Monday, November 20, 2017

Poor Orchard's Almanac: Italian Olive Ladder

   My apple picking friend, potato magnate, and garlic farmer David Clauson sent me this picture forwarded to him by an itinerant  fellow apple picker just back from Verona Italy, where he had been picking olives.  This  simple pole with pegs stepping up each side, like the telephone poles they used to actually climb,  looks pretty  scary to me,
    My good orchard ladder has three legs and is stable on uneven ground.,  A ladder with two legs with rungs spanning them, the feet wide apart at the bottom and a foot or so apart at the top, will grab the tree and add a little stability, particularly on s slope like this, and like some of ours here at Dogsplot.  I have seen pictures of old ladders of this sort made for  for Washington State Pear trees.  They were forty feet tall, as Pear trees naturally grow in a spire.  I try to cut and bend my Pear Trees to a vase shape, as each has plenty of room to spread, but they still get up there, and they are generally on rough ground.  Also, I just want to make a bipedal ladder.
      I made a THREE legged ladder with Juniper rails and rungs, but I need sounder rungs.  Maybe PVC plastic pipe. 


Saturday, October 28, 2017

Poor Orchard's Almanack: Dancing with Garlic

It was going to rain so I went and put in a lot of garlic very quickly . One of the top ten reasons we grow garlic is that the critters don't much like it so we don't have to fence it. I am planting five or six mounds like this one now, to get around  five hundred heads. some of which we will sell, some of which we will dehydrate, some of which we will cook, and just as much that we will eat raw in pesto, which will protect us from predators. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldjdl6CT0iM&feature=youtu.be

Friday, October 27, 2017

Poor Orchards Almanack: Hard Sky Fall




 Now that fall cold is roughing up their fluffy butts,  our Dogs Plot Chicken Citizens    no longer rush  into the house to lay eggs   in the toy trunk, but do a lot of scrabbling around  in the dirt, running and hunkering around, not knowing whether they should be digging in, gathering nuts, or what’s for dinner.  Half of them don’t remember a previous Fall, and by the time they see their first snow, they will either remember last year with a sort of relief, or be convinced that the sky is falling; which will be pretty much what that stuff is.  Our Roosters Andrew, Copernicus, and Gerald, all who have been through a winter or a few, and  who had crowed all day long and at passing trucks  at night  and occasionally even at first light during the  longest summer I ever knew, now take turns crowing with joy as soon as day glows in the trees.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Dog Roses of Pumpkin Hill

 On the Dog's Plot four or five acres, and in the brush land and pasture land surrounding us we have the Rose that grew at the doorstep of the original homestead house and, then some seedlings I brought here from Ithaca along with Rose of Sharron, which is not a Rose at all, and then out back in the orchard and conspiciusly out on the cattle range, there are occasional multi flora, roses with there simple, small, and multitudinous flowers...a generally unpopular escape from Gardens, and then the Roses that we used to call Swamp Roses because they grow in my native swamps up north, along the lake shore, and beside streams.
        We call this place Dog's Plot, and because these pink, sometimes white, simple Roses are abundent here, arching, abounding, I began referring to them  as Dog Roses, and was then very surprised when my friend Der Rosenmeister, that Dog Rose was really the official English name for those Roses.  Several sub species exist, and so do Swamp Roses, which are something else.
     And of course Dog Roses turn out to be more than special;  magical and possiblly world saving, according to Wiki and Nature Enquirer, as soon as they get the news.
      But just look at these Dog Roses.  That is all you know, and all you need to know.  Truth is beauty and beauty is truth, and sleeping Dogs never lie.
  The last picture in this series shows a Pear Tree trying to come up in the pasture.  The cattle prune them down to the thorny  parts, so they stay dwarfed, as they do in the hay fields, waiting to spring up like the Cayuga's from whom they descend, by  way  of French Jesuit Missionary gardeners, then surviving the great Sullivan massacre, by sprouting from their roots.  Everybody should do that.









Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Three Strkes on Two Scythes

  I love my scythes and I abuse them terribly with my over-enthusiasm, which every  once in a while comes up against hard objects.  Each of these two twenty four inch ditch scythes have been broken three times and welded twice.  The welds themselves held, but I will be retiring these two now, ordering a new ditch scythe or two, and hacking with my brush scythe for the time being.


Monday, June 19, 2017

The Dissappearing Plums





   For several years now I have been cultivating a pair of wild Plum trees growing  in the hedgerow.  I   also planted several planted several cultivated  Plum Trees six or ten years ago, each of which has contracted the Black Knot disease and died down to the natve, ungraftred stock which, like the wild Plums, is resistant to the Black knot.  Several of these trees have come back strong from the roots so I have planted a couple more Plums  grafted on Black Knot resistant root stock, from which I will  someday  cut scions to graft onto the old stock, and onto the Wiuld Plums.  Meanwhile, the wild Plums I have bneen cultivating have flowered and born fruit, and recently I returned to them wanting to try  the fruit and they were all gone.  Stolen maybe by  the desperate poor, the Arab State, Possums, or Racoons.  But I don't know why the Coons or Possums would do that .... we feed them so well otherwise. We'll get by.