First of all, a photograph of Soph Dog.
Why? Because she has been listening to my exposition of ideas lately. Some of them are related to this blog and some of them are but are not. That’s like the grey area between Title 50 and Title 10 jurisprudence on /some things/. Anywho– she is non plussed about becoming a dog model for dog pharmaceutical marketing. She just doesn’t agree with their approach and I don’t blame her.
Here are some thoughts before the usual photo update. Feel free to skip to the photos and don’t feel guilty, only about two people actually read the words on here and that’s more than okay with me!
I was researching how Anhydrous Ammonia was made after thinking about farm inputs. The farm kids around here just call it “Anhydrous,” as though Ammonia is her last name. Anhydrous means without water, which reminds me about the scarlet hydra beast but that’s another thought. If you’ve ever forgot to flush your toilet or empty the urine bin on your composter you’ve smelled bacteria converting nitrogen in your urine to ammonia. Most associate ammonia with stale urea and the such. Anhydrous Ammonia is NH3+ or something close, plants need nitrogen, and fields have bacteria to covert ammonia back into nitrogen, think of them as reverse pee smell machines. So farmers rent big towable tanks of Anhydrous Ammonia for application to their fields in the fall and or spring.
Production of Anhydrous Ammonia is from natural gas. They steam it, pull of carbons, and then bottle it. This is simplified of course since its not something you can do yourself the details are in the ether.
It makes sense that you need energy in the form of natural gas to grow corn in America. I mean, doesn’t it? So all that corn syrup in Coke actually started as old decayed material far under the ground. A very old compost pile of sorts.
Another reason to just go pee on your corn yourself and be of a lot less impact. I’m not kidding.
I was comparing trees today and I never believed in the maximum height argument I’ve read in tree books but now I do. It seems they reach maximum height then extend out. This explains why forest canopies are of a uniform height. Also explains colonialism and war, thus the history of trees.
Usable grains vs necessary grains.
I was researching dry bean yields, protein and fat levels, and amino acids. I came to the realization that while the world likes soy beans we don’t. This might sound surprising.
We eat a lot of soy milk and tofu but we don’t grow our own, this is dominated by price and process. We make soy milk for milk and yogurt from raw (organic no genetic funny business) beans but we buy tofu. We bought 30 lbs of soy beans last summer and still have half of them, and we make about a gallon of soy milk a week. This comes to about 80 cents per gallon. A pound of tofu (in my experience) takes a gallon of soy milk to make and doesn’t come out as nice and doesn’t taste good, so buying it for an 80 cent markup at $1.60 is one of those trades “back to industry” we are making currently.
We could grow pinto beans but they take a lot of energy to cook. This is okay in the winter when we have a stove burning often but in the summer it becomes a liability. Lentils cook quickly and are third in protein yield after soy and hemp.
So we are growing a lot of lentils and garbanzos this year. Living life crazy, indeed.
We will probably have about 1,500 sq ft of beans this year. God willing that’s about 25 lbs. This is why I think people that say you can raise all you need to feed a family of four on an acre / person are missing the target entirely.
I shattered my iPhone screen a few days ago and thought it was a goner. I was pleased with this since it meant less wasting time staring down into the walking zone area humans normally stare at when walking dangerously, but instead there is a bright object in the way and we are stationary. It turns out it still works and I don’t mind all the cracks, so the blog carries on in this form. I’m seriously considering not having a smart phone after this one dies because of the privacy implications, yes I do look both ways when crossing a one way street.
Now the photos.
Last night was a record daily rainfall. We are six inches above normal. We are halfway to yearly averages and only 5/12th through.
The models are predicting another inch and half in the next 10 days and a possible frost. We will talk about this as it comes..
Some of the unoccupied swarm hives were ransacked last night. We always blame the raccoons for anything that looks like a raid.
Hideouts. It’s good to have five or six or more.
This was the position of last years occupancy.
Turnips are seeding. I haven’t seen any wild mustard garlic yet.
Stranger in a strange land. This is an orange tree.
Planted some hops for my bro. We have no good hops planting areas, and trust me I’ve looked and tried before.
Tomatoes are happy for now and yes, a fruit blossom. Yellow Cherries are scrappy survivors.
Garbanzo and lentils emerging. There are some underground, I guess. When it’s this wet you can suspend them in the air over the garden and they’ll be wet enough.
Fresh deer tracks, or as Lodgson calls them, “Bottomless stomachs on hooves.”
This would be called poorly drained soil.
Sometimes it’s interesting to look at the lodging of the clover. Often it’s the wind but sometimes the deer lay down right in it and eat while they are half asleep. I forgot to take a photo of the evidence.
The grapes are doing okay.
My strawberry patch. As an aspiring trash farmer I apologize for nothing.
Sugar pumas are so elusive they haven’t found the catnip yet.
God has us caring for one of His little souls and it appears we have a full fledged member of the Super Pooper club. I wash all our clothes in our kitchen sink which is our only sink with hot water. This is totally normal to us but I thought I’d show you the honest side of things, think of it as a slow acclimatization.
Lauren got this dancing solar flower for free. I took it apart. It has a little capacitor and generates an electromagnetic field to swing the pendulums.
Water is heavy, just saying.
When it rains we identify trees from the table for entertainment after we are bored with books.