Monday, October 08, 2007

I bought this Spicebush, along with a Serviceberry at a native tree sale this weekend. I'll eventually need at least one other Spicebush, unless I'm very lucky indeed, because it's one of the few dioecious plants. Dioecious plants have either male flowers or female flowers, and so require two of opposite genders to set berries or fruit. If I'm very lucky, my spicebush will be one of the odd specimens that has a few flowers of the 'wrong' gender, or a few 'perfect' flowers. A perfect flower, you may have guessed, has both boy and girl parts (stamens and pistils) and so can pollinate itself. I think. I'm no botanist, and this is what I've gleaned from about 30 minutes of research. The Serviceberry is self-fertile but will set more berries if it has a mate of the same genus (Amelanchier). Apparently apples are like this as well. My current Serviceberry had flowers in the spring, but no berries in June, so I'm hoping the two will inspire fecundity in one another. The berries are, of course, mostly for the birds, though I'm sure the kids and I will snack on them now and again. The trouble is that the birds eat them before they're quite ripe to human tastes. Sneaky! My distant dream is to have a flock of Cedar Waxwings visit my spicebushes one autumn day, and spend the afternoon eating while I look on in wonder.

My weekly menu:
Black bean and corn tortillas
Orzo and feta with lemon caper dressing and kalamata olives
Spaghetti with bacon and spinach

Fried tilapia, spicy black beans, salad

Moroccan chicken stew with sweet potatoes

Maple baked beans, brown bread, applesauce and braised greens

Roast turkey breast, baked butternut squash, and green beans


Laurie said...

Welcome to Knitter's Coffee Swap! Combining coffee and knitting is such a pleasant way to usher in the coming colder months and longer nights.

I am intrigued by your trees and plan to do a little reading up on them. Are they both deciduous?

I like the idea of writing down your main meal menu for the week. What a great way to keep track (and on track).

I can't seem to find the "Eleventh Hour Hat" pattern...could you post a link to it for the readers? I looked at the KP site but I couldn't seem to find the pattern. It looks easy and fun.

meegan said...

Laurie -- both trees are deciduous and I highly recommend them. The Serviceberries (Amelanchier) can be shrubs or trees, but they all produce berries and have pretty fall foliage. Like a lot of undesrstory trees and shrubs though, they can look a little scrappy. Unfortunately, the 11th Hour Hat pattern is no longer available on KP's website. I don't know if they'd be able to email you a copy, but you're welcome to mine -- I used it for inspiration but didn't actually follow the pattern. Let me know if you'd like it!