus make the area fertile with their poop while they enjoy a new life as semi-free range birds. Once all the ducks are out of that now hyper-fertile pen I will trial Brassica crops inside there, plus Sugar Snap peas all along the fence as winter crops, as the vines of "Gray Street Grape" that shade the duck pen all summer have begun to shed their leaves....soon it will be full sun in there.

I got my seeds order today from the good folks at for flowers I either want to trial, or re-experience and share with friends. Some I grew in Denver as summer annuals and I suspect they MIGHT do okay here as winter annuals in the cooler drier air, including Dame's Rocket, Showy Primrose, Chicory, Standing Cypress, Rose Mallow and Missouri Primrose.


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