my wood stove

I was thinking just a few days ago, when winter abruptly descended, how efficient and useful my wood stove has been.  Over the past 3 winters it has lived up to all my expectations and provides sufficient heat for the house except in the evening before retiring when we use supplementary heat to warm the bathroom.  Coincidentally, I received an email with some questions on the wood stove (see below): Here are some thoughts.  But first, if you are interested in the topic do read my Read more [...]

update – 1st blossoms, bees and goats

We had (until a few days ago) a very mild winter and blossoms on the pear and peach trees appeared early.  My Kieffer pear was the first to produce and the picture above was taken on March 1. We have kudzu in Georgia but in the suburbs English ivy is a bigger problem and not every one wants to use glyphosate.  So in the Atlanta suburb where we also have a house, we were intrigued when we saw a temporary electric fence installed.  Our neighbors feel much the same way we do about Read more [...]

better air in the country & my standby indicator

Air is generally better in the country because there is less traffic and other emissions.  Unless you are close to a power plant or farm spraying operation.  Atlanta has an air quality index and warnings are issued when the AQI veers from good/moderate to unhealthy and very unhealthy.  Because we have lots of traffic, air quality becomes a problem particularly in the warmer months when smog forms. I can see the difference in air quality when I walk outdoors - just look at the lichens.  Read more [...]

Georgia Organics conference – Feb 17/18 – 2017

Past Friday and Saturday I was at the GO conference.  Friday morning we visited a farm (Emory Oxford College organic farm) about 20 miles east of Atlanta.  The farm has CSA's and provides food for the campus.  The 2 managers were friendly and experienced and we also listened to the narratives of college interns and volunteers.  There is an impressive barn building on concrete pad where the harvest is cleaned and refrigerated and tractors and equipment serviced. I learned Read more [...]

replacing a glass window

My tractor building has roll-up door on one end and a 4x5 ft window at the other end.  It is insulated glass in a steel frame.  And has been fine until yesterday when I backed my Case tractor with pto chipper into it, and it shattered. Up till then I had a good morning.  My bobcat started instantly and I turned the compost heap and then I chipped a lot of small trees and branches.  And feeling good about everything I then reversed my chipper through the window.  I designed Read more [...]

tomato plants

Each year around this time I start my tomato plants.  For germination I use 3/4" soil blocks (purchased seed starter mix) and incubate, and once germinated I transfer to 2" soil blocks in my greenhouse and  later into 32 oz bottom drilled yogurt containers.  I have described the procedures in detail elsewhere on this site.  With each passing year I have become more casual with the mix for the 2" soil blocks and yogurt containers.  I used to carefully measure out the different Read more [...]

tire puncture repair

As a kid I repaired bicycle tire flats - check the tire stem is not leaking, remove tire, remove inner tube, pump and locate hole, buff the area around the puncture, apply glue, allow to tack, apply patch, reinstall inner tube and tire, and you are good to go. The tires on my lawn tractor are bigger and wider and removing the rim/bead is more difficult.   The treads are worn and all 4 tires should be replaced.  The right rear tire is always flat.  I have a portable compressor (see Read more [...]

how to produce a 3d picture

I have taken several MOOCs (internet courses)  given by University of Illinois on 3D printing and the most recent was on 3D printing software.  The software, which was free to students, was provided by Autodesk and included Sketchbook (for sketching), Tinkercad (an easy to use CAD design tool) and Fusion 360 (sophisticated computer design, modeling, etc. software).  Tinkercad and Fusion 360 convert ideas into 3D models.  Scanning creates a 3D model from a physical object such Read more [...]

remember your undersink water filter

In July 1998 I installed an undersink filter.  I know the date because I kept the original installation instructions.  I remember the accompanying written warning but paid little attention:  "To prevent costly repairs or possible water damage we strongly recommend that the housing be replaced periodically: every five years for clear tanks, and every ten years for opaque tanks.  If your housing has been in use for more than the recommended period, it should be replaced immediately". Imagine Read more [...]

Takeuchi electrical problems

Much time since my last post.  My uncovered greens have held up well through the cold and I have begun germinating tomato seeds.  Read some excellent books and took a MOOC on software design in connection with 3D printing.  And I have spent considerable time diagnosing and fixing my silent Takeuchi TL26 (bobcat). I don't use it much but the compost heap needed turning and I wished to grade some ground for additional rainwater tanks,  and it stayed silent when I turned the key.  Not good. Previously Read more [...]