Saturday, June 14, 2008

Fruit Farming, Thrift Store Shopping, and Greenwashing.

The peach trees we'd planted last fall fruited this Spring and FINALLY, just this week, the fruit ripened enough to eat.

Only one of the two trees fruited. I don't know why. It doesn't look like it takes two trees to make peaches, but if the Eastern tree wants to pretend to be the dad, I'm not gonna argue.

11 peaches showed up one day on the Western tree, not very big by peach standards, but these trees are only 3-4' tall.

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Realizing that I'd have competition for peaches from insects, funguses, and critters, I made some little "coats" from some knee-highs on sale at Walgreens for close to nothing.

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Trying to close with twist-ties resulted in the loss of two peaches, so I just accepted that I couldn't close the coats at the stem.

As they changed color from green to "peach", we wondered how we'd know when they were ripe. Southern peaches tend to ripen by end of June, early July, I read on the internet, but this week the first peach fell off the branch to the ground. It was undamaged, so I checked the others and picked one that looked just as ripe. We ate both mid-day and they tasted just like peaches ... GOOD! The NEXT day, however, birds found the peaches. I found one on the ground with peck-marks and two on the tree with peck-marks, so picked the two, picked UP the one on the ground, and set out bird-chasers in the form of CDs hung to the tree:

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The CDs catch the light of the sun and mirror all kinds of bright lights and reflections at the birds, scaring them away. I noticed yesterday, though, that the neighborhood squirrel was in the yard snooping around. I'd not seen him/her venture off the top of the back fence previously, and I DO NOT want him in my yard messing with my gardening, so I'll be looking for ideas on cheap, sticky stuff to keep him/her away from my treasures.

After I'd hung the CDs, I noticed black insects apparently trying to mate on the bark of the trees. Who knew peaches had peach borers? I checked the trunk and neither tree had been affected by the larva, so these adults had come from other trees in the neighborhood, kindof like the other insects that somehow find my plants in their travels.

My other fruit choices have had problems of a different magnitude. The strawberries had simply dried out too much by the time I planted them, so I'll need to replace them. The raspberries are off to a VERY slow start on the West side of the house, not suffering from any apparent insect damage, but a nitrogen deficiency which I just this week resolved by pouring my pee on them. (I'm really trying to go "organic" in my growing experience.) The blackberries looked to suffer from spider mites, but never recovered through my organic "cure", so I cut them down to the ground and they came back. The blueberries looked to suffer from red spot fungus, calcium deficiency, and maybe spider mites, but they're looking better this week, too after spraying with dish soap, milk, and cornmeal juice. Both the crepe myrtle and rose bush out front suffered from either powdery mildew or black spot funguses from all the rain we had in Spring, so I made a cornmeal juice concoction that seems to be helping.

In other news, some people are taking advantage of people who want to live more environmentally friendly by greenwashing them.

The thrift store had a 30% off sale yesterday, so I asked Em to take me before he went to work and after I had him take me to our local groceries for the weekly shopping/stockpiling. I spent $47.00, but got the most FUN clothing! Two pair of capris (one with all those pockets up the legs), 3 short-sleeved shirts, 2 long-sleeved shirts, a most delightful pair of soft pjs, two hats and another glass pantry container. With 30% off, I headed for the "better clothing" aisle, elitist that I am. No. 1 stopped by yesterday for a boggle and tried to go home with my "pocket" capris.

For those of you (family members) who have participated in forwarding the smear Emails about Barack Obama, there's a new website to address your fears.