"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority ... the Constitution was made to guard against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." - Noah Webster

"There is no worse tyranny than forcing a man to pay for what he does not want just because you think it would be good for him."
-- Robert A. Heinlein

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Passion Mystery Update

I don't know if you are like me, when it comes to the browsing the internet, but some things take me a while to learn, like I still don't understand how to get automatic updates on individual blog postings from the other sites I'm interested in.  I think it's about something called RSS feeds, but I don't have the time right now to study it and figure out how to do it.  Somebody is probably laughing at me right now, thinking, "You dolt!  It's sooooo simple!"

And because I'm like that, I have to go back and re-visit posts at other blogs and look for the updates.  So, if you are like me, you'll appreciate the update as a new post.

Two people responded on the mystery vine fruit. My mother-in-law and another good friend. And I agree with their assessment that it is indeed passion fruit. The purple variety, but I'm still waiting for it to fully ripen. When it does, I'll cut it open and take pics to share here.

I'm also going to just do a big overall update on life at Beit Ben-David (House of the son of David). For our friends and family who visit, it's the Ben-David Bed & Breakfast.

The weather has cooled here in the mountains.  Several mornings of temperatures dipping below 60° F.  After the first such morning a few days ago, we noticed a sudden dearth of humming birds.  There are still a few, but instead of having to mix up 60 ounces of sugar water a day, now the levels in the bottles is barely moving.  We will look forward to seeing our little friends on their return trip in the spring.  But there is so much to do.

Straw bales after a growing season being recycled for winter crops.
All the cucumber and squash vines, all but two of the tomato plants have all been pulled and chopped for compost. I've been rearranging the remaining straw bales and packing them down in preparation for planting while my seedlings of lettuce, mustard greens, broccoli, etc. Yep, I like broccoli.  I like all the cruciferous veggies.  Even brussel sprouts. I can just see Fr. Don shuddering at this very moment.

A really amazing thing is how the jalapeƱos (Thanks, F), the cayenne and the Thai pepper plants keep producing.  I estimate that from just two jalapeƱo bushes, we have harvested something like 120 fruits.  I would write more about that here, but I think a stand alone post on the chili family is worth it.  The pole beans, or green beans that I planted late summer are still producing. From only 12 plants, we have had a couple of meals of green beans and if I pick what's out there today we will have three more.

As a reminder, (for you or for me, I can't tell which) one of the reasons we did the straw bale thing was because of the hard clay ground and the tremendous amount of granite rock all throughout.  But not everything is suited to straw bales.  Corn, for instance. It grows too tall and any wind at all will lay it down if planted in the bales.  Onions actually prefer the sandy and clay soil.  Same with garlic. In fact, I could just about say that anything that is of the bulb family is better in the regular ground.  Tap root veggies, specifically carrots are probably the hardest thing to grow here and unless you feel like digging until you are worn out, or you want to rent a backhoe, it's best to do carrots in 5 gallon buckets of potting soil.  But they are very, very slow growing. As we rapidly approach the fall equinox, I'm going to move my two buckets of carrots to the sunniest spot in the yard, and hope for the best.  I will gradually dig and condition new beds, a few feet at a time, until I get all the beds for growing those specific things.  But this season has taught me that this mulching, weedless, don't-dig method is far superior to churning up the ground.

This post is long enough.  I've got grain to grind and bread to make, and then I need to work on the wood stove.

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