Cottage Gardening forum: #6 Piggy Swap Chat

 
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ImageSorellina
Jan 30, 2014 5:23 PM CST
Name: Julianna
Victoria, BC USDA Zone 8
Ciao Ella -

Your weather made our news. I'm sure the mayor of Atlanta has his tail between his legs right now. Even if every other decision he's made for the city was a good one, that last one was a doozy, letting kids out of school and sending people home at the same time. No plows, no salt. What a mess.

It's sad to say, but today, our windchill is ONLY -11C with winds up to 30 kmh and compared to how it's been, it feels "warm". I walked to the bank today and didn't have to wrap my entire face except for my eyes in a fleece scarf to prevent my eyeballs from freezing into ice cubes. When it's -30C, you have to cover everything to prevent frostbite from happening in a matter of minutes. Brutal. I'm so done with winter! Grumbling
Grazie a tutti,
Julianna
Mindy03
Jan 30, 2014 7:06 PM CST
Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
Ella hope the hair dryer worked for you. That was going to be my next suggestion since I remember my husband always gets mine out when something is frozen to thaw it out.

The bees cluster together in a ball and vibrate their wings to produce some heat and keep the queen and center of the cluster warm. Unfortunately, when it's below 57ºF they can't move from where they are clustered and sometimes will die from starvation even though they have food available. Other times they may die from being chilled when the frost inside the hive melts and starts dripping cold water on them.

You might find this article about the winter cluster interesting to read.
http://allthingsplants.com/ideas/view/Mindy03/188/Honey-Bees...

Some bees are winter hardy and can survive the cold winters.
Imagestarlight1153
Jan 30, 2014 7:49 PM CST
Name: starlight1153 Zone 8a/b
AL.
Great article Mindy. Now I know why the bees are always drowning themselves in the hummer feeders. They can get through the holes to the syrup, but can't get back out. I hate having to refill the feeders as I know it is going to have bodies in it.

You know I had that day when the feeders were just covered with bees. Was like small mass population all over the feeders. So many got stuck and didn't make it. Was the first time I had ever seen such a thing here. I wonder if the bees sensed ahead of time the weather that was coming and that is why they swarmed the syrup feeder like crazy?

Soon as it warms up, going to have to make some syrup and put it out there for them. Did Charleen post a pic of the tray she made to feed them?

I wonder how the big bee keeper down the road a small piece is making out with his hives.
Mindy03
Jan 30, 2014 8:10 PM CST
Name: Margaret
Delta KY
I'm A Charley's Girl For Sure
Usually when bees swarm your bird feeders it's because they are short of food this time of year. Other times they will swarm them if they aren't finding good quality forage in the spring/summer season.

Charleen did send me a picture of her set up for feeding them but not sure which article it is in. Any shallow dish type of container will work just put rocks or wood in for them to land on that way they won't drown in it. If you make syrup for the bees the ratio this time of year is 1:1 (equal parts sugar and water)
ImageDanita
Jan 30, 2014 11:12 PM CST
Name: Danita
GA Zone 7b/8
Well, this Atlantan checked the forecast and decided it would be silly to go anywhere on Tuesday so I stayed safe at home. My dad left work early enough that his 25 minute commute only took 2 hours. He's a northerner so he knows how to drive in much more snow than we got. However, my mom's friend's 45 minute commute took her 14 hours! Another friend had his second day on the job as a school bus driver. About 12 hours later he got everyone home safely. That's quite a learning curve! As far as we know everyone we know is safe now.

Mindy, sorry to hear about the poor bees.

Ella, I hope you are able to escape soon!

Hope everyone stays warm! Smiling
[Last edited Jan 30, 2014 11:22 PM CST]
Quote | Post #1035653 (5)
Imagestarlight1153
Jan 31, 2014 4:58 AM CST
Name: starlight1153 Zone 8a/b
AL.
Yes! Yes! Yes! Hairdryer finally worked. Took awhile, but it did the job. I hate feeling trapped in a trailer. No local fire departments and it only takes them 7 minutes to burn and have seen many go up in flames down here from faulty wiring, heaters starting them and ones from the exhaust pipes of the dryers that get clogged up and catch.

Danita... What a way for your friend to start his new job. Bad enough having new jobs nerves, all that snow and ice and than worrying about the precious cargo that was being carried. Glad they all made it safe.

Saw this up in Blue Gardens Cubit this morning and laughed my head off and had to share. Some of you may have seen it already, but for those that haven't, maybe it will make you smile this pic posted by LarryR.


Thumb of 2014-01-31/starlight1153/9f1b49

So how everybody coming with their winter sowing and seed starting? All done, halfway, just getting started or still on hold?
Imagestarlight1153
Jan 31, 2014 5:45 AM CST
Name: starlight1153 Zone 8a/b
AL.
Heard Sunday is groundhog day. How many of you follow the prediction? Forget which it is but hope it the one where winter over.

In the North I know is Punxsutawney Phil. Down here in the South we have General Beauregard.

Do other parts of the country celebrate groundhog day and if so who or what is your day measured by?
ImageSorellina
Jan 31, 2014 8:05 AM CST
Name: Julianna
Victoria, BC USDA Zone 8
Happy Lunar New Year everybody! I'd love to go to Chinatown this weekend to watch the parade where everyone sets off firecrackers to scare the lion dragon away, but it's so cold and Duane's got a Knights of Columbus thing for most of Sunday. I'm making Hot Pot tomorrow and had lots of fun filling red packets full of Chinese candy for my Asian friends.

Up here, we have an albino groundhog named Wiarton Willie. The original critter died in 2006, but Wiarton has been able to find rare albino groundhogs to take his place. I'm not sure if they breed them or what. Usually albino animals are sterile and genetically difficult to select for. Anyway, his "successors" are also named Willie and get the job of bringing good or bad news for those of us who have strong feelings about the length of the winter.

http://www.wiartonecho.com/2014/01/29/were-counting-on-you-w...
Grazie a tutti,
Julianna
ImageMistirose
Jan 31, 2014 9:44 AM CST
Name: Misti
Fate, TX
Gong Xi Fa Cai!!!!! (wishing you to be prosperous in the coming year!)
Imagejoseph
Jan 31, 2014 11:07 AM CST
Name: Joseph
Cache Valley Great Basin
Landrace: locally-adapted diversity

I have finished one wintersowing project: 4 pots worth of true garlic seed. I have about 30 seeds left which I am intending to direct seed in about 6 weeks.

Last fall I planted walking onions, garlic, wheat, and rye which are normally fall planted for me. They have probably germinated under the snow and are growing fine. I also planted a bunch of peas last fall, which are normally spring planted. I am searching for genetics which will allow them to survive the winter.

Last winter I also planted Apios americana, which produces small edible tubers. I didn't plant sunroots in my new fields. Didn't want the weed problem. I kept tubers from my best plants, but I am expecting that I'll let them expire.
Author of Mother Earth News Blog about Landrace Gardening: http://www.motherearthnews.com/search.aspx?tags= Lofthouse
Imagegreene
Jan 31, 2014 5:19 PM CST
Name: greene
Savannah, Georgia, USA
Okay, I planted some seeds. 18 cells each of Horned Melon and Pigeonpea.
It's a beginning.
We have some pretty fair weather for the next 7 - 10 days so I guess I have to start cleaning up the yard.

Edit: Update for the Horned Melon seeds planted 1/30/2014 30 out of 36 seeds have germinated by 2/5/2014. These seeds were saved from the fruit grown in Savannah, picked in November while green, allowed to ripen indoors, seeds cleaned by the fermentation method in water as for tomatoes.
[Last edited Feb 5, 2014 8:42 AM CST]
Quote | Post #1035823 (11)
poisondartfrog
Jan 31, 2014 6:52 PM CST
Name: Alana
Kentucky
I have a blond skunk that wanders my garden. I guess he/she will serve as my groundhog.
Imagewildflowers
Feb 1, 2014 9:47 AM CST
Name: Christine
Northeast Texas, Zone 7b
I bet that blond skunk is awfully pretty. Rolling on the floor laughing


I have some seed sowing lined up for tomorrow. Mostly tomatoes, peppers and herbs. I'm going to try starting them indoors under my kitchen cabinet runner lights. Hubby will think that's terribly nice. haha

Then I'll start planning my winter sowing. Thumbs up

It's supposed to ice over here tonight or tomorrow some time. Thumbs down
FAITH over fear!

ImageTxbabybloomer
Feb 1, 2014 11:37 PM CST
Name: Diana
Dayton, TX
Placed an order with 4 seed companies on Monday. Got the one from Baker Creek on Wednesday. I was shocked how fast it got here! Yesterday the one from Horizon Herbs came in. Just to let everyone know the Arhat fruit seeds, the sweetener gourd seeds ARE in stock. They sent me a package! I'll be sowing those while everyone else around here watches the bowl game tomorrow. :whistling:

I loved the comfrey plant that I got from someone here SO much last year - that I ordered 6 more roots from Horizon with my order. They sure are big and healthy, and starting to send little white roots out, and were only $2 each.

A bit of good news for me, I got satellite internet this week!!! No more dial-up for me. I am so excited that now I will be able to share photos and such from my own computer!!
poisondartfrog
Feb 2, 2014 6:34 AM CST
Name: Alana
Kentucky
Yoohoo! That's great about the internet txbabybloomer!
I'm going to a little superbowl "thing" this afternoon, but then I'm coming home and sowing seeds, too, lol. I'll be back long before the game. Imagine!! They actually use PIG's skin. There is something very troubling about that.
Imagestarlight1153
Feb 2, 2014 9:12 AM CST
Name: starlight1153 Zone 8a/b
AL.
That is good news about you getting internet. It will make a difference for sure.

I forgot today was superbowl. Everybody probably busy cooking up gazzillions of chicken wings. For this day more chicken wings are sold than other time of the year.

I waiting for help to come this afternoon if the rain not to bad. Finally got outside yesterday for a few and checked for more damage around trailer and than started checking plants.

I had noticed from my window that my greenhouse the one side the top seemed lower and a bit slanted. I opened door and that was as far as I got. The whole left side all that rain ice than snow than melt than more ice, it busted all the center beams and cross beams. Snapped them right in half and the whole gh was on a slant.

A couple of friends came late yesterday to try and start on fixing it. They got a couple of center beams back up and used a come-a-long to try and pull the whole thing back into an upward position. They put a couple of big boards outside to try and keep it braced til they can back here today or tomorrow and try and get it braced and sturdy again.

No body was allowed in while they tried to figure out how to get busted wood out and new stuff up without whole thing collapsing on somebody. So much damage in there and plants that I not sure are gonna make it. Only green I seen was somehow 4 pots of foxgloves still all green and been putting out new growth. Hope fully they don't croak here in the next few days.

Stuff just isn't built for what we had down in my area. I know if I build anything again it gonna be designed to handle snow loads and ice loads. Next door's gh has absolutely no plastic left on it. Winds and rain and sleet, shredded it to pieces.

What I feel the worst about is I have friend's plant that were stored in their too. I don't think they have made it.
BrendaVR
Feb 2, 2014 10:45 AM CST
Ontario, Canada (zone 6a)
Bah! Stay warm and safe Starlight! No worries about the packages...and I don't think you want to send yourself up here...hehe...may be even worse than where you are.

So glad you go tthe hairdryer out and were able to get out...man talk about cabin fever!

Thankfully we have mostly been getting snow. A little bit of rain last night made the shoveling a bit heavy but the majority was snow thank goodness I was RIGHT on the line between the snow and freezing rain yesterday....I'll take snow any day!)
Imagejoseph
Feb 2, 2014 11:15 AM CST
Name: Joseph
Cache Valley Great Basin
Landrace: locally-adapted diversity
Ain't the anticipation great? Piggy boxes flying any day now!! (Weather, disaster, and safety permitting.)

Oh my heck. Sad about all that damage from the polar vortex. I awoke to an additional 3" of snow yesterday, but around here it's just more snow. For only 3 inches I didn't even bother shoveling. We are having spring-like weather. 10 F to 15 F at night. 25 F to 40 F during the day. Mostly smoggy sun during the day. 5 to 6 weeks before I plant peas!!!

I am popping 30 to 50 batches of popcorn per day: Looking for perfectly-popping cobs to save for seed. The general population looks like this:
Thumb of 2014-02-02/joseph/b4a843

I made a cross between [Glass Gem X Joseph's Popcorn]. It pops extremely poorly. In a couple years I'll be adding that into my popcorn patch.
Thumb of 2014-02-02/joseph/4ce9f3

I also made a cross between [high carotene Cateto X Joseph's Popcorn]. It likewise pops poorly. The trait that I am looking to get from this cross is high nutrition. The colors will also be glorious. This variety will even pop up yellow! Plus I might discover some clever traits that are currently unexpected because the mother corn came out of South America. I also crossed this high carotene corn to my sweet corn. Looking for a higher nutrition sweet corn.
Thumb of 2014-02-02/joseph/8d7f9d

Author of Mother Earth News Blog about Landrace Gardening: http://www.motherearthnews.com/search.aspx?tags= Lofthouse
[Last edited Feb 2, 2014 11:25 AM CST]
Quote | Post #1036289 (18)
Imagegreene
Feb 2, 2014 11:18 AM CST
Name: greene
Savannah, Georgia, USA
Just curious, who or what is eating all the popped corn?
Imagejoseph
Feb 2, 2014 11:33 AM CST
Name: Joseph
Cache Valley Great Basin
Landrace: locally-adapted diversity
I am pretty much on a popcorn diet. It's about all I am eating these days. Naturally I have to taste every cob to make sure that I am selecting for great taste in addition to great popping ability. Even though I only pop 20 kernels per batch it's still more than I can eat, so I feed the birds. They don't much understand popcorn which looks like snow, so technically I suppose that it becomes worm food.

I likewise taste nearly every sweet corn cob before saving it for seed. That's a glorious time of year!!!
Author of Mother Earth News Blog about Landrace Gardening: http://www.motherearthnews.com/search.aspx?tags= Lofthouse
[Last edited Feb 3, 2014 1:05 AM CST]
Quote | Post #1036292 (20)

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