Lord have mercy it is too cold to go outside. 32°F and sharp winds. It seemed warmer when I lived in Alaska, it wasn’t usually windy. At least it is sunny and my solar heaters are functioning today.
Since I am staying inside, I am turning a chicken into hearty canned chicken broth. I call it hearty because I can the chicken with the broth, but skim out all the vegetable and bone residue. I reduce the broth before canning in pint jars, then use these pint jars as a delicious basis for a lot of my soup recipes.
I potted up 7 Jujube seeds that I ordered online. The tree is an Asian import that was cultivated for over 4000 years in the east. I have eaten it both fresh and dried, and like it both ways.
I ordered it because it is cold hardy to -20°F, and likes dry gravelly or stony slopes of hills and mountains. It prefers well drained soils. I have seen these growing here but the only local source I found sells first year seedlings for $45 each and not grafted from named varieties. I ordered seeds online from an individual. Seed grown trees have a deeper taproot than grafted trees and survive harsh conditions better.
This small tree is such a bonus for my Food Forest and Circular Economy, I hope all 7 seeds germinate. They can take up to a year to sprout, patience required. The fruit can be eaten raw or cooked. People in Asia make a fruit tea, vinegar, jam, syrup, and add dried pieces to desserts. It can be dropped into brandy for a new variant on fruit brandy.
The leaves are dried and used in potpourri for good scent, but also scattered as an insect repellant. I would like enough leaves to mulch my vegetable beds.
It’s medicinal uses are well documented, the two that catch my eye are improved liver and immune function.
Now that I am retired, I want to look into medicinal plants more closely and this one looks like a good one to have.
It is advised to avoid this fruit if you are diabetic. High sugar content at the least, but it specifically warns against users of allopathic medicines. Of course, if you have any illness, always check before eating new foods. I am lucky to have a strong constitution, but eat wild foods and drink a wild variety of teas. The broad range of nutrition is a boon.
This tree is thorny and will be part of the barrier hedge for my home perimeter. I ordered it for its other uses, and laughed when I realized it is thorny enough for my barrier hedge. Lucky accidents accepted here. Just realized that barrier trees like these might keep bear and puma out of my yard and keep them uphill. I will plant a barrier around my house fence before I finish the entire frontage.
Food, medicine, insecticide, dry hillside happy, and a good barrier hedge sounds like enough positives to be a fine addition.