Tag Archives: Water front

Cleaning the Barrels

I got out and cut the barrels in half yesterday. Then today I washed the insides of them. At first I thought it would be harder than it was. The rusty looking stains that were on the inside and tops of the barrels actually came off very easily. Just used the dish soap and scrub brush that I used on the pickle barrels. That got most of it and then detailed with Mr. Clean errasers, and it turned out pretty good. 

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Got More Barrels :oD

Went yesterday to Pink Hill NC to get the rest of the barrels I needed to complete the system. I pick up 2 of the blue barrels 55 gal,with the bung holes that will be cut in half to make the Grow beds.  

I also picked up 4 black pickle barrels, 60 gal ea.  Two of these will be in the system and 2 for rain barrels.

I got the pickle barrels all cleaned out and ready to go . The blue ones I did a little bit on them I will get them thoroughly after I have cut them in half.

These are the 2 that will be the rain barrels.

Here are the two pickle barrels in place .

My original system had a catastrophic failure Sunday. THe left bank of grow beds had been slipping slowly toward the pond.  So I needed to do something anyway , well one of the totes broke at the bottom and I was lucky I didn’t loose all the water. So I took the left bank out and the flood tank out. I piped the water directly to the right bank of grow beds. So they are now running continuously.

The rest of these are some plants I have brought into the green house because the nights are getting cooler.

The milk jugs are filled with water , part of the thermal mass.

OK thats it for today ,will start the plumbing tomorrow. Hopefully I will be able to get it up and running soon. Might be running on a extenion cord for a little bit , I will eventually get it wired …I know Eric I will call before I start tat  LOL..

Did you notice the volunteer tomato I have coming up out of the cinder block hole. I will keep it and see what it does. The rest are weeds and I will get rid of them.

Hugelkultur??? Give it a Shot???

I read about Hugelkultur on line several places and I just happened to have a lot of wood and brush laying around. So going to give it a shot.  If you don’t know what Hugelkultur is you are not alone,I didn’t eithier. Of course I couldbe wrong and you and I are the only ones who do not know… any here is what Wikipedia has to say about:

Hügelkultur

The practice of making raised garden beds filled with rotting wood.[16][17] It is in effect creating a Nurse log, however, covered with dirt.

Benefits of hugelkultur garden beds include water retention and warming of soil.[16][18] Buried wood becomes like a sponge as it decomposes, able to capture water and store it for later use by crops planted on top of the hugelkultur bed.[16][19]

The buried decomposing wood will also give off heat, as all compost does, for several years. These effects have been used by Sepp Holzer for one to allow fruit trees to survive at otherwise inhospitable temperatures and altitudes.[17]

That said what I get from it is Lasagne bed. Just layering material over logs and rotting wood. OK so that is what I have started. I removed all the top soil from the bed and just for lack of a better place to put it I moved it inside the green house frame. This is all soil that I have been amending for several years with compost in my raised beds. I will use this on the hugelkultur bed along with the top soil from the green house site.

This is the bed with the wood and brush I had around the yard. I also used the old rotting lumber that was the other two beds.

I am not going to make a traditional hugelkultur, in that it wont be six ft tall and about 4-5 ft wide. This will be 4 ft wide and how every tall it gets. I might have to bring in some extra top soil, we’ll see.

 

this was just some shots around the yard. My better half Sharon told me that i needed something in the picture of the tree frog for scale to show how small they really are.

Going to get the IBC and two blue 55 gal drums that will be the grow beds. Once I get them and the IBC dug in I can put the green house up. I will get hem tomorrow, have to drive over Beullaville to pick them up , that will take most of the day tomorrow.  But I will be sure to get pictures.

Comeing Along Slowly

Ok I am really taking my time doing this. I got started on the foundation , about half of it is done. But today has been raining off and on all day so will get back to it next week. I did get some pics of the work so far and a few of the rest of the yard.

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Green House Build Part Two

Got a load of landscaping blocks and some more cinder blocks. It is too wet to try to tamp and set the block in place but I did get them unloaded then moved around to the back yard. Man this used to be a lot easier 20 years ago.  Four wheel barrow loads later, I was pretty well beat. It has been raining here off and on for awhile now. I heard yesterday that North Carolina is the soggiest state this year. It seems like the whole country is in a drought and we are wet, very wet indeed. I know I should be happy there are several states that love to have this rain. But my yard is growing so fast that it almost needs to be cut every three  days. Any way I will have to let the ground dry out some before I can much more.

Here are some pics I took today,and some visitors to my yard.

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The Begining of the Green House Assembly

I have been lazy with this blog for awhile. The hot summer has taken its toll . But back on track now, I hope for awhile. The heat has subsided into the mid 90’s so I got back out in the garden . I am starting the process of leveling the spot for my green house . This is a little bit of a challenge since I have such a slope in the back yard.

The green house is going to be where my old raised beds were, so had to tear them out. As you can see they were about to fall apart anyway. They had been there close to 5 years .

Old raised beds , they were ready to go.

I decided to go with a 4×4 foundation and will use gravel for the floor. Here you can see the 4X4 frame and how the slope of the yard is keeping this interesting.

Entrance will be here. Probably go with flower bed on each side of they walk way to the door.

The two pepper plants that were not in the way.

Left side, Fish tank (IBC) will be in the left rear corner.

Corner where the IBC will be.

From the rear

  I have the frame level now, So you can see how much I will have to fill. I think I might go with the cinder block or the decorative blocks for retaining walls to fill the down hill side. Really don’t think I will have to bring any more soil in . When I dig the IBC in (about 20 inches deep) that soil should be enough to level the floor before the gravel goes down. So that is where the Green house project is at this point.
Now for just some random pics around the garden and Aquaponics system. It is running good , plenty of peppers even the okra is producing.

So enjoy The Slide Show !!

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OK  time to get back to work . More Pics to come as the work progresses. until then have a great day.

Back Again

Sorry that it has been a while since I have updated this blog. I have been swamped lately. These are some pic I took this morning to help explain how the valve on my flood tank works. this a post from a forum that I am a member of.

I will take some better pictures of the flood valve tomorrow and post them. It is pretty simple , It is a soda bottle with a hole in the cap and the bottom cut out. It is connected via fishing line over two wheels to a toilet tank valve. There is a tube coming out of the flood tank at a height that will fill the grow beds when it empties. The tube directs the water that over flows through it to the bottle. As the bottle fills up,  the weight of the water in the bottle overcomes the weight of the water in the tank holding the valve closed. This then essentially flushes the tank through the tee valve at the bottom then to the grow beds. As the water drains out of the bottle the weight of the valve over comes the weight of the empty bottle and closes the valve to stop the flow to the beds.

Here are some pictures from this morning:

This shows the bottle and the overflow tube.

This is the hole in the cap of the bottle.

This shows the line ans the safety pin holding it.

Better look at the pin and swivel.

The wheels are from a sliding door repair kit.This is shot of the toilet tank valve. The rusty piece you see are washers that I added fro weight to help the valve close when the water empties from the tank.

And here are several form the grow beds , as you can see the peppers really seem to like the growing in the system.

This bed is sort of experimental, I have celery growing from the bottom of a celery I bout at the store. Also some Okra And some onion that are growing from the bottoms of green onions I also cut off others.

In the above are tomato’s that were suckers pinched off my garden tomatoes, and more Okra and onions.

Here are just some of the pepper on the plants. I have already canned 7 pints of pickled hot peppers.Won’t be long before I need to put some more up.

I hope that explained it for . If you have any other questions about the system don’t hesitate to ask. That said I am very new to AP systems and I am learning as I go.