Grit Blogs > Adventures of Old Nebraska Dave

Working on inside projects and building fence

A photo of Nebraska DaveWhoa, the GRIT blogging community really has been active so far this year.  All the information shared has been a plethora of knowledge for homesteaders.  It's the homesteader university of websites.  Not only can information be found on how to grow vegetables, fruit trees, animals, or birds but also recipes for how to preserve or eat them.  I am very humbled by being allowed to participate in such a prolific information rich blogging community.  I am always awed by the caliber of folks that hang out here.  May this environments live on for ever.  Thank you so much fellow bloggers for keeping the information flowing.finished storage room wall
Finally, the storage room wall is finished.  Well, except for just a small section of drywall.  I bought a broken piece from Menard's that will cover that section and a couple on the back side as well.  I probably should give it a good coat of paint but that will be for another day .... or year.  The room is fully functional and totally closed in.  The question now is have I truly created a cold room like I wanted.

House temperature
The thermometer was set just outside the door of the storage room to get a reading for comparison.  This is what I keep my house at for the winter months.  It keeps me from paying out allot of money to the utility companies.  So lets see if my 50 degree temperatures have become a reality as I have been hoping for.Temperature inside storage room
Yea, indeed it has hit my goal.  I'm not sure about how cool it will be in the summer but for winter storage, I believe this will be great.  Now all things are in place for a great gardening year.  The seed starting station yearns to begin life for seeds, Terra Nova Gardens waits for spring planting, empty jars are waiting to be filled with harvest, and the store room is waiting to be filled.  The year 2013 should be a remarkable year for the Urban Ranch and Terra Nova Gardens.Terra Nova Gardens fencing 
More free pallets and more fence panels.  This is the bones of a 7 1/2 foot fence panel.  I've learned to put the end slats on first and fill in the rest of the panel with loose fit slats.  When the entire panel is covered and there's a couple inches left, tiny crevasses can be spaced between the slats to use up the small space.  I also learned that screws will spilt the wood and nails won't.  I now have about 20 feet of fence panels with 70 more to go.  This may become a long term project.  After completing the panels a want to give them a coat of paint to help preserve them just a bit.  Now being that these panels will be part of a fence in the inner city they beg for graffiti, don't you think.  My plan is to graffiti them first in hopes that the gangs will stay way.  What do you think I should put on the fence.  The fence facing the street will be 30 feet long so the canvas is large.  I would guess something to do with gardening.

I have given much thought to my spring at Terra Nova Gardens.  My plan has now changed from a open water pond idea to another idea.  Since the ten foot stand pipe was buried with only three feet sticking out of the ground, it will be used for a hand farm water pump.  Seven feet of water inside a six inch pipe equates to about 30 gallons of water.  I don't think there will ever be a time when I would want to hand pump more than that.  What the recovery time to fill the pipe back up is, I don't know but I would guess it wouldn't be more than a day.

The plan for garden watering has changed to digging out a pit about five foot square and three feet deep.  Then four of the blue barrels you have seen in other pictures on this blog will be buried in the ground with the tops just above the ground water level which is nearly to the surface.  Holes around the bottom of the barrels will let the water seep into the barrels and fill them with water.  I have come up with an idea to pump the water out of the barrels at the same time.  It will give me a 200 gallon supply to pump up to the barrels up on the bank.  After the barrels are in place then crushed rock will be back filled around the barrels.  Since there are ribs on the barrels, it should keep the barrels securely in place.

The seed starting station will be fired up and be trying to sprout broccoli in about another week.  I've read it's a bit difficult to sprout the broccoli seeds and come up with healthy plants in a home environment.  So I'll give it try because my grandson could eat broccoli every meal if you would let him.  It would definitely be of great benefit if I could grow a few plants to throw in the freezer and maybe make it to the fall planting.  We are planning on planting allot of sweet corn this year and a few rows of popcorn.  Both are high on the list of grandson's tastes.

Nebraska Phil is slumbering a few more days before his big outing to attempt to find his shadow and determine if winter is over or not.  I'll have to keep a record to see just how accurate his predictions are.  The famous Punxsutawney Phil of Pennsylvania is only 39 percent right.  That's not a very good record.  I guess if someone dragged me out of deep sleep and made me come up with a prediction, I wouldn't be real accurate either. 

That's about all that's going on at the Urban Ranch for this time.  Time to kick back, read some garden books, and sip on that coffee. 

nebraska dave
2/9/2013 12:26:31 AM

Roy & Sheryl, I haven't seen the sign. I'll have to google it and see what comes up. Funny you should mention poachers. Quite frankly I don't care if some of the produce get taken. I just don't really want to see vandalism. Since I started cleaning up the garden last year and got to know many neighbors, the neighbors have taken the responsibility to watch over the garden while I'm away. It was the craziest thing ever. I spend just amount as much time talking with neighbors as I do working in the garden. Hopefully, this year I can grow enough produce to share with the neighborhood. Have a great day in the garden.


nebraska dave
2/9/2013 12:17:42 AM

Jennifer, yeah, the cold room turned out really well for winter storage but I'm still not sure about what the room temperature will be in the heat of summer. I'm hoping for it to be much cooler than the temperatures outside the house. If it keeps a temperature of 15 degrees cooler than the house it will be about 65 degrees. Still pretty good for summer. Have a great day in the garden.


roy&sheryl renfrow
2/8/2013 9:23:59 PM

Have you seen the sign that says "Garden of Eatin'"? How about that on your wall for graffiti? You could have scenes from the Garden of Eden or do you think that particular info would be a magnet for poachers? Anyway, congratulations for completing a project. Think I'll have a cup of coffee, too.


jennifer sartell
2/8/2013 4:33:40 PM

What a great idea! A cold room like this would be wonderful for us. We make cheese and most of them should be stored around 50 to 55 degrees. Right now we're using a tiny college dorm refrigerator but it's hard to keep the temp regulated because it naturally wants to lower. You could store cured meats, veggies!...oh I'm so excited I read this. I will be showing my husband when he gets home! Thanks Nebraska Dave!!!


nebraska dave
1/31/2013 2:14:34 AM

Mary, yeah, it's not too clear after reading the post again. The 53 degrees is inside the completed room and the 68 is outside the completed room. It's just a bit too early to start tomatoes here. I plan on starting the broccoli and cabbage in a couple weeks. Tomatoes are usually about April 1st and planting is in middle of May. The last frost date is May 15th. I might start some cukes as well this year. Perhaps I just might get some early pickles. We just completed our third snow. It was about five inches with cold temperatures the next couple days. Then middle 40s for the next three days to melt it into the ground. I like it. Tomorrow will be a sledding day with the grandson. Yee Ha!! Have a great tomato planting day.


mary carton
1/31/2013 12:02:43 AM

Looks like you have a sauna instead of cold storage. Lot of rain here, won't be able to plow up the garden for a while. I'll be starting my Cherokee Purple tomato seeds this weekend.