Jessa Hunt

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since May 13, 2019
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cat tiny house urban
Portlandish OR
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Recent posts by Jessa Hunt

My understanding is that the queen box goes on the bottom, because that's where the brood will be. But I don't think the bees care. You'll likely have to rearrange the frames later anyway, so... Experiment and let us know?
9 months ago
Your supplier uses all three sizes of boxes at once? Yeep.
It is common to have two deeps for brood, but you will probably want to stick with medium OR small for your honey supers to make things simpler in yourself. They get pretty heavy, so medium or small depends on how much you want to lift. How many supers  you need depends on local honey flow. You'll need to ask local beekeepers, besides the guy trying to get rid of all his stuff.

Good luck! I'm jealous you found such a good deal, but totally understand the frustrations of a budget slightly smaller than the best prices.
9 months ago
I'm going to be trying the Small Cell foundation method. Bees have been bred bigger than nature intended, and kept that way by commercial frame foundation making brood cells about 5.4mm. Small Cell is 4.9mm, and I've seen people post success with handmade foundation of 4.8.  The idea is that varroa has a harder time in the smaller brood cells than in the big ones. Part of why a lot of people put in a sacrifice frame of drone sized foundation to pull out and freeze after its capped, because the varroa still prefer the bigger drone brood. They are so destructive because they CAN use regular worker brood to multiply. But in theory, the smaller, more natural sized bees and cells cut down on the varroa populations.

I've seen arguments for and against small cell, but I figure its worth a shot.
9 months ago

Jay Angler wrote:I can't choose a favourite, so I'll just mention one I've always admired even though it has its downsides - I think Monkey Puzzle trees are neat! (Araucaria araucana). I've planted one, but I know it won't likely fruit until I'm gone but they do produce edible nuts if you're lucky enough to have planted a female. On the plus side, the deer don't eat them. On the downside, the reason the deer don't eat them is because they're *really* prickly.

I second the Monkey Puzzle, or any of it's relatives really. I love all trees, and I'm going to have a huge mix - including a few new to me mentioned in this thread - but I absolutely must hunt down one of these dinosaur trees when I get a place for it. Probably add a few other 'ancient' plants to the same area and add a velociraptor version of a pink flamingo stick just for fun.
1 year ago
I browse the Zillow listings about once a month, have for the past year or so. I have a few requirements, and I just poke around the map and look at things. Obviously, the man price factor is Location. Closer to metro areas you end up with inflated insane prices. Any time I see what 'ought' to be a nice bit of land for a low price near or in town, I wonder what's wrong with it.

Which is important to pay attention to.  One of the lots I'd fallen in love with, within budget and against protected woods, I find out after someone tried to buy it and it went back on the market - it's an incredibly steep lot with no current access from a road. Probably building costs are prohibitive.

Another lot I thought was amazing, turns out it's "recreation only" so no permanent residence. Another was "wetland" and not buildable, period.  Then there was a lovely collection of acres for a nice price - but it was zoned for Farming only, no residence.

So price depends on a lot of things. Location may be key, but BUILDABILITY is kind of important. If I can't legally live there, then it doesn't matter how cheap it is, it's worthless to me.
I hope to find something close enough to still commute to work within a year or so. Eh, we'll see.
1 year ago
Ah, I know what they're doing! I've seen the Japanese instructions for this. Those must be Ume - which are somehow always translated as plums, but are actually closer to being apricots?  The first set of jars you put the green ume in layers with salt. In Japan they also add some red Shiso leaves or such to dye the salted plums red. Those end up as the ubiquitous salt pickled plums you see in classic Bento rice as Umeboshi.

The second set of jars are layered with rock sugar and a hard liqour (soju/shochu) is poured over. The plum wine is ready by the next year's ume harvest.

I've always wanted to try this, but can't get my hands on Ume plums. I never hear of uses for the ripe plums, vaguely remember hearing they weren't so good?
Wiki page has a lot of quick info on that type of plum.

Now I'm going to have to look into this again with an eye to using whatever I have on hand. Fruit liquor and salt pickles!

-edit to add-
HAD to know, so searched for making umeboshi with regular plums and found this, so now I have a new project!
1 year ago
Hm, so far a Pepper plant died of aphids on the growing tip, and the Shiso I planted next to it is ALMOST dead by my own hand after spraying with alcohol to try to control the aphids. I forgot to dilute properly. It's still trooping, so I hope for seeds if not delicious leaves for wraps. My crookneck squash isn't dead but it's not really growing either. Zuc-Zilla in the next pot over is demanding a trellis already, but the crookneck mound is like the size of half a basketball. Lots of buds, but... the leaves are still small and I worry.

I have terrible growing conditions on a tiny balcony shaded by a large tree.  Got a grow light to put in the porch fixture and on cloudy days I put the squash pot up on a stand under the light to try and give it as much light as possible.

Everything else seems to be doing pretty well, considering! Only one and a half dead things, but it's early yet. If my cat gets out unsupervised, there will be certain casualties. She digs and pulls leaves off for fun.
Voted. It said there were four hours left to vote, so I hope enough people get to it in time.
1 year ago
I recently saw an interesting version of a self-watering pot that used short chunks of wood as wicks. Like 2-4" round branches cut short to fit. I cannot for the life of me remember where I saw that, sadly.

I do remember wondering how well it would work, and putting it on next years balcony garden experiment list.
1 year ago
Oddly enough, I have JUST got to the chapter relating to this in Sepp Holzer's Permaculture book that I got recently for my kindle reader.
I think it's required reading for this forum, so I'd be surprised if you didn't have a copy too. In book, it's referred to as liquid fertilizer and seems to be a naturally fermented tea made from just about any plant that seems to have good nutrients you want to pass along.

I'll have to re-read the chapter now, I wasn't really paying attention since I was powering through, just noted in my head for 'later' when I have something other than a tiny shaded balcony to play with.  I was fascinated by the description enough to remember where I'd heard of tea fertilizer when I saw your question. I hope that helps at all, I know my description was very vague.
1 year ago