3 visitors near carport

Previously I mentioned my new bee watering station.  I am pleased to see more and more bees visiting.  I discovered if I increase the frequency of the water drops such that the water surface has continuing ripples they discover it more easily.  Otherwise they scout around the compost area and a couple today were investigating the liquid nitrogen drop off area and one had to be rescued (the container is now covered).  On my return to the house as I passed the post balustrade I Read more [...]

milkweed in the woods & a new bee watering station

It was M. who noticed them while I, deep in thought, walked right past.   From our book "Forest Plants of the Southeast and their Wildlife Uses" (Miller & Miller) she identified it as Asclepias variegata - white milkweed. See picture above showing its distinctive showy 5-lobed petal crown. Milkweed is a favorite of the Monarch butterfly.  This is the only one we have seen in the woods and we resolved to collect its seeds and try extend its presence. Bees need water and I Read more [...]

wood chipper repair

I extend the life of appliances so they can age gracefully as I am also attempting to do.  But they need attention and repair.  I previously posted how I repaired (or had someone repair) the circuit boards of the wall oven, fridge and treadmill all of which are >15 years old and still work fine.  In August 2013 I posted how I rebuilt the engine of my chipper/shredder (see picture above) after the oil plug came off, the oil escaped and the engine seized.  I believe I bought Read more [...]

additional rainwater storage, at last

I have storage capacity for about 6,000 gals of rainwater.  Last November the drought was so bad I was transporting 35 gals of water from Atlanta to my farm each visit - see "making do" post dated Nov 15, 2016.  Additional water storage was needed.  I have a 2,500 gal tank and would like to have ordered another (cost $860 ) but was told shipping cost would be very high.  It was recommended I order the 2,100 gal tank for $920 (yes the smaller one costs more) and the freight would Read more [...]

a week in Pacifica

Pacifica is a community of about 40,000 extending 6 miles of beaches and hills along the Pacific ocean south of San Francisco.  We are regular annual visitors since 2 sons and better halves and now a grand child live in the area.  And Pacifica is undergoing stress of change as new money moves into a once lower middle class area. Nudged by my sons we now use uber for airport trips and airbnb for lodging and this time we rented a delightful beach house just one block (say 80 yards) from Read more [...]

back from week in San Francisco

Prior to my west coast trip I considered how best protect my plantings.  In my April 12 post I described planting out 33 tomato plants and my concern for frost damage.  There was no frost and my new concern was whether the plants would survive without irrigation for 8 days.   I deposited wood chips round the base of each tomato and watered deeply.  The 12 surplus tomato plants in the greenhouse I moved to the shade of the carport.  And I planted out 8 sweet pepper plants.  Read more [...]

recent reads

Since my post last August I read some good books, at least by my tastes. China interests me and I read Soul Mountain (a slow read in between other books) by Gao Xingjian, 1st Chinese recipient of Nobel Prize in literature; and the Wild Swans by Jung Chang, a good successor to her book on Mao: The Unknown Story.  When I travel to Australia I look for books which have not yet surfaced in the United States and I enjoyed Easternisation by Rachman - succinct and gripping.  As is the Hundred-Year Read more [...]

growing update – tomatoes and bees

I noticed the leaves of my tomato plants in the greenhouse had white blotches. It has warmed up a lot and I suspect greenhouse heat and light is too much for the plants.  I could shade them or plant them.  A quandary is the average last frost day for Canton, a town to the south, is 4/21 to 4/30 and for Jasper, a town to the north, is 5/1 to 5/10.  So on April 10, what should I do?  The forecast anticipates no cold weather for the next 10 days.  I decided to chance Read more [...]

fence repair the easier way

Some time ago I noticed  the perimeter fence was down - a post had rotted at the base and 2 8ft attached panels fell with it. I call them panels because you can buy them that way - 8 ft length with 3 horizontals and 17 attached panels for about $49.  Or you can buy 3 2x4 8ft pieces for horizontals and 17 individual panels and nail them together.  I prefer the latter - easier to transport and move and cheaper but will take much longer unless you have a nail gun, which I happen Read more [...]

my wood stove

I was thinking just a few days ago, when winter abruptly descended, how efficient and useful my wood stove has been.  Over the past 3 winters it has lived up to all my expectations and provides sufficient heat for the house except in the evening before retiring when we use supplementary heat to warm the bathroom.  Coincidentally, I received an email with some questions on the wood stove (see below): Here are some thoughts.  But first, if you are interested in the topic do read my Read more [...]