My friend John Moody is about to release a new book with New Society Publishers about “living the good life on less:”
He’s opened up a window for a bit where he is letting people pre-order signed copies. I just bought one and thought you might want to as well. John is very knowledgeable and I know this book is going to be a good one.
She wrote me this morning to share her germination success:
“Thought you’d love to know how the Mauritius seeds are doing. Attached is a photo showing 3 Beach Hibiscus on the left hand side. 3 out of 7 germinated in a couple of weeks. I had scarified and soaked them for 3 days before planting.
On the right is one Cat’s Eye that made it. Just this 1 seed germinated out of 4 seeds. Behind them is a one foot ruler for size.
The tropical almond and the Australian Pine didn’t make it, but hey, these came up!”
Nice work, Nadia.
In related news, I am half-way through writing Free Plants for Everyone: The Good Guide to Plant Propagation. Stay tuned.
Common Name(s): Noni, Cheese Fruit, Indian Mulberry Latin Name:Morinda citrifolia Plant Family: Rubiaceae Size: Usually 15-30 feet. Often pruned. Edible: Yes Medicinal: Yes Where Found: Coastal areas, forest, dooryards Flowering Time: Year-round Blooms: Inconspicuous, white Fruit: Year-round Native: No Uses: Fruit edible, leaves for tea
Noni Identification and Description:
Noni identification is easy as the tree is hard to miss, even though it’s often tucked in amidst the jungle. Its luxuriant green leaves and distinctive fruits make it a beautiful addition to the garden or landscape.
The fruit is green when immature, ripening to white and finally to a pale grey-white semi-translucent state.
Though often described as bitter, the seedy fruit is more peppery than bitter, with a strong aroma many find unpleasant. The flavor tastes like a combination of black pepper and limburger cheese. The fruit is invigorating and makes the tongue tingle.
Juices and extracts are common herbal supplements. A common method for extracting the juice is to put fresh fruit in a sealed jar in the sun to ferment. The resulting liqueur is taken as a tonic. The leaves do not smell unpleasant and make a pleasantly earthy herbal tea when steeped in boiling water.
The list of medical uses for noni stretch into the unbelievable, with it being listed as an aid for diabetes, liver disease, cancer, infections, migraines, smallpox, joint problems, arthritis and many more ailments. It also helps relieve pain and is high in potassium, with a long history of medical use. It is also a relative of coffee, making it dear to this author’s heart. The tree can be spotted along shorelines and planted in yards in tropical regions.
Propagation and Culture
Noni can be grown from seeds or cuttings and produces fruit rapidly. From seed, it can fruit in under two years. Keep cuttings moist and treat with rooting hormone. Semi-hardwood twigs rooted for me at about a 25% strike rate. Seeds take some time to germinate, but seedlings can sometimes be found near mature trees. Noni is easy to grow even in poor conditions. It is tolerant of drought, salt and rocky soils, still producing rich green growth even when abused. The fruit is compound, forming after a succession of blooms.
The tree is also tolerant of severe pruning and can be cut back and kept small for easier care and harvesting. Once established, noni trees will thrive on just rainfall and bear fruit year-round.
All pictures and content copyright 2018 by David The Good.
Last month Rachel and I started a 30-day gardening challenge. We filmed thirty videos over thirty days, chronicling roughly thirty hours of hard work in the garden. We took a trash and brush-filled lot and built some good gardening space from nothing in order to demonstrate the difference you can make with concerted effort over time.
This morning I gathered the entire series into one playlist, which you can watch here:
Thanks for joining us. I have to dial back on my YouTube production because I need to get some books written, but I’m not disappearing from video production. It just doesn’t make sense to work 3-4 hours per day to make $11-12 per video, so I’m going to do my filming on Saturdays and do a “round-up” video I’ll post on Mondays.
Or I might do short little videos, like the one I posted on Sunday morning when I was gathering weeds for breakfast:
Weeds for Breakfast - YouTube
My Galaxy phone has a surprisingly good camera.
I have learned how to write books and I have applied what I’ve learned to many other things, including gardening.
Want to know the secret?
Do a little bit every day until it’s done.
That’s it. I set a goal of how many words I need to write per day, then I write that amount every day until the book is done.
Think about it. If you want to write a 60,000 word book, which is a short, but decent-sized novel, you just need to write 2,000 words per day for thirty days. I’ve done that multiple times now. 2,000 words takes me about 2-4 hours to write.
Maybe that’s too many word for you. What if you just wrote 500 words per day? In four months, you would have your book finished. 120 days, 500 words per day.
What if you only wrote 200 words per day? (For reference, this entire post is 504 words. I wrote it in fifteen minutes).
If you wrote 200 words per day for 300 days, you would have your novel. Less than a year. Why are you putting it off?
Most people have a book they want to write but they’re always planning to do it later, when they have time. Guess what? Later isn’t going to come. You’re not going to write it unless you set a goal and stick to it.
One of my sisters has beaten obesity over the last seven months by avoiding carbs and sugar on a consistent basis, every day. She went from fat to healthy. She didn’t say “later, when I have time to diet!” or “oh, the children are small and it’s too hard right now!” No, she ate better, one meal at a time. And now she looks great.
Concerted effort over time.
I decided to apply that principle to my gardening and it worked like a charm. You can see the progress from video 0 to video 30. Don’t put things off – attack them now, one bite at a time. It’s simple advice, but it will change your life if you put it into practice.
“I have stopped ‘planting’ squash, pumpkins, tomatoes, sunflowers, vine beans, lettuce, arugula, radishes and some others. I had some luck this year with muskmelons and watermelons coming back. Tobacco kind of works in my region, but our growing season is a bit too short in the northern Midwest, so not guaranteed to reseed.
I still plant corn, upright beans, carrots, beets as these don’t seed easily in one season.
My technique to to allow some of the plants to mature, and then to trample or scatter the seeds about the surface of the garden in the Fall. Rotten tomatoes, watermelon, cucumbers etc I just squash underfoot and kick around. Then in the spring till the ground. I plant whatever I plan to in rows, and as I am weeding I watch carefully and leave alone anything that looks like a veggie sprout.
This year I left one garden fallow, and scattered wildflower seeds all over the surface. In spite of planting nothing, I am getting lots of tomatoes, sage, pumpkins, a few potatoes, lettuce, arugula and whatever. The only drawback is weeding is a bit particular, since you have to know your sprouts, and nothing is in rows. Plus, my wife is a neatness freak, and this type of gardening drives her nuts. She likes rows.”
It is an interesting idea to just see what grows, if a little nerve-wracking for those of us who prefer order and straight lines. My best pumpkin vines always seem to grow out of the compost pile, and self-seeded tomatoes are often happier those I plant on purpose.
I recently created a video for Prepper Advantage on staggering crops. In this case, beans:
Staggering Organic Gardening Crops for Longer Harvests - YouTube
I’ve got some yellow wax beans I need to get in the ground this afternoon and I’ll film that.
Prepper Advantage now has me filming five gardening demonstrations a month for them, so if you want to see those vids be sure to subscribe to their YouTube channel.
I also just finished recording my presentation for the Garden Hack Summit yesterday. You can sign up for free to watch. There are some good gardeners in this lineup. My presentation is on Super Easy Composting.
I have been working so much lately I haven’t made it to the beach in weeks. I will get a break this afternoon, though, as I’m going in to a surgeon to have a bump taken off my head. If I live, I’ll buy myself an ice cream cone to celebrate.
I buried one about a foot down and topped off with partially rotted compost into which I planted a patty pan squash. I thought you might like to see the difference it made after a few weeks, compared to a chickenless squash. No prizes for guessing which is which!
I also made an indoor Hugelkulture bed for my greenhouse. We have loads of dead branches and stumps from hedgelaying just rotting in ditches in country backroads in this part of the UK. It seems a shame not to rehabilitate them. It’s also a great boost for my madwoman reputation to be seen stuffing them into the back of a Toyota Yaris.
Best wishes thanks again for the excellent books and blogs.”
I love the melon pit concept and I use it regularly. Last year I grew some nice pumpkins on top of a dead rat.
This year I planted some Hubbards on top of a dead gar.
A few months ago when we started clearing the garden lot, I filmed a 37-minute presentation titled “Starting Your Spring Gardens from Scratch.” Marjory aired it at the Home Medicine Summit last month, and now I’ve posted the entire thing on YouTube so you can see it for free.
2018 Garden, Day 0: How to Start Spring Gardens from Scratch (How it all Began!) - YouTube
It’s amazing to see how much we’ve accomplished since I recorded that video. What a lot of work.