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How many batteries do I need for my solar panels?

Refrigerator root cellar, step 1...dig

Fighting tomato blight with pennies

Electric Club Car trouble

Automatic chicken door

Aug 2015

A year ago this week:

Peeing on the compost pile

Garlic processing 2015

How much hay do goats need for the winter?

Universal plug polarity damage

Aug 2014

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Cutting geotextile fabric
Cutting geotextile fabric was pretty easy with ordinary scissors.
Posted Sat Aug 27 15:48:30 2016 Tags:
Basket of onions

After putting a massive number of onions onto the curing racks a month ago, I mostly forgot about them. Well, I did bring in dozens of the largest specimens for soup-making during that time period, packing away perhaps as much as a quarter of the harvest into frozen winter dinners.

Big onionSoon, though, the curing racks will need to be emptied out for the sake of butternut squash and sweet potatoes. So I took an hour to cut off dried roots and leaves, shucking outer skins and sorting the onion bulbs.

The weather was crazy wet during harvest and early curing season, so I wasn't surprise to have quite a bit of rot to deal with. On the other hand, I was surprised to realize I had so many onions available that I could simply give the worst half bushel away.

All told, post-souping and rehoming, we ended up with about 63 pounds of onions, or around a bushel and a half. This is definitely the most we've ever managed to sock away. Perhaps this will be the second year that we won't buy any onions (our former Achilles heel) in the store?

Posted Sat Aug 27 07:07:59 2016 Tags:
geotextile fabric

I've got a good feeling about our new geotextile fabric experiment.

Anna estimates it will take about 100 of the above lengths to fill our problem ruts.

Two down and only ninety eight to go.

Posted Fri Aug 26 15:41:30 2016 Tags:

Green grapesMy best guess was that the found grapevine near the site of the old homeplace on our farm was a Concord. So when Mom's Concord started churning out so many ripe fruits she had to embark on a daily juicing session, I braved the thorns and weeds and went to take a second look at my mystery vine.

To my surprise, the grapes are still green and very much unripe. Let's see if I can remember to check on the vine again in a couple of weeks to discover what color they become as they soften up.

Posted Fri Aug 26 06:40:28 2016 Tags:
Ninja blade on a Stihl string trimmer.

I used the Ninja blade attachment today to cut down mature Rag Weeds.

Some of the stems are tough enough to take several passes to cut through.

Posted Thu Aug 25 15:55:44 2016 Tags:
Brussels sprouts

I thought that planting brussels sprouts early, kill mulching around them to keep down weeds, then covering them up with a row cover to beat cabbageworms would create a set-it-and-forget-it fall crop. But I should have realized nothing is really set-it-and-forget-it in the garden.

When the lumps under the row cover stopped looking regular, I finally removed the fabric and took a look. Many plants had been stunted and two thirds of them had outright died, leaving us about as many good plants as last year.

What was the culprit? One of our cats jumped on the row cover and broke a hole in the area pictured above...and that turned out to be the healthiest part of the row (except for holes in leaves from sneaky cabbageworms). As a result, my guess is that the row cover heated up the plants too much, causing some to flounder and others to perish. Looks like we'll have to go back to the usual bug-squishing routine in future!

Posted Thu Aug 25 06:56:02 2016 Tags:
The twine we got for gardening.

I had some trouble finding twine in stores around here this Summer.

The twine on Amazon seems like a better value for 7 dollars.

It seems my Debian browser is having issues again with Amazon which is why there is no easy link to the twine.

Posted Wed Aug 24 15:34:16 2016 Tags:
Goat barn bedding

Last year, I estimated we'd need 27 bales of hay to get our two semi-dwarf goats through the winter. We actually socked away 36 bales, though, just to be safe.

Cute goatsHow much did our goats actually eat? It's a little hard to say because they spoiled some bales when they broke into the storage area (and I later used those spoiled bales for bedding). But I'm guessing they actually consumed somewhere between 18 and 20 bales.

We still have quite a few musty hay bales from last year in the main barn (outside goat reach), and I'm trying to decide whether those bales are worth feeding. I suspect a normal goat would eat them despite a bit of mildew from the summer damp...but our princesses will likely get fresh bales instead while I use last year's hay in the garden.

(And, yes, before you ask --- that bale in the top photo is straw for bedding instead of hay for dining. Which isn't to say Artemesia didn't nose around in search of seed heads before settling back into her newly cleaned barn.)

Posted Wed Aug 24 07:08:33 2016 Tags:
Cutting up peppers

Cleaning butternut squashThe harvest continues, a quart of frozen peppers here and a bushel of curing butternuts there.

Don't worry, Artemesia --- there are many more butternuts still in the garden for your winter dinners!

Posted Tue Aug 23 07:12:39 2016 Tags:
Back when I was using the experimental paint roller extension boom pole.

The new semester at ETSU starts tomorrow.

I'm having a lot of fun and learning tons about the process of film making.

To keep things balanced I'll be skipping my Tuesday post to make time for film.

The above scene is from an upcoming Slasher Spoof titled "Snapped" that we recently finished production work on.

Posted Mon Aug 22 15:42:45 2016 Tags:

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