Monthly Archives: April 2013

Ad-hoc solar dehydrator

It’s crude, looks rude, but it is a pieced together testing prototype.

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There will be revisions as I found out just how much heat this generates and drying effectiveness.

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***UPDATE – 05/01/13***
With overcast to partly skies, temperature hovering near 70°F, the internal temperature has ranged from 100°-110°F+.

I consider this fairly decent as the backing of this prototype is only double layered 4mil plastic which I spray painted black. There are weeks to go yet before any real harvesting is done to make use of a dehydrator so that gives plenty of time for the heat to set the paint and all fumes to clear.

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Nature’s gifts

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29Apr13 Weather

Current regional radar. The soil had been powdery when I worked the last plot and I had gone through one of my collection barrels and halfway into another. This will be a boon

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Growing food from scraps

What foods have you grown from scraps before or are doing so currently?
The ability to grow food from cooking scraps is literally mind blowing considering the amount tossed at every meal. Bell peppers or any plant where the  seeds or tops are typically discarded provide a ready made source for one to grow their own foods.

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Recovered strawberry seeds

Here are strawberry seeds recovered from the tops of strawberries that would typically find their way into the trash or compost bucket. I set the tops aside to dry out then came back and deseeded them. Now it will be to a wet cloth to see if I can get an adequate number to sprout and then plant in a garden plot.
So a reminder, any food where you would discard the seeds can possibly give you the chance to never have to buy them again. Other sources are potatoes, even pineapples!

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Gardener Humor

I say don’t be hating…

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2013 Gardening – Plot Four

I had all intentions of starting this plot and knew it would be a booger once I did.

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Plot 4 Start

I marked off ten by twelve feet for this plot. The main type of grass through my yards is centipede and if you aren’t familiar with it the root system is extensive once it has had a decade to establish itself. I chose to tackle removal with the trusted hoe you see propped up there.  The picture above was taken two hours into the task.

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Combined with the tasks of grass and root removal was the issue of levelness. I went by sight and used a garden rake to come as close to level doing so after hoeing as much out as possible.  High side ended up being dropped three inches. The shot above is five hours of removal and leveling.

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I started this morning around seven, first picture was at nine, second at twelve and the one above six this evening. I planted the eighteen Rainbow Glass Gem corn kernels I set in wet paper towels and placed inside a Ziploc bag Wednesday to have sprouted for planting. I decided to go companion planting in a square foot method.
I varied straight and crook neck squash, peas, beans, eggplant, watermelon in this section and have my fingers crossed.
Tomorrow I’ll jump back into this plot again looking to finish out my RGG corn then on the opposite side begin with sweet corn. I have plenty of bean, squash, watermelon and eggplant seed remaining so it may be another full day. The thoughts of how rewarding all this labor can be already has my mouth watering and everything going well promises to be more than enough to fill my cupboard.

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Carolina moon through the pines.

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Swamp Fox Moon

Enough said

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No matter the path you choose…

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Belief structures hold key points upon which they are based. No matter which you should decide to follow, if the essence is ignored then you are still lost.

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Profitable gardening

Ever wonder roughly what kind of profit could roughly be made from home gardening?

Vegetable USD Value/SF
Cilantro $ 21.20
Arugula-Roquette $ 20.92
Green Salad Mix $ 17.55
Chives $ 16.40
Dill $ 16.40
Lettuce $ 16.20
Tomato, Cherry, small & medium $ 15.57
Turnip $ 9.90
Tomato, large $ 9.50
Squash, Winter $ 8.40
Tomatillo $ 8.00
Cucumber $ 7.74
Basil $ 6.63
Radish, Red $ 6.22
Pumpkin $ 6.20
Chard, Swiss $ 6.14
Celery $ 6.00
Squash, Summer $ 5.96
Choi $ 5.70
Peas, Snow $ 4.50
Pepper, Jalapeno $ 4.50
Squash, Summer, Zucchini $ 4.17
Onion, Bunching $ 4.14
Pepper, Bell $ 3.60
Brussels Sprouts $ 3.59
Carrots $ 3.56
Rhubarb $ 3.25
Squash, Winter, Butternut $ 3.20
Kale $ 3.07
Grass, Lemon $ 3.00
Peas, English $ 3.00
Onion, Bulb $ 2.63
Radish, White $ 2.60
Bean, Bush $ 2.51
Peas, Edible Pod $ 2.50
Artichoke, Globe $ 2.40
Cabbage, Chinese Napa $ 2.24
Squash, Winter, Delicata $ 2.10
Spinach, Spring/Fall $ 1.80
Leeks $ 1.75
Potatoes $ 1.50
Parsnips $ 1.50
Garlic $ 1.37
Squash, Summer, Yellow $ 1.34
Parsley $ 1.31
Corn $ 1.25
Squash, Winter, Acorn $ 1.20
Squash, Winter, Hubbard $ 1.20
Eggplant $ 1.10
Greens, Mustard $ 1.10
Rutabaga $ 1.00
Beet $ 0.89
Cabbage, Savoy $ 0.80
Broccoli $ 0.80
Kohlrabi $ 0.75
Cauliflower $ 0.60
Broccoli, Chinese $ 0.60
Cabbage $ 0.50

Information from The Cheap Vegetable Gardener, and remember prices will vary by geographic areas and demand.

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Always forward

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Always forward

Facing that which we fear is the only way to begin to conquer it.

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Morning beauty

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When I wake up and am trying to pierce the morning’s mind fog I’ve found that nature can provide wonderful stimulus.

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A walk around the yard returns that sense of wonder and marvelment.

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Take the time in your day to be reminded of the amazing thing we call life.

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