Monday, January 03, 2011

Urban Farming 2011......

2010 was not a very good year in our garden for anything other than morning glories, tomatoes and tobacco. It was either excessively hot or excessively wet all summer and killed/damaged just about everything. We are hoping for a better gardening year in 2011. I have already started planning.

I am starting with finding out how many things we can grow that are on the United Plant Savers "At Risk" and "Too-Watch" list.

Currently, there is a medium-sized dying crab apple tree that I want to get rid of (read this as chop into fire wood for our homemade pit). Reason for wanting to get rid of?....it is on its way to dead and the dog is now obsessed with trying to get the fruit (not good for dogs). I find this tree to be very useless and, as Husband said, it is not even pretty anymore.   

The replacement I would like?
A Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra). It is on the "At-Risk" list.
~~~It is said to be less susceptible to Dutch Elm Disease than other elm trees. Contrary to what is widely said, there are some things that can be done about Dutch Elm Disease (besides destroying the tree).
~~~The tree is 40-130 feet tall when mature. I have not found out how long it takes to mature yet....but we plan to get safety equipment to help in the pruning of this tree before that occurs.
~~~To some extent, the size of the tree can be managed by pruning. Some pruning is complex as to exactly where to cut and is recommended to be done by a professional service (I am thinking that with a lot of research Husband can do this...being a sculptor, he is good at anything that involves good visual skills).
~~~There are ways to use parts of the the tree without harming its growth.
~~~Slippery elm is a demuclent.
~~~There are many things that slippery elm can be used to help dogs with.....including nervous stomach (which our dog has). Recipe for digestive tincture. Apparently, there are a lot of products (including treats) that have slippery elm in them at pet stores.
~~~The inner bark can be spun into thread,twine or rope.
~~~Slippery elm gruel/tea is said to aid the digestive track. The gruel is the "Slippery Elm Porridge" that Washington and his men survived on for 12 days at Valley Forge. I am sure that this recipe for Slippery Elm Gruel tastes much better than what Washington had!

Licensed photo. Photo taken by John Nyberg of HDRfoto
I do not know if the above are Slippery Elm (sometimes called Red Elm)...but this is certainly a good example of how Dutch Elm Diseases (DED) often spreads. From my understanding, it goes from one joined set of roots to the next and takes out a whole avenue.

Tree pollen allergy... the (not usual) oral allergy syndrome is alarming.
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This is Day 3 of the Blog Dare. I will have fun blogging every day this year. :-)

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