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Comments in the moderation queue: 8

View the most recent comments below. To join in the discussion (or see a comment thread in order), click on the title of a comment, then follow the directions on the subsequent page to add a comment of your own.

jen --- Actually, our butternuts tend to succumb a little before we'd like them to as well. But they set enough fruit before then to get us through the winter most years. Still, we're trying a hybrid, Metro F1, for that reason in 2015. I'll keep you posted about whether or not it keeps the powdery mildew at bay.
Comment by anna Sat Jul 4 18:09:08 2015
Anna--love, love, love the wide shot of your yard at the bottom of the post. I'm so envious! Many factors are at play, but our butternuts really struggle some years. And downy or powdery mildew is always, always the finale thanks to dewy mornings. But boy, in a good year, I have butternuts coming out my ears. Thanks again for posting so often. It's a bright part of each day.
Comment by jen g Fri Jul 3 15:00:48 2015
Good advice, I have a flock of geese that have daily goose poop conventions on my dock. I'll have to try this out.
Comment by RAndy Fri Jul 3 09:47:05 2015
I can't think of a better life for a goat. But it still left me sad, which is why I'll continue to not eat meat or cheese. I wish most people ate as many fresh veggies as you guys though! <3
Comment by Anonymous Thu Jul 2 21:37:47 2015

Thanks for sharing this, Anna. I'm currently contemplating learning to butcher my own chickens. Had a rooster I was going to try to get processed with help of a friend this week, and put it off only because he's behaving so much better and seems to be good protection for the flock--he chases the cats away when they get too close.

Even so, I could see it was going to be more difficult than I thought, after several days of giving him special care--putting him in the garage at night so he wouldn't either bother the other chickens or get killed himself!

Comment by Jennifer Thu Jul 2 14:10:07 2015
This sounds great--Is it a regularly scheduled event? How do you find out about it? I'd love to do this sometime. BTW, who is the young lady with your mom in the first picture--Maggie? Is she your sister?
Comment by Jennifer Thu Jul 2 12:56:08 2015

Sounds like a new project to me. I don't see why you couldn't bore a hole in the handle of the brush and epoxy a small screwdriver in it. Probably not putting allot of torque on the screwdriver so it would probably outlast the brush itself. Might even patent it and sell it back to Oregon if they were interested.

Comment by Ned Newby Thu Jul 2 10:41:48 2015
"If the brush had a flat head screwdriver as part of the handle it would make tightening the chain in the field easier." Why can't you figure out a way to attach as small flat head screwdriver to the handle, or at least lock it into place with the bungee cord along with the paintbrush?
Comment by NaYan Thu Jul 2 09:35:12 2015

This is my first attempt at the straw bale garden and my first year of going organic. My plants started out doing great, until my first inky caps appeared. I had bought some Black Velvet mushroom compost from Lowe's and applied it around my young seedlings to help them become established. When I first found the Inky Caps, I found maybe 6 or 7 and ripped them out, straw and all, and threw them away. All the researching I did said they were okay and not to worry, because it just meant I had a lot of organic matter in my straw bales. Well, a month later and I have inky caps coming up in 10 - 40+ at a time, two to four times a day, right around base of plants. When the caps come up or fall on a plant, wherever it is touching the plant, that part of the plant withers and dies. It is non selective at to what the plant may be. I've lost numerous tomatoes, peppers, cantaloupes, squash, etc. I have never seen anything grow as fast as these things do. I have tried to pull them out, cover with newspaper and cardboard, but to no avail. They grew to full maturity under the cardboard and newspaper. I have since read that since they are a fungus, I can try a fungicide to try and get rid of them. I am at a loss of what to do, other than try an organic fungicide. I'm not at all happy with the Black Velvet mushroom compost from Lowe's. It would have been nice to know this may happen, if applied to a garden area, before finding out the hard way. I have this compost all over the tops of my straw bales, with no way of getting it off. I can't replant, because they are so numerous and fast growing. They would just kill any new plants I put in there. Very discouraged right now. I just hope I can find a remedy, before I lose my whole garden to these invasive, plant killing, Inky Cap Mushrooms!! If anyone can help me with this, I would be very grateful. God bless an I hope you have a great gardening day!

Comment by Natoshka Wed Jul 1 14:06:21 2015
I finally bought a chain saw. It is battery operated, 12". I know, lightweight but sufficient for my needs. I just wanted to be able to get at the wood that I couldn't split with an axe. I walk around my neighborhood with my dog and retrieve broken branches. They are usually the size that's perfect for kindling or the next size up. I also have a friend who let's me work at her place. It's such a good feeling to be able to do something for myself.
Comment by hilary Tue Jun 30 15:14:19 2015

Heather in CA --- In my head, I'd replied to this interesting comment...but apparently I didn't actually type my answer on the blog. :-)

I suspect that the folks who scrape the ground clean are aiming for solarization that kills all weed seeds. Because my method definitely doesn't go that far. There are weeds coming up as usual in my solarizaed beds. On the other hand, just killing existing plants is pretty good by my standards since I can then plant cover crops to beat out the emerging weeds. Perhaps the ultimate low-work method would be to solarize the way I'm doing, then using ocultation (which I haven't tried yet) to sprout the weed seeds and kill them.

Comment by anna Tue Jun 30 11:55:23 2015

Fun to see so many locals comment on this post!

Na Yan --- The link to the company who runs the train rides is the first one in this post....

Comment by anna Tue Jun 30 11:50:39 2015

Suzanne --- We didn't weigh him before taking him in, although I did measure using the weight tape six weeks before. At that time, he was 45 pounds. Since then, he lapped Artemesia (who was taping in around 50 pounds), so I suspect he went to the slaughterhouse around 55 or 60 pounds. (I would have measured him closer to the day...but one of our goats got ahold of the weight tape and chewed it up.) This is quite big for a four-month-old, but he's been gorging on over half of Abigail's milk all that time!

As for cuts, we went for 1 whole hind leg roast with the other leg sliced into steaks. The shoulders and the rest of the meat was ground.

Mom --- Only two years old! Wow! I think you're right that having it in a spot where it's easily coverable makes a huge difference. A big reason to espalier instead of using my 3D high-density system. Hmmm.....

heather in CA --- I suspect that older goat meat is much more likely to be gamey. But I also have to admit that I must not be very sensitive to the gamey flavor (or I use cooking methods that minimize it), because I haven't found our venison very gamey either.

Comment by anna Tue Jun 30 11:49:02 2015
So very interesting to hear about your goat meat. My neighbor is looking into meat goats (Boers apparently do well in our hot dry climate), but the only goat I've ever eaten was in an Indian curry and still tasted unappetizingly gamy to me. (Granted, I have a low tolerance for gaminess in my meat…) I think I will wait to be invited to a goat feast at her house and check it out before I take the plunge to meat goats. I'm sure the meat tastes different depending on breed, age, animal's diet, preparation, etc., but I wouldn't want to gamble on getting all those factors right without further information. Thanks for contributing some data points.
Comment by heather in CA Tue Jun 30 11:35:44 2015

Looking forward to learning a lot more from your site. Knew how to make the bottle trap, but really appreciate the different "recipes". Really happy I found your page!

Comment by Barb Tue Jun 30 11:25:22 2015
This little tree has only been 2 years in the ground! I do cover it very warmly, against killing frosts--having it against the porch railing helps with that, and, having it sheltered by the porch railing from the prevailing winds, also helps. Last, it gets the earliest sun. And, kyes, the papples keep getting bigger! I'm trying not to pick right away, and to wait till the apple, when touched, drops into my hand:) This has been a source of wonder and fun!--thanks, Anna!
Comment by adrianne Tue Jun 30 09:18:14 2015

Hi Anna- Wow, 26 lbs sounds good. How much did he weigh when you brought him? What was your cut list?

We brought a young saanen cross buckling last fall and asked for stew meat and a couple of steaks. We only got 7 or 8 lbs. But that was without bones. He was not a very big buckling. He was tasty but not much there. We determined that next time we brought a young one we would do bigger cuts and stew whole portions bones and all.

We also brought a 3 yo 175-lb buck. Thinking that his meat would be tough if not processed, we had him made into hot dogs, meat sticks, bologna and a few steaks. (Some porkfat was added to make the products) That was all very good.. we stewed the steaks in the crockpot and they were delightful in a curry.

Thanks for the updates. Looking forward to more goat adventures.

Comment by Suzanne Tue Jun 30 08:59:56 2015

First of all, I'm Jealous! I had no idea this kind of entertainment existed. Can you direct me to a website that might have this info? My brother, the original rail fan, would also love to be able to do something like this.

And I'm so glad you had such a good time! Like I said, I'm jealous! :)

Comment by NaYan Mon Jun 29 20:47:28 2015

Just over a century old, and still looking good.

I wonder which machines built in 2015 will still be running a century later?

Comment by Roland_Smith Mon Jun 29 16:56:09 2015
How wonderful that you got to ride the train! We saw it come by here a few times and I really want to be on it next year.
Comment by Brandy Mon Jun 29 16:35:47 2015
I can say without an absolute doubt these things have completely killed my plants in the garden I just started. I wasn't having this issue until I bought more dirt from lowes (Kellogg's organic garden soil). These things grow 4"-8" overnight and sometimes if I don't catch them in time I come home to the remnents (deflated stems and black goo all over the area). These have killed every seed that was growing to the point where I have to clear out the dirt and start fresh. I got the ink on the top of my hand when picking them out and the tops of my hands are also covered in a bumpy rash now. These are garden killers, end of story.
Comment by Megan D Mon Jun 29 12:10:27 2015
Another possibility; my husband found the skeleton of a rounded carport-like structure (not sure what to call it) that a storm wrecked the vinyl sides of so the owner sold it cheap and we covered it with plastic. Great for extending the season.
Comment by Teresa Mon Jun 29 11:59:13 2015

Our trip has opened up for me the heyday of rail travel, not only in the 20th century, but before the Civil War--and the part railroads played in that war. I found a book at the library, Conquering the Appalachians, and was amazed to learn about the Clinchfield RR, which went from Spartanburg, SC, thru Marion, NC, Kingsport, TN, St. Paul and Dungannon, Va (Anna and Mark's territory), thru Dante, Nora, and Haysi and into Elkhorn City, KY...Bull's Gap was actually a hub, once.

Thanks, Anna, for such a wonderful adventure!

Comment by aadrianne Mon Jun 29 11:46:19 2015
Hey Anna! I'm glad you had a good time. We had a great time too, but I think that you got some better pictures than I did. Thanks for sharing the pictures and all the fun you had!
Comment by Kayla Mon Jun 29 11:34:45 2015
The summer before I got knocked up Doug and I did a train ride out of Bryson City into the Nantahala Gorge. It was amazing and I highly recommend it. It's done by the same company, the Tennessee Valley Railroad Etc...
Comment by Emily Mon Jun 29 09:53:32 2015

I planted some scarlet runners at the base of a power pole guy wire one year. They climbed up to the top of the power pole, and got tangled in the power lines. It was amazing. I had to use a dry bamboo pole to knock the dried pods down. Estimated height of the power lines 25 ft. So 50 ft might be a good estimate.

Comment by James Mon Jun 29 08:45:37 2015
I had a similar type train ride in Australia. It was lovely. Albany is NY's capital. I wish we had our train station up and running so we didn't have to travel to another city for the train. I also wish we could access these trains and travel up to the adirondacks. Time will tell.
Comment by hilary Mon Jun 29 08:33:09 2015
I planted bush Kentucky Wonder beans with my tomatoes. Two of them are well over 12 ft! The rest I used smaller supports so they are now growing toward the ground now. I need to add shade cloth so I will me pruning back to 7 ft.
Comment by Tom Sun Jun 28 21:32:40 2015

I"m interested in this project too! I have only tried solarization for a longer term, like two or three months. Looks like we were reading some of the same sources from the University of California Ag and Natural Resources folks. I was under the impression that the best results would come from almost NO vegetation left underneath the plastic, ground scraped clean and then watered down, with the clear plastic sealed carefully around the edges. Looks like you are trying a different and easier to pull off approach. I am going to have to give your way a try! --Heather

Comment by Heather in CA Sun Jun 28 17:41:21 2015

Hi Anna and Mark,

I will be interested in what you come up with. I have been thinking about the same problem.

Best solution so far. 3 2x4s whatever feet long. Two on the ground with holes partially through the long way with 10ft 3/4 conduit bent going up to the 3rd with holes partially through both sides the long way.

The holes staggered so that some conduits form triangles to help prevent back and forth motion.

Plastic laid over the whole and held down with cement blocks rather than stapled together as one mass.

With end caps with openings to provide ventilation without the need for real doors or roll up sides.

And most of all if the wind comes and carries the plastic away or otherwise dismantles it, there is no heavy structure to get carried away. If the outside plastic blows away, the conduit structure just falls apart in place.

Maybe you get the idea?

I haven't built it yet, but I now have the parts. Just gotta take the time and drill some holes.

I am looking foward to other's ideas.

Lots of creative people around this list :).


Comment by John Sun Jun 28 15:37:06 2015
Nita --- Excellent point! I think I'm pretty much sold on the greenhouse, although I haven't figured out yet how to work a movable one into our complicated garden. Still pondering....
Comment by anna Sun Jun 28 14:43:13 2015
Anonymous --- No, you only need the cambium on the side that's coming in contact with the tree's cambium. But it's probably easier to leave that bark in place on the inside of the scionwood than to whittle it away.
Comment by anna Sun Jun 28 14:41:31 2015

Nancy --- That particular one is Jasper, one of the new blight-resistant tomatoes we're growing this year.

Rose Nell --- I know! It almost feels like magic....

Comment by anna Sun Jun 28 14:40:06 2015
Now only if you had a greenhouse in need of new plastic, you would have a fair amount of gently used plastic ready for its second job ;)
Comment by Nita Sun Jun 28 13:41:33 2015

Must there be bark and cambium on interior side of scion?

Comment by Anonymous Sun Jun 28 12:39:25 2015
Thank you so much for writing this. A homestead with goats is in my not-too-distant future, and this exact scenario is something I'm keenly concerned about. I appreciate your perspective a lot. I'm trying to shift away from simplistic ideas (how could anyone possibly kill a pet?!) towards ones that allow for complexity (e.g., you can love a young goat like a pet and still know that the best thing to do is use him as a meat source). I'm sure it was really, really hard, though.
Comment by Jessica Sat Jun 27 21:52:12 2015
Yea, no blight, awesome.
Comment by roseanell Fri Jun 26 21:03:11 2015
What variety is shown in the picture?
Comment by Nancy J Fri Jun 26 18:09:56 2015
Kayla --- You just made my day! I'm so glad to hear that you got on the train successfully and are enjoying the ride. :-)
Comment by anna Fri Jun 26 11:32:41 2015
made it on time. Thanks for map. Having a great time
Comment by kayla Fri Jun 26 11:10:17 2015