Sunday, November 21, 2010
Welcome to Cigar Week here at OPOD. Last week, Tea Parties were tailored to the interests of the ladies, so this week we pick a topic possibly more interesting to the men.
As an added bonus, today will be a mystery person contest. Can you name who is in the picture?
OK, a few comments on cigars. Everyone knows that the best cigars come from Cuba, and Cuban cigars are not legal in the US. There are many black market Cuban cigars one can buy in the US, but most all of them are fake. Fakes are a huge industry, and there are probably more fake Cuban cigars in the world than real ones. If you go to a place where Cuban cigars are legal, a good Cuban will cost you between $20 and $50. The best Cuban cigars are the Montechristo Churchill and the Cohiba Piramides. Some may ask if Cuban cigars are really better, or if it is just the mystique of a cigar not legal in the US. I can report that they really are much better. Sort of like the difference between a can of soda pop and a real one made up at a soda fountain. They are very strong, and have wonderful flavors not available in any other cigars. Some cigars claim that they are made with Cuban seeds grown in a nearby country, but they never taste anything like an authentic Cuban. I hope one day that they lift the embargo, and Cuban cigars become legal again.
I apologize that I have not had a domestic update in the last few weeks, but I have been very busy. Between teaching school, running the greenhouse, and staying on top of all the WEB sites, I have been pretty overwhelmed.
Things continue to go well in the greenhouse. I am in the process of moving out the "test" hydroponic systems, and moving in the full scale systems. I am trying to do this in a manner such that I do not interrupt vegetable production. So far, everything we have tried to grow has worked well. I am eager to get the new systems fully installed to increase production. Mrs. PJM takes vegetables in to work each day, and they immediately sell out. People want to buy fresh, pesticide free vegetables. Plus, we grow all the vegetables that we eat, so no longer have to buy them at the grocery store.
One limitation to our set up is that the water quality is not suitable for hydroponics. It is extremely hard water, and has way to much calcium. So, before using the water in the greenhouse, I have to run it through an RO system to purify it. This creates high quality water, but the RO system dumps about 6 gallons of water for every gallon of RO water it produces. If you have one of those under the counter RO systems, notice the little hose that runs from the filters to the drain line on the sink. That little hose is where all the waste water goes out. So, for the greenhouse, I end up wasting a lot of water. Since I don't want to waste water, yesterday I started building raised beds outside the greenhouse. I will use the waste water from the RO system to water vegetables in the raised beds. I planted garlic in the first one, and will try and build another one today, and will plant onions in it.
I will try to have to pictures for you next week.