Sunday, June 13, 2010

Miller's Wagon


Good Sunday morning to you all. We are going to kick the week off with this picture of a Miller's wagon. In front of the wagon is a small child, who is seven years old. He works for the mill, moving 25 pound bags of flower. He makes 25 cents a week. The picture was taken in 1910.

Domestic Update:

OK, lots going on at home this last week. Several of you have asked for an update on Lovie and the peacocks. Lovie and chicks are doing well. Little Rufus is turning out to be a fine young peacock and I have high hopes for him growing up to be a leader in the flock. He is attentive, quick, and eats a lot. He and Peggy Sue are getting along well, and growing every day. Lovie does not like being penned up in the peacock palace. She would prefer to be out with the flock, but with the chicks this small, there are just too many things that could eat them. So, until they get bigger, Lovie and the babies will stay in the palace.


I have also made significant progress towards my goal of becoming a Gentleman Farmer. While I am working on getting the greenhouse built, I went ahead and put together one of the small hydroponic systems on the screened in porch. I want to go ahead and try growing some things hydroponically, so I can learn the ropes. The picture below shows the simple system.


The tank under the system contains the nutrient fluid. There is a pump that pumps the nutrients through the black hose, up to the white grow channels. The fluid flows through the channels, like an underground river. The plants are grown up through the little squares on the top. Each seed is placed in a small cube that holds the seed in place. The cube wicks nutrients up from below. After passing through the channels, the nutrient fluid dumps into the large white tube on the right, and then flows back into the tank underneath. So the nutrients recirculate in the channels underneath the plant. I am testing the system by growing a variety of different plants, to see which works the best. The picture below shows a lettuce that has sprouted and starting to grow.


With this stunning success in lettuce production, I feel I am getting ever closer to my Gentleman Farmer goal. Could a tractor be far behind?

12 comments:

  1. this is a great site, please keep the updates coming they are a very good inspiration to a lot of us . even though i dont post that often (i dont text either) i check this page daily. thanks again for the great memories.

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  2. and i was the first to post(sorry for the poor grammer).

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  3. Glad you're cooping up the peacock chicks. Also very interested in your hydroponic project. We are trying to grow crops in the desert (Tucson), so heat, water, and javelinas are our challenges. We use earth boxes, which wick water up through a reservoir at the bottom. It's good for some veggies, but not for others. Could hydroponics be the answer? We will follow your adventures avidly!

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  4. Mathan's mate,
    Critters are the problem with both gardens and having chickens. Deer, coons, skunks, and rabbits are big problems here. We constructed an 8 foot deer fence, with tight spacing between wires around our property to keep varmits out. Still, we worry that a coon could climb over the fence, hence we keep the babies cooped up.

    Hydroponics dont help with the pests, unless you put them in a greenhouse. I am not sure which vegetables are best suited for hydroponics. I bought about 15 different types of seeds, and planted two of each in this test system. I will see what works best, and what needs to be tweaked. Hopefully I will be better educated by the time the greenhouse is finished.
    PJM

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  5. That kind of looks like the back of the wagon.
    WOW, 25 cents for a week of hard work for a seven year old.
    But really that was a lot of money in those days, but not for a weeks work.

    Looks like there will be salad tomorrow.
    Good job PJM.

    How big are the chicks. Next time you take a photo try to put something in the photo that will tell the size of them. Like a pop can.

    Tell Lovie that is her own fault for keeping Ain't Gina hostage

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  6. How long did it take for the seeds to sprout?

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  7. For the lettuce, in two days the things had sprouted.
    PJM

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  8. As little as it was I'll bet the working tot's family needed the money. Even if he was a more appropriate age todays minimum wage laws would eliminate the job altogether.

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  9. PJM- Do the vegetables grow faster than they would in ground?

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  10. Geezer,
    If hydroponics is done correctly, and in a greenhouse, plants will grow quicker. With this configuration, you precisely control nutrients, temperature, and other environmental parameters to create optimum growing conditions, and hence growth rates.
    PJM

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  11. Nice progress! Thank you for the updates.

    Mr. PJM, regarding today's last paragraph, "With this stunning success in lettuce production, I feel I am getting ever closer to my Gentleman Farmer goal. Could a tractor be far behind?" I'm thinking Mrs. PJM would not approve of a tractor in the screened in porch.

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  12. I'm campaigning for you to amend your soil and scrap the hydroponic nonsense. The reason is clear. If you farm in the ground you will need a tractor. Please consider the benefit.

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