Three days of sloppy wet snow leading into Christmas. I have had at least a dozen hours of snow, but no accumulation. The prior accumulation is disappearing slowly. Snowing now and I have a quarter inch maybe. Likely to melt off today. We expect a big snowstorm on Saturday and Sunday with maybe a foot of accumulation.
Enough melted off that I added 8 cement blocks to my 4th raised bed yesterday. Next week I will get 8 more. I will certainly have increased vegetable production next spring. Enough for preserving as well as fresh eating. My small fruit trees are still with me.
I potted up 9 pinyon pine seeds because I have had no luck transplanting them due to deep taproots. I put the pot outside for sprouting. As soon as I see them, I will plant them across the windy west side for possible shielding in 40 years or so. I will put them with my Elderberries and see if they work as nurse plants. Hope springs eternal.
Bought three Red D’Anjou pears but only recovered 2 seeds. They have been drying and I will pot them today. They are said to be more cold tolerant than most pears. They are not as grainy as some pears, and very sweet, as well as scented. Because of that scent, I would like to turn some Red D’Anjou into Eau de Vie (water of life). I need a small distiller for that. No hurry, I don’t have a tree, let alone fruit to make wine that can be distilled into Eau de Vie. If not this time, then next. I guess Eau de Vie is a sort of brandy, but it mentions that you might have to dilute it to get it down to 80 proof. Whew! That is 40 percent alcohol for newbies such as myself. I suspect that could light your breath on fire. I planted a Bartlett Pear this fall, which is the base of Williams Eau de Vie. I love their bottle with the whole pear grown inside. I bought it because it was the last lonely one and on sale. Turned out well.
Needless to say, I came home with 3 pounds of (green) D’Anjou pears. Pears come right after Apples on the experimental tour. By the time my fruit trees produce, I may have enough experience making hooch to jump right on it.
I had a nice Red D’Anjou seedling last year but gifted it to a new gardener that I was helping. He even talked his apartment manager into letting him garden a small plot. He is keeping that Red D’Anjou in a pot like an icon and plotting to buy land now. It was worth giving up that little seedling to see that young man let go of apathy and start planning some sort of future.
I potted about 10 Eastern Redbud seeds collected locally. I love Redbud’s early spring beauty, and in Texas heat they give a perfect lacey shade for a flower bed underneath. Compost and mulch if you want flowers under trees!
Redbuds are a good food source, their pea pods are edible when green and when dry, harvest the seeds. I cook them like lentils, but mostly add them to vegetable soups. Redbuds produce a huge crop and are what I call an invisible food source because so few people realize they are edible. It is such a popular tree, it is a shame to waste that serious (free to us) food source what with food prices skyrocketing and so many Redbuds already in place and at full production.
As a side note, my Pineapple Sage has two brilliant scarlet buds on it and is clearly wanting to bloom in my south window. Surprised me it is doing that so soon after I brought it in. It is a 3-4 foot woody shrub instead of a herbaceous perennial, so I did not cut it to the ground. It lost its leaves as expected and is still resprouting, so I figured good luck on blooming for a while. Good luck has arrived. The buds are tiny at the moment, but that is fine too. Pineapple sage is easy to grow from cuttings, either root in water or put them in soil.
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!!!!!