Most visited this week:
Smallest wood stoves
How many batteries do I need for my solar panels?
Wood stove in a mobile home
Rocket stove bathtub
Refrigerator root cellar chimney cap
A year ago this week:
Holiday decorations for small spaces
Venison stew with dumplings
Walden Effect Facebook page
Our first shade trellis turned out so well we decided to start version 2.0.
One of our readers asked for an update on our greywater wetland
and I'm glad she did. There are two kinds of projects that I seldom
post followups about here on the blog --- ones that fail unspectacularly
and ones that work so well I never have to think about them again. Our
greywater wetland falls into the latter category.
"I wonder, do you ever get a foul smell from stagnant water? Do you send big chunks down the "drain" and do you do anything to winterize your system?"
We hiked the St Paul Falls overlook trail this afternoon for Anna's Birthday.
It's time for me to make a
little extra space on my shelves...which means one lucky reader is
going to have a very special Christmas present show up in their mailbox
next week. The seven books and one DVD below have a value of $166, and
if you enter this week's giveaway, you can win all eight:
In exchange, I hope you'll help me plug this week's sale --- I've marked the two books in my Permaculture Gardener series (Homegrown Humus and The Naturally Bug-Free Garden)
down to 99 cents apiece this week. I'd like to move a lot of copies so
the books move up the rankings and are more visible to folks unwrapping
kindles this Christmas, so any word-spreading you do would be much
Alvin will not be making it home for Christmas this year.
The so-called forest garden is now officially defunct. Due to extremely high groundwater (and some vole damage
last winter), all three of the apple trees living there had died way
back over the past summer, so Mark wiggled and wiggled and then ripped
them out by the roots. Only one even had enough root mass left to make
it seem worth trying to replant somewhere else, where the ground is more
Mark suggested planting
the moved tree about eight inches deeper than it had been originally,
which means the plant might root above the graft union. If so, I hope
that I'll still be able to use my high-density training techniques to keep the tree relatively small.
So, what's to become of the defunct forest garden? As I've mentioned off and on over the last six months, I'm busy mounding the area up into long raised beds
for annual vegetables (and for hazels, which seem to be the only woody
perennial that thrives in our waterlogged soil). The good news is that
after years of hugelkultur,
the soil is black and rich in many spots, so as long as I can get
plants' roots up out of the underground ocean, perhaps this zone will
turn into a prime growing spot after all. The big test will be tomatoes
in 2015. Stay tuned for more details on drainage patterns (this winter)
and on plant growth (next summer).
Abigail pregnant?" Mom asked during my pre-birthday bash. I had to
admit that I didn't really know. Some goats begin to show a bit on their
right side (opposite the rumen) by the beginning of their fourth month
of pregnancy, but others pop out kids without putting on any apparent
weight at all. Still other goats have bellies so tremendous you'd think
they were pregnant with quintuplets...but they never give birth because
all that mass is just digesting hay.
"You could also try the pooch test," reader Sheree Clopton suggested. And thus began my obsession with peering up under Abigail's tail.
way to be sure that milk is in our near future would be to go ahead and
breed Artemesia, who is six months old and thus mature enough to get
pregnant by some folks' standards. However, I've read lots of horror
stories about breeding dwarf doelings on the young side, so Mark and I
decided that it's probably safer to let Artemesia keep growing for a
while, breeding her in the spring if she comes into heat then (which
some Nigerian dwarfs do), or just waiting until next fall if necessary.
Either way, I'll be sure to take some closeups before the breeding next
time...just in case.
I think we got our wood shed
roof fixed for good today.
still feeling my way through Christmas decorations for our trailer. On
the one hand, it's very easy to go overboard and turn decorations into
clutter in such a small space. On the other hand, when the days are so
short and gray, lights and greenery are much appreciated.
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