Rez Zircon

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since May 02, 2015
Brendansport, Sagitta IV
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Recent posts by Rez Zircon

Tim Kivi wrote:I have a rotten tree stump that breaks down more and more each year. I planted an apricot tree right next to it and it’s now the healthiest, strongest tree in my yard. I pull the tree stump apart each year as it rots, and now found apricot roots happily growing right through the whole stump.

I've seen stumps full of roots too. There's a stump in my yard cut down to ground level and there's apparently a competition among the weeds to see who gets to dominate the stump.

1 month ago
Don't recall if anyone mentioned it, but one other thing to be cautious about: sawdust from treated lumber. It can kill everything it touches. We have a finishing mill here that produces an infinite amount of both fresh and mulched sawdust, and it breaks down very fast, but have learned not to use it in a garden -- plants do poorly or won't grow at all, and whatever they treat the lumber with (probably a fungicide) apparently lasts a long time, even after the sawdust has turned to mud. Very unlike sawdust straight from the tree trunk.

1 month ago
So it's that time of year again... got the garden dug and the tomato seedlings started...

....oh. Here's these true potato seeds I saved. Very small but plump, so they look viable. The parents are reds, russets, and maybe a Gold, all descendants of grocery leftovers, randomly mixed by the simple expedient of forcing one flower to rape another.... some purple to purple, some white to white, some purple to white, and possibly a pink in the mix too. Anyone have thoughts? advice? warnings? rants?
Oooh. Interested in seeds when you get extras -- I prefer sweet and fine-fleshed (not fibrous), and also need that bit of frost hardiness. I've never grown sweets, but regular potatoes do well here (couple years ago we got some the size of your head). Zone 4a, more or less; sandy loam and fairly dry.

Drown in butter and generously apply lemon pepper... mmmmm......

Mk Neal wrote:For a fascinating description of traditional Hidatsa methods of growing, processing, storing, and cooking the "three sisters"and other native crops, read "Native American Gardening: Buffalobird-Woman's Guide to Traditional Methods." by Gilbert L. Wilson, Dover Publication 2005.  This is a republication of a 1917 University of Minnesota bulletin titled "Agriculture of the Hidatsa Indians: An Indian Interpretation."

Here ya go:

In case something is missing or messed up (I didn't check) there are four different copies:
Three free, one to borrow.
2 months ago
That's the fanciest literal "strawberry bed" I've seen - love it!

Old swingsets make good instant A-frame sheds or greenhouses.

I have a junk trailer that someone 60+ years ago cobbled together from the front end of a 1940s pickup truck and a metal bedframe, and a scary screw-on hitch (oddly, it uses standard modern truck rims). Ugliest thing you ever saw but I've used it with some mighty heavy loads, and despite looking like a hillbilly reject, it just keeps on working. Tho being it was sized however the bedframe dictated, it's kinda weird... just over 3 feet wide by not quite 7 feet long. Tows great (I pulled it all the way from SoCal to Montana at 70mph), but won't back up at all (have to unload it, unhook it, and back it by hand, otherwise you end up picking it out of your taillight). And how'd I get this trailer? Someone threw it away! :D

5 months ago
Count me in as "hates tools that don't last" ... and actively on the lookout for made-in-USA...

As to Fiskars: starting about 15 years ago (per what I saw, maybe longer), they began offering two product lines:
-- original made-in-Finland, still top class
-- copies made-in-China, about as "good" as you'd expect
For a while I'd see them side by side in the store. The Chinese version was about half the price of the Finnish version.

And oh lordy, buckets. Get me started on Chinese and Mexican metal buckets. Grrr....

5 months ago

Thomas Dean wrote:The dog food ones that are solid plastic I use to "shingle" chicken coops, etc.  I lay them out like shingles, with broad overlapping sections and use a staple gun to hold them down.  Not sure how they will hold up long-term exposed to the elements, but I have a set that have been out for almost a full year.  I've also tacked them up inside of the barn to make it more wind-tight.

I used to use them as quick-and-dirty rain gear. When I rode a bike I kept one rolled up under the seat, with holes precut for head and arms -- worked fine. I suppose one could cut and sew 'em into a replacement for the ol' plastic raincoat; some of those bags are extra thick. They're actually woven plastic fabric with a plastic coating, so they're pretty flexible, functionally waterproof, and very strong.

But as exterior roofing... I've done that, and they'll take about 3 months of strong sun (or about a year if you have some winter/overcast), then suddenly go friable and fall apart, and then you have a tangle of weak strings, and white powder that just disappears. I'm thinkin' it might be cellulose-based plastic.
5 months ago

Kc Simmons wrote:Very curious to know what exactly a beer can roof is... Sounds interesting. I don't drink any kind of beer, but I have managed to save a decent collection of soda cans over the last year from my family & myself that I wouldn't mind recycling here on the farmstead, if possible...

Me too. I mean, just stepping on the can and nailing it up couldn't be it...  So I went looking, and here's the first thing I came to:

I've used newspaper print plates for roof repair (big aluminum sheets, very cheap, perfect to fix trailer skin) but beer cans didn't occur to me!
5 months ago
When I had chickens they ran around loose full-time, but in the desert what they could forage was not enough. So I used to buy chicken feed. Then one day I ran out and didn't get around to going to the feed store for a couple weeks. So I gave them dry dog food, stuff that comes in small pellets. (Boy howdy, does that make strong eggshells.) After that, they wouldn't eat chicken feed anymore. It was hilarious -- I tossed down a can of chicken feed and called them for breakfast... they came running in the usual way, started to peck, stopped short, and all stared at me like "What's this shit??" And the boss hen tried to spike me. Okay, I can take a hint...

So they ate dog food forevermore. And the ones that didn't meet with misadventure lived as long as 11 years, and tho the older ones didn't lay daily anymore, they'd still raise a couple clutches of chicks every year. (Their real job was eating baby rattlesnakes and stink beetles, so I wasn't too concerned about egg production. They were descended from Mexican fighting cocks, not from layers, being whatever random flock culls came my way.)

I'd previously fed dog food to my pigeons and ducks, so this wasn't quite the novelty it may seem. Dry dog food is basically animal protein and grains, so why not?

6 months ago