Now is the time to take those cuttings!

I know it’s only January, and most places have snow, frost, rain and heaven knows what else being pelted around the skies!

But this is the ideal time to take cuttings from your favorite shrubs, like Forsythia, Dogwood, roses, Viburnum, Philodelphus, and also climbers such as jasmine, honeysuckle, grape vines, as well as fruit bushes like gooseberry, currants and blueberry.

Choose this year’s growth and using a very sharp knife or secateurs, cut a piece about 20cm long, just below a bud with a clean cut….don’t leave any damaged wood as the cutting may not take and will rot off.

Once you have several cuttings, you have 2 choices…either propogate them till the spring in a greenhouse with previously prepared soil with compost added or plant them in pots, which have a mix of compost plus sharp sand mixed 60/40.

These cuttings will be ready to plant in the late spring/early summer.

Taking cuttings will act as an insurance against any losses you may make due to your valuable plants dying off or being damaged during adverse weather.

More on plants for attracting insects and wildlife coming soon….

 

 

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These plants will save your life…..

Isn’t it sad to see that we as mankind are bent on destroying what Nature, god, The Force or whatever you wanna call it, has bestowed upon us, in order to make our stay here as easy as possible.

By this, I mean the relentless march of progress…progress to what?

By it’s very nature, we are forcing Nature within parcels of land, boxes, places in which and within which it was never ever designed to be.

And besides that, what of the poor animals? We have carved up their migration routes that have existed for millenia, so much that they have been forced to re-organize themselves in order to survive. Alas, some have failed, and have disappeared from sight.

If only we could all reason that we are all one, the animals, the wilderness, the trees, the plants…all one. Only then can we all survive.

Anyway, I digress. My main reason for posting this is to bring some rare knowledge of plants that I picked up from my time in the bush.

It was given to me by an old man in the Nunavut areas. I will only list 5 of them today, as any more and it will be just information overload for many readers!

1 DWARF FIREWEED          PAUNNAIT        tea, medicine and food

2 CROWBERRY                      PAURNGAIT      food

3 ARCTIC WILLOW           UQPI SUPUTILLU    medicine, tea, food, bedding

4 MOUNTAIN SORREL       QUNGULIIT       medicine, food

5 ARCTIC COTTON               PUALUNNGUAT  lamp wick, insulation, cleaner

I well remember what that guy told me about plants. He said that if we love them, even talk to them, they will flourish…just like us. At that moment I laughed, thinking about what people think about Prince Charles of England, when it was announced that he regularly talks to his plants….they think he’s a weirdo!

Never mind, let the world think what they like, I mean, we hikers are sometimes classified as weirdos too, right?

I will expand on these plants in my next post, how and where to find them and how to use them.

See you quite soon!

 

 

 

I’m vegan, so my dog should be too….

Yes, I heard this story today as well!    What rubbish!

OK, I do agree that there are some people who have an aversion to eating meat or dairy products etc, and fair do’s to them if they want to avoid eating anything like that.

But the buck must stop somewhere. If Nature wanted to make sure some animals remained vegetarian, then it has done a good job about it. It has created herbivores, omnivores and carnivores, period. There is no halfway thing about it; they’re either one or the other.

A cow must eat cellulose from plants as it’s system is designed to work that way. A dog can eat cellulose (vegetables) and survive, but what a miserable life it will have. It cannot complain as it does not talk, and so in order to survive it will bow to it’s master’s wishes and eat whatever is put down before it.

But a dog needs meat. In the wild, dogs and their nearest relatives eat meat. Never in the wild do you see a carnivore kill another animal, and move to a field containing spinach and start eating that instead of the animal it has killed!

So, cut a long story short….if  vegetarians do not wish to feed their pets with meat, then there is one, short, sharp answer to that….do not keep an animal as a pet which needs meat…simple.

By the way, I have been a vegetarian in the past. It never made me any healthier or fitter, neither did it make me more intelligent. In short, it did nothing, aside of torment my mind about what I was missing….all those juicy roast chicken legs…juicy steaks….sizzling bacon and eggs on a Sunday morning….mmmm! In the end, I gave up and went back to eating both, vegetables as well as meat or eggs.

And I’m much happier now. Please don’t punish your pet by forcing it to eat something it does not, or cannot, eat properly.

Cat=meat     Dog=meat+veg    hamster=veg     guinea pig=veg

Of course, what I have said above doesn’t apply to experienced woods-people…we are used to eating whatever we can find or kill in the wilderness…no time for molly coddling there, I’m afraid!