What's Happening Today - 2019 Edition


my step daughter friended a 19 yr. old puerto rican girl that moved up here with her immediate family to get away from the crime in miami. her mom met a guy up here online and moved them all to northern Maine with her. this girl got pregnant at 16 and is raising her son by herself working 3 jobs. she saw her stepdad murdered in miami and lost her brother to heroin. her grandfather runs a tattoo parlor in town. my step daughter wanted to find a way to help them. i have 20 pepper plants that were loaded with habaneros, hot bananas and sweet peppers. way more than i could use. i picked 2 bags and went down to the local discount store where her mom works. i asked her if they liked peppers. she lit right up telling me how the store bought peppers were so terrible here and how they missed growing their own in miami. she thanked me several times . i told her if they wanted some again next summer id grow whatever types they would want. she said she would talk to me next spring and thanked me again. its only peppers but its a little help i could give to this family that is struggling in a area they have no ties to. i also told her if they needed some eggs id sell to them at half price. her daughter is supposed to come visit my place and see the chickens, ducks and geese with her 3 yr. old son. i warms my heart to help these folks with whatever i can. like my father used to say ‘’ its the American way!’’


I’ve always thought about growing starter plants to give to the food bank. They could distribute them to people who wanted them.

I know that for the few years when things were rough in our household, I did all I could but still came out short. It IS embarrassing to accept charity!! I hated using those resources but wanted my kids to eat healthy, and surprisingly our food bank usually is well stocked with fresh stuff. I lived in a tiny apartment at the time, and the landlord wouldn’t let us garden. I would have loved a community garden plot but there was a thirty dollar fee that at the time was a lot for us. Also there was no water at the site so it would be a large time commitment to fill milk cartons to bring there to keep stuff alive. What I’m getting at here is that I would have loved to have been able to grow some of my food, to ease that feeling of shame that was there from accepting charity. To do something like that on my own, does that make sense? So I have always wanted to give plant starts to the food bank so that I can give that to somebody- I think for the most part people want to be productive and make it on their own. I feel like giving somebody a plant to nurture is one step in that direction. Maybe giving them the option to grow that plant and get those tomatoes themselves would give them a better feeling than accepting a tomato already grown. Some people aren’t able to garden or don’t want to so I’m not devaluing giving produce. Just sharing my experience and remotivating myself to grow extra starts this spring!


It is true about how hard it is to admit that you once were poor. My husband didn’t tell me about the janitor job until we had been married for a while. It didn’t make me feel any difference about him, and my kids know how hard daddy works to give them what he can.

I love ‘’ its the American way!’’ even though I had to explain to my kids to not judge the one who does not give. In my old country a lot of people were/are so poor it is hard enough to feed the family. I also told them if they have a little money or time to give they are not poor, and don’t let anyone put them down for that. Best wishes to your family. From reading your posts I know you work very hard for your farm and everything else.


Very cool Brady. I don’t think they can generally over Winter here so maybe someone hand raised it. I’ve never heard of them here anyway. I knew someone in the Bay Area who raised them.


Today was the first ‘fall-feeling’ day here in Tidewater Va. Some of the ‘Pomegranate Peeps’ on the forum asked for an update - as to how my PomField is doing. So, I went out, at 6:30, in my pjs and ‘sloggers’. Took my phone(camera) and notebook - and documented what’s happening out there.

My brother-in-law is visiting . . . and he had to come out and let me know that I looked like a NUT . . . wandering around staring at plants in my pajamas! Oh well!

Here’s what the field looks like today. Check out the ‘Pomegranate Success’ posts, to see more pics and notes about the plants!


i was a custodian for 25 yrs. at a local university until my health forced me into disability. i still work part time as maintenance worker for a company that cares for U.S customs buildings. i don’t look down on manual labor jobs as i think its more honest work than white collar jobs. i treat the janitor and the CEO with the same amount of respect. they are both a necessity to a company or business. my father was a jack of all trades but was a excellent bulldozer operator and gardener.


Thank you for your response. As adults, we respect all honest workers, labor or intellectual. That doesn’t mean the workers will feel the same. The hard part of being parents is to make sure your kids can keep their dignity and self esteem no matter what life will be. I myself only work part-time later in life to be with my kids so I didn’t make much money. Whatever I want to do with the house or yard, my husband would buy the materials and I would do the work. My daughter is very picky because she is artistic, I have to make sure everything looks good, or at least presentable, so she doesn’t feel bad about the fact that I can’t afford to hire someone else. I think you did very well with your kids. Your father would be proud.


Thank You. you as well. :wink:


Candy heart pluerry. These hang on the tree for a very long time. They also take a long time to get completely ripe. Color changes early in ripening process so losing some to birds is to be expected. Very sweet, but little flavor. Of the pluerries I like sweet treat the best, it has the most flavor to me. Candy heart Texture is very nice, still crunchy as it ripens. If flavor king is a 10 out of 10 for me, I would give this a 7. This one was 21.5 brix. Any sweeter and it would be too sweet.


Nice report Phill, thanks!


Still not fully ripe. The color gets a lot darker with really dark flesh. They do hang forever, but in my climate, they’re nearly (or) as good as Flavor King.


Hello all, arrived safely in France and have not stopped moving for a week. Much to do and get organized. Passed many an orchard to Uzès on the way from the airport in Marseilles. Small, columnar plantings of many apple trees. Many varieties. The peaches are just ending and the pêche de vigne took place the week before I arrived. There are many plums in the market primarily, mirabelles, reine Claude’s, Quetches, and many others. I am still a bit ‘jet laggy’ to write down names or even take pictures. The produce as you know is magnificent. The tomatoes are now beginning to end and will be finished by my mid Oct. There is a palm tree in my yard next to the pool and Plane tree. Beautiful trumpet vine, and a vine I have never seen before. The Big Marché of the week was today (Saturday) and I bought a charentais melon along with white peaches (no variety mentioned). Had a gorgeous lunch of rabbit terrine, followed by pork jowl stew. Apricot tart with apricot sorbet. Life is really great! Visited the herb man and purchased my fill of herbes de Provence and Laurier. I will most more pics from next weeks, Marche and start my wandering through orchards this fall. There is a fabulous monastery of nuns that have orchards. They make the best jams in the world. Really!!! They no longer come to sell at the Marche so I will go to them. Will definitely take pictures there. Remember, I am just two flights away! (For most of you!). Your friend, Mrs. G, slowly growing roots.:heart_eyes:


Thanks so much for keeping us updating, I am so inspired by what you’ve done- moving to a new country and starting a new life. I don’t have a fraction of the knowledge, experience, or exposure you do when it comes to France, but I always thought it is such a neat country with so much to offer and you’ve just proven that in one post after only a week in country! I’m sure I’m not the only one who has followed your transition and move with great interest, so PLEASE do continue to keep us posted with photos and stories. You’ve always been a class act and I can see you settling right in to the country you’ve always loved. All the best, MrsG. Welcome to your new home!!!


I am leaving some on the tree, but any sweeter and they will be too sweet for my taste.


Found a black raspberry cane growing in my arapahoe blackberry! Got the blackberry at lowe’s 2 yrs ago.
FrankenBerry :rofl:


@Phill_Boise_7a, this has been my experience with Candy Heart as well. Good fruit, but there is other stuff ripening at that time which is much better so most of my tree will be top worked to Flavor King pluot. Cant have too many of those because they dry up so well and make awesome fruit rolls.


Some fruit that i harvest today…

Table grapes

Gamboa quince


Arbutus unedo fruits…

More small pawpaw fruits


My first inga vulpina fruit pods… The “white fresh” flavour is sweet and floral… very good!


I just finished condensing the birch sap from spring. We reduced the sap to about 1/3 in the spring on an outdoor fire in long low pans and then because it does not last long in refrigeration, as the sugar content is not high enough, we froze the sap until I could get time to reduce it further. This week I poured it into my large Insta Pot set on very low and let it reduce further. It took a lot of time but at least the pot allowed me to leave it unattended without worrying about fire.
I messed up the first batch as it scorched, at least I am sure it did. It tasted like molasses and after the first tasting my thought was " if this is birch syrup, count me out". I think I scorched it because to speed up the process I first heated it on the stove, then had the Insta Pot on high for a couple of hours before turning it too low.
The second batch was wonderful. Online most of the comments describe it as

a savoury flavour for meats etc, and not like maple syrup for desert or pancakes. I have to disagree, it is incredibly sweet, has the consistency of maple syrup but there is a flavour I can’t identify. It has a bit of a tang, or sweetly sour aspect that I find pleasant.