Godless in the garden

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Location: Planet Earth
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Welcome to Eden!

If you like to dig in the dirt, plant & prune, grow food & flowers, or sit and watch as someone else does your landscaping, you'll find something here to discuss!

Selected topics, in no particular order:
Moon Phase Widget here. Moon phase topic here.
Frugal gardening.
Backyard Chickens here. here. here. here.
Growing Fruits
Why buy locally-grown plants?
Cheap gardening.

Scientific Gardening.   The Informed Gardener.  The truth about garden remedies.
Buy locally grown plants to prevent blight transmission here.
Grow lots of fruits in a small space, by backyard orchard culture.

Discussion Forum


Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by k.h. ky Oct 19. 8 Replies

Potatoes. Growing the perfect food.

Started by Daniel W (Sentient Biped). Last reply by Daniel W (Sentient Biped) Oct 11. 12 Replies

Permaculture Transformation In 90 Days

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Sky God Oct 10. 3 Replies

Backyard Organic Garden

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Joan Denoo Oct 10. 9 Replies


Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Annie Thomas Oct 3. 10 Replies

Bunga Bakawali or Tan Hua (Epiphyllum oxypetallum)

Started by Daniel W (Sentient Biped). Last reply by Joan Denoo Sep 21. 13 Replies

"Healthy Soil Microbes / Healthy People"

Started by Daniel W (Sentient Biped). Last reply by Joan Denoo Sep 20. 26 Replies

Comment Wall


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Comment by Joan Denoo on December 14, 2012 at 3:17pm

Chris, first of all, your beautiful cactuses look so content; you must have a green thumb! Well, I know you do because I saw your photos of your roof-garden. How cold do your winter temperatures get? I remember riding through the Netherlands and how impressed I was with its beauty and cleanliness. All houses and yards beautifully tended, the farm lands lovely green and farm animals looked so healthy. I would hate to have you see our feeder-lots, cows and calves up to ankles in mud, feed troughs over-crowded. Not a healthy sight at all. I don't remember seeing pig farms in your country. Ours can be smelled from miles away; just awful. I am not proud of our animal farming methods. When I was in Asia, the pig farms had no smell, there was no mud except in wallows. Much cleaner looking and smelling than the farms I have seen in USA. 

Amer, you impress me with your knowledge of the cactus species. I suspect you have much to teach me. 

Amer, how do you pronounce your name? A'mer? A mer'?

Comment by Joan Denoo on December 14, 2012 at 2:43pm

Amer, how different our lives are, and your closely bonded neighbors are most unusual to me. 

My neighborhood is more closely bonded than most USA neighbors in big cities and it is only 2-3 blocks long. We share common interests in our children growing up, one generation after another. I have lived here 38 years and the longest in these blocks. Other houses have changed owners many times in those years. We have little else in common, not religion or occupation, or education, or interests. We bond together because we want our children safe and our homes protected. 

Your experiences sound like long ancestral bonds exist with many things in common. Your architecture probably takes into account the extreme heat and long rain seasons with thick walls and good drainage. 

I notice the roads out of Islamabad have many winding curves and I assume they go into very high mountainous country. Google World maps also show heavy snows in mountains, but I don't know what season the photos were taken. Do you have harsh winters? 

Your ceremonies marking events in life are much larger than ones I participate in. I suppose mine are smaller and involve only close family and my small little neighborhood because I don't belong to a church or believe in a god. 

For a funeral to have 400 or 500 people participate reveals how closely knit your culture is. A marriage that lasts 5 or 6 days is not familiar to me at all. The social norms for you must keep you busy throughout a year. 

Wheat, barley, oats, lentils, and alfalfa hay grow right up to the city and covers much of easter Washington state. We have summers in the high 90 F (32 C)  and winters below freezing. The thought of living in 44 C  (110 F) just astonishes me. 

You and your region has much to teach us in the USA on how to survive and thrive with less energy use. We waste far too much oil, gas and coal and now must learn how to get off fossil fuels. 

What is your cooking and heating heat source? 

You write beautifully in English. What is your primary language? 

Thank you, Amer, for sharing with us. 


Comment by amer chohan on December 14, 2012 at 7:37am

Chris! larger one is cereus peruvianus formiing cristae, other five are mammillarias. Center one with a reddish head is nice spotless plant.

As for socialogy is concerend, social person like you wold have enjoyed here. Its not just visiting neighbours, things are done on a grand scale. Biggest of all is somebodie's death. Some 400 to 500 people gather on the death day alone. At least one male and one female member of each faimly of the adjoining villages pay one visit to the poor faimly within next 40 days.

Marriage is no smaller occasion. A simmilar number of people is involved at some stage or other of it. Marriage is usually 5 to 6 days affair with many sub-functions attached to it.

A child birth , a serious illness or building of a new house are though smaller than prior 2 but becomes source of visit of your own town people. One has to do it as must social duty and people show anger towards a person like me who don't like so much fuss arround.

Comment by Plinius on December 14, 2012 at 3:39am

We have a very closely netted society. You would be amazed to to know that every one knows each other upto names of grandfathers in a radius of almost 10km.

Thanks for your description, Amer! You mention something very valuable there that we have lost: here most people are on their own apart from some family and friends. Ah, yes, it would be almost impossible to know so many people here in one of the most densely populated areas in the world. I try to connect with my neighbours, and it's uphill work. I try anyway. Here are my unidentified cactuses:

Comment by amer chohan on December 14, 2012 at 3:02am

Life adjust itself to the conditions. In hot summer days schools and offices timings are adjusted as early from 7:00 am to 1:30pm. Schools are closed for summer vacations for 3 months(june,july & August). People rise up early(usualy at 5am) and sleep again in the hotest time of midday to rise up again at 5 t0 6 pm.

Very few people have air conditioars. Infact most of us are without any electricity during summer heat as we live in a country facing sever energy crises. We usualy experience eletricity shut downs of 12 hrs per day in summer.

Main crops of our area are wheat, corn, rapeseeds and peanut. I don't do any agri-activity as I run a privatly owned educational institution still I haven't bought any of above mentioned throughout my life as they come as a part of contract from persons using my inherited land for their harvest.

Life is not that easy and well-organised in our part as yours rather it is very difficut at times for most of people but it is very colorful with a lot of cultural activity. We have a very closely netted society. You would be amazed to to know that every one knows each other upto names of grandfathers in a radius of almost 10km.

Comment by Joan Denoo on December 14, 2012 at 1:38am

Amer, I just looked up on Google Earth and what an interesting part of the world you live! What kind of agriculture do you have there? What are your houses made of? Do you grow any of your own food? The city seems to be in a valley with mountains around.

Do I understand you that it gets up to 110 degrees F (44 C)? during summer. Do you have air conditioning? 

The photos on Google Earth reveal an incredibly beautiful country with fine architecture and sophisticated design. Gardens filled with flowers, in spite of that very high heat! The mosque designs show great skill in design and construction, with fine tiles. 

The homes remind me of the ones I saw in Turkey. They were made of brick and stucco. They, too, were flat roofed. 

I can't even imagine living in such temperatures. How do you do it? 

Comment by amer chohan on December 13, 2012 at 12:31pm

Joan! I live in a small town 60km away from Islamabad. Yes our houses roofs are flat because our area is semi dry but rains a lot during moonsoon season(july August) and sometimes during winter season. Usualy it is dry spell for a month or so between two rains. Usualy our houses are single storied with large roof areas. Reason for that is we built on inherited land(free) so we avoid building costs of multi-stories. I got a large roof which can accomodate a good size cactus garden. My green house is also built on the roof.

You are right about good draining cactus pots but here we have a long(about 9 months)  and very hot summer(temp. up to 44C). Good draining pots become too dry during most of year. It puts an adverse effect on the plants as you got to water daily to keep the roots moist. You can ill efford to miss a single day without watering. Therefore I use a soil mix which is good water holder. This becomes a problem in winter espacilly if it rains during this season.

Comment by Joan Denoo on December 13, 2012 at 11:30am

Spud, isn't this a wonderful time of year to think and plan and read and learn all about the garden and plants? My favorite time of year. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on December 13, 2012 at 11:29am

Amer, your cactus garden and plants seem very special to you and I understand why. They do become like children or pets. yes, you are a good caregiver to your plants. 

Where is your home? it appears you have a flat roof; do you live in a dry area? 

I wonder if you set the cactus plants on a draining surface, not in saucers or pans, if the rain water would through and not damage the plants? The articles we have been reading noted the importance of rainwater for cactus. Obviously, too much is not good, and if they are well drained and not standing in water, they might do OK. Again, I am no expert on cactus. 

I live in Spokane, Washington state, the north west corner of USA. The Spokane River runs through town and is a lovely place. It is kind of like an oasis in a desert. This is a semi-arid part of the country, with lots of Ponderosa Pine and native sagebrush on flat planes. 

Seattle, on the Pacific coast, is very wet. 

Comment by Idaho Spud on December 13, 2012 at 10:57am

Joan, I've saved your addresses to beneficial insects and fungi information.  I'll read them again in early spring when I plan on buying some.


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