Ralph Kettell

pollinator
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since Nov 18, 2017
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The Arkansas Ozarks
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Recent posts by Ralph Kettell

Sorry Helen, but it had been 5 years since I posted on this thread and have no idea where I had found the manuals mentioned in my prior post.   Best wishes on your search.

Sincerely,

Ralph
1 week ago
I am in Compton running into the same problem 11 years later.   Where did you finally end up getting the straw from?

Sincerely,

Ralph
1 month ago
Hi Trace,

I am curious what your of Comfrey you are selling.   Is it bocking 4 or 14.  I also am a silver fan and would be happy to pay you in junk silver or maple leafs.

Sincerely,

Ralph
Hi Carla,

To those who do not live in Arkansas or a similar "low to no permits required" local, it is a hard concept to grasp.   The county that I live in requires almost no permitting.   The downside is that sometimes your dams leak or any number of electrical or plumbing problems or... that i have run into since buying my current residence.   All in all,  I really like being left alone and dealing with the dam leaks.

Sincerely,

Ralph
3 months ago
There is a thread from March 31, 2018 called how would you seal this pond.   You can find it by searching permies for "damit" or " damit".  It had been speeches both ways by different posters in the thread.   Read it and see what they said.

It works and you do not generally have to reaply it.  Once fixed it usually stays fixed. They use the expanding priory of the material in water as the agent to plug the leak.

Sincerely,

Ralph
3 months ago
You need DamIt.  I read about it first in a permies post years ago.  So a search and go for it.   You can apply it without drafting the pond.   If you put it near the suspected leak,  the leak will draw the product into the holes and it expands to plug th he leak.   I have not used it personally but I was impressed with what I read on permits about it.   Not cheap, but it supposedly works very well.  

Sincerely,

Ralph, also from the Ozarks
3 months ago
We substantially increased the size of our garden this year and have eaten zucchini for nearly six solid months.   We have frozen numerous batches of tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce, tomato paste and have freeze dried some also.  We had a bumper crop of okra growing it for the first time.   We have so many winter squash, acorn, Japanese,  butter nut, pumpkins, pie pumpkins, etc. that we over ran our storage area. Watermelons. Cucumbers, cantaloupe, peas, green beans,  greens,  onions,  potatoes, lettuce, arugula, etc., etc. etc.

The reason I started this list was to emphasize that we had a great year in the garden but the pepper crop was a bit of a disappointment.  We got some peppers,  but not a huge harvest. Then September rolled around.   OMG,  Cathy started making Fajitas once or twice a week to make a dent in the pepper harvest.   We overran our refrigerators,  I had a large cooler full of bags of peppers, which I had to daily swap out frozen water bottles to keep them cold.    We canned pepper's, we froze peppers. We even freeze Ä‘ried some.

The wife did not want to lose her pepper plants so we went searching for a greenhouse.   A few years ago,  I could have built one in a couple weeks, but sadly those days are but a memory.   I can still do those kind of things but what used to take days,  now takes weeks or months.   We bought a 12 x 16 Greenhouse which took about 4 weeks to get here.   Had we relied on the Greenhouse to save the pepper plants they would have all succumbed to the first freeze several weeks ago.

Instead we converted part of our garage into a hothouse with plant lights. We purchased several Patio Pickers which are plastic self watering containers on wheelsthat are roughly 20 x 24 x 10 inches on wheels.   We transplanted 4 to 5 peeps into each planter. We ended up with over 50 pepper plants in the garage.   Some continued to produce under the lights, while some were unhappy at least initially from the transplanting shock.

We have spent the last 3 weeks,  insulating,  modifying,  sealing, etc. the Greenhouse.  This year we will need supplemental heat for the peppes to survive and thrive,  but when I finish with modifications and expansion next spring the Greenhouse should require little or no electricity to run.

When we first took delivery the greenhouse temps were daily swinging from 40 degrees to 110.  Now it is more in thee range of 50 to 80 most days.   The peppers are migrating from the garage.   At the moment we only have about 20 peppers still under lights in the garage.   Most of the insulating is done but I am still sealing it up and caulking. It will provide plenty of work for the next several weeks.

It has not been an inexpensive project,  but we are shooting to be producing a large percentage of our food organically by next year.

The moral of the story is that with hard work and not an insignificant amount of cash,  we were able to save our late season pepper champions.   We expect great things from the "team" next year and multi month production of peppers.   We hope to be eating a lot of fajitas next summer.


6 months ago
Here are a couple shots of the garden.  We have already culled most of the zucchini plants as the wife is getting sick of eating it every day.   We have a freezer full of zucchini,  pumpkin, tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce, diced tomatoes, green beans, okra. We have a cold room full of pumpkins, acorn squash, butternut squash. Cathy is cooking up sauce as much as she has room on the stove about 3 days a week.   The cold room is full and we have hundreds of pounds of pumpkins yet to harvest.   We are starting,  a little late to sow the fall garden.   It has been a banner year,  and we have been greatly blessed.   Lots of hard work,  but worth every delicious bite.

We have figured out how to defeat the squash bugs without chemicals.   I will share it in a future post,  no time right now.  Back to the garden.

Sincerely,

Ralph
8 months ago
We are on top of a mountain here in Arkansas and I threw some rotten logs/trees into a pile with some top soil removed during pecan tree planting and the rotten wood compost/soil from the base of the two rotten trees.  My wife had thrown some garden debris onto the pile and lo and behold a volunteer pumpkin started several weeks ago.  This was in the midst of an on and off drought/near drought.  The leaves in midst of this hunker of a plant are about 16" in diameter.  The picture show 2 pumpkins currently that are each in excess of 25 pounds.   I think they are princess pumpkins.   When we started watering it,  it took off and as the photos show it is covering the entire mountain top hugel mound.   I have watched Paul's hugel videos online and on world domination gardening.   This mound had none of the forethought or care that they did.   I was jokingly calling it a hugel when in fact it was really just a well composted trash heap started within the past 6 months.  Well it must have heard me and decided to prove me wrong.   It is in fact a hugel and I belive will produce several more pumpkins in the next month.   I also included a couple shots of our garden in just its second year. Note sure to bandwidth limitations only 2 photos will accompany this post.
8 months ago