Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A visit to a mentor

The best book I ever read on the subject of household budgeting is a short book titled Rich on Any Income.  It is a very applications oriented book. It even has checkbook sized budget books in it with the usual catagories  pre-printed across the top.

What sets this book apart is a couple of short paragraph that, I paraphrase:

"Most people throw away their budgets in disgust when their ship of smoke-and-fantasy hits the reef of reality.  They try to live on their budget for 3 months or 6 months and give it up as hopeless.  They abandon the concept living on a budget (the only way anybody can get control of their finances) at the point when they finally have enough information to create a functional one. 

Up until now, their budget has been based on what they thought they did or could spend.  By recording the amount and category of everything they spend for 3 months they can now identify where they can trim"



I called Roger Miller and asked if I could drop in between 11 and 12.  He agreed.

Roger is an awesome fruit and nut grower.  He is 72 and he is starting to slow down a little bit but he is still as sharp as a tack.
Roger standing next to a Suncrisp apple.  This cultivar is on Ed Fackler's list of Next Great Depression survival orchard

Roger used to have 165 hazelnut (filbert) bushes.  The best produced about 15 pounds of nuts every year.  I recall Roger standing next to barrels filled with hazelnuts in his drying house.

Until the blight got them.

Now he has 6 bushes left.  Alas, the reef of reality.

Roger is very disenchanted with filberts.

But I am looking at the six survivors and am thinking, they did not avoid the blight by accident.  I was most impressed by the one pictured below. Big nuts, huge clusters, many clusters.  No sign of blight.  While not a ground-zero for his planting (peak blight pressure) it was slightly down-wind of it.  I asked Roger if he would let me buy several pounds of seed nuts from it.

This year's nuts.  They are coming along well.  I asked Roger if it has a name.  He said it is just a seedling and he thinks it planted itself as he generally does not put filberts underneath lilac bushes.

Hand added to provide frame of reference for size.  These are shells from last year's nuts.  Yes, Roger has squirrels.
I tried to get a picture to give a sense of the number of clusters on this bush.  They do not show up well because they are green.
This is Roger's favorite.  It is a huge nut.  It is available from Larry Sibley at Tollgate Gardens and it named Karen.

Elstar apples.  These are ripe now.  Large summer apple.  Good balance of sugar and acid.  To my tastes, it is "thin", i.e. low in both sugar and acid.  Roger has three trees of this cultivar.
Peaches are the queen of fruit.  This one was drip-down-your-chin ripe.  Very yummy!
Roger also has a vegetable garden.  He said this is a cultivar called Alaskan.
I took a boatload of pictures but only included these to keep the post manageable.

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