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WEB: www.upbeattimes.com • E-mail: upbeat@upbeattimes.com Winter Skies!


by Kimberly Childers Mizzkimberly@outlook.com


Sonoma County, CA. ~ Sil- very ribbons of clouds lace through the azure blue sky, breezes dance with the winter chill. Bright orange Per- simmons soften, crew-cuts of crocus poke through the dark earth and Asian pear buds quietly swell, dotting the dormant branches. The ‘root children’ are yawning and stretching as things begin to slowly awaken around us in the garden. January is an ex- citing month and the nurseries are filled with fruit trees, berry bushes and more to tempt your senses. Whether you are planting a row of berry bram- bles or a small antique apple orchard, choices await. Berries are a wonderful addi-


tion to the fruit garden. Black Satin thorn less blackberries, Canby red raspberries, Cum- berland Black Cap, Ollalie blackberries, yellow raspber- ries, boysenberries, loganber- ries, red and black currents, you decide. Look for thorn less berries, not quite as sweet but much easier to handle. A good pair of protective elbow-high gloves can be es- sential to your berry bramble armor. Berries require lots of sunshine as well as a soil rich in organic matter and bone meal. Add plenty of acidic peat moss to the soil mix and prepare the site before plant- ing. It is recommended to plant two or more varieties for best pollination. To ensure a long harvest season choose early, mid and late kinds. These shrubs not only provide an attractive addition to the garden, they will reward you with plump, tasty organic fruit rich in antioxidants. There are asparagus roots to


plant now with a dependable harvest for up to 20 years! When preparing the aspara-


Glow and frost hardy Harcot Apricots from Canada. Cho- juro, Shinseiki and Kikusui are crisp, delicious Asian Pears to grow. Nectar Babe Nectar- ine and Pixzee Peach are dwarf varieties perfect for smaller gardens. For some- thing new plant Sweet Treat hybrid Pluerry, a cross between plum and sweet cherry, a de- licious combination. There are many va- rieties of blueberries to plant now, Brown


gus bed, dig trenches one foot wide by 10 inches deep, spac- ing roots five feet apart. Fill trenches with four inches of fluffy, nitrogen rich soil and plant the roots 12 inches apart. Cover the roots with about two inches of soil, filling the trench slowly as they grow with more good compost-rich garden soil. Always leave the growing tips exposed and wa- ter them deeply. I recommend waiting two years before your first harvest as this will allow them to build an excellent root system. Purple Passion is an exquisite asparagus and cooks to a bright green color; Apollo has thick, larger spears. If you’re enticed by apples


you can plant Fuji, Honey Crisp and Gala, Gravenstien, Pippin and Jonathan. Liberty apples are a favorite for eating fresh. Pink Pearl, an apple va- riety hybridized in England, has crimson-pink blossoms in spring slowly giving way to a lovely cream and green skinned fruit with pink flesh. Decide on dwarf, semi-dwarf or standard trees depending on your situation and space. Try Mary Washington, Jersey giant and Jersey Supreme as- paragus, Imperial Star and Green Globe artichokes, ex- ceptionally flavorful Autumn


Turkey figs and pomegranate trees too. Explore! Blueberries are handsome, decorative bushes in the gar- den landscape and after shed- ding their fall color, their leafless winter silhouettes are equally ornamental. Plant them three to five feet apart and offer them a five inch thick mulch of ground bark and peat moss. Keep the weak shoots and dead twigs pruned off and give these moisture lovers plenty of water. When you get your plants


home be sure to heal them in by covering their bare roots with light soil and/or wood shavings, shielding them from light. Amend your soil be- fore planting by adding peat moss or mushroom compost for easy root expansion. Save the organic all-purpose fer- tilizer for spring and initially plant them in inexpensive or- ganic garden soil now. Good drainage is always important. When you’re at the nursery have the experienced nurs- ery professionals prune your plants to stimulate growth and ask questions while you’re there.


This January seems a bit


like June-uary! Tiny brown finches and Towhees trill and ...continued on page 29


My dear friend, clear your mind of cant. ~ Samuel Johnson


UPBEAT TIMES, INC. • JANUARY 2020 • Pg 7 UPBEAT's Yearbook 2020 CELEBRATING OUR OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTORS


Upbeat Times in Athens, Greece!


ABOUT: Athens is the capital of Greece. It was also at the heart of Ancient Greece, a powerful civilization and empire. The city is still dominated by 5th-century BC landmarks, including the Acropolis, a hilltop citadel topped with ancient buildings like the colonnaded Parthenon temple. The Acropolis Museum, along with the National Archaeological Museum, preserves sculptures, vases, jewelry and more from Ancient Greece. ~ A happy reader!


Think of yourself as on the threshold of unparalleled success. A whole, clear, glorious life lies before you.


Achieve! Achieve! Andrew Carnegie


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CELEBRATING OVER 15 YEARS


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921 GRAVENSTEIN HWY. S. in SEBASTOPOL UPBEAT TIMES, INC. • JANUARY 2020 • Pg 7


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