Godless in the garden

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Godless in the garden

Welcome to gardeners, growers of veggies, fruits, flowers, and trees, backyard hen enthusiasts, worm farmers, & composters!

Location: Planet Earth
Members: 181
Latest Activity: 15 hours ago

Welcome to Eden!

If you like to dig in the dirt, grow flowers, putter around the yard, dig in the kitchen garden, raise backyard hens, or just like daydreaming about the garden, this is the place.

Many topics have been discussed in the archive.  Revive a topic by adding your 2¢ or start a new topic.

Everyone likes photos of the garden, so if you like to share photos of your prize dahlia, your favorite hen, or your first tomato, go right ahead!

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Comment by Daniel W on July 17, 2017 at 9:44am

Joan, thank you so much for all of the information!  Ning is wanting to go for it and build a dome greenhouse.  Im not sure Im up to such a project right now.  I will continue looking into it, and your answers were really helpful.

Comment by kathy: ky on July 17, 2017 at 12:17am
Joan, I've seen some really bad results from Botox and plastic surgery. I'll take a natural look at any age.
There are about two acres of meadow then about two acres of trees behind our two acres with trees so the mines are hidden from our view. The reason I talk in acres is because our neighbors own the property that surrounds us and I know what they own. And where the property lines are. They own the strip behind us and up to the mine. Altogether they have forty acres but most of it lies beside us. And the mine is a very small outfit. They are stripping where Peabody Mines had a larger outfit over thirty years ago. Back when there were Union mines. They are all non union now. When they​ first opened they blasted once a day but it was small scale stuff.
They've almost worked it out so they no longer blast and the workforce is down to maybe only twenty or less. When they​ first started the dust was worse than usual but we have a very long, gravel, driveway and we get a bit of dust from it when we drive in or out. The trees made a big difference in muffling the sounds and keep the dust down. It's not something​ I like but it would be a lot worse if it was a larger outfit or an underground mine.

Thomas, Massey is behind them after you trace through several shill corporation. They file bankruptcy protection and reopen under a different name. Just your everyday crappy, screw the workforce kind of deals that are common place business practices now : (
Comment by Joan Denoo on July 16, 2017 at 10:33pm

Daniel, your harvest is beautiful, as always. Such healthy potatoes and greens, and onions. Isn't harvest time wonderful?!

I like your descriptions of raising your beds; it does make a big difference on the energy used by the gardener. I like the idea of concrete blocks at ground level; your wood should last a bit longer if they are not sitting on wet soil. I think 4' x 8' or longer is perfect and you will be relieved of the mowing the paths. 

Bertold, thanks for special AlterNet piec, "Gardening As One Way to Fight Trump-Era Hopelessness: One family's effort to grow their way out of despair." I also like your affirmation, "Surprise of all surprises, Donald Trump is making the corn grow in Connecticut!"

Kathy, I had to laugh when you wrote about BOTOX. I was at the doctor's office last week and one of the office personnel clearly had botox lips, kind of Ethiopian Suri looking in an odd sort of way. If I were a man I surely would not want to kiss her lumpy, big lips.

What is it like to live so close to a strip mine? How is the air, water, and forest looking, or do you have forests? Any other problems they cause you? What are options for getting internet service?

Thomas Murray, you wrote, "The only possible positive outcome of strip mining is if they started in Grant County, Kentucky." Can you tell us more? Why should strip mining start in Grant Co., Kentucky? 

Randy, I wish I could sit down and have a nice ear of corn, picked cooked, and eaten within minutes. We used to start the kettle boiling and then go to the garden, pick and shuck the golden treasures, and get them into the pot. I grew beautiful corn in my Spokane garden when it was all vegetables. I planted corn among the perennials when I turned the spot into a meditation garden, after the kids all fledged. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on July 16, 2017 at 8:55pm

Page 3 

Was it hard to put together?

Larry and Laura hired two firefighters from their District 8 Volunteer Fire Dept. I don’t remember how long it took them to complete it. 

Laura prepared the base by leveling off the ground, brought in a truck load of gravel, and then the men built the structure. I heard no swearing or saw no throwing of tools in frustration, so I assume it was a matter of putting the puzzle together. 

I directed the filling of the boxes with soil: MY SOIL!

I have several composting methods

1) Basic Composter – a self-contained unit with a lid that keeps raccoons and skunks out. 

2) Spinning Composter – is near the kitchen so it is easy to bring my compost bucket out to it. Mine is a double bin rotating one. Very fast composter. Although spinning composters cost a little more than basic models, they cook the compost quicker. 

~ Gardening Know How: Best Compost Bins: Tips For Choosing The Perfect Compost Bin https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/composting/basics/choosing-compost...

3) Wire cage we happened to have and into which I through all the big stuff from the garden. It is a long-term compost heap. It fills fast and then sinks down to almost nothing. 

4) Composting Worm Farm. This requires rather small buckets of kitchen waste. Coffee grounds go in here, and some dry carbon, i.e. straw, paper, cardboard, egg cartons, fruit, and vegetables. I keep it in the greenhouse during the summer and in the garage in winter. Don’t want those red worms to die.  

5) Composted brown manure from chicken coops, horse barns, and cow barns. Friends bring in whatever they have to spare so that I have a hot manure composting all the time.

Larry installed an automatic water timer and hoses from the water tank to the beds. We turned that off when the water began to freeze, especially the night freezes.

Thank you for any input!

You are very welcome. 

Joan

Gardening As One Way to Fight Trump-Era Hopelessness

One family's effort to grow their way out of despair.

By Frida Berrigan / TomDispatch

July 11, 2017, 7:26 AM GMT

https://www.alternet.org/food/gardening-one-way-fight-trump-era-hop...

Comment by Joan Denoo on July 16, 2017 at 8:54pm

Page 2

Do you get greens or vegetables mid winter?  

Only collard greens; they tend to be tough and strong tasting and so I use them judiciously.  

Does it overheat in summer? 

Yes, we use a sun screen cover over the south side and top in the heat of summer. 

Any problems with plant disease or bugs?  

I had to learn now to control for mold and fungus. I use diatomatious Earth.  

Mid July I start an Epsom salt drench q/3weeks, 1 gal water: 1 T Epson Salt until Oct. We have toads the kids catch in the terrace garden; they get the grasshoppers that sometimes get in. They also like the pupa and bugs on the plants or on the ground. I have seen no signs of aphids.

What plants do well?  Which ones dont?

I tried a lot of different brassicas and they didn’t do well for me. I used old seed for a mixture of vegetables and they were not successful. I am going to try fresh heirloom seeds next year. 

The successful plants were beans coming on now, dill, coriander, mint, Italian flat leaf parsley, kale, collards, peas, basil, garlic, lettuce, spinach, indeterminate tomatoes, and potatoes. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on July 16, 2017 at 8:52pm

Daniel W’s questions about geodesic dome

Joan, you seem happy with your greenhouse.  

Would you go wth the same company again?

YES! it was expensive, I paid less for my home 40+ years ago. My car cost less. I can no long drive and I can’t live alone, so I tearfully give up my beautiful sanctuary and create one here in the North woods. 

Growing Spaces 

(970) 731-2120

P.O. Box 5518

1868 B Majestic Dr.

Pagosa Springs, CO 81147

Email: info@growingspaces.com

Hours: Monday-Friday 8am to 5p

Did you need a builders permit?  

Not in the forest 15 miles from nearest town. 

Are there problems with it?

We close it down four months, November through February because of our harsh winters. We can still harvest collard greens into the winter using them in soups and stews. In Spring, I start seeds inside where I can control the temperature, then take the seed flats to the greenhouse in May and either plant them in there, or plant some in the outside raised beds, depending on the night temperatures.

I just ate my first tomato from the greenhouse and it is delicious. 

What to you use for heat, if anything? 

There is a large tank of water designed to collect and absorb heat. It gets full of algae and four huge snails take care of that problem. It freezes on the top making about a one-inch layer of ice that we keep breaking up. We also put two wood planks in the water; they tend to break the ice so ice does not break the tank. 

The solar is inadequate for deep winter in NE WA. Larry got two large batteries and even that did not give us more time. We tried propane, but it was too expensive for what food we were getting. 

Comment by Daniel W on July 15, 2017 at 5:52pm
Thanks for the comments. I enjoy sharing. I dont think Im ambitious, but time will come soon enough when I cant do as much.

Not really gardening, but some photos today from Hood River self picking farms about an hour east of Portland in the Columbia River gorge. We picked blueberries and bought fresh peaches and cherries.

Comment by kathy: ky on July 15, 2017 at 11:44am
Daniel, your ambition is amazing. I don't know how you do it. I have so many trees planted vegetables isn't possible. I have a large sunflower bed on one slope in a hugelkulture bed. And lots of flowers planted at random places over the two acres.
I hated that you have to turn your garden at your former home back into a lawn. When I see plain lawns I start remaking them into gardens in my mind.
Comment by Daniel W on July 15, 2017 at 11:02am

Randy, I've planted dill many times, but it doesn't do well here and doesn't go wild.  I would like it if it did.  I also have a couple of volunteer sunflowers.  Enjoy them.  Sorry about your sweet corn.  I'm still not sure how mine will do.  Most things are a few weeks later this year.

In my kitchen garden, I have 12 raised beds, constructed from 2 x 6 boards, each 1 foot high, dimensions 4 feet by 8 feet.  They are 2 feet apart, which is wide enough for a waking mower but too narrow for a riding mower, for the paths in between.   During peak grass and weed growing season, keeping the paths mowed is a challenge and I have less stamina and more aches and pains this year.  I also noted that higher beds, made from repurposed concrete blocks, are much easier to weed and cultivate.  At 18 inches high, as opposed to a foot high, they are not that much taller, but it makes a big difference for me.

So, I decided to gradually take apart the 2 middle rows of raised beds, and construct one middle row in the center.  That will give grass aisles that are easy to mow with riding mower.  I'll use any usable boards from the deconstructed raised beds, to raise the sides one board higher, on the remaining beds.  The same with the soil.  I also have 2 X 6 boards from an old deck that I replaced with trex decking, and can repurpose many of those.

On the tops of both sides, I also attached 2X6 boards flat, so I can sit or lean on them while tending the beds.  I found that also helped, with the cement block beds.

Here is the first of the taller sided raised beds.  They are not fancy, but that doesn't matter where I live.  The bottom level of boards still needs replacing, which is just a matter of unscrewing them and attaching replacements.  I'll do more as time and weather permit, and when the plants in them are harvested this fall.

After filling with soil, I realized that I now have a place to plant the summer-planted fall crops, turnips, Chinese radishes, Chinese cabbage.  So I planted seeds from my collection.   The seeds are a few years old, but I think they will grow.

Comment by Randall Smith on July 15, 2017 at 7:11am

Now that the rains have stopped, I'm able to get out in the garden and do some major weeding. Two "weeds" I leave alone are dill and about 5 sunflowers. I allow them to go to seed which perpetuates the plants each year. Of course, I use the dill. Birds eat the sunflower seeds.

Lettuce and spinach have bolted. Everything else (except sweetcorn) is coming along nicely.

Daniel, reading your comment here and on blogster indicates your garden is also "coming along nicely"! 

 

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