We had a lovely, social January meeting. Lunch, wine, spiced cider...those amazing peanut butter confections of Pat's. We also had some new members! Welcome to you all.
Dwight presented the inventory of the NAFEX library that he and Pat have laboriously finished unpacking. Dwight used his own funds to acquire the library, so for the nonce, and to simplify both his and Pat's lives, the materials will only be available to NMFX members. We also plan to spend one of the next meetings going through all the back issues of Pomona, and organizing one complete set that can be digitized. I'm looking forward to reading many of these back issues. Pomona goes back, at least as a round robin, to the sixties. Wonderful nuts and bolts information from growers across the country, and the world, many of them real authorities in their fields.
Ron (at right) gave a mini presentation on an air layering technique he's been using. He splits a plastic bottle (maybe a 12 oz soda or water bottle), cutting a circle out of the bottom just big enough to encircle the stem of the plant to be layered. He cuts the standard strip from the cambium, completely girdling the stem where he anticipates the new roots then, with the bottle packed with rooting medium, he slips it around the stem. He tapes up the bottle, and waits for the roots to emerge. The first advantage that I see for this method would be its superior moisture retention. In New Mexico, it can be very difficult to keep the medium moist enough for new growth. Second, it would be easy to see the roots, so easy to avoid disturbing them before time to replant.
The next meeting will be at the Medford's, and for anyone who missed the last visit, it's well worth traveling to attend. Think of it as a metaphorical trip back east for those homesick for thick green grass and shady groves (see previous blog). Anyone hooked by the new program Killer Women, might recognize the background scenery at the Medford's (airing Tuesdays at 10 pm on ABC).
In the meantime, those of us perusing the seed catalogs are going to share our extras at the appropriate meeting. Plant swaps are the best!