Sunday, January 8, 2012

All Over The Place

This post will be kinda all over the place so here we go.

 First thing is I added another raised bed to the garden area this weekend. I built it last week and have been filling it up with that pile of compost my dad delivered to me a couple of months ago one wheel barrow at a time.
Onions have to go in at the end of the month and I needed another bed to dedicate for just onions because the wife plans to make several cases of salsa this year.
I am also trying to figure out a cheap way to put up some sun screens so the summer sun will not have such a devastating effect like it did last summer.   
I got the plumbing just about done in the solar bathhouse. It is not how I really wanted to do it but it was the cheapest way.
I also went ahead and built the shelves for the towels and other things I will have to have in there.
I have not had the chance to stain the outside yet due to the weather. We have not had but a couple of days where the sun has been out and the wind has not blown a hundred miles an hour. As soon as I get it stained I will make the signs and hang them on the bathroom wall.
In the mean time the virtual wall can be found at the top of the this blog and has the names of everyone who helped out so it is not too late if you are still wanting to participate.    

I also scored a free hot tub this weekend. I had to get three guys and drive almost to the Red River but it's mine now.

Being that is was free I did not expect it to work and after closer examination I noticed the wiring had been really butchered and would take a lot to repair.
I got the thing because I need the parts in it. It has two big filters that will go on the outside of the bathhouse to filter the rain water.
It also has a big pump that will be used for the Aquaponics system to be built later this year. The control panel has two different timers in it that can be salvaged to use on the same system.
The tub was a nice one in it's day. There are four low voltage lights I can use and several different valves, pipes and various plumbing parts. The tub itself will be used as a minnow hatchery for this springs fishing season.  

So there you have it. A weekend of doing this and that. The weather man said it was going to be in the 70's and sunny but it ended up being cloudy and nasty. I had such high hopes too.


  1. Wow, looks like you got a lot done, despite the weather. I had the same problem...they predicted sunny and high 40's but the sun never came out and it felt like the 20's.

  2. Looks like everything is coming together with the solar bath house. Yeah the weathermen said it was supposed to be close to 50 here and partly sunny. We never saw the sun and it barely got up to a chilly 43 although it felt colder.

  3. Looks like another great weekend for you.

  4. Since your parting out the hot tub, is there any chance you can dig a big hole, bury the tub in the ground and use the tub for a worm farm?

  5. Stephanie - I did not get as much done that was planned. Of course Church took a half a day and the hot tub run took a half so I only had 1 day to work and most of that was spent dragging tools in and out.

    Coley - Not as fast as they should. I wished I could afford to hire three guys for a week.

    Rob - It was but the hot tub run and church only left me with about a day to get anything done.

    Desert Rat - I could but the worms I have stay close to the top and that would be a lot of dirt to fill this thing up. I have the worms in old bath tubs down in the barn. They seem to work the best.
    If I did bury it then I would use it as a goose pond but then there would be no way to drain it and clean it out. Good thought though. At first I was just going to use the tub for minnows but you know it might be good to use for the small catfish and I could pump the water from it through the aquaponics system.

  6. Hey I forgot to ask, what did you build your raised beds out of?

  7. just a thought a question has been on my mind
    you talk about getting prepared for ???? but you never say anything along those lines for animals goats,chickens,dogs, etc. are you or have you already or how do you suggest to.
    was just wondering thats all

  8. Wow, that was such a roller coaster ride. I felt like I was in front with my hands in the air the whole time. ;) JK JK

    Great ideas and it looks like you are well on your way despite the weather. I have also been thinking about how to shade my crops this year as I too have been talking to Texan. Man, what a score they made! I am currently planning on getting some sunflowers. It will shade at least a little.


  9. Coley - I mostly use culled landscape timbers I get at a fraction of the cost from the big box lumber stores. This new one I used two 2x8x8's stacked on top of one another and tied together. I drove in a piece of re-bar in the middles to keep it from pushing out.
    Thanks for the question.

    Anony- That would make a great blog post. For the dogs I buy dog food whenever it is on sell. I do not ave a years worth for them yet but am gaining. The water for the animals and the gardens is being stored in the big rain water harvesting system I have posted about in the past. As far as the feed for the farm animals, I cannot store it for long term so I buy a month at a time. The gardens will help supplement their food during growing season. The chickens and goats need little feed because they free range. The rabbits and the pigs are the only ones I worry about.
    Good question and thanks.

    G - Yea I have been talking with her too but there is no way I can afford the metal pipe. She is right about the plastic being brittle and blowing down because I have tried that before. I am kinda planning removable shade panels made from lattice work. I use the screen she uses on some things but the price is around $75 a roll. If I could build a supporting structure and then place 15 4x8 panels in it then it should shade most of my growing area.

  10. ben thinken about shade for my garden also just had a thought come into my head
    could take some rebar bamboo whatever to ancor some feild fencen in the ground then weave that cane looking stuff in and out the squares. tie with a little wire or string ancor over the plants to be shaded still get light and rain but maybe not so hot could some misters be put into it somehow

    rumble this around in your head and see if it would work

  11. Good idea MDR. I was also thinking tonight about grapes. Having grapes grow above to help shade. It's and idea. - Genevieve

  12. Anony - Unless you had the stuff on hand I don't think it would be cost effective. The price of Re-bar is through the roof.
    Lets say you had the re-bar and they were 20 foot sticks. You could make the frame work out of the re-bar bending them to make a hoop and attach the field fencing/bamboo to it.
    You would have to make the fencing removable to roll up and keep stored for the spring and fall gardens and put it on for the summer. I will tell you now, that bamboo stuff is hard to work with. I made a little shed from it once and I will never use it again.
    You will also have the problem of anchoring it into the ground enough so the wind would not pick it up.
    If you had the re-bar I would rather use that cheap lattice work for the shade and wire it right on the bars.
    As far as misters, once the shade is up then it will keep the moisture in a lot longer so I don't think they would be needed. Plus you would not want to mist the leaves of some plants like tomatoes where you are only suppose to water the roots. I think misters would cause mildew on the leaves.
    Let me know hoe it turns out.

    G - I don't think Grapes are the way to go unless your arbor was low enough to reach the vines. Grapes take a long time to grow to the way you need them, up to three to four years. If that is what you are looking for them I think they would be great but you will still have to cut them back every year and train them in the direction you want them to grow.
    If you are looking for a natural shade wall to put on the West end of the garden to shade it from the evening sun then I suggest Morning Glories. They are a fast growing vine and grow very thick. The one problem with these are you have to cut them out every year. I used them for shade on my patio arbor and they worked great. The structure you build has to be well built because these vines are strong and will pull down something just thrown up. Another fast growing vine is Passion Flower but you have to watch this stuff because it will plumb get away from you if you ain't careful but is does make for a beautiful shade bush.

  13. Another thought today was cucumbers. I'll have to work out the details but I have seen where people have used the cattle pannels bowed over and trained them on top. the fruit drops below for picking. - G

  14. G - From what I have learned about that is that when the cucumbers start getting big you have to support them like you would a Mellon with panty hose.
    That is a good idea though. A 16' cattle panel cost around $23.00
    I don't know if the cucumber vines would grow quick enough to shade. Maybe beans on one end and cucumbers on the other. Hmmmmm.
    I am going to have to look into this.
    Thanks G.