Thursday, April 28, 2011

A secret source for prime compost material

Today I called Tom Thumb, a local grocery store, and asked to speak with the produce manager. I related to them that I was interested in what they did with their old produce and if I could have some to put into my compost bin.

If you're place is like mine, there is no way you can fill your compost bin to the top with just the lawn clippings and garden refuse from your own family's consumption.

I have tried a few ways to add to my piles. My neighbor owns a landscaping company and he regularly donates bags of leaves to the pile that compliment my lawn clippings (every other cut) and my garden and table scraps. Oak and elm are excellent brown (carbon) material for compost bins.

Today after work, I stopped by the grocery store and they had a large box of lettuce waiting for me to pick up! I can stop by weekly and pick up their refuse. Just think of all those nutrients adding to my soil! Iceberg, mixed lettuce leaves and spinach were what I was given. I'm hoping to get other vegetables in the future.

Speaking of my compost, I just emptied out last year's bin and applied a thick topping to all my garden spots and my apple trees. The dirt was so dark and rich and teeming with worms, I just know my plants are going to love it. BTW, I use free pallets to make two bins- one for each year, and rotate them as it takes about a year to cook it down to dirt.

Thursday, April 21, 2011



Doesn’t look much like a U.S. Air force C-130 to me.  Again excellent reporting by our new agencies.  This hat tip goes to “JSC” for the excellent observation.

My fence blew down in the last big storm that blew through Texas.  I can only imagine what the winds did to the fires. I wonder how you prepare for fire…  They were interview some couples on TV from Possum Kingdom who said their house had burned to the ground.  I hope they had insurance, but wow- talk about a setback.




Friday, April 8, 2011

Garden report

I have potatoes, lettuce, corn, green beans, peas, squash, cucumber, onions and peppers growing in my 72 sqft of garden space. I'm planting intensively this year with peas and beans surrounding each stalk of corn. The lettuce came up on its own (surprise!).

I staggered my planting my about 3 weeks with 2 of the beds, so that should extend my harvest time. These are seeds that I got from the link on the column. They are now 1 year old and have been kept in my fridge. I had about 20% not sprout. Not sure it this is average or not, but that's what I experienced. The first year, when they were fresh, they all sprouted. I still have plenty of seeds left and will use them again next year. We'll see how that goes.

What I did was, when I noticed they weren't sprouting, I just stuck another seed in the same spot about a week or so after the first planting and those are doing fine.

My apple trees (all three) got blossoms within a week of each other. I think there was enough overlap that they could pollinate each other, but they are still only 3 years old, so I don't know if I'll get apples this year or not. Texas is still due for another cold snap, but with how crazy the weather has been, I'm hoping that it's already come and gone. (2 weeks ago it got below freezing and my lettuce got frost bite on the tips- everything else seems fine though.)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Family Grain Mill Demo

This is my first attempt at Youtube. I filled that 4 gallon bucket with wheat flour tonight. I just got that Bosch- so it's time to get busy making bread!  BTW, if you enjoyed this demo, or it helped you to decide to purchase a Family Grain Mill, please purchase one from me.  You won't find a better price on the internet Guaranteed! or


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Workin on the land

Here you can see the pad that was cut in for the cabin.  It will end up being about 2x's the size it is now.  Laterine and small ATV trailer in the background.

Here's the laterine my wife and I made a few weekends ago.  I picked up that ATV trailer for $80 and put a new deck on it ($35).  Works like a charm and I can load up lots of logs and rocks.

A start to my wood pile.

So, this weekend we checked out the work that Ron did cutting in a driveway and covering my culvert I bought.  He leveled a good area for the cabin, but we will ask him to enlarge it some more.  He also put 2 truck loads of shale on the driveway- need more.  I cut down a dozen or so trees, but didn't have a chance to stack them all.  We have soooo much work to do out there.  Lots of trees to clear.  Going to put up a largeish shed/barn that we will sleep in until the big cabin is done.  With no electricity, I'm planning to buy 4-5 golf cart batteries and run a small window A/C unit at night.  I also need to schedule the well man to put us in a well maybe next month or the one after.  My ATV has come in handy- I totally recommend one to anyone that has land.

My horseshoe shaped driveway.  (A must with a trailer)