Discussion in 'Members' Systems' started by mischief, Sep 26, 2013.
Wow, you're making miso? I love miso and can't wait to hear how yours turns out.
miso? fermented soybeans with a little salt?
re: the drive, i would rather weed than mow any time and you'd be
surprised how well creeping thymes do at suppressing other weeds.
you will have some, but in our experience it works pretty well.
smells good when you walk on it...
our summer has been very dry here. about 20cm behind on rain
but we did have some the other day. otherwise a quiet summer.
Hi guys. I didn't realise how long I had been away, its been a longer winter season than usual-two more weeks to go.
I did have a little taste a couple of weeks ago and it does taste like miso, but not quite like the bought stuff. I used quite a lot of salt, not a little bit to make sure it didn't go off.
I didnt puree it so it is a little more chunky than the bought stuff.
One thing I couldn't help noticing is that the mold just keeps on growing through the glazed pot. I have wiped it down with disinfectant and it just grew back. Its brown and quite fluffy.
I don't understand how that could happen. A similar thing happened once when I tried to salt green beans. (yuk).It was obviously salt growing through and yes I did taste that and yes it was salt. I cant bring myself to taste this stuff though.
I have been trying t get the nursery to grow soy beans on the fallow sections, so far with little success. They did how ever do a trial of different ferts and.... one area with absolutely none. The one with none apparently did better than all the rest, so they may ditch the artificials altogether.
I have been harping on about going organic for some time and growing things other than grass on the fallow sections.
They were using the white clover in the grass but found that this caused problems with not breaking down properly. I pointed out that a better option might be the crimson clover and use the white clover in another area more suited.(under a non disclosure clause, so I do have to be careful as to what I say. I happen to agree with being under this clause.)
I even got them to listen to the idea of using compost and am waiting for a mate to get back to me with the name of a local farmer who does large scale composting so I can get them to go talk to him. He may even be able to sell them enough to do a trial.
I think they will go for it.This year they used a seaweed based fert and did a worm cast trial on one section of fallow land. I couldn't help make a snide remark that if they stopped using artificial; ferts and pesticides, the worms might come back and save they some money on buying the casts.(they have become used to me coming up with' bright ideas'.)
The grass where they did this trial is very noticibly greener, especially on the spot where they had a big spill. These are very green and much taller than they neighbouring areas.
My mate finally got the internet connected, which is why I am on line now. I have missed checking out what you guys have been up to.
The driveway is gravel and grass, where I don't drive over and works ok. I just mow it on high. I just cant get my head around doing the same thing in the parking area.
Under the Feijoa trees, I have strategically placed some burgundy mushroom spore with little sticks to remind me as to where they got put. This area was covered with woodchip before winter and hasn't really broken down yet. I am hoping that I have put it in in time to get this to spread before any wild stuff does. When I see the mycelium I need to get some of that mountain of soil over it Apparently, this type of mushroom needs a covering of soil to form fruiting bodies, even though the mycelium will grow through the woodchip.
The fruit trees have started to flower, that is, the Almond, plums and the peach that grows right next to the house, but not the one down by the road.
I should be getting my seeds sowing under way, but so far just haven't got around to it.
The glasshouse is still standing, waiting patiently for me to get back to it. I did worry about it when we had some really severe winds.
Ooops, dinner time, have to go.
hi welcome back.
yeah, it's amazing what can happen when you stop poisoning and killing
off the natural systems. i hope the various trials will all go well...
gotten into the busy season this past month so things are humming along
I met my new neighbour this week. She's an elderly lady with two little fluff balls commonly called dogs, so I wont be able to take mine for a walk down to the letter box any more in case they mistake hers for chew toys.
She and her son have been busy cutting out all the NZ Punga,(tree fern), because she feels they have BUGS and she doesn't like bugs. So far, they have cut back to the trunk all 6 of them. I could have cried.
Luckily for them, one of her friends likes them and is being given the trunks to re grow.
She wanted to know where exactly the boundary line was between our places because she wanted to cut out some of the native shrubs-Pittisporums .
I showed her where the boundary was and explained to her that I and the previous owners had hedged these self sown shrubs so that they now act as a wind break- for me from the souwesterlys and for them, the southerly blasts. Luckily for me, most of them are actually growing on my side so she is going to continue to hedge them on her side and 'thin out' the ones on her side.
I let her know that she was more than welcome to help herself to the piles of woodchip to use as mulch on her gardens. She declined however, saying that she enjoys getting her hands in the soil unencumbered by things like mulch.
As far as I know, there are NO bugs in Pungas
Oh dear. I cant see us getting on very well at all. And she likes Roses.
I told her that she was more than welcome to the ones my mum planted and left here, I am over their thorns.
The sweet scent does Not make up for the amount of times I get torn by these horrible things.
On to better things.
My orange tree has loads of lovely fruit on it and they are almost ripe. I ate one and was pleasantly surprised to find that it was sweetish- not quite ripe. I am, however, puzzled because I am sure they have always ripened in summer.
I definitely remember taking bucket loads to the nursery when I did a stint of summer work there and yet here they are almost fully ripe now in early spring. I don't understand, not that I mind with no other fruit read for the eating at this time of year.
Four more sleeps and I can get stuck into the back yard again.
I sort of don't really know where to start to be honest.
"Bugs" ... where would we be without them?
I've found that plants that get eaten alive by "bugs" in the greenhouse are totally "bug" free when moved outside due to the abundance of predatory insects.
Yeh.....I almost laughed but restrained myself.
Obviously, some people, I almost wrote '.....the older generation' still believe bugs are BADDDD!!
Some of these tree ferns are quite old and are over 2 metres tall and I am 100 % sure there are absolutely no bugs in/on them.
I almost cried when I saw the self sown ones that must be at least 15 years old hacked right back to almost nothing. I can only hope that her friend loves them as much as I do and manages to get them growing again.
I spoke too soon about my winter season finishing tomorrow.
We have been asked to do another week so, of course, I said yes. I have a rule about not turning work down.
I have never really worried too much about bugs, ever since I discovered wasps trawling the garden and homing in on white butterfly caterpillar and eating them. I actually got snapped by my then, young daughter and her friends sitting in the garden path so I could watch this real life in action.
One of her friends looked liked she would have loved to sit down and watch too, but peer pressure being what it is, wouldn't allow for such a thing.
I might need to buy some more burgundy mushroom spore. I checked up on the spots I 'planted' and found almost all of it had been scratched up and eaten by birds. It is wheat (most likely) that has been cultured, so the next lot will need to be covered or buried more deeply. I did see some mycilium in the woodchip but cant be sure that it is actually from this future gourmet delight.It is supposed to grow mushrooms from between 5 and 30 cm and so well worth while.
I am hoping that it will become a major feature in my diet.
Meanwhile, I have taken great delight in seeing the mustard family busily flowering madly all over the place and knowing that while I am not there to see it, These will be being visited by my local bee friends.
Some of the baby rosemary plants are flowering for the first time too, which was a bit of a buzz. It also means that I will be able to attempt to move a geriatric prostrate Rosemary next winter and not worry too much if it doesn't survive the ordeal. now that there are a lot more of the same to replace it with.
Finally !!!! I have managed to get hold of some lengths of oak brandhes of the right size to make some proper mushroom stumps.
I now have three which are around 4 foot in length.. Just need to wait a couple of weeks for them to chill out before I canput the spore treated dowels in them and 'plant' them in the ground.
A mate of mine is going to take most of the rest of the glasshouse framing off my hands and build their own glasshouse. I am still keeping enough frames as spare parts for mine though.
A local beekeeping supplier has made some hives of a similar nature as to that I was going to make myself, so I have lined up to get one from them and hopefully save myself some time. Who knows, I might actually have some bees move in this year. I decied that I would make/get the hive and then wait an see if a swarm would move in rather than buying a nuc.
The woodchip man got hold of my friend (that put me on to him), to ask if I still wanted the mulch. He had tried to deliver but found his spot was still full cos i just havent had the time to move it all.When I found out about this,I had a chat with my boss at the nursery and suggested that maybe this stuff could be worth his while getting. He was calling them as I left today so I'll find out whether or not its a go.
Of course, I may have just done myself out of future mulch but.... oh well.
This week I gave the nursery manager the number of our tree mulching friend and next week they will be getting their first load of mulch.
One more week of work. I have had to say that I just cannot keep extending my contract any more, much to their disappointment.
Yesterday, I was wandering around looking at what plants the bees were on. I didnt sow so much mustard this year and was alittle worried about that. There was only one spot of them instead of the normal three.
While some of the bees were on these, alot more were in the apple tree at the front of my house, but even more were all over the native hebe. Absolutely crawling with them. I will be taking more cutting of these for both myself and for sharing with friends and work mates.
I was taking note of what else was working the flowers. There were Hover flies, the odd bumble bee which was disappointing. Flies of two types, and one thing that at first I thought was a fly I hadnt seen before but when I looked more closely, was a bee. I havent seen this sort before and was hoping that it was a native to NZ. I havent seen this one before, it looked completely different to the native bee that I was able to identify. This one was like a very small bumble bee but not round-more fly shaped. It was black with a white band around its abdomen and had four whote dots just above its 'tail'.It was fluffy like a bee, but flew quite irratically like a fly.
I am hoping it is a native bee.
My daughter is picking up my chest hive next week for me and I have put the word out for a colony to put in it.
Living from from the nearest honeybee hives, I have been amazed at the native pollinators around here. We're hoping to get some honeybees also, but like you, want to be sure we have a constant supply of flowers blooming in succession during the year.
Some of the native pollinators:
I am glad that you recognise other insects as pollinators.
I do feel that too much emphasis is being placed on the plight of our honey bees and that this is only because people who have been exploiting these are suffering from a lose of income.
Perhaps that may seem alittle harsh, but that is the way I see it.
If these people( commercial bee keepers-exploiters) had worked with the needs of the bees as well as their own, the situation would be alot different and because they are losing money, we get to hear about it all. If they werent losing money, I can almost guarantee that we would not know what was going on.
The problem honey bees suffer form is ... human(un)kind.
It has only been 100-150 years since the so called modern hive system has been in use. That may seem like a long time, but isnt when you consider hw long bees have been around.
I dont have any hives at the moment so it could be that I am talking through the hole in my head, But, I have spent alot of time in study of bees, hives, methods etc...
Man!!! I have spent a couple of hours typing here only to delete the lot
There is so much wrong with the current situaion in regards to how honey bees are being exploited almost out of existance and the blame is laid at the feet of yet another insect when really the most major prolblem honey bees face is ... being exploited by human kind.
Poor housing, inadequate food,force fed medicine, genicide, inbreeding.
Add the that, the same thing we are facing-poisoning of the food and water sources.
Its a wonder that they have survived so long.
There is hope for them.
More and more people are planting specifically for them and hopefully, more and more will see that their is no hardship involved in being more aware of the needs of nature and doing more to lessen the impact humankind has been inflicting on nature.
I am confident that I have enough in place to warrant getting a hive of my own- a bee Hotel, as I have started to call it, seeing as it is going to be accomodation for bees, with their needs in mind.
I was going to build a proto type chest hive based on what I had formulated after all the study I have been doing.
I decided to buy one from 'Kiwimana', seeing as it was pretty close to what I had in mind.
My daughter picked it up for me this week and brought it down to me yesterday.
Today, I set it up on the terrace overlooking the courtyard.
It may be sheer conceit, but, I do think an email conversation I had with them may have played a part in its design.I. of course would like to think so.
Earlier this year, I told them that I didnt actually have a hive but as going to be building one and told them the specs I had in mind.
Last month they let me know that they had this one for sale. The only real difference is that I was going to make mine a bit longer so I could have a double hive, ie one at each end.
I am going to leave it as is for now to see if it will attract a swarm. If not, I have quite afew contacts to get a colony from in time for them to set up and be able to get through winter.
I'm compelled to recognize (and rejoice in) the native pollinators as European honeybees are few and far between way out here. Wheat doesn't need honeybees!
Some years the fruit trees are in full bloom and there is no frost, but it's still to cold out for the native's to be active ... no fruits those years.
Did you get the Kiwi Lifestyler hive? Looks like a nice piece of kit.
Yes thats it.
I was told to rub bees wax over the inside of the hive and then scorch it to get rid of the new wood smell, by a moderator on the biobees forum.
So, today, thats what I did, using the foundation wax i took off the frames.
I had already cut off the bottom two thirds of the foundation and then decided that they didnt really need even that much so I took the top third off every other one.
The whole idea of leaving some on was to make sure that the bees, when I got them, built straight comb. I dont want to have to mess around trying to fix comb that goes across the frames instead of in each one.
I was going to leave the hive as is to see if I could attract a swarm. I just cant wait, so tomorrow, I am going to get hold of some guys I know to see if I can get a nuc from one of them. If not ... then I will buy one from a commercial seller.
Patience may be a virtue, but unfortunately, thats something I am alittle short on.
Today was my first day off. Oh, bliss, I got to sleep in until the dogs decided that I had had enough.
oAfter seeing te the hive, there was hedge trimming along the front boundary, checking up on the apple tree-loaded with bees and already I could see little fruit forming.
The Avocado still has some fruit on it. Not as many as before winter, but thats ok.
The front lawn got mowed including the driveway.The back jungle got the weed eater first then mowed.
I sat on my seat out back and ate a ripe orange, listening to the NZ Fantails-Piwakawaka singing in the trees. They just have to be my most favourite birds, they sound so cheerful and I love the way they fly.
I forgot to mow the courtyard, so that will have to get done tomorrow.
I need not have worried about whether I had sowed enough brassicas. They are all loaded with bees and all day. I had heard that some flowers do not produce pollen or nectar all day, but obviously these do.
My little winter savory edging in front of the Pear tree beds got alittle hair cut so the fronts of them were nice and neat. The tops just got a light clip to deal with leggy bits. I now have something that looks alittle normal for visitors. Actually, its important to me that I have something that has a straight edge. I think it has to do with keeping a balance. Most other things in the backyard get to just do their own thing and sometimes it does feel alittle wild and woolly, as much as I love it.
The Herb Robert for one thing, I have growing all over the place. They are next to the back steps to the garden and make it feel more natral, breaking up the hard edges of the brick wall.
The Pear trees got some attention too. They have obviously flowered while I wasnt looking cos I could see a few little fruit on each of them. This will be the first from these.
I loosened the ties holding the branches down so that the end would not continue to have that nasty sharp bend in them, trimmed off all the shoots growing at the back and bottom of each and tied them to the next line above theirs on an angle so they could maybe grow alittle more tidily.
Of course, alot of time was spent drinking green tea on the terrace and just enjoying the sunshine and the fact that I di not HAVE to move if I didnt want to.
Ohhh, and the grape vine growing along both sides of the water tanks aquaduct is loaded with flowers.
sounds divine mischief!
i'm glad you're able to enjoy some time
off to putter or not as inclined.
we are now heading into winter here and
today is supposed to be pretty nice so
this afternoon i'll be outside putting gardens
to sleep for the winter. i have three gardens
to do. hope to get two done today, the last
has beets in it still so won't be ready until
those are pulled.
not many more days like this going to be
it has been a good year for us even with the
heat/drought most of the summer. thank
goodness for the clay. i keep saying that as
experience has really shown it to be so true.
i did still have to do a lot of irrigating this summer
but the clay at least kept most things going in
between so it was not every day.
we put up a few hundred quarts of tomatoes and
tomato juice. harvested a few hundred squash,
plenty of peppers, onions, ... the only thing i did
not plant much of this year was beans and i miss
the fall season shelling and sorting this year. i'm
hoping next year to get back to a more normal
season with those. i have all winter to work on
glad to hear you are doing ok and having fun.
time to get a bite of lunch and then hit the digs.
Oh you sound flat out!!
....a few hundred squash!!!!! umm, right. I do something is the region of maybe a couple of dozen at the most.
How in gods name, do you use a few hundred QUARTS of tomato/jiuice. I cant even begin to imagine that amount.
I had my weeks holiday.
The chainsaw is in the shop getting a service in readiness for getting stuck into those dratted hazel trees I promised a mate to help thin out.
Mum and I are in the middle of our spring clean. My place first then hers.
Compared to you, I seem to do alot of playing catch up rather than getting ahead.
My hay field commonly called the back lawn has been attacked with the weed eater and then mowed, one bed along the hedge has been leveled with some of that mountain of beautiful soil my neighbour dropped over the hedge for me. Unfortunately, he must have forgotten to tell the diggerman to scrap off the grass before depositing it over here cos it is now a beautiful lush mountain of grass!! that I am having to weed out as I move it.
The woodchip in the glasshouse did not break down as fast as I thought it would so I probably wont be planting anything in there this summer, except maybe some mushroom spore. This was supposed to be the home for most of that small mountain.(my shoulders slum).I sometimes wonder why I put it there, right over my 3 long vegie beds, but never mind, it will work out in the end.
I did manage to mulch the Orange tree and edge it with my trusty pavers, swearing that the next thing I attack is the ramp up to the back yard so I no longer have to drag the wheelbarrow up those 5 steps.
The Bed between the terrace and the toolshed has been cleared out and mulched with woodchip and is ready to get going. the florence fennel and silver beet there, have done really well and are now starting to flower - seed for next year.
Rosemary hedges are all clipped so they will grow thick rather than leggy.
My raspberries already have baby fruit on them and I still have a shit load of somebody elses bees gorging on all the bee friendly plants I sowed for them.
The Pear tree has been thinned of shoots growing towards the fence or downwards and one has its first load of fruit starting.
The first lot of seed for the year is sown and so we begin yet another round. I have decided to have a go at growing my own tobbacco this year wirh seed given to me by a workmate.
The parking area got weeded with just a few bits that will need to be sprayed with my pine based weed killer- interceptor. Thats going to stink for a week or so, but i refuse to support 'Them'.
The first load of firewood for next year is stacked up one woodshed bay. I'll be getting more from doing the hazels too.
I try to start getting it in before Christmas so I know it is ging to be dry for winter. Some people think I am nuts starting so early, but it is cheaper to get fresh cut (wet) now than it is to buy dry stuff later.
The cabbage tree is still dropping loads of leaves which work really well as kindling when they are tied in bunches. Helps to fill the gaps in the firewood stack too.
On checking out the fruit trees, the apple look set to do a whopper of a season, so to the persimmons, the Hawera plum is not doing as well as it did but still alot of fruit on it.
The peach donw by the road is looking loaded, the blackboy peach has its first 5 fruit and the Elephant heart/Luisa plum has at least a dozen for its first season.
I might have made a mistake in sharing the first spears of the asparagus with my dogs. I accidentally broke one of while weeding, so, of course I ate it, giving some to them. Later on, I walked past it and there was Jack snout down chopping something in the ground....a spear, chewed right down to the nub. I am going to have to put some kind of cover over them so they have a chance of growing anything.
First the walnuts, now the asparagus.
Sounds like a great beginning Mischief! We had a superior year for fruits this past summer, got nearly 900 lbs of apples from only three trees and after lots of eating and freezing we put up almost 30 gallons of cider. Sheila's brother said he didn't know apples grew in bunches like grapes!
lol about the asparagus and walnuts...
we give quite a bit of everything away between relatives, friends,
soup kitchen. we cleaned 17 cases of canned goodies out of the front
closet to give away to make room for some of the newer things. i can't
even eat tomatoes any more so we need even less for us now.
over 200 quarts of juice/chunks comes close to what a 55 gallon drum
looks like. and yes, that's a lot of them for just us, but we only use a few
cases a year.
because of the change in my diet (not being able to eat tomatoes any
more) it means i grew extra red peppers to roast and freeze to use on
pasta and in other ways. it has worked out very well and i'm happy in
that. Ma is still working through how to change her recipes and ways
of getting around this, but i keep telling her to cook as she used to
because everyone else still loves it. ah well, we'll see how that goes...
a work in progress.
wood chips take several years to break down even partially and the
hotter and drier a climate the longer it will take.
you have a ton of variety of fruits, i'm envious, most would not live
here at all... cheers, gotta run...
Yeah, I decided that there was some sense in planting permanent things like fruit trees and then underplanting them with other things, both permanent and annual.
I wasnt too sure that my oak leaved papaya was going to regrow this year because the stems had been severely damaged by the frost. The other day when I checked them again, they were starting to sprout again from lower down. I found this quite puzzling seeing as they are supposed to be indigenous to the USA where they experience SNOW.
Their permanent bed is just about ready and tommorrow I should be taking them out of their pots and planting them out.
I didnt put the roof on the glasshouse specifically so the woodchip in here would get all that lovely winter rain. While it hasnt broken down as I expected, it has to some degree. I am hoping that by innoculating it with mushroom spore, this will help do that as well as add another level to my plantings.
I have things planted in other areas too, like the elephant garlic growing in the Pear tree bedsdown in the parking area, The NZ spinanch in the Almond tree bed where it has learnt that it too can climb the trellis.
The Orange tree bed is sown with beneficial insect plants and the blackboy is where I have sown some of the first of the tobacco seed. The edges are setaside for the rocket and mizuna.
Down in the courtyard, as I said earlier, the bed for the Oak leaved Papaya is now ready and once they are in will be planted out in this years silverbeet, loose leaf lettuce-(I really dont see the point in planting heading lettuce).
So while I dont have any specific beds set aside for vegies at the moment, I still have plenty of spaces to pop things in here and there.
Are you on a Paleo diet? I believe this doesnt allow for tomatoes or other members of that family.
not on a Paleo diet, just a food reaction/allergy which
causes a skin rash. as a child i could barely eat anything
without breaking out and i think that my early treatments
for allergies really confused my immune system. i have
always been able to eat tomatoes and didn't notice any
problems until the past few years. so almost 50yrs of them
and now this shows up? ah well, it was a good run, i've
probably eaten tons of them. time for me to get a more
diverse diet i guess... just kidding, i do pretty good for
where i'm at.
i thought that innoculating to grow fungi was done with
green wood so you did not have to worry about getting
the right mushrooms growing? i hope you are careful if
you plan on eating them to know for sure.
Um.... yep, innoculating with mushroom spore is supposed to be done after three weeks of being freshly cut. This is because trees have a natural anti fungal property and the three week wait is so that subsides off.
I am still going to do it though using only one type. Sooo, if what grows doesnt look like it should I wont be eating it but at least I will have another layer.
Actually, I better hurry up and order the spore cos I have those Oak trunks waiting. They should just about be ready too.
I got 3 four foot long lengths, I'm probably going to have to cut them in half because they are so heavy, I still cant move them by myself. I was hoping to get my son in law to help but that hasnt happened yet.
I count myself very lucky in that I dont appear to have food allergies. I have friends who have and have struggled to understand why they just cannot/dare not eat something.
It just doesnt seem right that food is bad for you!
It appears however that I AM developing an allery to neighbours!
I have just spent 5 hours digging out the soil behind my old washhouse because a previous neighbour has levelled the land behind above the base.
I had dug this out a couple of years ago, below what I thought was the bottom of the shed, only to realise now, that there was a weatherboard below that one that had completely rotted out and was no more.
I only went back there because I saw a seedling growing and knew that if not removed, would have grown into a ginormous tree, wrecking both the shed and the fence.
The gap between the two is less than my hip-width half way along, so I had to work backwards for the most part.
It was mostly gravel and sand with soil mixed in. this got scraped into a 10 litre bucket, hauled out and taken over to the glasshouse and tipped ontop of the woodchip. After 30 bucket loads, I lost count.
I am having to reorganise my 'Priorities' list and put at the top of this- repair the rear of the washhouse, along with repair the wall in the porch which another old neighbour 'helped' me by building it, but forgot to mention that they had used untreated timber which of course has rotten out too. I find this out when the boards covering it fell off, exposng the fact that the whole thing is in jeapody of collapsing taking the beam that holds up the roof here with it.
Not a happy chappy at the moment.
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