I adore seeing fruit trees and vines and such leafing out, blossoming and getting the goodies growing! Here are some of the favorites I have; I already have picked a bowlful of the strawberries! I also have grapes, peaches and such, but these were the easiest to photograph.
Here are what they produce: Across the top are apples (I have five different kinds) and blackberries, the biggie below is blueberries and the stacked ones to the right are raspberries and strawberries. Come on cobblers, bread additions, muffins and lots of other ethereal edibles!
No, not Yogi Bear (though I do really like that ol’ dude!), it’s what I call yogurt. I’m down to my last cup of yogi today so…
It’s time to make more! I need to use a spoonful of the last cup to make the new batch, sort of like sourdough bread only made with milk!
The fermenter is just a mild heater. Once the heated milk has simmered at 185 degrees until done, cool it to 115 degrees F and mix the spoonful in well. Fill the clean cups. Put the little lids on! Leave the covered fermenter on all night and in the morning, we have eight more cups of YOGI to enjoy! Yum!
I made some peachy preserves and put a glob of that into each cup of yogi I get out, but more on the peaches, blueberries, grapes, strawberries, cherries, raspberries and the multitude of apples later!
When I was a kid, my home sat across from a slate field with poplar trees and honeysuckle vines. To either side were wildflowers and all sorts of trees, but the honeysuckle vines always caught my attention.
I planted my apple trees a few years ago and became accustomed to them just being trees. Lo and behold! Two of the four dwarf trees were loaded with apples this year! I kept waiting for the apples to start turning red, but when they got bright yellow, they began falling off the limbs. Duh, yellow apples, not red ones!
Naturally I had not adequately planned what to do with them yet. Weren’t apples supposed to get ripe in the fall? Well, I use apples in muffins, pandowdy, crumbles and such so I peeled, cored and sliced about 40 of them and mixed them in a great big pot with a generous slop of cinnamon and nutmeg, a little milk and flour, and simmered them until they got to about 40% of their original volume. Ready for anything!
Now they’re in the freezer, awaiting the next cobbler…pandowdy…pie..
My sci-fi eBook The Might of Defiance is FREE for the next couple days! If you wanted to be kind and review it, now would be a good time to get your Kindle copy. Remember, you can get a Kindle reader download for whatever device you’re using, if not a Kindle.
Second but not second class, thanks so much for all the wonderful wishes for my birthday. Birthdays can be depressing, but not when so many leave such warm comments. Happiness to all!
Here are some cabin-related pictures, photos of the place on Earth I treasure the most.
Check that out, those rambunctious strawberries running for all they’re worth! I admit I hate to weed and so some weeds are taller than I am. Also, some really insistent viney crap is taking over no matter how many of those plants I pull up. I think they multiply by rhizomes, the root internet between plants. I pull up one gob, roots and all, but the root internet gets the signal: We’re under attack! Grow faster! Spread further!
Now that they’ve infiltrated the strawberries, it’s clear why the poor berry runners are fleeing. I attacked back, wading into the berry patch early in the morning to take a couple hours in the stifling heat to yank weed after weed. First, I know that stuff will sprout right back up. Second, the stuff is infested with turkey mites. Heard of chiggers? Turkey mites are very similar. They burrow into your skin and it itch-itch-itch-itches for days. Sure, shower and scrub right after weeding to wash them off. Fine plan that I did follow, but the faster burrowers had already dug in. Really, most came from my shoes. I had wiped them inside and out with bug spray, but that was a Bullwinkle move as I got ‘em up and down me RIGHT NOW.
You hear so much about unwanted refugees on the news. In can’t help but see those striving strawberry runners reaching out into bare gravel toward a block retaining wall, toward nothing hospitable, as an illustration of an archetypal theme. Unable to let that continue, I extended the strawberry bed and put 25 more (super-sale!) plants in with them.
Check out before and after! Now, all that was last weekend. I dread looking at the berry bed when I get to the cabin this evening. I know what I’ll see – THEY’RE BAAACK!
Oh, my poor yard up in town, where we dream of the cabin. I cannot do without growing things, and for years I have sought fresh apples and peaches and such right off my own trees. That should not be so difficult, should it?
I finally pulled the dead apple and peach trees out of these pots and left them unceremoniously on the curb. Last summer I went to Lowe’s seeking big pots for these trees and all they had (that I could afford) was these foo-foo plastic ones. I foolishly left the saucer attached to the bottom. How was I to know that sauce would keep the whole thing from draining? We had a hard rain one day and the potted trees filled to the brim and stayed that way until I got another look Monday evening after work. By then, a cold front had moved in a chilled the place way down. I tipped the pots to drain them, but still left the darned saucers on.
After the second occurrence, the trees were goners. I at last forced the saucers off and the water pouring out stank. I got large nursery pots from a greenhouse supply place. Here are my new trees bought at the less than half price end-of-summer sale at Stark Brothers (great place). I got two Idared Apples, a couple Zestar Apples, a Starkspur Ultramac and a Sweet Starkrimson Cherry. I did have to put the unplanned cherry in an old pot, but with NO SAUCER and fresh dirt. I got bags a Miracle-Gro soil for all and put a peat dressing on top…they’re going to do GREAT!
I only wish my trees and bushes were as undying as my idealistic hopes!
Newly leafing May Apples, and I sure have lots of them. Part of my land is a Kentucky – designated wetland. That’s the perfect environment for the well-storied May Apple.
Other names: Umbrella Plant, Duck Foot, American Mandrake, Wild Jalap, Racoon Berry, Hog Apple and Indian Apple.
Lest the “American Mandrake” scare you, like, don’t eat the plant or unripe fruit. The May Apple is not a real mandrake, but chowing down a plant might well do you in.
As a relevant aside, the real mandrake is a member of the Solanacae family (as is the Deadly Nightshade!). People used to think tomatoes (from that family) were poisonous. Potatoes are from that family too, don’t eat the green skin or the sprouts – same for eggplants. Tobacco to peppers to petunias, it’s a big family! I mention these simply as an example of how you can eat poisonous plants and fruit if you know what you’re doing.
So, like eating the correct part of the potato, eat only the fully ripe, yellow fruit. That is if you can beat the squirrels to it some time from late May through July. This website has pretty good information on it: