Archive for the Horticulture Category

Riparian Buffer Zones

Posted in Computer Networking, Gardening, Health, Horticulture, Internet, Liberty, Nature with tags , , , , , , , on 2012/04/20 by rmolby
View of urban runoff discharging to coastal waters

View of urban runoff discharging to coastal waters (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have noticed how when civilization encroaches on the riparian buffer zones, that the watershed always suffers in process, eventually to be reduced to storm water runoff channels and canals.

Being someone that can see the environmental impact of people on nature, I am always appalled by the results of civilization. Lately, I have noticed the effect a lot when looking at Google Maps or Google Earth.

Lately I have thought I should start a non-profit organisation that finds angel investors that are willing to invest into the non-profit, and use the funds to buy up Riparian Buffers Zones, and hire environmentally aware people to live on these lands and to manage them, gathering runoff from the city and filtering it, catching the nastiness like engine oil and tire dust and other gook, and then using the partially decontaminated water to grow fuel crops on small patches and parcels of the purchased land.

In some areas of cities, the runoff ditches would not lend themselves to living on them, but the easement strips along those runoff channels and ditches constantly require mowing and weed management, so they could be used to grow more fuel crops instead, so with some smart water channeling, the runoff water would grow crops, the crops would convert waste water and organic compounds in the water into fertilizer and irrigation, and the fuel crops in turn could be used to run part of the operation’s equipment and vehicles, either in the form of converting the biomass into ethanol to run in E85 vehicles, or turned into Syn-Gas to run electric generation plants which then power some of the operation’s infrastructure.

There are other positive side effects to doing this, one of which is turning areas that normally grow invasive or allergy causing weeds that use up precious fossil fuels (for weed control), into areas that produce a product for the amount of fossil fuels utilized to manage the areas, and if managed properly, these areas would not require toxic weed management techniques or supplies, and the land would slowly become less and less toxic as the biological action in the soil can begin to break down the toxic compounds already deposited on the land.

Then, if we use IP enabled remote sensors and a WiFi private LAN to manage and record the sensor data, we can monitor and manage the Riparian Buffer Zone(s) with minimal personnel, and concentrate on planting and harvesting fuel crops and improving the environment.

Anyway, I needed to record this phase of my though processes, hopefully I can pursue this further in future posts.

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.

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

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.

Garlic followup

Posted in Food, Gardening, Health, Horticulture with tags , , , on 2010/11/27 by rmolby
Harvesting garlic, from Tacuinum Sanitatis, ca...

Image via Wikipedia

When I went out to feed the chickens today I noticed a few little green tips sticking out of the mulch in the garlic bed I planted earlier in the month… so despite the two hard freezes we have had the garlic is slowly growing… that’s good, I know that the garlic is building a good root system before it gets consistently too cold for it to grow further.

Back again…! Trip to Dallas. AeroGardens.

Posted in Employer Work, Gardening, Health, Horticulture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 2010/11/26 by rmolby
Fresh vegetables are important components of a...

Image via Wikipedia

Well, it’s been  over a week again since my last post…

I’ve been soooooo busy its not even funny… and its been wearing on me, to say the least!

I need to get back to eating a good organic, high fiber diet to regain my digestive health.

I think I will try to blog about my nutritional diet, and how it is currently affecting me negatively, as well as some of the things I’ve been reading about and what I want to try out.

I will be leaving on Sunday afternoon for Dallas to go to a training class to get educated on MS Server 2008, namely the MS6419 class, which will progress me towards my MCITP Certification which will hopefully get me a raise.

While in Dallas I will be living on Whole Foods Market food, and that will do my body good. I hope this will give me the boost I need to get back on track, and when I get back home I will have to try to stay on track as much as I can.

One way I hope to accomplish this is by buying one of the AeroGarden Extra hydroponic gardens to grow tomatoes, and an AeroGarden 7 to grow salad greens at work, and to ensure that the veggies are getting a good nutrition I will be adding some Greensand to the nutrient mix to provide additional micro-nutrients to the veggies.

I will probably start with the AeroGarden Extra, which currently costs $160. I figure once the tomato plants start bearing fruit, I should recoup my cost of the garden in about 26 weeks (6 months), because these tomatoes will replace the small tubs of cherry or grape tomatoes that run about $6 a tub! After that, all I will have is the running cost of nutrients to add to the garden.

Once I’m on track to paying for this unit, I will order the  AeroGarden 7 which is $99 and will probably take about a year to pay for since it will replace about $2-3 a week in lettuce purchases, but the lettuce and tomatoes will be fresh off the plant and make this totally worth it.

Finally I would like to buy an AeroGarden SpaceSaver 6 to complete my setup at work so I can grow fresh herbs. This unit will go into the corner of my unused desk space, and the other two units will be on either side, and the space in front of them will become my eating surface. I figure this will take me about 6-8 months to setup, and pay for itself in about a year since I will be making way less trips to the store, saving in fuel and time in addition to better, and fresher food, or so I hope.

More later…

Garlic

Posted in Gardening, Horticulture with tags , , , , , , , on 2010/11/08 by rmolby
An Ikea garlic press, with pressed garlic.

Image via Wikipedia

About a month ago I realized it was the end of the garlic ordering season, so I bounced from website to website trying to find some of my favorite garlic varieties, but was having a hard time finding a site that still had at least three of them left. I finally settled on ordering from Filaree Farm. I remembered reading about the farm in an article somewhere, and they still had quite a bit of garlic on hand, but only one variety that I was looking for, Red Toch, and artichoke variety.

So I settled on ordering St. Helens, a Silverskin variety, and Chopaka Mountain, another artichoke variety. Here are the descriptions of the three varieties from the Filaree web site:

RED TOCH – Collected in Rep. of Georgia by Hanelt about 1988, near the town of Tochliavri. Cloves streaked medium to light with red and pink. Very popular. Part # G-RT-BA

CHOPAKA MOUNTAIN – Large bulbed vigorous strain grown in an isolated mountain valley for the past 10 years. We believe original stock was actually Inchelium Red. Mild but lingering flavor with a tingle. Part # G-CHPK-LQA

ST. HELENS – Baked it has a subtle, nutty flavor. Hot raw. Heirloom from Western WA. Part # G-STH-LQA

Anyway, yesterday I was able to get a 4’x4′ bed lined with cardboard, laid down some leaf mould, a layer of Miracle Grow Organic Vegetable soil, placed the garlic cloves, topped them with some more of the organic soil, then placed a layer of freshly vacuumed and chopped fall leaf matter as a mulch, and watered the whole mess.

Hopefully I got them in the ground on time since we’ve been getting some cold night time temps!

Urban Lake Effect

Urban Lake Effect: Thoughts on planning, travel, transportation, & family influenced by water, weather and geography.

SunKlub International

Realistic all-inclusive retirement living

Riccccardo's Blog

of Thoughts and Rantings

Thought Catalog

Thought Catalog is a digital youth culture magazine dedicated to your stories and ideas.

vagabondhq.com

Camping, Hiking, & Outdoor Gear that's Functional, Well Reviewed, & Aesthetically Pleasing!

roger hollander

News and Opinion

VegetableGardenHub.com

of Thoughts and Rantings

Bryan Haines

How to run an online business (w/ Bryan & Dena)

gregfallis.com

it's this or get a real job

The Survival Podcast

of Thoughts and Rantings

ApocoBunko

Hunker with our Bunkers!

mp3andipod

Just another Wordpress.com weblog

%d bloggers like this: