This and That

Whatever this and that is for the day

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


Container garden [ate todays harvest]

 Two radishes and two scallions. Maybe I will check and see what flower petals are edible. I heard about eating flower petals but thought it was only old wives tales.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


Container garden [cost factor]

I mentioned in previous post that it cost $375.00 plus or minus to set up the container garden. Now that it is setup for planting it should last a great many years. The wooden containers will probably rot to the point of being unusable at some point in the future.

The yearly cost after setup should be only for seeds, ferlizer Big Grin and products for pest and treatment of plant ailments.

Expanding the container count could also add to the cost.

Chalk it all up to being a hobby, learning experience and having my own fresh vegetables and some flower plants for admiration.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017


Container garden [harvesting today]

Just in the yard checking on things. The radishes [ Raphanus sativus] finally grew some roots large enough to harvest for my salad tonight. The bunching onions [AKA scallions] have a couple plants that look large enough for my salad tonight.

A couple radishes and a couple scallions will be in my salad tonight.

Tonight's harvest feast being my first real harvest since starting cost me about $375.00 +- and four months of learning container gardening with more to learn and a few dollars more for supplies to get next years growing season off to a good start.

The flower plants are doing well. The pansies I dead headed and trimmed back has one of the two remaining pansy plants with one flower in full bloom.

The rest of the vegetable plants are still alive. Struggling along with cool weather now.

Monday, November 27, 2017


See this knife

Swedish fish filet knife


I have one that was made in Finland. Sharpest knife you ever want to see. Honed sharp as a razor. The steel in those knives are grade a number one.

I got mine at a yard sale for something like 5 or 10 dollars. Mine has a wooden handle. I have a two sided wet stone with honing oil so I can sharpen knives to slice a piece of paper with one stroke.

I learned how to hone knives when I was young for obvious reasons living on a farm.

Sunday, November 26, 2017


Our bad ass farm dog.

Yep, we had a bad ass farm dog. That dog was a woodchuck hunter among the best. He would sneak up on a woodchuck and the woodchuck would sit up on his hind legs when it spotted the dog. Our dog would see that and then start running circles around the woodchuck. The woodchuck would pivot around on his hind legs at the speed the dog was circling him. The woodchuck would get all dizzy and fall over and our dog would go in for the kill grabbing the woodchuck by the neck and breaking it.
Woodchucks are bad if they took up residence in the cow pasture. Woodchucks dig and entry hole on an angle and an exit hole vertically. A cow could step into the hole and break a leg and it would be all over for the cow. Best to see the woodchuck meet their demise rather than a valuable cow.

Saturday, November 25, 2017


Smart crows

We use to plant corn with what is called a corn planter which was attached to the back of the tractor planting two rows at a time. The planter was calibrated to drop a corn kernel in the row so far apart from the last kernel dropped. We would finish planting and sometimes a crow or crows would come swooping down to where we planted the corn kernels. The crows would see where the corn rows were and walk over and find a kernel of corn. Then you would see the crow walk the exact distance to the next kernel in the row and pluck it right out of the ground. They did not need to grub around in the corn row to find the next kernel as they knew the distance on how far apart the next kernel was planted.

Saturday, November 25, 2017


The bad ass rooster

We had chickens on the farm, hens and roosters. We kept maybe a hundred or less for eggs and eating to be sold. I use to feed the chickens occasionally, gather the eggs and what not to tend to the chicken flock.

Well we had this rooster one time who grew up thinking he was king sh!t and a bad ass. He got to the point where he would come charging at me and try to spur me accomplishing it a few times. I tolerated that for about one week and one day he came charging at me. I had a small club in my hand and clubbed that bad ass rooster up side the head. Need less to say that bad ass rooster ended up making the main ingredient in a pot of bad ass soup.

True story. Big Grin

Saturday, November 25, 2017


How I grew to be 6'1" tall

We use to have maybe three or four milk cows on the farm that we had for our own use.  The cows use to be put into stanchions at night which had a gutter on the tail end to catch the urine and excrement. We use to wheel it out with a wheel barrow building the manure pile. Generally every spring when it dried out enough we loaded up the manure spreader by hand. When it came time to load the manure spreader I took off my boots and shoes and plodded through the manure squeezing it between my toes and up to my ankles while loading the manure spreader.

Makes a young lad grow tall doing that. Green laugh

Saturday, November 25, 2017



When I got the roll of untreated burlap cloth and the untreated burlap bags for the container garden the aroma of the burlap brought back the memories of how I like the aroma of burlap. It also brought back memories of my youth on the farm of the fall harvesting season. We use to grow various grains on the farm, wheat, oats, buckwheat and maybe some rye. We use to hire a neighbor who had a combine. The combine cut the grain stalks and it went into to the combine to sort out the grain kernels which then went up to the bagging area of the combine which had two chutes for the grain to fall into burlap sacks.

I use to ride the combine maybe in my middle teens and be a bager.  The grain would fall down the chute into the burlap bag and when it got full enough I would trip the chute lever to the other chute with an empty burlap bag. I would then tie off the bag with the grain in it and drop it down a side chute to the ground to be picked up. Then I would set an empty burlap bag onto the chute for the next fill up.

The aroma of the burlap and the harvesting of the grain on a bright sunny day is a memory not forgotten.

Thursday, November 23, 2017


Historic Timber Frame Barn Raising

When I lived at home when I was young we had timber frame barns and the house was timber frame. I have a pretty fair memory of what the barn looked like inside and out. Think I will build a scale model of the old barn. I have a pretty good judgement of measurements. Our barn had four bents spaced about 20 feet apart making the barn about 60 feet long.

In this video it was all manpower and brute strength. When I was younger there were still some old timers around who worked on barn raisings. They told of the dangers that use to occur and there have been many accidents and deaths during barn raisings. 

You see in the video the men lifting up individual pieces for the barn. Solid timbers that long and that size are stinkin heavy. Those main timbers used in barns are something like 10 x 10 inches or there about.


Historic Timber Frame Barn Raising

Thursday, November 23, 2017


List of harvest festivals [happy Thanksgiving]


"This is a list of harvest festivals around the world."

Tuesday, November 21, 2017


New Hobby [changing the scale]

I thought about it and think the 1/12 scale might be a little small for me. I think I will go with the 1/6 scale. That is 1 inch equals 6 inches. Will have twice as much body to the scale lumber than 1/12 scale. May be easier to break down with an inch ruler.

1 inch = 6 inches
7/8 inch = 5 1/4 inches
3/4 inch = 4 1/2 inches
5/8 inch = 3 3/4 inches
1/2 inch = 3 inches
3/8 inch = 2 1/4 inches
1/4 inch = 1 1/2 inches
1/8 inch = 3/4 inches

I think I have that right doing brain calculations.

I may just do a farm spread layout in the backyard. Log cabin house, Post and beam barns with vertical board and batten siding, post and beam horse and implement shed with board and batten, Build the hen house and hawg pen the same style as the barns.

May even put in crops. They sell 1/6 scale seeds for 1/6 scale crops. Big Grin

Maybe see If I can get 1/6 scale live poultry and livestock. Green laugh

Monday, November 20, 2017


Thinking of another hobby [scale model style]

This is the style of log cabin I would use in my model.
See where the log timbers lay on top of each other rather than having a traditional gap between the logs. You can see the carpenter using a draw knife to cut an angle on each corner of the timber starting at the 0930 time mark. You can see the bevel cut through out the video on the outside of the cabin. You can see the bevel plainly at the 1128 time mark.
I may build a log cabin model to start with that is small like in the video. I would build the model so the roof can be removed to have access to the inside. If I was building a two story model I would have the roof section removable and the the second story removable for access to the first floor.
Would be a great doll house for the child in a grown up. A strong enough child should be able to lift off the sections. Would not be like a traditional doll house with one side open.

Traditional Finnish Log House Building Process

Monday, November 20, 2017


Thinking of another hobby

I have been thinking the last few days about scale modeling as a hobby. I was thinking of doing a log cabin in 1:12 scale.

I would like to build it the same as I would do during my construction days. Each log mitered for exterior walls, actual floor joist timbers mitered in. Scaled plank flooring. Roof rafters modeled just like actual rafters. Could even build a fireplace using scaled sized stone material. Interior walls I would just use probably solid wood of some sort.

I would purchase scale sized windows and doors.

I was looking at scale sized furniture and it would cost a size able amount of money to furnish the model. Could run into the thousands to furnish the whole model.

I will just stick with building the model to scale and purchasing the scale size windows and doors.

I was searching the net this morning and found an abundance of scale model supplies.

Thursday, November 16, 2017


Container garden [no frost yet]

Has not reached 32 degrees yet so the plants are pretty much dormant unless the daytime temperature rises to give them a jolt of energy.

Have not done anything in gardening line in last week or so except maybe give them some water. Pretty much shut down operations until seed planting sometime in January. Will probably will wait until January or early February to do the steam cooking on the container mix.

Sunday, November 12, 2017


Garden sounds

Back on the farm we use to plant corn [sweet & field corn]. The corn would come up and the growing conditions were just right you could sit in the corn patch at night when the daily background noises were gone you could hear the corn stalks growing.

You think seeds and plants do not think? Think again. You ever see a kernel of oats in its husks with the two feelers sticking out. If that oat seed was laying on top of the ground those two feelers would reach down to the ground and push the oat seed down into the ground.

You ever watch leaves on a tree before a rain storm? The leaves will turn themselves over.

Sunday, November 12, 2017


Container garden [soil temperature]

Today's container soil temperature 52 degrees. Has dropped 10 degrees since November 2nd.

Saturday, November 11, 2017


Raised bed container garden

I have almost a full bag each of the mushroom mulch and raised bed soil leftover that I mentioned I was going to use for the mulch tea bin. Thinking last night instead of the tea bin I will build about a 30 inch square box 6 inches deep and set it on the ground out in back of the lot and put the leftover mulch and raised bed soil in it and plant some melons in it. I like muskmelon as that is what we called them back on the farm. The ones that have the webbing on them.

The melons are too long of vines for a container so they should do in the box and let the vines run over the edge of the box. Maybe save some leaves from this fall to spread around the box to keep the grass down.

It is quite sunny in the afternoon in back of the lot so that would give about 8 hours of direct sunlight.

Saturday, November 11, 2017


Container garden [The lettuce]

Transplanted the lettuce that I had started in the bunching onion bin into the pan I started the lettuce in at a later date yesterday. This morning I went out and spread about one half tbsp of bone meal ferlizerBig Grin into the pan and watered it in some.

The weather is chilling down now to about in the 40s at night and 50s & 60s during the day. That ends any more seed starting for this year. Will start seed planting for the spring transplanting during January. Will give them about 6 or 8 weeks growth before transplanting. Warms up pretty decent by the end of February.

Seen some decent size plastic storage containers at the dollar store with a lot of holes already in the sides. They were 15 1/2 inches square x 11 inches deep. That is about 11 gallons. About $6.50 each.

Thursday, November 9, 2017


Container garden [the plants took off]

About that bone meal I put on the plants a few days ago. The granules must have dissolved down into the soil. The Tomato plants have taken off like crazy. The Siberian tomato must have grown an inch the last couple days and one leaf has really taken in energy as it grew wicked fast.

The squash are so, so. Nothing to get excited about. They are growing but feels too cold for them now.

The pepper plant leaves are crinkling up. They look done for this year.

May transplant the lettuce into a ten inch pot in a couple days.

The bunching onions should be coming up shortly. Has been about ten days since I dropped the seed into the ground. If they come up in the container mix.

Flowers are doing fine.

Thursday, November 9, 2017


Container garden [the charcoal buster upper]

Got some ideas from you tube last night.

I will go with leaving the charcoal in the paper bag it came in, loosely wrap the paper bag with an old sheet I have that I have been cutting up for rags, loosely loop a rope around it from top to bottom. Place it on the driveway and run back and forth over it with the car tire. Check it by feel through the wrapping to see what size I have it down too. Finish off a larger chunks with my pointed end of my slate hammer.

I have done slate work on roofs in the past from complete installation to individual replacement.

Have a story to tell about their telling that charcoal will last for ages.
During my construction days I was digging soil out to put a footing in for a garage. I was down about 6 feet in yellow sandy soil that did not look disturbed for ages. Took a shovel full of soil and opened up a circle of charcoal that looked like an old campfire about 18 inches in diameter. There was charcoal dust as well as little pieces of charcoal. I did not see anything other than the charcoal from the campfire. Can you imagine how old that campfire was and who sat around it cooking their meal and maybe for warmth depending on the season at the time.

Another story about finding ancient things.
I was working as a laborer in my early years about 55 years ago for a builder installing pipelines in the new housing project. While down in the trench working about 6 feet down I spotted a flint spear head about 6 to 8 inches long and about 2 inches wide at the widest point. Can you imagine who the flint knapper was and the hunter who used and lost it somehow. Must have been ages ago before the white man arrived.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017


Container garden [charcoal percentage per container]

Looked around the net about biochar and its advantages and found quite useful information.

I will just add charcoal in my potting mix. will need to decide how small to bust up the charcoal.

I done a 10% calculation.

5 gallon potting mix, 10% charcoal=0.0024 cu yds = 0.48473766 gallons= rounding off @ 0.50 gallons = 8 cups



Found this calculator to come in handy.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017


Container garden [The charcoal saga continues]

Went to Walmart today for a few items and moseyed on over to the garden center where they keep the charcoal. Picked up a 15 1/2 pound bag of natural lump charcoal with no additives. My first bag I had gotten at the market which was natural charcoal which weighed 8 1/2 pounds and paid like $9.50 for it. I got today's 15 1/2 pound bag for $9.87.

I needed more charcoal for the two new containers I built and going to fill after I cook the potting mix in January or February or maybe sooner. I will take the charcoal I just purchased and bust it up into quarter size nuggets or less. May add more to the containers I already have charcoal in. I may just blend it into the top potting mix portion rather than have it layered between the top and bottom portion. When I remove the top portion and the charcoal layer of the containers already done to steam cook it will be mixed any how.

If I do any more new containers next year they will be 5 to 7 gallon plastic containers. I am not building any more wooden containers.

Busting up the lump charcoal should keep me entertained for awhile. After I get it busted up I will figure out the quantity by some unit of measure and portion it out for equal shares in each wooden container.

Sunday, November 5, 2017


Container garden [sunlight for the veggies]

Done a fair amount of snooping around sniffing out ways to get sunlight to the veggies and other sun loving plants. A lot of methods out there from mirrors to reflective material to make mirrors. I also seen where you can buy reflective material in fair size sheets to redirect the sun.

Looks like problem solved once I got to thinking about it.

While I was looking around I remembered an article I read some years ago about where they pull sunlight into a tube and down into the building from the roof top or where they need to put it to gather the sunlight. I think it was in Japan where they did it. Brightens the whole room. The tube was fitted on the inside with directional reflective material some how.

Maybe if I do a search for sun tube I may be able to find it.

Sunday, November 5, 2017


Container garden [sunlight for plants a problem for my back yard]

I have numerous trees in my backyard which is not very large to begin with. The patio deck area only gets sunlight in the morning for a few hours during the summer months. Now that it is fall the leaves are dropping but the growing season is about over for summer warm weather crops.

I have been thinking about this problem and thought about putting up convex mirrors in the yard to direct sunlight on the plants. Just done a search on using mirrors for directing sunlight on plants and found that it is done by gardeners. I only read one article this morning on using mirrors for the garden which was not too lengthy.

Looks like I may purchase some convex mirrors for directing sunlight on the plants. Done a search on convex mirrors and found they are expensive. Something like $40.00 and up.

Will need to find out about UV rays requirements for plants and whether mirrors redirect UV rays or they take away the UV rays. Also will need to find out if mirrors strengthen UV rays or not.

Saturday, November 4, 2017


Container garden [pansy stem rot again]

One of the pansy's had stem rot at the soil line again. Was reading this morning and some were saying that these nurseries pump them up with felizerBig Grin to make them look good for a sale. They were saying they started their own from seed and did not have this problem.

Gave the tomato and pepper plants a shot of bone meal yesterday afternoon.

Have not done much this week in the garden. Installed new screening in a screen frame for one of the windows Monday. Used the 36 inch screening I purchased as the frame I did was about 30 inches wide. A screen I did not plan on doing but found a quarter size hole in the screening. Still have the bigger screen frame to do when I get screening. Going to need to straighten the screen rail on one side.

Thursday, November 2, 2017


Container garden [soil temperature]

Got one of those internal probe thermometers at the market this morning. Soil temperature is at 62 to 65 degrees. Will use thermometer to monitor temperature especially during hot summer days.

Thinking of using light gray stone for mulch on top of the containers and wrap white cloth around the containers.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017


Container garden [is not like farmland or in the ground garden]

I came to the conclusion a container garden is totally different when it comes to the growing medium you use and how the ferlizerBig Grin is added for plant growth.

They are two totally different worlds.


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