PERSIMMONS- FLAVORFUL AND TASTY TO EAT
Have you ever tasted the sweet delicious pulp from persimmons off the Persimmon tree? I know lots of people dont want them in their hay fields. Actually not only are they loved by deer and raccoons and other animals.. But they are delicious for human consumption too. You can make a butter from them or bread, cookies, pies, and even jelly.. Just about anything you might use sweet potato or pumpkin you can use the pulp of Persimmons.. Delicious... thats if you can get them back to the house to prepare with out eating them all as you pick.. (thats my problem)
First of all Persimmons must be fully ripe or they may taste like alum. But if there soft and juicy ... yum.. Some get ripe even before the frost... they have this year.. if you shake the tree the ones ready to fall will go to the ground and you can pick them easier.
Ok now you want to know.. how do i get the pulp from the seed.. First rince the fruit off drain well.. then put them in a colander smash them till all the pulp has gone through and the seeds are mostly left. now you can bake or make whatever you want with the pulp... and even dry the seeds and ground them for coffee. I haven't tried this yet... but i here it is good.
Use your pumpkin pie recipe to make a pie.
For Persimmon Nut Bread .. sift together 2 cups flour, 1 tsp. soda. Cream 1 cup sugar, 1 1/2 sticks of oleo and mix in 2 well-beaten eggs. add the creamed mixture to dry-ing. add 1 cup persimmon pulp, 1/2 cup of nuts and bake in 2 small loaf pans for an hour at 325 degrees... Now talk about good !!
You can also freeze the extra pulp for other times through out the year for what ever you got a hankerin for.
Cookies, butter, pies, cakes, breads, puddings, and even Jerky..Yes Fruit jerky... So if this has tempted your taste buds or curiosity then, find you a tree pick you some persimmons and try this bread recipe... Or call or email me at the office and i can give you a few more recipes to try... There are plenty of recipes to find over the internet too..
Enjoy the wonders of Finding and Eating Wild Edibles of the Ozarks.
BLUE BIRD NESTING BOX
BLUE BIRDS HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A FAVORITE OF MINE. THERE COLOR IS AWESOME. THE WAY THEY CARE FOR THEIR YOUNG AND THEY ARE SO PROTECTIVE OF THE AREA WHERE THEY NEST... A VERY FASINATING BIRD. THEY ALSO DO A GREAT JOB OF EATING THE BUGS AROUND THE YARD... SO, HAVING SOME BLUE BIRD NESTING BOXES IN DIFFERENT AREAS OF YOUR YARD WOULDN'T BE A BAD IDEA. THERE IS A DIAGRAM OF A BIRD HOUSE HERE AND IF IT IS NOT LEDGIBLE THEN COME BY THE OFFICE AND I HAVE HAND OUTS FOR YOU. HAVE FUN BIRD WATCHING.
I GOT TO THINKING, AND DECIDED FOR ALL THOSE THAT ARE A LITTLE SQUEAMISH ABOUT GOING OUT AND MUSHROOM HUNTING, PERHAPS YOU MIGHT WANT A VISUAL ON THE MOST COMMON BAD UN-EDIBLE MUSHROOMS SO THAT YOU CAN COMPARE... GO OUT THERE AND HAVE SOME FUN. THERE WILL BE ONES YOU COMPLETLEY RECOGNIZE AS THE GOOD ONES AND THAT WILL GIVE YOU CONFIDENCE. THERE FUN TO FIND, IT WILL GET YOU OUT DOORS, AND THERE FUN TO COOK UP AND EAT TOO. THE GOOD ONES THAT IS !!! LOL
EDIBLE FALL MUSHROOMS
Fall mushroom hunting can be just as fun as Spring. Just a little research and a good picture booklet and your good to go. The mushrooms below are all edible ones. Each kind has a different texture and flavor... Coral one's I must say are still my favorite in fall.. But they all are good in one way or another ... The bearded mushrooms are really good too. they are like frying up cream cheese. it melts in your mouth. The puff balls are simular to the bearded in flavor they are just miniture in size. So, if this tempts your palate a little, then come by the Baxter County Conservation District here in Mtn. Home Arkansas and get one of our free paper booklets with pictures and go have some fun in the woods looking for these delicious morsels. The Beef Steak are suppose to taste like a steak... i havent found one of them, Yet!!
THE IMPORTANCE IN HAVING HONEYBEES
Most of us are aware that without honeybees we would not have honey or beeswax. BUT DID YOU KNOW.....?
Bees in particular also assist in the process known as pollinatiion. Pollination is the process of development for a flower's seeds. Flower seeds must be fertilized by pollen from the same or another flower in order to be reproduce. Pollen can then be dispersed through the wind or transferred from the bodies of insects such as bees. Some insects are naturally drawn to the flowers thrugh scent, color and the sweetness of their nectar. As they tranverse the surface of these flowers, their bodies will unknowingly pickup the pollen and be ready for transprot to a new location.
The act of pollination is actually more important to the living and working world than is the production of honey or beeswax! So imagine now a world where pollination is Not Possible!!!
The recent concern about declining pollinator populations serve as a reminder that we are but a strand in the web; We depend on the rest of the web. Of the World's crop species, 2/3 require pollinators, and in the U.S. alone, more than 100 species or $20 billion of crops require insect pollination.
Insects such as butterflies, moths, bees, wasps, beetles, and flies, mammals such as bats, and the wind all serve as pollinators. Of the insects, bees are the most important group. In North America alone, 4000 species of native bees exist. Most of the native bees, unlike their introduced relative, The Honey Bee, carry out a solitary existence. Most species create nests in the ground, but some use dead trees while bumble bees search for cavities such as rodent holes. Bees forage for nectar and pollen.
Native bee populatins are in decline as their habitat shrinks and as pesticide use has increased over the years. Dr. Suess offered the sage advice "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful Lot, nothing is going to get better."
As ranchers, farmers, and resource managers, thee are some ways to lend a hand to native pollinators.
Provide Foraging Habitat: Bees need flowers for nectar and pollen.. A wide variety of plants that bloom from spring to fall provide sustenance during the entire growing period. Many native bees are best adapted to gathering pollen from native plants and natives are most likely to flourish in an area's soils, climate, and day length.
Protct Nesting areas: Ground nesting bees need bare patches in well-drained soil; too much thatch accumulation or any tillage ofthe soil can be deterimental to their reproductive success. Wood nexting species need snags while bumble bees benefit from bunchy native grasses under which they can build a nest in the summer and the queen may over winter ulnder the thatch.
Proper grazing Management: The plants and animals on North America's prairies have long been influenced by herbivores; grazing animals area a strand in the web. Still today, grazing animals may positively impact floral resources. Attention to timing, duration, and intensity of grazing is a must in order to use the animals to maximize nectar and pollen production.
Fire: Fire is a paradox for pollinator habitat. It has positive landscape maintenance effects. Removes thatch to provide are ground for ground nesting bees, and burns completed during the winter months may stimulate wildflower blooms the following year. However, it can have detrimental effects because of the immediate habitat destruction.. Low intensity burns that leave small unburned patches or leaving an adjacent area of habitat unburned can be a refuge from which the bees may recolonize.
Learn: As long as plants, animals, and for that matter even people do Not have an identity, they ae of little concern to us. However, once we see their uniqueness, we can begin to learn and observe and appreciate all of them.
Just think about this: What ever man does to the web, he does to HIMSELF!! If one bite of food out of every three or four depends on animal pollinators, would not their lives become much more personal and important to Us??
BUILDING A BETTER BAT HOUSE
1. BATS, LIKE HUMANS ARE MAMMALS. BATS ARE THE ONLY MAMMALS THAT CAN FLY.
2. FEMALE BATS USUALLY GIVE BIRTH TO ONE YOUNG OR PUP PER YEAR.
3. BATS ARE NOCTURNAL-ACTIVE AT NIGHT, RESTING DURING THE DAY.
4. BATS HAVE EXCELLENT EYESIGHT, AND ARE NEVR "BLIND AS A BAT!" TO FIND THEIR WAY AROUND IN THE DARK, THEY USE ECHOLOCATION OR A BUILT IN SONAR:
5. BATS CAN WEIGH AS LITTLE AS TWO GRAMS (LESS THAN 1/10 OF AN OUNCE) OR AS MUCH AS TWO POUNDS.
ALL SOUTHEASTERN BATS FOUND IN THE UNITED STATES FED EXCLUSIVELY ON INSECTS ( THE JAMAICAN FRUIT-EATING BAT EATS INSECTS AND FRUIT). A BAT FEASTING ON MOTHS, MOSQUITOS, BEETLES AND OTHER INSECTS CAN EAT ONE HALF OF ITS BODY WEIGHT IN ONE NIGHT! BACKYARD BATS WILL HELP REDUCE INSECT PESTS THAT BOTHER YOU AND YOUR GARDEN PLANTS. A TYPICAL SUMMER COLONY OF 100 BATS FEEDING 200 DAYS WILL CONSUME MORE THAN 2200 POUNDS OF INSECTS OR APPROXIMATELY 600,000,000 BUGS.
MOST EASTERN BATS SPEND THE WINTER HIBERNATING IN CAVES AND MOVE TO TREES OR BUILDINGS FOR THE SUMMER. SOME HOWEVER, SPEND ALL YEAR IN CAVES AND OTHERS (TREE BATS) SELDOM SEE A CAVE, PREFERRING TO ROOST IN TREES DURING THE WARM SUMMERS AND TREE HOLLOWS FOR THE COOL WINTERS.
AS HOLLOW TREES ARE CUT DOWN, BAT BOXES, SUCH AS THE ONES SHOWN HERE, ARE NEEDED FOR BATS TO SURVIVE. THIS IS ESPECIALLY TRUE IN APRIL TO AUGUST WHEN FEMALES ARE LOOKING FOR SAFE AND QUIET PLACES TO GIVE BIRTH AND RAISE THEIR PUPS. BOTH THE MOTHERS AND NEWBORNS ARE VERY SENSITIVE TO BEING DISTURBED.
INSTALL A BAT BOX ANYTIME BUT LATE WINTER AND EARLY SPRING IS BEST. HANG THE BOX AT LEAST 10 FEET OFF THE GROUND, IN A SPOT WHERE IT CAN RECEIVE SIX HOURS OF MORNING SUN.
ABOUT 100 BATS CAN LIVE IN THIS BOX.
THE BAXTER COUNTY CONSERVATION DISTRICT HAS PRINTED INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO BUILD BAT HOUSES FOR YOU TO PICK UP HERE AT THE OFFICE. COME BY THE OFFICE FOR THIS AND OTHER GREAT INFORMATION RANGING FROM OTHER TOPICS OF BACKYARD PONDS TO MULCHING AND COMPOSTING ETC... 406 W. WADE AVE. MTN. HOME ARKANSAS OR CALL 870-425-3527 EX. 3
Making a wildlife habitat in your backyard can be so much fun for the whole family. Everyone of all ages will enjoy the beauty, serenity and peacful surrounding that come from turning your backyard into a woodland nature resort.
Habitat is a combination of food, water, shelter, and space arranged to meet the needs of wildlife. Even a small yard can be landscaped to attract birds, butterflies, beneficial insects, and small animals. Trees, shrubs, and other plants provide shelter and food for wildlife.
The plants you use for food and cover will help determine the wildlife species attracted to your backyard. Nesting boxes, feeders, and watering sites can be added to improve the habitat.
PLANNING YOUR WILDLIFE HABITAT
Planning is necessary for attractive and productive wildlife habitat. You have both a horizontal area to work with -the size of your lot-as well as a vertical area that stretches from your soil to the treetops. The vertical area is composed of the canopy formed by the tallest tree branches; understory vegetation consisting of smaller trees, shrubs, and vines; the floor which is often dominated by low-growing groundcovers; and the basement where a variety of organisms exist in the soil. Different wildlife species live in each of these zones, so numerous habitats can be provided on a small piece of land.
Trees and shrubs are the backbone of any landscaping design and are important for wildlife shelter. Many tree and shrub species are excellent sources of food for wildlife. Proper selection of plant material can meet both the aesthetic needs of the homeowner an the food and shelter needs of wildlife. Remember that you are part of the habitat too.
Things to consider in your wildlife backyard are species of flowers and trees for birds and other wildlife. Your landscaping for food and cover. Plus you need to consider food and shelter for butterflies, attracting bees and bats, frogs and other fun stuff.
Here at the Baxter County Conservation District we have a pamplet of instructions and ideas for you to pickup for free that will give you step for steps on creating a wildlife habitat in your back yard. Come pick them up here at the office from 8 am to 4:30 pm Monday thru Friday at 406 W. Wade Ave. in Mtn. Home.
T E R R A C I N G
Terrracing can be very useful, fun, attractive, and will also help in areas where is soil run off.
You can create several mini-gardens in your backyard. On steep slopes, terracing can make planting a garden possible. Terraces prevent erosion by shortening the long slope into a series of shorter, more level steps. This allows heavy rains to soak into the soil rather than run off and cause erosion.
Terracing saves soil, makes better use of water, and beautifies a landscape.
MATERIALS FOR TERRACES
There are in fact serveral materials available for building terraces. Treated wood is often used because of serveral advantages. It is easy to work with, blends well with plants, and is often less expensive than other materials. Other materials would include bricks, rocks, concrete blocks, and similar masonry materials. Some masonry materials are made specifically for walls and terraces and can be more easily installed by a homeowner than other materials such as field stone and brick. Most stone or masonry products tend to be more expensive than wood.
HEIGHT OF WALLS
The steepness of the slope often will determine the wall height. Make the terraces in your yard high enough so the land between them is fairly level. Be sure the terrace material is strong enough and anchored well enough to stay in place through freezing andf thawing, and heavy rainstorms. Do not under estimate the pressure of water-logged soil behind a wall. It can be enormous and cause improperly constructed walls to bulge or collapse. Many communities have building codes for walls and terraces. Large projects will need the expertise of a professional to make sure the walls can stand up to water pressure in the soil.
If terraces are beyond the limits of your time or money, you may want to consider other options for backyard slopes. If you have a slope that is hard to mow, consider using groundcovers other than grass. There are many plants adapted to a wide range of light and moisture conditions that require and moisture conditions that require little care, but provide soil erosion protection. These include: Juniper, Pachysandra, Wintercreeper, English Ivy, Periwinkle, Cotoneaster, Potentilla, Partridge berry, Heathers and Heaths.
ON THE FARM
Terraces catch runoff water, let the water soak into the ground, and deliver the excess safely to the bottom of a hillside much like evaespouts on a house. The earthen ridges built around a hillside on the contour cut a long slope into shorter slopes, preventng water from building to a highly erosive force. etc.
BUILDING A TERRACE
IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN BUILDING TERRACES IN YOUR BACKYARD OR ON YOUR PROPERTY, WE HAVE DIRECTIONS FOR THIS PROCEEDURE HERE AT THE BAXTER COUNTY CONSERVATION DISTRICT... YOU MAY PICK THEM UP ANYTIME OFFICE OURS ARE OPEN...
MULCHING IN YOUR BACKYARD
Mulching can enrich and protect soil, helping to provide a better growing environment.
Mulching is also one of the simplest and most beneficial practices you can use in the garden. Mulch is simply a protective layer of several different kinds of material that is spread on top of the soil. Mulches can either be organic-such as grass clippings, straw, bark chips, and similar materials - or inorganic - such as stones, brick chips, and plastic. Both organic and inorganic mulches have numerous benefits.
Mulch has many beneficial uses, such as:
1. It protects the soil from erosion
2. It reduces compaction from the impact of heavy rains.
3. It conserves moisture, reducing the need for frequent watering.
4. It maintains a more even soil temperature.
5. It prevents weed growth.
6. It keeps fruits and vegetables clean.
7. It keeps feet clean, allowing access to garden even when damp.
8. It provides a "finished" look to the garden
Organic mulches will also improve the condition of the soil. As these mulches slowly decompose, they will provide organic matter which helps keep the soil loose. This improves root growth, increases the infiltration of water, and also improves the water - holding capacity of the soil.
Organic matter is a source of plant nutrients and provides an ideal environment for earthworms and other beneficial soil organisms.
While inorganic mulches have their place in certain landscapes, they lack the soil improving properties of organic mulches. Inorganic mulches, because of their permanence, may be difficult to remove if you decide to change your garden plans at a later date. Because of this I will only discuss the use of organic mulches.
Mulch materials that you will need:
First of all you can find mulch materials in your own yard
Lawn clippings make excellent mulch. This may not be particularly attractive for a flower bed, but they will work wonderfully in a vegetable garden. The fine texture allows them to be spread easily even around small plants. However, grass clippings are becomoing scarce because of the increaed popularity of mulching lawnmowers that provide many of th esame benefits of mulching to lawns. Newspaper, as a mulch, works especially well to control weeds. Leaves are another readily available material to use as mulch. Leaf mold, or the decomposed remains of leaves, gives the forest floor its absorbent spongy structure. Compost makes a wonderful mulch if you have a large supply. Compost not only improves the soil structure but provides an exellent source of plant nutrients.
You can get bark chips and composted bark mulch at garden centers. These will make a neat finish to the garden bed and will eventually improve the condition of the soil. These may last for one to three years or more depending on the size of the chlips or how well composed the bark mulch is. Depending on where you live, numerous other materials make excellent mulches. Hay and straw work well in the vegetable garden, although they may harbor weed seeds. Seaweed mulch, ground corn cobs, and pine needles can also be used. Pine needles tend to increase the acidity of the soil so they work best around acid - loving plants such as rhododendrons and blueberries.
When to apply your Mulch:
The time of the application depends on what you hope to achieve by mulching. Mulches provide an insulating barrier between the soil and the air, and moderate the temperature. This means that a mulched soil in the summer will be cooler than an adjacent un-mulched soil. In the winter, the mulched soil may not freeze as deeply. However, since mulch acts as an insulting layer, mulched soils tend to warm up more slowly in the spring and cool down more slowly in the fall than un-mulched soils.
If you are using mulches in your vegetable garden or flower garden, it is best to apply after the soil has warmed up in the spring. Cool, wet soils will slow seed germination and increase the decay of seeds and seedlings.
If you add additional layers of mulch to exixsing perennial bed, wait until the soil has warmed completely.
TREE GUARDS TO PROTECT YOUR TREES
Trees have thin layers of cells kinda like we do, these are called cambium that lies just beneath the bark. The cambium transports water and nutrients to and from the roots and leaves. It also produces new wood and bark tissue as plants grow.. Anything that damages the bark or the underlying cambium can weaken trees and make them more vulnerable to disease and insects.
Four things that damage your trees.. Weather, insects, animals and equipment.
Let's talk about tree guards, when choosing a tree guard, consider the site and the kind of damage your tree is vulnerable to. When installing a tree guard leave enough room for the tree to grow. And inspect the tree guard annually to make sure the tree growth is not being restricted.
Arbor guards are plastic forms that protect trees from weather, animals and equipment. These expand as trees grow and easy to install.
Spiral guards are plastic strips that can be wrapped around tree trunks, they protect from weather damage and animal browsing.
Texguard is a blue plastic mesh sheet, secured to ground by metal pins. These protect from animals and equipment. They don't need to be removed they just breakdown in sunlight.
Paper wrap is wrapped around the tree loosely and tied by rope or string. They protect from weather damage.
Burlap done the same way, will protect from weather.
Hardware cloth protects trees from animals and equipment, but doesn't protect from weather.
Field Tile are plastic tiles that will protect trees from weather and animals and equipment.
One more solution to a serious problem, here in this area is the deer population and eating our newly planted trees and our garden.
Some natural solutions are hair clippings, spraying the trees with a soapy solution of peppers and deodorant soap, also hanging dryer sheets from the trees is also suppose to help.
Planting certain flowering plants and herbs can also deter deer from eating your garden and your young trees.
Some of these plants are:
1. Any plants from the plant family
2. Yarrow, bugleweed, bell flower, catnip, oregano, thyme, sage, lavender, daffodils, marigolds, and many others.
Spreading blood meal around your trees or mixing it in with your fertilizer will keep deer away... Deer dont really like the smell of blood.
Plus one last thing... making an egg solution and spraying it onto your trees will also help to deter deer and while you are at it put those egg shells around the tree, deer don't like eggs.
By the way I tried a new idea... recently and it seems to be working quiet well. We put a few steel post on the outside perimeter of the garden and strung some heavy kite string around it, but we got several tin pie pans I had saved up and put holes in them and strung them through the string... they move in the wind and flash in the sunlight.. and the deer seem to avoid getting to close to the garden...
Well, hope this will help all of you like myself struggling to keep my newly planted trees and garden safe from deer and rodents.
Tina M. Haun,