- Category: Eclectic Edibles
Welcome to my new blog article series Eclectic Edibles, where we take a deep dive into the delights of the not-so-common fruits and vegetables, that we think everyone should absolutely try or at least be aware of.
Today's underappreciated niche fruit is the feijoa, also known as pineapple guava, or Acca sellowiana. This South American native is, in my opinion, a horticultural delight and testament to nature's creativity, and the fruit itself can be quite an adventure of different flavors. It's also been, in our experience, a pleasure to grow with few pest or disease issues so far, and with multiple varieties growing and producing good quality fruit regularly in our greenhouse, with only a bit of protection from our cold USDA Zone 6B winters.
If you enjoy strawberry, kiwi, or pineapple, I think you would probably enjoy this fruit. There are so many reasons to grow it ornamentally, that I'm just flabbergasted that they are not more commonly grown and widely known. I'd wager with appropriate public outreach, that almost anywhere crepe myrtles are planted and do well without dying back, people would probably find more reason to plant this (in my opinion) more beautiful, useful, and productive Myrtaceae member!
- Category: GoGrow App
The Idea of the GoGrow App
Over the past few months, I've been working on a solution for managing my projects and organizing the information about them on my lot. As a homesteader, gardener, and orchard enthusiast, I found it particularly tricky to keep up on what and where all the plants, trees, and critical infrastructure around my lot were. Despite exploring quite a few different mapping, planners, and gardening apps, none seemed to tick all the boxes I needed. So, I decided to take matters into my own hands and created the GoGrow app, and learned a great deal about programming apps in Python in the process.
The GoGrow app is free and open source - you can download it and view the instructions to install and use it on the GoGrow app project's github here -
- Category: Horticulture
The Versatility of Figs
Fig trees – the unsung heroes of sustainable homesteading and (should be) a mainstay in the world of sustainable and organic farming. As a self-sufficient homesteader, I've always admired the resilience and versatility of figs. However, last year, my first foray into the world of attempting to up my propagation game by rooting one-node fig cuttings was met with admittedly pretty terrible results. That time, I planted them directly into cups, with one half of the bud exposed and the other buried in the soil - this approach yielded no success. But every setback is a setup for a comeback. So, armed with some new insights and a pinch of homestead grit, I revisited my fig propagation technique, and this time, success was (mostly) mine!
Just-rooted ‘Figo Preto’ fig tree propagated from a cutting that was about 1.5 inches long and only one node. If you look closely, you can tell the roots have managed to “find” their way to the edge of the cup.
- Category: Tech
In the vast and intricate world of plant care, the future is blossoming with incredible potential - and a large portion of that potential is being fueled by advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML).
Imagine having an on-demand botanical or horticultural expert that's available 24/7, capable of answering your questions from the basic to the complex, and continuously learning about the latest research and plant care techniques. This isn't a dream of the future – it's largely a reality today, thanks to large language AI models like GPT-4 and Claude 2.
It is even possible to run your own local large language model with surprisingly decent performance now with a modern "Gaming" PC, thanks to major advancements in open source AI models like Mistral and the inferencing software used to chat with them (I sense a future blog post about this here!).
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