What have you done "naturally" lately?

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Finally, the Weather Cooperated!

Postby Bare_Truth » Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:05 pm

Last frost date around here is supposed to be April 15th but I had to wait an extra 8 days before the weather forecast finally predicted the next seven days would not dip below 40 F ( 4.4C) for a week. A run of that long is pretty reliable, end of frost indicator, at this time of the year, and for the last 8 days we saw freezing temperature and frost several times. The biggest crop I grow is usually sweet potatoes and given that that was originally a semi-tropical plant, it is very frost sensitive so I had to wait it out. That all being said, I spend today working in the garden and planting.

As I am wont to do, I set up my camera on time lapse and let it take a bunch of pictures to provide evidence of what I have been up to.
Transplanting.JPG
Left Click for Better Resolution.

My previous gardening posting in this strip showed how I had prepared trenches that I use when planting tuberous plants and creating alternating trenches and ridges so that watering and harvesting are easier. But about 2 months earlier, I start cutting the top parts off of sweet potatoes to get sprouts which I then remove and place into topsoil to root.
Frame 1 shows my transplant growing equipment. For holding and growing my plants, I place the shoots in potting soil in styrofoam egg boxes to root. I modify the egg boxes by:
1.-- cut the top and bottom apart.
2.-- patch the latch holes in the top with plastic electrical tape inside and out
3.-- cut off the latch flap from the bottom half.
4.-- punch small holes in the bottoms of the egg cups to let out excess water
5.-- nest the egg cup bottom half in the top half
6.-- Fill the egg cups with potting soil
7.-- Insert the shoots (or plant seeds) in the cups
And grow the transplants.
The modified egg box is shown with a few plants still in it.

Since the egg cups are round bottomed and the size of a Grade A Large chicken egg, a teaspoon is just the right size to scoop out the root ball. Note that the hole in the bottom of the cup needs to be small and the cup not overflowing or the root ball may have roots that go down through the drain hole or up over the separation wall and the roots of adjacent balls may tangle. the teaspoon tip has some tendency to cut any roots going out through the drain hole and some of the roots that might have crossed over on top. I did not steal any of the wife's good silverware but I use a sturdy teaspoon I found somewhere. If it is a little bit sharp on the leading edge of the bowl it helps sometimes.

Frame 2 Shows how a root ball comes out as it is scooped from the egg cup. So long as the potting soil is thoroughly damp but not soggy the roots should hold the root ball together nicely, allowing the transplanting to be done with little or no transplant shock.

Frame 3 Shows how "well" I fit in the trench and it also shows one advantage of nude gardening namely not getting the seat of your pants dirty. Seeing as how I came with a wash and wear butt, courtesy of our creator, clean up is rather quick and easy and readily ameanable to either a garden hose or a damp washcloth.

Frame 4 Shows me after having finished with the sweet potatoes, moving on and getting the cabbage planted. Those nice little white collars were made by sawing off the bottom of the plastic "sanitizing hand wipe" containers which will now serve as cut worm collars. One may wish to apply some sort of insecticide around the base of cabbage plants because cutworms just love cabbage stems, That is not quite so critical for the sweet potatoes because I have often seen sweet potatoe plants that have been completely chewed off make a come back. (Except for frost those sweet potato plants are good at recovery.)

An attidional relevance is found by comparing frames 3 and 4, (and NO! I am not referring to which is my best side :shock: :x :roll: :lol:), Rather I am referring to the ease of getting one's shoulders within arms reach of the ground so that one can work. My position in frame 4 requires 3 of my limbs just to get the remaining arm to where It can work well unless I care to "duck walk" in the soft soil while I do transplanting, However unless one makes wide trenches, the astute observer will realize that in frame 3 my foot is a bit cramped in the bottom of the trench. Walking in the bottom of the trench proves to require a little practice if one is not to stumble.

But all said and done I've got a bunch more of the garden to plant. I still have the squash , (butternut, zucchini & summer), the tomatoes, and the wife will likely do the bell peppers I will also have to drive some t posts as that is what we use for tomato stakes. The bush beans and potatoes were done some time ago and the first of the potatos have already pushed up. in a few places.

One cautionary note is also present in the pictures. By the time I finnished the sweet potatoes I had to go put on a shirt, especially since when working close to the ground, the back and shoulders and arms and neck tend to get maximum solar exposure and I had to put my shirt on (which I had the good sense to bring along), to keep from getting a burn in those vulnerable areas. Perhaps I should give due credit to wearing a hat with 360 degree
brim. that way it helps with the face ears and back of the neck. I have a cloth "boonie" hat on in the pictures, and sometimes I wear a straw hat for the same purpose, but I only choose such hats if they have extensive ventillation all the way around the crown, and not those pathetic little eyelets. Some folks seem to find various sunscreen lotions to be a suitable solution but I hate that goo on my skin, and putting it on my back is problem and I am hairy enough to make spreading it difficult. My wife who is so helpful in many things and without complaint, does complain about the icky feel of trying to spread that stuff through my "PELT" ,(see frame 3 in enlarged mode), and I don't blame her, it just is a task that has a bad feel and it isn't easy. Once my tan develops I will have little need for it unless I am going to be a long time in the midday sun.

Doing garden work nude is something that I find to be a special joy, and clean up is so much easier without clothes involved, (some of you may remember that I have an outdoor Hot & Cold garden hose for such things :D )
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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby natman » Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:51 am

Bare_truth,

Your posts always make be feel a tad bit jealous. :mrgreen:

Yesterday, while I was at work at the office, my wife cleaned and painted our spa deck and equipment house, moved rose bushes, trimmed some of the bushes in the garden and attempted to outdoor-bleach the fabric top on our gazebo.

When I got home, she said she felt "yucky", covered in paint and sweat, so she stripped down and threw her clothes in the washing machine. Usually, she grabs something to cover up with, but yesterday, to my surprise, she simply said, "Go get your clothes off while I make supper.", which she did nude. Then we both enjoyed our meal out on the patio while we discussed a Bible study on the Book of Romans she has been working on. After supper, I went out in the yard and threw a ball and a kong for our son's dog, who we have been babysitting for the past several weeks, and then inspected all the baby-fruits on our fig, orange, lemon, pear, kumquat and pomegranate trees and picked a few weeds out of the lawn, being careful not to step on any "landmines" our son's dog may have carefully placed. :oops: Hopefully, this years, we can get to the fruit before the squirrels, mockingbirds and bluejays do. :D

Life is good.

And God is BETTER... ALL THE TIME.
SON-cerely,
Nathan Powers

Get exposed to the sun, and get exposed to the Son.
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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby New_Adventurer » Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:57 pm

For us it is the crows, hummingbirds, pidgins, geese, raccoons, squirrels, 'possums, and an occasional other varmint. The grapes and blueberries are in a small-mesh cage, but the tomatoes are exposed, a squash gets lost once in a while, and the onions are left alone.
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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby Ramblinman » Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:34 pm

Natman,
We can rejoice for baretruth's freedom, but God has been clearly at work in your life as well, as you make your garden more Eden-like every day and we rejoice with the way God is blessing your family life as well.

Netting can protect fruit trees and berry bushes from critters. I use it every year.
No need for feeling guilty, they'll still get some fruit, just not all the fruit.
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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby natman » Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:09 pm

Ramblinman wrote:Natman,
We can rejoice for baretruth's freedom, but God has been clearly at work in your life as well, as you make your garden more Eden-like every day and we rejoice with the way God is blessing your family life as well.


Amen to that.

Ramblinman wrote:Netting can protect fruit trees and berry bushes from critters. I use it every year.
No need for feeling guilty, they'll still get some fruit, just not all the fruit.


We have done that every years as well. Unfortunately, they still figure out how to get inside of it. You would think it would at least intimidate the mockingbirds and bluejays. However, I think the ones here in Texas are smarter than the average bird. :(
SON-cerely,
Nathan Powers

Get exposed to the sun, and get exposed to the Son.
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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby Ramblinman » Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:53 pm

natman wrote:...We have done that (netting) every years as well. Unfortunately, they still figure out how to get inside of it. You would think it would at least intimidate the mockingbirds and bluejays. However, I think the ones here in Texas are smarter than the average bird. :(

Looks like you'll need a screened-in hoop house in berry season.
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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby natman » Fri Apr 27, 2018 3:54 pm

Ramblinman wrote:Looks like you'll need a screened-in hoop house in berry season.


That might be nice, except that our trees and vines are all over our yard, and according to our Community Covenants and Restrictions, we are not allowed to have such structures that would be visible above our fences. :(
SON-cerely,
Nathan Powers

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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby JimShedd112 » Fri Apr 27, 2018 7:18 pm

“Worked on my all oven tan again today.

Jim
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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby Bare_Truth » Fri Apr 27, 2018 11:14 pm

So, today I went out nude and planted Butternut squash, summer squash and zuchini. And except for tomato planting (part of my wife's contribution to the planting season, she alreay did the bell peppers and the peas in another location outside the main garden) The Garden is now fully panted. From now to harvest it will be mainly weeding keeping out the 4 and 6 or more legged varieties and watering until harvesting. Too Bad I can't get her to participate nude. In the mean time I am still working with my tractor and 5 foot wide mower deck, learning its idiosyncracies and abilities. I finally worked out a better scheme of adjustments to get it to do a better job and not damage things. I did that investigation and tweaked adjustments nude also.

I have got the mower to do a decent job on the lawn which while not full lawn mower grade at least is not constantly gouging the sod with the side rails except a few places where the contour is a bit too erratic to describe as gently undulating. I also got it to do a good job on the edges of the bamboo groves where they are trying to extend themselves into areas I do not want to take over.

I have started a project of getting the grove to migrate by mowing on the side I do not want it to advance to, and giving it free rein on the side I would like to see it move toward. That should be able to produce a migration speed of several feet per year. That should please the power company but the real problem there is that they do not really understand that bamboo under the power lines does not threaten the lines like trees do, and they have let the trees under the lines grow up past the lines by as much as 20 feet and my bamboo variety (on this soil and in this climate) at most approach the ground wire within 5 feet and the hot line is another 5 or more feet above that. I have lived in urban environments where the hot wire is the lower one and the ground wire above it provides a degree of lightening protection but here the ground line is on the bottom as a safety measure because some tall mobile farm equipment has been known to contact the lines from below (e.g. grain augers for filling bins). Actually bamboo under the power lines can be quite beneficial because its dense shade and growth prevents tree growth within the grove.
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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby Maverick » Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:23 am

natman wrote:
Ramblinman wrote:Looks like you'll need a screened-in hoop house in berry season.


That might be nice, except that our trees and vines are all over our yard, and according to our Community Covenants and Restrictions, we are not allowed to have such structures that would be visible above our fences. :(


Maybe you could hang out (naturally) on the patio in the evenings with a Super Soaker and show some of those silly birds who's boss.

Or, install a bird feeder to distract them?
In nuditate veritas.
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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby Bare_Truth » Sat Apr 28, 2018 11:51 am

Natman,
Have you tried or had any luck with those owl and snake and cat decoys that sometimes prove useful in scaring birds off. Another possibility that might help could be the use of "Bird Lime" which glues the birds feet to the branches ... see at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Birdlime. I have also heard of shooting one of the pests and then hanging the carcasse in the vicinity as proving effective at repelling other birds, (that may be species specific). obviously the decoys might prove the most benign to the birds. I had a large number of old used CD's I drilled holes at their edges and then tied them both at interior positions and at the branch ends, their bright fluttering in the breeze seemed to help some.
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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby Bare_Truth » Sat Apr 28, 2018 3:08 pm

I got in a nice hour plus of naked woods rambling going utterly starkers except for a hat with a 360 degree brim to protect my face and ears from too much sun
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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby jjsledge » Sun Apr 29, 2018 4:09 am

Results from the 5k.

Jerry Sledge,

Congratulations on finishing the 21th Annual Skinnydipper Sun Run

on April 28, 2018. For your records, the weather that day was

69 degrees, 76% humidity.

There were 22 finishers in the Men 65 to 69 age group and

171 finishers in the race.

Your overall finish place was 166 and your age group finish place

was 20. Your overall finish percentile was 97 while your age group

percentile was 91. Your time of 1:07:54 gave you a 21:50 pace per mile.

Race results have been posted at http://www.wildwoodnaturist.co
Those who judge the motives of othere are simply revealing what's in their own hearts. Frank Viola "Revise Us Again" p.89
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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby JimShedd112 » Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:26 am

Congratulations jj. Glad you were able to enjoy the event naturally.

Jim
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Re: What have you done "naturally" lately?

Postby Bare_Truth » Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:06 pm

Too bad one cannot simply throw down some garden seeds and come back when the harvest is ripe. But God made us to take part in creation, and when he employed two naked gardeners to take care of his garden he planned for them to take part in managing and caring for it. So now that I have finished planting my garden for 2018, I have to take care of it. Two of the major other activities are watering it and weeding it. So that is what I was about today. First I went after the weeds.

If one is going after the weeds, it may be better to water first, because it is less likely to up rootthe plants as the weeds come out easier and any that are disrupted can more easily be resettled. However my situation is a little different, partucularly for the crops I planted between trenches. For some reason the weed seeds in the walls of the trenches sprout more readily, (this rapid sprouting happens elsewhere but in the trenches it is harder to get the weeds without collapsing the trench walls. So while there are multiple ways to deal with this, one has proved more suitable and less work than others and that method is also applicable elsewhere, (as should be obvious from the following illustration).
Commposite.JPG
left click for higher resolution Which is probably required to even see the myriad of sprouting weeds.

A simple propane torch with an extension handle allows one to stand erect while oblitterating the weeds. .... And why not just pull them??? .... close examination of the lower image will show.

Certain conditions will result in the sprouting of a myriad of weed seeds. The walls of the trench are one of them (I am not sure why :? ) However the compressed soil, (especially if damp) are another. The trench walls pose a special problem. Using a hoe on them would collapse the trench walls. So with my propane torch weed blaster they are easily eliminated. The same device works in other situations as well, and is particularly useful in other situations as well, such as when arthritis interfers in other weeding techniques. The small torch flame (and it should be adjustef to a small flame) when pointed at the weedlet kills it instantly. and as long as the crop plant is still small it is usually easy to direct the flame away from the desirable plants. Granted attention must be paid to any flamable material in the vicinity. My weed devastator in this case was made with such a torch plus a piece of 1x2 firing strip and a couple of pieces of "gorilla tape"(t). However if the weeds are more developed than these (which can barely be seen in the above image) A larger flame may be employed. But the ability of the torch to produce a flame that can be directed is a key issue in allowing discreet plant destruction.

After the weeding there is a related matter with respect to watering and its effect on weeding. When you don't want weeds, ........ DON'T WATER THEM !!! So early after planting the garden, try to avoid watering them. Even if you plan on mulching to reduce weeding you may have open areas which will happly sprout lots of weeds for you. Particularly if you are getting plants started from seed in the garden and cannot mulch until the plants have come up. So a strategy of watering only where the plants are applies. when the plants don't need much water because they are small just applying a cup or less of water to each plant can be a successful strategy. This being a naturist website explains my mode of attire ( :D STARKERS :!: :D (And for all you barefooters out there, take note that I am in fact barefoot during all this. Others may also notice that I am doing this early in the morning I do not need my customary 360 degree brimmed hat to protect my ears nose and neck. My total attire consists of my glasses, and I could bet by without those too, because I have implant lenses that were put in when they took the cataracts out. )
Watering1000-533.jpg
Left click for higher resolution and viewing details (e.g. the shut off valve on the hose end)
As shown I have placed the end of the garden hose, with a shut off valve) at a central location where I have a bucket which will quickly fill a bucket that holds just enough of 1 or two rows.
The central two frames show that bending over a good bit is required to pour otherwise the water falls hard enough to splatter all around and dig out very small plants. The final frame shows that when I am watering transplants where I am using the trench planting with the plants in the intervening ridges It is less bending over as I have one foot in the trench and the other between the adjacent two ridges. This turns out to be more comfortable for my back.
The following image is, I think a better solution for the back strain.
Watering_Cans.jpg
Left click for higher resolution
I expect the blue one on the right to be superior to the gray one on the left. If I just knew where to get one of those with about a 1 to 2 gallon capacity, I think it would be just about the cat's meow for reducing back strain while doing this early season watering. Then if I run a siphon pipe over the intervening high ground, my pond is higher than my garden and I should be able to use a natural source of water from my pond for my garden as a refinement.

Conductiing natural gardening with au-naturaele labor seems like the natural choice! :D :lol:
After that according to Dictionary.com the next step will be to add cooking and dining for a complete foursome

au naturel
[oh nach-uh-rel; French oh na-ty-rel]
adjective
1.
in the natural state.
2.
naked; nude.
3.
cooked plainly.
4.
raw; uncooked
:fantastic:
Last edited by Bare_Truth on Mon Apr 30, 2018 5:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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