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Gardening: (2016– )


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It's been a weird and challenging year in the garden for me, partly because of IRL drama that took me away from my beds but largely because of the weather.

Parts of the province have already had their first frost warning of the year, and even here in the more moderate south we're getting overnight lows down into the single digits (that would be the 40s F, or high 30s). They're supposed to bounce back upward for the next few weeks, but it's just been that kind of year.

The spring weather was more erratic than usual (which is a statement in itself), and twice I had newly-planted beds drowned by torrential rain. We've had very few hot and sunny days except for a few that hit unusually early (at the same time the heat dome was frying the West), and there's been a lot of cool, grey, wet weather. That's made it a banner year for slugs, which - combined with my frequent absences for family reasons - meant I've had entire beds of new plants devoured down to the root.

 

Heat-loving plants have struggled all summer long...my spindly okra plants eventually gave up and died, and none of my pepper plants has yet reached a foot in height. My cucumbers are just now putting on a growth spurt and trying mightily to fruit before the cold kills them. The tomatoes are actually on schedule, which in my location means they're just beginning to give me my first few ripe fruit. The vines are smaller than usual this year but seem to be fruiting heavily enough, so that's actually a bright spot.

 

I re-seeded most of my ravaged beds in July with quick-growing greens, so hopefully between now and the end of October I'll still get to fill my freezer with those. The chard, broccoli raab and especially kale are cold-tolerant and will produce until the community garden shuts down for the winter.

My project for the winter will definitely include fabricating enough hoops to put protective row covers over my beds, because this is beyond irritating. In the longer term, once we've bought or built a place of our own, I'll be doing most of my growing in high tunnels and greenhouses. Gardening is ever so much simpler when you can exercise a modicum of control over the environment.

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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4 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

They say you can eat any fungi once.

 

 

As I posted on the Food Funnies topic earlier in the week.

 

This one I have eaten more than once. Although it's mainly used medicinally as a cancer preventative, if not cure*, it is often cooked with chicken (灵芝鸡汤 - líng zhī jī tāng, literally 'ganoderma chicken soup').

 

* I guess some people know I am very sceptical about Chinese Traditional Medicine (TCM), but western medical research organisations and cancer research charities are taking this one seriously and investigating its properties scientifically.

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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8 hours ago, liuzhou said:

I've set up a ganoderma lucidum farm to the right of my desk. They are beginning to emerge. There are more on the other side.

 

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Lately on my Facebook feed I get tons of ads selling "grow your own mushrooms at home" kits.  Unfortunately, most of the offerings are versions of oyster mushrooms which are readily available and pretty inexpensive here.  If I could grow my own maitake, shimenji or especially chanterelle I'd be all over it!

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1 hour ago, KennethT said:

Lately on my Facebook feed I get tons of ads selling "grow your own mushrooms at home" kits.  Unfortunately, most of the offerings are versions of oyster mushrooms which are readily available and pretty inexpensive here.  If I could grow my own maitake, shimenji or especially chanterelle I'd be all over it!

 

Same here

 

Yes, oyster mushrooms leave me cold. The place I got my ganoderma starter kit also has about ten different oyster mushrooms, all in different colours. Pretty but tasteless. I have ordered some 'king oyster 'shrooms' / 'eringii' and some black woodear starter kits. They do also have shimeji as well as shiitake. Haven't seen maitake kits though.

 

To be honest, I'm growing these more for the fun of it, rather than to obtain the results, which it would be less trouble to pick up from the supermarket.

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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21 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

 

Same here

 

Yes, oyster mushrooms leave me cold. The place I got my ganoderma starter kit also has about ten different oyster mushrooms, all in different colours. Pretty but tasteless. I have ordered some 'king oyster 'shrooms' / 'eringii' and some black woodear starter kits. They do also have shimeji as well as shiitake. Haven't seen maitake kits though.

 

To be honest, I'm growing these more for the fun of it, rather than to obtain the results, which it would be less trouble to pick up from the supermarket.

That makes sense. Growing things is fun - that's part of why I have my indoor jungle of herbs (soon to be expanding).  Mushroom cultivation is supposed to be pretty easy, not very labor intensive (compared with what I do) and certainly resource friendly - no need for expensive lights/fertilizers/etc so I can see the appeal.  If I didn't already have a lot of my free time taken up with the herb plants I'd be doing it also.

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42 minutes ago, KennethT said:

That makes sense. Growing things is fun - that's part of why I have my indoor jungle of herbs (soon to be expanding).  Mushroom cultivation is supposed to be pretty easy, not very labor intensive (compared with what I do) and certainly resource friendly - no need for expensive lights/fertilizers/etc so I can see the appeal.  If I didn't already have a lot of my free time taken up with the herb plants I'd be doing it also.

 

Tending the ganoderma consists of topping up the water in the pot to keep the log of wood fibre in a moist atmosphere. Take about 30 seconds every second day. Initial set up took maybe 5 minutes.

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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On 9/18/2021 at 11:31 AM, liuzhou said:

 

Tending the ganoderma consists of topping up the water in the pot to keep the log of wood fibre in a moist atmosphere. Take about 30 seconds every second day. Initial set up took maybe 5 minutes.

not your typical mushroom growing environment/process.

 

very curious about these though....

 

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I stole a few minutes to get next year's garlic planted.

 

As I've mentioned before, I grow a fairly common hardneck cultivar called "Music," much favored by commercial growers in this area for its hardiness, reliability and good yields. My father had selected for size for 12 or 15 years before he died, and I've kept up that tradition. The 48 cloves I selected for replanting weighed in at over 760g, which works out to an average of about 16g (1/2 oz, or thereabouts) per clove.

 

Perfect for those recipes that call for only one or two cloves of garlic... :P

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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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5 hours ago, TicTac said:

not your typical mushroom growing environment/process.

 

very curious about these though....

 

 

Here are the "log" and a translation of the instructions (supplied by my cell phone translation app).

 

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ab19f160-76f0-4902-99ed-02cc5847fff1.thumb.jpg.09716b56b7f8c92317584120c2182bbb.jpg

 

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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40 minutes ago, liuzhou said:

 

Here are the "log" and a translation of the instructions (supplied by my cell phone translation app).

 

c2f8f607-0e80-4ed3-8c8b-3a697d5659a7.thumb.jpg.dfca654649098e246563200a2b063bc9.jpg

ab19f160-76f0-4902-99ed-02cc5847fff1.thumb.jpg.09716b56b7f8c92317584120c2182bbb.jpg

 

Interesting that they tell you to put it in bright light.  From what I was to understand, mushrooms don't really care about light - other than being in direct sun which will overheat it.

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26 minutes ago, KennethT said:

Interesting that they tell you to put it in bright light.  From what I was to understand, mushrooms don't really care about light - other than being in direct sun which will overheat it.

 

Yeah. I was surprised, too.

 

Observing them develop over the last few days, it seems they are dormant in daylight, but grow overnight in darkness. Every morning I see a difference.

 

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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On 8/29/2021 at 8:40 AM, KennethT said:

Do you give the tree any fertilizer in the spring? My parents used to have a few old fruit trees (maybe not ancient). If we didn't fertilize, they'd barely fruit if at all. If we did it was like an explosion.

 

. We ought to do that and prune.

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12 hours ago, gfweb said:

 

. We ought to do that and prune.

Yes, pruning is very important.  I am often amazed how cutting a plant back (some of them quite severely) result in a bigger, bushier plant!  I initially found it counter-intuitive.

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2 hours ago, KennethT said:

Yes, pruning is very important.  I am often amazed how cutting a plant back (some of them quite severely) result in a bigger, bushier plant!  I initially found it counter-intuitive.

Yes the pruning seminars at the local Garden are always packed and they take you out to the orchards or rose gardens to demonstrate. They do them at the appropriate time of year for specific types. Much more helpful than looking at diagrams in a book.

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18 hours ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

I have no idea what I'm liking, but I'm liking.

 

 


I guess you’re referring to hugelkultur, cos I’m pretty sure you’d know the veggies.

This is a hugelkultur bin, made from scrap corrugated iron and star pickets. Into the bin we piled layers of sticks and twigs, rotted hay, garden soil and compost. We have two of these bins. 
Here’s the other one, photo taken a while ago. It now has leafy greens, spring onions and radish planted. 
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We have numerous other beds growing food plants. Some are enclosed to keep the critters out, others are planted with stuff the critters don’t eat. There’s a kitchen garden near the house with herbs and spices, plus about a dozen different fruit trees. The aim is to be self sufficient in fresh produce, and it helps that we can trade with neighbours and also sell excess in town. We sold a couple hundred bucks of citrus in the just finished season :)

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On 9/23/2021 at 1:01 AM, JoNorvelleWalker said:

 

I have no idea what I'm liking, but I'm liking.

 

 

That would be a cauliflower. Glad you converted

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1 hour ago, Paul Bacino said:

Getting near the end!!  Peppers are still coming

 

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 I 've got peppers and chard. Fall lettuce and broccolini are sprouted.

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