Friday, May 28, 2010

Been a long time.. here's some updates.

Sheesh, been a long time since I've posted here. Here's some stuff that's transpired in the past week and change. That wort pump box I built? MAGIC! Worked like a charm. Jody came over and we whipped up a basic pale ale (well... maybe not stone cold basic. We did end up tossing in a bit of crushed black pepper! Nick is gonna love this thing.. ) using the pump and it was like, well.. like we weren't working. 

I really liked the no lifting of buckets of hot water, the complete and total annihilation of the recirculation aspect, and the hands off self-swirling wort chilling part. Those are my top three fav's. Simply awesome.

In other news, the garden is really coming along nice. Few things happend lately.. I picked up a horseradish plant that Sarah so thoughtfully brought home from a scouting mission she was on. That got planted in the herb garden area. Check it:

It's not much to look at, nope. Sort of depressing, actually. Let's hope it looks up from here..

The regular garden beds are cooler, though. Check these out:

The far bed has tomatoes on the left, beans in the middle and red lettuce followed by a couple rows of green lettuce on the right. The near-er bed has some crap The Boss put in on the left side, and then two rows of three (six total) of my habaneros in the middle, followed by two rows of three Jalapeno's on the right. Down the middle of the Japaleno's are some other nasty vegetable that Sarah put in underneath as well.. not sure what that is either. The peppers are what we'll be focusing on mostly in my personal blog here, and maybe to some extent a minor mention of the lettuce, depending on how delicious it is in a lunchtime salad for me. 

In case you were wondering:

Sorta hard to see here, but the Cascades have wrapped themselves around the lower part of the trellis a few times already, and are starting to work their way upwards now. It's been just the past week where I've gotten any real growth out of them.. it's been so cold, they hate life. They're a couple feet taller now though. 

In the line of duty, there was a casualty.. 

Brett 'C' Chocolate Rye Stout, just killed moments ago. A keg of the Big Brew Brown I made up with Dan Tavelli is now in it's place... gona check on that tomorrow when it's cold and see what's up there. Dan says his bottled version is already up and running, so we hope to get together for a side-by-side comparo of the two pretty soon. Fingers crossed...

 Oh snap, rewind a sec.. forgot a cool side project science project thingy. Look at this weird invention:

This is called an Earthbox. It says so on the side, that's how I know.  Sarah got it somewhere last year and put some tomatoes in it up on the deck, thinking that if they were close by, she'd take care of them and not forget to water the things and maybe they wouldn't die. Well, Barbie came in a couple days later and kicked the royal crap out of the box by digging it up and eating the tops off the plants. Jerk! The Boss proceded to put a few rotten ol' strawberries and a few carrots in there afterwards in desperation, but the berries got eaten too, I believe, and the carrots came out all mutated and only an inch long or something. Game over, and she gave up. It's been sitting on the deck ever since. Can't believe it didn't break from being full of water all winter long. She said I could take it over, and since I had a few more habaneros I wanted to plant that I didn't have room for in the garden, I figured I'd put 'em in here. Anyway, the idea is, you put the dirt in here on top of the mesh flooring (sorta like a mashtun!) and the roots grow down and drink all the water they want. You fill it through the tube thingy in the upper left corner here in this pic, because the top get's covered by plastic stuff and only the plants poke out the top, like this:

Supposedly, this keeps out all the weeds and makes like, an everlasting cycle of water movement inside there. In addition, there's a huge amount of fertilizer in here too, right on top, that sorta get's evenly mixed in as the season progresses. This thing claims to increase your yield by two times or more. Oh, we'll see.