Sunday, September 26, 2010

Scouting Out New Tools, Last Batch of Tomato Seeds

 So I am looking at getting my husband 2 gifts. Rather hefty ones I know he'll use often.. an air compressor and also a paint sprayer. Only problem is I don't have his construction buddies' phone numbers... yet. The one I really want to ask is laid up in the hospital and the last thing he needs is to be pestered.

 He's had a palm nailer on his "toys I gotta get" list ever since this one summer where they put in the fences for a stable. He's told me several dozen times about Wendel's palm nailer able to sink 30 penny nails in solid oak posts the size of railroad ties so fast it was amazing. maybe it is a bit more along the lines of I want a paint sprayer.. but I know if I get one.. he's going to take it. He refers to it as "power tool rescue and recovery". Seriously though.. it would be nice to have something more than the Fischer Price Anne safe  tools I have.

 Anyways.. the last batches of tomato seeds are fermenting away. I let the first several blooms get cross pollinated however the bees wanted and next year will grow some of those out to see what comes of it. These last batches are from trusses I bagged to keep them from crossing. A low estimate is each container is holding 600+ seeds.

 If you ever order out at a restaurant and they use those quart sized plastic containers..or they'll have them at delis.. the ones for holding hot foods. They look like this.  I have put them through the dishwasher and they are fine and I'll use them for fermenting the seeds if I don't have glass jars around. Only reason I like the plastic ones is because when pouring into a strainer outside, I have had the glass ones slip out of my hands.

The compost is almost finished, and another batch is cooking. By the time the one batch is totally finished, we should be hit by a frost. I will rip out the spent plants and set up the chicken wire ring to hot compost right in some of the raised beds. The finished compost will be turned in to the soil in one of the raised beds and I will plant garlic. The guy who will hopefully be moving in (no.. still not finalized.. hoping it will be soon) will just flip. I asked if he wanted a vermicompost bin and he very excitedly said yes. 

 With constant composting, minimal tilling, and consistent moisture the worm population in my garden and raised beds are extremely high. If you dig 20 feet away from the gardens.. in the concrete clay you might be lucky to find maybe one or two of the Tommyknocker worms. Just a guess.. but possibly they are Diplocardia spp. or Octolasion tyrtaeum. I am really hoping they are a native species though. They are large.. really large.. and unpigmented.. so their bodies are this almost translucent grey coloring and then the clitellum sports a faintly orange coloring. 

 If you ever read Tommyknockers... if you saw these worms, you'd think of the Steven King book too!

 Last tangent.. it was discovered that slugs will eat an earthworm. Not a discovery made by me.. but rather a professional worm geek  scientist who saw it happen on pavement.. and then proceeded to test the oddity several times to verify. Indeed.. slugs will prey on earthworms if they can catch them. I wonder how much of the unnaturally high slug population in my yard was due to my vermicomposting. If they would just allow us to have ducks.. the slug troubles would really not be an issue. lol I can't explain how gross it was to be weeding and have slugs stuck to you.

 Good thing an air compressor will help make building the poultry palace a lot faster!


  1. For your compressor find out what PSI the tools you want need to run effectively and then buy a compressor rated at least 10 psi higher.

    seems to me that compressors that rate themselves at say 120 psi never really make it there. You also want the largest tank size you can afford.

  2. I would definitely work on that idiotic duck ruling. Ducks are the cure for practically everything ...

  3. yeah.. only way around the restrictions here is to move. They actually made a family give up their miniature horse that they had for 17 years. It was housebroken and quite obviously extremely well cared for because it is classified as a barnyard animal. Not condoning that.. but they had plenty enough yard for a miniature that was smaller than their german shepard.

    Definitely will have the assortment going. Ducks, chickens.. at some point horses again if possible. Probably will barter for the lamb and beef. We've done that a few times in the past and it works out well.

    Ty Pioneer! I got busted.. he overheard my daughter talking to her friend about how she hopes she never grows up and gets excited about gifts like power tools.

    Instead of duct taping her big Christmas gift.. I may just put them in wooden boxes held together with screws and hand her a screwdriver, maybe then power tools may seem more exciting.