June 11, 2014 at 2:22 am #16231
NZ is on the Pacific ring of fire, so if it ain’t volcanos it’s earthquakes. I can see 5 extinct cones and one live volcano from the hills above my land. Several NZ cities are build right on volcanos (Auckland being one) and some of our ports are flooded volcanic craters (Wellington). So it’s just life. Volcanic soil is great…
I have had no luck with plums. Beautiful fruit ..but lots of rot, or pollination problems. I think Tweva mentioned how pests and diseases make fruit growing such a problem these days. You have to find types and varieties that will grow without sprays as these may not be available post SHTF. Tho it is reasonable to stock up on some sprays for vegetables, to ensure you get something, it is better to grow what grows easily. The only way to really find out is by trial and error. If something grows like a weed… then that is a good food source… even if it is not the most tasty.
We can grow chestnuts here… European chestnut , and hybrids with the oriental chestnut. Big nuts .. but no so sweet. But you get heavy crops of nuts from a big tree .. which is a lot of food. No work except picking them up. A good SHTF food source. Wallnuts are similar .. tho not so fast growing.June 12, 2014 at 1:01 am #16332
The American Chestnut was legendary… my father told me of the old days, when steam engines would carry trainloads of chestnuts out of the mountains, bound for New York where they would be roasted and sold by vendors with little push-carts during Christmas… then some dumbass brought ONE SINGLE Chinese Chestnut to the botanical gardens in New York City. It carried the blight.
The blight advanced 50 miles a year, no matter what was done to stop or slow it… in the end, billions of trees were wiped out. Greatest biological disaster of the 20th century. The root systems of those old trees still exist, and they send up saplings all the time… and they are fine, for about 7 years. Which is how long it takes for them to mature. Once they mature and start to make nuts, the blight takes over and they die. Very few are resistant.
Then, a stand of 6 blight resistant American Chestnuts were found on Stone Mountain in Georgia. They started backbreeding with the Chinese Chestnut and now have a tree that is 15/16ths American Chestnut and 1/16th Chinese.
Anyway, the American Chestnut Society is doing their best to bring this awesome tree back… to understand how titanic those old trees were, you should look up some of the old pictures… there are few living things that large… blue whales, giant redwoods… and there were billions of them…
The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1July 7, 2014 at 1:07 am #18049
That was so damn funny I laughed out loud.
Malgus, in case you did not know this, 46 is not old. I am 53 and maintain strength through exercise. I am stronger now than I was in my 20’s. You can get stronger. Especially since men build muscle mass easier than women.
Do you have a squirrel problem in your area? We do and they decimate my peaches. We go to war every year! This year they got all my mango blossoms so we ended up with ZERO mangoes. The bleepards! Hate them – I have more respect for rats than squirrels. The damn squirrels will take a bite of fruit, throw it down and go to the next one. Rats will at least eat the whole piece of fruit. If you have any tips that work against these varmints I would greatly appreciate that.
None of the varmints have discovered my grapes that came in like gang busters this year. They also never touch our sugar cane. We are getting ready to make our own molasses next weekend and the taste would blow your mind as the stuff in the store tastes like crap because they have removed all sugar and cooked the hell out of it.
You can probably tell that I live in a semi tropical area which allows me to grow lots of stuff. But extreme weather can play havoc.
Okay, look forward to your thoughts or experiments with the varmints. Thank you so much for the entertainment.
dmarieJuly 14, 2014 at 1:48 am #18725
My property came with a small grove of apple trees (14) plus a few more growing wild. I planted 2 each pears, plums, and cherries, plus a mulberry tree. An apricot I had planted died this past winter. It was a Zone 5 plant and being we’re literally on the edge of Zone 4/5, a somewhat colder/longer winter than normal proved to be too much. Lesson learned. Going forward I will buy nothing that isn’t rated for Zone 4.
The problem I’ve had with the apples is every other year a late frost comes just as they bloom killing most of the blossoms. This year a pounding rain knocked most of the flowers off. In years without late frosts I will have thousands of apples. I have a black walnut tree that more years than not is impacted by late frosts too. Come TEOTWAWKI losing a crop will hurt.
I have also planted various berry shrubs, the biggest problem there being Japanese beetles and birds. Now I can spray them for the beetles but in a collapse scenario, it’ll eventually require picking them off by hand and dropping them into a bucket of soapy water. I suppose that could be a job for anyone who can’t do the other kind of hard work that needs doing. As for the birds, I need to start using netting. I suppose netting would keep a lot of the beetles off too, Anyone had that experience?
What I want but haven’t found yet are cranberries. Any northerners here growing cranberries? If so where did you get them?July 14, 2014 at 2:07 am #18726
Be careful what you plant !!!!!!!!!!!!! I had a property that had 14 fruit trees on it , in various stages of growth , all I can say is dont plant anything you dont like A LOT of . A full grown tree can produce a crazy amount of fruit , nut trees are even worse , they have pecan orchards near here and just one of those things will also produce a crazy amount of nuts .July 14, 2014 at 2:35 am #18733
So far I’ve only been planting 2 of any type of tree,and only one of the mulberries (so far). The 14 apples trees were here already. I make apple sauce and have bought an apple press to make cider, hard cider, and perhaps most important of all I can make my own apple cider vinegar for canning purposes. Being able to preserve food will be very important, and vinegar will be very useful towards that objective.July 14, 2014 at 4:06 am #18736
If you have excess fruit of any type..which has sugar in it..you can ferment it to make “cider or wine”. In Europe the tradition was to ferment the windfalls and damaged fruit in big barrels, and there was a travelling “distiller” who would come around and make it into “brandy” for you. It takes a big still to handle large quantities of low grade “cider”.
There is a local Swiss guy around here who made a big still out of an old copper hot water tank, and heated it with wood in an old laundry “boiler” which used to be standard in all the old houses. Large quantities of firewater.. I can assure you. Alcohol has all sorts of uses…… ;-)……July 14, 2014 at 11:07 am #18741
Did you really plant mulberry? Around here they are a weed tree. Almost impossible to get rid of, and spread everywhere from birds.July 14, 2014 at 11:31 am #18742
74, yes I did plant a mulberry, one of the drooping kind. It was a nostalgia kind of thing. I hadn’t seen one since I was a kid, The next door neighbor had one with the branches drooping down to the ground. Us kids would go inside making it a sort of fort and eat mulberries to our heart’s content. I thought maybe my grandkids could have the same kind of fun some day when they’re a bit older and the tree has grown some. The neighbor also had a regular mulberry tree but it was harder to reach the branches on that one when you’re a little kid. The one I bought came from Canada so it’ll be plenty hardy enough for my property.July 14, 2014 at 3:04 pm #18757
We made jelly with mulberries and I guess it was good.. can’t really remember it though. The raw berries never appealed to my tastes.July 14, 2014 at 4:31 pm #18763
I prefer apples, plums and pears because they can be used for making alcohol, drying and for making different kind of jams and juices.
And all can be made with “low tech” tools.July 14, 2014 at 5:59 pm #18770
I’ve got a huge Avocado tree. The Avo’s can break a vehicle’s windshield if parked under the tree a certain time of year
Some Avo info http://www.avocado.co.za/index.php/consumer-info/ripening-storage/ripening-and-storage.htmlJuly 15, 2014 at 12:29 am #18802
Off topic , but not really if we get out thinking caps on . Italy ( I think its Italy , could be Spain ) , but anyway , they had a problem with what to do with all the shells from the nut trees , then somebody figured out that , if you crush and powder them , they can be used as a building material . I forgot what they mixed with it , but they make coffins , the coffins can be polished , and colored easily . Just think of Roman cement vs. modern cement . Roman cement was very strong , BUT it was light weight compared to modern crap .
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