Morel Mid-Season 2017

April 25, 2017

Season so far:

Thursday, April 13th – 4.2 Miles – zero morels
Friday, April 14th – 3.59 Miles (WV) – 1 morel
Monday, April 17th – 4.38 miles (PA) – 8 morels
Thursday, April 20th – 4.35 miles (WV) – 10 morels
Monday, April 25th – 9.21 miles (WV) – 142 morels
Thursday, April 27th – 6.34 miles (WV) – 56 morels

Most of the morels are around poplar and black ash trees so far. Around old logs is another place I’ve been finding them. You have to keep walking to find patches. They are mostly in places where I’ve not found many before.


The Gatorade® Incident

April 7, 2017

In reference to transplanting California Wonder pepper plants about a month ago, I  ran out of planting pots. There were some Gatorade® bottles I had saved for recycle around, so I put 4 holes in the outer edge on the bottom for draining and cut the top off , transplanting California Wonder pepper plants. I had not even rinsed nor sanitized them (oops). What I realize now, is the difference between the growth in each, under the same conditions.

Is there something special in Gatorade®? Sugar? Sweetener? Did the plastic bottle create more light? Does the plastic container hold moisture over a longer period of time or keep moisture levels more consistent? As you can see, they are in the same flat, same grow light, same potting soil used from the same bag, transplanted at the same time, same conditions. I thought it very odd and expected the regular container to do better.

Just an observation, I’ve done no research into why this happened. I’m sorry for the odd color pictures, my grow light was on at the time.

The Garlic Growth

October 2016, I planted my fall garlic cloves. Due to the mild winter, they’ve grown from clove to stalk in a short 5 months. I just may have over planted, a natural thing for me, and have way too much garlic. Time to have a grilled stinking rose party this summer! It was suggested by a friend to sell them fresh to a restaurant, as soon as I pull them. We’ll see what happens when the time comes.

October 2016, planted and relocation of garlic.

April 2017, current state

Happy gardening!

2017 Morel Season

April 6, 2017

I’ve been hearing and seeing pictures of area finds. I myself, haven’t been out to look but I plan to go over the weekend. It seems, in this area, Early black, large black morels and grays are up. According to weather reports, it is supposed to get cold again next week. In my opinion, this could mess up this year’s black morel growing season. But still: Get out there and look!

Verified finds this week by others:
Clarke County, Virginia. 2 early black,
Jefferson County, WV – 1 gray, Approx. 50 -60 large black
Washington County, MD – 11 gray, 7 early black, 3 large black

Please comment on your finds below.

June 2016 – Garden Post

June 3, 2016

After being sick all week, there was a lot garden work to catch up on today.

My strawberry plants did not like this past winter and I lost most of my plants. I don’t think the plants that are left will mind sharing with some sweet corn this summer (picture below). Last years, the squirrels devoured the sweet corn. They jumped up the stalk, pulled off every ear, and chewed on every ear. Just maybe they’ll be a plan of action this year.

Oh those miragreen peas (picture below). Gurneys seed company is the place to get them. These vines are supposed to produce all summer but I’ve never left them grow all summer. The package says 4 to 5 foot vines; they’re already at 5 feet. We will put the all summer production to the test this year. We should be eating peas late next week from the looks of it. 2 rows? I may have overdone it.

Zucchini (picture below) plants are getting a good start. It’s time to plant the second interval. Zucchini all summer.

Tomato plants (picture below) seem to have a stunted growth this year. I fed them with lots of compost today. Crowded?  yep, every year I say I’m cutting back on tomatoes. I cut back from 2-3 beds to 1 and a half beds. Now, they get crowded. I’ll blame it on winter sowing. L

Garlic (picture below) seems to be not taking the heat too well. Hopefully they will bounce back.

The pole lima beans are just starting to grab the fence and climb. I used a little sevin dust. Those bugs sure do like lima bean leaves.

The red cabbage (below)  is REALLY growing fast. I overcrowded one bed and also made a row. It looks like it’ll all come at once too darn it. I’ll be giving some cabbage this year.

I’ve been gaining knowledge about asparagus for the past 4 years. I finally got a crop this spring and will be adding more each year. I’m doing things the natural way and planting using seed. Those white flowers you see will be producing berries. When the female plant dies off this fall, I’ll be picking the red berries and making another bed.
The 4 year old bed produced well (picture below). I threw a bag of potting soil over the top layer last fall which seemed to keep the weeds down this spring and give them a boost.

Here is the 3 year old bed (below) which I plan on harvesting  from next spring.

AND the 2 year old bed (below) which I started from seed last spring and transplanted into it’s current bed last fall.

The ole compost bin. Hmmm, I have a few repairs to make on it this fall. The eggshells, leaves, lawn grass, and other compost items have really paid off. It’s not easy but it sure makes things grow! If you’re composting, just remember, NO CITRUS and NO ONIONS. Citrus is not good for plants and onions keep the worms away.

I do have some pepper plants in but they’ve only just started.
That’s it for this post. This is how my garden grows thus far this year.

Garden Start 2016

May 13, 2016

ah, vertical gardening. I’m almost to the point of low maintenance.  I depleted the winter compost and all beds are almost mulched. This year, I’m using bamboo and string to grow vine peas (below). My variety of choice is miragreen. No replanting, pick all summer.
The vine lima beans (behind the peas on the other fence) got a jump start and just waiting for the warmer weather. This space sure looks smaller in the picture! (18ft long)
I’m trying to squeeze in a few purple cabbage plants before the vines grow too high!


Another 8ft row hanging on the other fence (below) got an earlier start. We’ll see if the vine green beans fight with the pea vines. I’m kind of testing that scenario out. The pea vines get about 4ft high while the green bean (fortex) vines get over 7ft high. Again, no second planting, foot long green beans all summer.


Looks like I may keep the vampires away with all of the garlic that made it through the winter (below). I’m hoping most of it is the elephant garlic but I’m having doubts. Time will tell.

Just enough to have some fresh veggies this summer. Although, I may have overdone it on peas? L  Tomato plants and pepper plants are now in the ground. I’m sure they’ll not be growing much but establishing roots to start growing when the warm weather actually gets here.
The first zucchini seed just sprouted. The second batch will be due for planting in 2 weeks.
I’m glad I got an early start in between all of the rain! That’s another benefit of the raised beds.

You can take the man out of country livin’ but you can’t the the country livin’ outta the man! 🙂


2016 Morel Hunts

May 13, 2016

This was not a very good year but I HAVE had worse. TOTAL: 233 morels
Due to too much rain and not enough warmth, they just did not produce well this year.

April 22, 2016 – West Virginia – 22 Morels
2016-04-22 -WV

April 23, 2016 – Pennsylvania – 33 Morels
(no picture)

April 25, 2016 – West Virginia – 39 morels

April 26, 2016 – Pennsylvania – 31 morels
(Ready to freeze pack)

April 27, 2016 – Virginia – 20 Morels
(no picture)

April 28, 2016 – Pennsylvania – 32 Morels

April 30, 2016 – West Virginia – 11 Morels

May 02, 2016 – Virginia – 21 morels

May 04, 2016 – West Virginia – 17 morels

May 08, 2016 – West Virginia – 7 morels
5 black morels,  2 yellow morels (no picture)

Morels did not produce well at higher elevations.  Plant life was stunted this year at higher elevations with growth rate highly lower than lower elevations. Even on this date (05/13/16) leaves have not fully developed on all trees and “greenery” has not grown beyond 3-4 inches in height.
The best morel producing trees (in order) were Elm, Poplar, and Ash. In WV most morels found on elm were on mature elm, 4-6 feet in diameter. I only found 2 dead standing elm with morels. Very few black morels or yellow morels were on ash trees.
In Pa, most black morels were on poplar trees. I found no morels on ash trees. In Va, the best producing trees were poplar and elm.

The year is not over for me quite yet. I will be looking on Elm and Sycamore trees.


Adobe Standard “Bug”, Armenian Dates

March 31, 2016

I’ve been working on a project that involves saving an Adode pdf as an excel spreadsheet. Adobe Standard 10, exports dates into Excel cells and formats the cells in different “Locales (locations)”. I ended up with English (Caribbean) and Armenian formatted date cells. This makes it difficult because Armenian dates are formatted day/month/year while English (Caribbean) dates are formatted month/day/year. The information needs to be imported into a data table which makes the above even more difficult.
Everything I tried did not correct the issue so I “asked the internet”. The result was seeing a lot of people with the same issue but no solution. After a lot of failures, I finally looked at it differently.

I’m posting this for others whom are looking for the same solution.
dteExpireDate is a Date variable
i is a integer variable that builds in a FOR loop (Changes cell locations)
Plain English: If the date is formatted day/month/year, change it to month/day/year, otherwise, keep it as month/day/year.

VBA Code:

        If WkBk.Sheets(1).Range("C" & i).NumberFormat = "dd/mm/yyyy;@" Then
            dtenExpireDate = WkBk.Sheets(1).Range("C" & i).Value
            dteExpireDate = Day(dtenExpireDate) & "/" _
                                     & Month(dtenExpireDate) & "/" _
                                     & Year(dteExpireDate)
            dtenExpireDate = WkBk.Sheets(1).Range("C" & i).Value
            dteExpireDate = Month(dteExpireDate) & "/" _
                                     & Day(dteExpireDate) & "/" _
                                     & Year(dteExpireDate)
        End If

Windows cannot continue installation in safe mode

March 28, 2016

I’ve started restoring a Window 8 computer back to factory settings using the restore partition and after the first reboot, I got a message saying:

“Windows cannot complete installation in safe mode. To continue installing windows, restart the computer”.

I rebooted but the computer was in a loop. The message was back, over and over, after several reboots. This is how I fixed it.
1.) Press Shift + F10 at the “restart the computer” screen to get a command prompt
2.) At the command prompt, type: bcdedit /v
3.) Look through the values looking for “safeboot”. In my case, the safeboot value said network.
4.) type: bcdedit /deletevalue {GUID} safeboot
Now, I simply typed bcdedit /deletevalue safeboot

Anyone with a GUID number example:
bcdedit /deletevalue {96378fc1-9402-11eo-990d-e3ec25d51f78} safeboot

This worked in my case. I hope this helps someone else!

Winter made compost

March 28, 2016

I sifted through the compost bin yesterday. Normally, I get enough compost for mulching most of the raised beds. I use it for weed prevention, which actually works very well. The rain filters through the compost into the soil, making the “compost tea” naturally. At the end of the year, it gets tilled in.

2016 Compost

This is my version of miracle grow, only organic.


May 2013 – morel find

March 18, 2016

May 2013: Walking a trail, we found some morels standing 6 to 10 inches tall. I remember finding them. They were standing in a small ditch where water would drift after a rain, next to old rotten logs and ash trees. The morels not bagged in the picture were the group found. Although they were large in size, they  have a chewiness.
It’s time to scout new areas, this should get me a little more motivated.

Large Morels - May 2013