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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tricking my Brown Thumb

I carefully planted seeds in vermiculite and waited for seedlings to show.  The few seedlings I saw were quickly identified as products of a fall of elm seed disks from a huge elm tree in a neighbor's yard, but no sign of the carrots, beets, parsnips, or tomatoes that I planted.  Finally I went ahead and purchased some weedy looking tomato plants for a deep discount along with dill and parsley that was similarly low in cost.  They began to thrive in the grow beds.  A week ago I tossed some year-old beets seeds in the beds, with a fatalistic feeling that since they weren't getting any fresher, they were just as well off adding organic matter to the grow bed.  Surprise!  The beet seedlings are showing up as pretty little green leaves on red stalks.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Larvae Harvest, Plants thriving

First BFL harvest this morning!
I found three large larvae- 3/4" long and black, in the catch bin this morning.  I took them down and fed them to my chickens.  For the next few days I'm putting the harvest bucket in a shady place near a spot where I put some food scraps under a layer of wood compost.  I plan to let any that come out of the bin in the next few days find their way to a place where they can become flies and breed.   It took a week from putting little white larvae in my collector bin to the appearance of the mature larvae.
Also, the grow bins in my aquaponics setup are doing well.  I planted various herbs, a squash and some tomatoes and all are apparently thriving five days after being planted. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Win Some----

I planted a lot of seeds in vermiculite and waited for them to grow as I finished setting up my system.  Alas, my dread brown thumb curse seems to have struck.  The only seedlings popping up have been a few errant elm seedlings, and I have been harvesting a lot of those from my grow tanks.  While shopping for a few extra feeder bases for my chickens I purchased bedding plants at at 75% discount, making them almost disposable if they don't thrive.  While planting them I had evidence that the red worms are spreading through the bins.