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Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

PostPosted: August 29th, 2017, 8:50 pm
by doogles
Here are a couple of more interesting plants. The Slipper Orchid is flowering NOW, but the Bat Plant is an old shot.

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Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

PostPosted: August 30th, 2017, 10:13 am
by Athena
Oh my goodness Doogles, those are beautiful flowers.

Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

PostPosted: August 30th, 2017, 10:42 am
by Athena
Serpent » August 28th, 2017, 2:08 pm wrote:
Athena » August 28th, 2017, 2:43 pm wrote:Why aren't the rags and blankets drying?

Because every time they're nearly dry, there comes another three days of rain.

The cats may need them again this winter.

I'm fervently hoping not. The boys we had fixed can come inside; though one of them is noisy, hyperactive and stupid, the other is quite domesticated, and there is a vacancy since my favourite old lady died (Her even older sister is still in pretty good shape at 17 - these barn cats are durable!) Tiny is still living on the back porch, relatively untamed, but he has his own little house.

Wash them with baking soda and put them in a dryer. Baking soda is good for removing mold.

Bleccch! While the rains have pretty much washed away the feral tomcat piss, that stuff isn't coming into the house. We haven't had a dryer since we switched over to solar power eight years ago - it's an energy-gobbling luxury - and just at the mo, no washing machine, either. The over-designed, over-complicated Whirlpool died at not even eight years old (Remember when a washer was expected to work 20-25 years? While shopping for a new one, i came across two articles about major brand recalls.) and the new Amana (least bells and whistles) hasn't been delivered yet. We just about bend to washing our own underwear and socks by hand - zero chance we're wasting our little spare energy on foul rags.


A little off topic but fun to talk about living off the grid. You might consider something like this low-tech washing machine like the one in the link. But I think I would go even further back and replicate something from the past. I know I would have the one in the link, if I lived in a place that didn't have a laundry room a short distance from my apartment, or if I did a lot of camping. Or make a replication of a very old manual machine if I actually had my own place off the grid. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washing_machine

Low-tech & Low-impact
Non-electric washers offer a water- and energy-saving solution, conserving both resources and money. Who could ask for a better alternative?
These machines, which use the power of human energy, apply the simple technology of water pressure and high speed to quickly get out dirt and stains in minutes. No need to fret about exerting too much energy—a simple crank or foot pedal is all you need to use a non-electric washer, which will take the load off you.
They are smaller in size, which makes them portable, great for camping or traveling, and perfect for apartments, dorms or small living spaces, especially where there is no washing unit. (Laundromat costs add up quickly and most use the less-efficient top-load machines.)
Wonderwash
Patented pressure system forces water and detergent into fabric at high speed
Hand-crank powered (one turn per second)
Uses 1.5-6 quarts of water, depending on laundry size
Washing cycle: 10 seconds to 2 minutes
Washes up to 5 pounds of clothes (i.e. 10 shirts, 2-3 pairs of jeans, or 30 pairs socks)
Drain hose drains wash drum without needing to pick up machine
Cost: $45
Note: Wonderwash also makes a spin dryer

http://www.greencleaningmagazine.com/3- ... -machines/


How is it living off the grid? Should we start a thread for this? I really want to know more about your experience. I so wanted to get off the grid but my X could only think of reasons of why something couldn't be done. What a complete waste of intelligence. Laugh, what a miss match! I was getting all excited about making methane gas and wind power, etc., and his favorite activity seemed to be hanging in the bar and being social with all the ladies who also liked to hang in the bar. Now my body is not user-friendly, so I am afraid to be in a situation where I must be self-reliant. But if I had a good partner- I may give off the grid living a go.

Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

PostPosted: August 30th, 2017, 9:37 pm
by Serpent
Not ready to go manual; want something that can handle the quilts, coats and rugs. We did look for older and low-tech machines, but without any luck. We have plenty of water - good well; drain goes through septic tank and tile bed, back to the ground, and we always use cold water anyway, so that's not much of an issue.

How is it living off the grid?

We're not off the grid. We generate most of our own electricity, but have a converter as back-up: it kicks in at off-peak hydro period and tops up the batteries when there hasn't been enough sun - mostly in winter. (Need $3-15 worth of hydro a month, and pay $40+ for "delivery", tax, etc. -- insurance. Plus, we're growing older and will have to move at some point; want the house to saleable.) We use wood for heating - yes, burning and propane for cooking. And we still drive a normal car. Not all that squeaky-green!
Others, like Zetreque are doing better, i think.

Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

PostPosted: August 31st, 2017, 10:24 am
by Athena
Okay, I think a thread about living off the grid might succeed considering you and Zetreque have some experience with it and I have plenty of interest in it.

This thread has been pretty successful as a gardening thread, so I want to return to that. Right now I am cooking my tomatoes and peppers into a sauce that I plan to use for many things.

I have been enjoying the beets we grew this year and think if I continue gardening, I will plant more beets.

I am really annoyed with the grass that keeps producing seeds. With my back problem, weeding is a challenge for me so I rip off the seeding part of the grass but that isn't doing the job! I am afraid to mulch as I have done in the past because that encourages squash Beatles to make my plot home. I am thinking if I garden again, I will cover the ground with an expensive covering that allows water in and is suppose to prevent weeds. Does anyone have experience with that or another solution?

Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

PostPosted: August 31st, 2017, 3:50 pm
by Serpent
I've used cheap landscape fabric but didn't find all that effective. It helped some, but was easily displaced and torn. I think this stuff https://www.thespruce.com/how-to-install-landscape-fabrics-2132945 is meant to be used under an organic mulch or stone or gravel, rather than by itself. I kept the weeds down fairly well the first couple of months after we put in the new strawberry plants last summer. For winter, I covered them in raked leaves held down by twiggy branches (my reliable standby for all kinds of jobs). Once the strawberries going this spring, they could compete with everything but the most aggressive ragweed and nettles. (How like a sissy I feel, pulling those in my heavy gloves and recall my grandmother picking much bigger, tougher nettles with her brown, big-knuckled hands and throwing a bunch across a chopping block to cut up for the ducklings!)
This http://www.tubex.com/products/mulch-mats-weed-control-fabric.php looks more expensive and durable, but I'm pretty sure it would still provide plenty of shelter for slugs and bugs.

Perhaps a better, cheaper and more lasting option is finding the right tool or tools. Some suggestions - though, all but the last two look as if they require a lot of bending, they definitely come in long-handled variety. http://gardeningproductsreview.com/best-weeding-tools/

Here is an article you may find useful.
http://www.easydigging.com/easy_weeding.html

Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

PostPosted: September 5th, 2017, 12:09 pm
by Athena
The weed dragon garden torch is the most attractive tool to me. It could also be used to destroy bugs!

I didn't mulch to prevent weeds this summer because of the squash beetle that becomes a worse problem when a garden is mulched.

I can feel the heat rising. I better stop talking about gardening and go do it. I can get back to the thread after my work is done.

Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

PostPosted: September 11th, 2017, 8:04 am
by Infinite_Observer
I have a few acres of land in a unincorporated forest village I guess you could call it. Was thinking of starting a little garden and was wondering what would grow well in cold weather since winter will be here soon. I am guessing lettuce and potaters might do well. So far I am growing a jade plant to see if I have a green thumb or if I am a plant murderer, we shall see. Also I hear jade plants bring money into the household, seems legit to me!

Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

PostPosted: September 11th, 2017, 10:41 am
by Serpent
Infinite_Observer » September 11th, 2017, 7:04 am wrote:I have a few acres of land in a unincorporated forest village I guess you could call it. Was thinking of starting a little garden and was wondering what would grow well in cold weather since winter will be here soon. I am guessing lettuce and potaters might do well. So far I am growing a jade plant to see if I have a green thumb or if I am a plant murderer, we shall see. Also I hear jade plants bring money into the household, seems legit to me!

This: https://www.treehugger.com/lawn-garden/what-forest-garden.html is the kind of gardening you should start.
Not much doing in fall, of course, but it's a good time to plant shrubs: raspberries and blueberries do well in a cold climate; Saskatoon berries are hardy and need no maintenance once established.
Spinach and lettuce are cool-weather crops; you could just about get some mesclun in late October if you get those seeds in right now. Too late for root crops, unless you're starting parsnip and turnip for next year.
But there is a lot you can grow in hydroponic or window boxes, alongside the jade plant. Succulents are nearly indestructible, so you should do just fine.

A minute ago, there was a wonderful little Hobbit house in the advertising box under this one. It might come back.

Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

PostPosted: September 11th, 2017, 10:45 am
by Infinite_Observer
Thanks for the info! Will definately check out the site. Speaking of saskatoon berries I never heard of them ever until like an hour ago when I was looking up what pemmican is and read they mix those in with the meat so its funny. Like as soon as you hear about something you keep hearing about it more and more often. A phenomenon that occurs quite often in my life.

Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

PostPosted: September 11th, 2017, 11:53 am
by Serpent
Synchronicity!
I think it's about attention. You may have heard the word before, but it had no meaningful context for you, so it went right out the other ear. Once you're focused on a subject, or cluster of related subjects, the same word, idea or "meme" jumps out at you from everywhere.

Here is another good candidate https://www.starkbros.com/growing-guide/how-to-grow/berry-plants/jostaberry-plants
I've had fairly decent crops of gooseberry and currant in gravelly soil. My young blueberry bushes - for which I double-dug, composted and acidified a separate little plot - got destroyed in winter, so if you have lots of heavy snow, it's a good idea to provide them some protection - either plant them in among larger woody things or build a tent over them.

Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

PostPosted: September 14th, 2017, 6:07 pm
by Watson
My swish chard is the only thing doing very well, great even. Peppers and squash are just flowering and starting to produce fruit. I feel better knowing IO is just starting to plant. I feel better about my garden, this close to fall. I'm looking into a better soil for next year.

Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

PostPosted: October 9th, 2017, 8:36 am
by marcelbombka
You do not walk mushrooms? I have a forest near my house, grow beautiful boletus mushroom.

Re: Gardening: What are you growing ?

PostPosted: October 9th, 2017, 9:54 am
by Serpent
marcelbombka » October 9th, 2017, 7:36 am wrote:You do not walk mushrooms? I have a forest near my house, grow beautiful boletus mushroom.

I've got a field guide, but have never been brave enough to eat what I picked. Except puffballs, which we didn't like, and morels that are just starting to spread near the house (I don't poach my neighbours' patch) that I want to encourage for next spring.

I have officially resigned from cultivating oysters. Four consecutive attempts, taking every recommended precaution, resulted in green slimy fungus-infested coffee grounds surrounded by tiny flies. I have reclaimed that cupboard for pantry space. If we get an irresistible craving for oyster mushrooms, I'll just have to grit my remaining teeth and pay $6 at Zehr's.