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Bold Badger 2022 Grow Log - 2k plants, zero planning

Hello again. Your favorite badger-based sauce guy is back with a new glog for 2022. You may have noticed the lack of updates on my last thread. What happened is the sheep got through my totally inadequate fence and ate all my plants. About 900 of them. It was an unmitigated disaster. I was so pissed I just gave up on the glog. I still wound up with quite a lot of sauce from my other spots, 16 carboys or so. Having learned nothing from last year, I decided to double the number of plants this year, and put up a better fence. Here's the breakdown:


Code:
ID   variety                        num plants
1.    2017 yellow 7 pots    650
2.    2021 yellow 7 pots    300
3.    2018 yellow 7 pots    300
4.    chocolate habs          400
5.    og ghosts                   300
6.    reapers                       100
7.    seasoning peppers    100

I started all the seeds on March 6th, about a month later than last year. I was hoping to avoid the plants growing into the lights before I got them outside. At this point I've got about 1/3rd in the ground, it's still ongoing.


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Recent picture for the front page of the glog.

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Fence posts. Notice the crappy fence in the background. I thought sheep are stupid, right? They'll see a fence and just turn around, like a roomba. Not so. They busted through several times. I'd patch it up then they'd find a new weak spot. They're like the raptors in Jurassic Park. After the 3rd time I realized it was hopeless. The plants had been pretty much eaten down to nubs.

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March 12th.

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March 14th.

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March 17th. The plants in the middle are curry trees.

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March 21st.

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March 31st.

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April 9th.

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The new shelf, same design as the other one. I needed both for all the plants once I potted them up into 3" pots.

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April 19th. After potting up. I didn't have enough of those nice 6 bulb t5 fixtures so I used a bunch of my old shop lights to fill in.

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The curry trees. I need to get these outside in the next few days.

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Some close ups.

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April 25th, seasoning peppers.

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Ghosts.

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May 1st.

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Gate for the new fence. It came pre-rusted.

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May 7th.

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The cover crop at one of my spots.

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Working on the new fence.

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May 10th. All the plants outside to harden off.

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May 12th.

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Saw this guy at one of the other spots.

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May 14th. These are all chocolate habs.

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May 14th. One of the community garden spots. Nothing but yellow 7 pots here.

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May 14th.

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May 15th. The fence finished.

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May 16th community garden. These plants are all doing really well.

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More yellow 7 pots.

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May 19th. They're really going nuts since I got them outside.


I'll be back with more updates as the season progresses. On the business side, I actually made a profit last year! About $2k. So that was nice. I'm still in the process of bottling the 2022 sauce but I already have the new stuff up on the site. The yellow 7 pot sauce turned out amazing as always. I'll probably do another giveaway when I get time.
 
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thoroughburro

Extreme Member
Good luck with your season, fellow Kentuckian! Looks like a really great setup, albeit crossing my fingers your goats don’t wind up tunneling underneath or something.

Mesoamericans used to use pepper leaves as a cooking and salad green, and some areas still do. I tasted one, and sure enough it’s not as unpleasant as expected. Not gonna be using ‘em myself, but I can see why your goats did!
 

PaulG

Extreme Member
Awesome start to your season, looking
very promising, indeed 👍

Good luck going forward. I hope the sheep
fence works for you.
 
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Great setup, sorry to hear about the animals eating your plants. We had a similar issue with deer at the end of season about 4 years back that just led to buying mass amounts of 8ft fence.

Looking forward to seeing the plants in bloom.
 
Since my last post I've been busting my butt trying to get the rest of the plants in the ground. I think I still have about 600 to go. A few new pics.



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Yellow 7 pots, June 9th.



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Chocolate habs, June 5th.



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Ghosts, June 5th.



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June 10th, Yellow 7 pots at the big spot. I've got some weeding to do.



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The soil hasn't been tilled since last year and it's gotten pretty compacted. Breaking up the clods with my hands was killing my wrists so I came up with this. I just beat the clods with a 2x4 until they break down and sift through the milk crate. It works surprisingly well.



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Saw this little guy today.



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June 10th. I still have these left to get in the ground. It's mostly chocolate habs, ghosts, and reapers.



I'm way late getting the last plants in but it couldn't be helped. The farmers markets take up a lot of my weekends so I'm mostly limited to evenings. I've actually worked at night a couple of times to avoid the heat and it worked great. I just got a really bright head lamp. The only problem is the mosquitos, but they seem to thin out after about 10:30.

I have all the new stuff up on the site now except the Aji sauce.
 

PaulG

Extreme Member
Just a stunning amount of plants!
Kentucky jungle in the making.
 
Sorry for the long delay. As you may have guessed by my long absence, things have gone slightly awry. Mainly the plants at two of my 3 spots just aren't doing very well. The plants at the big spot only got to about knee high at best. I blame a combination of the drought and the fact that we didn't till the soil this year. I think it was just too compact for the roots to grow as well as they should. That area has a lot of clay, and I'm sure the sheep traipsing all over everything last year didn't help. I figure I'll get about 40% of the amount of peppers I should have from those plants if they'd have done well. Although despite their small size they're pretty loaded. Same with the community garden, they just didn't get very big. My original spot is the saving grace this year. I had all my chocolate habs and ghosts there, and they did phenomenal. The ghosts are chest high and the chocolate habs aren't far behind them.

First the big spot.

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On 8/18.



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On 9/1.



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9/22


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9/22. I let the weeds get a little out of control.


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Chocolate habs on 9/7. They're about waist high. I've gotten 4 carboys worth of peppers from these plants so far. I figure there's another 2 left on the vine.


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Chocolate habs.






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Ghosts on 9/7. It's a jungle in there.


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I've been working on a big 55 gallon drum smoker all summer. The barrels had orange juice in them, which was in bags inside the barrels. They looked brand new. Here I am burning out the paint. After this I used a wire wheel to get it down to bare metal, then coated the insides with vegetable oil and baked it on with a flame thrower.



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This is basically how it's going to work. The firebox is on the bottom. It'll have two 6" holes going up into the upper barrels, which will contain a bunch of racks. I wound up mounting the whole thing on a 2x4 frame with a couple of pieces of roof tin on top. I also put fire bricks in the bottom of the firebox.



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After painting. The doors were cut out of a sacrificial drum so I could make them slightly bigger than the openings.


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I'm pretty sure the ones on the bottom are a chocolate hab/ghost cross. Only one plant came out like that. I saved some seeds from them.


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The community garden on 9/20. Disappointingly small but at least they're full of peppers.


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A turtle I found.


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A view from the farmers market.


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A cat I saw at the market.


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Lots of chocolate habs.


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I pieced together this vitamix on ebay. The base and blade assembly was $54, then I got a pitcher minus the blade assembly for $40, and new bearings for the blade assembly were like $12. I used it to blend up the blackberries for the berry sauce, it worked great, no seeds to hurt your teeth.


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Berry and chocolate hab.


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Yellow 7 pots and chocolate habs.


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I always get a few plants that throw out these peach yellow 7 pots. I don't know if they get stunted and decide to go albino or what. They seem to ripen to this color, but they stay kind of crisp as if they're unripe. Maybe if I let them go longer they'll actually turn yellow, but I suspect not. They taste great, a little mellower than the yellow ones.
 
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The various phenos and colors of my chocolate habs. I like the ones on the right the best.



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Some of the curry trees.



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The big ones.



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Some seeds.



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I just cut them back and moved them inside last night.



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All the leaves.



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A bunch of domesticated rabbits escaped at the chocolate hab spot. They were running around everywhere being adorable.



My immediate future involves picking and processing lots of peppers. I got close enough to sold out to stop doing the market a couple of weeks ago. I sold about 1400 bottles this year total. I'll be back with another update when I get time, assuming my hands don't fall off.
 
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