Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Collection Grows!

Those of us who are intently waitinggggg waitingggg waitingggg on the day when we'll finally have some LAND have to do something to occupy our curiousity and interests in the meantime...and so my hubby has grown very excited about our little collection of plants in pots...with a view to growing them to a more mature size and closer to fruit-bearing by the time we can plant them on Our Someday Land permanently.

I've mentioned recently how this wee collection was added to with raspberry canes, gooseberries, a couple of grapes, and even a currant start...in addition to the mango, papayas, and the moringa we had before. Glad to say, so far so good as far as their survival. We'll see how they weather the Florida summer temps and our own amateur attentions by this time next year...hopefully we're choosing ones hardy to our area, as we really don't want to be raising things that are so fussy and delicate that they can't hold their own with minimal care when mature.

So the experiment commences, and tonight we had the happiness of adding some more sale plants (thank you, Lowes!) to the family...little one gallon pots...a few meyer lemons, a key lime, and a Persian Lime. We use lemons around this place like crazy, so lemons will surely be welcome, and of course limes are a great Florida fruit, too.

Earlier today we tried locating some camellia sinensis plants, as those are the actual plants from which "real" tea is made, either green, or fermented and such. We found one grower in north Florida, but his aren't ready for sale for a few more months, and he described their survival as very iffy...so they're not on the Foolproof Florida Plant list. My enthusiasm for plants declines directly in proportion to their being prima donas and needing a butler or a nanny. I'd rather wait hand and foot on some farm animals, for all that. Or on Antonia Banderas when he comes for a visit just to say hello. Oops, did I type that? Well, in my dreams, the Banderases will be our neighbors and regularly need raw milk and deliveries of fermented foods and fresh made bread. I'm sure it'll happen...

OK now that I'm awake again...

The biggest addition has been the smallest...we just ordered online from a northern supplier...guess what?? Yes, a Western Soapberry tree, yeeha! It's a native plant used as a traditional soaping agent, and has a fruit similar to the Asian Ritha tree from which "Soapnuts" are currently marketed as a natural clothes and household cleanser...and from which a gentle and natural shampoo and body wash can be homemade. We're realllyyyyyy excited about this! In all the excitement, we never found any actual Asian Ritha trees for sale anywhere online, but we did find (after a long search) a source for packets of the seeds, and ordered one packet of 5 seeds. According to the description, when the tree is finally mature, it can provide loads and loads of the fruits/soapnuts yearly....enough for ourselves and others, too, if we can get some to germinate and survive till maturity.

Anyway, it's ordered and on its way! Oh SO fun to try new things, especially growing ones!

And now to get some chickens to mingle with the pots out there, in the Taj Mahal, oh oops I mean pieced-together shade shelter J wants to put up in our backyard to buffer the summer sun. After all, shade cloth would be put up around its perimeter, and what better than some hens...oops, I mean Exotic Florida Ground Parrots (chickens are illegal here supposedly) to keep the weeds down and the bugs eaten?? Heh heh...

By the time that happens, I could very well see a sheep there, and oh a couple of rabbit hutches...you know...for free fertilizer (so goes the persuasive attempts to reason with my hubby, lol)

Ah, well, for now we have baby trees!

And that's all I have to say tonight. Except that it's hard typing a post while my husband is watching and commenting every few sentences. Especially the Antonio Banderas part. But his middle name is Antonio, so I'm off the hook, I think. (He's laughing!)

What I suffer for my art...

ha ;-)


Mrs. K's Lemonade Stand said...

I've never seen a Soapberry tree! I hope you post some pictures of it and your "experiments!" :)

Robbyn said...

Neither have I, in person :) It sounds like a candle and bath shop, doesn't it? When the order arrives, pictures will commence!