Bold Badger 2021

Greetings all.  So this year I've decided to go completely nuts and do 1152 plants, or about double the number I had last year.  Here's the list:
 


1. old yellow 7 pot 246 (6x41)
2. 2020 yellow 7 pot 246 (6x41)
3. OG ghost 2020 96 (6x16)
4. 7 pot primo 96 (6x16)
5. seasoning pepper 96 (6x16)
6. aji guyana 36 (6x6)
7. orange scorpion 36 (6x6)
8. p. dreadie 96 (6x16)
9. chocolate hab 204 (6x34)
total: 1152 (192)

The final numbers will be a little different due to some seeds not sprouting and me filling in those pots with extras of other varieties.  The reason for the "6x" notation is I'm using 1020 trays with the 72 pot inserts to start them all, and they're divided into 6 pot partitions.  Right now they're only taking up one of my shelves but once I pot them up into 3" pots there will be 18 per tray, and they'll occupy all 4 shelves.  16 trays per shelf x 18 plants per tray x 4 shelves = 1152.  One thing I'm going to have to figure out is how to run all the lights.  I have two 15 amp circuits in the basement, but each one can only run 6 lights, so 12 total, and I need 16 for all 4 shelves.  I wired in switches so I can run the lights as either 2 bulb, 4 bulb, or 6 bulb.  Running 4 bulbs they use about 260 watts.  I have baseboard heaters upstairs that I never use, so I'm thinking I can yank one of those big 240v 40 amp breakers out of my box and replace them with two 120v breakers, and run new heavy gage wire to the room with the plants, and run however many lights I want.  I have to consult with an electrician to make sure that'll work.
 
 
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Note the two ballasts, the smaller one runs the two innermost bulbs, the other one runs the outer 4 bulbs.
 
 
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After wiring in the switches.
 
 
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I used those metal drywall corners to hang the lights, cut in half longways.  This was easier than a bunch of hooks and they allow me to move the lights around a bit because they have holes all along them.
 
 
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I started the seeds on 2/6.  This is 10 days later.  I also wound up starting a bunch more on 2/20 for ones that didn't come up.  I got particularly bad germination on the p. dreadies.  Those were a bit underripe when I picked them last year and a lot of the seeds were probably too immature.  I also wound up taking the humidity domes off completely, it was getting too hot under there and the soil was staying too waterlogged.
 
 
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This is on 3/4, so a few days ago.  I think these are both yellow 7 pots, which are doing noticeably better than the others, per usual.
 
 
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Ghosts on the left, seasoning peppers on the right except for the #3s, which I transplanted in from some of the doubles.  The seasoning peppers had pretty bad germination too.
 
 
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Full shelf.
 
 
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In case you ever wondered what 5000 bottles looks like.  They came in yesterday.  I'm planning to start bottling the 2021 sauce next week.  I applied for the big Lexington farmers market, haven't heard back yet but that's really my only hope of actually selling it all this year.  Fingers crossed.
 

PaulG

Extreme Member
Beautifully done, and very creative DIY-ing   :clap:
 
Hope you have a blockbuster season at the
Farmer's Mkt!
 

Bold Badger Sauces

Business Member
Thanks!  Me too.  I had to work my ass off year before last to sell ~1200 bottles, and I'm going to have way more than that this year, so I'm really hoping I get into that bigger market.  There's a big deal market in Louisville that I'd also consider, but they're closed down for the time being because of covid.
 

Bold Badger Sauces

Business Member
Things have been progressing a bit more slowly than I'd like, which is bringing into clearer focus the sheer amount of work I'm in for this year, lol.  Only gotten one carboy bottled so far, the berry sauce.  After that I started working on transplanting the plants up into 3" pots, a few hours a day during the week, then 5 or 6 hours this morning to finish it up.  A total of 22 hours to transplant all 1100 of them.  I'm hearing echoes of Trent's epic threads where he talked about the pain of potting up his thousands of plants.
 
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Cracking open the carboy.  Just a touch of yeast on this one.  It smelled amazing.
 
 
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Simmering the mash.  The range hood worked great, my precious mucus membranes were very grateful.
 
 
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I wired in two new 20 amp circuits for the lights.  My plan to replace one of the 240v breakers with 2 120v ones worked well.  I should be able to replace those some tandem breakers, giving me 4 20 amp circuits from those 2 slots in the box, if I decide to expand next year and built another shelf.  I gotta call the guy with the lights back and see if I can get 16 more of them.  At only $10 each I'm thinking it's worth it to buy them now even if I don't use them.
 
 
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My amateur pigtails.
 
 
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This is about how crowded they were before potting up.
 
 
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I'm curious how much bigger they'll be this year at plant out time, being started a month earlier and going through one round of transplanting.
 
 
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Shelf completely full.  The temps were topping 90 so I put a fan in there, which keeps it in the low to mid 80s.  Thinking about getting some clip-on fans for each shelf.  Another advantage of having the lights on their own circuit is I don't have to turn them off when running the blender or something.
 
 
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Yellow 7 pots.
 
 
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The curry trees are getting some new growth.
 

Bold Badger Sauces

Business Member
A bunch more pics from this morning.
 
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Yellow 7 pots
 
 
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Yellow 7 pots
 
 
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Yellow 7 pots
 
 
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Ghosts
 
 
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Yellow 7 pots
 
 
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Yellow 7 pots
 
 
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Yellow 7 pots
 
 
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Yellow 7 pots
 
 
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Yellow 7 pots
 
 
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Yellow 7 pots
 
 
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Yellow 7 pots on left, ghosts on right.
 
 
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Bottling some overkill.  I'm hoping I can get through 3 carboys today.
 

PaulG

Extreme Member
Hey, BB, where do you source the
lamps for all those 4x6 fixtures?
 

Bold Badger Sauces

Business Member
1000bulbs.com.  I ordered I think 40 6500k bulbs from them last year.
 
https://www.1000bulbs.com/product/62875/FHO-054T5865T.html
 
This year I'm using a mix of those and whatever bulbs were in the fixtures when I got them, I think 5000k but I'm not sure.  I kind of suspect those 6500k bulbs aren't producing very healthy plants, I might get some actual grow bulbs from hortilux or something if I order any more.
 
1000bulbs.com.  I ordered I think 40 6500k bulbs from them last year.
 
https://www.1000bulbs.com/product/62875/FHO-054T5865T.html
 
This year I'm using a mix of those and whatever bulbs were in the fixtures when I got them, I think 5000k but I'm not sure.  I kind of suspect those 6500k bulbs aren't producing very healthy plants, I might get some actual grow bulbs from hortilux or something if I order any more.[/quote

Crazy they don't stock grow lights.
 

Bold Badger Sauces

Business Member
Been bottling sauce just about every day lately.  I think I have 12 carboys to go.
 
 
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Ghost carboy.
 
 
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Chocolate hab carboy.
 
 
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Chocolate hab simmering.
 
 
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All my plants are getting yellow tops, I think it might be because the temps are too high.
 
 
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Yellow 7 pot carboy.
 
 
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A few of the sauces.
 
 
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Yellow 7 pots, notice the weird yellow leaves.
 
 
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More yellow 7 pots.
 
 
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Yellow 7 pots on left, ghosts on right.
 
 
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Yellow 7 pot carboy, lots of yeast on this one.  I used a bent spoon to get most of it out, the rest didn't affect the flavor at all because it's such a small amount of yeast to such a large amount of sauce.
 
 
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Yellow 7 pot mash simmering.
 
 
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I'm doing the curry sauce today, two carboys of it.  One bowl of leaves per carboy.  That ratio seems about right, the sauce came out just as strong as the last time I made it.
 
 
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Curry sauce blended.  I love the rich green color.
 
 
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I added a fan to the top shelf to try and keep the temps down.  The thermometer reads 82 with the fan going, it was more like 86 before.
 
 
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Curry leaves after going through the blender.
 

PaulG

Extreme Member
You def have the sauce thing down, my friend!
They look really good. The vibrant Yellow 7 sauce 
is just awesome!
 

Bold Badger Sauces

Business Member
Update time.  It was getting way too hot under the lights running them 24/7 so I put them on timers so they were on 12/12 with the top two shelves being on while the bottom two shelves were off.  That way I was only running half of them at any given time.  I didn't realize that would trigger flowering in a big way.  They also stretched a ton.  I now realize I should have put them on more like 18/6 to prevent that.  By the time I got them outside to harden off many of them had full-sized peppers on them.  I topped them all and I'm just hoping they'll go back into veg mode.  A lot of the tops got burned by the lights too.  I probably should have just put an exhaust fan in there.  Lesson learned for next time.
 
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Shortly before going outside.
 
 
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Hardening off.  You can see all the burned tops.
 
 
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I got a great deal on 22 of these carboys from a local kombucha bar for $30 each.
 
 
Lately I've been working my tail off getting the field ready to put in the plants.  I'm planning to use plastic row cover this year for the first time.  It's kind of expensive up front, but if it means no weeding and less watering I think it'll be worth it in the end.
 
Also I got into the big market as I hoped, and I've been selling a lot more sauce, so pretty happy about that.  I just got the new site up and going on shopify, so you can order right now.  The link is in my signature.  I'm also doing a giveaway thread over in the promotions forum:
 
http://thehotpepper.com/topic/74835-bold-badger-2021-giveaway/
 
 
That's about all the news for now.  I'll have some new pics once I get the plants in the ground.
 
 

Bold Badger Sauces

Business Member
Finally got the last of the plants in the ground on about 6/13, way later than they should have been.  I kept putting it off because we had that cold snap in May, then it just took forever to get everything ready.  I'm hoping we have a long summer and they still produce OK.
 
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The plants on 5/31 after being outside since 5/16.  We got temps in the 40s the night before so I put those buckets of hot water among them, and some tarps over them.
 
 
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Some new growth on the plants since I topped them about 2 weeks before.
 
 
 
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Getting the spot ready.  I cut the holes in the row cover with a blow torch.
 
 
 
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The plants going for a ride in the car.
 
 
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I think it took 5 trips to move them all.
 
 
 
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6/20, about a week after finally getting them all in the ground at the big spot.
 
 
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Notice the fence.  That's to keep the sheep out.
 
 
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Got all these stakes for $100.
 
 
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The sheep discovering they can no longer get into the field to nibble my plants.
 
 
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Take that you little bastard!  Go find something else to eat!
 
 
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Picked up this tiler for $200.  It worked well at the 3rd spot, which I don't have pictures of yet.
 
 
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Yellow 7 pots at the community garden on 6/18, five days after I got them in the ground.
 
 
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Reapers at the community garden.
 
 
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P. Dreddies at the community garden.  After taking these pics I scattered the piles of chopped down cover crop in the corners of the beds amongst the plants to act as weed cover.
 
 
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Curry trees.  I think they're going to get pretty massive this year.  They also have a ton of seeds on them.  On the right are some tomato plants and the other four smaller curry trees.
 
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