Rob Lineberger

gardener
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since Jul 01, 2018
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Rob Lineberger currently moderates these forums:
My current fever dream is to make an earthbag dome house somewhere in North Carolina which meets code (or gets an occupancy permit somehow.) I love to exert myself building things under the sun then relax later in the home I've created.
Durham, NC
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Recent posts by Rob Lineberger

Should one's phone capture something impure,
I s'pose that's what pixelization is for.
3 weeks ago
Pee on a plant will earn you a badge bit!
Hold the phone, aim, and try to hit.
3 weeks ago
When I lived in central Indiana we got some powerful storms.  Thunderstorms, gushers, dousers, what have you.   But not gullywashers.  Indiana doesn't have gulleys. :)

If you're talking about placing stock tanks without any drain holes outside, filling them with grow media, and thinking that some broken pots on the bottom are going to help with moisture control, my answer is no.  Not even if the stock tanks were 5 feet high and you piled in 54" of broken pottery and 6" of soil on top.  Those stock tanks are going to act like... well, like stock tanks when that first rainstorm hits.  By the second or third rainstorm, water is going to pour out the top as the plants form a floatilla and raft away down the street singing sea shanties.

When you put plants into a drain-less container, no matter how big or small, you are now doing hydroponics.  You have wholly detached the growing media from the rest of the earth.  You cannot mitigate moisture, allow passage of worms and other decomposers, allow passage of spores or weeds, etc.  It now becomes 98% your responsibility to control how much water goes into the beds.  I do my fair share of growing in closed and partially closed systems, and I strongly prefer partially closed systems with drainholes and access to rain.  Closed systems indoors are not bad but you have to stay on top of things.

I think your first idea of building the beds from locust is excellent.  If you got someone with a chainsaw mill out there you'd be off to the races.

If you already have these stock tanks and they have some holes or damage in them, then I'd add more.  Vertical slits starting 6 inches from the ground up, about 4".  Maybe cut out the bottom.  You'll need to build braces either way.

If you already have these stock tanks and they don't have holes in them, you have an excellent opportunity for aquaponics.  Build raised growbeds from PVC pipe, gutters, plastic sheeting in wooden channels, etc and have them drain into the stock tanks.  Fill them with lightweight aggregate like expanded clay pellets, or even heavy media like pea gravel.  Put tilapia in the tank and pump the water into the grow bed.  With a bit of creativity these backyard aquaponics pods are quite beautiful.

If you don't have the stock tanks already I'd consider building the beds from concrete block, corrugated roofing panels, or your rot-resistant wood. Leave them open at the bottom (maybe hardware cloth to control pests) and then load them up with rotting wood, straw, manure, etc.  Then you're getting the best chance at moisture control, both surplus and drought.


1 month ago
I love what you're doing!

I can't vote because neither Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses nor Christmas in Hollis by Run-DMC is on the list.  But I did just listen to Grandma Got Run Over by a  Reindeer, which is by now a canon Christmas classic.  And I LOL'ed at "any song by Pentatonix."  Also thanks so much for reminding me of Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo.  That whole soundtrack just went onto my holiday list.

1 month ago
You called it right:  I think it is soot.  In other words, charred residue from food that came before.

I notice this a lot in two cases: when the skillet is not yet seasoned all the way, and when it has been seasoned but for some reason food sticks, then other food keeps sticking to that food until it forms a wide, shallow "hill" of char that looks like normal cast iron.  If you can scrape a fingernail across the surface of the pan and get black soot under your nail, that's probably it.  In that case I use a griddle scraper to tear it down then add another seasoning base layer.

The best tool I've found for preventing this is chain mail.  It's stainless steel links that are softer than the cast iron but harder than whatever you're scraping off.  It leaves a smooth surface behind and is really fast to clean a pan.  Here's a link to more info.  I don't have any experience with this company's products but the explanation is good.

cast iron scrubber
1 month ago
I used one in my aquaponics setup.  I buried it to the neck in the pea gravel at the top of the growbed. The output hose from the pond ran into the drum.  it wasn't a prefilter, because filtration is the role of the growbed.  But it was a way for me to monitor the water flow, check for silt or debris, and generally have a clear space to work.
1 month ago
Use a compost toilet? I haven't the resolve.
I'm afraid if I used one, it would dissolve.
1 month ago
Crayons, paste, naps, clay....
Kindergarten is a buffet.
1 month ago
I'm working on the commerce BB.

I'm going to make an improvisational cooking techniques book.

That requires shooting pictures of the ingredients.

That requires some form of studio. I have opted for a fixed location so I can control the light.

Working with that location has been an organizational trainwreck.  So I'm building custom shelves to hold the thrifted plates/bowls/platters. Also learning photography, and also writing the book.
1 month ago