Archives for November 2015

Thanksgiving: Pilgrim Style

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, many of you are probably starting to plan all the yummy food that will accompany the requisite turkey. While that is a delicious prospect, have you ever considered what the Pilgrims had to do to prepare that first Thanksgiving feast?

Because many of the Pilgrims were shopkeepers and townspeople, most of them had no idea what was indian corninvolved in growing their own food. In their helplessness, they had to rely on the nearby Wampanoag Indian for survival. The main crop of choice was a variety of corn that none of the Pilgrims had seen before; they called this colorful crop “Indian corn,” after the Indians who taught them how to plant and grow it. Today, many of us have probably seen Indian corn or even used it for our fall decorating, but we don’t deal with growing it.

The Wampanoag Indians taught the Pilgrims many useful tricks for planting crops. One of the most interesting is their method for growing a bumper crop of Indian corn. This involved digging small holes in a field and dropping two or three fish into each hole to fertilize the soil. After the fish were covered, a handful of corn growing pilgrimskernels was sown into the dirt above them. Once the corn was harvested, it was dried on the cob to preserve it longer. Interestingly enough, there was no corn on the cob for the Pilgrims; they ate all their Indian corn as flour or cornmeal to be used in cooking and baking. Because of the ease of growing corn, this crop showed up in nearly every meal the Pilgrims ate! The Pilgrims did grow other food besides Indian corn, including several types of beans, pumpkin, wheat, oats in the fields, as well as a variety of herbs and vegetables in their home gardens.

So as you prepare for your Thanksgiving feast next week, you can pay homage to our brave forefathers by incorporating some of the Indian corn that the Pilgrims relied on into your decor. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, you can make some cornmeal mush to experience on of the dishes the Pilgrims probably ate at the first Thanksgiving.

While they won’t suggest adding dead fish your soil, the experts at The Family Tree are happy to help you find the perfect plants for your needs or give you advice on any areas you need it.

It’s Fall Planting Time! Let’s Get At It!

You would be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t love spring; the dreary winter weather is finally over, the birds begin to chirp again, and flowers and trees are bursting into bloom. It feels like everything is rejoicing in the coming warm weather and you just want to get out there and fill your yard with all sorts of flowering plants. However, did you know that planting in the fall can get your spring trees and shrubs off to a better start?

fall-treesTransplanting – Fall is a great time to transplant any your plants that you have been thinking of moving to move to a new spot. After summer and blooming season has past, plants go dormant for the winter which makes it easier for them to endure transplanting without too much disruption.

Better conditions – Even though the air temps are dropping, the soil is still warm, creating a perfect environment for root development. By planting your new trees and shrubs in the fall, you avoid the stress of high temperatures and droughts that summer in Georgia often brings. Fall planting alleviates some of the strain on your plants because they have added time to establish a stronger root system.

Less work – By planting your spring garden in the fall, you save yourself that much work when spring does roll around. There are sure to be other gardening related tasks that require your attention, so plant your bulbs and other perennials now and cross that off your spring to-do list.azalea garden

Earlier blooms – By planting in the fall, your plants have a head start on root establishment, which means they can devote all their energy to producing a plethora of beautiful blooms! While your neighbors are toiling over their spring planting, you will be relaxing in your garden and enjoying the fruit of your fall labors!

Be sure to stop by The Family Tree for fabulous plants and expert advice! We also offer professional planting and landscape design services, so if you want the beautiful spring garden without doing any of the work, don’t forget to ask about these services!