Most visited this week:
How many batteries do I need for my solar panels?
Fighting tomato blight with pennies
How to help chicks during hatching
Plug and play grid tie inverter
Building a bee waterer
A year ago this week:
ATV hitch height adjustment
Low-cost presents for homesteaders
Experimental summer cover crops
Ethanol free scam
Walden Effect Facebook page
We used up that big box
I stole last week.
In addition to watching a bush katydid top my grapevine,
I've been enjoying a closeup view of life on the tomato plant right
outside our front window. Two weeks ago, a hornworm caterpillar
showed up, and I left it alone, knowing that the leaf muncher would soon
be munched in turn. Hornworms are never a problem on our farm
because parasitoid wasps kill them in short order, and this caterpillar
was no exception.
We decided to spend some of Anna's
new book deal money on truck tires.
of you may experience buyer's remorse. I don't buy much, so I
rarely feel that pang, but I do experience what I've come to call
writer's remorse. What am I talking about? Imagine you
polish a book to within an inch of its life, send it off to your publisher...and then a reader shares these astonishing pictures of beneficial insects from his yard.
The big excitement for today
was a wheel alignment in Weber city.
When I strung up a simple piece of baling twine to guide our young grape vine to its trellis,
Mark rolled his eyes. Did I have to relentlessly reuse found
material?, I could see him thinking. What if the twine rotted out
before the grape hit the wire?
Despite a week that felt
more like September than July, our bees have been working astonishingly
hard. Every time I pass by both hives, workers are flying in and
out like crazy. In fact, the colonies have been so busy, they
didn't even mind me weeding nearly on their doorstep last week, a sure
sign a nectar flow is under way.
The last few times I've
taken photos up underneath our hives, I haven't seen much new
activity. In fact, if anything, it seemed like the mother hive had
eaten through some of their stores last time I checked, and the top
photo in this post shows that they haven't made much headway since last month.
But on Sunday evening, I struggled to take a photo under the daughter
hive and eventually realized the problem was that the bees had drawn
comb nearly to the screened bottom board, and that the camera simply
couldn't focus so close to the lens. Looks like the feedings I've
been giving that hive have paid off. Time to add another box and
proclaim our split a glowing success. Maybe now I can take them off the dole...again?
I've always thought lizards are more adorable than most puppies.
Michael Judd sent me a copy of his Edible Landscaping With a Permaculture Twist
to review, and I gulped the book down the same day it arrived.
Too bad I couldn't taste the berries in those beautiful pictures!
More seriously, Judd's book is a fast and fun read, mostly geared toward
newbie suburban homesteaders, but with tidbits that will suit even the
established farmer on forty acres.
That caveat aside, I found a lot to pique my interest in Edible Landscaping With a Permaculture Twist.
First, there's the story of the book itself, which is self-published
based on a kickstarter campaign, but is distributed by Chelsea Green ---
I wanted to hear more about how that came about! Next, mixed
amidst the most-popular permaculture techniques (hugelkultur, herb
spirals, earthen ovens), Judd includes a fascinating section on rain
gardens, which sound very much like my sky pond but for soil that actually drains. In the same chapter, the author also explains how to make an A-frame level for easy keyline
marking, a tool I definitely plan to try out. Finally, those of
you who imbibe will likely get a kick out of the various alcoholic
recipes scattered throughout the text.
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