Sunday, July 31, 2011

Episode 5 Going Bananas

Episode 5 Going Bananas

Plant of the week The Banana
wikipedia definition.
Native to Asia Genus Musa
Related to Birds of Paradise (Helliconia)
Hybridized to the point where they don't produce seeds and must be vegetatively propagated.
Fun Fact According to Wikipedia bananas are the largest flowering plant.  In Japan the  Japanese FiberBanana Musa bajoo are grown, the shoots and leaves cut down, boiled in lye and processed into fibers. See Here.  
I have several bananas that were given to me as cuttings, or were purchased from Going Bananas in Homestead, FL.

Rose which is supposed to be 6-8 foot tall.  (mine is two)
Dwarf Namwa a ladyfinger type of banana
Veinte Cohol a faster growing dessert banana
Gold Finger a type of Cavandash that is like the grocery Store
IceCream another smaller banana
Buddhas Hand the hands of the bananas are fused together and are supposed to taste very good.

Planting for self defense

How often have we quoted right plant/right place?  What does that really mean?  How often do we complain of rabbits and or deer eating our plants? 

·       There are no lists of plants that are universally deer/rabbit resistant around the country, because the little critters have different tastes.  
·       Sometimes, your locale Agricultural Extension Office will have a list for your area. 
·       Also, it is good to be open to new (or new to you) plants to trial 
·       When choosing plants, I always try to keep in mind to avoid plants that have insects or diseases named after the plant, such as azalea caterpillar, or oleander caterpillar. 
·        Another consideration is the site, is it dry or wet, shady or sunny? 
·        Matching the plants preferences to the site is much less stressful to the plant, and a plant that is less stressed is more able to withstand a disease or insect attack. 
·       What zone you are planting in is also a consideration. 
·       Even in a small area there can be a variation of microclimates.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Gluten Free Scones

Yesterday, before watching the Royal Wedding, I made scones.  Now, since I am Celiac, I needed them to be Gluten Free.  I had a recipe from a friend for regular scones, and I had made them substituting GF Bisquick.  They had turned out good, but kind of gritty.

I decided to add GF rolled oats for half the flour, mostly to raise the glycemic index; and I had much better scones.

I also had seen Susan Belsinger Wednesday and Thursday at the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival.  That is why I decided to flavor the cream with a bay leaf.

 Here is my recipe for GF Cherry Scones.

The night before, gently warm 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, being careful to not let it boil.  Add a fresh or dried bay leaf and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to bake preheat oven to 400'F
line a baking sheet with parchment paper, or if using oven stone heat that in oven while preheating.

1 Cup GF Bisquick
1 Cup GF Rolled Oats
1/3 Cup Brown Sugar Packed
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 Cup Butter (one stick)
1 Cup Dried Cherries
1/2 Cup Cream (from night before squeeze out Bayleaf)
1 large egg

Mix first five ingredients then rub or cut in butter until it looks like meal.

Add cherries and incorporate.

Lightly beat egg and cream together, and then add to the dry ingredients until everything is moistened and clumps together. (You might need some extra cream)

Take half the dough and flatten out onto the parchment paper into a circle.  Cut into 8 wedges and separate them out till them are at least 1-2 inches apart.

Refrigerate the remaining dough while the first batch is baking.  The dough is easier to handle cold, so it might be better to chill for a half hour before making the wedges.

Bake for 20 minutes or until scones are golden brown.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Episode four: Spider Plants and IPM

Plant of the podcast

Also known as the airplane plant
member of the lily family
Native to S Africa
Leaves up to 16 inches long and almost an inch high
has advantageous roots
Puts out stolons with flowers and baby plantlets
Found by NASA to be one of the most efficient plants for filtering pollutants out of the air
Easy to grow, tolerates a wide variety of light, temperature and humidiy

Tip of he podcast


Could be a whole podcast on it's own
Instead of blasting the problem with whatever is handy, there is a series of steps to ake.
  1. Threshold Decide what is an accepable amount of bugs or disease. In some cases it might be one, but in something like an aphid, it might be 20 per leaf, these are just numbers, you have to set your own.
  2. Monitor and identify the pests. You cannot properly control something if you don't know what it is, and you definitely do not want to destroy a good bug
  3. Prevention The best thing to do is to keep your plant as healhy as possible, that will help if it is attacked, and pests and diseases seem to go for the weakest individuals.
  4. Once monitoring, identification, and action thresholds indicate that pest control is required, and preventive methods are no longer effective or available, IPM programs then evaluate the proper control method both for effectiveness and risk. Effective, less risky pest controls are chosen first, including highly targeted chemicals, such as pheromones to disrupt pest mating, or mechanical control, such as trapping or weeding. If further monitoring, identifications and action thresholds indicate that less risky controls are not working, then additional pest control methods would be employed, such as targeted spraying of pesticides. Broadcast spraying of non-specific pesticides is a last resort.

Digging in the Dirt
Weeding and watering.

Fibery Fun
This year the Tour de Fleece started Saturday July 3rd and runs until Sunday July 25th, 2010.
Guidelines (NOT RULES):
  1. Spin every day the Tour rides, if possible. Saturday July 3rd through Sunday July 25th. Days of rest: Monday July 12th, Wednesday July 21st. (Just like the actual tour)
  2. Spin something challenging Thursday July 22nd. (The Tour’s toughest mountain stage from Pau up the legendary Col du Tourmalet)
  3. Take a button if you want one. Then we can use the button on our blogs in show of solidarity. Take it from here or grab a clean one from the flickr pool. Come join the flickr pool!
  4. Wear yellow on Sunday July 25th to announce victory. Why not wear yellow on any day you feel particularly successful? (Yellow is the color of the race leader in the Tour - but here we are all ‘race leaders’)
  5. Other colors if desired: Green (sprinter - think FAST), Polka-dot (climber - as in uphill), and white (rookie)
Teams: Join one, or many, or none.
  • Rookies (first years)
  • Sprinters (fast and/or high mileage like lace)
  • Climbers (conquer mountains, big personal challenges)
  • Breakaway (Art yarns)
  • Peloton (The main group. Everyone is in the peloton at some point)
  • Lantern rouge (You will participate as much as possible but you may skip days here and there. Cheerleaders welcome.)
  • Wildcards (This is for people who want to form their own team. This includes sponsored teams, like those affiliated with a specific fiber shop or people who live in the same town, etc.)

    I have been spinning on my handspindle

The teams are inspired by the actual Tour de France.


Saw Knight and Day

iPhone 4 Saving for it, like Dr Gemma said. Favorite app Is that gluten free and Is that Gluten Free Eating Out.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Episode 3 Composting and Poison Ivy

In which it is revealed that one rose has disappeared, compost and poison ivy are discussed, amongst other things.

Poison Ivy

One of the most common plants we don't want to run into.
In the State of Florida, the State Park System considers Poison Ivy to be a native plant (which it is) and only removes it from where people are supposed to be. Wekiwa State Park has a reputation for people getting rashes from the algae in the water, after having swum there I think it is from the people climbing in where they are not supposed to, and going through the poison ivy to get there.

A very attractive vine, with three leaflets (Leaves of three, beware of me). The scientific name for Poison Ivy is Toxicodendron radicans older names or synonyms are Rhus toxicodendron and Rhus radicans. Then plant is a member of the family Anacardiaceae. The Anacardiaceae family is also known as the sumac or cashew family. (Yes cashews are in the same family as poison ivy, which is why they must be cooked to “kill” the Urishiol oil, and why some very sensitive people are allergic to cashews. Another popular food in the family are the mangoes.)

Poison Ivy is often mistaken for other plants and vice verse. Some of these plants include Virginia Creeper, Raspberries and Blackberries.   


To the left a compost pile.

Most of you have heard the term compost, and I am betting that some of you even have a pile going. I have my own little system. Three large grow pots (I begged off of a friend who installs trees) that I fill with weeds and kitchen scraps. (Meats don't go into the pile, as they attract rodents, possums and racoons.) I have a separate container in my kitchen for coffee filters and grounds, which I put out straight, no composting required.)

If you don't want to make your own, or can't, you can purchase ready made compost at a local nursery or big box store. I am lucky, that I can get more compost material from my county which I can use to supplement my compost piles.

Compost adds nutrients as well as micro organisms to the soil, which research has shown to provide immunity to plants. Also, the organic material helps to hole water and nutrients in the soil.

I like to use compost as mulch, and I think my plants like it as well.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Plant of the Week: The Passion Flower Vine
Popularly, passion flowers and especially passion fruit are frequently used with sexual or romantic innuendo, giving rise to such uses as a one-time soft drink named Purple Passion. The "Passion" in "passion flower" does not refer to sex and love, however, but to the passion of Jesus in Christian theology. In the 15th and 16th centuries, Spanish Christian missionaries adopted the unique physical structures of this plant, particularly the numbers of its various flower parts, as symbols of the last days of Jesus and especially his crucifixion:
  • The pointed tips of the leaves were taken to represent the Holy Lance.
  • The tendrils represent the whips used in the flagellation of Christ.
  • The ten petals and sepals represent the ten faithful apostles(less St. Peter the denier and Judas Iscariot the betrayer).
  • The flower's radial filaments, which can number more than a hundred and vary from flower to flower, represent the crown of thorns.
  • The chalice-shaped ovary with its receptacle represents a hammer or the Holy Grail
  • The 3 stigmata represent the 3 nails and the 5 anthers below them the 5 wounds (four by the nails and one by the lance).
  • The blue and white colors of many species' flowers represent Heaven and Purity.
Mainly described as vigorous, the passion flower may be an invasive plant. I have a fried at work who was glad that the January freezes killed his red passion flower, as it was taking over his garden.

It is a larval food for several butterflies: Including the gulf Frittillary and the Zebra Longwing, and the Julia.

Some cultivars have edible fruit as well. I planted a Purple Possum from Logee's which is supposed to provide fruit.

Tip of the Week:

Find your extension office. Every county in the US has one.
Click on your state and then follow the link to your local office.
They know the best plants to grow in your area, and can usually answer any questions that you may have.

Thank you to Anoukharp who contaced me on Ravelry. She is the harpist in Fairydae, the group who performs the theme music for the podcast.

Thank you to Sillyfru of the Sassypants Knitter Podcast and Coggie TM of the High Fiber Podcast for your support and help.  

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Here are pictutes of the roses that I purchased from the Antique Rose Emporium in Texas. They arrived this week, and the pics are from their website.

Duchess de Brabant

Wind Chimes


Duchesse is going in the front yard, the other two are going in the back to screen the view of the road.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Episode 1 show notes

Yarns from the Garden Episode 1

Currently working on

Evenstar and Legolas by Susan Pandorf

Garter Rib Sock by Charlene Schurch

spinning fiber frm Gnat Barknknit


Corkscrew vine

Plant Nannies

Wine bottle edging

Tip of the week find you zone

The USDA Hardiness Zone Map divides North America into 11 separate zones; each zone is 10°F warmer (or colder) in an average winter than the adjacent zone. If you see a hardiness zone in a catalog or plant description, chances are it refers to the USDA map.

Wikepedia Article

Plant of the week: Asclepias tuberosa Butterfly weed

Perennial 2-21/2 feet Orange yellow flowers green smooth pods Sap not milky and leaves not opposite

Native to Eastern US open woods and fields. Prefers well drained soils.

Butterfly weed is a trouble free perennial that will come up year after year in the same place without crowding its neighbors.
Light: Prefers full sun but can tolerate partial shade.
Moisture: Tolerates drought.
Hardiness: USDA Zones 4 - 10
Propagation: By seed or you can divide tubers in spring.

Plant butterfly weed in mixed borders, meadows and natural areas. Butterfly weed is slow to emerge in spring, so you may want to mark where they are.

The caterpillars of monarch butterflies (they're the ones that migrate to Mexico each winter) feed only on milkweed foliage. Adult butterflies of many species sip nectar from the beautiful blossoms of butterfly weed.

Aphids will attract a yellow orange aphid. Let it be. Aphid Wasp. Brachonid species are native and will mummify the aphids.