Garden 2020

Spung-Man

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Jan 5, 2009
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How does the garden grow? Winter was incredibly warm this year, and we were able to pretty much continuously harvest crops. We're about two weeks ahead of schedule here as far as planting goes.

Region capture 4.jpg

A. Collards (front) and Chinese mustard greens (specifically Serifon, back) are still providing fresh greens.
B. Senposai, a hybrid of cabbage and komatsuna (Japanese mustard spinach), is tough as nails in heat and cold. It has the sweet taste of cabbage and the tenderness of komatsuna.
C. Various forms of chives, including garlic chives. The cultivar Allion (bottom right) is the most robust and mildest (least stinky) form of garlic chives.
D. Flat Italian parsley (right) and cilantro (left) produced during all but the coldest spells this winter.
E. Leaf lettuce, butterhead lettuce, garlic, heading broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, shelling peas, broccoli raab, and Jerusalem artichokes.
F. The planting hoe my grandmother (mother’s side) brought over from her Lemko village in the Carpathian Mountains (now Poland).

During the railroad era the promise of self-sufficiency on small lots lured poor immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe into the Pinelands. Many were hungry. My father was named for an uncle who basically died of starvation in northern Ukraine. His side of the family lived in the Great Sand Belt near the Pripyat Swamp—Europe’s equivalent to the Pine Barrens that stretched across the edges of the Fennoscandian Ice Sheet.

Marsh, E., Demitroff, M., and Schopp, P., 2019: The southern Pine Barrens: an ethnic archipelago. SoJourn: A Journal Devoted to the History, Culture, and Geography of South Jersey, 3, 2: 7–25.

S-M
 

old jersey girl

Explorer
Jul 26, 2017
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south nj near Delaware bayshore
How does the garden grow? Winter was incredibly warm this year, and we were able to pretty much continuously harvest crops. We're about two weeks ahead of schedule here as far as planting goes.


A. Collards (front) and Chinese mustard greens (specifically Serifon, back) are still providing fresh greens.
B. Senposai, a hybrid of cabbage and komatsuna (Japanese mustard spinach), is tough as nails in heat and cold. It has the sweet taste of cabbage and the tenderness of komatsuna.
C. Various forms of chives, including garlic chives. The cultivar Allion (bottom right) is the most robust and mildest (least stinky) form of garlic chives.
D. Flat Italian parsley (right) and cilantro (left) produced during all but the coldest spells this winter.
E. Leaf lettuce, butterhead lettuce, garlic, heading broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, shelling peas, broccoli raab, and Jerusalem artichokes.
F. The planting hoe my grandmother (mother’s side) brought over from her Lemko village in the Carpathian Mountains (now Poland).

During the railroad era the promise of self-sufficiency on small lots lured poor immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe into the Pinelands. Many were hungry. My father was named for an uncle who basically died of starvation in northern Ukraine. His side of the family lived in the Great Sand Belt near the Pripyat Swamp—Europe’s equivalent to the Pine Barrens that stretched across the edges of the Fennoscandian Ice Sheet.

Marsh, E., Demitroff, M., and Schopp, P., 2019: The southern Pine Barrens: an ethnic archipelago. SoJourn: A Journal Devoted to the History, Culture, and Geography of South Jersey, 3, 2: 7–25.

S-M
Looks like you have sandy soil. How are you amending it? I just planted my lettuce and spinach seedlings in planters on patio table. Where did you get the senposai?
 

bobpbx

Piney
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Oct 25, 2002
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Mark, I have a burning question. I don't want to take over your thread, delete this if you want.

You mentioned the Great Sand Belt, so I started googling that and randomly ended up at a website mentioning the Palouse loess of Washington State. In the first paragraph, the author says that:

"About a million years ago, during the Pleistocene epoch, things got really cold and huge glaciers formed. Soil and silt, partly volcanic in origin, was blown by the winds off the glaciers, much of it landing on the almost horizontal basalt plateau. During the last glacial period, about 15 thousand years ago, this loose, airborne soil accumulated to a depth of over 200 feet (60 m) in some places.

Soil and silt blowing off the glaciers? I would have thought that all would be ice on the surface of a glacier.

 

Boyd

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Funny, just last night I watched a documentary about the construction of the Hoover Dam. They mentioned this exact same phenomenon (or something similar), where the soil is actually hundreds of feet of accumulated dust. They said it made great farmland, but extremely difficult for dam construction, because if you dig a hole the walls just collapse. Their solution was pretty wild, they inserted refrigeration tubes deep into the ground and circulated ammonia to freeze the water in the soil. That held the soil in place long enough to build concrete walls to hold it back.
 
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Spung-Man

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Jan 5, 2009
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OJG,

If amended, sandy soils are some of the most productive soils in the world. The first thing to do is get a soil test kit at the local Cooperative Extension office for accurate lab results. Normally at this point I would rant and rave how great alfalfa meal is as a topdressing. However, the one source in Lancaster, PA, no longer seems to distribute it in the Atlantic County area.


In lieu of the alfalfa treatment I switched to a local organic-based fertilizer and added dolomitic lime. Alfalfa was a no-brainier. It had all the needed nutrients and sweetened the soil—building that all-important organic matter to boot.

PBX,

Europe’s Great Sand Belt followed the edge of the European continental ice sheet from the Yorkshire Moors and East Anglia in England, across the southern parts of Holland, Germany, and Poland, then continuing across northern Ukraine and Belarus to Moscow. I think of the ice sheets as sand factories. Windblown silt, desert dust called loess, makes up the great breadbaskets of world (Midwest of USA, Pampas of Argentina, central & southern Ukraine, the Yellow River Valley of China). There is much debate as to loess’ genesis. Some argue that glacial grinding is responsible but I, like the Russians, think a lot of this is detritus from Ice Age weathering of silicates under cold, dry, and windy conditions.

Kasse C. 1997. Cold-climate aeolian sand-sheet formation in north-western Europe (c.14–12.4 ka); a response to permafrost degradation and increased aridity. Permafrost and Periglacial Processes. 8: 295–311.
Murton JB et al. 2015. Palaeoenvironmental Interpretation of Yedoma Silt (Ice Complex) Deposition as Cold-Climate Loess, Duvanny Yar, Northeast Siberia. Permafrost and Periglacial Processes. 26: 208–288.

Look at the landscape along the Yellow River in Jiuzhoucheng, a town northwest of Lanzhou (Jiuzhoutai Mountain area).

IMG_7618.jpg

That region has some of the thickest loess deposits in the world, yet had little glacial activity anywhere near it during the Ice Age. Here Loess Plateau windblown silts are an incredible +1000-feet (300-meters) thick. A row of cave-like sand mines help to delineate the silt-layer’s depth to bottom, which also coincidentally marks the beginning of the Ice Age.

Boyd,

Like the Hoover Grand Coulee Dam area, here too slope failure is a major problem upon saturation by rain. China is removing the tops from dozens of barren mountains and filling valleys in a desolate part of northwest Gansu province. This massive undertaking will create flat ground to construct Lanzhou New City. This project is touted to be a Las Vegas-like oasis in the Gobi. Amazing.

S-M
 
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bobpbx

Piney
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Oct 25, 2002
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Mark, in reading your remark, I see where I misunderstood. The article says " Soil and silt, partly volcanic in origin, was blown by the winds off the glaciers". I erroneously read that as the soil and silt was coming off the glacier driven by wind. What they meant was the winds coming 'off' the glaciers were blowing the soil off the ground near the glaciers.
 

Gerania

Explorer
May 18, 2004
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Marlton
Looks like you have sandy soil. How are you amending it? I just planted my lettuce and spinach seedlings in planters on patio table. Where did you get the senposai?
I threw as much compost as I could make at my garden, but also bought some mushroom compost. I added peat every year. I finally found coir, coco fiber, and it lasts longer than peat. I had more clay than sand, but they both need the same things.
 

RednekF350

Piney
Feb 20, 2004
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I am going to try growing tobacco again this year. Me and two buddies grew some Burley about 20 years ago and the plants kicked ass. Unfortunately, we had no idea what we were doing with the picking and the curing. We hung it in a lean-to structure with no door and it got moldy and never cured. Our intent was to grow our own chewing tobacco and we even had a name picked out, Chewtown Chew. Chewtown is a ghost town settlement at the intersection of Chew Road and Sandy Causeway here in Waterford. A sort of relative was going to give me some flavoring ideas but he never came through.

I ordered seed this morning from a grower in Fayetteville, PA and I am going to get them started inside. The plants are beautiful when mature and are mostly pest free because of the nicotine ! That should tell me something but I am stubborn like that. :)
 

Spung-Man

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I am going to try growing tobacco again this year.
R-F350,

Tobacco was grown on a commercial scale here in the Roaring Twenties. During World War I, Walker (of Walkers Forge) partnered with Decker to form the 20,000-acre Waldeck (Walker-Decker) Farms Company between Richland, Milmay, and Buena. The intent was to grow a domestic source of licorice since the Southern European supply (mostly Greece) was cut off by hostilities.

MacAndrews & Forbes (a subsidiary of the American Tobacco Co) expressed licorice to render a foaming agent used in fire extinguishers (Foamite and Firefoam), the byproduct of which is a ground covering called Right-Dress Root Mulch. Licorice was also used in medicine and confectionery. The extract is also as a blender, binder, and sweetener in chewing tobacco, imbuing that dark rich brown color to the spit.

Google in parentheses “Tractors turning New Jersey woods into farms” for a digital copy of the 1919 Chilton Tractor & Implement Journal (Vol. 3, p.10) article covering the enormous clearing operation at Waldeck. After that licorice ventured failed, the speculators tried growing hardy lemon (Poncirus trifoliata), peanuts, Angora goats, moonshine, and tobacco.

There is a photo of a “Milmay” tobacco field on page 11 of Buena Vista Township Centennial: 1867–1967. Actually, this is the area around Bertuzzi’s Market on Tuckahoe Road locally called Buckhorn—the hamlet I grew up in).


I remember the telegraph poles running through the woods of Milmay as a kid, purportedly associated with the Star Tobacco Company. After the Crash of 1929 the land was pretty much abandoned for back taxes.

At this point I would ordinarily point out ills of chewing tobacco, but am reminded in fairness of my dearly missed centenarian neighbor who could hit with deadly accuracy a spittoon at 10-feet. The collected spit was then mixed with special herbs to ward off snakes, a rather pungent concoction that might well repel any beast.

S-M
 

RednekF350

Piney
Feb 20, 2004
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Fascinating account Spung-Man.

The tobacco must alter the licorice flavor because I absolutely hate licorice but I enjoy loose leaf chewing tobacco. My regular brand is Redman and I know that licorice is a primary additive to that product. Redman has an old photo of the original recipe on their website. Licorice, sugar and salt and something else I can't make out. I have attached it. They also have a lot of other historic tobacco production photos and old Redman TV commercials ! You may have to register (free) to view their complete site.

Pinkerton Tobacco, who makes Redman, is a good outfit and if you ever have an issue with a product they provide you with coupons for free replacements and future discounts. I also receive monthly discount coupons by mail but I learned abruptly that our legislature and horse-toothed Governor banned the redemption of all tobacco coupons in New Jersey on March 1, 2020. Nobody knows better than our Governor what is good for you, as is being proven daily. :)

I find it encouraging that Miss Daisy made it to 101and still chewed tobacco. I didn't know that NJ grew much tobacco but I do know PA still grows a fair amount in the Amish areas.

I have been chewing tobacco for almost 40 years and was a moderate smoker before that. I always believe in moderation with all my vices and so far so good. My dentist bitches at me at every visit but he still can't tell which side of my mouth that I chipmunk my tobacco in. :)

My tobacco seeds will be there when I get home from work today and I can't wait to get them going !

www.redman.com

 

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RednekF350

Piney
Feb 20, 2004
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Pestletown, N.J.
Seeds came today complete with instructions on propagation !
I am going to follow these instructions and start them indoors. We had dumb luck going in our favor the last time I grew tobacco. We planted the seeds directly in the ground after the last frost date and had more plants than we knew what to do with.

No Surgeon General warning on the seeds. I guess that comes later. :)
tobaccy .jpg
 
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RednekF350

Piney
Feb 20, 2004
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Mini-Tobacco farm underway ! Virginia Brightleaf on the right and Burley on the left. A little clumpy but I'll have more plants than I will know what to do with. The seed is like dust and hard to spread. I thought about mixing it with sand like I used to do with carrot seeds which helps thin the density of the seeds as you spread them.

Sprouted in 4 days, following the supplier's instructions. This is day 8 since I put the seed on a bed of seed starter mix. The first 4 days were in these non-draining roasting pans with a plastic wrap cover. They will stay in these pans uncovered in a window until I transplant to individual seedling cups using tweezers.

The first time I grew tobacco I tilled a couple rows in my buddy's field and just seeded them. It grew like wildfire. I may try that again next year. :)
sprouts (Medium).jpg
 

Spung-Man

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Jan 5, 2009
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Wow, those are tiny seedlings. Will Brightleaf or Burley make a serviceable ornamental? I remember seeing tobacco used as a large bedding plant at comfort centers Down South. Their piercingly sweet evening blooms were downright narcotic.
 

RednekF350

Piney
Feb 20, 2004
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Pestletown, N.J.
Wow, those are tiny seedlings. Will Brightleaf or Burley make a serviceable ornamental? I remember seeing tobacco used as a large bedding plant at comfort centers Down South. Their piercingly sweet evening blooms were downright narcotic.
I would think they would Spung-Man. I am not sure about the Virginia bright leaf but I do know, from growing it in the past, that Burley is a beautiful plant. They do grow very large and take up a lot of room. I am still trying to figure out where I will plant them.
 

Spung-Man

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Jan 5, 2009
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Here's eight weeks of progress on the sandpile:

IMG_3808.jpeg

It’s been a pretty good year for cool-season crops. Broccoli Raab is finished, as are the first crops of lettuce, parsley, radish, choy sum, and cilantro. Pine voles got three romaine heads, and Blue (the duck) gobbled two butterheads before I had a chance to turn around.

Staying home is busier than going to work! I just finished editing a book by a dear old friend, archeologist Richard Regensburg. It’s about the Savich Farm site near Marlton he worked on during the 1970s. It is an important contribution to a Late Archaic site near Marlton.

It was great fun to help with Estell Empire: Ships, Settlements, Suffrage and Society. Their family enterprise was heavily based on forest products. Fortunately the exhibition has been extended to January 8, 2021, but the attendant field trips and lectures are up in the air.


Sadly, we also had to ditch the working tar kiln exhibit at Estell Manor Park. Bummer...


S-M