Friday, September 27, 2013

Ah Fall, thou hath prepared the land for wintery slumber.

Welcome back to another episode of Lost in the Farmer’s market where we look at the technology, trends and ideas of the Organic and sustainability movement and test them so you don’t have to. This week’s episode was left open which is the tradition for the final episodes of the month in the fall and winter to allow for open topic discussion based on whatever comes up in the news and otherwise. So first off the good news which can be found here:

This is some of the best news all year in the battle to defeat Monsanto’s attempt to bypass the court system and gain an unfair legal protection. Those of you who have watched this blog know that I’ve talked about Monsanto quite a bit prior. My prior comments allude to their blatant dishonesty, trespassing, intentional destruction of native species and pollution of the air and water. In short if a biblical devil existed it’d be straight tie between Haliburton and Monsanto for the title. For note the former was caught destroying records in relation to the BP deep horizon oil spill not so long ago. But I digress, because there is some Ranch news to cover also.

At some point on Monday the 23rd, some careless driver hit the frontal mailbox bed. Now this is not new, as one of the mail delivery folks often side swipes the bed and knocks a few bricks loose which is no biggie. But just about every year someone side swipes the bed  pretty badly because the street in front of the ranch has a very subtle curve. This time however they seemingly backed up into the bed and ran over several plants including one rather mature prickly pear. The cactus was shattered to bits and numerous bricks were pulled out of the bed at least two feet and left in the street. The pictures really speak for themselves, but keep in mind they were taken on Tuesday as I had only noticed the damage late Monday night and had already recovered the bricks.

Look at that, they drive from the front of the bed at a slight angle over the coreopsis, prickly pear and to the back of the bed almost. Fortunately after the big sideswipe incident the bricks on the front of the bed are not mortared anymore.
You can see the snapped Hibiscus stems (the red ones), the damaged cone flowers and the snapped prickly pear pads. If you notice the soil line in the back it's impressed where the tire was. Those rear bricks were ballooned out. On the full resolution shot the color difference between the undisturbed and disturbed mulch is quite clear.

I honestly don’t know whether to be annoyed or relieved. On one hand there is someone out there driving this badly, but on the other hand no one was hurt. Considering my mailbox is as tall as a child under 10, had this occurred while the neighbor’s kids across the street were out this might have been a crime scene.  That said whoever you are that did this, I hope your vehicle took some damage you deserve it. More so, I hope your insurance company if you even have one; laughs at you when you try and file a claim for the damage. But enough on this, it’s a downward spiral to go on about the bad which brings us to some field photos of critters encountered in the last week or so.

Two times the Critter two times the fun! There are two Green Anole lizards in this picture, one is near the upper right the other is dead center,

The green Anole is a common but small lizard in North Carolina. They are generally beneficial as they eat insects and such and pose no real threat to humans or live stock. They prefer areas where they have adequate cover such as shrub rows areas with heavy vine growth and in wooded areas. It is a little known fact they can to a limited extent change their skin colors to match or closely resemble their surroundings. Int he image above the two sported differing colors. The one up top is clearly a solid green but the one below was more of a dusty tan. The answer for why is clear, They only became visible after I tore out the Kiwano vines in that bed the one up top was probably living in the vines while the tan one was probably in or near the surrounding lawn area.

A Red-Cockaded Woodpecker, as seen hopping about at last week's Farmer's Market.

These native Woodpeckers are known best for causing the rings of pockmarks on wax myrtles and certain other trees and shrubs in North Carolina.  This one seemed to be a bit young and seemed unable to fly as he or she hopped between trees rather then flying. The woodpecker was used to people to a point I was within two feet to snap this photo. For note the "red-cockaded" part of this woodpecker's name refers to a red spot on the back of it's head which you can partially see in the picture. Before anyone asks, woodpeckers are generally considered quite beneficial and the rings of pockmarks they make generally are not damaging to the trees they choose.

I told you I had a resident rabbit!
 The above is one of the resident rabbits at the ranch doing what he or she does best mowing the lawn by eating it! This little rabbit likes to hang about the growing trays and eat the crab grass that has come up about the trays as a result of the plant irrigation runoff. As far as I know, there are a total of three rabbits that are in the area, two adults and one youngster and this is the young one. This wraps up the summer photographs, and this brings us to the farmers market information.

Despite the summer heat I am still manning the booth down at the Fayetteville Farmers / City Market in downtown Fayetteville. Keep in mind the venue is open rain or shine with the proviso that obviously violent storms are about the only thing to impact the market being open. The market runs from 9:00 am through 1:00pm and is located at 325 Franklin Street. As always there will be great handouts about soil conservation and wildlife management and of course copies of my book Southward Skies.

Little did we know it is now officially fall and the weather has taken a delightful head start which makes for fantastic market weather. I am still holding up the fort at the Fayetteville City/Farmer’s market which can be found in downtown Fayetteville on 325 Franklin Street between the hours of 9:00 am through 1:00 pm. For note there is a ton of local parking, and our site is the front and side lot of the Fayetteville Transportation museum.  The folks who run the farmer’s market are reorganizing the vendor placement so if you don’t see me in the usual slot check around the farmer’s area as I may have been moved to that region. Without any more delay the list below is the Market Plant list for this Saturday!

House Plants:
4x Silver Ridge Aloe
4x Life Saver Cactus

2x Herb, Purple Coneflower ‘Magnus’

Cool Season Crops:
6x Kale, Dinosaur/Lacinato/Black Cabbage
4x Asian Cabbage, Napa
8x Cabbage-Collards, Morris Heading type
5x Cabbage, Savoy
4x Radicchio, Red
4x Lettuce, Salad Bowl Mix
5x Collards, Georgia

Coming Soon:
4x Mustard, Japanese Red Giant (Spicier then normal R.G.)
?x Mustard, Red Giant

The plant list despite its day late arrival brings to a close this episode of lost in the farmer’s Market. I look forward to seeing those of who plant to hit up the farmers market on Saturday and those who have already RSVP’d for the garden tour at the end of October. As always folks, keep ‘em growing!

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