Turkeysong

Experimental Homestead

Peeling Oak Bark for Tanning Leather and Apple Breeding Update

THIS BLOG IS RETIRED, I’VE MOVED TO SKILLCULT.COM   

ALL THE OLD TURKEYSONG POSTS ARE THERE AND MORE, CHECK IT OUT!

Here are a couple of recent videos I did on the stuff I do around here.  One is a short update on labeling and protecting fruit that was pollinated earlier this year as part of my apple breeding project.  I talk a little about the breeding parents and related stuff, but it’s pretty straightforward and short, with a quick visit to my new pig.

The second is a follow along while I cut down, cut up, and peel the bark off of a tan oak tree that is infected with the organism involved in sudden oak death.  I use the bark for tanning skins.  I’m working on a book right now on tanning with plant materials like bark, various leaves and pods and stuff like that.  Writing, research and experiments around that project now consume most of  my time, energy and thought.  In the video I show a few pieces of leather tanned with oak bark, peel the bark, split the wood and clean it all up.  There are few things I’d rather do with my time than that type of forestry work.  Splitting wood, playing with wood, using my axe, burning brush to make charcoal, etc..   is all my idea of a good time!  woo hoo!  It’s really hard for me to cut these videos down and focus them in.  There are so many satellite topics I want to talk about!   Definitely some stuff coming on axe use, wood splitting tutorials, forestry and forest ecology, and lots of tanning and skin working stuff.

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July 25, 2015 Posted by | animal parts, Apples, BioChar, Food Trees Fruits and Nuts, Forestry, plant breeding | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Two Sweet Crabs That Don’t Pinch! Trailman and Centennial, Delicious Super Early Crab Apples,

THIS BLOG IS RETIRED, I’VE MOVED TO SKILLCULT.COM   

ALL THE OLD TURKEYSONG POSTS ARE THERE AND MORE, CHECK IT OUT!

Here is my review of two crabs that fruited here on Frankentree for the first time ever. Centennial and trailman are very similar and seem to ripen at the same time.  Both have good flavor and very good to excellent texture, even after a recent heat wave with consecutive days over 100 degrees, 101, 103, 103 in the shade.

I have a particular interest in crab apples that are edible out of hand, with good dessert quality and these two really fit that description.   They are not only very good to excellent in eating quality, but they are also the second apples to ripen here, this year in the first two weeks of July.  “First early” apples are usually low in sugar, grainy or mealy and just not that great for eating.  Time will tell more, but I can already tell from just a few samples that these apples are a great find.  I’ll probably be breeding with these in the future as I think excellent dessert crabs are something that needs work and has great potential.  These are super easy to eat, since you can eat the entire fruit with the core, seeds and all.  The seeds only add to the flavor, like an almond flavor filled center.

July 11, 2015 Posted by | Apples, Food and Drink Making, Food Trees Fruits and Nuts | , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

A Video Tour of my Amateur Apple Breeding Project

THIS BLOG IS RETIRED, I’VE MOVED TO SKILLCULT.COM   

ALL THE OLD TURKEYSONG POSTS ARE THERE AND MORE, CHECK IT OUT!

A walk around looking at various parts of my apple breeding project.  It doesn’t look like much, but I think it’s getting the job done.  I spotted my first blossom while filming this.  Way cool, that means I’ll probably have some bloom next year, hopefully followed by fruit!

July 5, 2015 Posted by | Apples, Food Trees Fruits and Nuts, grafting, plant breeding | , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Virtual Garden Tour and Seed Packet Give Away for Subscribers

THIS BLOG IS RETIRED, I’VE MOVED TO SKILLCULT.COM   

ALL THE OLD TURKEYSONG POSTS ARE THERE AND MORE, CHECK IT OUT!

Here is a quick tour of my garden this early summer (not super quick, but my version of quick relative to the hours I could have spent).  It is not what I’d like it to be, but it’s pretty tidy and growing well, much better actually than the last two years.  We are in year two of a pretty bad drought, but I think the ever flowing spring is going to trickle on through this one too.  So, I am undaunted.  Of course many of the things touched on in these videos will be revisited in future videos and blog posts.

Well, giving away onion bulbs was fun last year (or whenever that was) and I’m happy to think of all those onions dividing away out there to be shared out to friends and neighbors, so I decided to give away some seeds this month.  Not the best timing, but I know you guys aren’t fleeting gardeners for the most part.  I save seed pretty regularly.  I don’t save everything every year.  Not at all.  But every year I’m saving some seed or another.  I can only plant so much, so I end up giving most of them away at the Farmer’s Market and at the local Scion Exchange.  I had to give up the Farmer’s Market for now, and all bets are off on whether I make it to the Scion Exchange.  I thought, what better people to give seeds to than blog subscribers!  I feel kind of bad that I haven’t done it earlier!

I have been gardening and intentionally testing varieties for long enough to have amassed some favorites that are standard fare.  I don’t spend much time poring over seed catalogs anymore, just to be tempted into trying new varieties  that are unlikely to be any better than what I already grow.  Once in a while I’ll pick a vegetable type and gather multiple varieties of it to do some loose trials, but I haven’t done that too much for a while and it usually results in little more than a light wallet and a confirmation that what I grow already is pretty good.  No doubt there are better varieties out there, but finding them takes some effort and money.  So, most of these are varieties that have stood the test of time.  Your mileage may vary due to climate, taste or what have you, but they work well for me.  Each packet will have 10 seed varieties and one I’itoi onion bulb.  There are 14 packets altogether, so when those are gone, they’re gone.  And again, this offer is for subscribers.

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June 27, 2015 Posted by | Garden Stuff | , , , , , , , , , , , | 50 Comments