Saturday Gardening, Puttering and Adventure Thread, Dec. 3

Crinum2n.jpg

These summer crinums from Neal in Israel have sort of a Christmas look even though they were blooming in the summer in Israel, I think. Anyway, I like them. How about you.

Have anything going on in your yard or garden? Any puttering or adventuring in your plans?

Edible Gardening/Putting Things By

From By-Tor:

Pear butter- what is it, and why should you make some?
It is basically apple butter made with pears. Same process, similar spice packet. Make it because it is easy and delicious.
I started with a #10 can of diced pears (6lbs), and added two pounds of diced fresh pears, in a crockpot. To that I added a cup of water, 3 cups sugar, juice of a lemon, 1/2 C apple cider vinegar, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon each ground ginger and allspice, 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger, and a tablespoon of vanilla. Cook on high for 2-3 hours, then turn down to low and cook for about ten hours, stirring once and hour or so.

This is like apple butter, but with about a third less spices, so milder. And the lemon and ginger give it an exotic flavor.

I pureed this in my new 950watt blender until smooth. I'll do a water bath can; should get about 5 half pint jars.

pear buttr 1.jpg

*

pear buttr 2.jpg

Sounds and looks great!

Ah, Nature

GhostApples - It's an unusual phenomenon where freezing rain coats rotting apples before they fall, then when the apple turns mushy it eventually slips out and leaves the icy shell still hanging on the tree.

ghost appl 1.jpg

ghost appl 2.jpg

Credit: Andrew Sietsema

Artful Puttering

Art from last month from Dr_No:

Hi, KT . . . looks as if signs of winter are cropping up now in Cordova, TN (a 'burb of Memphis). This tree dropped about 50% of its leaves to create this display over the mulch mound. Usually it drops more, but since the wind carried these ones away not long after the drop, I'm happy I was able to record it while it was in place. As for temps, we're still a bit warmer than 'normal' for this time of year, but that's okay 'cos it means I don't have to jack up the thermostat and be commended for so doing by the local 'utility' company in the form of a bill with a 17% rate hike for 'convenience' and 'service'. I still try to decide which of those is not like the other.

Leaffall 1_2029_11022022.jpg

Lovely art and interesting commentary. Thanks!


Home Safety and History

Feeling fireplace-cozy now that it's December? Have you been cutting firewood?

fyreeplace.jpg

Well, Bird Dog at Maggie's Farm has re-posted a winter warning about chimney fires. Because he had one.

If you use a fireplace regularly, you need a chimney sweep. In the past 20 years, we have had two chimney fires here, and one at the Farm. It's not a joke.

He got a lot of interesting, detailed comments on keeping chimneys clean, cleaning chimneys, and putting out chimney fires. You might want to take a look through them if you use a fireplace.

Bird dog also linked a wonderful, historical piece on a chimney fire that really got out of control, by our friend, Assistant Village Idiot.

It is the remarkable story of what happened when the government in England ended the use of tally sticks.

It's hard to carry around significant amounts of coinage. In large quantities, such as a king rewarding/bribing a duke for assembling an army to fight for him, it might require wagonloads of coins. Worse, before the early 1300s in England, gold coinage was forbidden and everything had to be counted out in silver pennies.

Tally sticks made of willow provided a solution. It relied on one of those systems of splitting something into two pieces that matched only each other, so a promissory note in any amount could be created - one half to the debtor, one to the creditor. No need to lug coins to the exchequer. People quickly figured out that the tally sticks themselves could be exchanged.

It ended rather badly, and with great irony in 1834. Parliament got rid of the system of tally sticks in the 1820s in order to make everyone record their transactions by ledger. Which was fine, except that they decided to burn the old tally sticks to celebrate the change to modernity, and burned them underneath the Houses of Parliament. You may have heard of the Great Fire of 1834 which destroyed those buildings.

Well, you'll have to read the whole thing. Government work.

Gardens of The Horde

This Japanese Maple at the end of our house will drop her leaves soon. Her sister at the other end got flattened by a pine tree about 12 years ago when the tornado came by.

- fd

japn mapl.jpg

A gorgeous tree. It would be wonderful if her sister were still here.

*

We have already featured some of the photos from Neal in Israel's last batch. Here is what he said about the flower photos when he sent them:

Katy, shalom,

Last week we had the first real rain of the new Jewish/farming year, and so summer is officially over, and fall has officially begun.

Attached are some photos of summer happenings and of end-of-summer harvesting.

A few shots of summer flowers: crinum; hemerocallis, with coral plant flowers in the background

I think these have kind of a Thanksgiving look, even though they bloomed in the summer:

Hemero1.1.jpg


Hermero2.2.jpg

Anything going on in your yard or garden? Decorating? Making plans for next year?


Hope everyone has a nice weekend.


If you would like to send photos, stories, links, etc. for the Saturday Gardening, Puttering and Adventure Thread, the address is:

ktinthegarden at g mail dot com

Remember to include the nic or name by which you wish to be known at AoSHQ, or let us know if you want to remain a lurker.


Week in Review

What has changed since last week's thread? Saturday Gardening, Puttering and Adventure Thread, Nov. 26


Any thoughts or questions?

I closed the comments on this post so you wouldn't get banned for commenting on a week-old post, but don't try it anyway.

Posted by: K.T. at 11:21 AM




Comments

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1 Good afternoon Greenthumbs

Posted by: Skip at December 03, 2022 01:23 PM (xhxe8)

2 hiya

Posted by: JT at December 03, 2022 01:23 PM (T4tVD)

3 KT did you get my email? Only ask because I am not great at figuring out if sent or draft.

Posted by: Skip at December 03, 2022 01:24 PM (xhxe8)

4 Amateur.

Posted by: golfman at December 03, 2022 01:25 PM (BLVc0)

5 Had a happy accident other day, top of a dead pine tree broke off and land in driveway, easy enough to clean up, now of could get chainsaw working or a new one can drop the rest of it .

Posted by: Skip at December 03, 2022 01:26 PM (xhxe8)

6 Skip

I didn't get yer email !

Posted by: JT at December 03, 2022 01:26 PM (T4tVD)

7 Neal in Israel,

Your lilies looks great and your camera work is spot-on.

Posted by: 40 Miles North at December 03, 2022 01:28 PM (uWF4x)

8 Dr_No. > This tree dropped about 50% of its leaves to create this display over the mulch mound.

I've always been fond of colorful fall leaves on the ground.

Spent camellia petals, too. They're extra special.

Posted by: golfman at December 03, 2022 01:28 PM (BLVc0)

9 Thanks for the pear butter recipe! I bought a bottle of Pear cider from Williams Sonoma one year. That stuff is great for cooking. It can be added to so many dishes to impart a "mystery flavor" that is good, but eludes identification.

My only concern with the posted pear butter recipe is the length of time the slow cooker has to be plugged in.

Posted by: kallisto at December 03, 2022 01:30 PM (dCxaZ)

10 Skip. You would've really been lucky if it fell in the neighbors yard.

Posted by: golfman at December 03, 2022 01:30 PM (BLVc0)

11 'Ghost apples on the tree...'

Posted by: Eromero at December 03, 2022 01:31 PM (/knpl)

12 I have 5 dead pines in my yard, 3 are in front and couldn't be dropped, 1 could now.

Posted by: Skip at December 03, 2022 01:32 PM (xhxe8)

13 Wind storm in last couple did finally clear off leaves so should get out and clean them up asap

Posted by: Skip at December 03, 2022 01:33 PM (xhxe8)

14 Those are some awfully purty photos there.

Posted by: banana Dream at December 03, 2022 01:38 PM (0fVbu)

15 Skip at December 03, 2022 01:24 PM

I didn't get it.

Posted by: KT at December 03, 2022 01:40 PM (rrtZS)

16 New Jersey farmland was mentioned in prior thread. this morning a guy told me he's headed to Rosie's farm market to see if she still has blackberry or peach cider.

*record scratch*

I practically jumped out of my seat to give him money to get me some! Just one of the many wonders of the farms of S. Jersey. I had no idea Rosie's was still open.

Posted by: kallisto at December 03, 2022 01:41 PM (dCxaZ)

17 kallisto at December 03, 2022 01:30 PM

If you use pear cider instead of cider vinegar, you need to check on safety if you plan on cold pack canning. May not be acid enough for safety.

Posted by: KT at December 03, 2022 01:42 PM (rrtZS)

18 A friend of my wife sent her some photos of a tree that fell down in a storm in back of their house in SC. Judging by the size of this woman's husband who was standing behind the felled tree the trunk looked 5' in diameter. It was huge. It just fell in between trees and didn't hit anything but the ground. But a tree like that would have gone through a house like a hot knife through butter. I remember some big trees around my house in north Georgia but nothing that big.

Posted by: banana Dream at December 03, 2022 01:44 PM (0fVbu)

19 KT will try again. I have to email my work time sheet and blow that often

Posted by: Skip at December 03, 2022 01:46 PM (xhxe8)

20 That leaf photo would make an excellent jigsaw puzzle.

Posted by: banana Dream at December 03, 2022 01:47 PM (0fVbu)

21 Good afternoon. My wife and I are trying to study up on the local conditions in prep for our plant related efforts later on in the spring. We are now on the Cumberland Plateau - 300 miles south of where we used to live. The locals have directed us to a number of gardening groups so that should help out immensely.

I've never seen 10' holly bushes (trees?) until now so I dare say I have some learning to accomplish.

Posted by: Tonypete at December 03, 2022 01:51 PM (qoGsy)

22 KT tried again at garden mail

Posted by: Skip at December 03, 2022 01:52 PM (xhxe8)

23 Love this thread, always. Got the recipe & a great reminder for the examination and cleaning of the wood stove & its chimney; so enjoyed all of the lovely pictures, and learned something about ghost apples.

Thanks to all!

Posted by: Lola at December 03, 2022 01:54 PM (NIYa7)

24 we had a flue fire last winter, and this fall my wife bought me a chimney brush. All the soot I knocked loose went into the garden.
The chimney was pretty sooted up and and is why the stove wasn't drawing well.
I will be using that brush every year I suspect.

Posted by: Kindltot at December 03, 2022 01:55 PM (xhaym)

25 I brought in some veggie garden plants (peppers and basil) and discovered the planter I put them in has been anointed by neighborhood cats.

I had cleaned off the planter but did not find out until after I brought it inside that it needed more thorough attention.

Posted by: Emmie at December 03, 2022 01:55 PM (Emce2)

26 Posted by: KT at December 03, 2022 01:42 PM (rrtZS)

Oh yeah, I meant the pear cider as intended for other dishes, not as ingredient in pear butter.

Posted by: kallisto at December 03, 2022 02:01 PM (dCxaZ)

27 24. Had you had any exams and cleanings before the flue fire?

I did routinely get exams and cleanings up to about C19 but not since. Was wondering if another is promptly needed because I'm dealing with a 30 year stove and chimney that gets brushed down periodically.

Better safe than sorry?

Posted by: Lola at December 03, 2022 02:10 PM (NIYa7)

28 The chimney in our house was converted to using a propane tank several years ago. Wife and I agreed that if we restore it to being a wood burning chimney, the first thing we do is call a chimney sweep.

Posted by: NR Pax at December 03, 2022 02:20 PM (Z7Jj3)

29 I had an inspection before I moved in 11 years ago, but the real problem was that I started burning really resinous wood that put out a lot of soot. They were pine trees that came down in an ice storm and I figured the extra pitch would make a good fire. And it is true, they burn really nice.

I think there are three things that contribute to soot build up, and they are resinous wood, damp wood and low flow like you get out of a damped down stove.

Posted by: Kindltot at December 03, 2022 02:21 PM (xhaym)

30 28. Thanks.

Posted by: Lola at December 03, 2022 02:22 PM (NIYa7)

31 Dead pines are why I make charcoal and lead smelting, you can't burn in fireplaces

Posted by: Skip at December 03, 2022 02:23 PM (xhxe8)

32 Dead pines tell no tales.

Posted by: JT at December 03, 2022 02:28 PM (T4tVD)

33 Ho ho ho all this chimney talk!
Leave it to the experts!

Posted by: Santa Claus at December 03, 2022 02:29 PM (3eDMW)

34 Kindltot, did you get the chimneysweep accent down? And the dance?

Posted by: Eromero at December 03, 2022 02:31 PM (/knpl)

35 damp firewood is the main cause of excessive soot

of course, not cleaning your flue will get a fire also

clean and dry, clean and dry

Posted by: REDACTED at December 03, 2022 02:31 PM (us2H3)

36 29. I'm burning only hard wood, don't put paper into the stove ever but do often use the fire starters (hardware store) to get the wood burning fast & well.

Thanks to the thread and commenters, I'm reading about fire starters and have learned some “quick starting fire logs” cause quick creosote buildup and/or shouldn't be used in wood stoves.

Think I need to call a professional chimney sweep Monday AM.

Have a great weekend!

Posted by: Lola at December 03, 2022 02:33 PM (NIYa7)

37 Our fireplace won't work cause Mrs.E broke the remote.

Posted by: Eromero at December 03, 2022 02:34 PM (/knpl)

38 any wood, properly seasoned and dried can be burned

soft woods such as pines and spruce make good starter sticks and larger pieces can be burned after a good bed of coals have been established

the main problem with paper is it leaves a enoromous amount of ash

Posted by: REDACTED at December 03, 2022 02:39 PM (us2H3)

39 I think there are three things that contribute to soot build up, and they are resinous wood, damp wood and low flow like you get out of a damped down stove.
Posted by: Kindltot at December 03, 2022 02:21 PM (xhaym)

It's not really soot, which is just carbon black. It is creosote, which is a black, shiny, and very combustible hydrocarbon.

Posted by: Alberta Oil Peon at December 03, 2022 02:39 PM (tkR6S)

40 Have a great weekend!
Posted by: Lola

You Too !

Posted by: JT at December 03, 2022 02:41 PM (T4tVD)

41 Only about 55 days until the first crocus!!!

Posted by: Diogenes at December 03, 2022 02:42 PM (anj39)

42 My Daffodils are popping up, they are in for a rude awakening.

Posted by: Skip at December 03, 2022 02:43 PM (xhxe8)

43 No fireplace here but, I did check the flue on the pizza oven, once.

It's raining so I think I'll go scatter some flower seeds.
This year I'll see if I can defeat the rabbits before they eat them.

Posted by: AZ deplorable moron at December 03, 2022 02:43 PM (bxDDB)

44 I did some raking of stuff to burn later. That is about all the gardening that happens around here in December outside of greenhouse owners.

Posted by: PaleRider is simply irredeemable at December 03, 2022 02:46 PM (3cGpq)

45 I have 5K sq ft house with 2 jotul 118b and a jotul fireplace insert

i know the 118b is old school but they work beautifully

Posted by: REDACTED at December 03, 2022 02:49 PM (us2H3)

46 Well, I did hoe some weeds on Wednesday. Then the flu bug hit me. I feel not too bad right now. Going to grab a nice hot shower. Raining here, too.

Posted by: Alberta Oil Peon at December 03, 2022 02:49 PM (tkR6S)

47 I'm prepping my first flower still life painting. It's going to be an ancient Roman vase with relief filled with flowers from Ancient Rome.

Roses, daffodils, violets, poppies , lilies and anemones.

Posted by: polynikes at December 03, 2022 02:50 PM (8SCtT)

48 It's not really soot, which is just carbon black. It is creosote, which is a black, shiny, and very combustible hydrocarbon.
Posted by: Alberta Oil Peon at December 03, 2022 02:39 PM (tkR6S)


There were slabs of it at the chimney top that were really blocking the flue, whatever it was called.
The stove draws much better now.

Posted by: Kindltot at December 03, 2022 02:51 PM (xhaym)

49 It has stopped raining here.

FINALLY !

Posted by: JT at December 03, 2022 02:52 PM (T4tVD)

50 I have a Seckle pear tree. They are smaller and have a hint of vanilla in their flesh. Pear butter is a favorite here, but I make ours with a splash of bourbon. Bourbon pear pie is also good, as is just bourbon.

Posted by: chellep at December 03, 2022 02:57 PM (psORI)

51 We never that soot problem with our chimneys!

Posted by: Uncle Adolph at December 03, 2022 02:59 PM (gBnOF)

52 Re: Pear Butter

We had pear trees in our yard in south GA. I don't recall the variety, but they were essentially inedible straight off the tree - hard as rocks.
My mom made pear butter with them and that was amazing stuff. I prefer the pear butter over apple butter.

Posted by: PMRich at December 03, 2022 03:01 PM (RMtE9)

53 AOP feeling any better?

Posted by: Skip at December 03, 2022 03:04 PM (xhxe8)

54
I moved into a house recently (3mo) and it had a beautiful garden that is now dead, because it's winter.

I know nothing about gardening. At all. I'm from the Rockies, so "gardening" was just growing potatoes and peppers and stuff. Decorative gardens are rare at that altitude.

Here, everyone has a nice garden, it seems. I know mine has potential, because it was *gorgeous* when I saw it at the end of July for the first time. But I am going to screw it up badly the first year, for sure, and need help from you people.

Posted by: Yudhishthira's Dice at December 03, 2022 03:06 PM (oINRc)

55 SBF would mow Maxine's lawn as often as requested if that is what it takes to keep him out of the slammer for the rest of his life.

Hey, this is a gardening thread!

Posted by: torabora at December 03, 2022 03:15 PM (Y274z)

56 If you want to cut down on creosote in your chimney, burn a load of aspen from time to time. It's lousy firewood BTU-wise, but it burns hot, fast and clean, and it cooks off the creosote from pine if that's your main fuel.

Posted by: Yudhishthira's Dice at December 03, 2022 03:16 PM (oINRc)

57 But I am going to screw it up badly the first year, for sure, and need help from you people.
Posted by: Yudhishthira's Dice at December 03, 2022 03:06 PM (oINRc)
****
Try growing tulips.

Posted by: SBF at December 03, 2022 03:17 PM (Y274z)

58 Neal in Israel, those are beautiful lilies. I particularly like the pink ones.

Not much garden work here except picking up fallen branches from the abandoned house's overgrown tree. I don't know what sort of weeping "dwarf" tree it is. It gets pink blossoms in the spring but no noticeable fruit.

Posted by: NaughtyPine at December 03, 2022 03:17 PM (/+bwe)

59 That garden at the White House i made the staff grow?
Just a prop suckers.

Posted by: Mike at December 03, 2022 03:19 PM (Y274z)

60 Try growing tulips.
Posted by: SBF at December 03, 2022 03:17 PM (Y274z)

Lemme guess. If I grow a thousand of your special tulips, then I'll grow so many tulips the next year, that I'll be named the King of Holland in 2024?

Posted by: Yudhishthira's Dice at December 03, 2022 03:19 PM (oINRc)

61 Sun is out, still windy

Posted by: Skip's phone at December 03, 2022 03:21 PM (xhxe8)

62 Sun is out, still windy
Posted by: Skip's phone at December 03, 2022 03:21 PM (xhxe

Not here yet, in the Sandhills of NC.

Posted by: golfman at December 03, 2022 03:23 PM (BLVc0)

63 AOP feeling any better?
Posted by: Skip at December 03, 2022 03:04 PM (xhxe

Much better, Just had a nice hot shower. I'm going to get dressed now, and do a few things. Still sniffly, but the fever and chills are gone.

Posted by: Alberta Oil Peon at December 03, 2022 03:24 PM (tkR6S)

64 I still have to put up my dahlia tubers, or they'll completely dry up. I'm using slightly dampened vermiculite.

Posted by: Miley, okravangelist at December 03, 2022 03:24 PM (Mzdiz)

65 Just a prop suckers.

Y'mean that demonic voodoo rutabaga dance didn't make it grow?

Posted by: Commissar of Plenty and Lysenko Solutions at December 03, 2022 03:25 PM (gBnOF)

66 So happy to hear you're up and getting out! Very good sign.

I had a nasty cold starting on Oct 18, and I'm still coughing phlegm.

Posted by: Miley, okravangelist at December 03, 2022 03:26 PM (Mzdiz)

67 PET NOOD

Posted by: Skip nood advisor at December 03, 2022 03:30 PM (xhxe8)

68 AOP don't overdo it

Posted by: Skip nood advisor at December 03, 2022 03:31 PM (xhxe8)

69 Late to the post but in case any is around, always keep a large box of baking soda on hand if you burn wood! If a fire starts to roar, throw a handful in. It releases CO2 and will tame the fire. I've used this before and it doesn't damage the fire box.

Posted by: Notsothoreau at December 03, 2022 03:40 PM (uz3Px)

70 Got the last batch of leaves and sticks into cans for pick up next week. Ugh, there's so much more to do but it'll have to wait: more snow on the way.

I love winter, if only for the break from outdoor chores!

"Any more ice than you can fit in a glass, is too damned much!"
-- the wise CPOs I used to know

Posted by: JQ at December 03, 2022 04:12 PM (o0Fxd)

71 I was always lead to believe that tally whackers were to kept in your pants in polite company.

Posted by: Dr. Bone at December 03, 2022 04:22 PM (geVLo)

72 It gets pink blossoms in the spring but no noticeable fruit.
Posted by: NaughtyPine
A weeping pink blossomed tree is likely a weeping cherry.
Very pretty. Fairly short lived cause of multiple grafts.

Only flue fire I ever had was when I put a double barrel wood stove in a shop. Looked really neat for a smoker, so I put racks in the top half and started doing ribs.
Did you know meat grease is a great fuel?

Posted by: MkY at December 03, 2022 05:43 PM (cPGH3)

73 I havent had any issues with the crock pot being on the several times I have done this. I suppose you could unplug it for awhile several times and replug it if it were a concern. It would just take a little longer. I plug mine in on the GFI circuit in my kitchen.

Posted by: By-Tor at December 03, 2022 05:54 PM (SgSAw)

74 From Boise area: Lows 18-39, highs 32-46 F. Some rain, and a skiff of snow one morning. Wet leaves really clog our shredder, so we have a lot of leaves still to clean up under "Jupiter" the huge silver maple.

My running total is 46 leaf bags full of Annoying Sycamore leaves. (I guess they can be promoted back to Damned Sycamores, since the new future neighbors had their giant Damned Willow cut down and I can promote the sycamores' status back up. Or down. Whichever.)

We spotted an entire covey of quail in the front yard! I decided if they were ranging so far from their usual backyard hiding spots, they were hungry, so I put out the first quail seed block - husband has seen them pecking at it.

Husband did a little mulching-mowing this afternoon, and I took Tatarian maple leaves he'd piled in the paddock and put them into a leaf cage for future composting. I'm thinking I can maybe work on composting leaves and saved grass in early spring, before the raised beds' soil is thawed.

Definitely more than 55 days until crocus flowers for me, but I'm looking forward to seeing the new ones I planted this fall.

Posted by: Pat* at December 03, 2022 10:26 PM (a9dTa)

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