Craig Butler

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since Mar 11, 2014
Roots in Penobscot Bay; trunk in Massachusetts; branches in Taiwan. Seeds scattered in Maine and Texas. Career language teacher.
north-central Maine
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Recent posts by Craig Butler

Thanks for the reference!
1 year ago
Thanks! You've got some advantage with a more southern locale, at least.
1 year ago
Hi there,

I was late in thinking of how to keep growing through the winter, and am now stuck on which system would fit our needs. They are:
* Maine zone 5a
* small scale, just for 2 people: lettuce, arugula, ta-tsoi?
* indoor growing: vertical three-tiers, each tier approx. 2'x4'
* desire to limit energy inputs

We have an unheated east-facing sunroom that gets about 5 hrs. of diffuse sunlight. Two possibilities?
A. build a polycarbonate box with 3 tiers and front door; reflective rear and side surfaces;
B. build a similar box, though install grow lights and use 1/2" reflective rigid foam insulation on interior surfaces. No polycarbonate.

I'm assuming the additional layer of polycarbonate (Plan A) will result in higher ambient growing temperatures, but I just don't know whether the seedlings would thrive with the generally cold temperatures. The lights would take care of that, but it seems overkill--and expensive--to have a light above the three growing tiers. (Perhaps one light and rotate the crops?)

Anyone with similar experience, or with some helpful perspective?

Thanks!

Craig
1 year ago

Thanks, all! With weather patterns shifting the season later, a hoophouse and a few packets of seeds, I may be all set.

Craig
1 year ago
Hi all,

I return from overseas in mid to late June with optimistic plans to get a garden in. Not too worried about peas, spinach and chard, and there will be some plants in the farmer's market I can start with, but I'm wondering whether it's overly optimistic to think I might get a crop of potatoes and corn if planted from seed. 90 days puts me almost into October.

Thanks!

Craig
1 year ago
Great description! It seems that close tending of the fire is an essential, and the inclusion of proportions will be a guide as I start out. The reason for lighting the fire on the top had never been pointed out to me, but makes sense. (So different from the way we were taught to make campfires.)

Craig
2 years ago

Good on ya, W. As with so many things in life, there are many paths to reaching the target, but it all starts with using the resources you have, engaging the mind, and working out a way to bring them together.
2 years ago

Thanks for that, RedHawk.
2 years ago

Thanks for that, Dennis. The more plans I have, the more learning.

Craig
2 years ago
Wish I were closer and could visit, Angelika. I like your webpage. Got many friends from Oz, and I'm not that far away! (Hong Kong, temporarily).

On the question of medicinal herbs (which rightly ought to be in another thread), I thought I'd ask you about which medicinals you have been most successful with growing and selling. I have an amateur interest in Chinese medicine (and read and teach Chinese professionally), and with a move back to Maine in June am interested in growing for personal interest and perhaps small-scale selling. I am happy to shift this conversation to another thread or venue if most appropriate.

Craig
2 years ago