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Archive for the ‘How to Grow Food’ Category

This is what showed up recently on my miniature lemon tree…the one I planted just 2 short years ago.  Wow, that was fast!

The tree is only about 3 feet high, but the lemons are regular sized.  And they have a zestier taste than the lemons on my other tree, which is much older, much larger and in desperate need of a good pruning.

Miniature fruit trees (sometimes called dwarf trees) are a great choice for small backyard gardens or balconies, as many varieties can be grown in large pots.  So, you get a lot of bang for your spatial buck!  You can find dwarf apple trees, peach trees, citrus trees and nectarine trees, to name a few. 

So, when life gives you lemons, just go ahead and pick them off the tree! 

Here are a couple of websites with some good information on miniature fruit trees:

http://miniatures.about.com/od/livingminiatures/a/dwarfruit.htm

http://www.sunset.com/garden/fruits-veggies/lattice-espaliered-dwarf-apples-00400000016114/

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My mom is from Madisonville, one of the many small towns that spans the Louisiana landscape.  And it’s just a little bit bigger than my backyard.

 Although I am a city girl (Los Angeles born and bred!), we made several trips to Madisonville when I was young.  On our first trip, I instantly bonded with my cousins, Paula and Lisa.  There is a special bond between cousins, and ours has remained steady for many years.

 One day, while we were playing with our dolls on Aunt Deenie’s screen porch, my mother decided that it would be cute to take a picture of “the girls” next to the corn plants that were taller than we were.  She promptly interrupted our debate about which outfit Barbie should wear on her next date and made us pose in the garden.  Despite the smile in the picture, I was not originally happy about this silly interruption.  Imagine Mom thinking that a picture of us among the scratchy, insect-ridden plants was more important than Barbie! 

 

 
 
 

Children of the corn?

 

Fast forward a few years.  I was about 10 or 12 and my mom came up with another brilliant idea involving corn.  “We should plant some corn in our garden.”  Our “garden” was a slight patch of mediocre dirt next to the clothesline outside of our apartment building.  “I want you to have the experience of seeing how tall cornstalks can grow.”  So, we planted some corn seeds and they blossomed!  Once again, the cornstalks grew to be taller than me.  I remember harvesting the corn plant and peeling back the silk to find a real ear of corn!

The moral of this story is that it’s always a memorable experience to step out of our everyday lifestyle and to try on someone else’s.  I doubt that I would be able to remember that day in the cornfield with Lisa and Paula so clearly if it were not for that picture.

 So, I urge you to plant some corn this spring and see for yourself how tall a cornstalk can grow.

 Go to www.almanac.com/plantingtable and enter your location for local seed-sowing dates for various plants.

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