2013 edible gardening

i hope everyone out there in r.g.e land has a great season -- even those folks down under who are having a nice summer right about now. :)
songbird
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On Monday, December 31, 2012 10:17:20 AM UTC-5, songbird wrote:

Thanks songbird and back at you. I am anxious already. The greenhouse is still producing tomatoes and I think that is what is keeping me going right into spring. I also have the Aero gardens in the house full of Basil, parsley and chives. I am going to have some Rose garden issues this spring but I guess that should go to regular gardening. Looking forward to spring :)
MJ
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Thanks for the kind thoughts but as for the 'nice' summer, I'm feeling a bit tender at the moment because of a number of factors............
Each morning, I go out kitted out in gardening gear after a shower and come in dripping at about noon and swearing to myself that I really won't shower before gardening again but each day, I get into autopilot and head for the shower first thing..... I really must buy a dependable brain.....
Then yesterday, at dusk, I grab the compost bucket and head out to my big plastic compost drum and flip the lid back only to be confronted by a very large Eastern Brown Snake in the bin. I scream and back off quickly after throwing the compost bucket and contents skywards leaving an agitated snake wriggling madly in the bin under a partially open lid. I head inside feeling like at total wimp.
Eastern Brown snakes are an edgy, nervy snake and highly venomous. According to my snake ID book they are 12 times more venomous than a cobra. I'ts hte sort of anske that is OK behind glass in a zoo where it looks singularly unimpressive but it's certainly not teh sort of snake one wants to meet up close and personal.
During the day we'd been working in and around that compst bin as it sits between 2 apple trees and we were putting nets over the fruit trees as the cockatoos are starting to take fruit to get to the seeds. Himself had also been on his hands and knees weeding under one of the apple trees so he was also not happy when I told him about the snake because of 'what might have been'.
Today I decided that I needed to face the fear so went back and had a look in the bin. No snake thankfully. I decided that I'd use my compost screw to aerate the bin and was prepared to drop all and run if I pulled up a snake. All went well - just lots of wriggling red compost worms.
But otherwise, on the plus side in the garden, I finally have tomatoes just about ripe, there are zucchini on the bushes and it looks like we might get an excellent crop of apples and pears.
I just hope that is the last sodding snake I see for the season. Ever again would be good, but that is way too much to hope for.
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On Tuesday, January 1, 2013 6:43:27 AM UTC-5, Farm1 wrote:

That kind of snake might make me give up gardening, or at least composting :) MJ
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On Tuesday, January 1, 2013 4:43:27 AM UTC-7, Farm1 wrote:

Snakes kill mice, rats and various other rodents. Just avoid them...they won't stalk you are attack without provocation so I am told. We only have garter snakes here thank gawd for that.
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On Tuesday, January 1, 2013 12:40:08 PM UTC-5, Roy wrote:

Last summer a neighbors dog was bitten 2 different times by rattler snakes. One of the times the dag got in between the snake and the 6 year old twin girls playing outside. Dog was really sick but pulled through. There are various water snakes here as well, some poisionus some not. I am in eastern North Carolina MJ
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There's a vaccine for that now; though I don't know anything about it: http://www.petinsurance.com/healthzone/pet-articles/pet-health/Rattlesnake-Vaccine-for-Dogs.aspx
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Roy wrote:

As Fran said the Eastern Brown is not a wimpy snake, they don't spend their waking hours stalking humans but if surprised they stand their ground and will attack if provoked, unlike many snakes that will get away as fast as possible under almost all conditions. Nobody in their right mind will provoke them but if you accidentally step on one or poke it with a hoe you stand a chance of getting bitten if you don't retreat fast enough. If they get you to a hospital that can give you antivenene in time you will survive but I am told the experience is very unpleasant. If you don't get there in time start repenting very systematically.
I am quite happy to leave snakes alone to do their thing in the environment and the more rodents they eat the better. The problem is that human activity is often attractive to them. For example if you have chooks you have chook food. If you have chook food you have rodents. In the Australian bush you are therefore likely to get snakes around the chook house. I had a red-bellied black snake living under the ramp against the house, this was a nice warm dry shelter for it. It didn't worry me most of the time but when it scared the shit out of my guests who didn't have a clue what to do, it had to go. People can't have a relaxing country rest if all they can think about is the famous dangerous fauna (that will be sneaking into their room at night to carry them off along with the spiders, crocodiles and drop bears).
David
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Ain't that the truth!!!
they don't spend their

I've had at least 2 Tiger Snakes in my chook run. One I just let slide by me as I froze. I had to kill teh other one because he was very snug under the galvanised waterer and just looked at me when I lifted it up to swish out the dirt that was in the trough.
He was in a nice air conditioned spot. I gave him 5 minutes to escape as I dressed up in full snake killing mode. Silly sod was still there when I went back so I ahd to deal with him. Of course Himself, my hero, was out at the time wasnt' he?
I had a red-bellied black snake living under the ramp against the

LOL. Gotta worry about those darned drop bears! Shame about the Red Bellied. I dont' mind them.
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I try to do that, but it's very hard to do that when it's in a compost bin.
they won't stalk you are attack without

Eastern Brown are known for their edginess and especially if cornered as applies when it is in the confines of a plastic compost bin. They aren't happy bunny snakes.
We only have garter snakes here

The 2 varieties of snakes we have here are Eastern Brown snakes ( the world's 2nd most venomous land snake according to how they measure lethal dose) and Tiger snakes.
I don't know anyone who has had a load of Brown Snake venom from a bite but I do know woman who had a scratch (not a puncture wound) from a Tiger snake fang.
The Eastern Brown venom is 12 times more toxic thaan a Cobra whilst the Tiger snake is supposedly only 4 times as toxic. I know just how sick the woman was from the scratch and how she has had ongoing health problems since she got the scratch. I can only imagine how appalling a full envenomated bite from a Brown snake would be.
It'd be nice to live where there were no venomous snakes but I live in an area where we have highly venomous elapids. That is just a fact of life. Keep the eyes peeled and wear long pants and boots and that is about the best I can do if I want to keep enjoying my surrounds.
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Farm1 wrote:

Move far enough north of the snow line and there are no vemonous snakes and few enough of the other sorts. You pick your situation and you pay your price.
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Doug Freyburger wrote:

I assume that by 'north or south' you mean on the snowy side of the snow line in your hemisphere. This has a number of problems. The most obvious is that the choice of what to grow is much reduced the colder your climate is. This group is about edible gardening!
The particular problem in Fran's case is there is very little (soon to be none) permanent snow in the Australian alps and very few people live there, much of it is national park. Being a pasturalist in those conditions (as I understand it she makes here living from cattle) is more difficult even if there was land available due to the shorter growing season.
So this isn't a practical option.
The interesting thing about the profusion of dangerous snakes in Oz is that there are so few fatalities, this is partly because most people who live in rural areas know how to behave with snakes and also the availability of treatment. A third reason is that despite this image of the suntanned race of the vast outback Australians are a very urban group, very few actually live where there are many snakes. Contrast this with Sri Lanka which is the snakebite capital of the world. There they have a lot of people and a lot of snakes and they live in each other's pockets.
D
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What 'snow line' would that be then?
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songbird wrote:

As was pointed out this can be south of the snow line south of the equator or above the snow line in mountainous areas.

That's the only exception I know of. Copperheads seem common near the snow line but seem to die out in the winter any time they move into a region where it snows. A few warm years and poisonous snakes can migrate, then it snows and they are gone again. Except the Eastern Massasauga.
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Not that I've heard but the other common snake we get here (tiger snake) supposedly is. According to a herpitologist I spoke to when I had one of those in my wood shed. they like to climb into bushes at about chest height and arealso commonly about after dark. His advice was not to go wandering about outsside at night.

No. These snakes are elapids and thus highly dangerous and best givne a very wide berth. I think the only elapid the US has is the coral snake and although I know the US does have rattler hunts, I don't think that coral snake hunts are common :-)).

We've had a major strawberr glut. That was a delight but we're now waiting or a second round to crop.

There really is no option aobut moving them along. They just live here and that's that. the worst thing was having Jack Russells. They regulalry went fo rthe snakes and ende dup costing us a fortuen in anti-venine. We lost an ealry one we had but then the next two cost us a bomb. One was over $5K alone - about $2K of that was snake bites. Add to that the organophosphate poisoning the little sods got and it's clear how much we liked those little brutes since we shelled out so much to keep them alive. Sadly we now just have a Cavalier King Charles and he's dumb and boring, but stays away from snakes.
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wrote:

I can tell the new year has started: seed catalogues. I really don't need any more seeds this year but I will probably find something else that looks interesting. I could probably get through 10 years with the seeds I have. Maybe not the varieties I would like but enough to keep me busy.
Right now I am feeling pretty good and hope it lasts. But I shall not over plant this season. (Sure)
--
USA
North Carolina Foothills
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