Storm talk

Had a substantial storm event last night. All the TV stations switched to 100% weather reporting, tracking every cell with the potential for rotation. The good news is that we got 1.5” of much needed rain; the bad news was that we lost electricity for 3 hours. I have a generator for just such happenings but it was too nasty to go get it cranked up. I had already planned to skip the Obama speech so there was no impact there. We have a weather radio and it was chirping all afternoon. We found out that the ring on our new cordless house phone is exactly the same as the weather radio chirp. I kept answering the phone only to hear a dial tone and noting that the ringing was still going on.

Jungle clearing project going well and on target for Valentine Day. Interestingly, even limited myself to 2-3 hours a day working on the jungle, I feel it a bit in the back – not a killer but definitely some muscle strain. Most of the work is kneeling or bending down to cut the palmettos at their base then standing up and carrying the bush to the burn pile a few hundred feet away. No one part of the job is tough or particularly strenuous but somehow it cumulates. I was also hopeful that my back muscles had toughened after the first job but doesn’t seem to have happened. I can see why it was so screwed up after the previous clearing project in December. I won’t make that mistake again.

I was going to take a picture of the work in progress to give you an idea of the scope of the job. Unfortunately when I went to take the picture, I found out that the camera was broken (again). This is the third and final failure in exactly the same mode so I’m in the market for a new one. I need the functional equivalent of a Brownie Hawkeye.

I haven’t mentioned how the expanded part of the garden has worked out. It was the area that I added in the summer using the lasagna, layering technique. In case you don’t remember, I started with open field/lawn, laid down a layer or two of newspaper, several layers of palmetto fronds and then loads of shrub and jungle cuttings and grass clippings. None of it composted or chipped. No tilling, shoveling or anything to turn the field dirt. I put it down in layers, let it cook for a few months, then overlayed it all with compost I had made in the regular fashion and a few bags of store bought top soil. I ended up with about 24”-30” on top of the base field level. I started the expansion project in July and put in the first plants toward the end of October. So it cooked 3-4 months. I grew a patch of carrots, two patches of cauliflower, two patches of chinese cabbage and a row of peas. In the case of the cabbage and the carrots, those have all been picked and replanted with lettuce. We’re picking the cauliflower now and the plants are large and healthy. Everything thrived so the technique is a winner. No plans whatsoever to further expand the garden but if I did, for sure the lasagna technique is what I’d use.

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