Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Starting to Think About Winter ...

Winter is design time. It's not Winter yet, but it's after Thanksgiving and people are starting to say Merry Christmas and that's a sure sign Winter is on the way. In the Wintertime I start thinking about what I'm going to do come the Spring. I just moved about 40 miles North from Harrisonburg, Virginia to Woodstock, Virginia. I have a little more property and a little less house not that I'm retired and have more time to putter around I'm discovering that I have way too many things to do.

I'm doing NaNoWriMo and finished by 50,000 words on the 25th but as usual the characters are not cooperating and the story still has a lot to go. So I'm still working on it. I'm hoping to finish it up so I'll actually have a novel to edit and trim up. Since this is a combination of the 50,000 + words I wrote in 2009 and the 50,000 + words I've written in 2012, I actually have the length of a pretty respectable novel. If the characters will cooperate I might be able to actually finish it in a few more days.

I'm also working to develop materials for Home Schooling parents. That's fun too. Then of course the wife, otherwise known as "She Who Must Be Obeyed" (SWMBO) is lobbying for me to actually arrange all the books and empty all the boxes that were moved a few months ago. They're all down in the basement not bothering anyone except her.

Then of course we're selling the other house.

Never a dull moment. But what about design time?

I'm actually thinking about building a nice compact little four hole system. The one tuber I was planning for 2012 never materialized due to the move and I tossed all the paraphernalia for the large stars, just too much work and too many tomatoes now that I'm retired. You might think it would go the other way and it probably would if I wanted to go into business, but I just want enough good tomatoes to make great sandwiches all Summer long.

Jessica (SWMBO)wants only big tomatoes. Her definition is when you cut a slice it covers a hamburger bun. So I have this system in mind. I'll just describe it, a drawing will come later when I'm in a drawing mood.

Trash can for a tank. On top of the tank a rectangular piece of something or other that is about 3' on the diagonal squarish with a plant site in each corner. The nutrient feed would come from a vertical manifold coming up from the tank and distributing the nutrient to each corner. Then the supports would be four vertical thin walled conduit verticals with crossed bracing at the top and strings dropped down. It would be compact and produce quite a few juicy tomatoes. It actually would not be too difficult to create a version with a few more plant sites.

I'll see how it looks when I get around to drawing it up. It's been wandering around in my imagination for a few weeks now. I guess I'll get more serious when Winter really gets here.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Vertical Farming In The Urban Maze

Growing plants in crowded environments requires real planning but it can be fun and productive. HERE's MORE