Friday, September 19, 2014

I am getting very good germination from seeds of my "Filipino Mexican Tree Pepper" from pods that I let dry indoors for a few weeks...once they are taller I'll separate them and plant them around the yard as I now have a few in large Water Wise Container Gardens. I hope that the folks I mailed pods to get good germination rates also. Years ago Allen Boatman IDd it as a perennial form of Capsicum frutescens and devised this study name for it based on details from my Filipino Joe who gave me my seeds in 2001 as I recall. That original plant was in the ground, averaged 5' X 5' and made hundreds if not thousands of pods each year...the flavor and heat is on par with a good Thai pepper. That plant lived 8 years until a hard freeze nuked it

Mary Jo sent me this wonderful overview of garlic cultivars. Racombole was the one that took over my Denver front yard due to the scapes bearing and dropping vast numbers of bulblets that each became a whole new bulb. I tried both the bulbs and bulblets from my Denver yard here several times but they failed quickly...a shame as the flavor and aroma was wonderfully pungent. It is a true hard neck that needs winter dormancy. The scapes twisted oddly as they grew, much resembling those old "crazy straws" for kids.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Human overpopulation is the core cause....Earth is like a closed petri dish with finite resources yet some people create FAR more children per family than the 2.O the planet needs. When I was 17 I was made hopeful by the Zero Population Growth movement with the goal of 2.O kids per family but at 61 I've abandoned optimism with so many people cranking out 6, 10, 12 kids as if there was no future those kids would inherit. It does no good to be "green" with token perky recycling permaculture efforts if people won't breed responsibly as if there was an actual future their children will inherit.

I used a short section of drinking straw and my finger tip to lift up a sample of my first effort to ferment home made apple cider vinegar by adding some Braggs to organic apple juice on August 23...very good flavor already. That day in another jar I inoculated the apple juice with potent kombuca and a bit of too has a nice vinegary taste. Both quickly made very healthy looking SCOBYs. Now to choose a dedicated large glass container to make a whole gallon of vinegar from apple juice inoculated by the Bragg's version and its SCOBY.

Yesterday I was in my undies and ready to take my back yard 1 gallon solar shower, and I noticed in a pond in the food forest the first leopard frog I've seen here in years...I ran inside to get the camera, came back out and got two shoots with zoom before it hopped over to the dinghy duck weed pond.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

When Paul Zmoda noticed that I'd hope to find at Lowe's an acidic cleaner based on phosphoric acid, he suggested Coke! I checked...pH is 2.5...white vinegar is 3.5 and the pH scale is logarithmic, which means that Coke is 10 times more acidic than vinegar. You could not pay me to drink Coke but I'll buy some store brand to try as a weed killer. And the sugars would feed beneficial bacteria.

Lots of folks on FaceBook have been talking about weed control with other than Roundup....straight vinegar, vinegar based mixes, salt, boiling water, etc.. I got SOME kill in grasses in my brick driveway using that mix of vinegar, epsom salts and Dawn, but little effect on purslane and spotted spurge. I read all the labels today at Lowe's of gallon jugs of acidic cleaners, hoping to find one based on phosphoric acid.....sulfuric acid would be acceptable. But none. So for $7 I bought a gallon of ZEP tub and tile cleaner containing glycolic acid, which is made from sugar cane and is in many creams and lotions to deep clean skin and reduce wrinkles. I'll use up the rest the vinegar based spray on the driveway, then try the ZEP on my carpeted driveway where nut sedge has gotten bad. I'll keep people posted on the results.....$7 for a gallon of a natural acid would be great...IF it works!