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Walt Chase

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since Dec 12, 2016
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Recent posts by Walt Chase

I cook quite a bit sous vide.  I really like it a lot.  Set it and forget it almost.  I can cook almost as good a steak using any other conventional method, but that sous vide gives me the exact doneness I want all the way through.  I do the sous vide on my temp (I'm a med rare to rare steak eater) of choice then take the steaks out pat dry them off and either go directly into a screaming hot skillet or on a screaming hot grill to get the crust.  Where I have found the sous vide really shine on meats is in cooking pork or chicken.  My most moist chicken or pork have come from the sous vide method.  I've done shrimp and scallops both and they are perfectly cooked.  Both are very easy to overcook using other methods.  I've made creme brule' in mine using mason jars as the vessel.  Always a big hit.  I generally use zip locks as my cooking vessel for meats.  There are specialty bags and some folks vac seal before they put into the waterbath.  For me it is a very welcome addition to my kitchen and was worth every penny I spent on it.
1 week ago
Short answer is yes.  There is an place about 300 or so miles north of me called Chena Hot Springs.  They have natural hot springs in the area and tap into that resource for many different things.  There is a resort of sorts there with heated pools that people use all winter, they heat all the buildings utilizing the free source of heat and actually generate all their own power from it as well.  All that long winddedness to say that they also have greenhouses that are heated and used year round and the last time I was there they had hydroponic tomato's that were about 50-75 feet long.  They are tied up with strings and as they grow the limbs are pruned off because the best production comes from the upper part of the plant and then they lower and wrap them around the growing area.  It was simply amazing to see.  Direct link to the greenhouse section  Link to their renewables page
1 week ago
I would think it will depend largely on what is available in your area.  In my area I can get manure pretty easily and at low cost or free, leaves and grass clippings from my own place for free along with the many shavings from my wood working hobby and sawdust from my sawmill, straw at a cost or old ruined hay cheaper.  
1 week ago
If your clay is acting as a kind of hard pan, since you have a tractor why not buy, rent or borrow a single foot subsoiler?  Put your organic matter on then subsoil the garden plot. Some of it will fall down into the clay and help to keep it broken up.  If your clay is anything like what I used to deal with in GA you will have to keep up applying the organic matter.  Red GA clay just consumes organic mater like there is no tomorrow.  
1 week ago
My opinion only, I wouldn't do the cattle panels.  Seems to me that they would make your access harder.  I'd go with posts and wire.
2 weeks ago
Two things come to mind  from our experience.  Give plenty of room between rows.  Ours are 6 ft between rows.  Do not plant red and yellow raspberries close to each other.  The reds are typically more vigorous and will choke out your yellows if not planted far enough apart.  We have 2 50ft rows of reds and a 30 ft row of yellows.  The reds are on one side of the garden the yellows are planted at one end of the garden.  You really have to keep ahead of the root suckers or any of them will colonize the areas around them and you will have a jungle.  
2 weeks ago
My sourdough starter is slower than using regular yeast, but not as slow as you describe.  I think it needs feeding and using more.  Use some plain white sugar the next time or two you feed it.  Might help. Mine spends most of its time in the fridge anymore.
2 weeks ago
I'd personally forgo the backhoe attachment.  Those mid sized tractors weren't really meant for that type use.  Sure they will dig, but a machine made for digging will get more done in day.  The cost/benefit just doesn't pencil out for me personally.  I'd likely buy "more" tractor with the money and attachments and rent an excavator when I needed it.  You can rent a big machine here for around $2000 a week.  
2 weeks ago
That will work.  Not like it will spoil.  When I was growing up there was a pile of red clay that stayed on the side of our driveway for years before my dad used it for whatever purpose was intended.
3 weeks ago
With snow still on the ground I fear you may have started too early.  While potato's can, do and will grow well in cool soils, I wouldn't recommend planting them as early as you have from the conditions shown in your photos, they may rot before they get enough warmth to actually start growing.  Here in my part of Alaska I sometimes can plant them in mid may, but most years nothing goes in the ground until Memorial Day weekend (End of May, if you aren't familiar with US holidays).