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Messages - Ragun Gardener

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Fruit Trees / Who's picking pecans?
« on: October 21, 2018, 11:27:15 AM »
The Pecan trees are raining pecans. All 11 trees are littered with so many pecans you can't walk under them without stepping on one. I barely picked from the two trees near the house and filled two crawfish sacks already.

General Discussion / Re: Harvest sweet potatoes
« on: October 18, 2018, 03:25:29 PM »
I'm glad it worked, I found those looking for parts for a charcuterie curing chamber. They also have a temp controller too that might work for seedlings.

Happy Hour / Re: Whats for supper ?
« on: October 13, 2018, 04:01:56 PM »
Last night didn't go as planned. I browned the beef to make spaghetti but the sauce was bad so I cooked frozen pizza instead.

Then I started playing with my food again!!

I'll call it Beef Taco Macaroni and Cheese!!


Kraft Mac-n-Cheese noodles.

The beef, tomatoes and taco seasoning.

Kraft craft made chemical cheese powder stuff.

more cheese

Noodles with a little pasta water

In the pool

More cheese and Habaneros

Baked at 400

Salsa, sour cream and cilantro

I used 2 boxes of Mac-n-Cheese and should've used 2 packs of taco seasoning, the cheese washed out the flavor a little but it was good.

No clue what's on the menu tonight, I haven't thought that far ahead yet.

General Discussion / Re: What did you do in the garden today ?
« on: October 11, 2018, 09:21:22 PM »
Throw them on a paper plate for a week and mail'em.

General Discussion / Re: What's the weather like in your area ?
« on: October 11, 2018, 08:01:40 AM »
BRRRRR!!! 63 this morning. It seems like forever since it's been this cool.

Flowers / Re: What is Blooming?
« on: October 11, 2018, 07:59:15 AM »
I didn't notice but the wind was also blowing and I couldn't tell.

Happy Hour / Re: Whats for supper ?
« on: October 10, 2018, 08:41:03 PM »
I had the butcher cut a rack of ribs across the slab, we do that to make Jambalaya, browned them with onions and mushrooms to make a gravy. Butter beans, collards and some boiled baby okra from the yard.

Both hot sauces worked great with this meal, I could use the "Clearly Guilty" sauce as a dip for the okra and it worked for the greens too. It's a vinegar based sauce from my buddy in SC. He's a detective about to retire and started making sauce for a hobby. One of the nicest guys you'll ever meet considering the problems police deal with today. Check out his site and give Reggie a call, he's as nice as your next door neighbor.

Happy Hour / Re: Getting ready for winter
« on: October 10, 2018, 05:55:11 PM »
Nice, I like those simple jobs especially when everything starts after sitting. The power went out for about 3 hours so I pulled the Gennie out and ended up cleaning the carb out for it to start. 10 minutes after I got it running the power came back on. At least it's running now!!! I need to get back in the habit of using it around the property, a pruning blade on a saw saw works like a charm on small branches.

Fruit Trees / Re: Started Grapefruit from seeds
« on: October 10, 2018, 11:34:09 AM »
Update on the seedlings, I left them under the trees all year and they're growing.

Here's the plant that had 3 seedlings sprout.

Big lemon seed from the store

These are the grapefruit, they're growing a thicker trunk than the lemons

Flowers / Re: What is Blooming?
« on: October 10, 2018, 11:25:32 AM »

Bromeliad past it's prime bloom, the purple is washed out

I just noticed the Ginger blooming

I saw this guy on a Maypop plant and had to look it up. It's a oleander caterpillar.

Fruit Trees / Re: Anyone growing a Pawpaw tree?
« on: October 10, 2018, 10:07:13 AM »
I have 4 trees growing in a 5 gallon bucket that I started from seeds this Spring. I got them from a seed swap and the lady only had one tree in her yard.

It's a process to grow from seed, they were mailed to me in a ziplock with damp paper towel. I keep them in the fridge over winter and planted them in April. They took about a month to sprout, apparently the roots develop before sending up a shoot. I have them under an oak tree and they grow slow. I'm not sure if they'll even grow here so it's more of an experiment to play with.

It's my understanding that the trees will self pollinate but it's better to have a 2nd tree to help. By the time the anthers are ready to give pollen, it is too late for the stigma to accept them BUT flowers bloom at different times so it can self pollinate. I was told that she hangs an old piece of meat in the tree to attract flies to pollinate the flowers. Bees don't pollinate them, flies and other bugs do. You can also pollinate them yourself with a small paintbrush.

From reading they don't like full sun when young and will do better in part shade. If I were you I would get another tree or three just to make sure.

Here's pics of the growth, only 6 more years to go for fruit!!!!! :)

Fruit Trees / Re: It's fruit picking time down here!!!!
« on: October 08, 2018, 10:15:31 AM »
Do possums/coons steal your persimmons? I think that would be a problem.

 I would like a grafted or proven cultivar this time. do you know of any?    bruce

Bruce, yes the critters like them too but it's not bad.

I don't know which cultivar would be best to plant. I found this chart that list the growing habits of some and I think it would be best to pick a variety that ripens mid to late season. Take a look at this site.

Happy Hour / Re: Got any interesting news?
« on: October 05, 2018, 10:45:58 AM »
I'm glad ya'll had fun Vince. Isn't it time to start growing there?

Fruit Trees / Re: It's fruit picking time down here!!!!
« on: October 05, 2018, 07:45:00 AM »
Thanks Maggie!

Chapman, the JP trees usually start budding late December-February. The frost got the buds the last 2 years and this year it's early. It's off schedule but I'll take it.

I forgot to mention, the pecan trees are starting to drop pecans too and it looks like it should be a good year.

Fruit Trees / It's fruit picking time down here!!!!
« on: October 04, 2018, 04:48:12 PM »
I walked around and snapped a few pics of the fruit trees today.
Japanese Plum is in full bloom, it should be a great year.

I call this the Charlie Brown orange tree, it's about 7" tall but puts on so much fruit the branches sag.

Kumquats starting to change color

This has been a good year for Persimmons

The other orange tree is lagging behind.

This was a small round Kumquat tree I planted 2 years ago but the freeze last year killed it or I thought. I think this is the root stock growing and it's making fruit. You can see a Kumquat to the left of the flower hiding behind the leaves. I'll have to do a taste test to check the flavor, if it taste bad then I'll graft a blood orange branch on it.

Recipes / Re: Hot Pepper salt method
« on: October 01, 2018, 01:40:38 PM »
I smoked a small brisket to make cheese-steak sliders and since the barrel was still rolling I decided to smoke some ghost peppers. The barrel was a little too hot and basically also roasted/dehydrated the peppers but it did add more flavor.

I reconstituted them in a small bowl of water then into the blender with a little lemon juice and some of the water from the bowl.

I measured the pulp/liquid for future reference, this was a little too much for a 3lb box of course Kosher salt as you can see the liquid in the pan before they went in the convection oven set at 170F for a few hours to dry.

I dumped everything back in the FP and added enough of that water to make it a thick slurry. Last time I made pepper salt I used a bigger FP and that worked much better. I didn't have to add as much liquid to get all of the salt mixed thoroughly.

I left the pans in the oven for about 4 hours and started breaking up the salt once it was dry enough. Here's the final product. It has a slight smoke flavor but I wanted more so I took one jar and smoked it the next day for 8 hours using hickory.

The jar on the right is the smoked salt and you can smell it so much more than the other jar. I was expecting a darker color but it looks like the smoke washed the pink color out some. It has good flavor and it's not too hot for most people, not as hot as I wanted it so next time I'll double the pepper amount.

I used 3 handfuls of hickory chips and about 3lbs of charcoal, I set up the coals in the snake method and topped it with chips and that burned about 8 hours. I'm gonna order an A Maze N smoker since it last about 12 hours using wood pellets.

And yes the brisket cheese-steak sliders were good!

General Discussion / Re: Free tomatoes!!!
« on: September 30, 2018, 10:56:33 PM »
That's great Judy, I'm excited to see what color they are. I missed your last few post but I'm glad you're keeping the info coming. Good Luck getting some ripe before the surprise cold front comes through.

General Discussion / Re: What did you do in the garden today ?
« on: September 30, 2018, 10:59:19 AM »
It's a crazy fruit season down here. The persimmons are ripe and every tree I saw riding around is also loaded. The oranges are starting to turn color but the kumquat tree which usually ripens first is lagging behind. The pecans are starting to fall and it looks like it's gonna be a good crop but what I'm surprised about is the loquat/Japanese plum tree is loaded with blooms about 2 months earlier than usual. It hasn't produced the last two years from a late freezes and I'm guessing that's what made it bloom early.

Maybe the freezes last year has something to do with the good harvest this year. I'll take it and hope it doesn't have long term effects.

Happy Hour / Re: Well....think I screwed up!!
« on: September 28, 2018, 05:42:09 PM »
Once it's dried out it's fine to use bleach. Put a fan on it and get it dry, you can clean it up after with bleach water or go to Home Depot and find a cleaner for mold.

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