kadence blevins

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since Dec 01, 2012
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Recent posts by kadence blevins

I totally get it. I work on things in weird bursts. I'll do something consistently for a while and then not touch it for weeks, months, a year. Then start up like I never stopped. Or jump back into it and be obsessed with whatever project and do almost nothing else. That's just the cycles of my life.
3 days ago
As of right now.. I'm a no on this. It doesn't make sense to move the mill. Wool ships easily. Thousands of pounds of equipment does not.

I have an interesting perspective on this because I'm going to be working at a fiber mill. We have had some training and are just getting started so I can't say everything for certain but I can share what I know so far.

1) Machinery is heavy! Lots of heavy machinery that would need to be specially packed up to move. The Belfast mini mill small carder is 450#. The large carder is 1001#. And that's just one step of many.

2) You **must** have 180°F water to wash and rinse wool. You will ruin the equipment if the wool has lanolin in it. Not exaggerating. And even if you manage to process it, it will not spin on machinery. It does not work. Close does not work. It must be clean. And you will need lots of water to wash amounts of wool.

3) Lots of machinery = electricity. This is not like plugging in an oven. The 4 spindle spinner has 4 motors. The small carder has 2 motors. Etc. You have to have sufficient electrical set up.

4) A basic Belfast mini mill set up needs a 2 car garage area to set up. And that doesn't include storage! Incoming fiber, in progress fiber, outgoing fiber, space to dry fiber, buckets of scouring soap, buckets of conditioner, buckets of binder conditioner, cones for the roving for different stages, tools, spare parts,...

I haven't read everything here but this is my initial thoughts. Also large scale wool scouring (chargiers? spelling?) has opened up to more general public because the commercial market is at a stand still (or arguably just in the trash). They have a 1,000# minimum apparently, but that's easy at scale above backyard flock. One of the people I'm working with has at least 3,000# wool sitting in storage, plus this past shearing and they are considered small for a commercial flock. 250-300 ewes.

I would say in my experience a raw fleece I would expect 4-8# if not told a specific breed. You lose some (or alot) to skirting, about 30% to washing, and some in processing. The better quality and cleaner the fiber, the less you should lose to processing but there is always going to be loss just because you aren't picking every bit out of the carder for example.
5 days ago

Cindy Haskin wrote:OikosTreeCrops Update;
Heard back from Kenneth at Oikos about pointing me in a direction to find other providers/growers.


Did you know there are dahlia "tubers" that are edible?  Cultivariable knows. Ever heard of skerrit as an edible? Cultivariable has them along with tons of information on what they offer. Except they actively discourage ordering from them, you really need to check out this character!

I have ordered twice from Cultivariable. They're good you just have to understand it's a one man band operation and things don't get packed and mailed the moment you order.

I ordered tps (true potato seed) and went ahead and got the dahlia mix. They seem to be pretty similar to sunchokes but seed breeding is significantly easier. We'll see.
1 year ago
Different potatoes have different harvest times. Early, mid, late. Early potatoes rush to grow and tuberize then die back. Potatoes ready to harvest in a short time.
Of you want a big harvest of bigger potatoes you need a variety that will do that.


General reminder, store potatoes for eating can carry disease. It is best to plant potatoes sold as seed potatoes which have been specially screened for disease.
With the habro x domestic manual pollination.. saving seeds from those fruits.. plants from those seeds.. Those F1 plants will most likely be able to self pollinate or cross pollinate with each other?

And habro (neandermato) can only be pollen dad to domestic?

This project is so interesting. I really don't need another project but I added a big list of tomatoes to my seed list anyway! After getting Joseph's book it makes more sense to me, coming back to read this thread from the beginning.
1 year ago
Thanks! I'm only doing roma (determinate) and San Marzano (indeterminate) this year. I was hoping to order a bunch of different varieties from baker creek and start next year. I'll have to look at the sites again and look for exserted varieties.
1 year ago
I can't find a source with a plain explanation so here goes!
I'm considering just doing a tomato grex next year. When mixing tomatoes and varieties is there simple dominant/recessive for determinate and indeterminate?
I'm kind of thinking to just do indeterminate varieties but there are some cool traits in varieties that are determinate.

Resources very welcome also!
1 year ago
Ok.. full stop.. haha..
I figured out how to do the corn to minimize cross pollination. We'll see how it goes. The sweet corn is 75 day so it can go next to the harmony grain corn, 85-115 day. Then as far as I can make it (about 100ft) another block will have the high carotene corn and flour corn, both 100 days, which will be planted two weeks apart.

I finally decided to just hand pollinate a bunch of the squash. I'm going into this with the idea that I'm going to narrow down what works for me and what I like. So I can hand pollinate some for purity that I can keep pure seed from.
But... Since I'm going to try hand pollinating why not play? Haha.. So I've listed what to hand pollinate to attempt cross breeding and see how it goes. I've been doing some more research and it seems like some people report Moschata crosses work more often when the Moschata is the female of the cross. So I'm going to try a bunch of crosses that way just to see.

Butternut pure (Moschata)
x acorn
x pie pumpkin
x Nanticoke
x jarrahdale
x candy roaster

Field pumpkin x pie pumpkin (pepo)

Pie pumpkin pure (pepo)
x field pumpkin

Nanticoke pure (maxima)
x jarrahdale
x roaster

Jarrahdale pure (maxima)
x Nanticoke
x roaster

Candy roaster pure (maxima)
x Nanticoke
x jarrahdale

I don't like acorn that much so I'm not going to worry about them, they'll just be for eating. The lemon I'm doing for fun really, so I likely won't bother with them unless they turn out super awesome. Then I'll just hand pollinate a couple for seed.
2 years ago
Ok I'm trying to plot out things on graph paper finally. So just to triple check myself... I should be able to alternate the families (pepo, maxima, moschata) and the families will very very rarely pollinate between them and the offspring if it does happen will be the oddball seedless fruits?

10ft long rows, same variety rows 6ft apart. When change in variety will be 10ft between rows. Trying to make it in blocks instead of rows to spread apart the families. Would this work to minimize cross pollinating like between lemon and acorn,.. between jarrahdale and Georgia roaster, etc to separate the families like this?
I was going to let the pie and field pumpkins cross pollinate, they will be mostly to feed the livestock anyway.

Nanticoke, maxima, 2 rows.
Butternut, moschata, 1 row.
Acorn, pepo, 2 row.
-(Blocks of corn and veg)-
Jarrahdale, maxima, 1 row.
Butternut, moschata, 1 row.
Lemon, pepo, 2 row.
-(Blocks of corn and veg)-
Georgia roaster, maxima, 2 row.
Sugar pie pumpkin, pepo, 2 row.
Connecticut field pumpkin, pepo, 2 row.
2 years ago