It’s time to cut back the willows in the willow nursery.
Here’s a curly willow before pruning.
Here’s what it looks like after it’s pruned or “coppiced.”
I use the prunings to start more willows. I put 88 in the ground. They seem to grow by just sticking them into the ground – we experimented last year just sticking them in a low spot and they survived without weeding, or even mowing. So, I will move the patch down the lowland. If nothing else, the goats will love the browse.
one year ago…”Claire at Mock Trial”
The willows emerge from the winter slumber.
We recently brought some in the house and they make a nice spring reminder.
They also provide some of the first pollen of the year for the bees to forage.
one year ago…”Solo”
Martin and GJ brought their beekeeping show on the road this Sunday. They brought some of the equipment to Martin’s Sunday School class and did a beekeeping demo.
Here the kids keep clear as they are not convinced that the beehive is truly free of bees while Martin and GJ have their suits on to open the hive.
one year ago…”Baby Goat”
Is this it?Â The last snow of the year?
April is nigh – there can’t be too many more snowfalls in between now and real spring.
one year ago…”Rhubarb Up!”
Emma took her permit test this week and passed the first try!
Now she can drive with a parent in the car. Now we have two teen-age drivers!
one year ago…”Thingamajig Thursday #111″
This morning I was invited to speak at a small wind workshop sponsored by the USDA. I spoke along with people from the Iowa Energy Center, a local utility, and an wind and solar installer. There was quite a bit of interest, with probably about 70 people there for a Wednesday morning meeting.
one year ago…”Pasture Overseeding”
The garlic has emerged from its winter slumber. We planted this late last fall.
This garlic is destined to be sold at Wheatsfield gorcery store in Ames in mid-summer.
one year ago…”High Hopes Handy Hint”
One of the sure signs of spring is the emergence of the rhubarb.
Here’s a particularly stunning photo of the wrinkly rhubarb – the leaves look suspiciously like the egg from yesterday’s entry!
one year ago…”Happy Easter”
Every once in a while one of the hens will lay an extraordinary egg.
This one looks what we might envision a dinosaur egg to look like – veined and wrinkled and ready for some strange creature to burst out of!
one year ago…”Snow…”
Today we started putting up a 10×21 hoophouse. I’m primarily following a design from the West Side Gardener.
The frames are made of 3/4 inch pvc pipes – light enough for a 7-year-old to shlep down to the building site.
Since the pvc pipe isn’t strong enough to pound into the soil as in the original instruction, I used a piece of metal conduit to make a “pilot hole” to guide the pvc pipe in.
After the pilot hole, in goes the pvc stakes.
Two ten-foot pieces connected with a 4-way connector make the ribs of the hoophouse.
All the hoops in place.
The ridge supports between the hoops in place. Later, we’ll affix the plastic to the frame, and make the door.
one year ago…”Paying Attention to the Horse”
Here’s a screenshot of the the Skyview software that remotely monitors and logs the wind turbine.
This shows in the graphs, the watts produced along with the RPMs. The machine is humming along pretty good here, making 2432 watts at the time this screenshot was captured. Although this graph shows a top watt scale of 2600, it does go higher.
one year ago…”Thingamajig Thursday #110″
Here’s this week’s thingamajig Thursday.
Also check out the last thingamajig answer.
As always, put your guess in a comment below.
Hold mouse over this sentence to pop-up answer.
one year ago…”Pruning”
Today we got our complimentary upgrade to our skystream turbine. Among other things, this will change the approximate high shut-off speed from around 30 mph to around 50 mph. I think this may increase our production 25-50%. This month alone for example, we’ve had 3 days it was off. Our record production for a day is 32, so we would have made at least 96 more and there is so much more power in the high wind speeds, that I think it would have been closer to 150 more, which is about 50% of the average monthly production.
Here the hatch of the turbine is open in a Frankenstein-type mode, and wires connected to install new software to allow the upgrade – this is just a s software upgrade, nothing mechanical. We also have a new remote communications module installed that shows us real-time stats from the turbine.
one year ago…”We Knew This Day Would Come”