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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

May 2016

 How I can't believe how fast time flies.  6:18am

I sit at my office desk still in the dark due to the mist and fog outside, but the window is open and the birds are creating a wonderful song.  My office screen is in need of mending due to the most recent Zika virus in the area.  While I do not plan on children this late in life there is no reason not to protect myself and my animals from the pest and the disease they carry.   Coffee on the desk, light for my aging eyes, and bare feet.  Life is as it should be!

I have much to do for Pirates' Lair, a regular schedule at the barn then thankfully a day at the clothing store.   Life is in full speed as tourist season starts in Asheville and life on the estate gets out of control as nature tries its hardest to take back what disturbances I have caused it over the past year and with the recent plantings.

Three Paw Paw trees.  It will take years for them to produce food,

In case you are not aware of what paw paws are, you are not alone.  Once a native tree almost over the US now rarely seen and even more rarely commercialized as the fruit does not travel or save well at all.

I planted three...

1st one closest to the road and closest to my approach of the area is a Pennsylvania Golden Paw Paw.  The company I got it from Stark.com was incredible!  My first one somehow was damaged in shipping and after creating a clean cut below the break it was barely over the graft and wasn't going to make it.  I called them the very next day and they sent me a new one with NO major questions or ANY issues.
Amazing fruit!

The second I planted was the glorious Mango Paw Paw.  I put this one closest to the fence.  As of today it struggles compared to the other two but shows promise.  The leaves are smaller and not up the entire plant like the other two.

The third and final is the Sunflower Paw Paw, planted close to the road once again but spaced aplenty so all will have room AND I will have room to dig and cut suckers for other areas later depending on which one I fall in love with the most. 

Paw Paws are amazing, once covering much of the eastern US,  Life is good with a paw paw tree as the leaves are more tropic in look and texture, and the fruit just as exoitioc in that they taste mostly like a banana custard and have about the same texture when ripe.  

I love they are pollinators are mostly FLIES!  I put them on the outside of the horse pasture and hope to keep most fly pollinators away from the barn as they stink when pollination is needed.  SOME people even hang rotting meat (road kill) in the tree when the time comes!  NOT something I want to be doing!  I'll just allow the flies from the horse barn and the cattle up the mountain do their thing!

I also planted the Persimmon Tree!  I enjoy the American Persimmon much more than the Asian you see in the grocery stores, (if you see any at all, depending on where you live)  I got the Yates American from Stark.com just like the Paw Paws.  

 Only slightly larger than a grape with one seed larger than that of pumpkin size.  As a child we enjoyed eating these out of the yard and then splitting the seed inside to see what type of winter we were going to have.  

These too can be pollinated by flies BUT can use several pollinators to get the job done.  Last year I picked persimmons off the ground at a friends house to snack on all day.  I can't wait to make Persimmon rolls etc... Besides If I don't eat them the animals on the estate will thus keeping all the small and larger animals happy. 

Last year I planted a Mulberry Tree,  The ground hog family on the estate nearly killed it by eating its leaves, but I put a fence around it and it is thriving this year.  

If you have not had a mulberry you really need to treat yourself to a bag of them from a good natural grocery store.  Sweet, easily dried and again feed the wild life and you with no issues.  Meaning Birds normally get all the berries from the top of the tree while humans normally can reach and get the rest.

I had planted the persimmon last year but my barn helpers wacked it, GONE... I also planted a lilac bush but it didn't survive either.  I am NOT wasting my time on the lilac because they do not do several duties and take 5 to 7 years to bloom and give me pleasure!   

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