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  #41  
Old 02-14-2018, 06:35 AM
Doninalaska Doninalaska is offline
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My attempts to hybridize failed, and after a few generations some unwanted genes creep into my plants and it is better if I buy fresh seeds. One year my sweet corn apparently picked up some "terminator" genes, and the planting using saved seeds failed, but mostly the unwanted genes just affect yield or size or whatever.

I guess that is what happens when you live in Kansas, where gardens are common and there are hundreds of acres of corn all around that also shed pollen. I am not very organized with my seed savings but that is OK, as I now figure on getting fresh seeds every few years anyways.

Seed is often expensive, and by only needing to buy 2-3 types most years I save a small fortune. I would LIKE to develop local varieties, but that one year when the corn pretty much failed showed me just how bad the pollen contamination in my area was.
Yeah, corn is a tough one. That is why I do mostly easy stuff like tomatoes and peppers. You can also do squash and pumpkins pretty easily if you manually pollinate (cross) your varieties then bag the female blossom you want to keep. One of my sons saves seed from random crosses in pumpkins just to see what comes out.
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  #42  
Old 02-14-2018, 10:01 AM
Setanta Male Setanta is offline
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expected to be around 45 today, and above freezing temperatures for the next week, most nights 20 or higher.

had another minor firewood sale yesterday, someone came down and bough 1 face cord of poplar for $30 (less than I usually sell it for, but all he had was $30 and I wasn't concerned over the difference). that brings me up to $70 in my disposable budget, plus I got a check for $110 that I been unable to cash (no photo ID, and the place I used to cash checks at closed down). been calling around trying to find another way to cash it.

going to be out running chainsaw today since weather will be good for it, though I frequently have bouts of apathy over it viewing it as pointless since I got so much on the ground already that cutting more will just make the gathering part of the work even more daunting. and I got 30 cords left that still haven't sold from the fall. but I remind myself if I don't go cut wood (which hasn't been great sales this year) i'll just be sitting inside bored and surfing the internet at the speed of dial up. no enthusiasm for cutting cedar posts either since i have not sold any at all in the year I been advertising and at lower prices than the rest around here. same with just about everything else, it seems I am completely invisible ad get very few sales (also why I accepted that $30 for a cord of firewood).

trying to boost my morale but it stays stagnant, i'm very goal oriented and my morale tends to stagnate if I am not accomplishing stuff, but accomplishing stuff and have it amount to nothing (huge volumes of unsold products) tend to eat away the enthusiasm and make me hesitant to put more effort making more
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  #43  
Old 02-14-2018, 10:35 AM
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Yeah, corn is a tough one. That is why I do mostly easy stuff like tomatoes and peppers. You can also do squash and pumpkins pretty easily if you manually pollinate (cross) your varieties then bag the female blossom you want to keep. One of my sons saves seed from random crosses in pumpkins just to see what comes out.
Gardening forums often have great, long discussions about what varieties people are planting. I find it silly. Most of us hobbyists plant only a few plants but harvest more than we can use, so differences in varieties makes only a minuscule difference. I've been saving seeds for years and find there's always plenty of tomatoes, lettuce, peppers etc without any important differences in success or yield rates.

Terri mentions a failed corn crop once, but I bet that had nothing to do with the particular genetics of her saved seed, but rather some other factor like soil temps, moisture or disease etc.

The criticism of saving seeds from hybrid p1 is that the f1 progeny is not "pure." 1/2 of the f1 won't be hybrid themselves-- so if you save a million seeds, then 1/2 million will be what you want and 1/2 million won't be. Big deal. Plant twice as many as you want if you think it makes a difference.
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  #44  
Old 02-14-2018, 04:17 PM
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MissouriFree MissouriFree is offline
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expected to be around 45 today, and above freezing temperatures for the next week, most nights 20 or higher.

had another minor firewood sale yesterday, someone came down and bough 1 face cord of poplar for $30 (less than I usually sell it for, but all he had was $30 and I wasn't concerned over the difference). that brings me up to $70 in my disposable budget, plus I got a check for $110 that I been unable to cash (no photo ID, and the place I used to cash checks at closed down). been calling around trying to find another way to cash it.

going to be out running chainsaw today since weather will be good for it, though I frequently have bouts of apathy over it viewing it as pointless since I got so much on the ground already that cutting more will just make the gathering part of the work even more daunting. and I got 30 cords left that still haven't sold from the fall. but I remind myself if I don't go cut wood (which hasn't been great sales this year) i'll just be sitting inside bored and surfing the internet at the speed of dial up. no enthusiasm for cutting cedar posts either since i have not sold any at all in the year I been advertising and at lower prices than the rest around here. same with just about everything else, it seems I am completely invisible ad get very few sales (also why I accepted that $30 for a cord of firewood).

trying to boost my morale but it stays stagnant, i'm very goal oriented and my morale tends to stagnate if I am not accomplishing stuff, but accomplishing stuff and have it amount to nothing (huge volumes of unsold products) tend to eat away the enthusiasm and make me hesitant to put more effort making more

Man 30 cords.. that's a lot of trees. How many acres your owe to cut on .?
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  #45  
Old 02-14-2018, 04:18 PM
Doninalaska Doninalaska is offline
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In some organisms, selection is more important than crossing, and the reason you have success in your garden may simply be that you have selected for varieties that do well in your climate. I can tell you, however, that I never get more tomatoes, peppers, or cucumbers than we can use. Corn and eggplants don't do well here, even in a greenhouse. We have two varieties of corn that I have found that will grow in my microclimate--Yukon Chief (OP) and Earlivee (F1). I have tried dozens of corn varieties over the years, and those are the only two that have been successful. Earlivee is now fading from the market, and I am trying to find a substitute--so far without success. Selection, e.g., "heirloom seeds" are much more important in Solanum plants than is hybridization unless you are breeding for a limited number of traits. "De-hybridizing" is how modern plant breeders create new OP varieties, since most of the modern genetic work has been in creating hybrids, and the old genetic variability has been lost in the search for consistency. Corn is not a good plant to try to hybridize for the amateur, since the genome is so complex. That is why it is almost impossible to order sweet corn seeds anymore and know what you are going to get. Do you want SU, Sh, synergistic, etc. You don't see that kind of selection in other vegetables. Selective breeding of vegetables have made gardening in many areas possible. I think it is a little na´ve to say it has no value. Tell that to the farmers that plant open-pollinated corn and wheat and compete with those who plant hybrid seed corn. The yields are different and much more consistent in the hybrids.
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  #46  
Old 02-14-2018, 04:36 PM
Setanta Male Setanta is offline
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Man 30 cords.. that's a lot of trees. How many acres your owe to cut on .?
I own 26 acres, but 2/3 have been heavily thinned, leaving open pasture, sugarbush, and orchard. 1/3 has not been touched yet.

sold another cord and a half of poplar this afternoon. back in November I had 105 cords in the yard, I sold around 100 last spring summer and fall besides that. I have roughly 30 cords left to sell (and another 150 cords that I cut since November that will be processed to sell next fall)
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  #47  
Old 02-14-2018, 07:55 PM
Terri Terri is offline
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It has been non-stop today: the dentist appointments for DS and I, DD calling in tears (many small problems hitting at once) the fuss on a forum I moderate, and the desire to cook DH a special dinner: Man I am tired!

But, DD is no longer crying, her cats are going to be fine, my new crown feels good, DS had no cavities, the meal is almost done, and the people on the forum are still being snarky.

Well, 5 out of 6 ain't bad!
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  #48  
Old 02-15-2018, 01:38 AM
Terri Terri is offline
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The old black cat has never, in all his 12 years of life, caught a mouse.

Until tonight.

Yeppers, he carried it, still alive, into the house before releasing it next to the heaviest piece of furniture in the house. Of course the mouse squirted under the furniture ASAP. So now the old black cat has lost interest and is enjoying a snooze while my young cat Lucas is doing his best to get the mouse out again.

It is 10:30 and, mouse or no, I am going to bed.

Lucas will either catch it or he won't, but my money is on Lucas: he is an experienced mouser.
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  #49  
Old 02-15-2018, 04:35 PM
Setanta Male Setanta is offline
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I had a cat like that, never caught mice, but was ok taking mice that had traps hanging off them. good luck with it, though I suspect having at least 2 cats around won't make its retirement options look so good.

45 degrees outside, cloudy and very windy

considered walking to the store since its warm today but decided not to, glad I didn't because I got a 4th firewood sale today (1 sale a day for the last 4 days, plus I have a sale planned tomorrow and another Saturday), with good weather a lot of people are out looking for a little finish the season wood.
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  #50  
Old 02-15-2018, 08:02 PM
Terri Terri is offline
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67 degrees today, and no sign of Mrs. Mouse. The cats both act like they do not care, so I am going to hope she is in somebody's stomach.

The high was 67 degrees today, so I opened up the house. Tomorrow we freeze again. This is normal late winter weather in Kansas. A cold front will go over about once a week, dropping snow and ice. The rest of the time it will be pretty nice.
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  #51  
Old 02-20-2018, 11:23 AM
hunter88 hunter88 is offline
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Last weekend saw warm weather and temps in the 50s. Monday morning woke up to everything covered in ice. Luckily we didn't get too much so the power stayed on here, but just to the south they had a bit more and with winds gusting over 40 mph a few thousand lost power for a while.

Over the weekend I had split a pickup load of wood and had the truck backed into my tractor barn. The ground had been too soft to get the truck to the wood shed behind my house, but Monday the ground was frozen again so I backed the truck up to the shed and unloaded. I'm hoping that pickup load will get me through the rest of the winter. If so I will still have one stack of split wood left, about 6' high and 6' long, to hold over till next winter.

I pretty much cleaned out all the unsplit wood from my tractor barn, but I do have one Maple tree I hauled out last fall. It had blown over a couple years ago in a wind storm, and late last fall I decided to cut it into sections and bring it out with the forks on my tractor. I have two pieces about 6' long and 16" in diameter with the bark off. Then two more pieces 12' and 14' long, these being 18" to 20" in diameter with the bark off. I have these laying on some railroad ties keeping them off the ground. I thought March and April might be a good time to cut and split these right where they're at, and fill up the wood shed behind my house again. I'd have most of my winter wood supply done, and wouldn't have to mow around the logs and RR ties all summer.
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  #52  
Old 02-20-2018, 01:07 PM
Terri Terri is offline
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Convinced my husband to take my truck to work: check.
cell phone in pocket: check
Bass boots: check.

There is half an inch of ice on the ground, but a few chores MUST be done!!!!!!!!!!!

The rest of the day I shall most certainly hybernate inside!
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  #53  
Old 02-20-2018, 04:09 PM
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Tim Horton Male Tim Horton is offline
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Temps here have been a real roll-a-coaster. In that they have run from 0C to -20C range. This morning is bright, sunny, calm and -22C.

Today is the first day all month of Fedruary so far and last week of January that I haven't got up to enough new snow to use the tractor. Virtually everyday has been 5cm to 10cm new snow. It is much easier if I kept right at it daily with the tractor as it takes less time per day and less cold fingers.

Livestock is doing well. Old red hen, last of the $1.25 each cull flock we got from the crazy chicken lady by the river is nesting again. She hatched and saved 2 chicks last year that are laying regularly. At least one of KarenBC new young banty hens is laying cute wee little eggs. Keeping geese indoors to keep eagles and owls away from them. They don't like it, but they don't like anything.

Otherwise just hunkering in. Made a small mountain of sourdough pancakes. Kind of a throw together recipe. Real mud flap kind of cakes that stick with you and leftovers are good also.

Do have one sad note. Saturday is a memorial for a young guy (early 30s) who passed away. He and family lived in this part of the bush when grade school age. He came home from work. His girlfriend came home from work later to find him apparently sleeping in his chair, but passed.
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  #54  
Old 02-20-2018, 08:58 PM
Doninalaska Doninalaska is offline
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Sorry to hear about the young man. What was the cause of death--brain aneurysm perhaps? I had a co-worker once about the same age who was a rock climber, smoke jumper and pilot who had a series of ruptured aneurysms. He didn't die, but he lost everything--he couldn't walk, speak or write. He lost his sense of smell, and could no longer do what he loved so much.
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  #55  
Old 02-22-2018, 11:18 AM
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Getting a little more snow, maybe a couple inches. Saturday they say another round of snow, again maybe 3 or 4 inches. I do see some highs in the 40s after that, so hopefully it will melt fast and start working on the ice on the lakes.
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  #56  
Old 02-22-2018, 02:09 PM
Doninalaska Doninalaska is offline
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The temps here have broken and are in the 20s F. with snow. Two days ago they were predicting clear skies for the following 7 days; now that has changed to snow today (I have heard from 2-16 inches), snow on Saturday and snow on Monday. I guess it could change back to clear and cold by tomorrow. I don't know how they can predict climate 50 years from now when they can't weather straight 2 days in advance. It is snowing now, so we will see when it stops.
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  #57  
Old 02-23-2018, 12:41 PM
Setanta Male Setanta is offline
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temperatures ranging from 40s to 50s last couple days with lows only in 20s, cloudy and raining off and on, but no wind.

cut more firewood the other day, Tuesday I walked to the local store and binged on cheese Danishes, they gave me a couple bags of expired pretzels as well, and a big container of the previous days soup of the day (beef and mac and tomato). walked there in the rain and home in the rain. yesterday I went to town with a friend and brought home a large box of fresh produce from the grocery (fresh compared to other stuff anyway). then since the weather was good I incinerated a huge branch pile. this morning I went out and burned another branch pile but the wind is starting to pick up so I can't do another today.

found a stop gap solution to the dog peeing on the couch, he is an outside dog now that the weather is more favorable. he can chill on the porch all day and night and has not left the yard.
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  #58  
Old 02-23-2018, 03:59 PM
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Glad to hear that you have given your dog a reprieve for now. We got about 8" of new snow, but it was back below 0 F. this morning however. A new round of snow is supposed to start tonight. It should be good for the dog mushers. The Iditarod starts next weekend. The Junior Iditarod for kids 13-17 starts tomorrow.
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  #59  
Old 02-23-2018, 04:08 PM
Setanta Male Setanta is offline
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I figure the worst case scenario is that he wanders into the road and gets hit by one of the county trucks that make up 90% of the little traffic on my road. still better than me shooting him (for me anyway). but given how he doesn't even want to walk more than 200 feet before turning around (or having to be carried home) he probably won't even go further than 50 feet from the porch. I set up a big box full of straw and hay to help insulate at night.
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  #60  
Old 02-24-2018, 12:46 AM
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Up early at 4am this morning, old guy thing. Could see in the yard light it was snowing and blowing pretty good. Up later and figured maybe 10cm new snow.

Figured I'd take care of it before evening chores with no trouble. It finely quit snowing some after noon time. Got out to find a minimum of 30cm on the flat and some of my lanes blown in level full..... again.....

Worked up to almost dark with the tractor moving snow. Town tomorrow in jeopardy as a wait and see what tomorrow brings. District road is not plowed and may not be because it is the weekend now.

Day was not a total loss. Did some wash, replaced a shirt button, other little house chores. KarenBC and our big Ontario kitchen wood stove made a wonderful mince meat pie for this evening.

Time of year to take it one day at a time.
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