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First gardening club meeting of 2009 next Friday, January 9th at 6:30 PM

Posted Wednesday, January 7, 2009, at 7:54 AM

Sweet Annie (Artemisia annua) © Martin Wall
Since we moved our location to another venue our attendance has dropped. There are several opinions about where we should meet, but we do not have a new location nailed down, so I am going to suggest we return to the Hong Kong Chinese Restaurant on Madison Street in Shelbyville.

We had a large, private room there that we could have slide presentations, guest speakers, eat buffet, order from the menu or not eat at all, without bothering the other patrons. There is ample parking and it is easy for new folks to find. We had one person voice an opinion here that they would like a different location, BUT, to my knowledge they never showed up when we moved, so….. unless I hear a LOT of discontent, lets return to Hong Kong.

We don't have formalized meetings, but if you have a topic you want discussed, come and let us know. All of us have different interests, but someone will usually have some knowledge about it. If not, we go to the web and research it there.

ALL are welcome. You don't have to be a gardener, or wear any special clothes, but if you want to wear a tuxedo or formal gown, that's OK too.

One subject suggested up by our esteemed member espootoon is to come with our seed list and catalogs, so that we can possible combine or share and SAVE MONEY. Last year, we brought our extra seedlings or seed to the meetings to share and I expect this year to be no different. I will probably start some spring veggies within the next few weeks and we have a tomato and eggplant that we are babying from last season.

Our fennel did not make it. For some reason, it just up and died about two weeks ago, but the cilantro (coriander) we brought in at the same time is still doing fine. If anyone wants catnip, lemon mint, or "sweet annie" (Artemisia annua) this coming year, come to the meeting and speak up. Those things are growing wild up here and become weeds.

I will also share my figs trees again this year. Buying them from the mail order catalogs seem to cost between $15-$25 so that alone should help pay you gas to a meeting. I have one rooted up in a bucket right now, The others will have to wait until spring. I will probably move the location of my Italian fig this year. It never prospered the way my other fig variety does.

I am rambling and I have things to list on the web, so…… later!

PS: I am not going to wait more than a day before I send our meeting notice to the T-G, so if you have a comment, get it to me. You can either write here or send a private e-mail to Steve@bedfordtradingpost.com

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I'd come at a different time.

Anything's fine with me.

Fridays have started having some conflicts (such as the concert at Fifties n Fiddles January 9 ).

I'd like some of your "weeds" to try again this year.

Most of what I adopted last year did fine.

Some of the earliest offerings didn't survive the pruning and repotting my "gardening staff" of cats performed.

This year,I plan to give them their own mini-garden and the job of helping me study the catalogs.

Do y'all employ your birds for insect and weed control?

I've seen portable coops where fowl prepare soil and eat pests then the garden is planted where the birds have left it bare and well composted then the birds move to a fresh place until its time for them to them to take on a "retired" spot that needs aerating,clean up and enrichment from compost or green manures.

We've had free range birds in the past but they'd either be lost to predators or they'd decide to do their free-ranging at the barn,the house or in our vehicles.

What else might be compatible with pets and livestock?

-- Posted by quantumcat on Thu, Jan 8, 2009, at 10:13 AM

We have 3 chickens...Fred, Wilma and Ginger. We have a little shed and milk crates stuffed with hay. They eat the food scraps that our outside dog (in a pen) Bear doesn't eat. They also get horse feed twice a day. We have a few little scrub cedars that they like, but they prefer the outside horse stall to take shelter in during the day. Wilma and Ginger gave us 4-5 eggs every other day or so. They aren't laying right now. I get eggs from a friend a work and there is a lady down the road from me who has eggs for sale occasionally. Her sign is back up, so I expect Wilma and Ginger to be back to work any day now.

-- Posted by Jacks4me on Thu, Jan 8, 2009, at 7:07 AM

I might come by to hear about the peafowl, chickens and guineas - since our only experience is with suicidal guineas, I'd like to know how to make them live.

-- Posted by cfrich on Wed, Jan 7, 2009, at 10:20 AM

One of our members wants to talk about plants and landscaping that will survive free-range pea fowl, chickens and guineas. If you have experience in this, please come. We will also research this on the net after we get a little more info, but we will do that there, so come and learn or teach.

-- Posted by stevemills on Wed, Jan 7, 2009, at 7:53 AM

Saturday would be OK. I should be there this Friday-Hong Kong. I'll bring a mental list.

-- Posted by espoontoon on Wed, Jan 7, 2009, at 6:39 AM

Saturday meetings would be even better for me instead of Friday!

-- Posted by welkin61 on Tue, Jan 6, 2009, at 5:36 PM

We have the trees but I have not checked. I know we have walnuts but the acorns are much smaller, so much easier to miss.

Two years ago, when we had the 20 degree weather last in spring, I know we lost a lot of nuts and seeds, but our squirrels seemed to survive. We fed them more at feeders, but they probably would have survived anyway.

I think where weather is more extreme the different foods are harder to come by when the snows come in.

Since this shortage seems to be in pockets, I wonder if they are areas that are prone to late spring frosts or freezes. It is not unusual to see 5 degrees of difference between our house and Bell Buckle, so more mountainous ares could see even more swings.

Back on the garden club schedule for a moment. My schedule is shaping up that will almost knock Friday nights out entirely. Saturday or Sunday afternoons are looking better, more and more.

-- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Jan 6, 2009, at 9:16 AM

I don't have an oak tree in my yard...I really don't know where there is one. There are some woods behind my house...maybe I'll take a walk back there this weekend and see if I can find one and see if there were any acorns.

-- Posted by Jacks4me on Tue, Jan 6, 2009, at 8:28 AM

Here is a link to the acorn mystery: http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/science/12/...

-- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Jan 5, 2009, at 8:53 PM

ANYTHING counts that grows.

An acorn shortage? I will check it out.

Thanks for "talking". I was starting to take extra breath mints.

-- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Jan 5, 2009, at 8:48 PM

I'll talk to you:-)

I could come on Saturdays...:-) My garden never took hold last year, but I REALLY want to get one going this year, even if I don't have anything but tomatoes and squash:-)

We did have a live/balled Christmas tree this year that we planted and I got a tulip poplar that we planted late fall. Does that count for gardening?

Did you see the story about an acorn shortage in Virginia?

-- Posted by Jacks4me on Mon, Jan 5, 2009, at 4:38 PM

I am trying to figure out what just happened.

I had the day planned out for watching some football, doing some eBay and sorting my seeds. Somehow I just got in from going to gather a load of firewood, unloading, splitting and stacking.

Where did my relaxing day go? I never saw it coming.

-- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Jan 4, 2009, at 5:03 PM

Ever get the feeling the you are talking (writing) to yourself?

Since no one seems to have an opinion, the meeting will be at the Hong Kong Restaurant on Madison Street in Shelbyville. It is where Shoneys used to be.

-- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Jan 4, 2009, at 7:27 AM

Would anyone consider changing the night to Saturday a BIG issue? My schedule is shaping up to make Friday nights tough. Maybe that would help those who attending school games.

-- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Jan 3, 2009, at 11:46 AM

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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter and live on a farm outside of Bell Buckle. They previously owned two coffee/ice cream shops, currently operate an internet sales company and teach classes, but his primary job involves the paper industry worldwide. Hobbies and interests lie in gardening, photography, recorded music and of course, their pets.