Thursday, February 26, 2015

Orchid Flowers

My orchid flowered! I was hoping to get a picture of all three flowers at once. But the first two are about faded now and the third is just now opening up. This is my first ever orchid. So to get it to flower is a big accomplishment for me.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Moringa Update

It took the moringa seeds about another week to week and a half to sprout out of the soil once I planted them. I was actually starting to get concerned that they had stopped developing after I put them in. But they all came up so YAY! Soon I'm going to need to transplant them into something bigger.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Ok, The Video of the Property Has Been Posted! Go Watch It!

Sprouting Seeds and Aquaponics Experiments

Two posts in one day. Who'd thunk it? Well, it'll technically be the next day by the time I finish this post. But anyway...

I said I'd update you guys when the seeds in the baggies started sprouting. I was getting ready to go to bed and realized I hadn't checked on the seeds today. The guava seeds looked normal. But when I went to look at the Morinaga seeds, they looked slightly bigger than they were before. So I took them out of the baggie and unfolded the paper towel and sure enough..... ROOTS!

I'd read that these can take some time to sprout so I wasn't expecting them to be doing so already. It's only been a little over a week. But I guess the paper towel in baggie method works really well with these. I think it also might have helped that I scraped the edge of the seeds with my finger nail. It's called scarification and it's meant to slightly damage the shell of the seed to help it absorb water and sprout. Too bad the guava seeds are so tiny or I could have tried it with those too.

Here's a closer look at the little baby roots. Only 4 of the 5 seeds have actually sprouted but I'm sure the 5th one won't be far behind.

Since I wasn't expecting these to be ready yet, I didn't really have any planters ready for them. So instead I grabbed two planters that weren't being used at the moment. One was one of the planters from the greens container that a spinach plant had sprouted in but died. The other was the planter that my old swee pepper had been growing in until it finally gave up the ghost. (For anybody that doesn't know, the swee pepper is just a sweet pepper but I forgot the T when I wrote the label. That lost T must have been a sign because it was the plant that has lasted the longest out of the 4 I planted that year.)

I've had that swee pepper plant for about 2 years and it had done pretty good in just a window sill. I wanted to continue those genetics and see how well the next generation did. So I saved seeds from the last couple of peppers it had produced.

I'll be trying out one or two of these some time this summer. Possibly in my next experiment.

Speaking of which, hubby has ok'd me getting some fish for my little 10 gallon fish tank so I can run a little aquaponics experiment. I'm wanting to see if plants will do better with the aquaponics water wicking up from the bottom, being dripped on top of the media or if it has to be delivered as close to the root zone as possible. Mainly this experiment will be to see if the nutrients can be wicked up from the bottom or if it just wicks up the water.

 I will be using coconut coir as the media 1) for it's absorptive factor to provide the wicking and 2) because it's known as a neutral media and won't affect the plants or water chemistry. The only nutrients the plants will get will be from the fish waste. The first plants in the experiment will be red Russian kale as just a greens trial. Then next I'll try a fruiting plant. That's when I'll try the swee pepper seeds.

As for fish, I'll be using swordtails. Mostly because I later plan on breeding them as food/treat for the tilapia I'll have in the big aquaponics. Getting the swordtails now will give me a head start. And also because I had swordtails when I was a kid and they hold fond memories for me.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaanyway. I really need to get to bed. So good night (or morning) and I will see you later. *waves*

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Some New Thoughts

Since most of my projects are on hold right now, I've been doing a lot of thinking. Well, I'm always thinking but here are some of my current thoughts.

For one, the shed/aquaponics house/chicken house/rabbit house isn't going to be cordwood like I'd originally planned. Since the property is already completely cleared, there are no trees for me to use. Yes, I could get it from other sources. But that's going to take time to get the much wood. And we all know I'm not big on patience.

So instead I'm going to build it out of plywood. The frame will be pretty much be an extension of the greenhouse's frame. Then I'll enclose the shed portion with the plywood, put rockwool insulation on the inside, and then put plywood over that. This should provide plenty of warmth in the winter to keep the tilapia comfortable.

Speaking of structures, I'm probably going to do the structures first. Like the shed, the greenhouse, maybe some covered shelters for the livestock.

I'm also thinking of doing the whole perimeter of the property in electrified poly tape. I'd like to put in t-posts to attach the poly tape to. That'll contain sheep, couple cows and maybe some horses pretty easy. Plus, I think the poly tape will look a little nicer then just electrified wire. Later on we can put a wire livestock fencing on the back side of it but keep the poly tape on it to keep the animals off of it. Particularly goats. We won't have goats until we get the livestock fencing since they're known to be escape artists and I don't think poly tape alone will contain them.

But with all the work I have ahead of me with building the structures and the fencing. I think that will keep me busy for the first year. So I don't think we'll have any livestock until maybe the following spring. We may get some smaller animals like rabbits and chickens though. Especially since I plan on doing the greenhouse/shed first and they'll be housed in the shed part.

The raised beds are something I'm going to work on gradually since I'm not going to have a whole lot of prep time in the spring. If I started on the raised beds first, I still might not get them together and filled in time for planting this season. So I'll probably throw a couple together and do the rest of my gardening in the buckets and containers I already have.

But then again, all of this may change once we get the house in place and start living there and get a feel for the land.

But tomorrow we're going to go back to the property and talk to the contractor about what the surveyor marked and said. We were going to do that today but tomorrow is a better day for him and he's a nice guy so we were happy to accommodate him. But I'm going to take my cameras with me and I'll be posting a video about what he says and just to show off the property how it looks before anything is built on it. It will be nice to see in a couple of years how things change as we get all our plans going.

Anyway, talk to yall later and keep an eye out for that video some time this weekend.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Change of Plans on the Indoor Container

So I've changed my mind about starting more greens in the container. Instead I'm going to use it to start some of this year's summer crops. Tomatoes, sweet peppers, etc. Things that need a longer growing season and benefit from a head start. I'll have to go through my seeds to decide what I need to start early and what I can start in the spring.

But, even still, I won't be starting tomatoes and whatever else until the beginning of March. So I've still got about a month. Not sure what I'm going to do with the container until then. I might keep turning the lights on every morning and maintain what's already in there. Or I might just pull everything and save the electricity. Yeah, I think that's what I'll do. No sense wasting electricity on plants that I'm not going to do anything with.

Friday, January 23, 2015

My Mind is Somewhere Else

So we've come back to the waiting game again. Waiting to get the mortgage loan finalized, sending them all the little things the underwriters require, waiting for the house to be built, waiting to move, etc etc etc. Since I can't really start a whole lot of seedlings yet, I've decided to start some that are going to take some time sprouting anyway.

Here we have pineapple guava seeds.

These are moringa seeds.

And that's the seeds for now. But I do have other things 'sprouting'. I found this little guy yesterday. It's no bigger than a pea right now but it's so cute. I think another one will develop in the spot right next to it and I'm so excited.

I still haven't restarted my indoor greens container. My brain has been on the house and the land so much lately that I've kind of lost interest in it. I want so badly to be on that land and finally fulfilling all the plans that I've had for so many years. But tomorrow I think I will force myself to actually get the replanting done. I'll be sure to take pictures too. Actually, no I won't. You guy know what soil looks like and that's pretty much all you'll see until things start to sprout again. But I'll definitely give you guys an update to let you know how the seedlings do this time.

If you remember, last time I hadn't put the foil up yet so they got leggy. After I put the foil in, they did much better. Especially the pac choi which you can see in the pic. The red russian kale doesn't look very good and I think the spinach sprouted but then died off. So I might do mostly pac choi this next time around with maybe one or two kale and spinach just to see if this time will be different. And I'll be doing purslane also.

 So for now I think I'll leave you with something that I worked on today to try to keep my mind busy and less stir crazy.