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Member Since 02 Sep 2011
Offline Last Active Oct 22 2018 05:46 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Pulpiteer 2017 Grow Log

10 July 2017 - 11:02 PM

So, it sucks that I only find time to post only about once a month.  I've not kept up on glogs.  Ugh... 
But, for what it's worth, here's an update:

Temps have been about the same here Andy... An unseasonably warm few days followed by a few weeks of cool, rainy weather. I'm hoping things warm up fairly soon so the plants can really stretch out in the sun, not that I mind the rain after the drought conditions last year. [emoji2]

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We had a pretty dry stretch through June and into July.  We just got some wonderful rain this morning, and the garden is loving it.  Have you guys had a dry stretch out your way?

Great update Andy. Wishing you the best. I love the draft. Don't know anyone close enough that's passionate enough to do that. Why do we all have to live so far away from each other. LOL!

Thanks for sharing


Thanks!  As far as the draft, I just kept talking to people and trying to get them to try it out.  My goal was starting new chili heads.  Even if they only grow a few plants, it gets them started!

Your place is looking great - lots of nice little projects going on!
Great pepper draft pix.  What fun for your congregation members!

Thank you!  

I don't know how I've missed your last several posts; but good stuff going on up your way!
You're doing the same things I did with my kids when they were that age. It worked with the boy child ;)  He's now a gardener. The girl child not :shh: , but she was exposed! ;)
Keep doing just what you're doing; it's a nice way to chilli after work. :dance:

Thanks - yeah, I've had the kids working with me where I can.  We're into 4H this year, so we'll see how that goes.  I'm just trying to figure out how all that works.  Good stuff though!
The garden is really doing quite well.  I spent a bit of time tonight staking up the tomatoes and pruning them a bit.  We got some rain this morning and I think the garden is pretty happy.
First, a couple shots to give you an overall picture of how things look:
Here's one of the raised beds:

This one is a Black River Scotch Bonnet (from a parishioner who went to Jamaica). It's filling in nicely.

Here's something from Pepper Joe called a "Garden Bird Pepper." The plant looks great, we'll see how it is.



Here's an SBJ7 Yellow from Trident Chili.  You can see the shape coming in even though the pods are tiny.  I'm excited about this one!




And here is a Hawaiian Chili Pepper from Hippy Seed Co.  My brother in law got me these.  The plant looks nice.  




The animals have been keeping me pretty busy.  Here are the ducks:




And some turkeys and broilers:




Lot's of meat in our future!  


Finally, a quick video tour of the garden:



Thanks for stopping by!

In Topic: Pulpiteer 2017 Grow Log

31 May 2017 - 11:57 AM

Mason Bees are awesome: my gardener friend has

several bee boxes.   You are doing a good turn for

the environment, Andy!  


Wow, time for another pepper draft already?  Looking

forward to seeing your pics of the festivities!


I'm really curious how the mason bees will do.  I could really use the pollinators and they seem to be a great thing for the environment, as you say.  


Here's a cool video I watched to learn about them:



There's definitely no moss on you Andy! All looking good at your place. [emoji106] How cold is it out your way?

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We have a low of 44 coming tonight, I think.  We just had a bit of a cool front move through, but prior to that it was pretty warm.  We're supposed to be in the 70's the next few days.  All in all, I think we're about where we should be.  We had a bit of a late frost earlier in May that followed a bit of an unseasonably quick warm up, and that was the biggest problem we've faced thus far.  The frost killed the leaves on my Hardy Kiwis, but they are growing back.  

How's the weather out your way?



Here's an update on the Pepper Draft


Quick History: This all began when I had a difficult time culling the extra seedlings I grew out when getting things started for my pepper garden.  So, instead of killing perfectly good seedlings, I found some folks in my church who were interested in growing out hot peppers.  I then have them over to draft their seedlings - they have a printout of a description of varieties and they also get to inspect each seedling to see which plants are healthiest.  Names are drawn and a draft order is established.  Trades and trash talking are encouraged.  We also eat tons of wonderful food.  All in all it's a great time.


This was the 6th annual draft - here's coverage of the first five: 2012201320142015, 2016



Some of the plants up for draft:


And the folks drafting:






The draft board:




Afterward, the plants join my plants in the greenhouse - all tucked in to begin the hardening off process.  This was the end of April, btw.





My raspberries have struggled the last several years.  Poor soil and what not.  So, I put down some fertilizer, cardboard and a bunch of mulch around the plants.  We'll see how this goes.  



The best my rhubarb has been



I had to redo my strawberries.  They have been a bit of a pain.  I have them in very heavy clay soil.  So I did a small raised bed last year.  Then the grass really took over.  Ugh.  So I dug them out again this year, raised the bed even more to a mound.  Then covered it with plastic mulch row cover, and replanted.  We'll see how they do.  




Alright, I'll try to get more up in the next week or so.  I have already planted out - but I'm behind on posting pictures, so hopefully that will all come next.


Thanks for stopping by!

In Topic: Pulpiteer 2017 Grow Log

30 May 2017 - 01:01 PM

Work has been crazy, followed up by spring and plant out that has demanded a ton of my time, so I've been away...

Anyway, here's a bit of an update with old pictures.


Cool! I wouldn't mind having chickens around potted plants, but they'd scratch up the soil around the in-ground plants and kick off the mulch. I'd be curious to see how the ducks do for you. Too bad you can't train them to crap in your raised beds. ;)


So I began with the ducks by using this set up for a movable paddock.  They don't scratch up everything, which is good.  They also crap all over the place, which provides nitrogen.  But they'll also nibble a bit on plants - so I'm trying to move them around and away from the fruit bushes.  It's a work in progress...




Quote of the day that Rick and made me snigger lol sign of a good gardener always thinking ahead.

Plants all looking good Andy, I know John is growing your black river sb so watching that keenly.
Not long until plant out day.

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Thank you!


Wow, you always have lots of fun stuff going on, Andy!


Your grow shelf does, indeed, look great!  Kudos   :clap:


Yeah, it feels a bit too much sometimes - but man, there's a lot of fun and interesting stuff you can do, and it's been great to work with the kids!


Wow, your plants and your animals look awesome! Very nice.


Thank you!


what is the  Black River Scotch Bonnet?  I don't think that I have heard of that one before.  Do you have any pics?   Awesome birds btw!


It's a Bonnet I grew out from seeds that someone from my church brought back with them after a missions trip in Jamaica.  I'm going to try to do a better job isolating the seed this year.  It's a true Jamaican Bonnet - really cool stuff!



I did some work in the chicken coup towards the end of April - here are the chicks on the new roost, made from a tree branch I took down




I also added a nesting box attached to the outside of the coup so that they can lay in here and roost up high.  This way the nesting box is clean and there is easier access to the eggs.  




I also worked on a better set up for food.  Chickens like to rake food out of their feeders and spread it all over the ground, wasting it.  This seems to help.  I had to abandon the tube leading down into the feeder though, that just didn't work out.  It kept coming off and tipping over.




Violets in the yard. An argument against spraying lawns with herbicides.




So with the little peat pellets, if you plant two seeds in a pellet and they grow out, it really isn't possible to divide up the roots like it is if you start them in seed cells:






I thought I'd try tearing them apart and planting one in soil with as much root mass as I could get anyway.  I think the key thing was stripping off most of the leaves so that the roots weren't supporting all of that structure above the soil.  That way they could grow in and then the plant could bounce back.


Here's the good one of the two:




And here they are planted up:





Several weeks later, I did not loose any of the 5 or so pairs of plants I did this with. Oh, also pictured above: I gave the plants plenty of water with the root dip and kelp plant food mixed in.  


Finally, I decided to try to encourage mason bees on our property, so I made this simple little mason bee house.  You put the rolled up paper in them, so you can pull them out in the Fall and remove any mites or bad stuff.  Then you can release them in the spring, by a method I am not yet familiar with...




Alright, I'll come back later when I can post pictures of the 2017 Pepper Draft.  Until then - thanks for stopping by!

In Topic: Stickman's 2017 Minimalist Glog

11 April 2017 - 12:54 PM

Cheers Andy! :)


I don't think Calcium is as much a problem as too much Potassium and Magnesium for raising pH. It's more like I have a good reserve of those things and don't need to add more. The Sodium levels were the real shocker for me. I'm not too far from Sodium toxicity, and need to get those levels down as quickly as possible. Over time the plants will remove the excesses and I'll have to keep an eye on Nute levels to know when to begin adding more as needed. Most of us don't realize that the nutrients we take from the soil aren't returned there when we use sewerages to remove our waste, or we dispose of our dead plants without composting and using the compost in our gardens. Obviously there are health reasons to do both, but there are ways around it if we apply ourselves.


There's a video of Geoff Lawton called "Greening the Desert" I think you can find on Youtube where he uses permaculture principles and begins to actually turn around a desert plot of land in the Middle East.  One of the amazing things that happened was the salinity of the soil dropped quicker than they thought possible.  In skimming the paper that Scott linked below, I think it was mostly by stopping evaporation.  Anyway, in reading through your comments - do you think the excess sodium was from uncomposted manure?  


Also, I occasionally listen to a podcast that covers all sorts of stuff including homesteading and whatnot.  He talked for awhile about a special that covered a certain era in Japan and the ways they lived - I know that's pretty vague, I remember it was an era with Samurais.  Anyway, "nightsoil" was a normal thing to compost and use.  They of course had ways to do it to remove the bacterial issues - I think mostly composting, if I remember correctly.  Anyway - to you point - we do lose those nutrients in a disposable culture.  I think too, we have a lot of medication going through us, in general, and some of that stuff stays in the waste and can cause problems.  I do think that culturally we could do a better job with our 'grey water' though.  Those homesteading systems that recycle their grey water are fascinating.  

In Topic: PaulG 2017

10 April 2017 - 07:31 AM

Looking amazing as usual, Paul. Look at all the flowers! Those Aji lemon flowers are pretty aren't they? With that lime green on the white. The BOCs are one of my favorite peppers to use in jam or to spice up syrup. Solid pepper.