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Archive for March, 2009

Anise hyssop in March

Posted by blueberrytalk on March 25, 2009

The purple and green leaves of the hyssop spring up from the base of last year’s crop. This is well before the last frost. Later the plants that start from scattered seed will emerge and fill in between the parent plants. Birds love the hyssop seeds so they are frequent visitors in the fall.

Anise hyssop

Anise hyssop

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Arrow bamboo

Posted by blueberrytalk on March 17, 2009

The bamboo used for Mason bee nests is about 5/16″ opening at the top of the stalk and larger at the bottom of the bamboo stalk. The bees accept either sized opening. In fact, in the picture below the bamboo tube is almost 1/2″ in size. Notice that the cocoons on the right are vertical in the tube compared to the cocoons on the left so the bees can adapt to larger bamboo nests. ( The three yellow cells are infestations of pollen mites.)

large bamboo nest

large bamboo nest

Yesterday I visited “CANADA’S BAMBOO WORLD’ in Chilliwack B.C. to identify the kind of bamboo we had been using for mason bee nests. It appears to be “Pseudosasa japonica” or “arrow bamboo”. This  is from their catalogue.

Pseudosasa japonica (Arrow Bamboo)

* Max height 18’ (Estimated West Coast Maximum Height 15 feet) * Max culm diameter .75″ * Min. temp -26C * Sun/Shade * Running Bamboo *

The culms are erect with rather large leaves, up to a foot long by 1.5 inches wide.  It does well in tubs and pots.   Very tropical looking with it’s large leaves.  An excellent choice for indoors. (1 gallon $14.00, 2 gallon $19.00, 3 gallon $29.00, 5 gallon $38.00, 7 gallon $48.00)

Source:http://www.bambooworld.com/bamboo%20catalogue.htm

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Bamboo nests for Mason bees

Posted by blueberrytalk on March 5, 2009

Perren (11years old) is cutting bamboo stalks to make Mason bee nests. We have observed that mason bees display a preference for bamboo nests. One way to monitor the effectiveness of these nests is to check the year over year increase in mason bees.We have a count of the cocoons going into this season so it will be easy calculate the rate of increase.

bamboo

bamboo

The nests we are making will be for the 2010 season. The bamboo will have a year to dry out.

cutting between and at the nodes

cutting between and at the nodes

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“Puffed” blueberries

Posted by blueberrytalk on March 3, 2009

A blueberry producer from Richmond B.C. in Canada has become the first to buy a Vancouver firm’s new dehydration process. The company plan to use the technology to produce ‘puffed’ berries for snack foods and other processing. A licensing and royalty deal has been forged between EnWave Corp and Cal-San Enterprises, a blueberry farming, processing and winemaking operation owned by the Sandhu family of Richmond. …

The new processing method is said to be a blessing both financially and environmentally. It is competing with freeze drying, using three times the energy and costing six times the capital price. EnWave report that the cost will be between US$800.000 and US$1 million. The quality of the product is also ensured, as foods retain “excellent colour, flavour, and texture, with similar nutrients and shelf-life to freeze drying, and at a variety of moisture contents as required by the target market”.

Source:http://www.internationalsupermarketnews.com/index.php/the-news/549-ben-bricknell

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