Thursday, April 15, 2010

yeah, another miracle

Here they come! I think we are going to have our hands full this summer. Did I mention the 1-1/2 lb of bean seeds we plan to plant? Bought deer fence materials last week, will put up as needed.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

spring planting

Decided to ramp up our gardening effort this spring, with starting seeds indoors for the first time with grow lights and warming mats. Last year we did some with trying to use sunlight, but the plants were leaning toward the window too much, and getting leggy. While they transplanted ok, could have thived better with a better setup. This spring we planted two kinds of tomotoes, broccoli, and various peppers.

They are in my workroom in the basement. I'm starting 10 starter trays with 36 cells in each, and still have seeds left over. I think we'll watch the sprouting, and quickly infill any duds with the leftover seeds.

Actually, one of the trays has Impatiens in it for the planters here at home, the veggies will all go north in May.

As you can see it takes a lot of care to get these puppies wired up correctly.

With the scads of dry bean seeds we bought, I think we may be in over our heads this year. The tiller is going to be working OT once we get up there and the weather is right. Did *I emntion the potatoes we plan to plant also??

Sunday, February 21, 2010

emerging from winter hibernation

that's my story and I'm sticking to it. No other reason I hanve't posted since November. Here are a couple shots from our trip up in January. Herbs in the sunroom doing well, even with no regular watering and no heat in there. Enough sun during the day gets them through the night. Basil died of course, but the rosemary, sage and thyme were ok .

The photos didn't do it justice of course, but the hoarfrost was very heavy and very beautiful.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

the answer my friend, is blowing in the wind

Driving back from Indianapolis to Chicago, we went past this brand spinning new wind farm right next to I65. It was still under construction just a couple months ago. This is the closest I've seen wind turbines next to a freeway. I have a closer photo I'll post later. Anyway, once they figure out the storage issue to make it more dispatchable, and work out the mechanical kinks with gear failure, we will see wind grow. Any new technology goes through learning curve. Back when, people were getting killed by steam boilers blowing up all the time on steamships till they set up design codes and improved their understanding of the design limitations.

Hard to beat free fuel, so wind will be part of the mix for a while.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Biomass burial

So we raked the leaves this weekend. Small yard, several big trees, lots of raking. Because of the artificial construct of the suburban yard, we need to move the leaves so they don't choke out the grass. I doubt if the "normal" vegetation balance between tress and grass would look anything like this if we left them alone. I don't want to use chemicals on the yard, but I wonder what is happening to the soil since we ship out hundreds of pounds of leaves each year, and they must be taking minerals with them.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

harvest time

OK. we tried several experiments this season, and I planted a strip of sunflowers out in the barley field where the planter had missed. These guys did very well. Huge heads, lots of seeds, now I just need to figure out how to hull them quickly. We did some oil seed sunflowers and some confection sunflowers. I think I will plant more next year if we are able to put these to use. Any suggestions for hulling easily?

Friday, October 23, 2009

one more for the road

On our last hike out from trail work, we decided to get one more down tree out of the trail. Barry took this shot of me wielding the Pulaski with great effect.