Archive for January, 2011

Chicken Coop & Raised Beds

Posted in Animal Husbandry, Gardening, Horticulture with tags , , , , , , on 2011/01/12 by rmolby
A permanent backyard chicken coop

Image via Wikipedia

Well, I used cereal box cardboard and newspaper to cover up all the major openings to my chicken coop, and that seems to keep the majority of the heat from the electric heater inside to at least keep the water dish from freezing.

I really need to get a portable chicken coop built that fits right on top of my raised bed frames. What this will allow me to do is to house my chicks in a much more wind and cold proof envelope, and the chickens will churn up and mix in their poop from the roost with the bedding material that is below in the raised bed frame.

I will have a trap door on all four sides of the coop so I can connect a chicken wire cage to any of the four sides of the coop to allow the chickens to also work a raised bed next to them that I have pulled out of production or is a brand new bed that needs to be weeded.

For the bedding material I will use a mixture of leaves, shredded newspaper and brown cardboard, as well as small sticks and branches on the very bottom.

I had this exact setup at my previous place, and it worked quite well. The resulting mix of chicken poop, paper, cardboard and some kitchen scraps all churned together by the chickens was a nice, fluffy, humus with a trace of topsoil and rough bits of wood chips. It had a nice earthy smell and was super rich and friable, perfect to side dress existing plants or plant heavy feeder plants right into it.

So, this will be my first project for the spring.

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Arctic cold front

Posted in Gardening, Horticulture with tags , , , on 2011/01/10 by rmolby

We have a massive arctic cold front moving in and its extremely cold already, and it supposed to drop to less than 10 degrees Fahrenheit tonight.

I hope my garlic that I got into the ground late last year makes it, and I still have to close up part of the crude chicken coop I have for my chickens to keep what little heat I can provide to them in. Hopefully I can get some of that done without freezing myself too bad.

I really should have worked on this the last few days.

Wish me luck

Spirituality

Posted in Gardening, Health, Home, Spirituality with tags , , , , , on 2011/01/07 by rmolby
Rudolf Steiner

Image via Wikipedia

I am not very religious, from the classical religious point of view. I don’t deny that God or a higher form of life exists, but I’m just not into the religion thing, however, I do consider myself spiritual, and will occasionally refer to the Bible and to God for examples of spirituality.

I will also refer to Biodynamics, as well as Waldorf Education, because it takes much of the spiritual world into consideration. The world would be such an empty space without spirituality, so we cannot ignore that part of us. However, so much of religion is stuck on “if I pray to God for forgiveness, all evil I commit or wrong I say or do will be made better, sins will be forgiven.”

I personally think that’s a cop-out so we can do as we please. That’s not what true spirituality is all about. True spirituality is about you being in touch with that greater “whatever” that you believe in. There are so many spiritual people from different faiths that can identify and personify the same good qualities. If you are truly spiritual, you won’t care which religion anyone is, you recognize that there is a good person with a spiritual soul, and you let them be with their faith, and accept them as a spiritual friend.

So, I may mention source material from various regions of the planet and their respective majority faiths if their books or beliefs have something to contribute to my discussions. This is something I learned with my Waldorf education, the way Rudolf Steiner explored many different belief systems and parts of the world, and used all this knowledge to define the idea of Biodynamics.

Biodynamics goes beyond the current “Organic” craze.  The organic trend is disconnected from any kind of spirituality. Don’t get me wrong, it’s going in the right direction if you are into being organic, but bring in certain spiritual and world physical aspects into organics, and you have Biodynamics.

So, I may or may not bring any of these subjects up from time to time, I thought this would make a nice introduction to my way of spiritual thinking and the Steineresque  way of life.

Raised Bed Gardening

Posted in Gardening, Horticulture with tags , , , , , , , on 2011/01/06 by rmolby
cordoning off square feet of our raised bed ga...

Image by the.sprouts via Flickr

This will be my second year at a new house with a new garden. Last year I didn’t have time to spend in the back yard for growing food crops. I hope this will change this year.

What I learning back at my old place is that no matter how bad your soil is, if you work with raised beds you can grow almost anything. In my case, I only moved  about 12 miles north, and the soil conditions are similar.

At the last place, I had heavy soil that had been good farm land and the clay was brown to black about 16 inches / 40 centimeters deep before I got into the really dense orange clay of our state.  At the new place, the orange stuff is only 3-4 inches deep except in a part of the back yard that used to be a vegetable garden, but that area had been rototilled and it’s not much better than the rest of the yard.

So, last year I put up three raised beds and I was able to rescue that much soil from the last place. I tried to grow some garlic, onions, tomatoes, peppers, dill and parsley, but almost all of it croaked from too much water, then too much heat. I did get some garlic and a few of the Stuttgarter Onion sets survived. I transplanted some of the garlic and the few survivor onions are still in the ground.

I put up another bed late in the fall, and ordered three garlic varieties but didn’t get them in the ground soon enough for it to take off, but these last few days, despite the really cold night time temps, the garlic is sprouting greens through the top of the mulch.

For the raised beds, I built them the way I had back at the old place, but I have been seeing some neat designs for cedar raised beds in some of the gardening magazines, and I think I will adopt their design idea of pegged corners, they require no screws for assembly, only a galvanized peg at each of the 4 corners and the ends of the board notched a certain way so they stack properly for pegging.

Anyway, tese were just some thoughts about my new gardening endeavors.

Constitution – Preample

Posted in Constitutional Liberty, Liberty with tags , , , , , , on 2011/01/06 by rmolby
The 13 colonies in 1775

Image via Wikipedia

This is to follow up on my previous post about the Constitution.

The Preamble of the Constitution was written to convey the dreams and hopes of the founding fathers and their fellow citizens, the common man, the people of the states. Here is the Preamble as written in the final draft that was signed by all the signatories:

Preamble

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

I took the liberty granted to me by the Constitution to rewrite the Preamble using a little more modern English to convey :

We, the people of the states united in the effort to establish a nation of liberty, hope to present this Constitution for the United States of America – in order to form a more perfect union, to establish justice, to insure domestic peacefulness and cooperation, to provide for the common defense, to promote the general prosperity and well-being, and to secure the blessings of freedom to ourselves and future generations.

So, this makes it a little more readable; and maybe a little easier to comprehend.

Anyway, there is quite a bit to the Preamble; even though it doesn’t grant any powers or rights, it just summarizes what the founding fathers hoped the new nation would become – a country where ANYONE could hope for freedom to do as they please – without violating anyone else’s rights to the same.

This means that you can say what you want, and do with your own property what you want, but don’t expect anyone to listen to you, or anyone not to steal your property if you don’t secure it or identify it as YOUR property. I will cover all this when I get to the Amendments.

Cheers.

United States Constitution

Posted in Constitutional Liberty, Liberty, Politics with tags , , , , , , , on 2011/01/02 by rmolby
Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer

Image via Wikipedia

Blogging, or standing on a soap box and telling others what you think, is a guaranteed right under the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution, or so people interpret this Amendment.

I plan on reading the entire constitution over the next few weeks, examining what the Constitution REALLY says, and then I will report what I find here.

Along with my own interpretation I will also comment on how our “inalienable  human rights” are being slowly taken away, and how our founding father looked at some of these issues and why they wrote the content of the constitution the way they did.

Reading and comprehending the Constitution of the United States of America should be mandatory, required reading in all United States Schools.  Having grown up in Socialist West Germany (before the unification) I have a somewhat different point of view when it comes to education and human rights, and I cannot understand how a vast portion of the United States of America populace is so blasé about their vanishing rights and freedoms that ultimately define us as uniquely “American.”

It is this unique level of liberty that brings so many people to this country in the first place!

I don’t like politics, but many people would probably classify me as a Constitutionalist or Libertarian, but I really don’t side with any political party, I rather consider myself an Independent, so if you want to comment on that, please leave politics out of the picture.

However, leaving politics out of the picture still leaves the fact that I believe in certain rights and freedoms that are part of these political affiliations, so I cannot completely disassociate myself from the politics.

Because of this I will also be studying up on the actions and policies of the political groups and commenting my thoughts on the whole political business how it relates to me and how it may affect my political leanings in the future.

Anyway, keep your eyes peeled for future posts regarding these subject matters and my feelings on what it means to be an American.

Happy New Year

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on 2011/01/01 by rmolby
This is apparently the actual ball which will ...

Image via Wikipedia

Hope everyone had a great start into the new year.

I was at home with the wife and our son’s fiancée watching the ball drop on TV.

So far the wife and I spent our first day of the year sleeping a lot so we could catch up on our sleep deprivation induced by the crazy Christmas preparations.

Anyway, I wish everyone a happy and productive new year.

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