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Garden Zone: 5-6 based on the new map :-)

Plants in my Garden: grapes - himrod, niagra and venus, rhubarb,, several kinds of tomatoes, pole beans, basil, cardamom, bay laurel, borage, lettuce, Mammoth sunflowers, rosemary (my favorite herb), and clover. Others not in my garden are date palms, dwarf cavendish banana, cherimoya, and I just started some windowbox , herbs: cilantro, parsley, trying some tomatillo and pepino seeds, Also, I'm trying some tree seeds for bonsai.

Favorite Aspect of Gardening: Encouraging life. Is that too corny?

If I'm not in my garden, I can usually be found: working, or spending time with my son.

Occupation: Technical support for a billing software company.


Location: Suburb of Boston, Massachusetts
Member Since: 7/30/2007
Last Seen: 1405 days, 3 hours ago
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About spiceoflife

Hello all,

I have to admit that I haven't always liked gardening. Growing up, my parents would make me water the garden, but that was pretty much it. BORING! As I got older I began to appreciate it more, read a lot about gardening and decided that I wanted to do more of it and do it organically. I like the idea of encouraging life, staying healthy and being a steward to the land. (By the way, when did the chemical companies manage to corrupt the meaning of the gardening phrase "traditional methods" to mean using petrochemical based fertilizers and pesticides instead of referring to the growing practices used by agrarian cultures for the past 10,000 years?) I finally bought a house about 5 years ago and was able to have a real garden. It's in my front yard - actually it IS my front yard, all 30' x 15' of it. It's my place to practice and experiment with all of the organic gardening information, folklore and myths.

I've settled on two guidelines when choosing plants to grow.

1) Since I've decided to garden using organic practices, no GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms).

2) The plant should do more than just look and/or smell good. Ideally it should, at least theoretically, provide something tangible, like food, medicine, building material, etc. E.g, I plan on getting some bamboo so that I can grow my own plant stakes, etc. Or, it should provide some other beneficial function, like attract bees, repel aphids, build up the soil, provide food for birds, etc.

I have a weakness for semi-tropical plants. My living room is full with date palm (from Medjool), passion fruit (purple), cherimoya and dragon fruit (red), lemons and longan berry plants that were all grown from seed from fruit that I bought at the grocery store. Yes, I am sort of proud about that. I'm still working on olive, and ginger is next. (I had no luck at all with pineapple.) If anyone is interested, let me know and I'll be happy to post about what I did, what I learned, and what I would do differently next time. One plant I would like to try growing here is a paw paw, but I haven't been able to find any fruits in the grocery store, and the nursery wants $110 USD plus tax for a 5 foot sapling. If anyone would like to trade a paw paw seedling/seeds for a dragon fruit or passion fruit seedling/seeds, let me know. I'll be posting in the seed swap forum, too.

As you can probably tell, I don't mind writing, but this is only as long as the subject is something about which I care and have knowledge. My name is Robert. I live in zone 5/6 in Eastern Massachusetts about 15 miles West of Boston. Drop me a line.


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Finding One
We live our lives and hope we findAt least one person good and kindWith which to share our time on EarthAs we progress through life from birth.Some will start with Mom and DadAnd find no better can be had.That's prob'ly how it should really be.I know...

Ally my poems in one place....
------------My first attempt here - subject was olives. Olives green and olives black,I won't give the olives back.They fill the back seat of my carI eat them by the can and jar.Oil cured, or stuffed with chees...

I got Jack!
Jackfruit sprout, that is.  That's right, only two weeks after putting them into peat moss and placing them on the top of the refrigerator, one has sprouted!  If theyhave 80 pound fruit filled with seeds, and the seeds sprout this easily, then I wond...

New Pre-Bonsai's
It's been a good week!I went to both of the bonsai nurseries that I know of that are sort of near me and scored a few gems! Being fairly new to the subject of bonsais, and being fairly frugal (cheap) in general, I'm not ready to spend $20, $100, $10...

Once more for the cheap seats - Patience!
Cool - One of my avocado seeds has sprouted, and with three stems! I've never seen this in any of the reports of sprouting avocado pits, but it's pretty cool. Maybe I'll have an avocado bush instead of a tree. And it seems like this one sprouted i...