Category Archives: crawdads/mudbugs

Fanatic Growth! Who Doesn’t Like a Bit of Green in their Garden ;)


beets-01Today was more of a sit back and enjoy the fruits of one’s labor kind of day. One thing I had originally started in on was pruning back a bit of the greenery, but other chores made that a secondary concern. Thankfully the Mrs. took to the task and cleared out a bit of overgrowth.

beets-02(A word of advice, while you can pack your plants more closely in an AP, I don’t recommend it as the larger plants have a tendency to ‘hog the spotlight’ i.e. the sun. For those plants that like a lot of direct sunlight, getting shaded out by other plants can hinder their growth, if not outright kill them). So sadly, most of my snow peas went kaput as a result of this garden ‘bullying’. The Kale and Cabbage decided to take command of the grow bed and the peas suffered as a result. Thankfully we harvested quite a few pods before pulling them.

Otherwise the rest of the garden is doing swimmingly!

One thing that really blew us a away was when we harvested the beets… I’ll let the  pictures do all the talking in that regard 😉

cabbage_01 fennel_01 kale_01 swiss-chard_01

While the size is quite impressive, I have found that allowing them to get too big can result in fibrousy beets (in this case its a toss up as to whether you can use them for various food recipes, but often times its just better to juice them.)

seedlings_01The cabbages are monsters, but not quite ready to harvest.. the main ‘balls’ are nowhere near ready, so I’ll give them another month and check in again on their progress. The other monsters in the room are the Kale.. these guys have been harvested almost on a daily basis and provide a great source of vitamins as they pack a micronutrient punch! Love them Kale chips 🙂

Fennel.. the tops are exploding, but the base, which is what is harvested still needs time to mature, so much like the cabbage, more time is needed.

I’m also very happy to see the Swiss Chard is doing swimmingly. We grab a few of those every few days when the mood hits.

seedlings_02In the new beds I laid seeds down about 10 days ago. Already seeing a number of those starting to break through. In these shots you can see my cucumber and mixed sweet bell peppers coming up with some vigor!

In addition I also planted short carrots, cucumber, lettuce, spinach, cantaloupe and tomatoes. Let the next experiment begin!

Stay tuned!

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Urban Farm Fanatic – We’re back from a long hiatus!


Low and Behold! I’m posting again!

Yes, tis true.. I’ve not posted in quite a while and for that, my apologies.

Life has a way of making certain things a priority.. for me.. that includes a variation of different jobs, financial instability and lastly a mass fish die off 😦

I guess you cannot be a true AP’er till you have a few of these kick you in the butt while learning the ropes. The last started right around the beginning of May, with my last fish finally kicking the bucket mid-June.

As with any concerned farmer, I tried a number of things to see about stopping the problem. I changed out the water, did a full tank cleaning, checked on my waters oxygen levels, I even tried ‘salting’ the fish a couple of times based on recommendations from some forums I routinely visit (for those not familiar with salting, essentially you dip a fresh water fish in a concentrated solution of salt water for a period of about 5 minutes, this is done to hopefully kill any parasites that might be effecting the fish as well as help in the health of their scales).

Alas, none of these items remedied the problem and I eventually lost my whole batch.

Crawdad

So, I decided to start on a new tack… fish out, crawdads in. I switched from using Talapia to Crawdads as my main supplier of fertilizer for my plants. I’m currently on finishing up my first month and so far so good! I’ve not had any die-offs and these little suckers do a grand job of keeping the tank clean!

Currently I’ve got about 10 in my system, with plans on adding about 20 more. I started with a small batch to see how they would fare. Water temps have been between 85-95 degrees.. which had me worried that the temps might be a shade too high. I also wanted to make sure I got the Ph levels at a range that was comfortable for the plants and mudbugs (now hovering at 6.9).

I’m also a shade late, but we decided on a replanting of a number of items in the grow beds. Most of what was there were mostly winter plants and the heat did not treat them well. So a clean sweep was decided upon.

Up next, I plan on finishing the last two of my grow beds and then switching from a hoop house to a more aesthetically pleasing Pergola to protect the plants.

Stay tuned! More posts to come 😉