Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Green July

(clicking on pics will enlarge)

Here's a pic of one of our cherished loquat trees. We simply love them...they give so much back for so little effort on our part, and they are truly lovely! If you've read one of my recent posts, we are harvesting their leaves for use as a home medicinal.

Here is one of the groupings of moringas, most of which are in their second or third year since being started from cuttings rooted right in the ground. They are a steady source of greens for us, and if we ever have animals, will be for them, too. They are so prolific we can't begin to keep up with them (they are long overdue for a good trimming back even now) but that is more profit than problem for us since mulching with their branches and leaves is a great fertilizer for our other plants. One of our favorite uses of the moringa is as a hot weather nurse plant/partial shade plant for other young trees. Our potted fig never found a comfortable location until we planted it right beside a moringa, which in the spring grows slowly but with the heat leaps skyward and mitigates the intensity of the sun glare for more tender plants. They die back in the winter, but come back with a vengeance with warm weather. We call this section of our lot "the jungle"...but it's more a feathery-ferny waving tunnel of green.

The stinging chaya plant is now topping seven feet in height! After a lusty pruning by the deer, it sprang back with a vengeance and is covered with butterfly-luring white flowers, unspectacular individually but grand food for pollinators! It is hard to capture the flowers well on camera, as the sun on the pure white makes for overexposed blobs...but up close, it's a star-studded display of white against a deep green foil. These leaves are simply delicious as a cooked green (they must be cooked, they contain cyanic properties (is that the right term?) that disappear with cooking, as do the "stingers" ( fine nettle-ish
"hairs") which are rendered non-stinging (and the texture is nice, not weird) as a cooked green. Anyway, as a pollinator-station alone, this plant rocks :) This one now is, I believe, three years old. Wow, has it been that long??

Thunderstorms have been GRATEFULLY received here in the past few weeks, which is now cutting today's computer time short. But I'll have more pics soon (they're already taken) I'll also respond to recent comments that I've neglected (sorry!). Just had to pop in and post at least a couple pics during this hot is your summer going, and what do you have growing??

MISS you guys! Sometimes it seems a lot happens between posts, and other times what's exciting to me doesnt exactly equate into dynamic updates, ha :)

More later...everyone enjoy the heat while we can!