Posts Tagged ‘coffee grounds’

Burying the very available crab shell and coffee grounds to spice up the soil is the first thing.  Warre hive is on the left and Bee Beard carved log hive on the right.  I’m in good company.

Potatoes…should we harvest now or leave them in to grow more?  If I leave them in, the voles might eat them…I better take them out.  Then I can plant buckwheat in both beds.

Red Pontiacs – Three at once

A mole tunnel…the moles dig the tunnels, the voles follow the tunnels to the potatoes. More than a few potatoes had been chewed on, so it was good idea to get them out of the ground.

Some of the potatoes harvested from this first potato bed. We could have left them in to grow more, but the voles would have taken a big bite out of our harvest. This way we can grow buckwheat in both beds for the bees in September.

We’ve been fairly successful in the “no tilling” method for a few years.  We think it’s important to use less manufactured energy and more physical energy.  Is spading  ‘as good as’ using a  tiller?  Probably not, but it’s important to be able to grow food without using fossil fuel for the possible time when we don’t have any.

We have dug in crab shell, kitchen scraps (no meat), comfrey leaves, and coffee grounds to enhance the soil. Now we’re planting the buckwheat seed.

The drip irrigation grid and the deer netting are in place.

Why do we need deer netting? Because of her…and all her offspring!

According to this article by the Thomas Jefferson Agricultural Institute “…buckwheat crop seems to improve soil tilth, and is reported to make phosphorous more available as a soil nutrient, possible through root-associated mycorrhizae. Buckwheat flowers profusely, making it popular with bee keepers and an attractive crop in the landscape.”

Sept. 9, 2012...about 5 weeks after planting, buckwheat is looking good.  Bees are on the blossoms already.

Sept. 9, 2012…about 5 weeks after planting, buckwheat is looking good. Bees have been working the blossoms for a couple of weeks already.

Sept. 9, 2012...Honeybees attending to the buckwheat blossoms.

Sept. 9, 2012…Honeybees attending to the buckwheat blossoms under the deer netting.

A fly mimicing a bee on the buckwheat blossom.

A fly mimicking a bee on the buckwheat blossom.

My wife saved me the ultimate embarrassment of thinking I found some kind of new bee. “Honey, that’s a FLY!”  “Ulp.”

Another fly, this time with a red abdomen.  My wife saved me the embarrassment of thinking I found some kind of new bee.  "Honey, that's a FLY!"

Another fly, this time with a red abdomen.

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I decided to try out growing some mushrooms after my daughter sent me a mushroom growing kit from the SF Bay area.  They were oyster mushrooms and worked well, so I wanted more.  I trade printing services for the opportunity to pick up coffee grounds from a place in town.  I only needed about a five gallon bucket load.

Since we are adamant about having as many car-free days as possible, I try to use the bicycle as much as possible.

Two full buckets…that’s heavy. I hope the wind is at my back on the uphill stage.

Drill holes in the bottom of the bucket to drain the excess water

The whitish spawn comes in a package.

Four hands mix it up

All mixed up and ready to wait. It takes about 3 weeks to start showing.

I placed the bucket outside under some fir trees. It’s mostly in the shade with a couple of slices of sun early and late.

Day 18…whitish color on surface of mixture. oh boy,  it’s going to happen!

Day 25 Ain’t they cute?

They are growing at Day 28. Soon we will cut just a little to try out. The directions say that 1-2% of the population is somewhat allergic. If you eat just a little and get a reaction, it’s better than eating a bunch.

Just to be sure they were ready, I inquired about the mushrooms.

Letter from Fungi Perfecti

Day 30…Harvest time. I wish I could say I ate a small sample to test it out, but I couldn’t hold myself back and ate the whole batch!

For more uses of coffee grounds, tap into this web site…

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