Saturday, October 15, 2011

Down On The Farm Yesterday......

Lavatera is an edible flower in the same Mallow family as hollyhocks and okra and hibiscus. I learned about it in Denver un the early 90s and have found it will grow here in winter and spring. In Denver it is a summer annual. It is very carefree, and the pink flowers look lovely in salads. Today I applied about two inches of compost to a small bed in my front yard currently home to the wonderfully fragrant Old Rose 'Baronne Prevost' and a hybrid Louisiana iris, both thriving in buried Water Wise Container Gardens made from 5 gallon buckets. I've not decided what to plant in the third buried bucket garden. Atop that compost I sprinkled a few dozen pink Lavatera seeds and gave the bed a deep watering. Tomorrow I will sprinkle first, some 'Carpet of Snow' white sweet alyssum seeds, then about half an inch more compost then water again. By Thanksgiving that bed should be lovely. Nice to see and smell 'Baronne' in bloom today!

I discovered today that my Muscovy ducks will READILY eat the protein-rich "SCOBIES" from my kombucha tea! At last a real use for them and a fine one.

One of the layered vines of my Mystery Grape "Gray Street Grape" has rooted nicely in its 1 gallon pot....time to call Robert to let him know his grape is ready. Tampa Rare Fruit Council member Paul Zamoda is also passionate about grapes for Florida, and after I took him a bouquet of cuttings to a recent meeting, he feels it is NOT my best guess of 'Conquistador' and agrees with Allen Boatman's and my original  hunch of Vitis aestivalis. I told Paul that the very nice size and flavor of the fruit have long made me wonder if it might be the VERY heirloom form of V. aestivalis called 'Norton'.

Almost ready for my first ever Muscovy duck kill....I have been very hesitant, a cowardly omnivore. I will likely try the pellet rifle to the skull first but have on hand the machete in case that is not fatal. But I may also try the advice of my Denver friend Michael and my cousin Mike and use a scavenged aluminum baseball bat for a sudden blow to the skull. Talk about meeting your meat!

Today will be my 4th  participation in Occupy Tampa where hopefully there will be a VERY large turnout after Tampa's Finest (?) police officers dispersed the occupiers Friday, banning tents and even personal belongings. Dang that pesky old First Amendment! One more reason to grown and know your own food, especially with economic implosion seeming more and more likely as karma catches up to the U.S. Karma's a bitch only if you are.

'Artifacts' is a nice restaurant in south Tampa on MacDill Avenue, and I love taking them eggs and bouquets and herbs  from my gardens daily as they save me their kitchen scraps that I feed to my chickens and ducks. Friday I planted in their urns by MacDill that are cuurently planted with variegated arbicola a seedling each of Cassia alata to male the entrance far more colorful and inviting as it is a VERY rapidly growing tropical flower that is also the source of the laxative 'SennaCot'. I really like the folks at 'Artifacts' and want to pitch in where I can to help them succeed.

I am enjoying excellent germination from both my own Allium fistulosum seeds I harvested this spring, and the Chinese Celery ( a very thirsty plant!) seeds that Pat gave me. I plan on planting a very large number of the alliums in the 6 foot diameter kiddy pool that Tim gave me as part of my quest to be self sufficient in onions and garlic, neither of which I can cook without.

 Baronne Prevost   1842  Hybrid Perpetual
Allium fistulosum


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