Horticulturists are by nature, nonconforming. I happen to find it difficult to conform to what makes us nonconforming. Trends are fleeting. Old technology that has worked for decades or centuries is still best. Although I am not totally against chemicals, I find that almost all are unnecessary for responsible home gardening. Pruning is underappreciated, and fixes many problems.
It would be negligent to not share this update to a slightly earlier article about exactly what the title above describes. The topic is unpleasant, which is why it was not mentioned here sooner. Only these links are shared here, without associated text. The update links back to the original article.
After arriving slightly late in the game to collect apples last year, I stopped by this famously secret (or secretly famous) apple tree about three weeks earlier this year. I expected to find the fruit just about ready for harvest. I still can not believe that I instead found that it is just as ripe as it was when I came by last year, and already falling on the ground!
This is the old abandoned apple tree near Conference Drive and Graham Hill Road, that so many who had been homeless over the years were able to get a few apples from while they were in season. It is fenced and inaccessible now; but there is less demand for the apples anyway.
There are not as many homeless people here as there used to be. There are certainly plenty of apples to go around.
Most of the remaining good apples from this tree will be harvested and shared among some of those who work or live in the neighborhood. This year, only a few, if any, might be brought to Felton Covered Bridge Park for those there who want them. (There is no point in adding to the surplus.) If there are enough leftover, some might be canned as applesauce.
This old article is reblogged from another blog, on October 21 of last year.
I really believed that I had something special here. A few fruit trees that are either remnants or descendants of remnants of fruit trees of the old Zayante Rancho have survived on a vacant parcel east of town.
There are two pear trees, a prune tree and an apple tree. The pear and prune trees are too overgrown to make much fruit. Almost all of the fruit that they manage to produce is too high to reach, and of inferior quality. They could be renovated, but the process would require severe winter pruning for several years. However, the apple tree is still somewhat compact and quite productive. Much of the fruit is within reach for the ground. Much of the rest can be shaken from the tree without damaging it too much. Although abandoned for decades, someone actually put the effort into pruning the apple tree a few years ago…
How disappointing it is, that after so many historic atrocities performed by various hate groups throughout history, some of us continue to find such primitive barbarism to be appealing. We should be better than this. Yet, some of us continue to be prejudiced against those who are even slightly different from us. A few use this prejudice to justify discrimination and even violence.
Not too long ago, violence directed at
local homeless people, although rare, was not as rare as it should
have been. Until about 2014, people were still getting attacked and
beaten up as they tried to sleep. One was shot at in her camper.
Another was shot at with a flare gun, and a few weeks later, covered
with paper and ignited as he tried to sleep. Verbal assaults were
What is such behavior supposed to
accomplish? Why do minor social groups condone and even encourage
such behavior? Why do these very minor social groups believe that
they represent the rest of civilized society that wants no
association with such barbarism? There are so many questions.
Unfortunately, hate groups innately lack proficiency with providing
Back in about 2014, the car of a
homeless lady was vandalized repeatedly. After each occurrence,
pictures were promptly shared online among those affiliated with hate
groups who target the homeless. It is how they believe that they
benefit society, by vandalizing a car that a homeless lady needed to
make a good impression with when she went out to try to find
Not long prior to that, immediately after a hate group claimed to be concerned that homeless encampments were fire hazards, one such encampment was soaked with gasoline and ignited. Predictably, before and after pictures were posted online. The homeless involved were still homeless for about a month afterward, but relocated farther out into the more combustible forest.
Why do those who hate the homeless so
much want to make it more difficult for the homeless to improve their
situations, and perhaps eventually not be homeless? Is their
consuming hate that precious to them? Do they really thrive on such
dysfunction? Again, there are more simple but unanswered questions
that haters are not concerned with providing relevant answers to.
Felton is no place to go hungry. There is too much generosity and abundance for that. Those of us who need more produce than we can afford might get the rest of what we need from ‘Food Distribution‘. Neighbors and local stores regularly bring surpluses to the homeless. There is very often excess that must be taken and stored by those of us with freezers and refrigerators.
The big pile of goods that was delivered to the Graham Hill Road Bridge over Zayante Creek almost two weeks ago has not yet been completely distributed to those who can use it. It will most certainly be distributed as the message that was delivered with it instructed. It will just take a bit more time for such a generous contribution. It included so much more than groceries!
Clothing and bedding are often donated
to those who can use them. They are not perishable like fresh
groceries are. In fact, there is presently some minor clothing and a
little bit of bedding in storage. Recently, someone who was emptying
out a barn brought a pickup full of bicycles to Felton Covered Bridge
Park for anyone who could use one. Yes, the generosity is astounding!
That is not even the total extent of
it! (But wait! There’s more!) People sometimes seek out the
unemployed around town, whom they can hire for odd jobs around the
farm or home. On rare occasion, some are offered more permanent jobs.
Over the past many years, a few of the homeless here have even been
offered temporary shelter until they found more permanent homes.
Perhaps we should not be surprised by
such generosity. Many of us were generous when we had resources to
share with the less fortunate. Besides, we all know what sort of
Community Felton is.
The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America protects the freedom of expression. We can say what we want to say; and we can write what we want to write. Furthermore, we can share any of it with whomever we want to share it with. The First Amendment, however, does not guarantee means with which to do so. We are on our own for that.
This blog is one means by which I get
to practice my freedom of expression. I get to write what I choose to
write, and make it available to anyone who chooses to read it. I
generally try limit topics by relevance. I always conform to my own
discriminating standards. Those who dislike it need not read it.
Some who read what I write choose to
comment on it, as a means to express their relevant concerns. Such
comments are generally appreciated. However, a few have been too
objectionable to remain associated with my blog, so were deleted
without reply. Unfortunately, such censorship has become necessary to
maintain the standard of civility.
This is not an open forum for anyone
to write whatever they want to write. This is my blog; and I am not
at all obligated to provide a venue for others practicing their
freedom of expression. Threats, bullying, name calling and unfounded
accusations will not be tolerated. Furthermore, comments that can be
interpreted to be even slightly abusive are likely to be scrutinized.
‘Hater’, within the context of this
blog, is a technical designation that describes those who engage in,
among other things, the hateful tactics of threatening, bullying,
unfounded accusing and name calling. Use of this technical
designation is not name calling. Those who do not want to be
designated as such should not behave as such.
This is not another of several updates
to the original ‘Honk If You’re Hateful’. This is an explanation of
why that series of posts was deleted. The title is the same merely to
put it into context.
The original post was about someone
who regularly honked the horn of a vehicle when driving over a local
bridge, presumably to annoy the homeless who were believed to live
underneath. The honking was executed on such a precise schedule that
it was recorded on sequential videos, which were shared within the
context of the original post, as well as the subsequent updates.
A previous request for deletion of
these videos, by the person who had been honking, had been denied.
However, something happened this
morning that compelled compliance to that earlier request. A big pile
of bedding, canned food, ramen, hashbrowns, bottled water, a jacket,
a water bottle, a tarp, a flashlight and perhaps a few other items,
was left at a gate near the bridge where the honking had been
occurring. This message was with the pile of goods:
This is a peace offering. Please give these items to anyone you think needs them. I am not hateful, just upset and frustrated about some things that relate directly to this bridge. I won’t explain further because I just want to resolve this in a peaceful manner. I saw that you took down that misc. info today so this is my peaceful reaction to that. I would like to say that I have been randomly helping people in Felton who needed it for years with sandwiches, coffee ect. My most recent act was Easter morning at 6:45 am to an older gentleman who had no jacket. I gave him the 120.oo jacket off my back (in front of the coffee shop). We may or may not agree about a lot of things but I gave it some thought. What you are doing is sticking up for the little guy and that is something that I admire actually. [peace sign]
know what it is like to be ‘upset and frustrated’. We also know that
we all sometimes express such frustration inappropriately. I posted
the videos and associated unpleasantries online because I was
frustrated by what was happening, but lacked a means for constructive
expression of that frustration. That is no excuse, but merely an
vague in this regard, the letter seems to indicate that there is a
possibility that the honking was not necessarily intended to annoy
any of us directly, but was merely an expression of frustration
‘about some things that relate directly to this bridge’. I believe
that we all know how justifiable that is!
nothing vague about the jacket given to one of our veteran friends on
Easter morning. If I remember correctly, it included coffee and
picture below, of the goods delivered this morning, there are four
big cans of beef stew to the upper right. These cans may seem to be
too big for those of us who lack refrigeration. However, with a bit
more added, they will work nicely for luncheon at Felton Presbyterian
Church at noon on Tuesdays. There is always plenty to go around, and
everyone is welcome.
This is the best season so far! Because this is the first update on this blog, there is nothing here to compare the progress of this small Memorial Tree to; but links to older updates on another blog can be found at the older (reblogged) article, ‘May 2‘. Some of those updates link to even more updates. This little Memorial Tree has had quite a history in Felton Covered Bridge Park.
It is actually the fourth tree in this
particular spot. The original black oak was run over by a car many
years ago, leaving the site vacant for a long time. An Eastern red
cedar was planted on New Year’s Day in 2013, but later the following
summer, succumbed to what dogs do to small trees. A bigleaf maple was
planted the following winter, but also succumbed in its second year.
In the last few years since then, this
little valley oak has contended with major difficulties too. Until
recently, it had been gouged regularly by weed eaters when the weeds
around it were cut down, even though we regularly pull the weeds
around it so that the weed eater does not need to get so close.
Before it could recover from getting gouged, it got gouged again,
This is why it is still so puny. Every
year, it puts out only a few inches of new growth. In fact, that is
how it started out this year, with only a few inches of new spring
growth that blinded out too early in the season. Then, for no
apparent reason, it put out a second phase of summer growth, with an
abundance of vigorous shoots that are about a foot long! This is very
Although still puny, the little
Memorial Tree is exhibiting the sort of resilience and vigor that it
needs to survive in this less than optimal situation. As the bark of
the lower trunk matures, it will be less susceptible to damage caused
by weed eaters. As the tree grows up and above pedestrian traffic,
the limbs will be less susceptible to breakage. The next few years
will be critical.
No more growth is expected this late
in summer, although the small new leaves will likely continue to
expand for a while. Terminal buds are likely in the process of
blinding out for the year. When the tree is dormant and defoliated in
autumn, lower limbs will get pruned away, and the main trunk will get
bound and staked. There will be no rush, as long as it is done before
The picture above shows how long the new growth is. The picture below shows how this new growth looks on the small tree. The picture at the bottom shows how much smaller the tree was not too long ago. It also shows that weeds are pulled around the tree.