Thursday, May 18, 2006

Plastic Mulch Laying Sequence

Here you will see a sequence of photos showing my home made plastic mulch laying operation. the first picture is a close up of the apparatus holding the roll of plastic under the belly of the tractor and the way I get the plastic started under the tires. The next series shows me forming the bed in preparation for laying plastic. I no longer do the acrobatics of standing on the rear tool bar while driving the tractor. The extra weight was not necessary. I have more recently added wheels to the rod which carries the plastic roll which makes it possible to carry it higher. I was having trouble reaching the roll to foot brake it as the roll decreased in diameter. Even with the roll carried higher one still needs long legs and a good sized foot to make this work. Yesterday I designed and built a rig for marking holes in plastic for planting with a hand carried device I use to make the planting holes and slugging them with water and fertilizer. It worked well and I was able to put in around 700 pepper plants in a couple of hours. Posted by Picasa

Friday, May 12, 2006


Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, Desiderata, Copyright 1952.

Friday, May 05, 2006

My First Granddaughter, Megan Olivia Good

My oldest daughter Celia gave birth to our first granddaughter on April 28. Mother and daughter are doing great and we are all bursting with pride!

The field hoop houses are mostly full of tomato transplants by now and the ones first transplanted in the hoop house close to the house on April 15 are now a good 18 inches tall and in need of trellising. There is even an apricot sized tomato on one of the plants! Yay!

And speaking of apricots, we have a nice set of young apricots on the three trees I planted about 10 years ago in the orchard south of the house. This is only the second time I have ever seen them successfully set fruit. Our zone 6 climate here is on the fringe of cold tolerance for apricots. We usually get a freeze after the trees bloom sufficient to take them out. About three years ago they set fruit only to drop them later when some sort of "no seeum" bug got to them. I almost cut the trees down this spring but didn't partly because something down deep inside me wanted to give them yet another chance and partly because i didn't get my "round tuit" in time. Maybe global warming will work in my favor from now on. This time, by golly, I am violating my "stay organic as much as I can" rule enough to allow me a spraying or too with something capable of killing these buggers! Then I plan to follow up with "Surround" at weekly intervals or after any rain. I want some apricots!

The weather is getting dry again and we need more rain. Posted by Picasa