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 Post subject: Re: Gardening
PostPosted: Tue 04 Sep , 2012 3:06 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
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We bought non-GMO seeds. I can't remember the source now, but I could ask my husband. We ordered them online. We did that because it was our understanding that the seeds you can buy at the stores are very likely to be GMO.


Ah, I see. There are some websites that dislike Monsanto and seem to claim that their seeds are all GMO. I remember looking into this once, being rather skeptical of hype. Ferry Morse (one of the common store varieties) even had a statement on their website saying that their home garden seeds are not GMO and never had been. It made sense to me, given what I know of GMO. Also, the varieties I've seen on store packet labels seemed like pretty common hybrids to me.

I never could figure out whether this was deliberate misinformation, or just a mistake. I can see how "don't buy seeds from any company affiliated with Monsanto," (in other words, don't support them by adding to their profits) got mutated into "don't buy their seeds because they're all GMO!"



Anyone know what to do with grapes, besides eat them fresh? We have a big crop of grapes this year, from just 3 bushes (no, not enough to make wine ;) ). The red ones are gone, but we still have lots of the white seedless. Well, technically, they're supposed to be seedless, but some have a single seed.

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 Post subject: Re: Gardening
PostPosted: Tue 04 Sep , 2012 3:49 pm 
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Grape jelly?

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 Post subject: Re: Gardening
PostPosted: Tue 11 Sep , 2012 2:21 am 
The Grey Amaretto as Supermega-awesome Proud Heretic Girl
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I got to visit with family yesterday. My great-uncle and aunt came up from Alabama and other family came in from around Ohio. Anyway, my great-uncle gave us some okra seeds that are descendants of plants from his great-grandpa, so that's 6th generation. ?? (7th if you count Katie and Sarah.) Anyway, I just thought that was so cool! And we have garlic that is this old, too.

(It was cool, too, to get confirmation from him that two ladies in pictures I have are full-blooded Native Americans. They are both great-great grandmas of mine, and he showed me which one was Cherokee and which one was Chickasaw. :cool: )

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 Post subject: Re: Gardening
PostPosted: Tue 25 Sep , 2012 10:57 pm 
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The French cook chicken in casseroles packed with grapes. Just a thought.

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 Post subject: Re: Gardening
PostPosted: Fri 28 Sep , 2012 3:06 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
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Thanks, Tosh, that sounds interesting - I might just try it. Though I may have trouble with the single seeds in some of our "seedless" grapes.


Jude, I thought about jelly, but we really don't go through enough of it to justify the bother. Raspberry jam is the only thing I use much, and that's because I cook with it, too.

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The building of castles in sand, of queens in snow,
That we cannot make any corner in life or in life's beauty,
That no river is a river which does not flow.

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 Post subject: Re: Gardening
PostPosted: Sat 29 Sep , 2012 12:09 am 
The Grey Amaretto as Supermega-awesome Proud Heretic Girl
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What do you cook with raspberry jam?

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 Post subject: Re: Gardening
PostPosted: Mon 01 Oct , 2012 12:49 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
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I use most of it in baking - cookies with raspberry jam on top, sweet bread baked with raspberry jam and cream cheese etc. And there are a few other recipes where a tablespoon of raspberry jam goes well. For instance, I have a sauteed chicken recipe, with a pan sauce made with onions, raspberries or blackberries, a couple of tablespoons of raspberry jam, a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, and a little heavy cream.

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It is this we learn after so many failures,
The building of castles in sand, of queens in snow,
That we cannot make any corner in life or in life's beauty,
That no river is a river which does not flow.

- Louis MacNeice, Autumn Journal


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 Post subject: Re: Gardening
PostPosted: Mon 01 Oct , 2012 2:31 pm 
The Grey Amaretto as Supermega-awesome Proud Heretic Girl
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Mmmmm! Those all sound good, and I'm especially intrigued by the sauteed chicken recipe. I will have to try that!

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 Post subject: Re: Gardening
PostPosted: Tue 02 Oct , 2012 1:28 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
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Lali, here are the official proportions. The recipe is from a book called New England Innkeeper's Cookbook. They're things they serve to their guests (mostly at bed and breakfast type places), and most are quick and easy.

Blackberry/Raspberry Chicken
Melt 2 tbsp butter, and saute 4 chicken breasts in it for about 10 minutes. Add 1/4 cup chopped onion, and cook until chicken is done, about 5-10 minutes longer. Remove chicken and keep warm. Add 3 tbsp raspberry jelly, 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar and 1/2 cup blackberries or raspberries (fresh or frozen) to the skillet and stir, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the skillet. Boil approx. 1 minute to reduce the liquid slightly. Add 1/4 cup heavy cream to sauce, heat and serve over the chicken.

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It is this we learn after so many failures,
The building of castles in sand, of queens in snow,
That we cannot make any corner in life or in life's beauty,
That no river is a river which does not flow.

- Louis MacNeice, Autumn Journal


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 Post subject: Re: Gardening
PostPosted: Tue 02 Oct , 2012 2:04 pm 
The Grey Amaretto as Supermega-awesome Proud Heretic Girl
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Thanks! That really does sound delicious!

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 Post subject: Re: Gardening
PostPosted: Fri 05 Oct , 2012 1:11 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
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Speaking of delicious, chicken cooked with grapes is good. I tried a baked version (chicken surrounded by grapes tossed with olive oil, fresh thyme and shallots). I might try a sauteed chicken and grape recipe next time.

Thanks again for the suggestion, Tosh


Does anyone know if sugar pumpkins are worth cooking with, if they finished ripening off the plant? I had some volunteer sugar pumpkins that grew from the compost. The first few ripened before the squash vine borers got the plant. I picked the last few mostly green to save them. They turned orange afterward, but not the same deep orange as the others.

I have my doubts that they're much use, except as fall porch decorations.

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It is this we learn after so many failures,
The building of castles in sand, of queens in snow,
That we cannot make any corner in life or in life's beauty,
That no river is a river which does not flow.

- Louis MacNeice, Autumn Journal


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 Post subject: Re: Gardening
PostPosted: Mon 19 Nov , 2012 10:12 pm 
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I've brought my rosemary plant inside for the winter. I've never yet succeeded in keeping rosemary alive for an entire winter. Do you think I can this year?

It's right by the window and near a baseboard heater. How often should I water it?

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 Post subject: Re: Gardening
PostPosted: Tue 20 Nov , 2012 10:08 am 
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It never gets cold enough here to worry about such things. I have a whole feral plantation on the side of the house.

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 Post subject: Re: Gardening
PostPosted: Tue 20 Nov , 2012 1:50 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
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Jude wrote:
I've brought my rosemary plant inside for the winter. I've never yet succeeded in keeping rosemary alive for an entire winter. Do you think I can this year?

It's right by the window and near a baseboard heater. How often should I water it?




Until it dies. ;)

Seriously, I don't think rosemary (like lavender) does well inside. It does like to be on the dry side, though, so I would water it very little. Might also consider keeping it in a cool but bright place, so it survives but isn't stimulated to grow. That's how I tend to deal with touchy plants I bring inside, like my bougainvillea.
I still have a few plants die, but the death toll is nowhere near what it was for the same plants kept warm.

When you get back to your house, you could try growing a cold-resistant variety right next to the house, and covering it with something that approximated a cold frame, in the winter. In my climate, I can grow cold-hardy rosemary beside a brick wall in a sheltered spot (without anything over it), but out in the open it inevitably dies in winter.

btw, did your citrus tree recover? My potted Lisbon lemon is still doing well and producing lemons every year, where I couldn't get any Meyer lemon plant to survive. I've heard other people say the same thing. So if you run across a cheap Lisbon lemon plant (mine was tiny and very cheap at a local plant shop), you might try it.

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It is this we learn after so many failures,
The building of castles in sand, of queens in snow,
That we cannot make any corner in life or in life's beauty,
That no river is a river which does not flow.

- Louis MacNeice, Autumn Journal


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 Post subject: Re: Gardening
PostPosted: Fri 07 Jun , 2013 1:54 pm 
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(answering question from 7 months ago :oops: ) No, my orange tree is long gone - since even before I moved to Montreal. You have a good memory! :D

I've had bad luck this spring - everything I planted seems to not be doing well. I'm not sure whether there was something wrong with the 2 bags of soil I bought (identical brand, same store) or because it's been so cold and rainy. I planted fresh rosemary, and already it looks like it's not going to make it. Even my chives, which normally even survive winters, are not looking healthy. The plants I haven't gotten around to transplanting yet seem fine, which leads me to suspect the soil rather than the weather.

Wish me luck this weekend!

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 Post subject: Re: Gardening
PostPosted: Mon 10 Jun , 2013 6:37 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
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How was your planting weekend, Jude?

I ran across something a bit bizarre this weekend, and thought it might be useful to know, as far as seed labeling.

http://ezfromseed.org/files/2012-spring-press.pdf
(Or the html version: Google cache for the page here

Apparently, the USDA uses the term "GMO" for ANY "modified" plant, including those produced by traditional plant breeding. (like crossing two different varieties of roses to make a different color, or selecting and breeding from plants that, by chance, have a trait you like, like bigger fruit). They use the term "GE (genetically engineered)" for the plants that are produced by artificially taking a gene and inserting it into an organism. (for instance, putting the gene for Roundup resistance into corn).

So by their definition, ordinary hybrid vegetables could be considered "GMO" (even though most media reports and seed catalogs use the term GMO for the artificially produced plants.)

Way to spread confusion....
(and no wonder some people are confused about companies selling GE seeds to home gardeners!)

Anyway, the page also has definitions of pelleted, heirloom, hybrid, open pollinated, organic, etc. Nothing surprising in there for anyone who's gardened for years, but it might be useful to some people.

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It is this we learn after so many failures,
The building of castles in sand, of queens in snow,
That we cannot make any corner in life or in life's beauty,
That no river is a river which does not flow.

- Louis MacNeice, Autumn Journal


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 Post subject: Re: Gardening
PostPosted: Mon 10 Jun , 2013 7:10 pm 
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For that matter, what is "artificial" as opposed to "natural"? Is planting crops rather than gathering them natural or artificial? At what stage in human development does a technology become "artificial"?

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 Post subject: Re: Gardening
PostPosted: Mon 10 Jun , 2013 11:32 pm 

Joined: Fri 10 Aug , 2012 4:42 pm
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I'm not sure if there's ever a 100% satisfactory line between "natural" and "artificial." In the case of plant selection and hybridization, I'd probably define "natural" as something that could theoretically happen without human intervention, even if we helped it along. Though I'm sure that's got some holes in it, it's about the best I can think of at the moment.

(Not a value judgment, though - personally, I don't condemn something just because it's produced by genetic engineering. What I want to know is the details. In other words, what gene is being moved, and what are the potential consequences to society (financial, ethical, etc.)? What happens if it gets into other plants? etc.)


I don't like the USDA definition of "GMO" because it's so all-encompassing and, for that reason, seems pretty useless. Under that definition, you could consider every single plant in my garden, except the weeds, as GMO. Including the alba roses (rather ancient varieties, but someone in the distant past hybridized them), and the peppers, which I collect seeds from in the fall and and replant the next year (after all, I'm selecting seeds from the plants that grew best and produced the nicest peppers).

And who knows - I may even be selecting for some trait in the weeds by selectively pulling them out. :neutral:

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It is this we learn after so many failures,
The building of castles in sand, of queens in snow,
That we cannot make any corner in life or in life's beauty,
That no river is a river which does not flow.

- Louis MacNeice, Autumn Journal


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 Post subject: Re: Gardening
PostPosted: Sun 14 Jul , 2013 9:19 pm 
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Does anyone know a way to discourage spiders from weaving webs and attaching them to my plants?

I keep removing them, but the spiders are not getting the message.

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 Post subject: Re: Gardening
PostPosted: Mon 15 Jul , 2013 2:58 am 
The Grey Amaretto as Supermega-awesome Proud Heretic Girl
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Unless you can find a predator to eat them, I can't think of any way. Sorry!

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