RD October 2015 Letters

Boring worm
RD: With reference to Patricia Thornley’s letter (“What’s killing apple trees?” Sept. RD), it sounds like she has a case of Apple tree borer, of which there are several, but most common around Nova Scotia.
    What you need to is get your trusty pocketknife sharp and put your Sherlock hat on. Take the top of the knife and cut away at the hole where the sawdust-like stuff is coming out. Remove the bark and follow the mined holes until you find the grub at the end. (The borer eats away at the cambium layer at will, eventually choking the tree to death.) 
    After that, if the excavation is quite severe, buy some tree trunk care goo and apply. The tree should survive this operation, as long as the borers haven’t done too much damage. Good luck!
Stephen Besaw
Petite Riviere, N.S.

Fat beans
RD: In the May issue readers were looking for Marrowfat beans seed. The seed is available and listed in the William Dam Seed catalog: item 302, Capucijners, which is the Dutch name for Marrowfat beans. 
    Happy Gardening!
Bert van Zeumeren
Folly Lake, N.S.

Sunflower “tree”
RD: We wanted to share these photos with you as we think this is extraordinary!
     Our neighbor asked us to babysit her Amaryllis while she went on vacation. While she was gone it blossomed. Our then two-year-old watched every day for the blossoms to open. She was awestruck and was very interested in how flowers grow! (She is now three years old.)
     Jump ahead to January/February and the winter blahs had set in. While at the Dollarama, to our amazement, they had started to stock the shelves with spring products! To promote Olivia’s love of growing things, Tom, Olivia’s grandfather bought two “Dixie” cups with a peat pellet, seed, and cover.  They were a sunflower and a bean. They planted them and sat them on the window in the dining room. Olivia’s excitement grew as the seeds sprouted in their individual containers. The bean grew to about two inches tall and died. However, the sunflower kept growing and growing and growing!
     Tom put the plant in the garden with our tomato and cucumber plants. It continued to grow! He planted it in front of our pool fence (thank heavens) as it has needed to be staked. At the last measurement it was at 12ft. 10in. … yes …12ft. 10in. tall! That is the measurement to the top flower, plus it has over 75 heads open on it with 25-30 to still open! The stalk is approximately two inches across!
     The funny part about this is that most of the blossom heads face the pool with only a few facing the road for people to see. Apparently, the sunflowers face east so the sun doesn’t burn the sunflowers. Unfortunately, people can’t see the true beauty of it.
Our bird feeders will be overflowing, once we figure out how to dry all of the sunflower heads/seeds. But our birds will be happy!
Tom and Bonnie Meldrum
Mount Uniacke, N.S.

Perfect venue
RD: We sure did enjoy ourselves at the 12th Annual Handmowing Championships on Saturday, Aug. 29, 2015. Thanks so much, to you and your crew, for organizing the event. Ross Farm is the perfect venue – lots to do before and after the competition. Also, it was great to meet up again with friends we see at the competition every year. We have enclosed a few photographs we thought you might like to see. Thanks again for all your work.
Heather and Oliver Murphy
West Chezzetcook, N.S. 

Cloud Nine
RD: Great to see you at New Ross on Saturday. What a lovely time at New Ross on Sunday. Stewart (Lyon) is still on cloud nine – who would have thought?
Elizabeth Curry
Falmouth, N.S.

Putting the horse before the cart
RD: I have recently acquired a beautiful Norwegian Fjord horse. She has been trained to pull. I wonder if your readers may have plans for a sleigh or cart for a small horse. Also I’d like to hear from people who have experience with Fjords to better understand and use my lovely little horse.
Debbie Bagnald
Cherry Hill, N.S.

(Debbie, there are certainly some RD readers who have experience with Fjords, and no doubt also some who have built a cart or sleigh. With any luck someone will come forward with an offer to share their knowledge. DL)