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Homesteading and Simple Living Comments

Comments in the moderation queue: 4

View the most recent comments below. To join in the discussion (or see a comment thread in order), click on the title of a comment, then follow the directions on the subsequent page to add a comment of your own.

Can you relate your comments to the picture, by number? for instance in image 4, does that represent the mound of dirt over the cut off root stock and the beginnings of a multitude of new rootstock? Thanks, Bill
Comment by Bill w. Thu Mar 23 12:02:31 2017
I will echo the previous 2 comments. I also have a Kubota (2) I absolutely adore. The tractor has never once done this but the RTV and our older mule both do this. It is much more prominent in the Mule. We stick to rocking rather than using the steering wheel. Works every time.
Comment by Barbie Thu Mar 23 11:44:00 2017
I would call the vet. Better safe than sorry.
Comment by Pam Kaufman Thu Mar 23 10:14:10 2017
I've found that if I put seeds like peas, beans, and corn between damp paper towels and let them sit in a warm place, it really speeds up germination. Once you see the rootlets starting to break away from the seed, that's the time they should go in the ground. It speeds up emergence to pre-germinate them in this way.
Comment by Ray A Wed Mar 22 16:34:32 2017

FYI, I have a Polaris Ranger. It will do the same thing - if there is any pressure or stress on the wheels when I try to shift. I'm betting that is what you're dealing with, too. I always try shifting to neutral when I stop, and before I shut it down. Seems to let everything 'relax' so I'm good to shift when I next need to go.

Cheers!

Comment by Tim Inman Tue Mar 21 11:14:41 2017
My tractor does the same... too much pressure on the gears. Turning the wheel back and forth (or just trying to rock it back and forth by shifting your weight) works most of the time. You can bend or break something so don't force it.
Comment by Dan Tue Mar 21 09:39:05 2017

Your website came up in a google search so I read the article. The very reason I was searching is because I had tapped and produced about 60 gallons of sap this year but in Minnesota our first sap run was only a week and the temps fell hard to negatives and my sap froze in place. I brought the buckets of ice inside my house and let them thaw before boiling out the water. They took quite awhile to thaw, about a week. My daughter likes to taste the sap right in a glass of water so like usual, I let her have a glass.

The look on her face was one of confusion as she had brought friends out from the neighbors and had bragged up how good the water tastes. I then tried it and sure enough it tasted of plain water. No Maple flavor AT ALL.

I opened more sap buckets and all had the same result. I was thinking maybe sugar levels were low in some trees etc.

One of the girls said, I wonder if the sweet water is at the bottom. I was about to say, no, that doesn't make sense, when I decided to test her theory. 10 year olds have awesome insight. So I poured half a 5 gallon bucket out slowly and let the girls dip their glasses again. Their faces lit up. Sweet maple sap!

I then took a spoon and stired one of the other buckets we had tried, it was now sweet again.

So, here I am on the net trying to find evidence that we were onto something! Separating the maple sugar from the water by freezing. Alas your post didn't confirm it as my maple sap was totally thawed. I do have a theory that based on your article, the sugar water, if cold enough sinks as it would be heavier and since it freezes last, it must thaw at a different rate as well in a layer! If undisturbed one in theory could pour off the top!

Now to test!!!

Comment by Ian Osborne Mon Mar 20 21:02:55 2017
I bet the goats see this as all good news. Not fit for human consumption.... The more they get to eat!
Comment by kayla Mon Mar 20 17:02:13 2017

One year I planted a crop of Peaches & Cream corn. When harvest time came, I found the (expletive deleted) raccoons had taken ONE bite out of EVERY ear! I harvested what I could and where the (expletive deleted) raccoons had taken a bite, I chopped off that portion and cut the kernels from the reset, put them in a canning jar and enjoyed them.

Could you not sort out some of the good carrots from the not-so-good ones? Also, why do you need "backup heat"? I thought the whole point of a root cellar was to keep the space cold and with all the dirt around it, and the insulation from the fridge, that would keep the internal temperature around 32 degrees. Is that not correct? ::looks puzzled::

Comment by Nayan Mon Mar 20 09:39:53 2017
Just learned something new about you Anna!
Comment by Jayne Sun Mar 19 22:44:27 2017
Sometimes I think the plants know more than we do. Your seedlings are telling you it's time! I'm in Central Oregon, at about 3500 feet so my gardening days are several weeks off, though I may sneak a few peas and spinach in to a bed to tempt fate.
Comment by Sue Sun Mar 19 13:00:15 2017
NOAA's computer program says we're going to have a hotter-than-normal April. I already have lettuce and spinach planted in my outside beds without any coverings on them. The spinach leaves got a bit frost bitten, but they're okay otherwise. I would say harden them off outside and then plant them in their permanent spot.
Comment by Nayan Sun Mar 19 10:23:44 2017

My parents were professional musicians. I was taught piano when young and tried my hand at other instruments. When I tried to teach myself clarinet, however, my mother always said, "put that down before you cut yourself!" (Apparently this is a musicians insider joke.) So I understand the cats' reactions. :)

Keep playing. The cats will eventually get used to it.

Comment by Nayan Sat Mar 18 13:59:45 2017
A friend of mine lost his instructions and was wandering what kind of wire to use altho it says on the unit to use 10 to 17 guage would that be the same wire as used for larger cattle, I have seen that stuff just don't know if it will work
Comment by Anonymous Fri Mar 17 22:51:37 2017

Down here in Savannah (outskirts) we are normally out of frost danger after mid February. We had 83 degrees in mid February. And we dipped to the high twenties two nights in a row lately, I covered but think I lost a couple tomato plants.

In my native Minnesota at the 45th parallel, my folks have kept track of the ice in and ice out date on the nearby 900 acre lake, it used to be November 20th or so iced up fully and stayed frozen over until early to mid April, getting 30" of ice. Now it seems mid December is the rule and mid to late March is break up, maybe 15"-20" thick. They set record 60+ degree temps in mid February this year.

To make lemonade out of lemons, we all saved on heating this year weather we paid for propane, electricity or burned (less) firewood!

Comment by Eric Fri Mar 17 22:05:05 2017

It is time for a greenhouse. To not have one is to smack a green thumb with a hammer. Mitigate the effects of 'climate change'

Comment by Chris Fri Mar 17 21:30:41 2017
If you haven't already, run a cross tension wire, from the top post Mark is working on, to the lower post, opposite. Basically span a cross wire, between the two posts, the upper wooden brace is on. If you use two strands of wire, running in the same direction, you can place a piece of wood between them in the middle, then twist it, until it counters the tension on the fence wires.
Comment by Chris Fri Mar 17 20:55:52 2017
I get a lot of trimmings from my grape vine pruning. Feel guilty for composting them, the debate being whether to spend the time to use them for wreaths or trellising, etc. Wonder if there are others who have some useful ideas.
Comment by Karen Thu Mar 16 12:45:38 2017
We actually have 3 unheated drums as well. They provide some passive heat but they don't get warm enough to spur germination. However after germination I have been moving the seedlings to the top of them to "harden off' a little bit and to slow down growth so they don't get too leggy. Even though their feet are warm daylight is still sketchy. I am growing primarily flowers and I want a lot of them. The problem I have always had in the past is that about the time the soil is warm enough to to germinate my seed the onslaught of Texas heat is here and the poor little beggars roast. That means I tend to buy ready annuals and that gets pricey. (Perennials are my thing but a few annuals are cheerful here and there. I used to be a perennial purist. I owed the t-shirt that said "Friends don't let friends buy annuals" but I have softened in my advanced age...)I can put about 12 flats in each hot bed so it probably will cost me about a dollar a flat over the three or four months I will be using it in this manner.
Comment by Wen Thu Mar 16 11:03:01 2017

I think the clay pot could be the problem. How many holes do you have in the pot? Different worms like different depths. Just one hole at the bottom could be a problem. Try a PVC pipe, or even a plant pot, but put some holes in the side. And if you're using red wrigglers, they prefer a more moist environment. Vege scraps are perfect. The clay pot may be absorbing the moisture out of the scraps and making the environment dryer than the worms like. Also keep it covered or the worms will move out.

Comment by Eileen Thu Mar 16 09:13:24 2017

most hens lay before noon

so I leave mine fastened up in chicken house and chicken yard until noon or after to keep them laying inside the chicken house

Comment by ralph Wed Mar 15 19:48:59 2017

If you get a chance or make a better version of the chicken plucker can you note the dimensions of wood you used and where you got the rubber round pegs you used for the plucker?

Thank You Claudia

Comment by Claudia Wed Mar 15 19:48:26 2017
This reminds me of my rabbit when he was sitting on the eggs in the nest box...
Comment by Kayla Wed Mar 15 15:31:02 2017
I may have missed it. Did you say what variety you had grafted on?
Comment by Brian Wed Mar 15 09:26:56 2017
The bleach idea sounds tempting, but what are the implications of having a food crop sprayed with bleach?
Comment by Jennifer Quinn Tue Mar 14 14:56:07 2017
We are 3rd year hobbyists, making just under a gallon the past 2 years. We may get 2 gallons this year at the rate we're going. We've been boiling off 10 gallons a day and it freezes at night, or is under 40, or in the deep freeze as it is now. We're having the epic blizzard, so the half processed 7% sugar potful we have out there is patently biding its frozen solid time til the next round of caramelization. Sap capturing is now in a race with the sun, for chloryphyll production, to draw every last drop of the lovely clear sap, before it goes green. Making maple syrup is a beautiful, multi-week celebration of Spring coming in.
Comment by Sue Kaufman Tue Mar 14 10:58:39 2017
I've seen setups where there are black 55 gallon plastic drums filled with water and the seedling trays are on top of them. I wonder 1) how well that works and 2) whether that's a more energy efficient setup than what is shown here. Any thoughts?
Comment by Nayan Tue Mar 14 09:38:38 2017
Your post is worthy of Tim "the Tool Man" Taylor. :)
Comment by Nayan Mon Mar 13 15:49:31 2017

I use to keep a big 300L (roughly 80 gallons) freshwater aquarium, and the health of the fauna and flora, hinged exclusively on light, nutrient flows and temperature. People who couldn't obsess over their set-ups, generally opted to locate their aquariums, near a window or under a glass skylight in the roof. This compensated for when they couldn't get the right light bulb, or it broke and it took a while to replace. That extra sunlight (not direct) really helps.

I'm wondering if the problem with your hydroponics system however, is actually temperature? Mentioning the slow growth is what tipped me off. Do you have an aquarium heater in the fish tank, and a thermometer to measure the temperature? Minnows can survive in really cool water, where as your plants that rely on the nutrients and water flow, won't grow without the right heat.

I would expect the onions to die, given they don't like to have consistent moisture around their bulbs. I've heard better success is had with onions, on a growing mat, where their bulb is kept above the water level (via a styrafoam mat) while their roots receive the moisture and nutrients, underneath. If they weren't getting enough light to dry out their bulbs, they would have succumb to moisture rotting them.

I suspect, like you, the low nutrients with establishing a new tank, is a major culprit too.

Comment by Chris Sun Mar 12 22:58:25 2017

Hi Anna and Mark,

I had a die off in my 'poor man's' aquaponic system also.

For me it seemed to begin with one plant dying. Next the fish starting dying.

In that plant's container I had a zinc rod and a copper pipe to monitor soil activity by measuring the voltage difference between them.

Maybe either the zinc or the copper or both caused both problems. I have since read that using galvanized (zinc) hardware can cause problems later on in aquaponic systems so its use is not recommended.

I would seem that this is what happened to me.

In my case, the fish had been living for several years with no problems.

The soil in that pot now measures 'dead'. Like you would expect.

Thanks to you both for your wonderful website.

warm regards, John

Comment by John Sun Mar 12 08:49:35 2017
Uh oh... you can blame me for talking you in to a new tank! On the other hand, if this was an older truck with a carburetor engine, you could have just bungee corded a jerry can in the bed and run the hose to the fuel pump in to it!
Comment by Eric Sat Mar 11 17:19:57 2017
My peach tree is loaded with blooms sigh better luck next year...
Comment by kayla Sat Mar 11 14:40:16 2017
Adrianne, I'd be very concerned about using a flame on poison ivy. I know that you should NEVER burn poison ivy (as in a brush pile) because the smoke will carry the urushiol into your lungs and it can be extremely dangerous (if not fatal).
Comment by Rhonda from Baddeck Sat Mar 11 13:14:14 2017
If you bolt the two braces together it will be even stiffer.
Comment by Chris Sat Mar 11 13:10:15 2017
This idea is absolutely brilliant! Please continue to post as your progress continues. I am fixated this year on working through ideas for 'in the row' and 'between the row' chicken tractors. Why should I weed and hoe if I can get smart enough to manage chickens who not only love to scratch and hoe, but eat the weeds in the process? So - I'm eagerly awaiting your next steps! Thanks so much for showing us your creative juice at work.
Comment by Tim Inman Sat Mar 11 09:35:04 2017
I know you read- lots. Try 'Bellwether' by Connie Willis. Very cleverly written SF/romance short novel about sheep bellwethers. Female scientist hero for answers.
Comment by alan reid Fri Mar 10 12:30:10 2017
I would agree with a previous comment. If you cannot safely ground it,take the part off and do the work. It will result in a cleaner job in any case.
Comment by Sam Fri Mar 10 06:37:20 2017

Sorry for reopening this very old post, but it's such an interesting subject.

Any news?

Comment by Michael Thu Mar 9 14:56:48 2017

It's my understanding that flame weeders work a lot better if the flame is contained within a hood, or open-bottom metal box. And they are also only useful in killing just-emerged weeds, which is why they are used mostly to prepare stale seedbeds.

JM Fortier uses a flame weeder with a box the width of his beds, equipped with several flame nozzles.

Comment by Ray A Thu Mar 9 13:49:56 2017
This is so smart!
Comment by Kayla Thu Mar 9 10:42:00 2017