Elijah Kim

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since Mar 17, 2016
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My spouse and I are 30 and 31.  Hobbie homesteading now to train for a future move off grid on our retirement property.
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Petawawa, ON, Canada Zone 3A
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Recent posts by Elijah Kim

Just find a flower bud before it matures and cloth bag it.  Once it matures, find a male flower from the variety you want(you can do hybrid crosses between two species as well this way)get some of it's pollen on something (your finger/Qtip whatever) and put the pollen into the female flower of the plant.  The most important thing to do is to make sure that, this is CRITICAL for success, as you are putting the pollen into the female flower making a buzzing noise like a bee
After you pollinate the flower cover it back up until the flower finishes to avoid other pollen being brought in by insects.
7 years ago
Ok not near us at all  Please keep us updated on how your build is going. We will be building in an unorganized township but it is always good to know of hiccups/issues with builds.
7 years ago
If you don't mind, what area are you planning on moving to?  We are planning on moving to NWO (21 hr drive away for now) closer to Fort Francis area.
7 years ago

These guys may be able to offer some insight: http://www.naturalbuildingcoalition.ca/ we went on the natural home tour last year, the architect that helped get the building code in Ontario changed for straw bale homes was on the tour.  I have his card at home, but you may be able to just email them and let them know what you are trying to do.  I know that minimal cost is your goal, so natural building may not fit, but they may have some insight on building codes questions etc. or at least be able to point you in the right direction on who/where to ask.
7 years ago
I practiced vermiculture composting for a couple of years, so I am far from a pro.  Here are my thoughts though.

Don't change a thing.  If the worms aren't all conducting a mass exodus there is no issue.  If you are wanting to use the casting/compost now and that is the issue you can take out what you need bit by bit and use it where you want.  You'll be removing some worms when you do this, so the terrible result is that wherever you use the compost you'll be adding worms as well (OH NO!! ).

I used a 5 bin system (holes drilled in 4), with the bottom as my worm tea collector.  I am assuming you are using a similar system.  What I observed is that as long as the worms are still in an area they are still using it.  I would leave each layer alone until there were very few worms left in that layer.  My worms seemed to like to lay their eggs(little white orbs) in the lower levels so by leaving them as long as possible your worm population will increase exponentially.  If you are adding that much material and they haven't finished eating the first layer I would say you don't have enough worms yet, so removing any unhatched eggs could actually hamper your overall progress with the colony.  Once I had a lot of worms in every layer, (by that point my bottom bin was pure black muck) I started adding it to my potting mix, this would add worm eggs/worms (you'll never get them all out, but once your colony size reaches a certain point it will have no effect on it) to my seed starter mix, which would be grown indoors and eventually be transplanted out in the garden.  By doing that it accomplishes many different beneficial things for very little input.  Another thing I did was add some of my finished compost to each layer to let all the microbiology do its thing (I have no facts to back this one up, it just makes sense to me...)

The other thing you could do is just split your bottom bin between all of your other bins and add more dry material.  Really though if there isn't mold and stuff growing all over and your worms aren't leaving I'd say there is nothing wrong.  After about a year with my worms I got an old blender from a garage sale and started making "worm smoothies" every time I fed them.  It allowed the material to be eaten a lot faster, but it'll also allow it to compost faster as well.  I overfed them and that is exactly what happened to me, You'll know something is wrong when you see a few thousand worms climbing out of the bin lol.  To fix it I just scooped out all the leftover "food" and a bunch of the dirt and just mixed in fresh dry bits.  After that was sorted I continued using the smoothies and made sure they were keeping up to what I was feeding them.

I had my bins indoors in a 40% humidity environment in my grow room which has a dehumidifier set at 40%.  I am not sure how much the humidity level will effect the bins.
Oh yea, I didn't buy the worms either.  At 20 bucks plus shipping for 1 pound of worms I said screw it, walked out to the garden, flipped over some leaves, grabbed the worms that were in there and used those to start my colony.

Hopefully that helps.
7 years ago
I only have 1 years woth of experience playing with a cold frame... What I found is that you can kill the plants very quickly by letting it over heat.  I was not home during the day to open it so it got stupid hot really quick.  Instead of killing a bunch of plants I left the frame on an empty bed to help heat/thaw the ground faster.  I start a lot of stuff indoors and usually plant out a week or so ahead of the last frost date.  At that time if you know it'll be cold overnight put the frame back on, but if not don't worry about it.  This year I'm going to try using wedges to keep the frames open a little to hopefully find the "sweet spot".
If you click the UK flag located at the bottom right of the title banner at the top of the webpage it'll go English.
7 years ago
Good Day Yury,

So I couldn't seem to find a break down of Russian territories, I looked at a few weather maps and I am thinking you are more of a USDA zone 4(-30F or -34C) and 5(-20F or -28.9C) and warmer?

USDA Temperature reference

Is that information correct for your zone?

Also could you tell me which Family Estate is in the coldest region?  I am willing to trial plants that could be rated for USDA Zone 3-4 in hopes of finding a variety that will survive, I am thinking my best bet would be plants that are grown in your colder regions.

Thanks again.

7 years ago
Could you please tell me what zone or area of Russia these are grown in?  I'm just wondering for some of the perennials.

Thank you!
7 years ago
Would you have access to enough nuts to send a few my way as well? I may have some veggie seeds or something that I could swap with you, or if it's easier/preferred I could also send a cash transfer.  I am only at the very start of experimenting with planting different nut/fruit varieties on our property near Rainy River, we are trying to get a variety of hardiness levels for zones 2-4 with the hope of setting up another trial site further north in the future.

The sites that I have been looking at/using are:

http://www.nuttrees.com/ - might be a stretch as they are in the Niagra region
http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/resource/trnursry.htm - your province may have a similar list to this

I've only ordered from the Hardy fruit tree nursery so far, I have put in another order with them as well for the spring.  All of the plants they sent took to the planting and will hopefully still be alive when we get back to our property in July.
7 years ago