The Walden Effect: Homesteading Year 5. Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

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Kubota plywood wall.
The Kubota plywood wall extensions needed a top tie down point.
Posted Thu Jul 27 15:16:36 2017 Tags:
Brussels sprouts

How are my transplants doing after being potted up into pure, well-rotted horse manure? They're thriving! There's nothing like plenty of nitrogen and humus to make plants grow, grow, grow.

To my surprise, celery and a pepper bounced back after being moved from the aquaponics setup out into a pot in the wild outdoors. Strawberries are already perking back up from their initial transplant shock. And most of my herbs are also putting out new leaves.

The one exception? A huge clump of thyme that I tried to transplant promptly kicked the bucket. Why is there never enough thyme?

Posted Thu Jul 27 06:50:41 2017 Tags:
Kubota driveway work.

Our driveway is finally driveable thanks to some dry weather.

What also helps is some trees being cut down and a few loads of gravel.

Posted Wed Jul 26 15:35:22 2017 Tags:
Chickens in the compost pile

With our garden moved over to the slow lane, we've been letting our chickens run wild. Of course, the flock immediately gravitated to the closest compost pile and hasn't left the area since.

A few hens have been willing to enjoy store-bought chicken feed in the mornings, but most seem to think that worms and grubs and human food scraps are vastly preferable. Now if I could just figure out where the free-rangers are laying their eggs, we'd be enjoying no-cost food of our own....

Posted Wed Jul 26 07:14:10 2017 Tags:
Loading mushroom logs into Kubota.
Joey has agreed to give our extra mushroom logs a good home.
Posted Tue Jul 25 15:39:33 2017 Tags:
Saving tomato seeds

Step 1: Squeeze the guts out of a few tomatoes, add water, then set aside to ferment.

Tomato and cucumber salad

Step 2: Cut up the rest of the flesh along with a couple of cucumbers, then add basil, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil to make a summer salad.

Two tasks completed for the price of one!

Posted Tue Jul 25 06:54:58 2017 Tags:
Hole saw kit front and back of packaging.

Will the hole saw kit in our EZ miser DIY kit fit into a regular consumer drill?

Thanks for the question Alison. The answer is yes.

The mandrel is 1/4 inch and the sizes included are 7/8, 1-1/4, 1-3/4, and 2-1/8.

Posted Mon Jul 24 15:45:47 2017 Tags:
Tommy toe tomatoes

With the move on the horizon, I've taken a very laissez-faire approach to the garden. Despite the turn toward the dry, I haven't watered, and I haven't worried over insect or critter damage either. And even though there wouldn't be enough to preserve, there's still been plenty to eat.

Actually, since we're trying to eat our freezers bare so we won't waste food, there's been a bit too much in the gardens. Luckily, I can let some go to seed --- after all, I'll want those propagules for next year's garden.

Posted Mon Jul 24 07:27:12 2017 Tags:
Plastic dinosaur.
The mighty Brontosaurus sun bathing at the local dump.
Posted Sun Jul 23 15:00:31 2017 Tags:
Privacy plantings

It took me a couple of weeks to accept the reality --- that nowhere we could afford in the Athens, Ohio, area will be as private as our current farm. Currently, we hear a neighbor driving his tractor through hay fields a couple of times a month in the summer and can see another neighbor's light in winter if we stand in a certain part of the yard and turn our heads just right. Otherwise, when we're home, we're entirely alone...and I revel in the solitude.

Privacy hedge

However, the second Airbnb we stayed at taught me that you don't have to be far from the road to feel quite private. The house on that property was set back 134 feet from a quite busy road (yes, I did pace the distance). And, thanks to a grove of bamboo, encircling trees, and a well-placed evergreen on the inside, the house felt as private as I could have wished.

I'm thinking the trick with privacy plantings is to include fast-growers, evergreens, and shrubs of various densities. Actually, it sounds quite a lot like planting a hedge.

Posted Sun Jul 23 06:19:13 2017 Tags:

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