Gardening and climate change

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On Monday, March 9, 2015 at 5:15:42 PM UTC-7, songbird wrote:

I'm in the inland northwest. Far different than the coastal areas or weste rn valleys. The Cascade Mountains stop most of the rain so we only average about 12" per year, most of that occurring in the fall and winter when the prevailing winds shift slightly to bring the weather in around the mountai ns. We get four distinct seasons, with the summers betting very hot and d ry, so irrigation is critical, and very little water is wasted. Winters ar e normally just a few degrees below freezing, although we have dropped to d ouble-digit negatives a few times.
I grow quite a variety of stuff. Plenty of paste tomatoes every year to pu t up sauces (spaghetti, salsa, and whatever else inspires me), so plenty of peppers and other stuff to go into the sauces too. Because of the heat, bl ossom end rot can be troublesome at times. I grow my own herbs to use well . In fact, everything I use in my preserving I grow myself or buy from som eone local.
I also grow a lot of winter squash and root crops that I keep through the w inter. One of the happiest memories I have is making borscht for the first time and finding that the family loved it! It's the only reason I'm allow ed to grow beets now (although I do sneak in a batch of pickles every year) . Speaking of pickles, I also grow cukes to make hot dill pickles and my gr andmothers lime pickle that are so crunchy and sweet.
We have an assortment of fruit trees and vines and bushes that we freeze, d ry, or otherwise preserve. I made Concorde grape pie filling 2 years ago f or the first time and even though it's difficult, it will be made every yea r from now on. So delicious!
I grow fingerling potatoes and leeks. I dont generally grow other potatoes or onions because those are readily available around here at a price lower than I could ever grow them for. Many times you can find a grower that wil l let you go into the fields after they've harvested them and pick what's l eft and that price is hard to beat. Sweet corn is available for a nickel a n ear when its in season, so I don't grow that either, but I do grow popcor n and the kids think that's a blast
In finishing up some of what's left in the cellar, I just made a couple mor e batches of red onion jam. So good on roasts, hamburgers, or whatever. Thi s is also one that gets made every year.
There's a lot more that goes on around here, but perhaps I'll share more as time goes on.
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On 10/03/2015 11:15 AM, songbird wrote:

LOL. Love the snippage.
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Fran Farmer wrote:

i hate having to reformat google groups posts...
:)
songbird
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rec.gardens:

You might be taken more seriously if you learned to quote who you're replying to. As it is, your contextless posts make no sense.
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On Monday, March 9, 2015 at 5:54:49 PM UTC-7, Nil wrote:

Yeah. Just noticed the mobile version of Google groups doesn't quote the post you're replying to. Sorry about that.
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rec.gardens:

Thank you.
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On 10/03/2015 10:24 AM, songbird wrote:

I don't recall ever seeing either name before this thread.

:-)) And less snow for water for the populace is only one of the signs you've written about...... I keep wondering if it will take famine conditions in the first world before some people finally manage to join the dots.
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Fran Farmer wrote: ...

i suspect there will be food riots and troubles in poorer countries again long before you see problems in the first world countries. the first world has the resources to ship foods around. only when we get some rather unlikely multiple year droughts in several of the large grain growing regions in combination with wars which disrupt shipping would you see a large famine in the first world.
at the moment i think we're on the edge and could be mostly ok, but it means making some changes. improving ground and surface water regulations, putting the land back into the hands of people instead of corporations, having more diversity and protection for wild spaces, funding restoration and replanting projects, increasing wetlands to help with flooding and droughts, improving irrigation and monitoring of ground water pumping.
boycotting products from companies or people who poison is one immediate thing that i can do and that shifts at least some production towards more sustainable methods. growing my own food using sustainable methods is another. at least then i know some wild creatures have a home that isn't being poisoned.
songbird
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On 12/03/2015 4:12 AM, songbird wrote:

Yup.
the first world has

Yup, and does do that now regardless.
only when we

Well Oz has certainly had the multiple year droughts in grain areas and I have a vague memory that Russia had too. Can't quite see the shipping disruption on the horizon.

:-)) In short, I think you have joined me in my 'when pigs fly' view of the possibility of the dots being joined?

We have a wonderful garden for other creatures. Some I could do without liek the blasted rabbits and the snakes but the others are all well worth observing. For example; we spend a lot of time watching the antics of birds and the last time I bothered to aks Himself (who is very keen on birds) he had recorded seeing between 60 and 70 different birds types in our garden. We make sure we do our pruning to avoid nesting times and we keep many plants that are supposedly weeds because they give food or shelter for wildlife. We do fight about Queen Anne's Lace though. He always pulls it out when he notices it because he thinks it will go wild in his paddocks. I have finally mananged to stop him ripping out my verbasums now as I finally corrected his misidentification of them.
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Fran Farmer wrote:

right, at the moment the risk isn't that high. multiple year droughts are not widespread and we had a good harvest last year. if this year is bad and next year is bad then you'll certainly see it in the news.

i'm seeing some good signs here or there, but it isn't enough yet, so yeah.

yes, living as a cooperative between more than one person is a challenge. i lose garden spaces or plant diversity here when Ma decides to smother a garden or mows down some of my plants and it doesn't get replanted. right now i'm going to lose another garden this year, but pick up a few more next year or the year after. depends upon what i can get done. :)
there's probably a few dozen rabbits around here and i surely don't need any more, but our main veggie gardens are fenced and don't get too many rabbits in them. the fence is more to keep the deer out than the other creatures. i have more damage from woodchucks that climb through the fence. i hope i've discouraged those enough this past year that we don't have them back this year. we'll see. the birds we have are not too damaging to veggie or my strawberry production, they get at some of the bushes that have berries, but we don't eat those berries so they are welcome to them. no major fruit trees growing either as of yet, so all birds are welcome here. if they eat a few of the strawberries i don't mind, there are enough, they make up for it in bugs they eat.
i'm actually surprised by how well the gardens outside the fenced areas do, some do get raided at times, but i rarely lose an entire garden's production. planting multiple crops, some intermixed, etc. seems to keep them from finding everything. these sort of experiments continue as i get time for them.
today i got a first look at the south drainage situation with the melting snow coming off quickly. the ground is still frozen and the water is coming across the surface. not too likely we'll have any flooding this spring as we don't have a lot of snow cover and the forecast isn't pointing at heavy rains yet. the nights are still mostly near or below freezing so that is actually a good thing as that will keep the trees from budding out too soon. i was worrying the other day that it was getting too warm too quickly again, but so far so good.
queen-annes-lace is one of those weeds that will colonize our clay soil, but the cover is so poor that i don't really like them, instead i'm adding fennel which is much more edible and provides more shade. there's no danger of there being too little of the lace as it abounds along every roadside like the dandelion or chickory. i'm also adding short round carrots to the mix of plantings this season. they might work in our heavy soils. we'll see what happens... every season is a new adventure... :)
songbird
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On 12/03/2015 2:01 PM, songbird wrote:

Wow. Lucky yu haaving so few. one night we left 8 dead one son the grass that had been shot. All were gone next morning and we still have more bunnies than we know how to get rid of. (Lord - look at that. Ending a sentence with a preposition! I'm disgusted with myself).
around here and

We have our strawbs eaten by the lizards and they never seem to suffer any damage from birds. Our fruit trees are a different matter. Leave one unnetted and the cockatoos can strip it in hours.

One of our garden writers recommends that sort of planting. You might find her site interesting: http://www.jackiefrench.com/cal.html

The pics you've shown of the flooding in your garden in the past certainly explain why you'd be worried.

Ain't that the truth!
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Fran Farmer wrote:

we do not have nearly as much land as you do at 0.74 hectare.
why wouldn't you bury them in the gardens?
i am trying to encourage predators to come get them so i don't hunt them as long as they stay out of the fenced gardens.

do the lizards climb fences? we have no big lizards around here, but we do have plenty of snakes. only one type is poisonous and it is rare in open land like ours, we can find them in swampy places about a half mile from here. as of yet, no sign of them. the rest of the snakes feast on the mice, worms, and ground squirrels. a lot of people who come visit us and walk through the gardens are afraid of snakes so i have to warn them that they are about. don't want people to freak out. the fenced strawberry patch is surrounded by field stones and the snakes like the warmth they provide and the fact that it is a raised garden so it captures more of the morning light. many times when i'm picking i'll have one or more snakes moving around in that garden. they like our many rock piles we have around too. with the many mice and ground squirrels i'm always glad to see snakes. i know the ground squirrel dens are used by the snakes too.
Ma is pretty good about snakes and doesn't freak out, but she really doesn't like the mice or the ground squirrels. it's taken me quite a few years to get her from wanting to poison or trap them all the time. now i only am setting traps inside the garage and garden shed. before when the house wasn't sealed up so well i had to set traps around the outside of the house to keep them from getting back in the walls. now i'm hoping i can avoid that as it is a waste of time, there will always be mice around, i don't mind letting them do their thing out in the gardens, they don't do any damage i've ever noticed.

i need a lot more patience than i have at the moment to read it.

before when it was a fallow field i didn't care as much, but now that it is being farmed and sprayed i don't want that water going across the gardens.
the run off may be mostly done already, the snow has been melting quickly. will check it out today and mark some fine adjustment levels if i can.

i'm ready! :) with how much snow has melted off i can do a little walking around and seeing if any of the early flowers are starting to poke up. they are always a cheerful sight after the winter. and some of those earliest bloomers were pollenated last year and i've put the seeds in some spots i can watch for sprouts. i always enjoy seeing what happens from that sort of thing.
songbird
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Hi Higgs,
I still think your tomato problems have to do with your soil. As with cooking, you can't make bad ingredients taste better, you can only make good ingredients taste worse. It all starts with the soil.
I am wondering if you should not start over with know good organic soil. Maybe even use certified compost from a reputable dealer. Who knows what in the world is in municipal compose.
Do you have worms in your soil? They are a great indication of your soils health.
Are your tomato beds well drained? Tomatoes love to be drenched (they are from the Amazon), but do not like their roots in standing/stagnant water.
-T
Songbird is a really great source of this kind of information, probably knows 100 times what I do.
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Tomatoes originated in the Andes, not the Amazon. Aside from the initial letter, the two have little in common.
--
Drew Lawson | What you own is your own kingdom
| What you do is your own glory
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On 3/9/2015 3:50 PM, Drew Lawson wrote:

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On 03/09/2015 12:50 PM, Drew Lawson wrote:

Hi Drew,
Tomatoes were originally cultivated by the Incas which inhabited the Andes. But they came from the Amazon rain forest. Peru, which contains both the Andes and Incas, also contains part of the Amazon rain forest. I think you are mixing the origin of the plant (the rain forest) with the origin of who originally cultivated it (the Incas and Aztecs), but I could be wrong.
Amazon Facts: http://rfadventures.com/amazon_facts.htm
"At least 80% of the developed world's diet originated in the tropical rainforest. Its bountiful gifts to the world include fruits like avocados, coconuts, figs, oranges, lemons, grapefruit, bananas, guavas, pineapples, mangos and *tomatoes*; vegetables including corn, potatoes, rice, winter squash and yams; spices like black pepper, cayenne, chocolate, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, sugar cane, turmeric, coffee and vanilla and nuts including Brazil nuts and cashews. At least 3000 fruits are found in the rainforests; of these only 200 are now in use in the Western World. The Indians of the rainforest use over 2,000.
Wow. A lot of stuff came from the Amazon!
A quick look at a typical fragile tomato plant tells you it did not originate in the freezing cold, high altitude deserts of the Andes.
Now back to my point. These plants come from the Amazon rain forest. They are accustomed and evolved to expect a daily drenching from thunderstorms. So, I was trying to find out if Higgs was recreating these ideal conditions: Humid, drenched and drained. (Not high altitude, freezing nights, and very low moisture.)
This is actually information I am relaying from a local CSA greenhouse. Their incredible organic tomatoes were in wet, humid, drained green houses. And EVERY tomato was incredible: both heirlooms and hybrids alike.
Do you have tips for her? I hate it that she can't get a decent tomato. As far as my experience goes, it is all about the soil.
-T
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Once upon a time on usenet T wrote:

The Andes start at not much more than sea level and go up from there. Saying something is cultivated 'on the Andes' doesn't mean the peaks.

The ancestors of edible tomatoes may well have "origiated" in the Amazon basin but the ones that I grow would succumb to blight or mould very quickly if subjected to the wet and humidity of a rain forest. They've been selectively bred to grow places other than where they may have originated. The tomatoes bought to Europe and then to the US weren't from the Amazon basin - they were cultivars obtained from the natives of South America who had bred them for generations to grow elsewhere.
You want to grow rainforest 'tomatoes'? I think you'll find they're not much different to any other Nightshade species other than perhaps having larger, redder fruits.

How do they control or prevent blight / fungus / rot?

Going by the above you know almost everything there is to know about them. You can't help?
--
Shaun.

"Humans will have advanced a long, long, way when religious belief has a
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On 03/10/2015 05:44 PM, ~misfit~ wrote:

Hi Misfit,
I am relaying what I saw and was told at a successful green house.
Here is good link for you:
Growing Hydroponic Gardening Tomatoes http://www.mightygrowhydro.com/growing-tomatoes-hydropinically.htm
"For tomatoes, an ideal humidity level in the greenhouse needs to be between 65 and 70 percent. Temperatures must not vary too much, although tomatoes flourish when the night time temperature is ten degrees below that of the daytime Ideally, temperatures really should be seventy-three degrees during the day and sixty-three during the night.
This is what I observed at the successful greenhouse.
Maybe somewhere in the link there will be something for you about the "blight / fungus / rot" problem you were complaining about.
I am hope at some point Songbird will chime in. He has about 100 times my knowledge. Maybe he knows something about your "blight / fungus / rot" problem too.
-T
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T wrote: ...

nope, i'm not a guru when it comes to tomatoes and unfortunately i get overruled now when i want to try different varieties. others here have a lot more experience.
i've done the usual routine types of attempts to limit damage or remove plants that look to be badly infected before they can spread to other plants.
spacing plants, trimming lower leaves to prevent diseases by increasing air flow and sunlight, mulching to prevent splashing of soil onto the plants, etc.
sometimes these things help and other times they don't. last year it didn't matter what i did the disease came in with the plants when they were planted (my best guess, because of how it affected all the plants no matter where they were planted in different types of soils, some were mulched others weren't, etc.).
this year i plan to plant two cherry tomato plants and that's about it for tomatoes. we have enough to get by in the pantry and that will let me rotate plant other veggies. i can always use more space for beans. :)
sonbird
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On 03/10/2015 10:43 PM, songbird wrote:

Hi Songbird,
But you are the soil expert!
I make up with lack of yield with quantity of plants.
Wife and I both LOVE cherry tomatoes and eat them like candy!
Two years ago, some invisible mite got a lot of folks, but they missed me. :-P (Usually it is the other way around.)
I still have to get a decent yield off a regular tomato plant. Got 5 box car willies last season. Got a nice yield of cherries though for once. (Boy picking cherry tomatoes sure gives you an appreciation of those that do it for a living! The trick is to eat one out of every ten you pick. Keeps you encouraged.)
This season, I think I am going to double my compost. And stock up on chicken poop fertilizer.
The year the greenhouse used chicken poop, their tomatoes made your eyes roll in your head. The year they switched to fish poop from ponds, they were on the bitter side.
-T
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