Farming with Nature – Permaculture with Sepp Holzer

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Rain water collection/filtering system

A good idea from Aquascape. More information here.

Three wooden boards=$58

Who can be happy about spending $58 on three wooden boards? Woodworkers, that’s who. I just came back from our local WoodCraft store with three boards in hand. I had a gift card left over from Christmas. It’s a cold and windy day today. I needed a comfort purchase. That’s similar to comfort food, but tastes differently. I’ve been planning this trip since Christmas. I’m working on an idea, have been for a few months. I’m making mental sketches and actual paper ones of wooden briefcase designs. I’ve got a few different styles in mind. I’ll probably make each of them eventually. To begin with, I am settling on one that is a little less involved, both in terms of design and in terms of wood requirements. Using nice (read exotic) wood can be pricey. I just pulled myself away from some very attractive $200 boards at the wood store. I’m going to go with a design that uses finger joinery finished with a roundover bit in the router, and simple rod through holes as a hinge joint. I’ll be doing some hopefully final drawings tonight, using the specs of the actual boards I just purchased to figure the dimensions, and to factor the weight, which will constrain/guide the design. I’ll post pictures when I finish the case. Be forewarned, it could be a while. There are three people here, ages 5, 4, and 3 years, who say I have more important things to do that working in the garage (my woodshop).

What can I eat from my garden today? What’s coming soon?

My garden started last Fall. I have some plants that still are doing well, in spite of the two freezes they went through. Now that it is Spring, I am replanting. There are many more plants in the ground now (or seeds at least). They won’t be up for a little while longer. Eventually, I hope to have a much larger selection always available to my kitchen, either in my garden ready to be picked or preserved from earlier harvests. However, here is what I have in my personal ‘produce store’ today. Everything but one or two items in all of the below three lists are organic, mostly heirloom too.

Red Russian Kale, Lacinto Kale, Even’ Star Champion Collards, Cardinale Lettuce, Deer Tongue Lettuce, Forellenschluss Lettuce, Red Velvet Lettuce, Grandpa Admire’s Butterhead Lettuce, Reine de Glaces Lettuce, Early Jersey Wakefield Cabbage, Red Giant Mustard, & Moss Curled Parsley. (and five different green bean varieties in bags in the freezer, from last Fall’s harvest)

Planted but not ready to harvest yet, I have…Pac Choi, Carnival Blend Carrots, Danvers Carrots, Purple Pod Pole Beans, Hidatsa Shield Figure Beans, Cherokee Trail of Tears Beans, Provider Beans, Good Mother Stallard Beans, Arugula, Cherry Belle Radishes, Mizuna Mustard, Valencia Tomatoes, Brandywine Tomatoes, Ailsa Craig Onions, Bloomsdale Spinach, Detroit Dark Red Beets, Greek Yevani Basil, Granma Einck’s Dill, Common English Thyme, Cinnamon Basil, Common Oregano, Marjoram, Jolly Jester Marigolds (not to eat), English Lavender, Bouquet Dill, Common Chives, Sweet Marjoram, Garden Broadleaf Sage, Prairie Coneflower Echinacea, & Elves Blend Sunflowers.

Still to be planted…Rhubarb Swiss Chard, Five Color Silverbeet Swiss Chard, Red Burgandy Okra, Purple Top White Globe Turnip, Black Beauty Zucchini Summer Squash, Marketmore Cucumber, California Wonder Sweet Pepper, Sugar Snap Peas, Ace Bush Tomato, Calypso Beans, Listada de Gandia Eggplant, British Wonder Pea, Anna Swartz Hubbard Squash, Napolean Sweet Pepper, Sunberries, Sultan’s Green Crescent Bean, Galeux d’Eysines Squash, Ireland Creek Annie Beans, Bushy Cucumber, Aurora Pepper, Golden Midget Watermelon, Snow Fancy Pickling Cucumber, Black Mountain Watermelon, Ashworth Yellow Sweet Corn, Eden’s Gem Melons, Petit Gris Melons, Double Yield Cucumber.

I am behind on my planting, as usual. However, here in my part of Texas, we have very long growing seasons. So, as long as I protect my crops from the Summer heat down the road. I should be fine; though I may be a little sore before it’s all done.

Words for today.

‘Just living is not enough,’ said the butterfly.
‘One must have sunshine, freedom,
and a little flower.’

-Hans Christian Andersen

Horsing Around

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Butterflies at the local botanic garden

Our family visited the local botanic garden this morning and enjoyed the butterfly show. Hundreds of butterflies moved all around us. Here are some of them.

Happiness is a butterfly,
which, when pursued,
is always just beyond your grasp,
but which, if you will sit down quietly,
may alight upon you.

-Nathaniel Hawthorne

Homemade Car Launcher

My kids (and I) are enjoying it. Some scrap wood, a polycarbonate sheet, 4 hook screws, a rubber band, some vinyl electrical tape, and a sheet of felt…homemade fun ready in about an hour.

The Big Garden is Mud and Weeds

Work to do.

Since I neglected the large garden plot over the winter, I have a nice groundcover of weeds. There is much work to be done this week, so we can start planting. I am blessed to have some helpers. Here are two of my three kids, helping out by pulling weeds. I planted in the smaller backyard garden to get some things in the ground right away. I need to stay on my planting schedule. I have at least fifty different varieties to plant this season.