Jim’s April 2019 Garden Answers

April 2019 Garden Answers

Dive right into the answers – here – for the April 2019 Quiz.  Everything comes from the pages of The Perfect Vegetable Garden – as if you didn’t already know that!

 

Answer to Question #1

The question was:   Overall, the horizons of the Mid-Atlantic soil region are: A) Well-defined, B) A bit blurry, or C) Can’t be detected at all.

The correct answer is:

B) A bit blurry

Mid-Atlantic states.

The development of the Mid-Atlantic soil happened mostly after the ice age – about 10,000 years ago.  This is not enough time to form well-defined horizons – which need hundreds of thousands of years at least to show distinct separations.

Even though the horizons of the Mid-Atlantic soil can be determined, their beginnings and endings are a little difficult to pin-point.

 

This answer is found in Soil Analysis – Mid-Atlantic – United States.

 

Answer to Question #2

The question was:  New Jersey’s state soil, Downer, covers about 60% of the state.  This soil is: A) High in acidity, B) High in alkalinity, C) pH Neutral, D) None of the above.

The correct answer is:

A) High in acidity.

Downer soil - state soil of New Jersey

The yellow, sandy Downer soil in New Jersey – covering almost 300,000 acres – has a very strong acidic content.  This means that periodic applications of lime are needed to keep gardens primed for growing your veggies.

Plus, it doesn’t hurt to add some fertilizer whenever adding lime to the soil. A standard 10-10-10 fertilizer is normally fine unless soil tests give a different picture and require more exotic amendments.

The answer certainly can’t be “D)” – none of the above – since the only three possibilities are high in acidity, high in alkalinity, or pH neutral.  There are no other options available.

 

This answer is found in Soil Analysis – Mid-Atlantic – United States.

 

Answer to Question #3

The question was:  Honeoye is a Seneca Indian name for New York’s state soil.  It means, “The Gods have blessed the soil in this land.”  A) True or B) False.

The correct answer is:

B) False

Rattlesnake bit Indian's finger.

The legend – passed down through many generations – is about a Seneca Indian who was bitten on the finger by a rattlesnake.  The only way he could prevent the snake’s venom from being distributed throughout his body was to cut off the affected finger.  “Honeoye” (Hăn- ĕ – ă -yeah’) means, “the place where the finger lies.”

Interesting bit of trivia, don’t you think?

 

This answer is found in Soil Analysis – Mid-Atlantic – United States.

 

Answer to Question #4

The question was:  The fertile Hazelton soil of Pennsylvania runs very deep and drains exceptionally well.  Good water drainage is a necessity for our veggie gardens.  Is there a downside?  A) Yes, B) No, C) Maybe, D) Not enough information to make a decision.

The correct answer is:

A) Yes Hazelton soil - state soil of Pennsylvania

While it is great to have a sandy loam soil that has good drainage, there is a downside in that moisture doesn’t stay long enough in the top soil for the plants to get the benefit.  There is a delicate balance where moderate water drainage is good – no drainage is very bad because the roots can actually drown in the ground – and, excessive drainage is bad.

For the latter condition, as is the case with Hazelton soil, additional watering – through sprinklers or soaker hose systems are not just an option – they are a requirement.

 

This answer is found in Soil Analysis – Mid-Atlantic – United States.

 

Answer to Question #5

The question was:  What is celeriac?  A) A process for removing pests from garden veggies, B) An extraterrestrial cyborg or android, C) A person suffering from memory loss, D) A turnip looking vegetable, or E) Something that causes erotic excitement.

The correct answer is:

D) A turnip looking vegetable

Harvested celeriac

Celeriac – also called celery root, knob celery, or turnip rooted celery – looks like a turnip.  But, this bulbous root – with its mild celery flavor – is not related to turnips.

By the way, Brainiac was an extraterrestrial cyborg who was the second greatest arch nemesis of Superman rating just below Lex Luthor – who was the most evil and cunning Superman foe.

If you suffer from memory loss, you would be an amnesiac.

And, any food, drink, or drug that causes erotic excitement is commonly called an aphrodisiac.

Lots of “iacs” – but only one – celeriac – is a veggie!

 

This answer is found in Growing Celeriac – Or Growing Celery Root.

 

Answer to Question #6

The question was:  What is fatback?  A) The backside of a Sumo wrestler, B) A funk and disco band from the 1980s, C) The hard fat under the skin on the back of a pig, D) Both “B” and “C”, or E) None of the above.

The correct answer is:

D) Both “B” and “C”. Fatback is taken from the back of a pig.

In The Perfect Vegetable Garden – talking about growing collard greens – fatback is defined as that hard chunk of fat on the back of a pig.  It is commonly cooked with collard greens to create a uniquely southern dish.

But, did you know that in the 1970s and 1980s there existed “The Fatback Band?”  Oh yeah, a group of singers had the courage to call themselves that!  Here they are performing one of their “famous” instrumental songs, “Spanish Hustle”…


This answer is found in Growing Collard Greens – Cousins Of Kale.

 

Answer to Question #7

The question was:  What is pot liquor?  A) A poor person, B) A type of homemade alcohol – much like moonshine, C) The residue scum created from molasses drying in the sun, D) Broth from cooking greens with meat, E) Both “B” and “C”, or F) Both “A” and “D”.

The correct answer is:

D) Broth from cooking greens with meat.

Collard greens freshly picked.

Pot “liquor” is the broth created by cooking collard greens with a smoked meat – beef or turkey – or with fatback.  This is a Southern favorite in which cornbread is typically used to sop up these juices during a meal.

The very similar sounding term, pot “licker” (or pot “likker”), is used to describe a person who is so poor that they have to lick the bottom of a pot of soup to get the last little bit of nourishing food.  Again – it’s a Southern thing…

 

This answer is found in Growing Collard Greens – Cousins Of Kale.

 

Answer to Question #8

The question was:  As collard green leaves get larger, they become:  A) Sweeter, B) More bitter, C) Bland, or D) None of the above.

The correct answer is:

B) More bitter

Collard green leaves growing larger get more bitter.

You don’t want to pick the leaves when they are too small – but, after a few harvests, you will develop the knack of choosing the right size leaves to pick that are tasty and big enough to cook – but, not too big and bitter.

If you want to know the best time to grab some collard green leaves for a salad or soup, ask a diehard Southerner.  They are happy to impart this crucial information!

One last thing?  You will never ever have to worry about these greens being bland.  It’s just not going to happen!

 

This answer is found in Growing Collard Greens – Cousins Of Kale.

 

Answer to Question #9

The question was:  Rhubarb plants are great to grow because you can eat everything – leaves, stalks, roots, etc.  A) True, B) False, or C) None of the above.

The correct answer is:

B) False

Grandma's cranberry-rhubarb pie.

Though the stalks are prized for their unique flavor – often used with a ton of sugar to make rhubarb pies – the rest of the plant contains an extreme quantity of oxalic acid – which is toxic.  Ingesting oxalic acid causes a number of side effects – stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.  And, subjecting your body to large amounts can cause kidney stones, seizures, and, even put you in a coma.

But, rest assured – a normal sized human would need to sit down and stuff at least 10 pounds of rhubarb leaves into their pie hole at one time to worry about kicking the bucket due to oxalic acid poisoning.

 

This answer is found in I’ve Decided – I’m Gonna Grow Rhubarb Plants.

 

Answer to Question #10

The question was:  Jim, the Lifelong Gardener, has decided to “force” his rhubarb plants!  That means that Jim will:  A) Stomp on them to release their bitter juice, B) Smack them a few times to wake them up, C) Tie them up so they are forced to grow straighter, D) Completely remove them from sunlight and make them grow in the dark only.

The correct answer is:

D) Completely remove them from sunlight and make them grow in the dark only.

Forced rhubarb has large stalks and pale green leaves.

This is a technique to decrease rhubarb’s bitterness – accomplished by placing a container over the rhubarb plant – to block out the sun – just as the crowns peek out of the soil.

The sun starved plants begin to concentrate their energies toward stalk growth – trying to find sunshine – leading to longer, thicker, and more tender, pinkish stems.

Since sunshine is removed, plants no longer can accomplish photosynthesis – and, the leaves will begin to pale – becoming a very light shade of green – or yellow.

 

This answer is found in I’ve Decided – I’m Gonna Grow Rhubarb Plants.

 

Answer to BONUS QUESTION

The question was:

In the Black Hills of South Dakota, during the gold rush of 1849, three cowboy prospectors were captured by a band of Cherokee Indians for panning gold right in the middle of their sacred burial grounds.  The prospectors had committed a transgression punishable by death according to Chief Laugh-a-Lot.

But, since the cowboys didn’t realize the extent of what they had done, the chief took pity on them – offering them one chance to save their lives.

The three cowboys were seated behind each other.  The one in front could not see anyone.  The middle one could only see the back of the man in front.  The man in back could see the backs of both the middle man and the front man.

Chief Laugh-a-Lot showed the cowboy prospectors five cowboy hats.  Three hats were red – and two hats were green.

The three cowboys were then blindfolded – after which – one of the five hats were placed on the head of each of them.  The two leftover hats were hidden completely from view.

After the blindfolds were removed, the chief told the men that, if just one of them could correctly guess which color hat was on their own head, all three of them would be released – and could go free – as long as they never returned to the sacred burial grounds.  However, if they guessed wrong, all three would be immediately executed.

As the minutes and the hours ticked away, none of the cowboys spoke up to make a guess on the color of cowboy hat they were wearing.

Finally, the man in front – who could not see the back of any one – spoke up – correctly guessing the color of his hat.

What color was his hat?  How was he able to guess it correctly?

The correct answer is:

The front man correctly guessed that his hat was red!

He just had to wait long enough to be sure that neither the man in back nor the man in the middle spoke up.  That’s what make him absolutely sure that his own hat was red.

The man in back can see the hats of both men sitting in front of him.  If both those hats were green – since there were only two green hats in the group of five – that would mean that the back man was most assuredly wearing a red hat.

He did not speak up – because he saw that one of the other men was wearing a red hat and one was wearing a green hat – meaning, the man in back could be wearing either a red or green hat.  There is no way he could know for sure.

When the middle man became convinced that the man in back could not determine what color hat he was wearing, the man in the middle knew that the back man was either seeing two red hats – or, he was seeing one hat of each color – one red – and one green.

If the hat on the front man was green, then the middle man would know that he, himself, would have to be wearing a red hat.  But, he saw that the front man was wearing a red hat – so, he couldn’t be certain what color hat he was wearing – it could be red or green.

Finally, the front man – realizing that neither the man in back or the man in the middle could correctly guess what color hat they were wearing – immediately spoke up saying, “I am wearing a red cowboy hat!”

And, with that, Chief Laugh-a-Lot got a little smile on his face as he released all three cowboy prospectors – who immediately headed out to pan gold as far away from the Black Hills as they could get!

 

 

Another month – another set of answers to a variety of easy, semi-tough, and extra tough questions!  If you like what you see, comment below or email me.

 

Jim, the Lifelong Gardener

jim@perfect-vegetable-garden.com

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