News/news/Tue, 12 Feb 2019 23:49:20 +0000en-USSquarespace V5 Site Server v5.13.527-328 ( growth of table grapes in Northern MissouriDouglas C. BerryMon, 01 Aug 2016 23:36:24 +0000/news/2016/8/1/summer-growth-of-table-grapes-in-northern-missouri.html554612:6765117:35745317This season's weather has included an abundent amount of precipitation; hence it is looking to be a bumper corn crop in Missouri.  Chariton County located in the north central part of the state has fared well when it concerns rain; abundent but not too much to flood out the crops.  The soy bean harvest is still up in the air at this point, but the corn harvest looks to be a confirmed good one. Gardens have seen the appearance of the dreaded Japanese beetle.  These beetles were in my table grape vineyard in Mendon, MO, which means they will most likely only get worse in the future.  Worse than the beetles was the damage in my vineyard due to 2-4-D herbicide spray drift from the surrounding corn and soybean fields.  I opine that every town in the Midwest should have table grapes planted only if to be indicators of herbicide drift into our communities where we live.  Grapes in particular are very sensitive to herbide drift and exhibit damaged leaves and twisted shoots that are easilly identifiable.  Grapes are like a canary in a coal mine when it comes to alerting us of high levels of herbicide drift.  The grape cultivers Mars, Vanessa, Neptune, Venus, Canadice, Concord, Van Buren, America,and  Sunbelt were negatively impacted by glyphosphate and various 2-4-D herbicide drift.  The grape varieties Price, Steuben, Reliance, Joy, and Edeilweis showed some resistance.  One older variety from the University of Arkansas breeding program called Mars was almost killed from the spray drift.  I will post some further updates on spray drift resistant table grape varieties from my home vineyard in Chariton County, Missouri in the future. When you live in such a friendly town as Mendon and in such a pretty part of Missouri as Chariton County who can complain?  We have had such a moist summer that the table grapes have mostly rebounded after being poisoned and have made excellent growth with one vine of Steuben actuallly reaching over ten feet high and wide that began as a small transplant this spring! Happy gardening and good luck farming!

Missouri SpringDouglas C. BerryWed, 09 Mar 2016 16:31:05 +0000/news/2016/3/9/missouri-spring.html554612:6765117:35631683 The past few days have seen the return of our robins and each morning instead of silence we are greeted with their singing.  The grass is starting to green up and grow.  Dutch white clover seed is sprouting... It is early spring in north central Missouri.  Area farmers are busy preparing for spring planting.  Here at Gem Metro we are also gearing up for the season ahead.  Now is the time to get your garden landscaping cleaned up:  hauling off brush, trimming roses, removing leaf piles, picking up any windblown trash, laying out vegetable gardens,... so much to do!  This season keep in mind that if you mow your grass turf at a higher cut this will allow the grass to better compete with weeds such as crab grass.  Spraying for crab grass is a waste of time and expense; instead keep your lawn grass taller during the hotter periods of the season.  Getting rid of weeds is all about turf managemant.  Take care of the turf grass and it will be thick and vigorous.  Many "weeds" actually are only trying to cover the bare soil from the effects of wind, compaction, and erosion.  Most weeds are annual pioneer plants that are covering bare ground.  To beat the weeds battle them with cultural practices and good soil management; treat the cause not the symptoms.  A thick stand of crab grass or prostrate knotweed in your lawn is evidence of poor cultural practices and soil compaction that will never be solved with the use of herbicides.  Think smart this season and beat the weeds.

Fall Flowers Last Flush: A Poem by Philip FrenauDouglas C. BerrySun, 14 Oct 2012 04:03:44 +0000/news/2012/10/14/fall-flowers-last-flush-a-poem-by-philip-frenau.html554612:6765117:29820617

Hybrid Tea Roses on their own (ungrafted) roots: Brandy & Fragrant Cloud


“The Wild Honey Suckle” Philip Frenau (1752-1832)


Fair flower, thou dost so comely grow,

Hid in this silent, dull retreat,

Untouched thy honied blossoms blow,

Unseen thy little branches greet:

     No roving foot shall crush thee here,

     No busy hand provoke a tear.


By nature’s self in white arrayed,

She bade thee shun the vulgar eye,

And planted here the guardian shade,

And sent soft waters murmuring by;

     Thus quietly thy summer goes,

     Thy days declining to repose.


Smit with those charms, that must decay,

 I grieve to see your future doom;

They died – nor were those flowers more gay,

The flowers that did in Eden bloom;

     Unpitying frosts, and Autumn’s power

     Shall leave no vestige of this flower.


From morning suns and evening dews

At first thy little being came:

If nothing once, you nothing lose,

For when you die you are the same;

     The space between, is but an hour

     The frail duration of a flower.

Dynamic AccumulatorDouglas C. BerryThu, 24 May 2012 21:10:33 +0000/news/2012/5/24/dynamic-accumulator.html554612:6765117:16431736Dynamic Accumulator


                No, this is not a person who collects any and everything from garage sales and auctions and then stores them in their house in piles so high they make a pack rat green with envy…no, in fact a dynamic accumulator is, specifically, a plant that is able to mine the mineral riches contained in subsoil by bringing them to the surface.  A plant such as common Comfrey (symphytum x uplandicum) is a good example of a dynamic accumulator.  Comfrey is a deep rooted perennial   armed with roots reaching way down into the abyss of subsoil normally not accessible to the plow, shovel, or rotary tiller.  Although comfrey is a big user of nitrogen it is able to pull potassium from deep within the subsoil where it ultimately ends up in its leaves.  These leaves can be harvested by the gardener where upon being laid as mulch around plants quickly composts into a black material rich in a readily available form of potash.  “Potash” is a term originating from early experiments wherein a potted plant was burned and the resulting ashes were shown to contain the element potassium.  Potassium (Potash) is the third numeral of the common fertilizer code: such as 5-10-12; 5 indicating Nitrogen content, 10 Phosphorus, and 12 Potash (K).  Some other commonly found plants easily used by the gardener as dynamic accumulators include but is not limited to: chicory, borage, buckwheat, lemon balm, stinging nettle, and yarrow.

      I will argue many trees can be considered in this category also.  Consider the mature maples growing all around the Kansas City area...  Like the lilies of the field they neither toil nor spin, but King Solomon could never array his garden’s compost pile with the macro and micronutrients these stately old trees mine for free.  The process works where first the tree roots pull up elements ten feet under 12th Street and Vine, then traveling up the cambium layer some of these materials end up in the tree’s leaves.  Fall comes and the chlorophyll laden sap returns into the trees limbs and the true pigment of the Norway Maple’s leaves shine forth in burgundy and orange hues.  Finally, a big crisp wind from the prairie blows off the season’s spent leaves like some fallen angel onto your lawn where the humic acids and the shading of the decaying leaf begins to stain your sidewalks and kill your grass.  To the rescue comes Gem Metro Yard Service to save the day as your leaves are removed and trucked to Mishka’s commercial salad greens field where they are incorporated into the farm soil.  The final stop is where your salad fork shoves the lettuce into your mouth at the upscale restaurant you both decided on while in KCMO… as the trace micronutrient called copper is incorporated into your living breathing being to keep your heart pumping as it should.  Bottom line: Dynamic Accumulators are our friends.

Business Meeting in the WestDouglas C. BerryThu, 10 Nov 2011 22:37:27 +0000/news/2011/11/10/business-meeting-in-the-west.html554612:6765117:13671791


ReflectionsDouglas C. BerryWed, 27 Jul 2011 04:11:45 +0000/news/2011/7/27/reflections.html554612:6765117:12292216"We need to stop the people who do not believe in us"  Douglas C. Berry 7-15-2011

My Father's Work Ethic brought him success in his life.Douglas C. BerryWed, 16 Feb 2011 21:08:29 +0000/news/2011/2/16/my-fathers-work-ethic-brought-him-success-in-his-life.html554612:6765117:10504273Here is an old photo of my father driving a work mule with my two uncles outside Fayette, Harold and Horace riding behind him.  My father Dr. James Daniel Berry taught surgery at Harvard University and was a general surgeon in San Francisco.  He was an avid sailboat enthusiast on the bay with his wooden boat the "Nellness" berthed at San Francisco Yacht Club in Belvedere. He owned houses in Pacific Heights on Scott Street, Spencer Avenue in Sausalito, and in Montecito, California.  His old house in San Francisco sold for eight million USD a few years back  Harold owned a construction company and Horace owned a clothing store.  Horace has been married to the same woman, my Aunt Carolyn, for 75 years now.  They were on the Fayette High School steps when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.  Horace served in WWII as a Navy Hospital Corpesman.  Harold was in the US Army, as was my father who served in WWII as a medical doctor.  Thanks guys for keeping the world a little safer for us all!  It pays to stay busy and hard work pays off.

Here is a recent photo of my Uncle Horace Berry; a WWII Navy veteran who celebrated his 75th anniversary of marriage with my Aunt Carolyn.

Fall on the waterfrontDouglas C. BerryMon, 08 Nov 2010 19:30:17 +0000/news/2010/11/8/fall-on-the-waterfront.html554612:6765117:9410948     This is a refractioin of sunlight opposite, or east of the setting sun, seen over Richardsons Bay near Sausalito.  Even in nature, direct actions have indirect consequencees.  May you choose yours wisely.

Today's challenges are a great opportunity to come up with flexible strategies.

Quotations: "Balance," by Douglas C. BerryDouglas C. BerrySun, 29 Aug 2010 19:18:29 +0000/news/2010/8/29/quotations-balance-by-douglas-c-berry.html554612:6765117:8712856"Balance is not either this way or the other way; it is not in the Golden Mean, the middle ground, or a compromise; it stands up alone on its own terms." Douglas C. Berry

Blog: Dragging AnchorDouglas C. BerrySun, 15 Aug 2010 14:29:47 +0000/news/2010/8/15/blog-dragging-anchor.html554612:6765117:8563103

     When a waterborne vessel at anchor is moved by the wind or tides it is called “dragging anchor.”  The skipper of a ship needs to have a firm foundation to hold their anchor in place, but even sand can be a firm foundation when using the proper type of anchor.  There are anchors types best suited to different conditions; some for gravel, rocks, sand, mud, or silt that can dig in and hold firmly.  On a boat or ship one does not want to end up dragging anchor or one may find one's self in deep danger.  Danger runs deep when dragging anchor; it is best to avoid it.  But in anchoring, as in life, how does one avoid danger?  Life can be a sea of danger, so what type of anchor in life is best suited for different lifestyles?  Money, power, influence, and prestige are frequently seen effectively in use anchoring lives.  Some of us use relationships or just plain business and investment cunning in our lives to keep from dragging anchor.  Others of us think life is a drag without meaning without a firm spiritual anchor.  And life can be mean and often, well, a drag.  But with proper planning and good decisions in choosing a suitable anchor for the conditions it does not have to be so.  On occasion, at sea as in life, it may be best to pull anchor and sail off to calmer waters.  Some of us may have experienced stormy relationships where this movement may have been the best course of action; after all ships are made to move.  But even the best ships need a home port to maintain themselves.  Dear reader; what type of ship are you on, what type of anchor do you use, and most importantly; where are you going?