Douglas Alpenstock

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since Mar 14, 2020
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Canadian Prairies - Zone 3b
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Recent posts by Douglas Alpenstock

Hm! Well somebody's been playing in your slow compost.

Can you cut a nodule in half and post a photo?
15 hours ago
Hey all,

I'm cleaning out the cold room, schlepping out the the potatoes from last year. Long sprouts but not green or anything. They're still good for mashed potatoes, but we're done with that.

I plan to do a char burn and use the excess heat to boil them whole.

My initial thought was to add them to the composter. I've heard that the cooked starch acts as an accelerator.

But: I have a good neighbour who has laying hens. I send surplus veg their way and get lovely eggs when they have a surplus.

Can the chooks safely eat cooked potatoes, skin and all?
18 hours ago

Pearl Sutton wrote:Those are control joints, you need them..

Pearl is quite right. These are deliberately introduced "fault planes" that will hopefully break the big concrete slab into neat rectangular smaller slabs if the supporting base underneath rises/falls/shifts. If the shift is extreme, here are methods like mud-jacking which can level out a the small slabs without having to jackhammer out the old floor and pour a new slab.
20 hours ago

William Bronson wrote:If Douglas is right, then the Edible Acres channel has some practical  suggestions on how to use such a pump ...

Yes, possibly. We don't have enough details about the pump model, whether it is rated for a continuous duty cycle, and the length of hose required.

One option might be to use the pump to intermittently fill a tank 2 metres immediately uphill , and then use gravity/siphon flow to slowly water the orchard trees.
1 day ago
Your 24-watt DC pump sounds like a high volume, low pressure bilge pump. It may possibly move water through a long garden hose but at a ridiculously low rate. As noted above, the elevation gain and pipe friction will kill your throughput.

IMO you need a bigger pump.
1 day ago
Curious! The usual question is "How do I control this [bleeping] duckweed? It's taking over!"

I buy nice colourful feeder goldfish and put them in my small pond. They chew on basically everything including algaie, and the unlimited supply means they grow a lot during the summer. They also chew up mosquito larvae and entertain visting kids.

Unfortunately they think duckweed is candy. I've tried to introduce it and it's completely gone in a couple of days.

I guess I would keep raking out the algae rafts and put them in my compost as a nitrogen bomb. And maybe introduce goldfish with stern instructions about what they are allowed to eat.
1 day ago
I use what I call "sprouting boards" for things like carrots.

These are scap 1/2 x 5" boards from an old cedar fence. I water the rows and set these on top ensuring there is an air space underneath. It holds the moisture and protects against wind/sun drying things out.

In our sand/silt soil, it works like a charm.
Farmers have a uniquely dry sense of humour. Maybe they built it just to mess with people's heads.
1 day ago
Hm! I haven't seen that design before.

The hay sheds I know are just pole sheds with a roof. Sometimes there are walls on one or two sides, where the winter winds would blow in snow.
2 days ago

Harmony Dybala wrote:Maybe sauerkraut! You could ferment the shredded cabbage, with or without peppers and spices

Great idea, and yet this is in a high-volume kitchen whipping up meals on the spot every night. We do soups and chilis and pasta sauces and stir fries.

Maybe we just need to look at the "salad in a bag" as another raw ingredient for the daily dish-in-progress.
2 days ago