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  • Writer's picturegarysjordan

Time Once Again for a Farm Report

Updated: Jun 19, 2022

2022-06-10 (Revisions/updates are in red 2022-06-11) (or in blue 2022-06-19)

What you are seeing is that fly net I bought this week for no discernable reason. I think I described it as, "as seen on TV." The Magic Mesh Hands-Free Screen Door Deluxe is what the package actually said. The two sides are pulled back together by gravity and magnets. No matter. I don't know why I bought it. Oddly enough, it does a pretty fair job of light abatement - not that the camera agrees. I asked the dotter to sew the seams together and she agreed, though it won't happen right away. In the photo, it is doubled over. Once sewn that way, I can attach the Velcr... I mean, hook and loop strips and attach it to the shelving it is draped over now.

Second thing this morning, my AG Harvests (Harvey and Harvey Too) flashed red signals to remind me it’s FMS day. (That’s “Feed Me, Seymour!”) That isn’t every Thursday, it’s every other Thursday. Fortnightly. I broke out the nine-inch eyedropper and fed all the Harvests and iDOOs 5 mL each of AeroGarden liquid plant food.

The hydroponic bay, as previously reported, has found space to grow. I put a printer on the TV/Microwave cart and moved one of the AeroGarden Harvests to the shelf it had occupied. I’ve mentioned naming all my garden units. This was Teresa with Anny, her reservoir. They're the new girls, arrived Thursday afternoon. Teresa hosts 6 newly planted Romaine Lettuce Seed Pods. They sprout in 1-7 days.

Putting Teresa and Anny on the desk’s middle shelf let me return the Bucket, henceforth Sheba, to gardening duty. I had decommissioned her to install an external level indication, but the universe and I had different plans. My stop-gap was to glue a level indicator under the fill port, so I can see when the level is high enough. If the glue holds… Sheba is hosting a single Heirloom Cherry Tomato Seed Pod, sprouts in 7-14 days.

They (Cherry Tomato plants) grow to max height and spread to block light to anything else so Sheba only gets one seed pod. Sheba, as noted, is a very bright girl. I might add some herbs - I still think they are just regional names for kudzu - once the tomato plant is established.

Harvey Too with his reservoir, Nancy, hosts 5 green onion pods. They typically grow four inches per day. I just harvested three of them for a salad. The sixth pod is a Romaine Lettuce. It hasn’t germinated yet, but soon. Romaine is Robust. In fact, I have taken the dome off the Romaine to allow it more room to grow. It germinated quickly!

Seble has no reservoir, so I have to keep a sharper eye on her. She has 4 green onions (three are shorter today - that salad I mentioned) and two mini jalapeno seed pods (that haven’t germinated yet).

That takes us to Harvey, who is tended by Shirley. Harvey has 2 growing Fiery Red Pepper plants, 2 un-germinated purple Super-hots, one green onion and a thermometer. I don’t expect the thermometer to bear fruit. No luck with purple super-hots, this is their second try.

Then there is Phredd. Phredd has all my herbs, and it’s time to break out the weed whacker and prune those suckers back. Way back. I’m pretty sure that basil, dill, thyme and rosemary are just regional names for kudzu. I’ll keep the mint leaves for my tea. It was Twinnings English Breakfast Tea, and chopped-up mint leaves went in with the tea bag. It was delicious. I'll need a second pass with that weed-eater, though. First pass only made it possible to find the pods with the names. There are two green onion plants in here, and Phredd would not miss either one.

Ethel, old girl, is overrun with heirloom lettuce varieties. I’m due for another big salad tomorrow, so that won’t be a problem. I took an entire row of Deer tongue lettuce, plus whatever was growing in the next row. I recovered the iDOO pod baskets and tossed the AeroGarden pod baskets - I have a plethora of those. That leaves the back row, which is all Black Seeded Simpson lettuce, and a lone Savory herb seed pod in the middle. I'll have another salad tomorrow, and replant Ethel with other lettuce. No Deer Tongue. No BS Simpson.

I don’t have the best idea of what’s where in the five ranches. I’ve been harvesting chili peppers (and putting them in dishes.) Two purple chilis are fruiting, a third is blossoming, a piri-piri seems to be doing the same, and one of the sweet pepper plants is getting ready to bear. The wild strawberry looks to be giving up. I have back-ups. The red pak choi is going to be added to the next salad, or the salad after that. There are a few baby tomato plants in the mix- I won’t know which are which until I see the color of the ripe tomatoes. The yellow cherry tomato plant is still bearing, and I’m still eating them.

Debbie, on Argh Ink, asked me, "Do you have any open surfaces?" I may have misinterpreted the question. I answered:

All my open surfaces are dedicated surfaces, like the top of my desk. I have two microwave carts, but one is now the printer cart. A better question is electrical outlets. Including the outlet in the bathroom, I have eight outlets.

  1. The outlet by the outside door powers two cordless phone base units (3 watts each), my heart monitor (15 watts), a heater when it’s plugged in (1500 Watts), and a black&decker portable power tool battery charging station (12 watts), and a fan mounted on the wall (1845 watts on high speed). That outlet is actually outside – an extension cord brings it in.

  2. A GFI outlet on that wall powers the five Ranch Units (8 watts each) and a micro-fridge (six-pack size) The micro-fridge can go. (The micro-fridge has gone.) I don’t know why I bought it. Impulse. Insanity. Insane impulse.

  3. Continuing counter-clockwise is the bathroom outlet. It powers a night light (3.2 watts) and an exhaust fan (the kind you might find in an RV.) No specs on the filtered fan, but it isn't plugged in and only used if the toilet backs up.) Things like vacuum cleaners get temporarily plugged in there.

  4. The “kitchen” outlet. A (ten outlet) power strip is plugged into that one. Plugged into the power strip are the microwave (700 watts), the toaster oven (up to 1000 watts), the refrigerator (690 watts), the hotplate (up to 1000 watts) when in use, the coffee pot (700 watts) when in use, and an under-counter LED light strip (5.4 Watts). Other things like my coffee grinder (in the Goodwill Box) or crock pot use the strip, too. (I now have a hand grinder for coffee. Goodwill will get the other.) I already have to share time among the appliances. The 700 watt microwave, for example, is not good with the sharing. It's already sharing with the refrigerator.

  5. The bed nook outlet has one of those six-plug covers. It’s in the back of the nook behind the wardrobe. It powers a dim nightlight (removed as useless and anyway, 1 watt), a wall fan (1845 watts on high speed) which died on Sunday, 06-19, and has been disassembled for parts, an alarm clock (6 watts), two low power LED lamps (3.8 Watts each), an overhead/under counter LED lamp strip (5.4 Watts), and sometimes a heater (250 Watts). The wall fan has been replaced by a wall fan.

  6. The outlet on the wall near the window. It powers the air conditioner (5000 BTUs, about 1500 watts), the 24″ wall-mounted television (36 Watts) (rarely on), a 4″ wall fan (12 Watts) (also rarely on) which replaces the seized-up wall fan in the bed nook (6/19), and Phredd (24 Watts), Ethel (24 Watts), Teresa (23 Watts), and Sheba (15 Watts) gardening units.

  7. The outlet behind the computer. The top plug powers a USB charger that powers other stuff (like my 7″ Christmas tree.) (Said charger has been retired as superfluous to needs. I downsized.) The bottom plug goes to surge protector with 12 plugs, all in use. The twelve plugs power:

    1. The Ai1 Computer (65 Watts).

    2. A very low power LED desk lamp (4 Watts)

    3. Two under-counter LED light bars mounted to the book shelves (3 Watts each).

    4. Harvey (23 Watts) (Harvest gardening Unit)

    5. Harvey Too (23 Watts) (Harvest gardening Unit)

    6. Seble (23 Watts) (Harvest gardening Unit)

    7. My rarely used paper shredder. (off unless in use) (23 Watts)

    8. Brother Laser Printer (off unless in use) (1100 Watts peak usage, less than 5 watts asleep.)

    9. HP Inkjet Printer (off unless in use) (1.7 Watts)

    10. My other charging station with two kindles, cell phone, battery pack on trickle charge (8 ports, max of 3.2 Watts each)

    11. My cordless phone charger (2.4 Watts).

    12. Something else. I’d need to move heaven and earth to figure out what. It’s crowded back there.

  8. A ceiling outlet. It was there in case someone installed an electric garage door opener. No one ever did. The ex-SIL painted it to uselessness. (0 Watts)

I have 12 gardening units in all. Even should I sacrifice what remaining horizontal surfaces I have (the top shelf of the bookcase?), I have nowhere to plug it in. The amazing thing is that I haven’t burned the house down. Except for the kitchen, not really amazing at all. The power strip in the kitchen has a built-in breaker. I've popped that a few times attempting to microwave something while broiling a steak. I don't do that anymore.

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