“It doesn’t stop being magic just because you know how it works.”

– Terry Pratchett

The Smoky Mountains roll into eternity from that vantage point.

– Angela Hollis

First Fruit in the PawPaw Patch

PawPaw Fruit

The two PawPaw trees finally have fruit on them!

PawPaw Green Fruit
This is reportedly the first year they’ve had fruit, even though the two trees are 6 years old. All I did was clear away some weeds in early spring and add some plant-tone and mulch.

And here is the beautiful leafy tree, looking very tropical with its big shiny leaves.

PawPaw Tree

Also there are many shoots coming up. Some are older but some are new this year. Their natural growth habit is to form a patch, and not a single tree like an apple or a large bush like a fig.

PawPaw Shoots

This fall or winter I will plant one or two more nearby to increase the genetic diversity and pollination rate. These will be named grafted varieties with known superior fruit as opposed to wild ones which I suppose these are.

Get out of their way

“Growing in containers is really very easy, if we allow it to be. Our plants are already programmed to become perfect genetic specimens, if only we can learn how to get out of their way by understanding what is limiting them and removing those limitations to the greatest degree to which we’re capable.” – Tapla (paraphrased)

In a nutshell, it helps to give them a habitat they love so they can thrive and fulfill their glorious destiny. Like people.

Below is an herb spiral under construction (not mine, sorry).

An herb spiral is a permanent container type garden which I can build. It creates multiple habitats just by its shape and orientation.  You can even have a frog pond on the low, north side.


Here’s a batch of fresh, ripe Sauerkraut, ready for the fridge. The basic recipe requires only local organic cabbage, sea salt, and optionally a small amount of organic whey to give it a kick-start.

Different sized jars of saurkraut
2 gallon batch of kraut ready to refrigerate, or eat

A Healthy Kefir Batch

It’s real cream colored, not blue which is just the shadow of the strainer.

Kefer srtaining into into a steel bowl
A healthy Kefir culture being strained out

Building a Pond

Pond Level With Liner Hidden

Here’s a little photo narrative of a lined pond I’m building now.
I will add some explanation as I have time.

Youngs Pond Digging And Leveling
Digging and Leveling
Youngs Pond Hard Flat Edge
Using a flat spade to finish the top shelf
Youngs Pond Fitted Rocks
Edging rocks roughed in
Youngs Pond Underliner
Spreading the “puncture proof” sub lining
Youngs Pond Liner Centering
Spreading and filling the liner
Youngs Pond Filled To Rock Rim
Edge rocks replaced on top of liner and pond is filled
Pond Level With Liner Hidden
Landscaping and water plants added

Suet Feeder Shenanigans

It seems that spring brings out all kinds of characters ….

Today is the first time I’ve seen a Pileated Woodpecker this close to the house, although I’ve heard him in the nearby woods.
Pileated Woodpecker on Suet Feeder

This Red Bellied Woodpecker fends off a challenge from a larger Blue Jay, while a Brown Thrasher looks on.

Here’s proof that Gray Catbirds can share, although you most often see them alone. Notice the rust-colored undertail coverts.