The White House

The White House

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Go Greenhouse Go!!

Awhile back my husband saw this thing on growing fodder to feed your farm animals. He didn't listen to the directions all that closely, gave it a try and ended up with a stinky, fermented mess.  Bless his heart.

Now because I am swamped beyond belief  have nothing else to do I am attempting to grow fodder for Daisy and the chickens. After way too much time on the computer researching how to do this without spending money (I'm not buying a hydroponic system) I'm giving it a go. So far, I am not pleased (but really, am I ever?).

I begin by weighing the barley to exactly 2.5 pounds. (I'm going to drop this to 2 pounds).
 The barley is then soaked for 12 hours. I should have soaked it in the dark.
 Then I rinse it really good...lots of "stuff" in it. This barley did not swell up like it should have.  Not sure why.
The barley is then spread in one of my planting flats with the holes in the bottom and flooded with water.  This is where the problems begin.  This should be done in a shed or greenhouse or at the very least, outdoors when it is warmer than 35*.  I put it out on the concrete slab the first day, but then realized after nothing was happening it was too cold so I brought it back in the house. I put a second flat without holes underneath it and added water.  You can see the water level at the back of the flat.  In the evening they are rinsed and new water added.  (You know with all that time on my hands tending to barley twice a day is no big deal).

Day two the barley isn't flooded, but it is rinsed and kept wet.  The ideal situation is a rack with seven shelves.  The bottom is the concrete or pavers that allows the water to drain, but slowly. Each day the flat is moved up a level and a new one started on the bottom.  When watering the top it will flow down to the bottom.  If this works I definitely want to build a rack with a pan to catch water that can be used in the house in the winter.  Wouldn't it be great to give Daisy and the chicken greens all winter long?
 Morning of Day 3 (that's today).  Can you see the little bit of sprouting going on?  Again, I think it is supposed to be more, but maybe it is the quality of barley I have.  I know some of this barley spilled outside last summer and grew so maybe this is just old (the bag is new, but it has to be last season's barley as it is local)? Bad storage? Any ideas?
 The beginning of roots.  Not the progress I had hoped for, but once I work out the kinks I hope we'll have success.

Last night was a Bamboo Panda night.  When I drove Nick in to pick up his car from having the tires changed I picked up take-out for my three men (the little ones won't eat Chinese).

 This once used to be a full parking lot, but now the mall is fairly empty.  When I was a kid there was a Lamont's that was then replaced by Gottschalks.  They went out of business and now it sits vacant.  There is a hair salon, nail salon and a couple small stores, but not a lot of traffic anymore. I don't think I've stepped foot in there in over a year.  Just over the top of the bus is the Public Library. 
 More progress!!  In the sprinkling rain Homer finished the roof on one side and started on the metal guides (? I don't remember what he called them) for the other side. It was not nice out. Cold and wet.  At 9:00 PM I finally made him get off that ladder and go to bed. He is the hardest working man I have ever met.  He gets up at 4:45 AM, works all day, gets home at 6:30 PM (or later), eats and then works around the house. If I win that Ice Classic I am going to hire someone to do all these jobs and let my man rest. He deserves it and I'm not so sure I deserve him.
 There is quite a bit of wood down in the hole for me to split.  I forgot to have the boys move my splitter down there (it's to heavy for me to carry) so no wood work today.
 While Homer worked on the greenhouse I worked along side him.  I finished raking out the dirt, spread grass seed, rolled and covered with straw.  After I was done I decided I really didn't need the straw, but it was too late.  I watered it good before we went in and wouldn't you know, it snowed last night!  Only a dusting, but enough to be irritating.  I don't mind 50* in the day, but this 30* at night is annoying.
 I still have to do from the edge of the straw to the top of that hill.  I don't know why it is that things don't look as big as they are in photos, but I'm telling you that is a long ways and a lot of dirt and grass seed. to get a move on.  There is barley to rinse, plants to water, cleaning to do.... I don't even know where to start I am so buried with chores.  Oh, I know.... how about the laundry room.  Teenage boys stink and so does their laundry!! What I do know is that my magic age is 43.  At 43 I am slower.  Things hurt more. I get tired quicker. I want to sleep longer.  Buzzing through chores doesn't happen anymore.  In fact, I think they grow each day.  My hard working husband makes me want to do more so he doesn't have to.  Well, since I'm slow I'd better get going.  ***Think Sunshine***

1 comment:

Queen-Size funny bone said...

Gees girl you taking on another project. no rest for you and Homer