Things pertaining to life: plants and animals, gardening, cooking, food, botany, zoology, farming, ranching, wildlife, genetics, plant breeding, software, media, etc.
Radishrain by Radishrain @ in Life
I discovered something delicious about a minute ago, and that is turmeric toast. I wanted to take some turmeric, so I figured I would sprinkle some on some buttered toast, spread it around, and eat it. I did, and it was actually quite tasty. I recommend it.

If you're wondering how I sprinkled turmeric, I used a salt shaker.
Radishrain by Radishrain @ in Life
Once upon a time, my ideal meal of peanut butter sandwiches went like this (and it still does):

Spread peanut butter on a couple slices of bread (making two sandwiches), spread honey or raspberry jam on them, put bread on each, cut them each in half, and dip them generously in milk before each and every non-soaked bite (well, maybe 96% of the bites).

I tried doing the same thing with water a few times when we were out of milk, but it just wasn't the same (of course). What I didn't try, however, was foregoing the honey or jam when dipping in water. While it's not quite as satisfying as dipping in milk, it's actually a lot better than you might think, including in the following way:

If you don't want to add extra sugary stuff to your sandwiches, dipping it in water is a good way to compensate for that. For some reason, the lack of sugar isn't as bad when dipped in water. Don't ask me why.

Part of the effect of jam or honey is that it makes the sandwich seem wetter, and easier to swallow (and faster to eat). So, texture-wise, water helps. As to why it helps compensate for the lack of sweetness, I don't know (that's what I meant when I said not to ask me earlier).

In the end, I still like it with milk and jam or honey better, but if milk or honey/jam isn't on the menu, I wouldn't ignore peanut butter sandwiches altogether. You can still get some of that satisfaction.
Radishrain by Radishrain @ in Announcements
While the Support and Feedback forums are still visible, their posts are no longer visible from the main feed. I never wanted them to be visible there, for the record. If you're wondering how to get to those forums now, look at the bottom of any page (that was already there before).

Anyway, the reason for this change is because no one probably wants to see a bunch of support and feeback posts cluttering up the main page's feed; also, this is to prevent spam posts in the Support forum from getting featured prominently on the main page.
Radishrain by Radishrain @ in HymnWiki

Listen to the MIDI file in the HymnWiki article above. Doesn't the tune sound like it has a lot in common with Home on the Range's tune?
Radishrain by Radishrain @ in Life

Okay, I just planted some seeds. Here's what:

• Amana Orange x 1 (saved seeds from 2022)
• Brandywine Pink x 1 (saved seeds from 2022)
• Cal Ace VF x 18 (store seeds)
• Carolina Yellow x 2 (saved seeds from 2022)
• Cherokee Lime x 2 (2 sources from trades/gifts)
• Cherokee Purple x 1 (Baker Creek)
• Cilantrovaya-A x 2 (from the first-harvested fruit)
• Early Cascade x 2 (store seeds)
• Italian Gold x 4 (gift/trade)
• Jubilee x 2 (1 from gifts/trades and 1 from store seeds)
• Marmande x 3 (saved seeds)
• New Yorker V x 1 (saved seeds--the rest of them)
• Orange Jazz x 2 (saved seeds; each from a different fruit)
• Roma VF x 30 (store seeds x 12; saved seeds x 18)
• Snacker-C0 x 2
• Snacker-C x 2
• Sunray x 1 (store seeds)
• Super Marmande x 1 (SHPC)
• Tangerine x 2 (trade/gift x 1; store seeds x 1)
• Tropic x 1 (SHPC)

Note: If you can't tell by my selection of tomatoes, I'm primarily going for Verticillium resistance. Most of those are said to be resistant, but a few might not be. As for Brandywine Pink, I'm growing it as an experiment in acclimatization to it, to see if it gains more resistance; it also didn't get virus symptoms (and we had some viruses circulating). It didn't get a severe case from it last year, though, but it did have symptoms on the lower leaves. The seeds came from an extra-large fruit that set in the heat; so, that's another reason. Carolina Yellow and Amana Orange don't claim resistance, but they did pretty well last year (both against Verticillium and viruses). Orange Jazz doesn't claim resistance, but it's related to Amana Orange. Snacker-C, Snacker-C0 and Cilantrovaya-A might not be resistant, as they had some lower leaf symptoms (one of the Snacker siblings died from it last year, but the parents of these didn't), but I have hope that they'll do well. With regard to Jubilee and Tangerine, I only have a suspicion that they're resistant based on a claim about one of their ancestors or descendants. I've heard Cherokee Chocolate is supposed to be resistant (and since I think Cherokee Lime and Cherokee Chocolate are basically in a long line of sports stemming from Cherokee Purple, I'm hoping all the sports and the original are resistant).

Early Cascade, Sunray, Roma VF, Cal Ace VF, Italian Gold, Marmande, Super Marmande, Tropic, and New Yorker V are all supposed to be Verticillium-resistant.

Sweet peppers:
• Blot x 2 (Baker Creek)
• Cal Wonder Orange x 2 (store seeds)
• Canary Bell x 18 (2 different store sources and also saved seeds from 2022)
• Orange version of Golden California Wonder x 4 (store seeds)
• Purple Beauty x 4 (store seeds; I'm hoping this is a prolific orange off-type again)
• Yolo Wonder x 1 (store seeds)

• Catalogna chicory x 1
• Lovage x 1
• Zi Su shiso

I'm thinking about direct-seeding some wonderberries, mustard (several kinds), bok choy, daikon radishes, and maybe Job's tears soon. I thought my daikon radishes were spring radishes, but it turns out they're supposed to be fall-sown or something. I plan to try them as spring radishes anyway.

I ran out of the worm casting seed-starting mix that I've been using for some years. This year, I'm using a mixture of Whitney Farms organic indoor/outdoor potting soil, perlite, wood ash, Miracle Gro (24-8-16 All-purpose), and monopotassium phosphate. Some of the containers have diatomaceous earth in (I forgot to put it in the first batch).

Here's the state of my houseplants:

My Rubber fig and umbrella tree are doing much better (more and healthier growth). I think they like to be watered more often with less water at a time.

My grapefruit tree grew a bunch, and hit the ceiling. I had to prune it back for a couple reasons.

My oldest living spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum; a variegated kind) is huge and getting bigger. It has a whole bunch of spiderettes, and keeps growing more. It's multiplying in the ground, too (I didn't know spider plants did that, but they do!) The younger rooted spider plant is finally starting to get bigger leaves.

My Christmas cactuses are proving sensitive to light changes. I mean, if they don't get much sun one day (for example, if I don't keep my curtains open long enough) then they might burn if they get lots of sun the next. One of the plants at a certain angle isn't bothered, though (it has less direct light, I suppose).

My Thanksgiving cactuses are doing well. I rooted a small cutting that had grown four segments at once, so the whole plant would be growing from the four segments. It's growing really fast, and I"m pleased with it. I have another of the same kind and it's doing well. Those are both red-flowering. I have some pink-flowering ones; two of those are quite big. I've been focuing on getting them to grow bigger, rather than focusing on trying to get them to flower. Once they're big enough, then I'll probably focus on flowering.

My golden pothos plants are getting long vines. They're looking good and doing well.

The White Pearl poinsettia we got in 2021 is alive and well. It likes water. It hasn't grown new bracts, but it has grown a couple leaves with a little white on them. Most of the leaves are green.

The spider plants really improve the way I feel, I've noticed. I think what they say about them reducing depression is true. My big one has been getting thirstier. It drank up a half-gallon of water in a few days once recently.
Radishrain by Radishrain @ in TSA
Radishrain by Radishrain @ in Life
I was listening to an audiobook, today, at my computer, and a command-prompt was before me. As I sometimes do, I typed various characters while I listened. Then I started holding keys down and watching. I noticed that when I focused on the cursor/caret as it moved, then the details of all the letters on the screen were blurred from my peripheral vision, but if I started with a stationary one and followed pre-existing ones, even if they were close to the cursor/caret as it moved (creating new ones), they looked clearly visible in my peripheral vision, of course.

Anyway, I don't know if this has been studied, but it sounds like something people would study.
Radishrain by Radishrain @ in Life

This is a fascinating article about how nearby plants can affect each other's gene expression via RNA.

Radishrain by Radishrain @ in Life
In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we believe in building a reserve of food (and stuff for emergencies), so that we can be prepared. I'm not the type of person to go to the store everyday, so I generally like to buy in bulk (even for everyday life). Keep in mind that not all of these foods and items are equally as helpful in every situation; not every emergency is the same.

Here's a list of items that I think would be good for food storage:
* Fruit and grain bars (such as the Great Value ones at Walmart)
* Skippy Natural Peanut butter, or similar
* Pancake mix
* Baking soda (lots of it; don't waste it all on cleaning, either; you don't need to use it in a certain timeframe)
* White sugar
* Brown sugar
* Iodized salt
* Sea salt
* Canning salt
* Herbs/spices (e.g. black pepper, basil, paprika, granulated garlic, onion powder, parsley, etc.)
* Wheat
* Whole wheat flour
* White flour
* Powdered milk (make sure you can tolerate that particular kind before you stock up on lots of it)
* Powdered eggs (if they're not super expensive)
* If you're able to and would like to raise chickens, their eggs would be helpful
* Spaghetti (and other pasta)
* Home-canned tomatoes
* Macaroni and cheese
* Tuna fish
* Popcorn
* Cornmeal
* Honey
* Molasses
* Water (lots of water)
* Artificial bacon bits
* Potato chips (A lot of people would call this junk food, but I think they're important. They last a long time. They can boost morale. People are going to eat them. They taste really good. They provide energy. They can reduce stress.)
* Potassium bicarbonate (If you need less salt in your diet and/or more potassium, this works instead of baking soda)
* Canned pineapple
* Applesauce
* Rolled and/or quick oats
* Millet (I like millet)
* Potatoes, onions, apples, oranges (the ones that will last a while)
* Uncut watermelon (it can last a good while)
* Choline (if you don't have eggs, you'll want a supply of this)
* Dried white mulberries (not for snacking, although they are great for that)
* Elderberry extract
* Vitamins
* Vinegar (lots of vinegar; don't waste it all on cleaning, either; you don't need to use it in a certain timeframe; it'll stay good until you need it)
* Soy sauce
* Maggi seasoning
* Cooking oil (don't count on it lasting years, though; in a long emergency where grocery stores are gone, fresh butter will probably be easier to come by)
* Powdered cheese
* Regular cheese (if you don't actually open it, it stores for a long time; you can freeze it, too, although it can get crumbly)
* Butter (if you can use a freezer, it keeps for a long time)
* Frozen stuff generally is great food storage if you have electricity (things that are good to freeze include things like meat, fruit and grain bars, wonderberries, packaged foods, etc.; wrapping raw hamburger in aluminum foil is very helpful when freezing it)

Here's a list of potentially important non-food items:
* Toilet paper (apparently, some people think they can live without very much of, but I prefer to have a large amount of it at all times)
* Paper and pens/pencils
* Stamps
* Cash
* Books
* Recipes (ideally simple ones that you can use with your food storage items and nothing else)
* Water filters
* Soap/detergent (or soap nuts; they keep for a long time and don't take up much space)
* Clothes
* Scissors
* Candles
* Light sources
* Matches
* Rubbing alcohol
* Hydrogen peroxide
* PermaGuard Food grade diatomaceous earth (to keep weevils out of grain, to make milk last longer, a silica source, etc.; it's supposed to be anti-parasitic, too)
* Houseplants (it's nice to be with other living things)
* Digital media (if the Internet goes out, but you still have electricity, it's nice to have some on hand; e.g. e-books, music, audiobooks, videos, etc.)
* Blankets/coats/heat pads/space heaters/etc.
* Fuel
* Scriptures
* Religious sheet music (e.g. a hymnal)
* Family history
* Canning jars
* Canning lids
* A canner (water bash, pressure canner, etc.)
* A food dehydrator
* Fruit/vegetable seeds (I recommend radishes, tomatoes, wonderberry, pepper, winter watermelon seeds, and muskmelon seeds. But it's important to know how to use them. Since this is for emergencies, you probably want open-pollinated disease-resistant varieties, where possible, such as Roma VF tomato seeds)
* Fertilizer
* Lightbulbs
* Headphones (the ones with detachable cords seem to last longer; extra cords are nice, too)
* Sleep masks
* Some big mass storage devices for your computers (as well as flash drives, blank CDs/DVDs, and such)
* A ham radio?
* Those boots that keep out all the water. Not only are they great for wading in water, but they're pretty warm in the winter, and they keep out the snow.
* Rain barrels
* Tarps (lots of tarps)
* A large roll of bailing twine
* Pruning shears
* A saw
* A hatchet
* An axe
* A hammer
* Screw drivers of all sizes
* Lightswitches
* Fuses, probably
* Warm sleeping bags (make sure they're actually warm when it's cold)
* A pennywhistle, harmonica, melodica, recorder, etc. (and sheet music)
* Pots/pans
** Note that seasoned cast-iron is nice because it'll work on an electric stove, in an oven, or on a campfire.
* Disposable cups, chopsticks, cutlery, etc.
* A dictionary/thesaurus
* Maps
* A globe or atlas
* Bags, backpacks, and/or luggage
* Some spades/shovels/etc.
* Coolers (cheap foam coolers are fine, if they're durable enough to hold the contents)
* Toothpaste
* Toothbrushes
* Floss (make sure you have some shred-resistant floss, too)
* A grain grinder (that's pretty important if you're storing grain, as is the aforementioned food grade diatomaceous earth; however, you can cook wheat berries and eat them without grinding)
* Family/friends
* A cellar (if you can get one of these, one that stays cool year-round, that would be ideal)
* A well
* Solar panels
* Emergency blankets (i.e. mylar blankets)
* Fruit trees, bushes, and vines
* A first aid kit
* Life jackets
* Wool socks (they're supposed to keep your feet warm even if they get wet)
* Sewing materials (needles, thread, etc.)
* Knowledge of how to make your own clothing, as well as the fabric and thread to do so (this is something that is sorely needed in our era; when was the last time you even saw patterns for clothing?)
* Transportation animals (if possible; you can collaborate with other people, you know, if you don't want to have to own the animals yourself)
* Knowledge of what all the weeds on your property actually are. (This can be pretty useful, especially since a lot of them are probably edible.)
* Knowledge of herbalism (it can be pretty useful, even if a lot of it is anecdotal, but be careful, as there are risks)
* Phone numbers written down (including emergency numbers)
* Keep your vaccines up-to-date (Pneumovax and Prevnar-13 are probably some of the more important often-not-required vaccines to have to prepare for emergencies; they protect against many kinds of bacteria that can cause pneumonia and a number of other surprisingly common things; note that bacterial pneumonia can be a complication of viral pneumonia, so even if viral pneumonia is all you think you need to worry about, it's still important to be vaccinated against bacterial pneumonia, especially if there's no vaccine for the virus)
* Potting soil (it's often not available in winter; so, it can be good to stock up, should you need it when it's not in season; same for actual houseplants; you can find Poinsettias and holiday cactuses in parts of the winter, though)
* Rulers, yardsticks and tape measures
* Gloves (winter gloves, rubber gloves, work gloves, disposable gloves, etc.
* Spray for athelete's foot/ringworm
* Medication and such
* A buddy burner (or ideally something better)
* Batteries
* A flashlight
* Games/entertainment
* Insurance (make sure it's actually worth it, though: read the fine print and any reviews)

Radishrain by Radishrain @ in Links
These are ordered alphabetically (including by the subdomains).

Official and official-ish:
https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/ (The main website for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.)


I make an attempt to avoid anti; so, if you see any in the unofficial links, please report it. Also, feel free to report broken or outdated links.

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