Thursday, October 30, 2014

Goji Berries

This is the time of the year when goji berries start to produce. They are also called wolfberries. (Lycium chinense)

If you look closely you can see the red berries in the center of the picture. To me they taste like peppers, but not hot. They come from the same family Solanaceae.

The plant is a bush with long skinny stems. I used a wire cage to help mine stand up more vertically otherwise it would be growing along the ground.

Last year it was only when the weather hit the single digits that the plant seemed to have any ill effects.

The berries are small and red like little peppers, they start out green. They are native to Asia. They are suppose to be full of anti-oxidants. They are labeled as "super fruit" these days.

I've just seen them selling for $25/lb on the internet. So far we haven't really figured out how to use them. I've seen them dried a lot. The taste isn't that great to me, but I don't think I've let the fruit ripen enough yet.

The plant is loaded with them this season so hopefully we can figure out what to do with them. They are super easy to propagate, every single cutting I've made has taken root.

Sunday, October 26, 2014


These are cuttings of that have been rooted from an elderberry plant in the yard. They are very easy to root. But you have to get the woody part of the stem. The green part won't root.

I used a mixture of sphagnum moss and perlite as the medium. I also put a mister on a timer that comes on for ten minutes every two hours. I think that is key. The cuttings are in a fairly shaded spot for most of the day.

Another easy to root plant is goji berry. The green stems of the goji's will root. The leaves won't even drop off. They just go.
I used rooting hormone to help the roots get started on the cuttings. For comfrey, you can dig up some of the roots of a plant and make small cuttings, about an inch long and just replant them. They will come up in a few weeks. The crowns will grow in just a few days.

I have been experimenting with rooting some trees as well. I tried the same method with several trees, fig, peach, persimmon, asian pear, nectarine and apple. So far the only one that has worked is fig.
Another method of rooting tree cuttings is to wrap the cuttings in a wet paper towel and place them in a container. This method has been more of a success for the stone fruit cuttings for me. I learned this method here.
 Here is a shot of the container with the tree cuttings. The figs are doing the best. The peach are beginning to put on new growth but the persimmons aren't showing much at all, but they might.
In the bottom I put in some perlite to give the cuttings some support.
On the right is a peach cutting that is rooting from the paper towel method.
On the left is a fig cutting that is beginning to grow. Most of the trees sold in containers are at least 20$, so learning how to propagate them is a very beneficial skill to learn.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Growing Up

Bushy Tail

The little abandoned squirrel has grown exponentially. I call him Bushy Tail. He can climb with the best of them.

He's off the formula and onto solid food.

He loves grapes and pine nuts and sleeps in a shoe.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Abre los ojos

There are lots of beasts around here these days. One dog, three cats, four chickens, six frogs, a dozen or more fish and one squirrel.

I wonder what will be next...