Thursday, December 20, 2007

Potential Opportunity for somebody interested in farming

Yesterday I visited a farm where the development rights have been sold to Central Carolina Land Trust. There is a house on the property. The owners would be willing to rent the house ($500 monthly was mentioned) along with some farmland ($50 per acre annually was mentioned). They are not interested in selling. If somebody is renting anyway, this is a beautiful place just to live back off the road. Location is about 4 miles out of Mt Pleasant. The house was originally built around 1800 but has been expanded and maintained so that it looks very livable (from the outside anyway). There is a 7 acre field adjacent to the house along with two smaller garden plots although one garden plot won't be useable until some weed control takes place. There are a few mature pecan trees and mature blueberries with the potential to make a marketable crop. There are plums, pears, figs, apples and muscadines in various conditions. I wouldn't plan on selling anything from these last ones, but the potential for something worth eating is fairly high as well as the opportunity for saleable preserves and jellies on some items. Several people would share the deer hunting on the back side of the property (there seems to be at least 30 acres of woodlands) but I figure a person who lived there would be able to shoot some of their own food. Soil is probably a Badin. I know for certain it is a slate belt soil which won't be the best soil a person has ever seen but I know farmers living off that type of soil. Not a lot of potential for erosion in the 7 acres. (More nearby cropland is available for rent if a person needed it). Irrigation could come from a pond on the property or from the well which was originally rated at 35 gallons per minute. There is a beautiful white oak around 120 years old in the front yard and a cedar near the old spring in the back yard that I bet is 200 years old with character to match. There are some sheds so some storage space could be arranged plus I suspect there are some farm shop type items a person would find useful if they did much farming. Let me know if you know somebody that would fit this opportunity.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Solar Greenhouse Pixs

The most recent Successful Gardening article for the Cabarrus Neighbors ( talks about solar greenhouses. Here is a picture of mine without the plastic covering. The green color in the bottle is algae evidently growing on left over corn syrup. Some people suggest adding dark food coloring to the water. This may improve heat collection but isn't critical.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Bring Local Food to Consumers with a Real Farmers’ Market

My sister is rich enough to shop where she wants and to buy what she wants in the way of food. I guess most of us are that rich but most of us won’t shop and buy what we want. She does. I’ve seen her cook a $10 steak for her little boy’s bedtime munchies. She says vegetables straight from the garden are best but she thinks Harris Teeter is almost as good. I really wouldn’t know since I don’t shop there, but their use of the term “farmers market” does bother me most every time I hear it. In my mind a real farmers market has to have farmers.
If one of the other chains would like to compete with Harris Teeter, here is an idea.
Let a local farmer set up in the parking lot of each store. Then advertise that you have real farmers. The customers would come to buy something in season then wander in the store to get what they can’t get from the farmer. The customer traffic would pick up enough to pay for the advertisement plus give you an increase in sales. The farmer can’t be there all the time, but the customers will still come. (Such is the nature of variable rewards). Limit what the farmers sell to what they can grow themselves. This will keep the volume low enough so there isn’t a chance they will hurt your inside business. Just the increase in customer traffic will make this strategy worthwhile, but go ahead and charge the farmer about 10% on his total sales. If you have no stocking cost, no product loses and no overhead cost, you can almost make money on 10%. Like I said, it doesn't really matter since you have improved your bottom line already. The final point is that with the number of farmers in our area, the first chain store in will be the only chain store in. There are not enough farmers to go around.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Ponds in our landscape

In a world with higher energy cost and more frequent water restrictions ornamental pond design needs to change. Ponds designed so they have to be topped off to maintain aesthetics require more water than a similar size lawn or vegetable garden. Ponds designed where large pumps have to run continuously use quite a bit of energy. Neither of these features will suit a certain clientele in the future. These environmentally conscious consumers might be interested in water features that could double as rainwater storage and fluctuate in depth to comply with water restrictions without compromising aesthetics. But those criteria are not the best practices of the current water gardening industry. I’m not sure how to make these clients happy, but there will be opportunity.
These clientele will be born after 1962. The first earth day occured before they were ten years old. 10 years old is the time when people look around and say "This is what the world is like". Everybody wasn't affected by the environmental movement but the ones that were have a totally different mind set than people born a few years before 1962.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Peak fall color for Cabarrus County

Peak fall color for Cabarrus County for 2007 was on November 14. A rain fell overnight and knocked many leaves off, however there is still plenty of color. Some plants that partly died from the drought had excellent color in the rest of the plant. Wonderful year for sweet gums. Dogwoods are still hanging on. Often they drop their leaves early. Poplars and maples are still providing good color although the leaves dropped during the drought would have improved them. Blueberries have colored earlier than normal. Oaks still haven't colored. Black Walnuts still have leaves. Often, their leaves are diseased and gone by the middle of September.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Strenghtening Our Local Food System.

This morning I set in on a meeting about our local food system. There are three proposals on the table for strengthening our local food system. They include a small farm incubator. This is a facility to help young people interested in farming overcome two major barriers. The first is the capital expense and the second is the knowledge of how to run a farm. Prospective farmers lease a portion of the property to farm. The only one I know in NC is called Raft Swamp Farm. Another idea is developing a local facility for killing livestock. Right now a farmer would have to haul a cow to a different county for slaughter and then go back in a separate truck to haul the animal back. The extra expense increases the cost and makes it less profitable for farmers. Concurrently, we are looking at developing institutional markets for the cheaper cuts of meat. One of the problems with growing local beef in the past has been selling the cheaper cuts. Solving these two problems should create more money for the 7 million dollar livestock industry here in Cabarrus County. Finally, improved management for our local farmers market would strengthen our fruit and vegetable industry.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Sources of Water for Cabarrus County

Somebody asked me why the local government didn’t develop more sources of water. My initial answer was that additional sources were limited and had their own set of problems and costs. While that answer was true, there are additional sources of water that could be developed fairly reasonably.
One of the most obvious sources of water is Rocky River. People tend to discount it because it isn’t very clean water. Yet it could easily be cleaned up well enough to use it for downstream water at Lake Howell. The EPA requires the release of 1.3 million gallons of water downstream from Lake Howell daily during drought times. Mother Nature would have dried Coddle Creek up in 2002 if man hadn’t been interfering. I’m not satisfied that man knows better than nature in this particular situation. Anyway, to get the water from Rocky River to the dam on Lake Howell would require a pumping station and about 3 miles of pipe. The city already owns land around the airport and some land on the east side of Coddle Creek. The line would only have to cross one road. The water line should be run near the rock quarry. Once Vulcan quits digging rock out of the rock quarry, they might sell the quarry to the city rather than undertake the expense of reclaiming it. Then the Water Authority could fill the quarry from Rocky River during times of high flow. Then when the river gets low, they could then use the quarry to supply the downstream water at Lake Howell. I don’t have any figures but I suspect having both this quarry and a pump from Rocky River on line would increase Lake Howell’s capability by 50%.
Another possible water source is above Mt Peasant’s water intake on Dutch Buffalo Creek. My understanding is that the Corp of Engineers had approved a site on Dutch Buffalo the same time Mt Pleasant built the reservoir on Black Run Creek and that the landowner was willing to sell land for that purpose at that time. In the past Dutch Buffalo Creek has been more reliable than Coddle Creek. This year it wasn’t, but having a reservoir on both would allow us to hedge our bets. Again, I don’t have any figures but I suspect this reservoir would be about 10% of the capacity of Lake Howell.
If a reservoir is built on Dutch Buffalo, an idea I brought up before the Lake Howell was constructed ought to be revisited. Private individuals throughout the county have been willing to construct ponds on their own land for fishing, watering livestock and recreation. Additional ponds would be constructed if the cost was lower. The water authority could subsidize the cost of pond construction within the Dutch Buffalo drainage in exchange for the right to purchase water during droughts. The individual landowner could use the pond for anything other than irrigation until a drought situation occurs. Then the water authority could mandate the release of the water which would gravity flow downstream. The upstream ponds need to be in place before the downstream pond is built or the sediment from pond building will negatively impact the downstream pond. There are probably 50 landowners on the drainage willing to put in a pond if there was total payment. This would give a volume close to 5% of Lake Howell for a cost of around ½ million and almost no environmental problems due to the small size of individual ponds. There would be some loss moving the water downstream but not enough loss to ruin the idea.
When you get out west and see people pumping water for 100’s of miles and tapping every river and aquifer, it makes you realize that we could do more.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

We can't let those chickens cluck.

Chickens have the potential to turn kitchen scraps and excess vegetation into healthy high protein meals for inner city children. This has the potential to reduce fossil fuel consumption, reduce landfill waste and reduce poverty. Borys and dhijana Scott-Harmony were demonstrating this in Charlotte. Unfortunately Mecklenburg Animal Control has ordered the chickens slaughtered. In their memory I wrote this song. I think a male country vocalist could do the best job with it, but feel free to set it to any kind of music you wish

Great Tasting Eggs?
Well you’re out of luck:
We can’t let
Those chickens cluck.

Vitamins up
Cholesterol down
That’s not the kind of eggs
We eat in town.

We buy our eggs
From the store
When they have aged
A month or more

Great Tasting Eggs?
Well you’re out of luck:
We can’t let
Those chickens cluck.

Other noise doesn’t bothers me
We’re a world class wannabe.

But Great Tasting Eggs?
Well you’re out of luck:
We can’t let
Those chickens cluck.

Screaming kids
Whistling trains
Barking dogs
Shrieking planes

Bobcat screams
Panther cheers
Verizon concerts
Till you can’t hear

Great Tasting Eggs?
Well you’re out of luck:
We can’t let
Those chickens cluck.

Other noise doesn’t bother me
We’re a world class wannabe.

But Great Tasting Eggs?
Well you’re out of luck:
We can’t let
Those chickens cluck.

Radio Blaring
Amps a thumping
Rock Star cursing
Till the cars a jumping

Mufflers roaring
Jake brakes choking
Gears a grinding
Engines smoking

Great Tasting Eggs?
Well you’re out of luck:
We can’t let
Those chickens cluck.

That other noise doesn’t bother me
We’re a world class wannabe.

But Great Tasting Eggs?
Well you’re out of luck:
We can’t let
Those chickens cluck.

Maybe you should try moving. Didn’t the Soviet Union give you that much freedom? Just don’t go to Concord.

Cause Bruton Smith and the politicians are in bed
To build a drag strip that would raise the dead
With car engines you can hear 5 miles away
You will barely hear some bureaucrat say

Great Tasting Eggs?
Well you’re out of luck:
We can’t let
Those chickens cluck.

That other noise doesn’t bother me
We’re a world class wannabe.

But Great Tasting Eggs?
Well you’re out of luck:
We can’t let
Those chickens cluck.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Farm Land Preservation

I am in favor of letting people who want to live stacked up like chickens in a coop do just that and leaving the rural areas to people like me who know how to take care of it. For example, some of the zoning laws that force people to live in one place and work in another place ought to be changed. Legislate how it will look not what it will be. On the other hand, I don't favor mandating farm land preservation.
The state is going to spend some money on Farmland Preservation. I am not sure this money will be spent wisely.
Some of my thoughts are that the more profitable the farm, the more likely it will stay a farm. So any project designed to make local farms more profitable would be a candidate for this type of funding. One idea that has already been bounced around is a business incubator for value added products of local farms (kind of a community kitchen where a farmer could produce some product and get some cash flow before investing in their own facility). Another idea is a type of “Vegetable Mobile” to take local farm products into various subdivisions creating a larger market than our current farmers market. Or perhaps a small farm incubator that gets some of the farmers who want to farm a chance to start. If you have any ideas, let me know.

Monday, October 1, 2007

And Durn Good Riddance

For the most part, I have been impressed with the way farmers have responded to the shortage of hay. Most are going to cut back on the hay they feed an individual cow but they can't cut out the roughage completely without hurting the cows. They have culled cattle so they need less feed. They have green chopped corn, cut soybeans for cattle feed, rolled up corn stalks. One farmer even baled up some sweet gum leaves. Other farmers have fenced in woodlots so the cows could get to fresh tree leaves before they start falling. I noticed one farmer had went through a woodlot and cut down the understory trees making those leaves available to their cows. Overgrown areas that normally get bushhogged or ignored, have been harvested for hay. One farmer has lost some cows from a cutting like this. Farmers are back hauling hay from all kinds of places on any empty truck (furniture trucks mostly). One guy is hauling cows one way and backhauling hay.
The one sour note was the whining individual who called in last week. Best I could tell he hadn't struck a lick for himself. "Is the government going to do anything about getting me some hay for my cows...l. I think the goverment should help me out..... If the goverment doesn't help me out there will be one less farmer in Cabarrus County."

Friday, September 28, 2007

Arguing with a Professional Geologist

Below is an article I wrote for the Cabarrus Neighbors. This was actually written earlier than the previous post. Below that is a reply from a professional geologist followed by my response. Both get fairly technical. So far I haven't heard back from him so I can't determine if he is right or if I am right. I know in general it isn't smart to disagree with people at thier own game but I couldn't resist. Would be glad to hear what you think.

Original article
Q. My neighbor's lawn is still green, so I know he is irrigating. We are both on wells. Can he dry up my well by irrigating, or could we be drawing from different aquifers, since everybody's well is a different depth? Also, my brother down the road went to the biweekly watering schedule, and his lawn turned brown. Since my neighbor's lawn is staying green, doesn't that mean he is watering more than twice a week?
First, you are on the same aquifer, so your neighbor can dry up your well. This has happened at some places in Cabarrus County, although it took more than one person to do it.
Basically, in your area, everybody pumping groundwater from between the major creeks is withdrawing the same water. The depth of the well doesn't change the source of the water.
My suggestion is to monitor your well by measuring the static water level. The static water level changes and has to be measured. Subtract the static water level from the depth of casing. The depth of casing doesn't change and should be on a plate attached to your well. The difference gives you an idea of how much groundwater is available.
Likely there is enough available water that you won't have to worry about talking to your neighbor. If you have only a few feet of water, you need to educate your neighbor about groundwater. Neither of your wives will be happy if you have to start hauling in water.
Your neighbor, however, could be following the biweekly watering schedule, or even a weekly watering schedule, and keeping his lawn green. Your brother's frequent and shallow irrigation regime developed a very shallow root system. This proved impossible to manage on a biweekly watering. A lawn with deeper roots can remain green on biweekly or even weekly watering.
One more thing: Be careful not to contaminate the well when measuring the static water level. I can measure the static water level in a nearby dug well. Beyond that I haven't found any written recommendations.
I think it could also be measured in my drilled well by dropping a nail and cork on a string down the vent pipe after modifying the vent cap so it is removable. I wouldn't use a lead weight.
If I had a laser tape measure on hand, I would try using that first. Without trying it, I just don't know how you can be sure you are hitting the static water level and not the walls. I would also make the measurement at a time when the well has had time to recharge.

Response from Geologist

I appreciate your willingness to take a stab at answering the questions, but I felt compelled to write to clarify a few things about wells and groundwater in the piedmont.
First, the well's static water level when it was drilled should also be listed on the well tag. During times of drought, well owners should expect that the water level will be inches to feet below that level under natural conditions. As you reference, pumping of that well and other nearby wells can also depress the water level. Examples of natural variation in groundwater levels due to current drought conditions can be found at: and you'll notice that crystalline bedrock wells in the western part of the state are typically a foot or two below their 5 year running average.
In this area of the state, most people rely on wells that are drilled into the bedrock. For bedrock wells, the well casing typically extends from just above the land surface to the top of the bedrock (no less than 20 feet by rule and often 40 to 80 feet or more in practice). Much of the groundwater supplied to a bedrock well results from the open borehole below the casing that intersects water bearing fractures in the bedrock. The volume of water available from a well is not dependent upon the casing depth, but really more on the placement of the submersible pump in the open hole interval below the casing. It is common to set submersible pumps 10 to 20 feet above the total depth or bottom of the borehole. Ideally, the well tag and pump tag will provide these numbers to a homeowner. Most of the supply wells that are being drilled these days are deep enough to almost be drought-proof, but common sense dictates that well owners should also be mindful of water conservation in times like this.
As you mention, it is possible to measure the depth to water using a string and a weight, but I'd really recommend that homeowners stick with the estimates provided by the well/pump tags or consult with a certified well driller or a hydrogeologist. If you have any questions, feel free to let me know.

My response
I agree that the tag contains a static water level number. That number should be good for a day. If it is good for more than a day there is no reason to monitor this data on a daily basis like they do on the website you referenced.
The static water level on my property changes a lot more than a foot or two. Since I have been on the property, I have measures a fluctuation of more than 22 feet.
To get a more scientific measurement I worked through the data on the website and this is the first example I come up with. Iredell County, North Carolina
Hydrologic Unit Code 03050101
Latitude 35°31'35", Longitude 80°52'42" NAD83
Land-surface elevation 803.08 feet above sea level NGVD29
The depth of the well is 28 feet below land surface.
The depth of the hole is 28 feet below land surface.
This well is completed in the Piedmont and Blue Ridge crystalline-rock aquifers (N400PDMBRX) national aquifer.
This well is completed in the SAPROLITE (110SPRL) local aquifer. In this example there was a fluctuation of 10 feet within one year. From September 2002 to September 2003.
In my article I said the volume available is the difference between the depth of casing and the static water level. If we have a disagreement this is the crux of our disagreement (or from your point of view, my misunderstanding). I think the amount of water in an underground aquifer is mostly above the bedrock. When I look at examples of bedrocks in mines and in mountain highway cuts, I don’t even see the fractures. My guess is that less than .1% of the total volume of bedrock is water. Once you get above bedrock you start getting 5 to 10% pore space. So the vast majority of underground water here in Cabarrus County is located in this 5 to 10% of the pore space from the bedrock to the static water level. Now the depth of casing in a properly constructed well is the same as bedrock. So it would be fair to substitute depth of casing for bedrock in the previous statement. This means the vast majority of the underground water here in Cabarrus County is contained between the depth of casing and the static water level. My educational goal is that people understand where this water is located and be able to measure and utilize it appropriately.

So far I haven't heard back from this individual. Let me hear what you think.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Response to news article by Professional Geologist

Here is the original news article as submitted. It is sometimes edited for grammer, spelling, clarity and to fit a certain space.

Q. I was left wondering about the potential effects of your response in today's paper about whether your neighbor's well could cause yours to run dry. While I understood your response--it would probably be difficult for one person alone to cause his neighbor's well to run dry, it caused me to consider how it might push others into digging wells.
My limited impression is that many, many people in this community think mainly about themselves. To the extent they begin to feel that their precious lawns are threatened, they may well begin thinking about the need for their own well, especially if having their own well does no harm, except to their pocketbook.
Suppose, I wondered, 1,000 people in and around the downtown area of Concord, each decides to dig a well--a bonanza for the local well-diggers of Cabarrus County. What happens to the water supply in Cabarrus County then?

A. Thanks for reading my article. If by water supply you mean the municipal water supply of Kannapolis, Concord, Mt Pleasant, etc, then the 1000 wells you posit would have no effect. At times they would slightly decrease the water supply in the Rocky River which flows to the Pee Dee which flows to the Atlantic Ocean but I doubt it would be enough to worry about. Maybe I should worry but compared to other environmental damage occurring today it is fairly low on the worry scale. This decrease would be due to increased evaporation decreasing the springs and underground water supply to the creek that flows along Branchview. The groundwater "aquifer" that residents of Concord would tap into is basically confined between that creek and Irish Buffalo Creek. The amount of water in that "aquifer" is unknown. I have seen some figures for watersheds in Orange County. There is a large amount of water for a few households, a very small amount for 1000 households. The situation I mentioned last week where neighbors have dried up wells involved over 45 households who irrigate lawns and maintain water gardens, swimming pools and fountains. If 1000 wells were drilled into downtown Concord, there would be winners and losers which brings us back to the well known problem of the commons. If you want to try to get a handle on the local groundwater systems start here. Pay careful attention to figures 3 and 4. All of Cabarrus County has this type of hydrology. Areas with similar hydrology are located from Pennsylvania to Alabama. Parts of North Carolina have different hydrology. I have seen this mapped on the internet but can’t find it at this moment.

Here is a reponse by Andrew Pitner P.G.

Hi David,
You're a real trooper for fielding these kinds of hypothetical questions. Your response is pretty reasonable. Here are a few things that you might want to note:
1) There are already thousands of wells in Cabarrus County that are pumping groundwater for the purposes of drinking water, irrigation, and various commercial/industrial processes. In general, supply wells in the piedmont have sufficient yield to serve the average residential uses. However, the aquifers around here simply don't have the capacity to produce the huge volumes of water that some of NC's coastal plain aquifer systems are able to manage. In addition, there are practical aspects and rules regarding the installation of wells and the amount of existing development in downtown Concord that would limit the number of wells that could be installed in such an area (i.e. buildings, power lines, underground utilities like sewer, etc).
2) You could point out that the municipal supply is largely from surface water impoundments. In general, the bulk (60-70%) of surface water flowing in a stream throughout a year's time in the piedmont is a result of shallow groundwater discharge to the stream (also called baseflow).
The remainder of surface water comes from runoff of precipitation. This all kind of points to the fact that, after glaciers & ice caps, the largest percentage of freshwater on earth is groundwater (
3) Here's another good link to general information about crystalline bedrock aquifer systems in the eastern US from the Ground Water Atlas, which was compiled by the USGS:
A simple way to conceptualize of piedmont aquifer systems is that we've got a big sponge made up of red, clay-rich soils and regolith sitting on top of a fractured bedrock piping system. There's lots of storage for water within the sponge and relatively little storage in the bedrock fractures, but the water is transmitted fastest through the pipes (fractures). Physical aspects of the sponge (permeability of clays) limits how much water will be available to the pipes at any one time.

Due to the geologic setting, groundwater availability can vary significantly across the state. In general, the mountains & piedmont are conceptually similar (sponges sitting on pipes, with less sponge in the mountains). The coastal plain is an entirely different beast with extensive, thick unconsolidated sandy aquifers that can support municipalities. Most coastal towns are served by wells and most western towns utilize surface water for municipal supplies. In addition, there is widespread use of groundwater by rural residential homes, such that there are estimates that about 50% of NC's total population is served by groundwater.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

New land

Exciting time in the Goforth household. We just purchased 22 acres of land, complete with a creek, spring, old well, and old home site. Yesterday I met with the Forestry Service to discuss management of the forest. It has been clearcut for the most part so I don't need to worry about a timber basis. The well was covered by a piece of tin. First thing I did was cut some cedar from the property and construct a cover over the well so people couldn't fall in. I was surprized by how small the well was particularly toward the bottom. I couldn't have got down in it and whoever dug it couldn't have swung a mattock even if they were a midget. Not sure how they dug it. It was rocked up with quartz rocks all the way to the bottom. I'm sure it was a major effort in its day. My next project is cutting an access road. At first glance a person would say the house is without a doubt beyond repair. A closer look reveals that the first structure was a log cabin built in early 1800's. Then it was remodeled with timber and pegs typical of the late 1800's. The remodeled part has fallen in beyond repair but the log cabin part might be salvageable. I hope to get an expert to give me some advice about that.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Solar Greenhouse

The theme on the Master Gardeners Fair booth this time was Winter Gardening. Part of the display included details on a solar greenhouse for our climate. I have used one for several years. Frequently I grow all my own transplants for my farmers market booth using only solar energy for heat. This year I used a couple of more flats than I produced but still produced the equivalent of 10 or 12 flats.
Details I consider important.
Orientation toward the south. I haven't put a compass on mine but I bet it is within 10 degrees of true south.
Insulation of north wall. I use salvaged card board and plastic.
At least one gallon of water storage for each square foot of glazing. I use 3 50 gallon drums, 1 30 gallon drum and over 200 2 liter drink bottles.
Very little air infiltration. It is particularly helpful not to create a chimney effect with air openings high in the structure.
Here are a few other details.
The glazing angle for our latitude that maximizes February and March temperatures is 45 degrees. Not sure how critical this is. Mine has a rounded conduit shape that goes from 90 to 0 degrees and it works.
On cold nights there are two covering options. One is a single sheet of newspapers laid on the plants. As the temperature drops the newspaper will get wet. This water will release heat when it freezes. I have had it freeze without damaging the plants underneath. The other option is to totally cover the structure with a nonwoven landscape fabric type blanket.
When I put the greenhouse together several years ago, I used all slavaged materials. Eventually, I purchased plastic greenhouse film. I have seen other gardeners use salvaged windows on a similar structure.
My best night this year was on the Easter Freeze when outside temperatures were 19 degrees by 3 am. Inside it was 40 degrees with no supplemental heat. Not sure what the minimum temeperature would have to be to damage plants. I just know my heating bill is less than most greenhouses.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Fasciation is defined as the abnormal flattening of plant organs. I have only seen it on the stems. This occurs when the cells forming new tissue change from the typical cone shape to a line. I remember seeing examples of red maple and sweet potato. The most common plant I have seen fasciation on is serrcia lespedeza. I don’t know how many of those I have seen. Here is a photo of fasciation on wild mullein. I recently found two of these. This one looks a little like an end wrench.