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

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May 2017
S M T W T F S
 
     


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Entrance to trailer.

Planting greens so close to our trailer has seemed to work at making them an unsafe choice for local deer passing through our yard.

In the future we want to add a large container in this area to catch water coming off the trailer roof.

Posted Thu May 24 06:00:24 2018 Tags:
Squash seedlings

I was gone Friday through Sunday at a writing retreat, and the garden exploded both inside and out while I was away.

Ripe strawberry

Ripening...

Heading broccoli

Heading...

Tomato flowers

Flowering...

Potted eggplant and brussels sprouts

Which means it's time to leave the keyboard, weed, and transplant!

Posted Wed May 23 06:00:23 2018 Tags:
Bracing a post to be secured with Sika foam.

The Sika foam seems adequate after doing a few test holes.

I'm still electing to use concrete on the gate posts due to the extra tension.

Posted Tue May 22 06:00:24 2018 Tags:
Pinching blueberry flowers
Pinching raspberry flowersAs painful as it is, year one in a new garden is all about long-term thinking. So when both the raspberries and the blueberries that we set out this spring developed flower buds...I pinched them off.

The idea is that a new perennial is better off spending its limited energy on roots and leaves rather than on fruits. So no berries from that patch until next year.

The everbearing raspberries we planted last fall, in contrast, have enjoyed a bit more time to get their feet under them. So when they bloom --- probably for the fall crop --- we'll gladly let those flowers grow. Meanwhile last fall's strawberries are already ripening. In the new few days, I expect to pick our first Ohio-grown fruit!
Posted Mon May 21 06:36:00 2018 Tags:
Walden Game screen shot.

Walden, the new game I blogged about last year is now on the Sony Playstation 4.

It seems like a unique way to experience the classic book.

We'd love to hear from any readers that get a chance to play the Walden game.

Posted Sun May 20 06:00:27 2018 Tags:
Wood chip pile

Anna: I've been putting wood chips in the garden aisles and I'm running through the pile fast. By this time next week, we're going to have to hunt down more biomass!

Mark: That wood-chip pile isn't half empty...it's half full.

Posted Sat May 19 06:00:23 2018 Tags:
Six inch bit on a two person post hole auger.

Our second day of operating the two person post hole digger went a lot better.

The first day we were using an 8 inch bit that the guy at the rental store told us was a 6 inch bit. There is a HUGE difference. We will never even look at an 8 inch bit again.

The big lesson here is to take a tape measure to the rental store and make sure you get the 6 inch bit. We got the second half of our post holes done in a fraction of the time with much less effort. I guess you might need the 8 inch bit if you were using 6x6 inch posts.

Posted Fri May 18 06:00:29 2018 Tags:
Stock tank herb planter

During a recent trip to Mark's mom's house (which we still call "going to Ohio"...even though we now live in Ohio), I stumbled across a couple of innovative solutions for garden infrastructure that I thought you might enjoy. First, the no-brainer --- an old stock tank with holes in the bottom filled with compost to create an herb planter. Pretty and functional!

Pallet mulching

Next, I snuck over into her neighbor's yard to snap a shot of this interesting pallet mulch/pathway solution. I'll be curious to see how this does in a month or two --- I have a gut feeling it's going to be one of those solutions that looks better on paper than it works in reality. How do I know? I've tried dozens of those solutions myself!

Posted Thu May 17 06:00:31 2018 Tags:
Two man post hole auger.

We rented this two person post hole auger to dig our garden fence post holes.

After doing a few holes we decided to choose the half day rental which was enough time to get half way done. It was very hard work and we discovered doing that many holes in one morning was pretty close to our physical limit.

Posted Wed May 16 06:01:07 2018 Tags:
OU learning garden

If you're ever in need of a visual feast, I highly recommend dropping by Ohio University's Learning Garden on West State Street. The soil is rich and well watered, the beds perfectly weeded, and even cover crops can be sighted amid the strawberries and leafy greens.

OU greenhouse

You can also buy produce here dirt cheap --- Mark brought home a huge bag of various mustards for a buck...which included a fifty-cent tip. I hear strawberries will be ripe in the very near future.

Mesclun mix

I have to admit I was too engrossed in the beautiful colors and patterns to make useful observations for the most part. I did note, however, how much happier their broccoli are than mine. I was hoping that the current scraggly showing was due to the weirdness of the spring this year, but it sounds like it's due to the other variable changed between last spring and this one --- handwatering instead of mechanized irrigation. After the fence will come steady water!

Posted Tue May 15 06:00:26 2018 Tags:

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