I just received a shipping confirmation email from a company that I placed an order with for almond trees. The problem is that my ground is still frozen past the first 2 inches. What is the best way to care for my trees while I wait for the thaw?
When your trees come, unwrap them. If they are wrapped in plastic with moist sawdust or shredded paper around the roots, gently re-wrap the trees and place in a cool spot such as a garage that stays above freezing or dark closed in a cool bedroom. They’ll stay okay for weeks that way. If you can dig in your ground, you can heel the trees in by digging a trench deep enough to place the roots in, then lay the trees down with the roots in the trench, then shovel dirt over the roots, covering them entirely while leaving the tree uncovered. When the ground thaws, plant as usual. I’m SO jealous! Almonds? I dream of almonds and peaches! That’s all it is — a dream here in Minnesota’s Zone 3. — Jackie
Cornstarch or Clear Jel
Can corn starch be a substitute for Clear Jel? I have a recipe for canning Apple Pie Filling that says to use either one.
Corn starch is unsafe because it can create a too-dense product and the heat from the processing may not reach the center of the jar for a long enough time to be safe. So now we have Clear Jel, which is a more-processed form of corn starch that IS safe to use. — Jackie
Adding to the chicken flock
I have a small hen house and ended up with some range pullets in addition to the layer breeds that started laying before we got them butchered. I plan on eating these this spring and would like to raise half a dozen Rhode Island Reds for replacement along with my meat birds. At the cost of raising chickens up here I want to get another year or so out of the original layers. Any advice on introducing these replacements to the flock when the time comes?
Put the new birds in a small pen, next to the old flock, in the morning. Then by the evening, the two flocks have sort of gotten used to each other and you can put them together in the main coop for the night. In the morning, the mixed bunch seems to have forgotten they’re not one big flock. Always watch out for an aggressive bird or two during the first day. There always is some pecking and chasing, but don’t let it get carried away. — Jackie