Late April garden update

Well it is the end of April 2015.  Hard to believe that almost four months of 2015 have passed. This is just a brief update on the things I am doing in the garden at home. I show an update on the crops growing now, my new raised beds (metal shelving) the types of containers I am going to use this year and also do some planting.

For a list of my plants go to my BLOG.,

Until next time, See you in the Garden!



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Posted by on April 29, 2015 in Gardening Chit Chat


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Carving on a bowl, Part 2 Carving and texturing

In this episode of carving on a bowl, I take the bowl from where we had left it and do some addition carving and texturing to the bottom and top sections of the spaceship like bowl.

I discuss some good resources for anyone interested in taking up carving or that are interested in just see what it is all about. Also, I show the use of a “Lathe Chuck/Face-Plate Adapter” that allows you to mount your woodturning onto a carving vise or, as in my case, directly to the banjo of the lathe. This device allows you to carve your turning without taking the turning off the chuck. I got mine from Lee Valley.

In the final episode, I will be making the top for bowl, finishing any additional carving or texturing, and applying the finish to the project.  Stay tuned!

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Posted by on April 8, 2015 in Woodturning and Carving


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Late March garden update

Welcome guys and gals to the end of March Garden update. We are into spring season, but Mother Nature has not got the memo yet J here is a recap on things as they sprout and are planted in anticipation of getting back out into the garden to prepare and starting the planting and growing process.

My tomatoes (Indigo Rose, Yellow Pear, Jaune Flamme and La Roma) are growing in the house like weeds. Some plants are 18” tall smallest around a foot tall. I hope these grow okay and are ready for planting and produce and early crop.

The peppers ( Early Sunsation, Carmen, New Ace and Purple Star are also coming along sitting I their plastic cup containers. I will repot these as they grow and maybe transfer some to the greenhouse.

We planted again like mad children last night and here is what we did.

· Victory Celery

· Black cherry Tomato

· Esterina Hybrid cherry type Tomato

· Old German ( approx. 2lb, we will see) Tomato

· Night and day Nasturium

· Fiesta gitana Calendula

· Pacific beauty mix Calendula

· Cutting leaf Celery

· Sugar and spice Sweet Pea

· Summer Love mix Sweet Pea

· Barlows Doubles mix Columbine

· Extra curly Parsley

· Coriandrum sativum Cilantro

· Thyme

· Cinnamon Basil

· Bushy spicy globe Basil

· Summer Savory

· Sage

Another venture this year is into low tech hydroponics. I am looking at the Kratky method (as shown on Kevin Bradley’s YouTube channel), Floating hydroponics and a variation of Hand Watered Hydroponics. Stay tuned to future videos on these as they are setup

As stated I have found some amendments to add to my soil this year. One is Spanish River Carbonatite from Boreal Agrominerals Inc. and Worm castings. We will be doing some trials just to see how these work with the crops and containers.

See my BLOG at for the complete list of seeds we have for this year.

Other links that you may find helpful ( By the way, I am not affiliated nor receive any compensation from any of these links, I just state my opinion for your reference)

MHP Gardener

Boreal Agrominerals Inc.

Homegrown Hydroponics

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Posted by on March 30, 2015 in Gardening Chit Chat


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Carving on a bowl, Part 1 Bowl preparation

I have started a new project in the workshop now that a few days have been warmer. I have turned a Mahogany bowl in the shape of an old spaceship. Curved from the bottom and top to meet in a lip area about 7/8” down from the original top surface.

This bowl went through a bit of a redesign phase, so I will only state how the bowl finished out where it is now. The blank started out as a 9 1/4” square piece of Mahogany about 2 7/8” thick. I marked out a 9” circle and cut the circle on the bandsaw, staying outside the line.  I mounted the rough blank on a screw chuck of my Nova scroll jaws. At this point I rounded the blank. The flatten the bottom using a 5/8” bowl gouge using pull cuts. Then I measured, marked out and cut an area to be a tenon so I could remount into my scroll jaws. I then marked out on the side of the blank, what would be a lip to use to curve the top and bottom to.  This lip was 7/8” from top surface and was 1/2” wide. At this point, I used my 1/2” bowl gouge and made successive pull cuts to shape smooth curve from the bottom to the lower lip line that I had made earlier. Then using my scrapers and sand paper I cleaned the bottom surface.  I did not put any finish on the bottom as I will look at that in phase two.

At this point I remounted the tenon into my scroll jaws. What I want to be able to do is have a recess in the top of the bowl so I can use my 100mm scroll jaws to hold the bowl later so I can remove the tenon, finish turning the bottom and do any carving or texturing and finally apply the finish. So having remounted the bowl I measured, marked out and cut an opening first with my parting tool them using bowl gouges. The remaining bowl area was cleaned out using bowl gouges and scrapers.  Now to allow for a lip to use as a transition point from the top to the side lip, I marked out a circle 3/4” approx. from the edge of the bowl opening.  I made this surface flat using my 3/4” flat nose scraper. From that point to the side top lip mark on the side of the bowl, I used my bowl gouge to shape a curve. Sanding was done then to all sides and bowl.

I have a few inclusions on the bowl, which I am thinking of leaving and trying to come up with some design to either carve or texture them into the final bowl.

And that is where we are now! research stage of phase design to figure out if and what to carve and what and how to texture the bowl.  Then figure out the type and style of finish.

Stay tuned.

See you in the Workshop

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Posted by on March 29, 2015 in Carving


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2015 Gardening Season – plans

Well as we start to see mother nature give a little in the coming of spring, I am now looking forward to my plans for 2015. This year I have a few things I want to try out and learn from. They include making use of structures to get vertical gardening spots for the plants, growing more in cloth and plastic bag containers, and trying my hand at hydroponics.

As to the vertical structures I have some mobile wire storage racks that came from my oldest son’s garage that I want to add to the deck so I can put the plants up off the floor and more into available sunlight. I should get about 16 feet of rack space on two rack systems. Each unit has 2  – 4 feet shelves. I am also toying with making a unit that is like a pole with shelving to support more cloth pots.

In regards to the cloth pots, I will be using the Smart Pots I had and some new cloth pots from GeoPots and Root Pouches. Both the GeoPots and Root Pouches are a well made stitched seem pot with life span of 4 to 5 years and from first glance look to be a very strong option for cloth containers for vegetables when choosing between them and the Smart Pots.  The price point of the GeoPot and Root Pouches are less money that Smart pots also.

As to the plastic bag containers, I have purchased three red plastic tomato bags Per the advertisement of them, they should provide a good heat source, with the red plastic reflecting heat, to grow tomatoes in.  I also bought another few plastic potato bags. I may try and grow a tomato in one to see if the red bag does make a difference. The ones I had last year and the remaining green containers will be used for potatoes.

I am also considering getting into hydroponics using the Kratky method of growing veg.  This method uses only a container with nutrient solution and water and the plant suspended into the solution and water.  No pumps or electricity needed. I am also looking at a floating hydroponic system, where the plants are grown in net pots placed on a styrofoam platform which is floated on the nutrient and water solution. Both of these methods can use Rubbermaid storage containers as the main planting structure  I will be making YouTube videos on each systems I get things under way.

I just can’t wait until mother nature gets the heat moving in.

Thanks for looking

See you in the Garden.

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Posted by on March 23, 2015 in Gardening Chit Chat


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