Knowledge

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Maybe you remember this plant from a previous post. You know, the one that came with the dire warning of poop inducing properties? Well…

As it turns out, sometimes knowledge gained over the fence is not quite trustworthy. This is actually an Indian Plum plant. Its the only plant in its genus in the world. (I don’t really know what that means but it sounds like it should be fascinating so I’m including it.)

The berries turn a deep deep shade of blue when they are ripe. I tasted a few – which, truth be told, may not be quite ripe – and the best description I can come up with is sweet cucumber to sweet watermelon rind.

Supposedly they work really well in mixed fruit jams.

That’s it.

Really.

 

Lazy Sunday Walkabout

Just some photos and thoughts while I basically kill time until Game of Thrones. Hahaha.

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It amazes me how much chickens love grass. I mean LOVE grass. I’m still working on where to put a door to the outside for them so for now we bring the grass to them.

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Don shares a magical bond with the birds, including the rooster John Henry. The change from yellow fuzzball to almost grown was unnervingly fast. At least they’ve stopped totally freaking out when we come around. Some days the brooder seemed mostly like an asylum.

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These are beaked hazelnuts. I was beginning to think I had misidentified the trees until I discovered these today. They’re just really good at hiding.

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A hazelnut tree is less of a tree and more of a shrub. I wonder how many of these get dug up because they look like scrub brush?

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It seems much cooler and greyer this year than last. It’s almost the end of May and I still wear a jacket in the mornings. It’s been running 45 to 48 degrees when I leave for work. This is still unnatural to a Texas boy.

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This is Salal. It’s a wild shrub up here that is a distant relative to the blueberry. It seems to be doing really well this year. We moved in too late last year to take advantage of it. I’m looking forward to trying it.

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Unfortunately as with so many wild foods, the Salal is in the fence line. I will have to eventually cut it back toward the road. I’m sure it has survived worse.

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This is one of the six blueberry bushes we planted. We might get enough berries for a couple of pies this year!

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Our piddly little garden. We added a couple of tomatoes and peppers to the potatoes. The red potatoes (on the right) already have blooms!? What the hay? I’m trying to will them to grow more before they start that crap.

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Just some wildflowers behind the barn. The big leafed plant with the blue flowers is comfrey. It was really beautiful a few weeks ago.

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More yellow.

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And yet more yellow.

I am constantly amazed at the changing life around here.

Jokes On Me

Finally mowed a path to the back fence yesterday. While back there we met another neighbor. Nice guy. Also found this interesting bush.

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When I asked the guy if he knew what it was – all the while moving the leaves around and feeling the berries – he said he wasn’t sure but he thought it was “such and such”, I can’t remember. He said I wouldn’t touch it, I think it’s a natural laxative.

Story of my frikkin’ life.

Weeding

There are two things I hate about weeding. The first weed and the last weed.

The first weed is like some wall you have climb in order to start. It embodies all the sweat, toil, and effort you have in front of you.

The last weed, well the last weed is still not the end. It’s the point where you unbend yourself and realize you still have to rake and put away your tools. It’s a false hope, a frustrated finish.

But those middle weeds, those weeds are a meditation.

During the middle I make the connections. Work to result. Dirt to plant. Earth to me. In the middle I understand.

Saturday

Had a rather full day today. The brakes on Don’s car went out yesterday so we took it into the Ford house. His car is a hybrid that uses regenerative braking so of course nothing about it is cheap. A new master cylinder is going to be $1700 just for the part. Yes, you read that correctly. Even the cheapest after-market one is $1200. It makes you wonder if being eco-friendly is worth it.

While we were in town we stopped at the farmer’s market and discovered the awesome ivy that you see above. That’s really me standing under an ivy plant – I’m 6’2″ by the way. It was pretty impressive.

Then it was back home where I have been banished to the barn when I do anything with melted bees wax now. I set up the fish fryer and it worked like a charm. I needn’t have bothered though because in my passionate bee induced haze I forgot that we’ve only been beekeepers for 3 weeks now! 🙂 I want them to grow so badly! Still, I think that’s an impressive amount of comb for only 3 weeks. That’ll do bee, that’ll do.

In honor of our stiff upper lips this morning Don’s on his way to get take out and we’re going to watch the Sounders play.

Hope you have a great weekend!

Mr Gonso, how are your bees?