Sunday, April 26, 2015

April 2015 - Another Catfish Disaster

Hi

This is getting to be very embarrassing.. so I went out and bought a 2nd stock tank that is 150 gallons to add to the system. My idea was that I would pump water from the goldfish tank to this bigger tank, then pump the water to the plants and it would go back to the goldfish tank. This would give me a big tank to raise the catfish. I actually had it all working too...see below.

But then a goldfish got really sick and I finally had to kill it... it had something eating on it. And the water PH was too high... but I thought I could overcome that.

So off I go to pick up the fish and I buy 50 of them hoping that at least some of them would live. I bring them home and put everything in the tanks and the pumps start clogging due to the duckweed that was in the water. And they keep clogging so much so that I can't leave them on and running. and I have to leave my fish with just the oxygen pump running when I went home on Sunday. I had my son go up on Weds to change the water and see if he could get it running correctly... and wouldn't you know it? All the catfish are dead! All of them! How can they all die in 2 days?? Of course the goldfish are fine.. stupid goldfish... so I am back to trying to figure this out. I am tempted to seek professional help and hire someone to help me set this system up better.

Overall the vegetables are doing good....
Kale!

Added some basil seedlings to help with the water clarity

Bell Pepper
And that bobcat came back again this past week, so it could be living in my area...it is a pretty good size cat. Look about a medium to smallish dog size at maybe 30 lbs? 
This is my driveway camera that captured him/her... 

Julie

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Critter Cam Pictures April 2015 - Red Fox and a Surprise guest!

Hi

This weekend I did go out and get more catfish for the tanks but I forgot my camera.. since it has been at least 3 weeks since I looked at the game camera I thought I would review that today. I had a bunch of moldy fish food that I threw out in a big pile in front of the camera to see what it would attract. I got lots of birds in various shots of landing and taking off.. and of course eating. These are pretty cool!





These are steller jays, scrub jays and a woodpecker.

















A lot of acrobatics in the air!






Next I got a few good pictures of my "blonde" squirrel that is a very strange thing to see. I also have a picture of the normal grey squirrel so you can compare.


 This isn't an albino since it isn't white but it is a really light blonde color.

Grey Squirrel













Grey squirrel is here for comparison.
Then I got a couple of surprises... not only is there 1 red fox on my property but for a while there were or are two...









TWO Foxes... they came back several nights in a row to eat the fish food. It is a meat food so they probably liked it a lot. Plus I am sure they eat cat and dog food that might be left out. 

And finally... my biggest surprise... a Bobcat!
And there you have it.. I am very happy....just need a mountain lion and a bear to round out the pictures.

Julie

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Hop Yard - Year 2 - April 2015

Hi

It is Saturday night and I have been working outside all day on the hop yard and the greenhouse/aquaponic system. I am tired, sore and sunburn but very content with the amount of progress I made today. As you know from previous posts I built a log and stick terrace wall to plant more hops. Well today I finally got to plant them! I had ordered some from the supplier I used last year but they have never shipped them.. so I found a local resource and bought hop rhizomes from them. I planted 3 Centennial hops and 1 Chinook.

Here is where we are with the Nugget hops from last year; I left them in the planters and cut them to 3 strong shoots. This is what they looked like in late March when I started them training up the string.

Nugget hop in planter

Training the shoots
Today I planted the 4 new rhizomes in the terrace area, strung up the line for them to grow on and set up the drip system to water them.
All of them in their little packages waiting to be planted.

Hop rhizomes are pretty ugly!

NUGGET  hops in the planters using the tent pole structure for them to grow on.

Nugget hops doing really great and taking off up the string

Terrace with the new rhizomes is planted and you can see the twine that I am using to guide the vines when they start growing.
The first year of growing hops, you cut off all but 1 of the strongest shoots to get the roots to grow more. That was what I did with the nugget vines last year and they didn't put out much in the way of hop flowers. I have them to 3 strong shoots this year but they are still in the planters so this is kind of an experiment to see if that works or not. 

I will keep you posted!

Julie