Author Topic: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread  (Read 25631 times)

Refugee

  • Posts: 1705
Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #875 on: January 05, 2018, 05:44:20 PM »
Haha!

Miradus

  • Posts: 1994
Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #876 on: January 06, 2018, 08:21:14 PM »

I bought an avocado tree that is supposed to fruit in the winter, and a lychee tree which is supposed to produce most of the year.

I also started cutting boards for the raised bed garden, moving giant chunks of lava rock, and scraping out some space to put the beds. I should be actually able to plant something by the end of next week. Earlier if I start stuff off in pots.

Some guerilla marijuana grower was nice enough to leave me about 30 pots hidden in the underbrush. His grow operation was probably ten years ago, based on the rot on the posts but the pots are fine.

Now that the bungalow is up and stable, it's gardening time!

Melkor

  • Posts: 1113
Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #877 on: January 06, 2018, 08:30:14 PM »
Lucky. I still have a month and a half before the last frost.
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

Refugee

  • Posts: 1705
Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #878 on: January 07, 2018, 02:09:24 PM »
As hard as it is, this life in the winter, there is a beauty and a dignity to the hills that touches me for some reason I can't understand.  The trees are bare, the grass is brown or gone altogether.  The chickens are freeloading.  Our little cabin can't quite keep up when the temperature gets down below 10F.  My face hurts when I go outside.

But there is something that reminds me of a raggedy kid thumping through the woods or riding a horse at breakneck speed through the fields, or tromping down a gravel road with a thumb out, hoping to pile in the back of a pickup for a ride to the general store.  It makes me think of grandmothers and Christmases and little houses crammed full of aunts and uncles and cousins, so full we were lucky to find a place on the floor near the potbellied coal stove to sit and eat wondrous things that came out of woodburning stoves.  Barns full of hay, tobacco barns empty, money in the bank.  Going out to milk the cows in the frozen darkness.  I remember the voices and laughter of people gone, more than any time.  I don't know why.

Maybe you can't hear the whispers when there are leaves on the trees.  But you can hear them now.  "Welcome home".


Melkor

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Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #879 on: January 07, 2018, 02:14:49 PM »
Beautiful, Ref.
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

Refugee

  • Posts: 1705
Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #880 on: January 07, 2018, 02:48:14 PM »
Thanks.  The picture is a river that runs through my county, taken yesterday, though the falls is in the next county over.

My grandfather (with 150 years worth of greats) floated down that river on a raft, with his cousin and his old aunt, and everything he owned.  They grounded the raft at the top of the falls and carried everything down, trip after trip, then let the raft go over the falls and swam out and caught it, and loaded it back up.  A few miles farther downriver they cut out a homestead.


Miradus

  • Posts: 1994
Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #881 on: January 07, 2018, 06:10:06 PM »

You know, the world you and I had is pretty much gone. That's one of the reasons I didn't mind so much leaving the mainland for Hawaii. It didn't feel like I was in the Texas I grew up in ... it felt like that Texas was a corpse in the room. Now I'm in a new place with no old reminders.

Beautiful photo though. I've always liked those snowy woods days.

Melkor

  • Posts: 1113
Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #882 on: January 07, 2018, 07:51:05 PM »
Go deep enough into the woods, and the modern world disappears.
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

Refugee

  • Posts: 1705
Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #883 on: January 07, 2018, 08:29:02 PM »

You know, the world you and I had is pretty much gone. That's one of the reasons I didn't mind so much leaving the mainland for Hawaii. It didn't feel like I was in the Texas I grew up in ... it felt like that Texas was a corpse in the room. Now I'm in a new place with no old reminders.

Beautiful photo though. I've always liked those snowy woods days.

It is pretty much gone.  But there's not that much left of me either so I've made my peace with it.  I feel blessed to have lived so free, it had already faded away a lot by the 60s and 70s when I was growing up.

My cousin, about 12 years younger than me, made a habit of buying up every farm around here that went on sale after the owners would die.  He ended up with a lot of land.  He made a hunting preserve and had exotic animals and a deer rehab.  He said he wanted to preserve it the way it is.  Now he moved to town last year and it's all for sale.  He's asking far, far too much for it for it to be used farming.  He says if he can't get his millions this way he will break it up into lots and piecemeal it out.  My wonderful view falls over a lot of it.  Right now I can only see one other house when the leaves are off the trees like now.  He's gonna ruin that.  I would like to kick his little ass.  On the other hand, I can't fault the guy for making a fortune for himself and his wife and kid.  Just feels a little like he lied.


Miradus

  • Posts: 1994
Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #884 on: January 08, 2018, 01:09:24 PM »

I grew up on a 3,000 acre ranch in Texas. My great-grandfather homesteaded it back during the bad old days of the Comancheria. It was left to my father, the only one of my grandfather's 14 children who were agriculturally minded. He ran it into the ground and the bank took it. When I was 16 there wasn't any place left for us and we had to move to the city where he took a job in a factory.

Now there's natural gas wells and two subdivisions all over the forests I used to play in as a child. The air smells and they moved my grandmother's grave to put in a convenience store. That family cemetery had been used since my great-grandfather's day but my grandmother was the only one there I knew. I don't know where they sent all the remains to or if they just shoved them aside to put in gas tanks.

No mud, no lotus. I've got a beautiful life now and the past stays in the past.

Refugee

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Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #885 on: January 08, 2018, 03:38:50 PM »
Ah man, that sucks.  Really sucks.  I understand your statement about the corpse of Texas.

My mom ran off about a month before my 14th birthday and my old man took to drinking and acting the fool, and one day priced the farm when he was drunk and someone took him up on it.  He was heartbroken but he wouldn't go back on his word, so it was gone.  I spent my high school years moving between kin around here and I could not wait to get out.  I went the day after my 17th birthday and started the process to join the Navy.  That was 40 years ago.  I spent a lot of those years determined to go back and buy that farm we'd lost.  I was angry and bitter and it felt like something I had to do to overcome all the shit that had happened that I was so pissed about.  Then one day, somewhere in my early 30s, that need was just gone, along with the anger and blame from all those years ago.  If it was possible to buy that farm, I wouldn't want it.  It's not possible because they broke it up into parcels and sold it off like that.  But I don't care anymore.  I would rather have my little hillside farm with the tiny cabin.

Maybe you're the pioneer that your descendants a century from now will tell the stories about.

Miradus

  • Posts: 1994
Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #886 on: January 08, 2018, 04:53:03 PM »
Yeah, I spent many a year fantasizing about making enough money and buying back the farm my father had lost, but one day chance brought me back to that area and I saw what had become of it. I could hear my great-grandfather's voice clearly saying, "If you ever get that much money, go somewhere else."

Here's the day one photo of our worksite here in Hawaii.



Now where the Green Growler was parked (the ugly truck), there's a 16'x16' bungalow. Walls are still unpainted and I haven't put all the windows or doors in, and the roofing material didn't show up on time so the roof is a big carport tarp, but it's dry inside and comfortable. The mission was to arrive early and get the jungle cleared out and build a small house for us to live in while we build the big house. My 17 year old and I got the house built in 8 days. Now we're just getting the finishing touches on before the rest of the family arrives on Friday. I'm stoked.

Refugee

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Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #887 on: January 09, 2018, 08:28:26 PM »
That's such an awesome experience your kids are gonna share with you.  Unusual in this day and age.  Are you totally off grid?

Miradus

  • Posts: 1994
Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #888 on: January 09, 2018, 08:44:50 PM »
This is the third house we've built, but the first once the 11 year old and 17 year old boys have been able to help me with. The oldest (22) has done both of the other ones but he's not here for this one. They get in Friday though. Can't wait for them to see it.

Off-grid is mostly the way of life here. There's some grid available but it usually comes with a huge surcharge so most people skip it. The electric company took the cost of putting in poles and everything else and attached it to the land but then a court made them stop. So they attached it as a "hook up fee". So if you want electricity, you've got to pay their hook up fee, which includes the cost of putting in the poles back in the 80's plus interest. But then so many people went off grid to avoid paying that, they started adding up the cost per street and attaching it to anyone who would pay. Oh, you want to be on grid and you're the only one on your road who is? That's $12,000 please.

So solar is a big deal now. Most people go with that. Even businesses and such in town have rooftops covered in panels. And there's stores all over you can walk in and get your equipment.

Water is problematic in that they can't run underground pipes because of the lava rock. So everyone uses rooftop collection. Plus there's natural springs all over the island that the government has tapped. You drive up and there's a row of faucets where fresh spring water is free and available to you. Fill up any size jug you want. So I go up there every couple of days right now and get 20 gallons and bring it back. Other people are there filling up anything from 800 gallon tanks to 40 mason jars. Whatever they have, really. Poverty is all over the island. About 40% of the population in my area doesn't work and doesn't have a vehicle, so you see entire families hitchhiking into town.

I'm on Verizon 4g right now for internet, but I hope next week to be able to get satellite. Tried to get radio internet last Saturday but the jungle here is too thick. Couldn't get a signal out.

The bungalow is in the dry, mostly. The roofing material is delayed by 3 weeks ... everything is always out of stock here and takes 3-6 weeks to arrive by boat. So big carport tarp will hold out the rain until then. Needs painting and I have 3 more sides to put windows in after the tarp comes off. Then I'll put a big porch off the front and two sides and that's where we'll live until the big house is built sometime this coming year.


Delirium

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Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #889 on: January 09, 2018, 09:04:49 PM »
What will you do with it after the big house is built? Workshop?

This is all very fun to read about/watch, props to you for being able & willing to live off grid.

I like my creature comforts a little too much.
Will they tell your story in the end?
Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?

Miradus

  • Posts: 1994
Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #890 on: January 09, 2018, 09:47:31 PM »
It will be my office and the guest house after that, but also should any of my older sons manage to find a wife it could be their starter home. It's small, but I've seen people live in worse and small can be cozy.

Off grid isn't all that bad. The only creature comforts I have to do without are air conditioning and hot water on demand. We still manage our nightly Netflix show with dinner (a family tradition) and we have a fridge and cold drinks on hand. Nothing really that we're losing out on. But here we should be able to manage a solar hot water heater where in Texas we couldn't. Plus the climate just isn't that bad compared to our Texas life so the lack of air conditioning won't be a problem. I do like me a little fan though and I use one of those Ryobi ones with the rechargeable batteries.

And whenever I get to thinking we're roughing it too much, I call for an ice cream break and we run to Pahoa (home of the flakiest hippies on the planet) for a cone and a milkshake. Life is good. :)

Pahoa really is the weirdest place I've ever been to. There's a small nasty element which has moved in which is mostly just deadbeat pot smokers after handouts, but the regular pot smoking hippies seem to be slowly driving them back out. Hassling people is just a big no-no. If someone wants to give you some money or a ride then that's cool, but walking up to tourists and demanding they give you some money is a big problem that the locals really aren't going to stand for very long. They've already just about had enough. I haven't been hassled to much extent. The panhandlers tend to go after people who look a little more well-heeled than I do.

Refugee

  • Posts: 1705
Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #891 on: January 09, 2018, 11:46:58 PM »
We had planned to live just that way and build up a house from scratch, but we assessed our situation realistically, finally, after I had spent a couple of years drafting a house plan and costing out the supplies to the last nail...and decided to start with a ready built shed because we're old and we can't do what we think we can lol.  And if we get hurt, stuff just doesn't heal anymore.

I was unhappy with the decision at first but I am glad we did it that way now.  Everything takes longer to do than you expect.  I don't know if we would've had a dried in house by winter.  This way we were living in it from day one.

We hauled water in 50 gallon drums for several months until we could get water to the edge of the property.  I had all the plans for building a rain catchment system and I've still got 2 unused 300 gallon tanks out there, but again we chickened out.  We laid the pipe, about 600', with a homemade subsoiler my old man had welded up when I was a kid.  No telling how many feet of pipe that thing has laid, everyone for miles around borrows it.  We just went through a fierce unrelenting cold snap and nothing froze, so it did a good job!

We had a Zodi camping shower for hot water for several months, then we got an Eccotemp L5 which we attached to the cabin.  We're still using that.  It's fine but we want something with more throughput eventually.  When the water is icy like it is now, you have to really diminish the flow to get it steamy hot.  In the summer it did fantastic.

Our big accomplishment this week has been the installation of a real full sized cooktop.  We've been using a small 1000w hotplate for 8 months which couldn't quite boil 3 cups of water.  This is very awesome!

We use Verizon 4G for internet too.

Miradus

  • Posts: 1994
Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #892 on: January 10, 2018, 01:10:12 AM »
Almost every winter we'd have a cold snap and something would break. I won't miss that. :(

For cooking we used a regular gas stove that I modified to run on propane. It wouldn't burn super clean but it was fine.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2018, 01:12:08 AM by Miradus »

Refugee

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Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #893 on: January 11, 2018, 08:49:58 AM »
Yesterday the temperature was a record high.  I was outside working in a tee shirt.  Today is supposed to be the same, except with rain.  Tomorrow a winter storm is coming. 

They say the temperature could drop 30 degrees in an hour.  I'm nearly 60 and I can't remember ever having heard that before.

It's gonna be nasty because it's going to be raining when that happens.  So we expect a layer of ice before the snow.

Melkor

  • Posts: 1113
Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #894 on: January 13, 2018, 01:17:22 AM »
Its hot again in florida, too. I think I'll pull up my carrots, soon.

So, there are these seeds that I want super badly for the spring. They are perennial cucumbers from India, but I cant have them sent to florida, because they are so successful here, they tend to spread so they are banned.

I've heard Indian families grow them, here, but the few Indians I know know of the veggies (err, fruits), but do not grow them.

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

Melkor

  • Posts: 1113
Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #895 on: January 13, 2018, 01:19:36 PM »
Yo everybody, pray for Miradus' safety. Ballistic missile warnings for Hawaii. Not sure if it is legit or not, but the warnings did go out.





Edit: Update 20 minutes later.
"NOT A DRILL"
jk it was a drill.

Thats ridiculous, but a really good turn of events.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2018, 01:44:48 PM by Melkor »
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

boog

  • Posts: 10684
Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #896 on: January 13, 2018, 02:48:42 PM »
They've been having missile tests/disaster alerts for monthly drills in Hawaii ever since the threats escalated from Un.
Case: he's more likely to shoot up a mcdonalds for selling secret obama sauce on its big macs
Kismet: didn't see you in GQ homey
BadSkeelz: Whatever you say, Kim Jong Boog
Quote from: Tuannon
There is only one boog.

Melkor

  • Posts: 1113
Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #897 on: January 13, 2018, 02:58:59 PM »
Yeah, but those all have been announced in advance as to not cause a panic. And I am certain that none of those said "NOT A DRILL"
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

Refugee

  • Posts: 1705
Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #898 on: January 13, 2018, 04:24:18 PM »


That's my 81-year-old old man feeding his cows.  You can see them coming around the corner of the old house.  It's about a half-mile from his house.  It was down around 10F this morning. 

Melkor

  • Posts: 1113
Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
« Reply #899 on: January 13, 2018, 04:31:42 PM »
great pic, ref. Stuff like that is great to have, especially for your kids and grandkids.



pulled up a few white satin carrots. a lot of them are undersized, as i goofed the spacing. They taste super sweet, though.
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.