Pakistan Mulberry Fever

...f green fruit and stubborn ripe berries won’t fall.  You have to hand pick and it takes about 2-3 hours of combing over the tree from all the different angles with the orchard ladder. Then I soak ‘em in a vinegar water solution and rinse and lay in flats refrigerated and finally weigh the good ones up, the not so good ones get made into delicious juice for jellies and my Jamalade with cumquats and/or habanero. So it would probably m...

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Josey Baker’s Awesome Adventure Bread (gluten free!)

...for gluten-free bread. Wisely, he decided that instead of trying to replicate real bread without gluten, he’d make something entirely different. It works. It’s made of nuts, seeds and oats, moistened with oil and water and held together with chia and psyillium husks… [Psyllium what? We'd never used psyllium seed husks before, but they are apparently used in gluten free baking to help bind ingredients--like chia, they are mucila...

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New Phoebe Update/Question

...is down. I thought that maybe a long sleep would put her to rights, but she’s acting just the same this morning.   She’s moving slow, staring into space, doing odd things like hunkering down with her head over her water dish and just staying in that position, not drinking, not doing anything.  She doesn’t want to interact with us at all. Still, as far as I can tell, she’s not struggling to get enough air, like she was befo...

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Bad Forager: Mistaking Hemlock for Fennel

...8221; At this point I’d already swallowed or spit out the seeds. You know, whichever. I said, “Oh…um…I just ate a couple of seeds.” The rest of the class made noises of dismay. Someone offered me water. It was really embarrassing. Dosage is everything with poisons, and I was not worried about two or three maybe-swallowed-maybe-chewed-and-spit seeds. Especially not dried up, sun baked seeds. Pascal wasn’t worrie...

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Straw Bale Garden Part III: Adding Fertilizer

After watering our straw bales for three days our next step is to apply a high nitrogen fertilizer. We’re following West Virginia University Extension Service’s Straw Bale Gardening advice. They suggest a 1/2 cup of urea per bale or “bone meal, fish meal, or compost for a more organic approach.” (I think they mean blood meal as bone meal does not have much nitrogen in it.) Choosing the organic approach, we’re water...

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What’s in Worm Leachate?

Garden Professor Jeff Gillman analyzed worm leachate (the liquids the flow our of your worm bin) from a home vemicompost setup. It’s pretty strong stuff! Gillman concludes, this could be a great liquid fertilizer if it were used properly.  I’d recommend diluting it somewhere between 1:1 and 1:5 worm juice : water before applying it, and I’d only apply it once every week or two.  If you want to use it, try it on something that you’re not t...

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How To Capture a Bee Swarm With Kirk Anderson

...s to start your own hive. Why? Swarms, unlike packaged bees, are free. They are also local, meaning the bees know how to deal with your micro-climate. To capture a swarm you: Spray the swarm with a mixture of white sugar and water–this keeps them busy cleaning themselves while you . . . Knock them in a nuc box (a cardboard box that holds five frames–get one at your local beekeeping supply shop). Take the nuc box home and let them set...

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Supper for a buck?

...works for us to buy in those quantities, but of course it is also possible to buy flour in bulk and split it with a friend or two. A loaf of no-knead bread contains the following ingredients: 400 grams of flour, 300 grams of water,  1 1/2 teaspoons of sea salt and, depending on the recipe, either 1/4 teaspoon of active yeast or a bit of sourdough starter. I figured out the cost for the flour (bulk purchased from Central Milling) comes to 52 cent...

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