Tuesday, June 28, 2011

fastest grain mill east of the mississippi

Today the fellers took the motor off the broken down tiller and hooked it to the grain mill. I now have one speedy grinding apparatus. All they did was detach the motor from the tiller, hook it up to a board, and add a tension pulley doohickey. I was told the hardest part of the entire job was attaching the motor to the board it sits on. It works great! We do have to have the motor idled down as far as it can go without it dying out and the tension thingmajig will take a bit of tweaking and getting used to but it will do the job we need it to do with no trouble. We left the mill attached to one board and the motor to another for ease in storage and mobility but will have attachments on the table for it to mount sturdily enough to grind grains a time or two a week.

The first tweak we are likely to make is adding another pulley to slow the rotation down a bit although the grinder parts were not warm nor was the grain when we did the test run.

Monday, June 27, 2011

hot tub tater harvest-my thoughts

Sooo, I got sick of looking at the straw potatoes in the hot tub and harvested them this morning. What a disappointment they were! Not that I expected to get 400 pounds of potatoes in a 4x4 area, by any means, but I did expect a little better yield than what we got out of them. All total, there was about 20 pounds of taters and many of those were very tiny. I believe I could have harvested more worms from there than I did potatoes.
The only good thing that came of this experiment is that we now have some very dark and pretty soil to grow something else in for the remainder of the summer. The brush and sticks that we had thrown in the bottom a couple years ago when we first turned it into a planter are also now completely dissolved and turned to soil. I do not think we will be using this method again at least not in a container of any sort.
We have tried many of the alternative methods for growing different veggies most with poor results. We are beginning to believe that many people highly exaggerate how well many of these alternative methods actually work. And, if they are not telling tall tales then what exactly are we doing wrong with each experiment. The only ones we have had much success with for more than one growing season are the junk beds that we make. I don't however believe that junk beds would work well for growing taters and other root crops. I do hope that the regular planting of taters gives a better yield than what these did or we will be buying a lot of potatoes this winter.