1.21.2013 Old Saws and Open Windows

There’s an old wives’ saying, “Thundersnow means more snow within a week to 10 days.”  We had thundersnow here on Thursday night.  (And I missed it!  Darn it!)  Now rumor is growing of a new round of winter weather coming on Friday.  Maybe rain, maybe another 4-8 inches of snow.  We have gotten over 8 inches of precipitation in the last 30 days and the soil is really trying to gulp it all down, but that’s a lot to ask.  Apriori Farm is mushy.  Not complaining mind you, just hoping that all this rain and snow means an end to the drought.

There’s another saying, “When God closes a door, he opens a window.”  Well, last week, I finally had enough eggs to take back to the market, but in the two months since I’d had eggs to sell, the owner had gone out and bought his own laying flock.  Hopefully, his birds will be more reliable for him than mine are for me.  Long story short, he didn’t want my eggs anymore.  That left me with more eggs than customers.  I managed to sell most of last week’s eggs to fellow band members after rehearsal that night.  I thought it was a lucky fluke.  And last week was so busy I didn’t have time to muster up new clients.  But the members of the Chesterfield Community Band bailed me out again tonight.  And you wouldn’t believe the kind words that got said about my eggs.  Just makes me teary eyed just thinking about it.  So there you go.  A window opened, and in two weeks my girls have paid their feed bill for a month (and over half of them are still on vacation).

Speaking of open windows, my neighbor’s two surviving guinea cocks have discovered the open doors to coop.  They’ve been coming over for afternoon scratch for about a week, but during the nasty weather last weekend, they actually went inside the coop and spent the night roosting with the chickens.  They aren’t particular about who they sleep with – Sussex or Dorkings.  And my birds don’t seem to mind having them around.

The hydroponics experiment moved into stage two today even though my seedlings really aren’t ready yet.  Only half of my salad greens germinated (old seed), and one little plant is very pathetic.  Really, I should have left them in the sprouting tray another week or so, but space being limited, I moved them into the deep water cultures and will start a new set of seeds tomorrow.

The deep water culture consists of an 8 gallon tub and 2 five gallon buckets.  In the tub, there are six slots for plants – this go round, I’m trying to grow salad greens.  In the buckets, I’ll put one tomato plant each.  Once holes are cut in the lids, I drilled holes to allow the passage of the air tube.  The tubing is connected to air stones (bubblers used in fish tanks) and an air pump (with a check valve in between the two to prevent water from getting into the air pump in the event of a power failure.)  The next step was to add nutrient solution to a level just below the where the pots will hang.  Then, I took my Charlie Brown looking seedlings in their rock wool plugs and placed them in net pots and backed filled them with clay pebbles.  Since I have only three seedlings to go into the salad tub, I stuffed plastic bags into the other 3 net pots just to keep the sunlight out (don’t want algae forming in the solution).   All that was left at that point was to turn the power on and hope there’s enough sunlight coming through the window to make this a viable experiment.  And I am hopeful .  I have been having good luck with windows of late.

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