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John Skaggs

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since Sep 21, 2010
Boondock, KY
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Recent posts by John Skaggs

Trying a bunch of new stuff this year.

Some crucifers: Thousandhead Kale and Walking Stick Kale -going to need some serious cabbage-worm control here- planting some herbs around that allegedly help deter them.

Some greens we hadn't tried in this zone before: Malabar and New Zealand spinach

Tahitian Mellon Squash -a long-necked butternut type -saw a guy not far from here have a ridiculous yield with those last year.  

While not a vegetable in the traditional sense, a source of perennial greens Red Toon, Toona, or Chinese Mahogany trees -we've had great luck germinating a packet of seeds and now have around 60 tiny trees.  Will be fun to see how they fare.  

3 weeks ago

Catherine Windrose wrote:If you don't mind learning a different operating system, I suggest Linux Mint 18.3.

You just beat me to suggesting the same thing.  Linux Mint has been our primary OS for years.  Works great for decomplicating my elderly parents computer as well!.  
3 weeks ago
Another here in East Kentucky.  Over the last decade the tick population has soared.  Formerly you could spend a lot of time in the woods and maybe see a tick or two in a season.  Now they are pervasive and new species are here that were seldom seen before. Step into the woods or grass when it is above freezing and come away with dozens of ticks and/or chiggers hidden in your clothing.  Nymph deer ticks you can find even when it's pretty cold outside.  I can't believe more people are not talking about how bad they have become.  Maybe because folks are spending lots less time outdoors?

Zone 6b here.
1 month ago
Germination attempt update:

I ended up purchasing a packet of seeds from Sheffield’s Seed Company.  Listed as Chinese Mahogany, Chinese Toon, Red Toon, Toona sinensis.  It contained around 70 seeds.  I soaked half of them in carbon-filtered tap water for about 24 hours and planted in peat pellets.  Kept at about 85F under a domed tray for 7 days so far.  On the sixth day, germination was evident in about half the pellets.  

In these photos, you see some of the most advanced seedlings today.  I have potted a couple as roots had penetrated the bottom of the pellets.  I put these under an LED grow lamp as it is still a little too cool to place them anyplace else to get enough light to avoid legginess.  

I am cautiously optimistic!  I soaked the remainder of the seeds yesterday and committed them to pellets this evening.  Great luck sprouting at one week.  Hopeful that we will end up with lots of little trees to pot up by summer.  
1 month ago
Hey there neighbor.  Not far across the river here outside Grayson, KY.  

Sounds like a very worthy project and a sorely needed resource in this region.

While in no way a newspaperman, I have worked in news as a broadcaster and written a fair lot of copy.  I've been focusing on and health and wellness issues lately, if you would consider a column along those lines.  Additionally, I am a Kentucky Master Gardener -or will be in a month or so when my volunteer requirements are met.  Also a life-long hobby gardener.  Maybe I could contribute something along either of those tracks.  Let me know the range of word-count and topics you might be interested in and I'd be happy to submit something.


1 month ago
Interested in practical hardiness info on this tree.  I have long wanted to try getting a few going here in zone 6b. Has anyone successfully got trees going in climates this cold or colder?  Will try my hand at germination.  Failing that, before springing for a nursery-raised tree I'd to find some precedent of them surviving winters like we have often had -though this winter seems to be largely a no-show so far.  
1 month ago
After the flyby of Oumuamua, there was a lot of talk about Arthur C. Clarke's Rendezvous with Rama.  Finally came by a copy.  Started up on that one while still finishing up Richard Brautigan's Trout Fishing in America. Both are fun in different ways so far.  
2 months ago
I've sporadically been a writer and later in life find myself taking it up again.  Went to school to be a broadcaster/journalist and spent a decade in that field.  Wrote a lot of news, features, ads, etc.  Became chronically ill and invested some years doing all I could to reclaim my health and have better quality of life.  Ended up working in some non-media areas for a long time to make ends meet and enable my aspiration to live in the boonies.  Now, I've been pecking at a non-fiction project about weight/health and indulging in some fun fiction for a couple of nanowrimos.  Working up a podcast for release this spring to help with marketing/audience-building for the non-fiction book.  I've hashed this project around for a long time -sometimes doubting I had anything distinct or important to contribute on the topic.  I've decided that I do.  They say to never write a book that doesn't demand to be written.  This one has insisted.  I'm finding editing a book-length manuscript far more challenging than writing it.  
2 months ago

Gordon Haverland wrote:Only a 7-4 year old thread?

I have a Pinebook Pro coming, supposed to be shipped end of December.  For Linux nerds only.  Probably some emphasis on nerds, it is supposed to have some rough edges and so you might need a bit more than casual knowledge of Linux to get it going.  It comes with a Rockchip 3399 processor (an ARM big.LITTLE processor).  It has support for NVME.  Price is nice at $100 to $200 or so (depends on whose dollars for the most part).

Sounds promising.  Pretty cool specs for the price.  Please do give us an update about what seems to run smoothly on the Pinebook.  We've often rescued old hardware that ended up being just great and more than usefully functional running a variety of linux distros.  Mint and Puppy (for slower or older hardware) variants tending to be our favorites.  
3 months ago
I got over their estimation of 50% fluency last year in Spanish then got a little too busy to keep it up.  Would like to pick it back up again.  
3 months ago