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Category: Garden & Growing

Drying Herbs

I had to cut some side branches off the sage and rosemary bushes in the garden. I know it’s not exactly the right time now, but these guys were really just getting too big 馃檪 I seem to be physically just not able to just throw away this aromatic, fragrant goodness so I dried them for further use in the kitchen.


Solar Power for the Greenhouse

It was already last year that I started planning a simple solar power system for the greenhouse, since the next power outlet is a tad bit away. After much back and forth, I finally dug up enough time and nerves to complete it by the end of may.


How to: Grow Basil at Home

Basil plants home grown from seeds.

I sincerely love Basil. Best used fresh, this herb an enrichment for for a lot of dishes from pesto to all kinds of pasta, also poultry and countless sauces and even soups. Always a great addition.

Unfortunately, Basil a is a little diva-ish to have around and grow. I f***ed up numberless times when I tried to grow or even just maintain my basil plants, but finally, meanwhile I seem to have developed at least a little knack for it. I have actually managed to germinate as well as propagate, grow, perpetuate and correctly prune several basil plants on my southern windowsill! Here’s what I can share:


Compost Tumbler

I’ve read about rotating compost bins already two or three years ago, but had neither time nor energy enough to dive into the matter more deeply. There is a vast variety of makes and models available, but they’re all super-sphisticated and expensive and I didn’t want to spend this money for a first test.

Now I found a cheap plastic drum from a marine equipment store on eBay and decided to give it a shot – not much effort and a simple homemade construction. I don’t have any experience with this type of composting, but since I expect to have ample need for compost this summer, the project is worth the time as well as the (little) money to me.


Greenhouse Kerosene Heater – Upgrade

My new greenhouse heater that I luckily got hold of. Since the previous one unfortunately was a real letdown, I gave another product a chance.

Originally, this an emergency kerosene heater, even suitable for living spaces, more expensive but also much more potent and durable. (This one to be precise, but it’s available as several different models for different prices and in different qualities). 

I tested this product thoroughly and over several days before writing another enthusiastic article, and in this case I can indeed give a clear recommendation. It’s got a capacity of about four liters of kerosene which it burns in about 36 hours on the lowest setting – a thirsty sailor. But it works! As soon as it’s heated up, it doesn’t stink very much anymore, it doesn’t self-extinguish with a half-filled tank and it heats my 6 m虏 greenhouse to 3 掳C when it’s -10 掳C outside reliably.

Also, it just looks cool, doesn’t it? Let’s keep that one.


Flower Pot Candle Heaters… Debunked a little

Fall is here again and winter is approaching inevitably. So the annual posts on clay pot candle heaters are prospering again as they do every year. With germany’s energy crisis becoming more and more obvious, lots of untrustworthy and even mainstream voices rise recommending tealight-ovens as an alternative means of heating. In the light of a recent discussion, let me clarify things on this issue a little bit if you allow, ok?

I have one of these contraptions (home made of course) running in my greenhouse – they work fine and as long as you know what they’re really doing you can use them adequately and rely on them properly.

 


New Mushroom Cultivation Bags

The last self made mushroom cultivation bags I tried were such a success that I made new ones and challenged my luck again. Here’s the three new bags that I hope will thrive and prosper:

  1. Some “Mystery Mushrooms” (I found an old and non-specified mycelium bag in the shed. Let’s see… 馃檪 )
  2. King Oyster Mushrooms (lat. pleurotus eryngii)
  3. Regular Oyster Mushrooms (lat. pleurotus ostreatus)

Read here how to make your own mushroom growing bags and here’s where I buy (de) my mycelium and accessories.


Another Mushroom Harvest

This is the 6. (sixth!) harvest from the do-it-yourself mushroom cultivation bags in the homemade fruiting chamber now and I’m really overwhelmed! If this is going on that way, I’ll never buy any mushrooms from the store again 馃檪

Also, I’ll be trying to cultivate some additional sorts like King Oyster (pleurotus eryngii), Shiitake (lentinula edodes) , etc. in the future.


 

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