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... the sky is baby blue, and the just-unfurling leaves ...
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Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10596

PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 19 6:45 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote    

Alpaca wool is nice for spinning too, and they are quite reasonable animals. Llamas less so. I did go to a show once where an alpaca was grumpy about being there, and it grumbled all day. Never caused any trouble though.

Having the manure in pellets is useful, as you say, Jam Lady. Perhaps I ought to go and have a chat to our local alpaca people.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 35161
Location: yes
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 19 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

i would consider alpaca wrangling, they are charming and quite jolly, llamas are grumpy and rather aggressive at times and well down my list of " it's ok it is not dinner "

even as dinner i half suspect the south americans were trolling the emperor with his "special magical llama sacrifice " dinner
stringy as donkey and a rather strong flavour but that could have been cook's fault.

Jam Lady



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 2044
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 19 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Llama yarn is good for rugs, alpaca is quite nice, vicuna is the best. Vicuna run wild. Periodically they are rounded up, sheared, and turned lose again.

Llama are pack animals, not raised for meat. That's cuy, aka Guinea pig.

My brother once went on a trading journey in Peru. Llama will lay down and refuse to move if they think they are overloaded. And when they think they have gone far enough that day they will also all lay down.

I've seen back packers in the Colorado Rockies accompanied by llama pack animals. Their feet are better for the habitat than horses.

gregotyn



Joined: 24 Jun 2010
Posts: 1881
Location: Llanfyllin area
PostPosted: Thu Apr 11, 19 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Just had a problem logging in I forgot my password code, but all of a sudden it took the obviously last choice, but I can't remember that choice! Tomorrow could be equally challenging! I know all the letters and numbers just the order and which are capitals! Life is going a bit that way too. I get to work on time-well early-and stay as long as I like, lucky me, but I still lose my thoughts sometimes and am elsewhere! Guess there will be a 'home' for me when I get past it!

I don't understand the kindling sales this year I am doing more and more and am hardly keeping up, when by now in this warm weather it should be at almost nil, and I am getting stocks ready for next season. I am now getting into a wood store which has not been attacked for 12 months and I hope to clear it to get to the rip saw sited beneath the said pile, and use it!

Blue bells, MR, just don't happen till late May in a good year, I have seen no foliage yet. We still have primroses in bloom. I hope the talk went well, and you are feeling better.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10596

PostPosted: Fri Apr 12, 19 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Odd you haven't seen bluebell foliage yet, as with us it starts to come up some time between mid-December and mid-January. It is no indicator of when they will flower though, as the foliage started coming up in mid-Janauary, and the flowers are starting now. Sadly they are going to be in full flow for the Easter holidays, so chaos will reign. Sometimes we have a distinct wood anemone and bluebell season, but this year everything seems to be mixed up together.

Our log sacks are gently meandering, but nothing like last year when it was still cold. Perhaps people are just having a fire in the evening, so don't need many logs but do need kindling to keep re-lighting the fire rather than keeping it going.

We have an order from one of our outlets for log sacks and charcoal, so rather a mixed time of year. Husband and son got the bagger going yesterday and managed to bag 26, so the remaining 20 odd will have to wait for another day. We have 2 more outlets saying they will take some, so the season will soon be in full swing.

The throat infection is better now thanks, but I still have a slight sinus infection, so the doctor has changed the medication to a different antibiotic, thankfully now in tablet form. I think the odd colour of the previous one is a good description of the flavour-it was vile.

The talk went well, and they may want another one on a different subject in the future.

Jam Lady



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 2044
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 19 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Wonderful 10 day vacation in Sedona, Arizona with our daughter and son-in-law, their daughter and her husband. We had a convenient AirB&B so tended to eat at home or take picnics rather than eat out. There were visits to places with strange names such as Arcosanti, Tlaquepaque, and Tuzigoot. National parks sites with Indian ruins. Lots of cacti including very impressive saguaro with multiple arms, and they must be 75 years old before they start to branch. But the best was the time spent together. And yes, we were all still happily talking together at the end of the vacation.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10596

PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 19 5:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Sounds good Jam Lady. Those cacti must be hundreds of years old then.

Jam Lady



Joined: 28 Dec 2006
Posts: 2044
Location: New Jersey, USA
PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 19 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

According to Wikipedia the life span of saguaro is about 200 years, Mistress Rose. They are extremely impressive.

Where we were in Arizona had cacti all over the place as wild plants - prickly pear very common. And at an arts festival a woman had a booth selling all sorts of prickly pear preserves - prickly pear and peach jam, with oranges for marmalade, etc. The cactus fruit is collected on their property. She makes the preserves but it is her husband who does the harvesting.

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 35161
Location: yes
PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 19 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    



i am very fond of prickly pear fruit. i assume harvesting in bulk is even more itchy than peeling them one at a time

when i had access to a very sunny window greenhouse i got them to grow but not to fruit, repotting is a precise or nasty task

if i was that delicious i would want millions of barbed, burrow in, spines that seem able to find skin even if you are well wrapped or carrying a box of fruit:lol:

cacti are ace, i had one that looked like a peroxide blonde version of cousin it .

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10596

PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 19 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

How do you harvest and then peel the fruit then? It sounds a rather difficult job. Is it possible to cook then strain the pulp to remove the spines afterwards, or must they be peeled before cooking?

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 35161
Location: yes
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 19 10:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

wear rubber gloves ( dust proof eyewear ppe is wise )

make 3 cuts across the end
peel skin in 6 sections
if they are ripe it slips off easily.

avoid any loose or floating spines

wash fruit if possible or be very very careful not to get spines on peeled fruit

remove spines from skin by, washing loose ones off with running COLD water ( hot water or scrubbing makes things far worse), then by scraping with a sharp blade to pull them out , wash again with running cold water.

it is not 100% but you will feel less suicidally itchy

i can feel the itch just writing about it

dpack



Joined: 02 Jul 2005
Posts: 35161
Location: yes
PostPosted: Thu Apr 25, 19 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

ps re harvest as they grow close to the plates basket, gloves and a sharp knife are the harvest tools

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10596

PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 19 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Glad they don't grow in the UK. I have enough trouble with brambles.

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10596

PostPosted: Sun May 05, 19 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Gregotyn has contacted me by e-mail. He has lost his password and would like the following help;

'The problem is I had forgotten my password, well I made a mistake with logging on, and then was unable to recall, after the 3 allowed errors, the "you are out" rule came into force. And I have tried to get back on several occasions, to no avail. I have also misplaced the booklet where I keep these gems hidden and which in theory travels with me everywhere. So learn from my mistakes keep a booklet to help with the memory, and a copy of said booklet at home for future reference-in my cases losses, I probably wouldn't remember where the extra booklet was, if I had one, but that it would come to light eventually!

I am keeping up with you all on my Tues, Thur, Fri and Sat. trips to the local library.

I have tried to get back in with a different password and name but to no avail. I could do with some help from an insider at downsizer who understands these things-a step by step guide would be good or someone else getting me back in somehow-please. Most important it has to be simple!'

Mistress Rose



Joined: 21 Jul 2011
Posts: 10596

PostPosted: Mon May 06, 19 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

The full e-mail, with one or two name alterations, that Gregotyn sent me;

Dear Friends at Downsizer,

I don't know what is going on in my brain, but I am getting forgetful, not sure why, but age seems to be a factor, at least I have some excuse as I have had a bus pass for over 10 years! The mind problem is likely to be something I ate which was sweet and rather nice! But I thank you all for showing concern.

The problem is I had forgotten my password, well I made a mistake with logging on, and then was unable to recall, after the 3 allowed errors, the "you are out" rule came into force. And I have tried to get back on several occasions, to no avail. I have also misplaced the booklet where I keep these gems hidden and which in theory travels with me everywhere. So learn from my mistakes keep a booklet to help with the memory, and a copy of said booklet at home for future reference-in my cases losses, I probably wouldn't remember where the extra booklet was, if I had one, but that it would come to light eventually!

I am keeping up with you all on my Tues, Thur, Fri and Sat. trips to the local library.

I have tried to get back in with a different password and name but to no avail. I could do with some help from an insider at downsizer who understands these things-a step by step guide would be good or someone else getting me back in somehow-please. Most important it has to be simple!

If I can recall what I did at some point I will get back to you asap and see if they can't sort me out!

Regards to you all and thank you for showing concern, much appreciated.
I hope all is well with all of you and yours.
Gregotyn

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