Last week we took about 2.5 gallons of honey from the hive - not a lot since we wish to leave the bees sufficient stores for winter.  But enough for our needs for making bread, sweetening our uncooked oatmeal and tea, and a few jars for good friends.  Inevitably scraps of wax are left over and what to do with them has been a learning process for me.  The first year I placed them in a stainless steel pet bowl outside the hive.  Bad idea - the sun heated the bowl, melted the wax and killed bees Read more [...]

what’s growing, maglite led conversion

Unlike July which was hot and dry, August has been tempered with rain showers and cloudy days.  My property 50 miles north of Atlanta has received a lot of rain while Atlanta very little - could this be the heat island effect?  The rain has filled out my muscadine, including the golden scuppernong, shown above and throughout the day they are visited by yellow jackets, wasps and hornets, and me in the earlier morning. With the exception of the Parks Whopper, most of my tomatoes are done.  The Read more [...]

what’s growing and recent reads

Recent good rains have juiced my crops.  We thought by now the tomatoes would be done, and some are, but others keep producing.  Most everyone complimented the taste of the small tomatoes.  We feel the larger tomatoes are less tasty probably from too much rain. Muscadine season has almost arrived and the black ones above although sweet, will be sweeter still when they roll into my hand and do not have to be tugged.  But then there will be many yellow jackets at the smorgasbord and M. developed Read more [...]

ah, Sebastopol!

With our first (and only) grandchild in San Francisco we visit San Francisco (actually the city of South San Francisco) more frequently and like to lodge in the town of Pacifica which has high cliffs overlooking the ocean. Our 2 must visits are Florey's 2nd hand book store and Mike Mooney's Memorial Gardens. We marvel that Florey's still survives with all paperbacks priced $1 and all hardcovers $2, and no customers present other than ourselves.  But each year it is there and we make Read more [...]

a gratifying electronic repair

You may well ask - " I thought this site was about organic growing and permaculture, why so much electronics?"  I want some control over my life and surroundings.  Perhaps I could work and pay others to maintain the yard; repair my house, car and everything else that fails; administer to my health; and grow my food.  But, I like self reliance and making effective inputs to what goes on around me provides satisfaction.  Which brings me to the treadmill which failed. My usual caveat - working Read more [...]

what’s growing

Tomato season is peaking and I am doling out bags to neighbors, friends and my running group.  A few weeks ago I was plagued with blossom rot but that has disappeared with changes to my watering methods.  The best producer is still the Parks Whopper which a neighbor gave me in exchange for 6 of my varieties.  It has outperformed the rest, though interesting my neighbor has not done as well with her Parks but is enjoying my Juliet and Cherokee Purple. The daily vegetable harvest  is tomatoes, Read more [...]

quick fix with a farm jack

We always access the house through the kitchen door since this is most convenient to the carport.  The steps to the porch to the front door are neglected and have sagged miserably as the concrete base on which they rest settled into the ground. My neighbor is a builder and his suggestion was to remove the stairs and then level the concrete base and then re-attach the stairs.  I notice  professionals prefer to remove what is defective and begin from the beginning, which is logical since Read more [...]

experience makes smart – rainwater harvesting

My rainwater harvesting system (elsewhere described) includes a 2,500 gal storage tank which takes water from the carport roof.  Rain has been sparse but on Saturday we had a short heavy deluge and I noticed that both gutters which feed the tank were overflowing.  I was surprised since a month previously I had connected a hose to the gutters and each had drained into the storage tank. The drawback with testing for a blockage with a hose is if a pipe is partly blocked the water will still flow Read more [...]

unwelcome visitor & apples, squash and tomatoes +2-1

  I affectionately refer to the large non venomous snakes around our place.  But out here good goes with bad and the copperhead in the header photo, thick of body and (to me) ugly and close to the house, was an unwelcome sight. In north Georgia it is hot and dry.  Blackberry and blueberry season is over and now it's time for fruit and crops such as squash, cucumbers and tomatoes.  And this year my apples and squash are great yet many of my tomatoes have blossom rot.  Usually my tomatoes Read more [...]

Sears Scroll Saw circuit board repair

I have an old Sears Scroll Saw: The manual is dated October '92 so I must have purchased the scroll saw in the early 90's.  It worked fine though I did not use it much.  Recently I had need for it but there was no response when I plugged it in. Notice: If you are not competent with electricity do no attempt anything mentioned below - serious harm or death can result - instead seek professional assistance for your electrical problem. I removed the base plate to expose the circuit board Read more [...]