Almost Garden Time!

Cucumber Garden in Wisconsin
Cucumber garden in Wisconsin with simple folding trellis.

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Almost time to start my garden this year.  Annuals will be very limited because of other things I need to do but I can at least plant some tomato and pepper plants on Memorial day.  Hopefully my small fruit plants should really pick up this year.  I believe I will get a good harvest on my sweet cherry bush plants.  Some cherries may even make it into the house for sharing.

 

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The Joy of Cloning!

Manchurian Apricot Fruit Tree in Wisconsin Garden
Manchurian Apricot Fruit Tree in My Wisconsin Garden.

Recently Chinese scientists cloned a monkey which has similar physical characteristics to humans.  The obvious question is when will someone clone a human being.  I believe that it is inherently wrong to create higher animal life by these types of techniques if the animal life will suffer in any way due to botched experimentation.  It is not possible to perfect cloning of higher animals using our current technology without causing severe suffering to many failed experimental animals and even the suffering of an animal has importance to me.

Cloning experimentation on humans will be done by some unethical group in the near future because it is clearly possible and there is always some organization that wants to be the first to make scientific progress.  I am totally opposed to allowing human cloning because I consider it evil based on my cursory reading of the Bible and common sense.  Just because science makes it possible doesn’t mean it should be done.

Human cloning is pretty grim stuff but cloning plants in my garden is great fun.  I am not the first person to discover the joy of cloning.  Some of the native fruit plants in my garden can be cloned and grown into new plants easily because they are not grafted onto any special root stock.  I plan to eventually do some backyard cloning of native fruits and exceptional houseplants for my own enjoyment.  I may even sell clones of any of my plants that it is legal to propagate for resale.  It is possible to make many clones very quickly using cloning powder and an appropriate container.  Commercial nurseries must be making a hefty profit using this technique because it seems incredibly simple on the small scale that I will be doing for relaxation.

I would just buy more plants but the darn things cost too much and my cash is in real short supply at this time in my life.  I particularly would like to clone my Jostaberry bush because they taste so good and yet they have a unique black color which kind of looks unappealing to an uninformed berry thief.  I’d like to make a hedge out of the Jostaberries rapidly using cloning techniques so they would perform the dual purposes of giving me privacy to eat my berries in peace along with providing the berry crop itself.  I doubt that these berries would sell that well due to their appearance but the taste is great.

My Juliet cherry bush is another likely candidate to clone for a hedge combined with a cherry crop.  The cherries have an excellent sweet quality just like sweet cherries from commercial orchards.  I am sure these cherries could be sold if any survive my ravenous plundering of the final crop.  I suppose I will need some netting to stop the birds from beating me to the plundering.  We should actually get a small crop of cherries this year.  I had to severely prune my cherry bush to fit it in my car when we moved to Hartford so I missed a full year of production and reduced future production for a few years.

In my opinion cloning of plants is great but cloning humans not so much.

 

 

 

December Gardening in Wisconsin!

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Life on the Farm in Winter when I was young.

Well, you can order seed & nursery catalogs for free even during a Wisconsin winter and plan your garden.  I limit myself to Guerney’s Seed & Nursery Seed catalog because I have determined that their plants are simply of superior quality and have a better guaranty than other companies.  They are a little high priced but I always wait for their half price or flash sales before I order.  That doesn’t prevent me from looking over their catalog at any time and planning my garden for the spring.  I particularly like their native and unusual fruit plants even if I don’t have the money to buy everything I like.  The sweet cherry bushes I got from them are an excellent example of the good quality of their plants. They seem to survive almost anything.

I suppose I could grow some houseplants but there are two basic problems with doing that in my house.  My cat will automatically destroy any plant he can reach so the plants must be isolated from him.  Secondly my wife claims that any type of houseplant immediately causes allergic reactions to everyone in the house and plants attract insects.  My plan to overcome these difficulties is to eventually use an upstairs room for future massive plant production in secret where my wife and the cat can’t get at them.  The cat can be locked out and my wife doesn’t normally go upstairs because of her titanium hip bones.  I can always claim that I planted the house plants while sleep walking if she ever finds them while she is reconnoitering upstairs.

My Manchurian Apricot Fruit Tree

Manchurian Apricot Fruit Tree in Wisconsin Garden
Manchurian Apricot Fruit Tree in My Wisconsin Garden.

I planted two of these Manchurian Apricot trees at our old house in Illinois eons ago and despite my best efforts at neglect, I was unable to kill them.  I actually got an apricot before someone accidentally trimmed them severely into a small bush form.

I planted two of these Apricot trees here in my Wisconsin garden as soon as we got our latest house.  Any plant that I can’t kill and that produces free food is my kind of plant.  The squirrels and rabbits never bothered the Apricot trees in Illinois but I put the plastic mesh around them here just in case.  I have found that a two foot high plastic mesh attached loosely to a stake seems to stop trees from being eaten to the ground by wonderful little woodland creatures.

Fruits and Vegetables – Proper storage is essential

This is a great list on storage of veggies/fruits.

Town & Country Gardening

Proper storage of fruits and vegetables will insure you get the most usage from your garden and orchard crops.

Hint: Always remove any tight bands from your vegetables or at least loosen them to allow them to breathe.

Artichokes – Place in an airtight container sealed, with light moisture.

Asparagus – Place them loosely in a glass or bowl upright with water at room temperature. (Will keep for a week outside the fridge)

Avocados – Place in a paper bag at room temp. To speed up their ripening, place an apple in the bag with them.

Arugula – Like lettuce, should not stay wet! Dunk in cold water and spin or lay flat to dry. Place dry arugula in an open container, wrapped with a dry towel to absorb any extra moisture.

Basil – Is difficult to store well. Basil does not like the cold, or to be wet for…

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Cucumbers with Folding Trellis

Cucumber Garden in Wisconsin
Cucumber garden in Wisconsin with simple folding trellis.

This is my raised bed garden with a portable trellis made from scrounged materials.  My old neighbors gave me the planks for the raised bed.  The folding portable trellis is made from our old broken recycled box spring that served us well.  We got a bunch of cucumbers to eat this year which supplemented our grocery purchases nicely.  The pretty little squirrels and sneaky raccoons didn’t seem to bother the cucumbers.  I planted a variety that had some small little spikes sticking out of them so that may have discouraged the rodents from making a meal out of our food this year.  The longer smooth variety I planted last year was gobbled up pretty fast by some little animal at night.

I plan to increase our garden with perennial veggies and small fruits.  Anything I only need to plant once and that will come back year after year is a long term work saver.  It is much easier to plant a small Carmine Jewel Cherry Bush than to plant annual veggies.  I have some difficulty doing the work for a garden put given years of future continued persistence I should be able to transform our back yard into a mini-farm designed to provide us with some well needed  healthy food.

We had a gigantic garden on my childhood farm however we also had tractors, plows, cultivators, planters and plenty of free cow manure.  I don’t have access to all this wonderful stuff anymore and my physical capabilities have deteriorated.  Composted cow manure is great stuff for city gardens but it costs money.  My father would have got a great chuckle out of seeing me pay for a bag of composted cow manure.

My goal in gardening is to provide some good tasting fruits and veggies at the most minimal cost of money and work possible.  It is also a relaxing hobby.

 

My Best Garden in Wisconsin
My Best Garden. Garden decoration.