High tunnel corners that seal. Our high tunnel is adjusted to meet the land. Meaning we built the high tunnel to the existing grade VS grading the garden to the high tunnel. We had to adjust the roll up panels to meet grade. After doing so we added the anti- billowing ropes and cut the excess material and folded it, making a corner that can seal. Our roll up system will stay put(in mid air) after the roll up sides are adjusted. We also finished the zipper system for the machinery doors. Our Cat tunnel arrived too! A 14×50 Gothic pro tunnel from Farmer’s Friend.
Chipper shreader lawn vac. We have been wanting a lawn vac for a while. We had been using a lawn sweeper to collect our yard waste for composting and mulching. Collecting yard waste was a multi-step process. The chipper/shredder vac saves a ton of time in mulch and compost production. The detachable hose also allows me to vacuum the yard waste from around the outbuildings and places were leaves collect. I just mow the grass and leaves and then dump the yard waste on the garden.
We planted four more trees. Two of them were North star cherry, the other two were green columnar apples. I planted some red columnar apples in the spring, but goofed on the the pollination info. The extra set of apple trees should give us the pollination results we need.
At the time this video was shot the garden was still producing.
We also used 2×8 ground contact as the ribbon boards on the high tunnel. Using 2×8 will give us enough room to install a guttering system to collect rainwater from the high tunnel.
Growing Dragon fruit. I wasn’t planning on adding tropical fruits to our homestead since we live in 6b. I did find them on Facebook marketplace for less than retail. I decided to grow them in pots, and on a post as you would if you were growing these dragon fruits on a farm in their native climate. The soil mix is very heavy on perlite. Dragon fruit need a well draining soil mix. I also tossed in an organic 4-4-4 fertilizer. Later on when the plants have matured a bit I will add the ring around the top for the plants to fall over while fruiting. I have never cloned dragon fruit before, but based on the conversation I had with the seller it is fairly simple to do. I will let the plants grow further before attempting to clone any. The root system of the dragon fruit will grow from the flesh of the plant and attach to an available surface to hold it self up and collect nutrients. Tying the plants to a post allows the roots to attach to the post and form a “tree”. When I water these I water the post in the hope doing so will help promote root growth and “grabbing” the post.
4×4 truck, AWD truck.One of the best ways to stay lowcash is to avoid debt. A great way to do that is to buy pre-owned vehicles. Let’s face it the moment you sign your name on the line for a new car you start losing money. Your vehicles equity starts dropping. We buy nice pre-owned cars, or vehicles that will serve a purpose. This Infinity truck has a range of 4×4 options and even came with a tow package. The Powerful 3.5 liter engine is very capable in the mud and gravel and has also performed well in a recent sleet and snow storm. A very capable vehicle for a Missouri winter. You never know what winter in Missouri is going to throw at you. I have been looking for an AWD Safari for sometime now, everyone I meet that has one WILL NOT sell it even when I offer cash. I finally found one. It’s an 1995 with a Vortec 4.3 L engine. These engines are truly tough, keep oil and water in them and they operate for a very long time. This is my fourth vehicle with GMC’s powerhouse V6. Before the Custom Cruiser and the White Whale was a 4×4 Chevy Blazer that was tough enough to pull a Lull forklift out of the mud.( YES a LULL can get stuck in mud) This vehicle needs some cosmetic work but nothing that is outside of my skill set. The AWD Safari will hold the entire family( Without the kids destroying the custom cruiser) and tear through the mud and snow. I have already tested it in the mud and sleet and also by hauling a trailer full of slab wood.( more on that later).
Hydro-seeding to repair our Lawn. Our lawn was destroyed by the installation of our new advanced septic system. So far we have put over 150 lbs of grass seed on the emitter field. We are using a home hydro-seeding kit to help fill in the blank spots. Our homestead is located on the top of a ridge. This area is known for washing. Washing was never a problem because there was a nice thick lawn to keep the soil from washing away. The installation of the new septic system created an area that requires deep rooted grasses to control erosion. USDA division of soil and water came out and inspected the affected area and developed an erosion control recommendation.
High Tunnel Build and Fall planting. More work on the high tunnel. The end panels, cut from bulk material, are attached and baseboards for the end panels have been installed too. I’m also snacking while in the garden. And picking some food for dinner. I like to plant poly-culture or companion planting, The arched trellis in the garden makes for a high density planting system. It also makes harvesting easy. When it’s time to harvest I can just walk into the food tunnel and start picking. I LOVE poly-culturing salad greens and lettuces, I call it a Throw and Sow. I makes harvest a salad for dinner even easier.
The pump controller for our well blew its capacitor! I needed to replace the well controller. This stupid cat won’t stop climbing on my shoulders while I work. And sniffing my butt.
I grow some really great potatoes! My son took some of the potatoes to school. The Ag teacher planted them. The students in Ag class then harvested them. The home-ec kids then cooked and made french fries and mashed potatoes. The potatoes were then fed to the students. PRETTY COOL.
High Tunnel build. There was a lot of general homestead chores to do to. We also mixed up a batch of bed topping for a carrot bed. I like to use coco coir and perlite, then top it off with soil. I like to cover the seeds with sand if I have it. We also raked back the layers of mulch and used it in another bed. I like to mix in a little low nitrogen fertilizer like a 2-5-4.
I like to use a spray wand to keep the top layer moist and use drip tape to water the gardens.
NRCS High Tunnel build. Some parts of this build have been difficult. Mostly the angled purlins have been a little tricky. The clamp the fastens the angled purlin is a strap clamp that requires bending while anchoring VS a saddle or post clamp.
We have focused all of our attention on the high tunnel build and have not, to date, planned a fall garden.
If you’re a market gardener,home producer, homesteader, or just like to grow food for your family and are interested in extending your season, contact your local USDA-NRCS office.