NEW! Members Only Forums!

Access more articles, news & discussion by becoming a PeakOil.com Member.
Register Today...
It's FREE!


QUOTE O’ THE DAY

"It is not possible to continue infinite consumption and infinite population growth on a finite planet.”
-- Michael Ruppert, WSJ, 4/11/09


Login



Peak Oil is You


donate bitcoins ;-) or paypal :-)


Today I made / bought / learnt (for a post oil world) 4

If you are through speculating, this is the place to discuss actions you are taking.

Today I made / bought / learnt (for a post oil world) 4

Unread postby patience » Wed 16 Jun 2010, 18:19:05

Daughter and I started cleaning worst half of the cistern today. This side is where the water goes in from the gutters, and acts as a settling chamber. She went down the hole and I was the gofer. I fetched a ladder, shovel, wet/dry vac, a second vac to blow air into her air supply hood, batteries, flashlights, a Coleman flourescent lantern and hook to hang it on the ladder, extension cords, buckets, rope with a snap on the end for hoisting buckets of water and crud, stiff floor broom for scrubbing, garden hose, and a blower with a 4" hose to supply more air. Being a good gofer is a real job!

She started by shovelling crud/water/slime into a bucket, then used a dust pan to get more of it, and sucked out the leavings with the shop vac. I got to hoist out the buckets of stuff. After a while in the air hood, she decided the blower was plenty good enough, and the air was clean, so the hood came off. We ran the blower all day. The vac got it near dry in there, but it was still dirty, so she sprayed it all down with the garden hose, scrubbed with the industrial floor broom (4" stiff plastic bristles), and vacuumed it out again.

Most of what we got out was black grit from the old shingle roof (white painted metal now) and probably decayed leaves and twigs, rotted down to a black slime. Got pretty much all of that out today, and cement now looks almost clean, although stained. Tomorrow, she is going to bring their pressure washer, and hit it again--wash it all with high pressure water, and vac it out again. Have to turn down the pressure to keep it safe for such a small area (8 ft. high x 8ft. x 12 ft.). The partition "filter" wall looks good, but could benefit from pressure washing.

We plan to use UGL DRYLOCK "Fast Plug" hydraulic cement to seal it inside. I've never used it before, but the guy who will do that has used it to seal a spillway tube from a lake, among other things, so I'm depending on his expertise. UGL Co. says it will cover 75 to 100 sq. ft./10 lb. bucket. I have 4 buckets of it, but should get more before we start, since we need to cover 320 sq, ft. in THIS half of the cistern, and the other half will also get the treatment. This stuff sets up in 3 to 5 MINUTES, so there is bound to be some waste. I have in mind to use a stiff brush to apply it to the walls. Hope that works! I can't tell where the leaks are, so we are going to coat it all with this stuff.

This is my first experience with a cistern so I can use all the help I can get! Any experts out there? :?: I'm concerned about getting it clean enough for the hydraulic ement to stick.

We started this water collection thing a couple years ago by replacing the shingle roof with new white painted metal. Also put up new gutters, but there is some downspout work to do with that yet. Then we got the big Maple tree in the front yard cut down, since it had roots damaged in a highway rebuild, and made it a real pain to keep the gutters clean. No more of that now. I have a hand pump ready to go in when the cistern is finished.

Early this morning, I hauled straw to the garden with the wheelbarrow, and DD and wife scattered it to mulch most of what needed it. I still need to dust for potato beetles tonight. There is a lot more, but it will have to wait. Got a couple rush jobs in the shop to work on yet tonight, too. Maybe in a day or so I' can get to weeding the potatoes and corn, and clean the hen house. I got one wheelbarrow load out of the hen house last night before the sky turned black and we had a down pour of rain. :evil:
Local fix-it guy..
User avatar
patience
Expert
Expert
 
Posts: 3177
Joined: Fri 04 Jan 2008, 03:00:00

Re: Today I made / bought / learnt .... (for a post oil worl

Unread postby rangerone314 » Thu 17 Jun 2010, 19:23:53

Weeded the largest section of the mulched fruit tree bed... Moving on to the larger blueberry bed mulched area.

I'm thinking of planting sweet lupines in with the blueberries for nitrogen fixation. (also to eat)

Chickens are a pain in the arse to catch but I am getting better at it; I also figure they want back in the chicken run so I toss some food on the other side, and they watch the other chickens eat it that distracts them enough to grab them.

The chickens that are the biggest pain in the @$$ will be marked with permanent ink for each kind of infraction (ie pecking or biting me, leading me on too long of a chase) and late in the year the chicken(s) with the most marks will be killed and eaten. (19 hens can easily lay 70+ eggs a week) and I'm expecting a fair number in September (when they presumably start laying)
An ideology is by definition not a search for TRUTH-but a search for PROOF that its point of view is right

Equals barter and negotiate-people with power just take

You cant defend freedom by eliminating it-unknown

Our elected reps should wear sponsor patches on their suits so we know who they represent-like Nascar-Roy
User avatar
rangerone314
Fusion
Fusion
 
Posts: 4063
Joined: Wed 03 Dec 2008, 03:00:00
Location: Maryland

Re: Today I made / bought / learnt .... (for a post oil worl

Unread postby patience » Thu 17 Jun 2010, 21:32:09

Daughter and I pressure washed inside the cistern today. It was like standing in a cloud trying to see what you were doing. :P That has half of the cistern almost ready for sealing with hydraulic cement. Still have to chisel out all the cracks in it, and clean the floor.

The other half of the cistern (output side) has to be emptied and some minor cleaning and prep work done there, too.

Had to do some pay work in the machine shop, but did get to hoe the corn tonight in the garden.
Local fix-it guy..
User avatar
patience
Expert
Expert
 
Posts: 3177
Joined: Fri 04 Jan 2008, 03:00:00

Re: Today I made / bought / learnt .... (for a post oil worl

Unread postby Ludi » Fri 18 Jun 2010, 10:33:23

Dug more rocks out of the garden. I've been reading about "hugelkultur" which is burying logs under garden beds to hold moisture and provide carbon, so this new area I'm digging I will fill with logs before I replace the soil, and see how that does.


http://www.richsoil.com/hugelkultur/
User avatar
Ludi
NeoMaster
NeoMaster
 
Posts: 18590
Joined: Mon 27 Dec 2004, 03:00:00
Location: Darkest Dumfukistan

Re: Today I made / bought / learnt .... (for a post oil worl

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Fri 18 Jun 2010, 11:30:33

Ludi wrote:Dug more rocks out of the garden. I've been reading about "hugelkultur" which is burying logs under garden beds to hold moisture and provide carbon, so this new area I'm digging I will fill with logs before I replace the soil, and see how that does.


http://www.richsoil.com/hugelkultur/

Interesting concept. I'd be worried about acid levels from some species of wood and would have to decide whether to add a layer of chicken or other manure to the logs before the topsoil was added. Also owning a rototiller I am not fond of raised beds and would want to dig them in so the growing surface was tiller accessible.
User avatar
vtsnowedin
Fission
Fission
 
Posts: 3058
Joined: Fri 11 Jul 2008, 02:00:00

Re: Today I made / bought / learnt .... (for a post oil worl

Unread postby Ludi » Fri 18 Jun 2010, 11:44:07

Our soil here leans toward the alkaline, so I'm not worried about additional acidity. Apparently one should put some manure or grass-clipping etc on the logs to be sure they don't take nitrogen from the soil, though the use of rotted wood is recommended to avoid nitrogen loss, also one should avoid resinous or toxic tree species. I'll be using old oak logs and putting them below ground level for my level or slightly sunken beds. I don't use a rototiller so that's not an issue.
User avatar
Ludi
NeoMaster
NeoMaster
 
Posts: 18590
Joined: Mon 27 Dec 2004, 03:00:00
Location: Darkest Dumfukistan

Re: Today I made / bought / learnt .... (for a post oil worl

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Fri 18 Jun 2010, 11:56:13

Ludi wrote:Our soil here leans toward the alkaline, so I'm not worried about additional acidity. Apparently one should put some manure or grass-clipping etc on the logs to be sure they don't take nitrogen from the soil, though the use of rotted wood is recommended to avoid nitrogen loss, also one should avoid resinous or toxic tree species. I'll be using old oak logs and putting them below ground level for my level or slightly sunken beds. I don't use a rototiller so that's not an issue.


Ayup there is a world of difference between Texas and Vermont. Moisture is not a problem here most years at least and this year I haven't needed to water after we set the plants out and planted. The soil here needs lime to get the Ph up on a regular basis. As much as four tons per acre based on a soil test. And try as I might the hardwoods are taking over every square foot I don't mow regularly. If I need it I can go up into the woods and dig up a foot or more of well rotted leaf mold and top soil and add it to the garden.
User avatar
vtsnowedin
Fission
Fission
 
Posts: 3058
Joined: Fri 11 Jul 2008, 02:00:00

Re: Today I made / bought / learnt .... (for a post oil worl

Unread postby Olaf » Fri 18 Jun 2010, 12:46:30

Built a work bench using 2X4's and 2X6's.

Follows this basic plan.

http://www.hammerzone.com/archives/workshop/bench/below20.html

I used 2X6's for the top instead of plywood and I zipped together 2X4's for the legs since it was cheaper than using the 4X4's I had originally planned for. The dimensions for mine are about 2.5' wide by 7.5 feet long. I used a middle cross support 2X4 to add strength to the top due to the longer span. Very pleased with how it came out. It took me about 2 hours. Total cost including a pound of screws, $57. I need to build about three more along wth some shelves.

The garden chicken wire fence seems to be doing the job so far and the garden is doing well with all the rain we have had. I started covering it with straw last night after I finished mowing down all the Japanese knotweed (again) that is down where I planted some of my conifers. That stuff is the devil.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_knotweed
It will require some additional attacking later.
..."in fact, that dirt is essential; that keyboards should be tapped by those with soil under their fingernails and wilderness in their heads." - Paul Kingsnorth and Dougald Hine
User avatar
Olaf
Intermediate Crude
Intermediate Crude
 
Posts: 614
Joined: Thu 09 Sep 2004, 02:00:00
Location: Upstate New York, U.S.A.

Re: Today I made / bought / learnt .... (for a post oil worl

Unread postby PrestonSturges » Fri 18 Jun 2010, 13:11:12

I had a Moonglow pear in a pot that was getting fireblight, so I chopped the top off it and cleft grafted an Orient pear (sand pear). All the leaves turned black and fell off, but the graft is forcing out new greenery this week.
User avatar
PrestonSturges
Fusion
Fusion
 
Posts: 4393
Joined: Wed 15 Oct 2008, 02:00:00

Re: Today I made / bought / learnt .... (for a post oil worl

Unread postby Ludi » Sat 19 Jun 2010, 11:28:41

Photos of my little hugelkultur experiment so far.

Bed dug down to the rock shelf (about 18" below ground level), filled with old oak logs and sticks:

Image

Spaces around logs filled in with chicken bedding (pine shavings and chicken poo) and sheep bedding (hay and sheep poo):

Image

I'm watering the bed thoroughly to saturate the materials, and tomorrow I will top it off with soil and then plant slips from the sweet potatoes Jay sent me. :D

Photo of the improved part of this kitchen garden today:

Image
User avatar
Ludi
NeoMaster
NeoMaster
 
Posts: 18590
Joined: Mon 27 Dec 2004, 03:00:00
Location: Darkest Dumfukistan

Re: Today I made / bought / learnt .... (for a post oil worl

Unread postby PeakOiler » Sat 19 Jun 2010, 11:40:31

Today is a mostly sunny day and I'm blanching more homegrown tomatoes in the solar ovens. Then I'll skin, slice up, and blend them into sauce using the non-electric blender.

Edit to add image:
Image

I'm making a big pot of spaghetti sauce today and some of the other home grown ingredients used will be garlic, oregano, thyme, and basil. I'm using store-bought tomato paste since the hg tomatoes have a high water content and the tomato paste will help thicken the sauce. The hamburger meat, bay leaves, and onion for the sauce are from the local grocery. No mushrooms are in this batch of sauce. (I forgot to get some at the store...)

I wonder if bay laurel would grow OK here in Central Texas. (?)
Last edited by PeakOiler on Sun 20 Jun 2010, 08:47:55, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
PeakOiler
Fission
Fission
 
Posts: 2996
Joined: Thu 18 Nov 2004, 03:00:00
Location: Central Texas

Re: Today I made / bought / learnt .... (for a post oil worl

Unread postby Ludi » Sat 19 Jun 2010, 13:23:53

Bay Laurel is marginally hardy here - I would try growing it in a pot (apparently they are good container plants) so it could be moved inside on the coldest nights.

Hardy down to 25F. But we can get down to 15F. :(
User avatar
Ludi
NeoMaster
NeoMaster
 
Posts: 18590
Joined: Mon 27 Dec 2004, 03:00:00
Location: Darkest Dumfukistan

Re: Today I made / bought / learnt .... (for a post oil worl

Unread postby PeakOiler » Sat 19 Jun 2010, 13:54:13

Ludi wrote:Bay Laurel is marginally hardy here - I would try growing it in a pot (apparently they are good container plants) so it could be moved inside on the coldest nights.

Hardy down to 25F. But we can get down to 15F. :(


Ludi: Yes, that's what I recently read with regard to bay laurel. And as you know, I have some experience with container plants and freezing temperatures! ;) Seems to me they are as temperature sensitive as citrus. I'm going to buy some bay laurel soon. :)

btw, your garden is looking good!
User avatar
PeakOiler
Fission
Fission
 
Posts: 2996
Joined: Thu 18 Nov 2004, 03:00:00
Location: Central Texas

Re: Today I made / bought / learnt .... (for a post oil worl

Unread postby Ludi » Sat 19 Jun 2010, 13:59:59

Thanks! :) It's a bit behind - my tomatoes are all small and green! :oops:
User avatar
Ludi
NeoMaster
NeoMaster
 
Posts: 18590
Joined: Mon 27 Dec 2004, 03:00:00
Location: Darkest Dumfukistan

Re: Today I made / bought / learnt .... (for a post oil worl

Unread postby PrestonSturges » Sat 19 Jun 2010, 14:54:16

Bay Laurel can be a lovely fragrant middle sized tree for damp areas in Zone 8, like coastal North Carolina, but only in solid Zone 8 where snow is quite rare. The climate in Atlanta would probably be too harsh.
User avatar
PrestonSturges
Fusion
Fusion
 
Posts: 4393
Joined: Wed 15 Oct 2008, 02:00:00

Re: Today I made / bought / learnt .... (for a post oil worl

Unread postby rangerone314 » Sun 20 Jun 2010, 09:14:13

I moved a large patch of Monarda didyma to the east end of the fruit tree bed (red oswego mint) and yesterday moved a large patch of Monarda fistula to the west end of the fruit tree bed (pink oswego mint). The red flowers look so nice bookending the bed that I decided that the other end would look nice ended by pink. Plus they'll attract lots of pollinators to that bed.

East of the fruit tree bed along the driveway are hazelnut bushes and various perennials (like echinacea, tick weed etc) & reseeding annual purslane, also crocuses & daffodil bulbs.
An ideology is by definition not a search for TRUTH-but a search for PROOF that its point of view is right

Equals barter and negotiate-people with power just take

You cant defend freedom by eliminating it-unknown

Our elected reps should wear sponsor patches on their suits so we know who they represent-like Nascar-Roy
User avatar
rangerone314
Fusion
Fusion
 
Posts: 4063
Joined: Wed 03 Dec 2008, 03:00:00
Location: Maryland

Re: Today I made / bought / learnt .... (for a post oil worl

Unread postby patience » Thu 01 Jul 2010, 19:18:42

We have all the cracks and holes in the cistern patched with hydraulic cement now. Waiting on the Quikwall we ordered to arrive so we can seal the walls with it. Meanwhile, we can punch a hole through the double block wall into the basement and put in a new pump line. The old pipe is corroded, and I only want to do this ONCE, so it gets replaced.

I also have a start on plumbing in the new tank and pump to draw water out of the cistern. That is for convenience. For no-electricity periods, there is a gravity flow drain line at the bottom of the cistern, with a simple spigot on it and threaded for a garden hose. And, on the back porch,which is the top of the cistern, there will be a hand pump for outside water needs.

Our city water (county, actually) is pretty bad, so the cistern will become our drinking water supply. Output of the cistern will go to a charcoal filter (an old swimming pool sand filter, reworked) and thence to a separate faucet in the kitchen. We are looking at a reverse osmosis filter for the final clean up in the kitchen. Not sure about that yet.
Local fix-it guy..
User avatar
patience
Expert
Expert
 
Posts: 3177
Joined: Fri 04 Jan 2008, 03:00:00

Re: Today I made / bought / learnt .... (for a post oil worl

Unread postby PeakOiler » Thu 01 Jul 2010, 20:32:51

patience wrote:We have all the cracks and holes in the cistern patched with hydraulic cement now...
<snip>


You should have posted this in the Rainwater Collection thread.

Mods: Can the post be moved?

Meanwhile, we're enjoying some of the rain from Alex around here. I measured about 2" of rain two days ago, and received ca. 1.1" this evening and it's still raining lightly as I type this. :)

That corresponds roughly to about 5,200 gallons collected. I'll take inventory tomorrow.
User avatar
PeakOiler
Fission
Fission
 
Posts: 2996
Joined: Thu 18 Nov 2004, 03:00:00
Location: Central Texas

Re: Today I made / bought / learnt .... (for a post oil worl

Unread postby Ludi » Fri 02 Jul 2010, 09:55:05

We ate our first homegrown apple today! Granny Smith. :)
User avatar
Ludi
NeoMaster
NeoMaster
 
Posts: 18590
Joined: Mon 27 Dec 2004, 03:00:00
Location: Darkest Dumfukistan

Re: Today I made / bought / learnt .... (for a post oil worl

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Fri 02 Jul 2010, 17:27:11

Ludi; Congratulations!!! I'm sure it tasted great.
:wink: Ripe apples on July fourth? There are certainly some advantages to living in Texas. Up here they are still the size of acorns.
User avatar
vtsnowedin
Fission
Fission
 
Posts: 3058
Joined: Fri 11 Jul 2008, 02:00:00

Next

Return to Planning For The Future

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron