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View Diary: *New Day* What do you do with all the stuff you grow in summer? (240 comments)

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  •  ...this sounds like a diary ::hint hint:: ... (6+ / 0-)

    Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer the consequences. -7.38; -3.44

    by paradise50 on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 11:54:53 AM PDT

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    •  Oh, Lordy! (7+ / 0-)

      I've kept up with all that I've learned in 20+ years of living and growing in these abundant mountains on my blog, Wise Living Journal. Did one here about building the solar dryer that was pretty well received.

      Apples are Big Biz around these parts, the WNC highlands being particularly suited. When we moved here we had a couple of ancient apple trees so big that I suspected Johnny Appleseed probably planted them. But we've also got a great Mama Pear with a 7-foot circumferance trunk who is still living and producing hard little cinnamon pears from the orchard that covered these top of the ridge terraces in the 1930s. They made moonshine back then down by the creek, the fruit as integral part of the malt-mash (corn)...

      Come to think of it, moonshine is still a pretty good way of making a living here. Three batches from the same mash - first one is primo moonshine, high-dollar stuff. Second batch is your everyday 'shine, it'll get you drunk but isn't very good. Third batch is rot-gut, but you don't drink it - you use it to fuel the tractor so you can grow more corn! Very cost-effective... §;o)

      •  ...did you have to kill the pit-viper? We have... (5+ / 0-)

        ...lots. We just coax them into a box and take them away...let them go on their merry way...

        Ignorance is bliss only for the ignorant. The rest of us must suffer the consequences. -7.38; -3.44

        by paradise50 on Tue Jul 23, 2013 at 01:15:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Haha! Yeah. But you may be glad (6+ / 0-)

          to learn it was the very first timber rattler we'd discovered in the yard in all the 20+ years we've lived here. These biggest of rattlers are more 'highly' evolved in my mind than the usual pit vipers we deal with harshly - copperheads, who think they own the place and will chase you down even though they know they can't eat you - around here. Rattlers stay in the forest, which is their territory and we don't claim too much of it. The reason they have rattles is to warn you - they do NOT want to bite you because they can't eat you and venom is precious. If you just make noise or take a dog with you, they'll retreat.

          This one was literally on the garden fence, right next to the gate. One of the cats had stalked it, had it cornered. We can't have that here, really. Way too many places to hide if they want to move in, and timbers are really big snakes (eat rabbits and baby groundhogs, squirrels whole). We've found skins on hikes twice the size of this one.

          We leave them the forest - we live literally 10 feet from national forest bear sanctuary, hundreds of thousands of acres of it. Critters don't recognize human-drawn boundaries, you can't expect them to. We expect them to leave us our piddly few acres of kept yard and garden in return. I don't think that's unreasonable, as we've kids and grandkids and neices and nephews and all sorts of city folk around all summer, they don't know how to watch out for snakes. One grandson and one nephew have met the wrong end of a copperhead, ended up in the ER.

          Do encourage black snakes - which get big here. they eat copperheads, which is entirely fine with me!

        •  On that noise-making end, (6+ / 0-)

          my father-in-law spent his childhood gathering roots and herbs with his grandmother who helped raise him when his mother died young. One of the most idiosycratic things he was known for was whistling - always whistling some unformed, atonal something whenever he was out and about.

          He told me when I asked that it dispursed the rattlesnakes in his path, something Grandmother taught him. Given that it was southeastern Oklahoma where they've at least three varieties of rattler (yes, they do hang in family groups, always more than you can see), a useful thing to know if you're wandering.

          He never got bit, so there's that... §;o)

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