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January 27, 2023

I am an expert in digging holes. That I can do. There is no shovel Olympics but if there was, I could easily bring home the silver. Every hole I dug began with a certain anticipation of what I would find. There would be dirt and rocks and sometimes a few cool rocks but what …

January 25, 2023

The thimbleberry represents one of those plants with a certain mystique around it.  Many people throughout the world know this plant in its northern arboreal habitats as well as in mountainous regions within the United States. It is one of many of circumpolar plants found on many continents. Yet no one cultivates it. Why would …

January 21, 2023

My 2 yr. peach and apple from seeds planting. Soilicious made it possible. Soilicious Formula: Soil Adjuvant for Planting Seedling Trees in An Open Field Forty years ago it was difficult for me to establish trees in my open pasture. Now it is easy. Here is something I found that works for me. I think …

December 16, 2022

When I started my farm after college in the early 80’s I soon found out that my limited resources was not going to allow me to plant a typical orchard of grafted fruit cultivars let alone a barn to work in or irrigation. (That took me another decade to accomplish.)  I began to look for …

December 12, 2022

You might be surprised at the shenanigans of the nursery industry. I wince when I think my own problems I encountered let alone scaled up versions of the same or different issues running a small business. Most are just odd things that occur but they all taught me valuable  lessons. When I closed my nursery, …

November 28, 2022

The Milkweed Forest On one of my family’s Christmas tree farms a great expanse of milkweed existed. This was due to an over application of Simazine herbicide which sterilized the soil for several years.  This not only wiped out all existing vegetation, it prevented everything else from germinating.  Apparently milkweed was immune to this.  The …

November 17, 2022

It all started with jury duty. In this case, it was purgatory with magazines. The waiting room was stacked with magazines as it was the era before cell phones.  A Smithsonian article on corn and its possible origins caught my attention. I dove in. Apparently a scientist discovered a species of grass unrelated to corn …

October 24, 2022

Last seen on Belle Isle, Michigan in 1896, the thicket bean established itself in the thickets of this island in the middle of the Detroit River. It was never seen again. “If native, this was surely at the northern edge of the range for this species” wrote Edward G. Voss in Michigan Flora Part 2 …

October 18, 2022

Not too far from this wonderful slippery elm tree on my family’s farm was a great field of rye my father and I created. Like this tree, the rye field idea was latent and was not discovered until later in life. Who knew it was there all along? The field was the last thing we …

October 12, 2022

To grow a pear tree as a source of wood for musical instruments seemed like a long shot when I first started. I got the idea initially from a Hohner pear wood recorder I purchased in high school. I had quit playing trumpet and needed another avenue. Please note I was not aware of Miles …