Monday, 12 July 2010


My day started off at 3:45am, it was time for work. With the help of a friend, Josh, (he is the one who helped me clear out my greenhouse yesterday, and hauled the rocks with me for the herb bed, really great to have someone working with me on projects) and my dad we did the bread route. Because Josh went with us it sped things up, and I was working pretty fast most of the time anyway. We got home at 1:10pm and were done work.

My Johnny's Seeds order has arrived. It is always fun to open a package, eh? I love anticipating it. Usually more so with books, but seeds are usually pretty captivating too.

The funny thing was that I got two packages today from Johnny's. They shipped out one package via UPS (cause it was 9lbs) and the other USPS. But, I guess because the way they traveled the both got here the same day (they were shipped two different days). The package in the mail was the Fava beans, a type of broad beans. According to the package I should sow in August/September to get a spring harvest. They can stand temps. down to 10ºF, so, I think I should be good. 4 years ago it got down to 4ºF, but rarely does it get down to 10ºF in Concord NC. We might get a day or two during the winter that will get down to 10-12ºF, but other than that it is usually in the 30-20ºFs. Anyway, I am glad to get that, I got a half pound, which, is only 110 bean seeds. I tried to start some earlier this year, but because of the extreme cold and wet they rotted. I actually got 4 beans to sprout, but they didn't produce cause the aphids got them.

The other stuff that I already talked about. 1 pound of chickling vetch, and 1 pound of hairy vetch, 5 pounds of winter rye, and some other seed packets.

I have been reading the two books that I got from Amazon last week. The Whizbang Apple Grinder and Cider Press. I read through it real quick, but most of what it is is about how to build it. So, I will be going through it again. The other book is about growing, making, and using your own barley, hops, and herbs to make beer. All about growing herbs and hops and grains for beer, and how to malt grains. A very good book. (Can't wait to show my cousin Jether it)

I would really like to build a whizbang cider grinder and press. Because I could do large amounts of cider at a time, or only spend 5 minutes grinding the apples and 15 minutes pressing the cider. It would probably cost me about $200, maybe a bit less for the grinder, and then maybe $20 for the press (maybe nothing). The main cost is, insinkerator (disposal), and a motor. The motor is because the motor for the insinkerator is useless for grinding apples (heats up every 30 seconds). So if I can find an insinkerator for $50 (on eBay) and a motor like what I need for $50 then that is basically the only cost I need to spend. For more information on the Whizbang apple cider grinder and press, google whizbang apple cider, and you will come up with his website and blog.

Bees. We are not going to be able to do bees this year. I was late in finding out about where to get bees, and then Powell Andrews asked if we wanted to go into business with it. Powell is talking about starting out with even more hives (I don't know, sometimes he talks bigger than we can handle), I am not sure though. If we did we would only have 4 or 5 here, and he might start one, and a few others might be interested. I would be happy to start with 4 hives. And build from that. At least not getting bees this year relieves a little stress. Everything should be in perfect order by early next spring, I'm gonna see if we can get bees as early as possible. We will probably save some money buying them in the spring, they get expensive after April 25. The guy who said would have bees did not call us, we left numerous messages, and it usually did take him a while to answer the phone. Sounds like an old hill billy from the south to me. :) Anyway, He guides our paths in the right does he not?

I'd better go. I did harvest some produce today though. My first two tomatoes (Abraham Lincoln), 3 cucumbers, 6 zucchini, and a dozen beans.

God Bless!

English Vintner