Sunday, April 20, 2014

Straw

Since I have to hand water my small garden, I will use straw as a mulch. I have plenty left from last year for my chickens and it should help retain water in my frames. So this got me thinking.

I've not tried the straw as a mulch, but if it helps the soil retain water, then it can't hurt. One article I read says with straw mulch, the author only has to water once a week. If I can reduce having to water to every 2-3 days, save my old bones the twear and tear. Since I don't belive everything I read (and live in the show me state), I will give it try.

Just buying survival seed doesn't cut it. I've got plenty of experice gardening in Ohio, not so much in Missouri. Ohio always got plenty of rain, here not so much. So I am still working on getting gardening here worked out. If I had a well, no problem. Hand watering strains my body.

I am getting too old to carry a bunch of water by hand. A little I can handle. So based on what I've read, adding plenty of straw might reduce my water carrying alot. So I intend keep plenty of straw on hand. I know it's simple, should have thought on this before. But you can't think of everything all the time. Life is a step by step learning expeience.

Hopefully I will get this all worked out one of these years...

Saturday, April 19, 2014

The only constant is change

I was in court this last Thursday as I am suing my neighbor. My unwanted nieghbor hired a third rate attorney. Who has filed 3 Motions to Dismiss and will soon be fiilg a 4th. I have the judge tied up as I know his Achillies heel. The oppostion thinks I am the one who is tied up. Of course I am playing chess and the niebors attorney is playing tiddly winks. He's just not smart enough to see it, YET. Dealing with me is like walking through a mine field. I construct traps within traps for the unwary.

I am not a lawyer but learned long ago that most lawyers aren't that bright. The law is not rocket science or any where close. Written to obfiscate and be subject to interpretation, but not all that complicated. More people are acting as Pro Se litigants these days. Anyone with a higher 3 digit IQ can easily figure it all out.
It does take experience, which can only be learned the hard way if you become your own lawyer, but it has personally been well worth the sacrifice for me. I laugh at those who threaten to sue me and put a hurting on those I do sue.
I figured out long ago that lawyers belong to the circle jerk club. Since I am not nor do I want to be a member, I tend to be able to mess up their best laid plans. Learning all this has cost me over the years, but I am able to wreck havic on my emenies. A life without challenges is not a good life. You must challenge life, struggle and reach daily for some unattainable goal. Else your life is meaningless. That's my belief.
My neighbor crossed a line he should have NEVER crossed, I will keep him tied up in court for years. I am vindictive that way. He pays an attorney, I don't. My cost in this lawsuit has been hardly anything. Now on to change. I moved out here to get away from his kind. (D). This ain't (D) country and only a fool of that ilk would bring their stupidity back in these hills. Can't fix stupid.
Most people take the path of least resistance. They want and must have that normalcy bias in their lives. They refuse to get out of thier comfort zones. That's what the above is really all about. I am a fighter, life gave no other option. Instead of accepting that, I get up and do war with the world daily. I know no other way.
If you not reaching for some goal, you are merely existing, living out your days to no end. Fine if you're a sheeple, but not if you love life and the pursuit of happiness.
Embrace change, it's your best friend. Go with the flow only if it benifits you, but fight like hell when you've been wronged. Only sheep allow themselves to be herded and we know how sheep end up, usually with mint jelly.
Around here I am still making my little 7 acre homestead a home. Always some improvement to be made. I have picked up some more plants, at 4 for a Buck, it's hard not too. I got some sun sugar tomatoes. These plants can grow to 7'-9' tall and produce a 100 cherry tomatoes per plant. Nothing like pulling a cherry tomato off the vine and popping it into the mouth.
Change is good.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Ohms Law

Electrons always take the path of least resistence. Same can be said of people.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Spinach Mustard

I planted my lettuce and spinach mustard in my 4'x4' frame. Both are popping up after 7 days. Spinach Mustard (mustard Spinach) grows super fast. It is leafy plant like lettuce. Tastes fantastic in a salad. I tried it last year and fell in love with it.

You can get it 4 packets for $1 at Dollar General. Good stuff in my opinion. Nutrient rich.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Heirloom vs Hybrids vs GMO

 Heirloom and Hybrids are OK. GMO I stay away from. Heirloom are plants that haven't been modified. Hybrids are cross breed plants. Remember Gregor Mendel.
Hybrid plants are simply crossbred plants, X amount of crossbreeding occurs naturally anyway. Creating a hybrid plant is simply speeding up and directing the process. Two compatible plants might not crossbbreed naturally seperated by distance. Bringing the two together makes cross breeding possible. Unfortunaetly hybrid plants don't alway pass the traits to successive generations.

GMO is going in and modifying the plants at a gentic level. This I believe could have unintended consequences. Cross breeding is a fairly natural process, compatible plants follow the natuaral rules of selection. GMO's pervert this process. I am not convinced this is good. Too much Science these days has become junk science in my opinion. I am all for sound science, but we see countless examples these days of the perversion of sound scienctific principles. A topic for another discussion.

So I stick to heirloom plants and hybrid plants. It's my preference. I wasn't sure about hybrids until I looked into them, so I am passing on my thoughts on the subject.

Hybrid seed doesn't always breed true, which means if you keep the seed from last year, it might not maintain it's disired charactistics. This is why heirloom plants are best as they breed true if harvesting seed is important to you. But eating hybrid plants is fine with me. Just perfer heirloom to seeds if growing from seed. Since I get my hybrid plants 4/$1, I don't much care.

This isn't meant to be a scientific analyzes, it's just my opinion. Some of the plants I bought recently are hybrids. I thought I'd spend some time looking into it. Like many people I didn't understand the difference before I took a look see.....

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Square Foot Gardening

I can't say I've tried this method. But will give it a try. While I can haul in water and do for household use, I need a well. I hadn't planned on doing much of a garden this year. Still don't. But will grow a very small one. I had some frames left over from last year. A 4'x4' and a 4'x8' one.

I have moved the 4/x4' out of my fenced area, filled it with dirt and planted it with lettuce and spinach mustard. I love a salad with spinach mustard. Grows FAST and tastes great.

I will square off the 4'x8' frame into one foot squares. I have started collecting plants, growing a few seeds inside. But as I said in the last post, I can get 4 fplants for a buck. So these will go in the 4'x8' frame (once the threat of frost subsides). So far I have bought

4 supersonic tomato plants
4 yellow tomatoes
4 Jalapenos
4 Habaneros
4 Bell peppers
8 candy onions
4 cucumbers

The cucumbers will fill the N side and be grown vertically. The tomatoes will go along the outside of the garden fence about 6' W of the frames. I keep my remaining dog in the fenced area of my garden.

I had 2 dogs stolen and suspect the "people" who bought the property next to mine. I suspect them as my dogs went missing 3 weeks after these low life scum moved in. Went into town one day and haven't seen my 2 dogs since. They didn't run off on their own, someone had to take them...

Since the frames and my tomatoes will be just outside the fence, my dog should keep the plant munchers away (saw 5 deer outside my window this morning). I will plant the remaining squares with the above mentioned plants, plus whatever else I can squeeze in.

Since I have to haul in water, this should work out OK. I can park my Suburban just about 10 feet from the frames and water these easily enough by hand. Dump some water in the watering can and hand water.

The frames are 48 square feet and the tomatoes will run parallel to the frames. Even I should be able to water these by hand. For those who may not know, I am pretty crippled up. I ain't making excuses, just telling it like it is. So just growing a piddly little garden some times is hard on my old worn out body. I get around with my cane, but too much walking takes it's toll. Just moving the frames and soil put me in a world of hurt. It ain't fun getting old.

But being a tough old SOB, I fight through the pain and get done what I can. I don't like taking pain pills, I only take them when ABSOLUTELY necessary. So this is why I have reduced the garden size down so dramatically. Evey step I take is minimized and planned.

Again, I ain't making excuses or looking for sympathy, I have always told it like it is. When I was younger I could have hand watered and not worked up a sweat, time takes it's toll on your body. Young folks don't grok that, old folks understand it all to well.

So I am going to give this square foot gardening thing a try. I still have my grapes and strawberries growing, but these are close. If things work out, I might be able to drill a well this year. TIme will tell. But this year I am cutting way back. So far this garden has cost me $9 for the above plants. I am repurposing things here and there.

I will likely buy some more plants. The season is just beginning here. In the next month the Mennonite store will have even more plants. I want a few more mint varieties. I have regular mint and orange mint. Makes for a relaxing tea. Some stevia might be good to buy. I grow herbs also, nothing like basil, rosemary and thyme right out of the garden on pizza...

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Understanding the Prepper Mindset

When you live out in the sticks, you better be prepared. It's part of the lifestyle, not some fad. Where I live it's 12 miles to the nearest town. While the nearest gas station/store is only 3 miles off, it's prices are too high. Ok if need a must have item.

The power goes out often enough, in the dead of winter you better be prepared. I do most of my grocery shopping at a place 25 miles North of here ran by the Mennonites. Got to fight with the horse and buggy's to find a parking spot. Frankly I couldn't afford to eat like a King if I didn't go there to buy the bulk of my food. Can get a pound of yeast for like $4.65. Compare that to your small packets at a grocery store. I can buy a pork loin like $3 something, easily feeds me and my wife. We ain't small people either. A big old bag of high gluten flour $5 something (about 10lbs). A bag of peperoni for $1.35. A big bag of Breakfast Sausage for under $5. All kind of stuff cheap. I can walk out of there with a full cart for $50, try that most grocery stores !!!

I bought 20 plants there yesterday. 4 for $1. 4 plants per container. I got 8 tomato plants, 12 pepper plants all for $5. I am not growing much of a garden this year, but a few things I will plant. These are quality plants I might add, not garbage plants. I can get 80 plants for only $20 !!!

So it's common practice out here to keep a well stocked pantry. To keep lanterns, rechargeable batteries galore, battery powered radios, lights, phones, tablets. Always have back up heating sources, keep plenty of water stocked, etc. It's not prepping really, just the way rural people do things. The way most Americans used to do things.

My parents grew up during the great depression and that's how they did things. Kept a pantry, had things they needed to survive. Out here you need food, water, tools of all sorts, camping gear, lanterns, sleeping bags, etc.

Our power went out last winter, 3 days without power. Highs in the 20's. Lows in the single digits. No problem. I have two 0 degree sleeping bags. Stayed warm a bug in a rug.

So prepping is SOP (standard operating procedure) out here. A way of life. That's the mindset America should have never lost.