September 22, 2013

peach tree gummosis

2013.09_peach tree gummosis
Our peach tree got gummosis bad, up and down the whole trunk. I've never seen globs this big. It makes be realize how the amber-preserved mosquitoes from Jurassic Park could really happen.

Gummosis is just the descriptive symptom. Sifting through the internats, it is most likely the tree's reaction to holes drilled by an insect, peach tree borer, or to a fungus, cytospora canker.

I read that some dwarf fruit trees get gummosis as a matter of course, when watered heavily. Ours is a semi-dwarf, but this happened after Colorado's week of record-setting rains (we fortunately didn't get any flooding or hail, but some nearby farms got pretty devastated by hail).

Peach tree borer seems unlikely since they usually burrow below the soil/mulch surface. If it is the canker, that's bad, since you're supposed to remove infected areas and the whole trunk is infected. I'm hoping the tree will pull through. I'm continuing to give it plenty of water.

camelia sinensis blossoms

2013.09_blooming tea plant
Our tea plant blossomed today. It, and the lime tree we got in the spring, seem to be doing fairly well. I've had them on the shady north side of the garage, tucked between irises and alliums. They stay pretty moist there. Surprisingly, tea can be planted as far north as Toronto with the right microclimate, which includes the shady north side of buildings.

You can make a non-caffeinated tea from the flowers or eat them, but I want to see what happens with fruiting.

September 13, 2013

deluge of tomatoes

Prior to the deluge of rain along Colorado's Front Range, we had a deluge of tomatoes ripen in our garden. I canned this pile of tomatoes last weekend.  The resulting 5 pints of pasta sauce will certainly taste good in the winter!

September 7, 2013

share your skills! worm composting class

2013.08.26_worm bin class10

Exciting things are happening in Wheat Ridge!  We are part of a newly developing group called Live Local Harvesters that is building community around gardening, urban homesteading, livestock, local agriculture, etc.  We have monthly potlucks sometimes accompanied by food politics movies.  We have informal skill sharing classes led by community members.  We have informative barn raising events like for example a group set up drip irrigation in one person's backyard and everyone left knowing how to do it in their own yard.  We have a message board where people can ask questions, post new discoveries, or host improptu events.  It's all very fluid and energized which is very exciting.

Anyway, Eric recently taught a skill share class on worm composting and building worm composting bins.  Everyone who attended and wanted a worm bin left with a worm bin that they helped to build and some worms.  It was an excellent community building event!