Saturday, May 31, 2008

Interesting wind turbine idea

I came a crossed this video last night.

The basic idea is that you use an array of inexpensive turbines that are linked by gearing to drive a single generator. It looks like something that is in the testing and refinement stage now, but I am really impressed with the idea. I would guess that the efficiency is not that high but since you could always just install more turbine units to increase your total area that is less of an issue. That is of course if you have the area. It also looks like they are a bit noisy. I think that is probably an alignment issue. I suggest to them they look at a dual opposing herringbone gear arrangement.It should take care of some of the rattling and much of the axial thrust. It is the the same gearing arrangement used in naval steam turbine ship reduction gears. Which is where I learned of it. If you are from MotorWind and want to use this design, please do so. If it works out I would love to help test the new design. Also you may want to consider removing the music from your homepage.


Planting continues

Things are moving along. We finally got some much needed rain the last few days. I figured dragging 200 feet of hose out to the garden and filling the rain barrel would do it. Got a few more plants in the ground this morning. Jess and I planted out some sad little seedlings I had been attempting to kill in the basement. We planted 3 kinds of basil (sweet, cinnamon and lemon). We also planted out some cilantro seedlings and some nasturtiums as well. We direct seeded some decorative amaranth, some giant sunflowers and some bush lake blue green beans. Yesterday I also re-seeded the beets that got destroyed by the mole that visited the garden. I hope I have discouraged it enough for it to move else where in the yard. So, much planting was done. We also weeded the swiss chard,the lettuces and the kale. I also spread organic fertilizer pellets over the lot. I guess that is enough for one morning. I will try and post some pictures of the garden tomorrow.


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Hey all,

Sorry I have not written in a while. So much has been going on here at the farm.
The hops have gotten off to a tremendous start. They are already halfway up the pole barn. I have had to be quite aggressive with the pruning back the bines. The plants seem to show the same growth pattern as last year, with the Fuggles leading the way. I have to add more mulch to the bed and consider trimming back the maple more aggressively to increase the amount of sunlight they receive. I can see why these would make a great landscape plant. I have been on watch for the dreaded question mark caterpillars but have not seen any signs of their presence. Good thing considering the damage they caused last year. I also mulched the hop yard today.

In the orchard we seem to have few apple blossoms this year. I can't say if it is due to the cold weather we are having this spring or some other cause. I know that the soil in that part of the yard is quite terrible and there was the hail storm last spring as well. So I think a few more years of patience is in order. The raspberries are sending up shoots everywhere . I mulched them as well tonight.

In the garden we have been harvesting a bunch of asparagus every day. We have also had a third small picking of rhubarb, some of which is currently in the oven becoming a pie. I also mounded up the potatoes which are doing quite well. I planted the tomatoes and peppers last Friday and they have not died while waiting for the heat of summer to arrive.So all is well.

In the barnyard the chickens are well. Now I am just waiting on some rain to come and refresh the grass in ChickenGrad.



Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Quick post

This is just a short post to let all know what is happening on the farm. I have been working on the garden lately. I have been attempting to increase the amount of room around the garden beds. I probably should have removed all the grass at the beginning but i am slowly reclaiming the garden from the grass and dandelions. I have so far planted 4 strawberry plants in the garden. I also planted a few new herb plants that we picked up last week.
I also removed a nest of tent caterpillars from one of the apple trees.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Farm news

Hey all,

Spring has finally come. I worry that we will now proceed directly into the heart of summer without the gradual warm up we would like. Ah well, you take what you get where weather is concerned.
I spent a few hours building a new fence around the chicken coop last week. Jess and I then put the old electric fence around the new 5 foot tall welded wire fence. It seems kind of crazy to go to such lengths but with all the dogs in the neighborhood it seems prudent. I have dubbed the new enclosure "Chicken-Grad".
Otherwise the the plums are in bloom and the hops are growing quite quickly. We have been eating asparagus with dinner this week and have harvested a lot of rhubarb as well.

More later,

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

farm update

Well we harvested our first crop this evening. We harvested the first pulling of our rhubarb tonight. It looks like we should start harvesting asparagus by the end of the week.

Good eats to come,

Smeltfest recap

I got back from my annual spring camping and fishing trip known as smeltfest. We finally got a few smelt on Friday night. The surf was amazing on superior that night. It was as big as I have ever seen on lake superior and the biggest I had seen since my Navy days in the Pacific ocean. It was stupid and dangerous and just the sort of thing a man needs to do from time to time. We went back on Saturday night and caught a 2 dozen more. We went back to camp that night and made smelt scampi. It was great. Now I know it has only taken 6 years to catch smelt but that made them taste all the better.