Category Archives: DIY

Summer Solstice Happiest Day Of The Year

Plants are more connected to the summer solstice than humans. Plant cells contain microscopic amounts of phytochrome, a light-sensitive pigment that actually enables plants to reckon the length of daylight.

When the length of daylight the “photoperiod” falls below a certain critical level, the leaves of a maple tree spontaneously start changing colors. The result is a breathtaking spectacle, especially in New England.

The behavior of animals is strongly tied to the length of daylight.
For instance, when the photoperiod reaches 12.5 hours of sunlight per day which in the U.S. happens in late March the gonads of male and female hamsters instantly begin revving up. When the photoperiod falls below 12.5 hours of daylight in mid-September, the reproductive machinery begins shrinking and slowing down.
Now was that hamster information useful information?

Length of daylight which maxes out on the summer solstice also triggers many other important animal traits and behaviors. Everything from the color of animal fur to the timing of animal migrations.

Scientists have also come to learn the huge importance of daylight to our own mental and emotional well being. A recent, experiment evaluated the emotional content of tweets from 2.4 million people worldwide for nearly two years.
Researchers found that, all other things being equal, as the length of daylight increases, so does a person’s general level of happiness.
Everything else being equal, therefore, the summer solstice is arguably the happiest day on Earth.

The perfect mindset for participating in all those over-the-top solstice celebrations.

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Summer Gardens June 2018

Welcome to a snapshot of summer in my tiny part of Southwest Oklahoma.
Many triple digit temperatures days, south or southwest winds with long periods between rain events.

National Weather Service 3 day forecast.
May 31, Sunny and hot, with a high near 102. Southwest wind 9 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 23 mph.
June 1, Sunny and hot, with a high near 102. Heat index values as high as 108. South wind 9 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 22 mph.
June 2, Sunny and hot, with a high near 102.

I can’t wait for summer to arrive in another 20 days, that’s when the really warm dry weather arrives. 🙂

Happy Summer Gardening

Skunk In My Coreopsis

Coreopsis, sometimes rightly or wrongly called garden tickseed, golden tickseed, or plains Coreopsis are in bloom. A ready made feast for hummingbirds, bees and butterflies.

This is a native wildflower that can become an invasive plant. As with many plants it can be considered a wildflower or a damn old weed if it spreads to places that it is unwanted.

Skunks are one of those critters that I truly detest. I can find no redeeming benefit to having skunk(s) any where with in a mile of my hen house.

For more than a week I have been smelling the faint aroma of a skunk when I go to my hen house for feeding and to gather eggs.
So I have been on the hunt for this unwanted critter for more than a week.

This morning in broad daylight about 9AM I saw my unwanted guest making it’s way as I watched through my picture window view of Coreopsis, he was headed for the henhouse.

My tool of choice for such an event is a 60 or 70 year old Remington pump shotgun loaded with #2 shot. The skunk was distracted by the smell and sounds of a fresh chicken meal to hear or care that I had stepped out on my back porch. He (no I did not look to verify it was a male) was about 50 yards away, really out of range for a shotgun. I waited until the skunk had closed to about 30 yards before I give him a lethal dose of #2 steel shot.

Now me, chickens, ducks, goose and dogs will sleep better tonight.

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Beet Root makes any meal special

If your a fan or maybe not of beet roots this pickled beet recipe will add a new twist to salads or as a side dish to many meals.

What you will need.
1 – can small whole beets. (well drained)
1 – pint canning jar with new lid and screw ring.
1 or 2 cloves (no more than 2)
1 whole garlic clove (optional) Do not crush. mince or slice
1/2 cup 5% acid vinegar of your choice (white, cider or wine vinegar)
1/2 cup distilled water (tap water will work)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat your canning jar.
Bring enough water to cover your jar to a boil and remove from the burner.
Place you jar in the water to preheat.

Canning mix.
In a small pan add vinegar, water, cloves, sugar and salt.
Bring to a boil, remove from heat an stir until salt and sugar is dissolved.

Packing you jar.
Remove your preheated jar from the pan of hot water.
Pack with small whole beets and garlic clove (if used).

When vinegar mix comes to a boil remove from heat and very carefully pour hot vinegar mix over your beets.
Leave 1/2 inch head space in your jar. (add more vinegar as required to fill canning jar)
Cap jar and tighten jar screw ring.

Allow beets to cool to room temperature.
Refrigerate for 24 to 72 hours before serving.
Pickled beets can safely be kept sealed up to 3 months. Consume within 1 month after opening jar.

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Something for ‘almost’ every gardener

April was an unusually cool April for my tiny zone 7b garden.

60 degrees F is kind of, sort of the magic soil temperature needed for many garden vegetable seeds to germinate. It was the last week of April before we approached the 60 degree soil tempeture.

May arrived and my soil has warmed to 71 degrees F and it is still a month until the start of the summer gardening season. Leaving plenty of time for most gardeners to plant summer and fall producing vegetable gardens.

I’m happy with our bamboo project. We planted bamboo in a well contained garden plot about 25 feet long by 12 feet wide near Christmas time 2015 and I have been concerned that I wasted my money on two 6 inch pots of bamboo. However after 2 summers of putting down a good root system this spring bamboo canes have jumped up and some canes are more than 11 feet tall and still growing taller everyday.

I invite new visitors to my tiny blog to search my previous posting. At sometime in the past I have information about almost every vegetable from A – Z as wells as info on raising chickens, rabbits, composting and water saving irrigation ideas.

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Backyard flock of laying hens are good for your health

Nutrition journal guidelines for egg consumption eggs make a healthy, affordable and tasty meal. Research has revealed just how many eggs is safe to eat in a week.

Grandma said “eat your breakfast biscuits with butter, jelly or jam, gravy, maybe a few slices of bacon or sausage patty’s as well in addition to your healthy 2 egg breakfast. It’s the most important meal of the day.”

Good news for lovers of a frittata or scramble, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found there were no adverse effects from having as many as 12 over seven days.

They discovered that even participants with type-2 diabetes did not suffer adverse effects from eating a diet high in eggs such as inflammation, cardiometabolic risk levels or raised glucose levels.

Eggs particularly the yolk are high in fat, they are full of vitamins, minerals, protein and healthy omega-3 fats. The yolk is packed with nutrients, so there’s no need to opt for egg-whites only.
Eggs do not significantly raise cholesterol in the blood, the Mayo Clinic reports, and people who replace a grain-based breakfast with eggs have been found to eat fewer calories over the day.

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Penn State University said being outdoors is to dangerous for students

Penn State University’s 98-year-old Outing Club whose mission is to “experience the outdoors in every possible capacity” is no longer allowed to go outside because the college deems it is too dangerous.

PSU’s offices of Student Affairs and Risk Management determined the Penn State Outing Club’s activities of backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, and trail maintenance as too risky for Snowflake and Buttercup students.

Is this the end of Gardening as we know it?
When did the great outdoors become to dangerous for Snowflakes and Buttercup students?
This is just another glaring example of the wimpy sissified generation of university age students be unleashed on America by a bunch of ignorant and often stupid far left leaning liberals.

Snowflakes and Buttercups beware of the attacking butterflies and hummingbirds. Stay indoors and be sure to avoid dangers associated with being outdoors, things like fresh air, sunshine and walks in the woods and parks.

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Better Late Than Never, Spring Is In The Air

It’s a week past my normal last frost date and maybe, just maybe I have had my last spring frost. A few nights ago it went down to 26 degrees F. and did a lot of damage to tender new plant buds and plants that had leafed out. It, the frost, has set my grapes back at least 1 if not 2 weeks.

Hummingbirds have started arriving. Everyday it seems that I have one or two more than the day before visiting my feeders.
Just my opinion but I think it is a good investment to buy feeders with what sellers call bee and wasp guards. After replacing my old style feeders with new feeders with bee guards having bees and wasp feeding at my hummingbird feeders is no longer a problem me and the hummingbirds must contend with.

The Purple Martin house is open and raise to a height of about 12 feet. My first pair of Martins arrived Saturday and have given their nod of approval.

Chicken have finished molting and have started laying about 1 egg per bird everyday. Just for the record I have 4 hens that are now 4 years old and 3 that are 2 years old.
Grin … now me and extended family have more eggs than we can eat every week and that’s a good thing.
Smiling… as my hens get to old to be useful egg producers, I keep putting out feed and they become yard ornaments for my viewing pleasure.

Cataract surgery on my left eye went well. I’m seeing things that I have not seen well for at least 4 or 5 years. I have a followup doctors visit set for the 18th and he will operate on my right eye on the morning of the 25th.

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Using the latest no carbon emission technology


Thank you Denny Home Place blog

Spring is in the air … Not yet but soon ……

Spring is in the air … Not yet but soon …… It’s still almost a week until our last average frost date.
A cold front arrived yesterday afternoon bringing with it 27 (-2.75C) degree temperatures, north winds 25 gusting to 35 mph (40 to 56 kph). Weatherman is forecasting 40 percent chance of Snow/Sleet today.

My soil tempeture is 54 degrees, still to cool for most garden seed to germinate. Grin… but the winter grass and chickweed is doing just fine thank you.

My window box planter project is on hold until the wind dies down and daytime outdoor temperatures are reaching into the 70’s.

Doctor has finished all of his test and will remove cataract from left eye on the 11 of April then do the same for my right eye on the 25th of April.
FYI: Cataract is a cloudy or opaque area in the normally clear lens of the eye it can interfere with normal vision. Most cataracts develop in people over age 55. Usually cataracts develop in both eyes, but one may be worse than the other as in my case.

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