"And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress and keep it". Genesis 2:15

Monday, September 9, 2013

Beneficial Insect Success!

I started an experiment last Fall that I am very happy with. I have been experimenting with a permaculture concept- a combination of green mulching and interplanting with flowering plants that attracts beneficial insects. In the past I have either weeded diligently or mulched heavily with some kind of prebagged mulch or hay to suppress all the weeds.

I have changed my mind about "weeds" and realize that most of them are probably good for one reason or another. Either they attract beneficial insects, or they bring nutrients up from the deeper soil that will be released back into the garden when they decompose. This year I decided to only weed out grasses (which have shallow root systems that compete for nutrients with your garden pants) or things I really did not want, like burrs.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

My New and Improved Black Soldier Fly Set Up

I have had a Black Soldier Fly contain for about 3 years now. I found the Black Soldier Fly Larvae by accident, and raise them for fun and to sell to a few friends who feed them to their chickens. Well something about my set up, about everybody's set up, has always bothered me - it's the ramps the BSF use to self harvest. These ramps are such a pain to set up and hard for the BSF to find and use.

You can look at my old set up here. It's a 55 gallon water drum with a door cut in the side. I used PVC pipes for ramps that ended in collection buckets. Although the system worked, I always felt the chances of the BFS larvae finding the ramp and using it were not as good as they could be. A broad ramp leading to a broad exit hole would be better, but you can't just insert a plywood ramp into your set up. First of all it will rot, and second of all, BSF can get through any crack and they will all end up lost on the other side of the ramp. Then I thought one day, why bother with a separate ramp? Why not tilt the whole container the 20 degrees I wanted and cut a long slit for an exit hole in the side?

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Laundry to Lanscape Greywater Project Update

Last spring my wonderful husband installed a laundry to landscape Grey Water system in our backyard. It feeds three fruit trees (a peach, some raspberries, and a fig) at the front end, and waters the vegetable garden at the back end. So far I have been thrilled with its performance!

Here is part one, and here is part two.

Some changes we have made: Shortened the lines and added a plug.

We shortened the lines by lopping off the last two pots on each line. The directions said it could support up to 30 pots, but of course I tried to make it longer. The last bit never got enough water. That part of the bed also got too much shade, so I am converting it to a wild flower patch.

The Most Beautiful Color of Spring

The beautiful color of tender new growth in the spring! For much of the year the predominant color in Texas is the beige you see in my grass in this picture. When we get rain, or if we water, we can have a green lawn, but if the countryside does not get rain, the grass goes dormant in the summer, AND it goes dormant in the winter when it gets cold. Then how I long for this lovely refreshing green to appear!