Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Meat and fruit

Class went well today.  This group was smaller, less than thirty students but they were more experienced so I didn't have to explain much of the basics.  Some wanted to get into a debate about rules and regulations.  No debate, I win.  Some rules are meant to be broken.  For example, there is a driving speed limit but if there's a fire or other emergency, of course, the fire engines or sheriff can go quicker than the speed limit.  But other rules can't be broken because if you don't want to follow the rule then you just don't get to do what you want.  If you want the color green and you have three crayons, blue, yellow, and red you must use blue and yellow to get the green color that you want.  If your colors are yellow and red, no matter how much you want to get green it will not happen.  You just have to change the colors to yellow and blue.  So as I said, no debate.  You do it that way or you don't get what you want.  See, class was easy to teach today.

I went by some of the local schools here in the town I'm visiting to see their gardens and public fruit trees.  Some of the trees had fruit but most were completely stripped bare.  It reminded me of when my kids were little.  They'd be so excited to eat the fresh fruit that they'd pick it a couple weeks before it was ready to be picked.  By the time the fruit would be perfect to eat the tree was already empty.  At least the grand kids will wait until I say GO.  Then they eat and eat and eat.  One of the problems with public fruit like this is that I'd expect the fruit to be picked prior to it being ready to eat.  After all, it's a race to get your share so you'd better pick it first...even if it's not ready to be picked.

There are many date palms growing around here.  People don't know what they are supposed to do with them so there probably will be dates available for the picking when they are ready.  I found some blackberries still on the vines.  They were in a very shaded area that is about a month or so behind most of the berries in this area.  That was an exciting find. 

One of my coworkers moved to this area.  I was able to go over there for dinner.  Nice bbq steak but better than that was his homegrown food.  Pineapple tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions made into a salad.  Broiled seasoned potatoes.  For dessert honeydew melon.  Didn't need the steak but it was nice to have too.  He had several chickens in a very large pen.  The pen was fenced with cattle/hog panels and had a small, perhaps 6x10 chicken coop in the middle.  The chickens hang out outside during the day and go into the coop at night.  He said they've never tried to fly out even though the fence is only four feet high.  My friend throws in squash, melons, and other overripe things from his garden.  He said they average 3/4 an egg per day during the summer.  That's good - 5 to 6 eggs per week per chicken.  He only has five hens, which gives him enough to eat plus a dozen to sell. 

I set my grapes up by imitating what he did with his berries when he lived in my town.  They are set up between the front walkway from the driveway to the house and the lawn.  They are in a long garden bed with strawberries as the ground cover.  At this house he now lives in he had his grapes in a really cool setup.  He bent 16 foot cattle/hog panels into an arch and staked them down.  The arch was about five or six feet wide and at least six feet high at the peak.  He had two vines planted on each side and the vines were growing up over the top.  This was fantastic.  First thing I though of was the grand kids would love being inside this little "room" during the summer, picking grapes from their roof.  This would also look great at the beginning of my walkway at the start of the path from the garage to the front door.  I can't wait to get home and build some of these.  It will be a quick and easy weekend task.

My other friend, who went to South Dakota to do some hunting, shot three antelope.  One is going into our freezer.  I have no clue what to do with it.  I suppose I cook it like I do goat or lamb?  I'm going to have to figure it out since we'll be getting about 60 or 70 pounds of it.   


  1. My brother gets a lot of antelope. I'll ask him how he fixes it.

  2. Love the panels and we use them for new things as we can afford them. Our chickens get out though. My job today is to stop them somehow. I think they go through the cattle panels.

  3. Do you have a pic of the arbor?