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Busy, busy, busy.

September 5. 2020 –
Hello, what have all of you been up to lately?
I’ve been super busy sewing facemasks. Sometimes until 3 in the morning.
Here are 24 masks completed in one day.

Not selling the masks, just asking for donations. Some people have donated eggs, quarters, potting soil, fabric, thread, dog food and dog treats, more thread, flower seeds, and cash money. One woman gave me a container of cat treats because she doesn’t have a dog. I told her that was fine because none of my dogs can read the label. One man said he couldn’t give me a bag of cow manure because he doesn’t have a cow. Making masks is fun and I’ve met lots of interesting people.

One man liked his mask so much he called me a rock star. Said the mask was ‘state of the art’; after which he asked if I could alter the pattern to include a space for the filters he uses. Yes, of course. No problem.

In between sewing and walking dogs, I’ve finally managed to complete the fenced dog exercise area. It’s large enough for all 4 dogs to run around, dig holes, or just catch some sunshine. While the dogs are busy, I’m out there with them pulling weeds, pruning shrubs, or doing general cleanup. Here is Jack looking very silly and very pleased with his digging work. He’s a digging fool.

A while back, the chicken named Dottie Junior decided to hatch some eggs. Of the 18-20 eggs, she managed to successfully hatch out 4 lovely baby chicks. Three are hens and have her coloring and are small in size (the first Dottie was a bantam), and the fourth is a rooster that looks like his grandfather who was a Light Brahma. Don’t know if I mentioned it before but a black domestic rabbit has adopted my yard and is getting along really well with the chickens. Here is the rabbit sharing lunch with the hens and rooster.

Sometimes I take a break from sewing and dogs to run errands or do a little shopping. Here is a table I picked up for not much money. All I wanted was a smallish table that would fit in a corner…never dreamed I’d end up with an antique cast iron pub table from England. (Sorry for the bad photo but this sucker was heavy!)

One local woman offers specialty fruits and veggies that she imports from her home country. I purchased 8 tamarillo fruits. These are also known as Tree Tomatoes. The currently acceptable botanical name is Solanum betaceum. To be honest, I’ve never actually eaten one; only bought them to save the seeds – did the fermenting thing that I learned years ago; hope it works. The aroma of the fruit is divine! If I can grow these and get a decent harvest, there will be some lovely fragrant jams happening. (The package of Nutter Butter cookies is for size reference.)

Now that the fenced dog exercise area is finally finished, my next project will be to create a screen/blind to hide the trash cans and such. Someone on Facebook Marketplace was selling all these shutters for a whopping ten dollars. They are perfect. Updates as they happen.

Over on The National Gardening Association, they featured American Beautyberry and I was thrilled to see some of my images in the article. I tried to attach a link but can’t remember the correct way to make that happen; try this…
https://garden.org/plants/group/beautyberries/

Well, that’s what I’ve been doing lately. What are y’all doing these days?

If anyone can teach me how to make the comment section work on this blog I might actually be able to read answers.

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When there are trolls in the Garden, it’s time to leave.

Here is an excellent example of why I am no longer making public posts over on my old favorite plant/gardening site.

I had been in the process of writing an article for NGA. The article was not yet finished but I posted a bit of information and a few images to help folks who inquired how to decrease the population of biting flies.

Here is my original post:
https://garden.org/thread/view…

Someone who trolls the internet attempting to make others look ignorant quoted my idea and then, attempting to discredit my original idea, posted a photo they found on the internet claiming the photo showed a man in a football helmet stuck with glue to the side of a building which is, of course, incorrect information. The poster also judges incorrectly thinking the image is from the 1950’s. Find the post here (and, by the way, the person has already edited the post once and could edit it again):
https://garden.org/thread/view…

I believe the poster was referring to the old television ads for Krazy Glue. This is the commercial, which, by the way, shows a man not in a football helmet, but in a construction hardhat – not the same thing at all:
https://videosift.com/video/Kr…

If the troll had bothered to research the photo a bit more they could have learned that this same image has been used in many places on the internet. And almost all are wrong. The result of insufficient research.

In one place on the internet, the photo was used to show a man supposedly wearing a football helmet running headlong into the side of a building to prove the helmet protects the head. Nope, not correct.
https://www.historyinorbit.com…

The image has also been used here claiming to show a rugby helmet being tested in 1912 (again, that is incorrect but at least they got the date right):
http://amorq.com/article/4918/…

And here again (see photo #19 and again, it is incorrect – not a rugby helmet):
https://catfly.com/post/32-his…

There are many more places that this photo shows up, but you get the idea. Almost all of those are wrong. They are examples of a photo being used for the wrong purpose. Examples of people who are not doing their own original work and not using their own original images. And people who are not doing proper research.

But wait. No. The photo in question has absolutely nothing to do with glue, crazy/Krazy or otherwise, nor construction hardhats and nothing to do with a helmet for either football or rugby. So let’s look further to find the facts. Please, take a moment to step into the Wayback Machine…

This photo is, in fact, a piece of aviation history. We find our way back to the origin of the image.
Here it is. This is the cover page of FLIGHT, a weekly publication from the UK.
https://www.flightglobal.com/p…

This is, in fact, a photo of a certain Mr. W. T. Warren wearing an aviation helmet that he invented. There is no glue involved, no football, no rugby. Mr. Warren is running headlong into the side of a hangar to demonstrate how the helmet will help aviators to protect their heads. It’s about aviation!

The spectators are identified as Mssrs. Lewis Turner, W. H. Ewen, and A. M. Ramsey. The article was published April 6, 1912, and can be read here: https://www.flightglobal.com/p…

So next time you decide to be a troll, please do your research, get your facts straight. Oh, and perhaps your time would be better spent writing your own original article or idea rather than trying to discount the work of others.

Garden gnomes are good; internet trolls are bad.

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Prickly Seed Pods

One year I removed some dry, prickly Leonotis nepetifolia seed pods – with my bare hands. Ouch!

Having learned from my mistake, the following year I harvested the prickly seed pods and attempted to remove the seeds while wearing gloves. Alas, I was not destined to be a brain surgeon and was all thumbs. I needed a better idea.

Rather than tell you my idea, let me show you in pictures. Follow along.

Thumb of 2013-12-03/greene/b90d4dThumb of 2013-12-03/greene/d61e4bThumb of 2013-12-03/greene/7e75a8;

Plastic (not glass!) container and a few small, heavy items. Mix well and shake.

Thumb of 2013-12-03/greene/c5e1ab;Thumb of 2013-12-03/greene/9022f4;Thumb of 2013-12-03/greene/61310d;

Seems that my camera has an ‘Anti-Shake’ mode, so no photo. Here, how’s this?

Thumb of 2013-12-03/greene/4e16c6;Thumb of 2013-12-03/greene/2936c0;Thumb of 2013-12-03/greene/db8172
That’s it! Your seeds can now continue drying and soon will be ready to share, trade, or plant. This also works for many other types of seed pods, prickly or not. So get shaking!!

Originally published 2013

VisitThe National Gardening Association http://garden.org (formerly All Things Plants) to learn more about Leonotis nepetifolia.https://garden.org/plants/view/112255/Lions-Ear-Leonotis-nepetifolia/

;

 

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Not quite organic way to kill Virginia Creeper

Over on The National Gardening Association (garden.org) a query was posted in the Ask A Question Forum.
What is an organic way to get rid of Virginia Creeper?
The question received many excellent replies; one suggestion involved pouring herbicide into a trash can and stuffing the vines into the can – the purpose of that method was to contain the herbicide and reduce the risk of damage to desirable plants.

The question and responses set my mind to thinking. Could be another way? Not organic, but some method that uses the least amount of herbicide.

I tried surfing the internet looking at weeds and how to eliminate them, I came upon several products which looked interesting but were very expensive – using the expensive tool one would inject herbicide into the target plant. Not only was the tool expensive but one would need to purchase different formula herbicide depending on which plant was being targeted.

This one is what started me thinking… how to beat the price of $250 plus the cost of herbicide.
https://www.jkinjectiontools.c…

Since I like to design and construct things so I have my own tools. I set to work to see if I could kill Virginia Creeper using only items I had on hand.

I would target the large Virginia Creeper which has been growing up into an oak tree.
Here is a photo of the oak tree. As you can see it is a very large oak tree with a huge Virginia Creeper growing from the ground to high up in the branches. You can also see the dead Poison Ivy which is dead/dying…whew, painting herbicide on individual leaves is a lot of work!
Thumb of 2016-09-03/greene/22f0d2 Thumb of 2016-09-03/greene/57e655

Rather than paint individual leaves, here is the process I tried.
Drill a whole not quite to the center of the stem of the vine. Using my battery powered drill driver with 1/4″ bit I made 3 holes along the vine. For smaller stems/branches use a smaller drill bit, or even a syringe if you have one. Keep in mind that you will be pouring liquid into the hole so try to aim for something perpendicular to the horizon to avoid having herbicide spill out onto desirable plantings

Using a paper funnel to direct the flow, measure a very small amount (1/4 teaspoon) into each hole. A disposable paper funnel would be useful to avoid wasting or spilling the herbicide. You can get these funnels at most auto parts stores near the oil or just roll a piece of paper into a funnel shape – junk mail works.

After pouring the herbicide into the hole(s) use a bolt, screw, cork, or short piece of stick to plug the hole – just something to keep the rain out and the herbicide in.

Thumb of 2016-09-03/greene/a90d30 Thumb of 2016-09-03/greene/8b3632 Thumb of 2016-09-27/greene/2d2b64 Thumb of 2016-09-03/greene/79f917

And then wait…put your feet up; take a walk, watch a movie…this might take a while. Be prepared to wait for several weeks as some herbicides can take anywhere from one to 4 weeks to take effect; some can take as long as 8 weeks.

Two days, let me repeat that…two days after starting this experiment I was walking my dogs in the backyard when I made an observation. There were lots of green leaves scattered all over the ground under the big oak tree. For a moment my heart skipped a beat but thankfully these were not oak leaves. Looking more closely it was evident that they were all Virginia Creeper leaves. Huh? Is the experiment working? So fast? Is that possible?!

I walked over to the low hanging Virginia Creeper that is loaded with seeds – this particular piece of the plant always smacks me in the face while I am mowing the lawn. I will not be sad to see it disappear.

Thumb of 2016-09-03/greene/dcf0c5

Here is a view from inside the house through the window screen on day 4. You can see that the leaves are disappearing quickly.
Thumb of 2016-09-27/greene/6335ec

Here is a beautiful sight – dead Virginia Creeper!
Thumb of 2016-09-27/greene/ec6e01 Thumb of 2016-09-27/greene/6fe82b

Sure, I know there are expensive and sophisticated systems that are available that will accomplish the same thing, but this was an experiment to see what I could accomplish by spending no additional money – just using things I had on hand. Hope you like my method and will try it on a Virginia Creeper in your neck of the woods.

Is this an organic way to eliminate Virginia Creeper? Heck no! But it uses the least amount of herbicide and limits the possibility for harming desirable plants and it’s much easier than going out on a limb to paint individual leaves.

Note:
If using this method to eliminate Poison Ivy please wear long sleeves and disposable gloves and be prepared to clean all tools to remove the toxic oils.

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Guerrilla gardening

No, it is not a garden created and maintained by Gorillas!

Look at the spelling…Guerrilla. As far as I know, the first person to use the term ‘Guerrilla Gardening’ was Liz Christy in 1973 as she and her Green Guerrilla Group were active in New York in the area known as Bowery Houston.

Okay, let’s clear up something, especially for folks who live in Texas or students learning about the history of the US of A. Sam Houston was a great man in the history of Texas. HIs name is pronounced /ˈhjuːstɨn/, [ˈhj̊uːstɨn], [j̊uːstɨn]hyooh -stuhn, HYOO-sten.

The area in New York where Liz Christy was busy doing Green Guerrilla Gardening is pronounced /ˈhaʊstən/ HOW-stən as the street was named in honor of William Houstoun. William Houstoun was born in Savannah, Georgia around 1755 when Georgia was still part of the British Empire. He was a British citizen from birth until 1776; after which he was an American citizen until his death in 1813. He relocated to New York where he married May Bayard. He was a planter, lawyer and statesman who divided his time between Savannah and New York. And yes, I realize all the Houston street signs in New York are spelled wrong but, as we say in the South, “We don’t care how you do things in New York!”

Okay, let’s get some guerrilla gardening accomplished.

But wait. First, let’s talk about Masanobu Fukuoka and some of the books he has written that have been translated into English:

The One-Straw Revolution: An Introduction to Natural Farming (1978);
The Natural Way of Farming; The Theory and Practice of Green Philosophy (1985);
The Road Back to Nature: Regaining the Paradise Lost (1987);
Sowing Seeds in the Desert: Natural Farming, Global Restoration, and Ultimate Food Security

Masanobu  Fukuoka did not invent the seed ball, seed bomb, seed dumpling, green grenade, but he did reinvent and introduce the method to millions.

Links to information:
http://www.ifoam.bio/en/masano…
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse…
http://freedomgardens.org/2010…
http://www.seedballs.us/
https://seed-balls.com/new-gue…

Also look at:
The Seedpill Project
Subversive Gardener

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Moss graffiti:
Gather moss in a responsible manner; remove as much soil as possible. Break the moss into small, manageable piece, place into a blender.
Add the following:
2 cups buttermilk (or yogurt)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 cups water (or beer)

Apply ‘moss paint’ onto a wall or fence. Mist the moss once every 2 days. If there is rain, do not mist. Reapply moss paint on the days when you do not mist and when it is not raining.
When you no longer wish the moss graffiti, scrape away as much as possible, then spray the area with lime juice to kill any remaining moss.
***************

Guerrilla gardening is not always legal, so please, do not break the law. Do your own version of guerrilla gardening on land that you own or have received permission. If you have an area in your yard that could use a bit of color, toss some green grenades/seed bombs and walk away. Come back in a few weeks to see if your efforts have been successful.