Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday Walk

I went with Jame for a walk today at one of the local parks.  We've had some really nice weather and today it's sunny and 18C (64.4F).  This will probably be one of the last nice weather walks we take before it starts to get cold.  I took a picture so everyone can see what fall looks like here. This is some naturalized parkland near the Thames River.  London, Ontario was named after London, England.  I think it was originally suppose to be the capital of Ontario but why would anyone choose a land-locked city as a capital in a region of lakes?  Toronto's location is much better!

Always on the lookout for seeds, I ended up harvesting five Gingko biloba pods that had fallen to the ground.  These were really messy and covered with ants so it's a good thing that I had a zip-lock bag to put them in.  I've read before that these fruits smell awful, but I really didn't notice any smell while picking them up.

When I got home and opened the bag, it smelled like VOMIT.  The scent didn't seem to travel very far but was bad nonetheless.  I left the pods in the bag and squeezed the seeds out.  Then I dropped them into the sink and gave them a thorough wash.  It's recommended to soak them in water with some bleach to reduce mould problems.

People seem to get best results after:

Thoroughly cleaning the flesh
Soaking in bleach/water for a few minutes and rinsing
Stratifying in the fridge for two months
Scarifying and soaking in water for a day
Planting in a well drained mix

I don't have anywhere near enough patience for this so I'm just going to try and plant them immediately.  I expect about three to sprout and it should take two to three weeks.  My fingers still smell like vomit so I recommend using gloves.  You can also eat the seeds raw but they are slightly toxic and it's recommended to have no more than about five per day.  If you cook them this toxin is greatly reduced and you can have more.  They supposedly taste like a cross between a pine nut and sweet chestnut.  I think I might try and grab a few more to taste.

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