Growing Pine Nuts – Is It Worth It?

pine nuts

pine nutsAny pesto worth it’s weight needs pine nuts.

And, in our house, a Caesar salad without pine nuts is a sad thing indeed.

But every time I buy a small packet of these delicious little nuts, I cringe at the $9 price tag, for just 80 grams of nuts.

Maybe I should be growing them myself instead? After all, that’s one of the reasons we created our edible garden, so we could save money.

So I did a little investigating.

It turns out that once you learn what goes into growing, and harvesting pine nuts, you may not resent the price they fetch so much.

Growing A Pine Nut Tree

There are actually a number of different varieties of Pine tree that the Pine Nut can be harvested from but the ones used most often, due to the bigger sized nut they produce, are Pinus koraiensis, which is used for the majority of commercial pine nut supply, or Pinus Pinea, the Stone Pine, preferred in the European regions.

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Getting Rid Of Black Sooty Mould

black sooty mould

black sooty mouldI was recently asked to take a look at a friends dwarf Lemon tree, planted in pride of place right outside their lovely double glass doors in their dinning area.

There stood a small, sad looking tree that was pretty hard to spot as being a Lemon tree, because it was absolutely covered in a thick, black, sticky coating on all of it’s leaves.

Not being gardeners of any variety my friends were planning on pulling their Lemon tree out so they could replace it with something that didn’t look so sick, until I offered to help them figure out what was wrong with it.

As soon as I laid eyes on their poor little tree it was clear that it had fallen victim to a severe case of black sooty mould.

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Edible Ground Cover

strawberries

This pile might not look like much, but I have big plans for it.

strawberries

With the size of our garden, it gets a bit hard to plant out every space and avoid leaving gaps for the weeds to flourish.

I HATE weeding.

I love the end result when it’s done, but it’s not my favourite job at all.

So the more I can stifle the weeds, the better. We don’t use any sprays what so ever so it comes down to competition and natural means of weed control in our garden, and sufficient ground cover seems like a good strategy to leave little room for weeds to make themselves at home.

Ground cover plants are easy to find, but given that we’re trying to make our garden as edible as possible I wanted to plant some kind of cropping plant as ground cover.

I’ve done the herb thing and it wasn’t really a winner for me. We planted various creeping Thymes and Oregano but they tend to get quite scruffy after a while and there’s only so much Thyme you can use in your cooking. They also didn’t crowd out the weeds as well as I hoped. The really determined ones just grew up in between the edibles and it wasn’t easy weeding once that happened.

So most of it came out along the way and the earth was left bare once again.

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