Quotes

I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man.
-George Washington (1732-1799)

long handled tool storage

Nine years ago I turned some thrift store bedframes into tool storage – see tool jackstraws. Today the need for something like that finally made the top of my ToDo list, but the salvage bedframes were not in my inventory.

On the other hand, I have a bunch of hog panel scraps lying about…

The plan is quite similar. Construction substantially easier. Results are every bit as rewarding. I suspect that hog panels, also known as livestock panels are more readily available to most folks.

Dang this went quick and easy.

If you are looking for […]

planting moon

The moon over Montana will be full on Thursday, May 7th.

Bob Cannard, my organic gardening mentor encouraged us to plant on every full moon. He did not touch on whether or not he believed it cosmically favored the plants themselves. His expressed reasoning was that it organized us to do regular plantings whether that was seeds, starts, bare-root, or transplants. Get something started every full moon and you will always have a good garden. From long before there were computers, televisions and electric lights, people on nature-driven cycles have called the first full moon of May, […]

honeydew

I enjoy my carnivorous plants a heckuva lot more than flypaper, to understate more than a little. The wonderful folks at California Carnivores provide insect control for me year after year.

My honeydew from a couple years ago is still among the living – and presumably happy campers in my home.

Officially known as drosera capensis, my honeydew is highly photogenic and wonderful for keeping little flying insects in check.

Peter D’Amato, founder and principle at California Carnivores told me the little dewdrops at the end of the leaf hairs are ounce-for-ounce the stickiest substance known to […]

Spring full moon

My organic gardening mentor encouraged us to plant on every full moon. Not so much that it favored the plants themselves, but because it organized us to do regular plantings whether that was seeds, bare-root, or transplants. Get something started every full moon and you will always have a good garden.

In Montana that assumes you have a greenhouse. We simply have too much winter cold to allow year-round outdoor plantings. What a blessed place I grew up in where we could. Lovely Nature was unfortunately taken over by lazy minds.

Today, March 9th is a full moon. That […]

outsmarting an egg sucking chicken

An occasional problem on The Easter Egg Chicken Ranch is the egg eating hen.

When one breaks open an egg in the nest and discovers interesting goo inside, she may never lose that interest. It is a high-order problem as there is no way I know of to figure out who the culprit is and remove the problem from the flock.

This ugliness cropped up recently with a new batch of hens coming on line.

My flock now stands at 2 great, peaceful, compatible roosters and 18 hens who know which rooster is the leader of her personal […]

pepper flowers

It is January first in Montana (yeah, kind-of everywhere today 😉 ) with temperatures ranging from the morning low of -1 to a high of 20 degrees Fahrenheit. When I raised the thermal drapes this morning there was ice six inches up the south windows.

The one tomato plant and one of my sweet bell peppers on my studio bench are starting to bud into flowers!

I think I planted the seeds in pots on the October full moon; the 24th. I definitely planted lettuce, spinach, basil and oregano in the greenhouse on that day, but can […]

Winterizing Outdoor Power Equipment

 

Prepare your outdoor power equipment now for the seasons to come. (NAPS)

(NAPSI)—When the colder weather blows in, it’s often time to put away such outdoor power equipment as lawn mowers, leaf blowers, and trimmers, and get out snow throwers, generators and other small-engine equipment.

Questions To Consider

To help home and business owners prepare for this change, the experts at the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), an international trade association representing more than 100 power equipment, engine and utility vehicle manufacturers and suppliers, suggest you ask yourself seven questions:

 

1. Do you know how to […]

semi-auto mousetrap, Gen III

In response to what I have experienced as a chicken rancher, I just built my third semi-auto mousetrap.

The first one had to be inside a chicken coop that had baby chicks along with adult chickens and roosters. I had to study up to figure out a way to eliminate a major community of mice who were eating chicken feed, drinking their water and, most importantly depositing mouse poop all over everything.

The odds on their creating an unhealthy environment were very high.

While the essence of this device came from other people, I adapted, adjust […]

asparagus

One might assume I am a pessimist expecting TEOTWAWKI too soon to do any long-term projects.

That one would be wrong.

While I continue my drive to be prepared for Bilderberg-engineered disasters, I also recognize their schemes continue to be frustrated by events beyond their control.

So I prune fruit trees, plant blueberries and build an asparagus bed as if I might get to enjoy the fruits of that labor two or more years hence.

Yesterday it was blueberries. Today asparagus.

On the north side of our year-round creek I put four roots each in their own discrete beds. […]

machete

I would guess I have had a favorite machete for over 30 years. Since our move that began in August I do not think I have seen it – Not lost, but not found yet either. However, I needed my machete sooner rather than whenever.

Searching the Internet uncovers many choices, a large number of which do not understand the tool … more charitably, their customers have something else in mind. A machete is a brush hacking instrument. It may serve other roles, but first, foremost, primarily, by design, and by function it must be a good brush hacking […]

Easter Egg Chicken Ranch improvements

The bad news: A predator took out our good rooster leaving us with two lonely hens putting out a fifth of our regular egg consumption (Missy loves to include lots of eggs in our diet … fresh are particularly welcome).

Though I don’t remember ever enjoying the crowing of our rooster, we surprisingly missed it right away.

I patched a hole in the fence that had a trail of now deceased rooster feathers, reviewed the heck out of our game camera, but still do not know who or what took him out.

I was amazed to run across an […]

growing garden with snow covered ground

It is a joy to putter in the garden, looking out its windows at snow covered ground.

Thanks to significant time, effort and expenditure, year-round gardening is now possible in my corner of Montana.

While our picnic table looks a bit shy of inviting, my spinach crop is stellar. In honor of the March 2nd full moon, and thanking those seeds that germinated in the last two plantings this year, I planted some carrots and cabbage seeds today.

I also added a couple more lights to extend and brighten the days for my babies.

You can, by the […]