s. ayalp

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since Mar 18, 2016
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istanbul - turkey
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Recent posts by s. ayalp

Last sunday was the end of harvesting summer crops. I devoted most of the top terrace to saving seeds from trials. I was able to harvest more than 100 kgs of eggplants and 80 kgs of peppers (most of it hot peppers) from lower terraces. I was not expecting yields to be high, but we had hotest septermber and october in record. So yeah, I'm glad!.

Before planting fall-winter vegatables, I added gypsum (to help with clay), bad guano and bone meal. I tilled the top shovel depth. I planted garlic, swiss chard and broccoli with winter radishes.

Chard with radish:

Planting garlic and lime+gypsum+bone meal

4 weeks ago
I planted garlic!
Couple of points,
-A handle would have been great. It doesn't need to be metal, wood will be just fine.
-Soil was not ideal, but it worked perfectly.
-It is a 120 cm wide bed (roughly 4 ft), so I needed to roll it 4 times in a weird position- no handle ugh!!. I guess it wont be any better if it had a handle though. I think what will be perfect for beds like this, a half a bed-wide tool. It is in modules, so modifying is no problem at all.

It was very easy to plant garlic. I planted over 500 cloves in less than 20 minutes. I spent most of that time rolling it. Planting itself took less than- say- third of it. It really speeds up the process, for you are not planting- but dropping - ideal holes- perfect depth and perfect diameter!

Here are the pictures,

Covered with mulch and etc:
4 weeks ago
I don't have much time to buy in bulk, prepare them for freezing/canning or chase prices. I follow mostly what is said before, never buy precooked stuff and so on. What made a huge difference on my budget is to learn new recipes. At first it was completely unintentional, I am trying to get on a better diet. There are many recipes that will fill you up with minimum number of ingredients. You don't need everything in a market to cook. Simple-cooking, as I call it, is cheaper, way faster and -I think- healthier. Search for recipes of the world cuisine that have 5 or less main ingredients. Or try to simplify your recipes.
Couple of examples might be,
Chılbır, boiled eggs (boiled without shell) put on yogurt with garlic
Pumpkin desert, cut pumpkins into pieces pour on some sugar and put it into the owen. If you have ginger, you can add some.
Mushroom casserole. Cut mushrooms into two or three, add some chopped pepper, butter, tomatoes if you have any, salt oil etc and straight to owen.
Flapjack with honey, just recently shared by way out west blow-in blog YouTube channel.
You can make hundred different of meals by salad, egg, rice or pasta being the main ingredient. Fried chicken with salad, menemen and so on.
You can find many simple recipes for carnivorous diet too. Grilled heart (cut in leaves) for example. Heart goes cheap here compared to other parts of the animal.
Freezer always helps if you have time. Fish is seasonal in Istanbul. You can buy wild fish when it is cheap - also meaning it is its season. Cut bonito into two longitudinally -like fillet- but with bones and skin. Put some tomato sauce, oregano and salt, straight to owen.
Sorry for any typos
1 month ago
Thanks Phil!

I tried to connect wooden teeth with steel parts. I knew it would be problemetic as I broke the design rule of "consistency". I finally figured out how to make it work, but I'll need to correct the remaining 15 of them some time later on (after spending 2 days driving to get prices etc I don't feel like it). It wouldn't be a prototype without some drama, eh?

I made couple of trial runs! (screws doesn't work, gets loose etc - other type of connections failed too).

About teeth design. The wooden pieces have a constant cross-section of 2 cm diameter for the first inch (2.5 cm), then decreasing linearly for the last 1.5cm, giving it a conical shape. It worked perfectly in my mind, though not in the soil. I should have guessed it. Sandy soil remains "stable" till it reachs roughly 30 degree slope. Our dark soils - full with life will be a lot stable (45-60 degrees maybe?) and wet clay being perfect. I guess I was way too optimistic with 90 degrees for the first inch where the cross section reamains constant. If I were to design them again I would go for decreasing cross section for that part too. So this 4 cm long piece will have a decreasing cross section from 4cm diamer to 2cm then for the last bit 2cm to zero. I thought teeth will not sink in fully, but they had no problem in the seed bed trial. I think increasing the cross will not cause any prblems at all.

It is heavy enough to get into the soil, light enough to carry around. Moreover I don't want to spend more on the handle while I can come up with new designs for the teeth-parts. Besides it is not massive. It is easy to use it on sides of the terrace. Handles might get in the way.

I think it is time to call a full-stop for nuturing of this design. I have spent more then what I thought initally. Now I can pass to the third phase - trying to kill it. Let's see where it work, where it doesn't, cons, pros, fails etc. First fail is quite evident. 2cm constant cross section teeth design will not work in sandy and/or drier soils. It seems it is a good thing that I have clay soil. Way more then I want though! :)

Here are some intial trial pictures!
2 months ago
So I had time to play with what I have atm. Couple of design notes for future consideration.
- The circular part seems fine. A probable problem is, when it rolls over the handle part,  plate might cut through the horizontal pipe (that the dipper rotates). Adding bearings will be an over design.
- The horizontal bent metal pieces that are 4 cm wide seems quite right. What bugs me is that I need to have 4 different types of them. I can drill more on the ears (the end- bent parts) so that I can move it closer or further away from the center. 4cm wide section will not let it though, so the ears will need to be 2 cm wide.
- I have no clue how to design "tooth"'s, the dipper parts that will sink into earth. They need to be made in turning lathe and whether they are made from wood or metal they are expensive. I chose to have them made of wood, 4 cm long, section getting smaller in the last 1.5 cm's. It is wood so I can rasp If needed.

Here is where I am atm. Now I need to figure out how to connect wooden teeth with metal parts.
2 months ago
Came across to this one @ homegrown.garden (instagram)
2 months ago
I had a similsr problem with one of my raised beds. Too much organic material (such as decomposed woodchips) in a bed makes it gain an epic hydrophobic character when it dries out completely. What I did for my beds;
Always had a thick layer of mulch during the season.
Installed drip irrigation and let it drip for days.
When the summer season was over, I added some dirt over the beds and mixed it throughly. I have clay soil, so I added a layer of clay into the mixture. I guess vermiculite would also work for that case.
2 months ago

Kc Simmons wrote:
One thing I noticed was the runners came up quickly and started producing in early spring, while the long beans were slow to get going but, when it got hot and the runners slowed down, that was the same time the long beans started going strong so, between the two, I have had a steady supply of green beans during the growing season.

This is a very pleasant discovery for me too I missed the spring season, because I was building the beds, But I am looking forward for the fall season.

Michelle Heath wrote:
Off-topic, but my great-grandfather was born in Turkey, moved to Germany, and immigrated to the US when he was ten.  I've always been curious about the area.

I bought most of the seeds from Baker creek.
It is hard to describe this country. So many cultures, people, traditions mixed together. So many climates - zones too. Hope you will have a chance in the future to visit.