Jon Sousa

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since Nov 25, 2018
Willamette Valley, Oregon
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Recent posts by Jon Sousa

We always put a goldfish in the stock trough. Goldfish don't need the water to be aerated as when the O2 in the water is low they will go up to the surface and take some out of the air. The purpose was mosquito control.
1 month ago
The best fish for "in a barrel" is tilapia. A friend raised tilapia successfully in a small hydroponics outfit he made. They will continue to grow in what looks to be extremely crowded conditions as long as they have ample food supply. Store bought food is extremely expensive. I'm thinking the best food would be to grow your own bugs. Look at https://permies.com/t/92739/critters/Raising-Cockroaches. You will want to either have a way to drain water out of the bottom or siphon it out at least once a week to clean out the poop to use in your garden.
1 month ago
In my limited experience a couple of pigs do not make much smell. They always poop in the same corner making it easy to clean with a big flat shovel.
1 month ago
Two questions, really, the first is: when do people start their sweet potato slips for the coming year? The second is: Are most sweet potatoes in the store of the Georgia Jet variety? (They look like it.)
I raised rabbits commercially for a while. One buck for each 10 or so does. Everyone in their own pen. Put one doe with the buck and watch until they mate (usually within seconds - male falls over backwards).  Immediately remove the female after mating. Keep good records. Write the date with which female - she will ovulate after mating. Mate her again the next day. A few days before due date put a nesting box in the cage with the female. When the babies are weaned - about a month - put them in a growing pen (the same size as the nesting pen). A few days later you can breed the doe again. Record the date and number in the litter and how many survive to wean. Numbers will be lower at first but a good doe will average 9 babies by her third litter. You can breed the buck every 5 to 7 days. Keep food and water in front of everyone all the time. Babies can be slaughtered when they are about 2 months old. You can supplement their feed all kinds of greens from the garden.
2 months ago
I knew after I posted this that I would be posting a response talking about what I have done in this regard.  I've been working on flowers. The neighbor is giving me some. I planted borage last year and it is doing great and flowering all over the place. One interesting thing about masons is that they only live for 6 or so weeks so it's not entirely true that I have to have flowers all year long... but I'm working on it. The bumblebees will need them.
2 months ago
I live in town (Albany, OR) and there are mason bees around (my across the street neighbor has a lot every spring). I have a few fruit trees but they almost never get adequately pollinated. My problem is that the honey bees are too little too late. Also coming late are bumble bees. This year I am making several different mason bee houses to put around, including a couple that can be opened to harvest and save the cocoons. I also constructed three bumblebee houses and they are already out there. My fear is that mason bees stay close to home and since I have never had much help from them in the past, I might still not get any takers for my beautiful mason bee lodges. I am going to ask my neighbor if I could put a couple houses over there so I can bring them over here for 2020 but that does not help me for next spring.

So, is there anyone out there in my neck of the woods that has some mason bees that you wouldn't mind sharing? It could be as simple as giving me a couple of your filled bamboo tubes to gift wrapping some mason bee cocoons. I know there are mason bees for sale but so far the prices look very spendy. Has anyone this in the past? How has it worked out?
2 months ago
So, When should I start making slips out of tubers? How long a growing season? Do they grow better with a lot of straw or wood chips, etc.? I want to put something on my table. My son in law eats sweet potatoes 5-7 days a week. He would love it if I learned to grow them and taught him. ;)
I am interested in growing sweet potatoes or yams. Which do you prefer? How much room does it take to get a decent harvest? How fussy are they about soil? When should I start? I am in western Oregon, zone 8. I have a greenhouse to start things in.