Toad's Permaculture

The Texas Association of Nonprofit Organizations is dissolving

It is with a sad day as I have recently found out that the Texas Association of Nonprofit Organizations will be desolving as of December 31, 2020. This decision was made of November 24, 2020.

They put up this long thing stating they will be dissolving, but why? This is strange, but it makes sense. Nonprofits are not doing well, in this pandemic they are falling to the side in a record amount. You can find out Base facts about Texas nonprofits at the link provided but I want to talk a little bit about what that means and what we can do about it…

So first, it is no surprise that volunteering has went down and COVID is sweeping through killing Nonprofits. People aren’t donating and they aren’t volunteering, which is not cool but I wasn’t either.

Even before COVID 19 I wasn’t volunteering. Donating old jackets and shoes at the local shelter does not count. I am talking about real volunteering: picking up trash, being active in the community, or joining a nonprofit.

My volunteer work was simply local with my kids- picking up trash (twice a year and it was usually when we went berry picking and sometimes we find ourselves helping someone out.) I thought doing it once or twice a year was good enough but this really saddens my heart.

The reason TANO shutting down is so difficult is because they were advocates for nonprofits all over the state of Texas and have been for decades.

First, they advocated for nonprofits on a legislative level. They lobbied in order for the voices of nonprofits to be heard during critical laws that passed (which touched not just nonprofits but also regulations in small businesses etc).

They also were a secure education and information source. If you joined they gave you discounts on many things and promoted your nonprofit or sometimes innovative ideas. It was job posting, networking and so much more.

This is a loss to the Texas community. There is No Update and no information. I am very suspicious of this, if you have any information on why they are shutting down can someone let me know. I am finding no information on this, which is weird because it’s a big deal.

Regardless, have a nice day and enjoy these pictures from around.

Project Grow Your Roots: I love Plants

Contributed by Ann Millington

These are her Osteospermums. She took this picture in April. They are so happy in her green house.

These flowers are better known as African Daisies, I had to look it up because I couldn’t pronounce that. I didn’t find any benefit other than looks but it is still a win in my book.

Contributed by Tina Hitchens

She let’s us know this is a pomegranate tree from Granada, Spain. She say the birds love the fruit, which I don’t doubt it is a magnificent tree.

Fun fact I learned from our contributer: the word for pomegranate in Spanish is Granada and has beautiful red flowers.

This gets me excited about my own pomegranate trees. I hate having to wait for things to happen.

Contributed by Alison Maparura

While sharing her plants she said, “2020 – when things go wrong find the little left that gives hope, nurture it and watch it grow. Wishing you, yours and my tradescantia a happy and healthy 2021.” We appreciate the warm wishes and our homestead wishes you the same.

This is also called a Spiderwort. This is a perennial flower and allegedly can be grown in any part of the United States. Western spiderwort is considered an endangered species in Canada.

Native Americans may have used this go relieve stomach problems. I don’t know for sure, I’m not an expert but it’s on the interweb so you can find it yourself if you want more specific information.

Fun fact: the flowers are blue but if they turn pink it is because of radiation levels. These flowers can be used as a bioassay, how you determine potency in a substance, to measure radiation levels. I thought that was a cool cookie.

Contributed by Susan Lowrie

Delphiniums come in lots of colors and are perennials as well. They are not are not for my zone. Only to 7… I am disappointed, but they are cool to learn about. All flowers are toxic to humans and livestock and is also known as Larkspur. These flowers can be used to make a dye.

Project Grow Your Roots: Update

Good day humans, it is I. So I have gotten a lot of responses which I love and with that comes the fun part. So I have been keeping up with these as best as I can, but my plan is to make a video and go over it together on New Years. Hopefully my kids will appreciate the time I put in and my oldest said she’d help, which is always nice.

Now without further ado more pictures of plants from all over:

Contributed by Laura Notobartolo

She calls his her dragon tree because of the dragon figurine. This is how they figure our if they need to water their houseplants, which is brilliant. He has also made flowers which is the best part. I love the dragon figurine ideas, if it sinks the ground needs water. Smart stuff from strangers on the internet.

Contributed by Luna Jade

She grew some pumpkins out of her compost and they seem really happy to be there. This is from her 2019 garden, she’s right: Mother Nature will find a way.

Contributed by Kristel Corter Webbe

Now this lady wanted to show off her pumpkin, she put it in a hammock to support it’s growth and boy did it grow. I am impressed. She says it came out to be a 35 lbs pumpkin. I am impressed and I hope you are too.

We have more on the way as soon as I sort them all out. Have a great day and stay safe.

Project Grow Your Roots: From Indiana

Contributed by Robert Hollis

Mr. Hollis said Merry Christmas with a lovely mammoth sunflower. He is from Indiana.

Now the Mammoth Sunflower grows wild from the Carolinas to Canada and over. It is just everywhere, no wildlife conservation unit is keeping an eye on these giants. They are well loved by all and I say giants because they can grow up to 13 feet tall. That’s right they are huge and that is one of my favorite things about them.

Contributed by Robert Hollis

The Dahlia is the national flower of Mexico, which is fun because that is where the flower is native to: Mexico and Central America. They are Edible and that is awesome. Can’t wait to try one in my salad.

Contributed by Robert Hollis

Project Grow Your Roots 2021: Victorious

Contributed by Jeremy Sledd

This Groot house plant was sent from Bauxite Arkansas and where a father is homeschooling his 2 daughters, ages 11 and 8.

This amazing father got his daughters an African Violet, which is a perennial and have lovely fat leaves that look like hairy green tongues. That is not a scientific description don’t write that down.

Contributed by Jeremy Sledd

He sent us a better picture to show off the leaves and the flower which I appreciate. African Violets do not like extreme temperature changes and come from tropical Africa. So they don’t to be cold either, don’t do that.

African Violets are associated with moms and motherhood. I am sure your mom will love the heartfelt well thought out idea. Regardless, love the plant love the pictures.

Contributed by Nicola Stohr-Machowski
Contributed by Joely Ann Lindsey

This amazing Gem was her first plant and it is looking happy.

Pretty pictures: Amber E

Amber E. Clifton was just convinced by me to start a hobby Facebook page for her amazing pictures. Of course, I provided a link and I look forward to everyone having very pleased eye holes. She did some amazing photography work. 10/10 would buy these in a coffee table book if I was coffee table book rich.

Project Grow Your Roots 2021: Happy Plants

Last night as I was passing out I got a little lazy. My problem is that I got so into speaking to some of these amazing people that I let my posts get a little sloppy and instead of going back and checking each article over (this is a labor of love not money) I just kept going.

I apologize for my negligence, but I was really enjoying this project. I am still on day 1 submissions if that shows you what an amazing response this has all been. Thank you for your overwhelming support and now without further ado…

Contributed by Helen Evans

There was a lovely lady online who rescued Orchids and gives them a place to stay. I admire her work and I love the flowers (have never been able to keep them alive but someone had to be able to in order for them to be such a widely given gift). She let allowed me to share her picture and said:

“This is one of my rescue orchids – I have 3 that I rescued from the rejected section in Asda for just 10p each. No one wanted them because the original flowers had died, but I knew that with a little tlc they would flourish. This was my reward . Shows that with a little care and attention, wonderful things can happen.”

Orchids have over 28,000 accepted species and are members of a huge plant family. They are roughly between 6 and 11% of all seed plants. They are perennial without the woody structure. Not going to lie there is so much information out there, because there are so many that I am getting a little overwhelmed. I’ll have to look back into this when I have more time on my hands. There is so much Information.

Contributed by Yvonne McLeod

These are her favorite roses! She loves them and takes great care of them. Look at all of those amazing blooms. I am impressed.

This was a mini rose that she bought from the grocery store. Now it’s “3ft tall and gets more beautiful every year!” I love her enthusiasm for her roses.

There is a lot of Information about Roses and I’ll have to do something about them later.

Contributed by Francine Holland

“This was a tiny plant in a small basket 12 years ago. It loves its spot by the window,” she says about her house plant as we see how excited it is about the fresh light.

Thank you for this beauty. These plants always make me feel like I am in a jungle. I love it when people share the pictures in my many plant groups.

Contributed by Catherine Gurney

This plant has grown over the years but it comes with a fun story:

My husband saw this as he was queuing in B&Q. It was £1 (and only a couple of feet high). He could sense that the lady behind him was staring at it too so he picked it up. It makes us smile to think it is doing so well in our house!

We are so glad you bought it all those years ago. Look how it’s grown from a baby in a tiny pot. We are lucky to see your amazing plant. We’ll call it a love-love tree as it is a symbol of you and your husband’s love.

Contributed by Annie Joseph

What she loves about this Succulent Ghost Plant is that “it grows with very little care” and “overflows from a tiny 2 inch pot looking beautiful”. It really seems to be happy and at home with you.

These babies are native to Mexico and their appearance depends on soil and exposure. The Succulent Ghost Plant is a common succulent that has been mass sold at the store. They do not like lots of water but love the full sun to part shade.

Project Grow Your Roots 2021: Beautiful Flowers

Contributed by Jody Foster

She wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and reminds us that Jesus Lives. These are her beautiful hibiscus. I love the cottage core feel to this picture.

Contributed by Leanne Toohey

The Brittlebush is a desert native plant. This picture was taken in the Mohave Desert in Oatman, Arizona. They are frost sensitive and drought tolerant.

Did you know they are a relative of the sunflower? I thought that was pretty cool.

Contributed by Michelle Hartman

She has so many lovely coneflower growing in her garden. I am so envious. I bet her coneflower brings all of the butterflies and bees to her yard.

She has paired us with two of her favorite living beings. Here is what she told us:

I got this wonderful, photobombing, dog in 2020. Bristol is the farm dog I’ve always wanted and with her I don’t feel scared on my own anymore.
Pictured with some of my favorite prairie flowers. Pink Sensation Coneflower (echinacea).

I just want to continue to thank everyone for their overwhelming support so far. I appreciate you all so much. Until next time 💚

Project Grow Your Roots 2021: A Story of Love

This amazing lady Allana Greuel shared something I am honored to share. Here is what she said:

My Heartleaf Philodendron. Although so common, this plant is priceless in my eyes. My dad had passed away in a freak accident this past June; and this was a tiny starter plant in an arrangement a family friend had gifted me. Of course I have my many peace lilies, but something about the heart-shaped leaves really draw me to it. My dad was my best friend for 19 years, so when I look at my philodendron and see new growth I feel that he still lives! I believe the spirit lives forever, but this plant keeps me connected physically. The hearts remind me that his love is never ending regardless of our physical existence. Sorry if this wasn’t exactly the answer you were looking for. I know it’s mainly from Central America! Although what happened is not a “nice” thing. This was what got me to notice plants and actually enjoy the varieties, so I guess you could say I found a hobby in something horrible. That’s nice to me I guess.

Contributed by Allana Greuel

That is absolutely beautiful. This plant is definitely your father telling you he is happy and safe and feeling amazing. The plant is amazing too.

Heartleaf Philpdendron is an indoor house plant around these parts and it does originate from South America. It can trail out up to 4 feet.

This is a beautiful plant with a beautiful story.

Project Grow Your Roots 2021: Plant Sharing

Contributed by Janessa Stewart and the picture was taken on the American River Parkway

This is a Dwarf Lupine and it grows along the river and through the hills of the Sacramento Valley. This is hardy in zones 4 to 9 and is a perennial. I am kind of excited because that means that I can plant them as well. That is really exciting news.

Contributed by Maddie Marks

Sharing a Monstera and a lovely story. This is her very first ever plant and it was given to her by her best friend when she moved back to California. This plant also has a name: Sage.

Fun Fact: This is also called the Swiss cheese plant

Contributed by Jaclynn Aylen

Hailing all the way from Ontario, Canada: Vera the aloe vera. She is a proud mother of two pups. Their names are undisclosed as they are minors. It’s for their protection and Safety.

I love aloe vera plants. I actually have quite a few that I hope survive.

Contributed by Rhonda Gibbens

Project Grow Your Roots 2021: Fun and Short Additions

Contributed by L. McKnight

All the way from Oregon, Groot wants you to know he is proud of you.

Contributed by Adrienne Westbrook

This is a weeks worth of growth on a Sunflower she planted with her daughter. I love the way she made the pictures come together in this photo. I love the family bonding in Indiana. Enjoy raising those Sunflowers.

These bad boys are the state flower of Kansas. They can grow in medium light and in clay soil. I’ll keep that in mind when I am planting. Birds love Sunflower for their seeds and who can blame them really?

But the most amazing thing is the amount of uses:

  • Poultice from the flowers for burns
  • Crushed root to draw out a blister
  • Leaf tea for high fevers

Also, one last bit a little bit of folklore: some places believe that planting sunflowers can ward off malaria.

Contributed by Colleen Esc

Started from leaf cuttings these Violets have grown to be lovely. So lovely she plans on spreading the love this season. I am sure that everyone will be thrilled, I know that I would.

Many are perennial but some are annual and very few are shrubs. The viola category has around 600 species which is amazing and a little overwhelming, but the flower is edible and can be used to add color to salads. If you needed a reason to plant this beautiful flower.

There are so many absolutely amazing people out there. As the pictures flow in I just keep becoming more excited about the outcome. Keep your eyes out for more plants that people are excited about.

Coleman Park: Mean Old Geese

Coleman Park is one of my favorite places to kill time. Here they have a waterfall, five acre pond and so many other things things. My favorite is the walking track that could keep you busy all day.

Lately, coming here has really made me want some mean old territorial geese. The park had to get them to protect their ducks.

It also made me want to get ducks. I enjoy ducks and they’re not vicious like geese are.

Enjoy the geese and have a great day

Project Grow Your Roots 2021: Tonasket, Washington

Another lover of plants like myself is out there living the dream. She has sent us pictures of three different plants that are amazing and I can’t wait to look into and mention some cool facts about these amazing plants.

Contributed by Lisa Swinson

First, we have our Thanksgiving Cactus which is native to Brazil. These are primarily house plants. They are known by many names and there are only around 6 to 9 species of this genus. I found that to be very cool.

Contributed by Lisa Swinson

First thing that drew me into this picture was the amounts of snow. I could not imagine or survive such a large amount.

Amazingly, the Douglas Fir can. This tree has a hardiness of zones 4 to 6 and is number one in the lumber industry. If you couldn’t see this tree is an evergreen and absolutely amazing looking in all types of weather, but it really seems as though this tree enjoys the freezing temperatures.

Contributed by Lisa Swinson

This lovely cactus is unknown for now, if you have the answer comment below and I’ll update it. This was an anniversary cactus so we will call it a love cactus or a cactus of love. This commemorates 5 years of marriage and 2 beautiful children.

Greetings from Tonasket, Washington.

Project Grow Your Roots 2021: Pencil Cactus

So I was sitting here thinking about all of the cool things I could do for the New Year that didn’t require money or leaving the house. So I sent out an SOS in a lot of my cooler groups and requested plant pictures. Here is the beginning to my new adventure

This is a pencil cactus. She contributed this because she informed me her love for the Pencil Cactus but let me know that the sap is considered a neurotoxin. This plant can be dangerous if ingested so we have to be careful.

Contributed by Crystal Yeakley

This intrigued me and so I dug a little deeper. This plant produces a poisonous latex that can cause blindness. That does not sound fun but the pictures are absolutely beautiful. The sap is milky, toxic and corrosive.

The blindness is said to be temporary and if exposed to the skin it can cause redness and irritation and burn the skin.

It is native to India and Africa and can be grown in sub tropical areas and greenhouses. I found some Online Tips to help you if you are interested in this lovely and very hard core plant. Definitely deer resistant and just cool to have around.

I think it’s pretty metal that people keep these as house plants. This is a gold star first submission on my mission to keep my kids awake until midnight with cool information and facts that I collected from all over the world.

Beneficial Grants: Texas Monarch Butterfly Grant

I live in Texas. Howdy.

I was looking into things that could boost my permaculture food forest without costing me any money. As I was looking through the many grants. It all started with the Monarch Butterfly Grant.

This is a very small personal grant that cannot exceed past 400 per person/group. This grant can only be used to purchase plants (which is all I want- free plant money). So there are some rules to this particular grant that go further than that: they have to be native to Texas. I want Butterflies

As I wait for winter to be over I plan. My close friend LD always has a beautiful yard and I want to shine too. This has inspired me to look for money to supply my hobbies.

Challenge accepted.

I want all four hundred of those dollars so that I can expand my already amazing dream permaculture food forest. So I looked into it.

Agarita is one of the native plants. I hadn’t thought about this plant before -primarily because I was so narrow minded on the idea of a permaculture food forest- but I love that we have so many milkweed plants in my pasture because it attracts the butterflies.

That’s also how I happened upon this grant because I decided I wanted to start a butterfly garden to attract even more. The agarita has the nectar that the butterflies crave. If I have this lovely blossoming flower it will give the mom butterflies plenty of food – these plants also are great for other pollinators like bees. Keep that in mind.

It is a shrub that is pointy. I like pointy shrubs because they make good barriers to keep animals away from my property. Sold. They are an evergreen, drought tolerant and they also produce tasty berries (and makes delicious jelly). Sounds like a win-win-win to me.

These are my end game goals guys. I want to be on this list.

Flame acanthus also known as the hummingbird bush. This is absolutely beautiful and another shrub. This is considered a ‘profuse’ bloomer. It allegedly is a huge bloomer and that is exciting because it attracts not just monarch butterflies but also hummingbirds and bees. (It’s also a deer resistant and drought tolerant)

Kidneywood is so beautiful. I had no idea, they are allegedly really fragrant and attract bees and butterflies. They have many branches and they can get up to be 12 feet tall. That is amazing because it is also drought tolerant and can survive cold and heat. (Clay soil is acceptable here). I am digging it. Sounds like it will be a great place for butterflies to settle in and eat some nectar.

Cone Flower is something we already have but would love to have it planted everywhere. Who knew that it was a native Texas plant? Now I know and you do too. This is a perennial and has beneficial properties which I will probably go over at a later time. They bloom from April until September so this will give my early pollinators a snack before the rest bloom in May or June.

The application is online and the application and process seems very easy.

They say purple cone flower can be aggressive- I sure hope so. So keep that in mind.

Cenizo is just a cool name to have. If I get another pet (fingers crossed I don’t but if I do) I am going to name it Cenizo. Regardless, it is made for our zone. It flowers and can take the heat but it does need to be watered. They can get to be up to 8 feet tall. Sounds live privacy fence material to me.

Cenizo goes by another name Texas Sage. Amazingly enough I already have a couple growing. I had no idea. Also this plant does not appreciate heavy pruning- I’ll have to keep that in mind.

The fragrant or pink mimosa is another thorny shrub great for deer resistance and a nice barrier around my property (I hear it smells good too). Another early bloomer but it ends earlier too (March to July). The flowers are lovely and I would love to add them to my butterfly garden (or barrier I haven’t decided). Here is even more Information.

They will check up on us and I can’t wait. This adventure will be really exciting. I can’t wait to start.

Texas Lantana is something I already have growing and they are amazing. I kind of want more of them because they make a beautiful groundcover. All parts of this plant are poisonous and it is considered deer resistant.

Lantanas are perennial shrubs that can grow 2 to 4 foot tall. Wow, they just don’t seem to be scrubbing out for me. They’re just creeping across the ground. That is strange maybe next year they will perk up, regardless I would love to have more. One more link: Texas Lantana. Just in case you’re considering it. It is really beautiful.

Last but not least is Salvia texana and I want this one. If I got that grant I would definitely get this plant. This is a perennial herb and it grows to be up to 2 feet tall. It is drought tolerant and does well in clay or rocky soil (bonus i won’t need to modify the soil I have). Salvias are a perennial flower and have more than 75 species including autumn sage. That is something we already have in honor of my eldest child: Autumn Sage. This is a rabbit hole I’ll have to go down another time, but every new flower or sage that I have gets me more excited.

I have murdered lavender every single year I’ve tried it but look at her growing it like it’s nothing. I am so jealous of her naturally green thumb.

I will, of course, get more milkweed but that will place where where I want them primarily and have a large area in the middle of the garden. That sounds absolutely beautiful.

Can’t wait and I hope I get it, but I already have some of these plants. The milkweed does grow naturally and I want to entice Monarch butterflies. I want them to pollinate all of my fruit trees and attract all of the bees. I understand the importance of planting native plants and I can’t wait to get started.

I will share more grants as I come across more information.

Ginger in Pots

I just began growing a sprouted ginger in a pot yesterday. This morning I was scrolling through my Facebook groups and there it was: a sign from the universe.

STORY TIME: We had this green shoot come off a piece of ginger I had lost in the back of my spices. I hate forgetting but sometimes, I just buy more. This time it came with a prize: a little baby green shoot. I thought, oh no, it’s winter and you can’t plant new plants outside – so I just potted it and put a little bit of hope into it. I said a lot of beautiful things to it in hopes it would inspire the ginger to grow like crazy.

Photo credit to Ronel Bey

Then the universe gifted me with the answer to the question: can you grow ginger in a pot? I had wondered when I potted the ginger, but I didn’t feel the need to research because this was the baby sprouts only chance.It was magic everyone, I just potted this yesterday and now I was seeing it in a Facebook group. Is this what fate feels like? I am so excited.

They posted the answer with easy to go to links. I followed those links because I just tried this yesterday.

Epic Gardening informed me that if you look for ginger at the store (to grow) you should look for eyes like you do potatoes. Also, the larger your ginger is determines how much we’ll get. Ginger grows faster and you’ll get more ginger when you pick larger pieces of ginger. This is because they’ll have more sprouts and that will lead to more shoots and more roots.

Ronel Bey is so amazing he has all of this ginger. I am impressed. I want to grow ginger now too.

He says that you need a shallow pot with good drainage. Now that I am seeing what he is doing: maybe I’ll repot mine. He says I should just barely cover it up. I will have to pull my ginger closer to the surface, and I should just give them enough water to tell them to grow but be sure not to over water the ginger.

They enjoy heat, humidity and water. He gave use some tips to look for as our ginger grows, which i found helpful you might too: Browning tips means your ginger needs water. Yellow leaves means your, nutrient loving, plant needs some nutrients. Give them the fertilizer they will thank you for it later.

Ginger can always produce new ginger was pretty cool too. You harvest at the end and they can be dry stored for a while. I like that because I enjoy using ginger in my cooking but sometimes I don’t have a recipe to require it.

My shoot of ginger that I am so pleased with

You should always look for multiple sources… So, I went and clicked a suggested video. 5 ways to get tons of ginger (Top Tips) is where I am going, he’s Australian which is appealing because I love the accent. That distracted me for the entire video and I can’t wait to try growing them outside next year.

It was not useful for containers, but it will probably be useful in the Spring. I can’t wait to get it started and he has such a lovely accent. His tips have also helped me before which made it a lot easier for me to consider his advice.

I love international channels because they place importance on different things. This YouTube channel Everyday simple health tips has a lot of useful information and this is specifically about growing ginger in containers.

Another Ronel Bey picture, I do not have my own pictures of a successful harvest yet so I must live through others.

He suggests that I dry my ginger out 10 to 20 hours before planting, which is good because my ginger was super dry. It probably was out longer than 20 hours, but we’ll see how it goes.

He also shows himself planting it not far from the top of the soil. I really love it when multiple sources use the same information, it shows that it is a common tip and will most likely be beneficial.

We should see a sprout in 10 to 15 days. After 6 months we should be ready to harvest the ginger. I like the time line in the video so that I know when to give up on this plant. The easier for me to understand the more likely I am to return.

We are going to see how this adventure works out. I will do more research and find out what I can, but I am excited to have a baby ginger sprout.

It is now snug as a bug in a rug only a few inches from the top of the soil.

Window Shopping

I woke up this morning dreaming of buying trees…. Most people want fancy homes and large vehicles but not this lady. No sire, I want all the trees and all the plants. Being a broke lady, who has already spend well over a thousand dollars with these people, I can tell you they have quality.

This is where I learned there are countless disease resistant breeds that are available in my zone including many variety not available at my local nurseries

If you’re anything like me when you are broke you scroll through nursery pages, websites and other plant sellers (maybe a Facebook group with a bunch of Indian people from India- I dunno what you are doing, only what I am. -dragonfruit groups I am pointing to you)

So while I do this I wrote a song- this is why I am not a singer. If you’re truly a plant lover like I am… you’ll understand and possibly sing along.

Earlier I had been listening to Only God Knows Why by Kidd Rock and then this happened… You’re welcome.

I am just sitting scrolling through these trees,
I want a couple bushes too,
And some healthy seeds.
I have too many plants,
That dont produce me food,
I know it takes some years,
That was not meant to be rude…

I’m just making this up as I go. I can’t help myself. A little background is that I bought a lot of things from them that I can’t get from my local vendors- or I couldn’t get them immediately like I wanted.

I like browsing here as well. They have this lady that will tell you when you made an idiotic purchase and what works best. She’s a real expert. I would love to enjoy her company for hours and just take in the information.

You ever done that? I leave my phone number at every nursery. If there is a nursery within 45 miles of my house- I have been there or I am planning to go there. If I have went there they have my phone number. (I prefer shop locally but some things you can’t get locally- for example white blackberries)

What I tell local nurseries: If you have fruit producing trees or bushes – let me know. I will be there as soon as I can. I will make the extra funds. I have literally sold a piece of furniture to get a tree that was hard to find locally being sold locally. I’ll trade too- I have traded clippings for clippings.

They sometimes post videos, I kind of stalk their page now that I know all of the cool stuff they have

I know that sounds crazy, but I love the idea of having perennial fruit forest. I want a diversity and I buy plants from everywhere, but I prefer to buy locally. I just want to keep expanding out and window shopping online gives me a better idea of what I am looking for on the future.

I boredly go from looking at my viking aronia (that I purchased from Stark Brothers) to thinking about pink lady apple trees (that I find online)… like yum you look like you could produce fruit in 2 to 5 years. I scroll stark bros primarily because I have the fewest issues with their site and they have always sent w amazing plants. I cannot say the same to all pages.

Local nurseries that are the bomb: Red River Landscaping, Yard By Yard (owned by an older man and he is amazing), Steve’s Nursery and, of course, Stark Brothers (which is not local but has an easy to use website that helps people like me browse without getting stopped by bad links) where I do the majorty of my window shopping.

Morning Glory folklore

I know, I haven’t been participating but being an adult is hard. I’ve been busy doing fun things like looking up facts about morning glories.

Did you know that Morning Glories are seen as a symbol of unrequited love? Also, the morality of life- which makes no sense because the morning glory is invasive.

Originating in South America and moved in everywhere. They are amazing flowers but we are not here to talk about their origins, we’re here to talk about their meaning and some cool stories.

That’s right boys and girls, the morning glory has many meanings from many cultures. I am just going to go over a few, remember I just went down a rabbit hole and thought that other people might find this information equally distracting. So, you’re welcome.

First let me start by saying: always look this stuff up on your own if you want more information on a topic. I am not an expert on flower folklore but I welcome the information.

Let’s start with: Restricted love is one of the meanings. That’s right, give someone some morning glories if you want them to know you want to set some boundaries. Slowing down or descalating a situation.

This comes from a Chinese story about two lovers who were in love-love with each other. Their passion for one another grew until they neglected everything else in their lives. They became gross, like wouldn’t clean up after themselves or maintain their daily responsibilities, and the Gods did not approve. It was a bad decision on their part because the Gods were really invested in this one couple. Upset by their decision to be nasty slobs, they cursed them to only be able to meet once a year, because that’s what God’s did back in the day.

In Victorian literature it was placed on graves to symbolize a never ending love. Something that could never die even when one of them was gone or if they’re alive it can mean that their love isn’t returned. I mean, I suppose it aligns with the whole: setting boundaries theme we have going here.

Early Christians saw them as a symbol for morality because they bloom in the morning and the blooms wither do quickly. This is where morality comes into play and that is kind of fun. I did not realize at the beginning and now I pull my previous statement for a mutual understanding of the symbolism. I am educated.

I first started these bad boys in September. I thought long and hard about their growth and how they were doing and we decided that we should plant them. It’s cool that I found of their meaning even if it was after planting them.

We knew that if we planted them in early October- since we live in zone 8a- and we don’t usually see winter until the end of December.

The buttons did not survive- our cats are merciless and were very attracted to the leaves that the bachelor’s buttons produced. Regardless, we planted the morning glories in hopes they would have time to flower (which they did) and hopefully reproduce.

We want them all over the front of our new trellis system. (We are still building it, but we are getting there update soon) it’s going to be amazing as soon as we get all of the concrete we need.

They grew up to have beautiful full leaves and I am kind of excited. I had no idea that Morning Glories had pokey pieces though- that was something I learned after it began to vine out.

I can’t wait to see what they look like in the spring. Until next time…

Spiny Orb Weaver Spider and the green splat

How fun are spiders? One of my favorite spiders has to be the Spiny Orb Weaver Spider. It is beautiful and have some cool facts about them that you probably didn’t know.

Now the first thing you should know about spiny is that they don’t live very long. Their life cycles only reach to the end of reproduction.

Females die after releasing a large mass of eggs and males die after fertilizing them.

That’s right they are willing to die to continue the species. Below is the bright example of a Spiny Orb Weaver spider egg sac.

These spiders are harmless. Their only crime would be annoying placement of their webs. They enjoy living in gardens and other larger areas. Each egg sac can have over two hundred new babies waiting to leap out into the world.

They enjoy woody areas, shrubs, and bushes or corners of the home, doorways and patios.

They are another example of a good spider. Sure, if over populating they can do damage to your plants but they eat insects that could potentially do more damage. It’s up to you to weigh your pros and cons.

Frankly, Spiny Orb Weaver spiders are nice to have around if you can stomach their rough exterior. The eggs hatch between 10 to 13 days.

Fun fact: females live alone but there can be up to three males on a single web.

Please note these spiders do not want to be in your house. They love the outdoors. If you see one try not to kill it, they don’t want to be there anymore than you want them there. Safely relocate the spider because they are harmless, beneficial spiders that you probably didn’t notice until now.

Sometimes the answers are staring you straight in the fact and sometimes they are not.

Always research multiple sources before you come to a conclusion and never take an opinion or blog as a fact without further research.

Holidays: Ribbons in trees

Good day, I am sure you are craving a post this holiday because I haven’t been posting as much. Who knew all of this was so much work? I suppose all of the people who told me it was a lot of work. There were a lot of them and right now it’s a labor of love.

This year has been exciting for us and we are happy for the evolution of our family from five to nine. So in honor of the blessings we have been given this year and in all that we gained just by being together we decided to begin a new tradition.

So, this year we tied our wishes and hopes and gratitude to the trees. We are excited about our fruit trees and our berry bushes. We can’t wait to see how this impacts the area not just what we see but also the wildlife it attracts to our humble plot of land.

I know what you’re thinking: where do they get these crazy ideas from?

Wishing Trees are a cool tradition that date back in multiple cultures and civilizations. They have been known as many things but the easiest thing to remember is that you tie something to a tree. This could be fabric, beads, string, yarn or ribbons. Really anything goes but since our trees are young: we stuck to fabric.

We wanted to incorporate something unique that other people in our area weren’t doing into our homestead. I saw the tradition last year and I thought: how neat. I didn’t see it locally- I saw it scrolling through Facebook.

Once we figured out an idea of what we wanted: I just had to incorporate my own spin so I did a little bit of research on the topic and found out that this (like many other things) can be found in all kinds of cultures and in many different forms.

Rich Traditions like this one come from Native Americans, Japanese, Celtic, Scottish and so many others. Each culture has their own spin on the Wishing tree, but let’s be honest I want a bunch of wishing trees. I want a wishing orchard. Some are by fairy wells while others are traditions of tying corn leaves or other parts to trees for a good harvest.

You should know: I am not Scottish or Native American. I would call myself more of a mutt and that is why I want to make it my own so badly.

I think that it turned out well. Remember last year this was all pasture. Now we have over 30 trees. I feel like next year we’ll need more fabric, but I am pleased with the turn out.

Do you do something different? I genuinely want to know.

December 2019