Emily Smith wrote:I’m in zone 7b/8a and the queen of time mismanagement. We’re 9 weeks out from the first frost date (supposed to be Nov. 16). Is it too late to start seeds? I have Brussels sprouts, cabbage, lettuce, broccoli, and cauliflower seeds. I’ve never tried a fall garden and was wanting to this year.
Pearl Sutton wrote:I had a bad year here, out of the 300-some squash (summer and winter) and pumpkin plants I put in of 20+ types, I currently (September) still have 4 plants: 1 tromboncino and 3 (still young) kabocha. All the rest died of fungus or squash beetles. The things in better soil hold out longer (although none long enough to set fruit) so soil improvement is happening, and the ones that are still alive climbed things. I think it got them enough air flow to avoid fungus, and maybe got them up out of where the beetles can reach them so easily. So for next year, I am wondering Which squash varieties climb best? Maybe if I start with things that will go up, I'll get some squash.
Thank you! :D
r ranson wrote:
Hamilton Betchman wrote:
I want to say there is a way to calculate lye based on Specific Gravity of the oils, but I am not sure. I will look into it.
exactly! With cold cured soap this is hugely important.
However, with the hot-cured soap, this wasn't needed because you can tell if there is excess lye before you pour the soap into the mould to cure. Since our cooking oils are mixed, I want to find that hot cured soap recipe to try.
r ranson wrote:The recipe I have lost had something like this for cleaning used oils.
Heat the oils, add cold water to the oils and it precipitates the particles and odour causing stuff to attach to the water and fall to the bottom. Let it sit a while, then pour off the oil and repeat a few times until the oil is clean.
Jay Angler wrote:That's a beautiful build Hamilton, and your evaluation in your last post is good too!
Things I like about it: 1. You used hardware cloth - modern "chicken wire" is too wimpy to keep many predators out - 1/2" hardware cloth is an excellent choice.
2. The coop is large enough to walk into - chickens are messy! At some point, a coop or coop/run combo is going to have to be cleaned, so being able to get into it and reach all areas without having to crawl through shit is an asset. Also, if a chicken gets hurt, think about how you're going to get to it when planning a coop.
3. The coop has a secure area with a good roof, and open areas for sun - if chickens are largely contained to an area, even if they're going to move daily, they need 8-10 square feet/chicken for quality of life - particularly if there's a squabble.
People need to heed your warning about weight! I'm only about 5'4" and 115 lbs and there's no way I could move your coop. I've seen too many plans get grounded because it took too many people or was just too hard to move. That can be affected by weather also! Is there a time of year when the wheels will just sink into soft, water-logged ground? Do you need to find a garden area where you can "plant" your mobile coop for the winter because it doesn't move through snow?
Personally, I recommend that perches are easy to remove (ours are held with bolts) and especially, that nest boxes are easy to remove. The latter is because it's much easier to clean a nest box if it can be removed, and cleaned out in the open with either the roof removable or the back removable. The nest boxes are a great place to get a mite infestation (which can pass to well-cared for chickens from wild birds) and they can get messy if for some reason a bird is laying weak-shelled eggs which break easily, or a bird starts roosting in a nest box. Cleaning chicken infrastructure is generally not on anyone's "I love to do this job" list, so I really encourage people to think about that as they're designing their coops. I *really* like Hamilton's attitude - he designed for *his* comfort as well as his birds!