Category Archives: Gardening

Filberts or Hazelnuts? And Other Fruit Tree Nonsense

I have harvested, with the help of my children, a small box of filberts. I think in Oregon they call them filberts and elsewhere they are called hazelnuts. I don’t really know, but I guess they are different species. I really don’t know what I have growing.

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The youngest and our dog both love cracking them open to snack on. And guess what else loves to snack on filberts? The voracious coddling moth. Geeze do we have a problem over here. We avoid eating the larvae by cracking open the nut to peak inside after we’ve cracked open a shell with our handy dandy hammer. Our dog uses her teeth. If it’s yucky it goes in the garbage. We don’t want to put pests into our compost. But I don’t think our dog minds the larvae.

I know I probably shouldn’t let her eat things like plums and nuts but she does and she’s still here. Plus when I tell her not to she just ignores me or looks at me crazy. She wants to eat what we’re eating. And by the look of things it hasn’t stopped her up yet (but sometimes I wish she’d get stopped up or eat her own poop, lol).

Most of my fruit trees are wearing cardboard at the base of their trunks. I’m going to check them tomorrow for any moth cocoons. It started raining (sprinkling by Oregon standards) today so I am not sure how the cardboard is going to hold up.

I watched a video on how to harvest filberts and one person keeps their nuts in their car. It gets hot but it stays dry so I’m going to give it a try.

My oldest child wants us to make a chocolate/hazelnut spread so that’s what we’ll probably do with our small harvest.

How do you harvest and dry your nuts? What kinds of things do you make with them?

From Astarte Moon Inspirations

September Gardening by the Moon

Below is the September Gardening by The Moon Calendar from Farmers’ Almanac. In italics will be my personal plan. I’m in zone 7b for plant hardiness. One of my resources for when to plant is this website Gardenate.

September 2013
7th-8th Good Days For Planting Peas, Beans, Tomatoes, Peppers, And Other Aboveground Crops In Southern Florida, Texas, And California. Excellent For Sowing Grains, Hay, And Forage Crops. Plant Flowers. (Spread some saved flower seed and plant some peas)
9th-10th Excellent Time For Planting Aboveground Crops That Can Be Planted Now, Including Leafy Vegetables, Which Will Do Well. Start Seedbeds. (Plant some salad green seeds in vertical pallet garden)
11th-12th Clear Fencerows, Woodlots And Fields, But Do No Planting. (clear out blackberries along the fence and cut back vines, pick up old fruit, wrap fruit trees with cardboard)
13th-14th Any Aboveground Crops That Can Be Planted Now Will Do Well. (look through seeds and plant any that will work)
15th-17th Poor Planting Days. Kill Plant Pests. (remove snails from raised beds, cut back horseradish greens, harvest some stevia)
18th-19th Favorable Planting Days: First Day For Aboveground Crops. Last Day For Root Crops And Also Good For Transplanting. All Days Fine For Planting Vine Crops. (plant some garlic and beets? harvest radishes, carrots, and beets that are ready, harvest some horseradish and make horseradish sauce)
20th-22nd Seeds Planted Now Will Grow Poorly And Yield Little. (pick up old fruit, trim calendula, spread compost as needed)
23rd-24th Good Days For Planting Root Crops. Good Days For Transplanting. (plant some carrots and radishes)
25th-27th Seeds Planted Now Tend To Rot In The Ground. (clean up old fruit, check cardboard around trees, trim flowers)
28th-29th Fine Planting Days For Fall Potatoes, Turnips, Onions, Carrots, Beets, And Other Root Crops. Also Plant Seedbeds And Flower Gardens. Good Days For Transplanting. (plant some flower seeds and root seeds)
30th A Most Barren Period, Best For Killing Plant Pests, Or Doing Chores Around The Farm. (clean up around base of fruit trees, snails out of raised beds)

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Featured Image Source: Astarte Moon Inspirations

Pears, Pears, Pears and Pearfection

This year is full of new adventures for us at 3 Moon Homestead. Our pear tree has produced enough pears to harvest and not just snack on as they fall or get picked. I have no idea when and how to harvest pears so I did an internet search and came across this page from Oregon State University.

Did you know that pears ripen from the inside out and the core will start deteriorating if you wait for pears to ripen on the tree? I didn’t.

Also, pears are supposed to be cooled down for a couple days before the ripening process. Again, I had no idea. So off the table and counter and into the fridge they go (along with my 50lbs of apples, lol, that disappointingly will not be turned into cider but have become a go-to for dutch apple pie, apple sauce, and snacks).

I’ve sadly discovered that all the fruit trees have bugaroos that like to make holes in them. Snacking is strongly encouraged in slices unless you don’t mind biting into “worm” poop or pieces. (Ewwww!)

Also, I think the plums are finally ripe so I’m actually going to start the plum wine process today.

Now what to do with the pears? I guess we’ll have to wait and find out how many pears I collect.

Lots of harvesting on this September 1st!

Recipe for Hummingbird Food

I’m making some humming bird sugar water today. I’m not a fan of red dye but today I am going to add a little. The reason being, I’ve never seen a hummingbird eat from the feeder which is clear glass with a metal base. The flowers around the feeding holes have now faded from red to a muted yellowish color.

The ratio of sugar to water is 1:4.

According to Audubon, you should only use white sugar to supplement a hummingbird diet.

Here is a simple recipe from their website:

Perfect Hummer Food Recipe:

  • One part sugar to four parts water – stir until sugar is dissolved.
    • Measure examples:
    • One cup of sugar to four cups of water
    • 3/4 cup sugar to 3 cups water
    • 1/2 cup sugar to 2 cups of water.
  • Bring solution to a boil to kill bacteria and slow spoilage – allow to cool.
  • Fill feeders just enough for a day or two of use. Extra solution may be refrigerated if used within one week.

Eeek! Critters in My Compost

I try to turn my compost once a week. It’s located in a free standing pallet bin. It has wide slats (but narrow enough to keep my dog’s head out of there) with a open top and bottom. I also water the compost pile every 2-3 days as I am watering the yard.

Last time I turned my pile I found a mouse in there. One of my cats likes to hang out near me when I do yard work, but she’s not much of a mouser so the mouse went unnoticed as it ran from my compost pile to my raised beds. My dog caught wind of the mouse and was chasing it back and forth. I couldn’t catch it so I just scared it out of my raised bed and went on with turning my compost.

Today, I was turning my pile and down toward the bottom a mouse head poked out. WTHeck! It quickly went back in and I kept turning the pile.

I’m not sure what to do about it since it’s an open pile/bin. I don’t thinkĀ  I want to put a trap out there because sometimes I see my cats hanging out on top of the pile.

Suggestions?