Laurie on Ham Radio

A COUPLE OF HAMS

We have recently become Ham Radio Operators, working from our shack here at home. Now that we are off-grid, Tim got to thinking that hams can be very helpful with communications during emergency situations such as wildfires or winter storms. When there is no cell or landline phone capability, no internet and no power, hams can still operate with radio waves as long as they have power. WE'VE GOT POWER when all else fails, and now that we are hams we can communicate with the outside during these e ...

Our New Look in 2021

OFF-GRID

THIS IS OUR NEW LOOK IN 2021!Tim was busy this winter putting in our solar power system, which has been a great addition to our home. The system now fully powers our house, so from now on out we are not dependent on the grid.After a few months of hard work the project is complete. Prior to starting the project, Tim estimated that we would need 15 kW of power per day. This system provides more than that, and plenty of power to extend through several cloudy days. We are quite plea ...

GrowVeg Garden Plan for 2021

2021 GARDEN & GREENHOUSE PLANNING

It's the end of February, and despite the winter cold, the garden is not far from my mind. The greenhouse has been keeping us supplied with veggies all winter, in addition to what was stored from the 2020 summer garden outdoors. OUTDOOR GARDEN GrowVeg Garden Plan for 2021My GrowVeg Garden Planner is complete for summer 2021. Some changes are likely to be made, but the plans are in motion, the seeds have been ordered and arrived, the calendar reminders have been set. A few seedlings have already ...

ELEVATION

DILEMMA: HIGH ALTITUDE OR HIGH ELEVATION?

WHICH IS IT? There are many websites and publications that discuss things like gardening or cooking at high elevation or high altitude. Often it seems like the words “elevation” or “altitude” are used arbitrarily and interchangeably. It is certainly inconsistent, even on websites focused on a scientific approach. Since I want to be grammatically correct, I looked it up to be sure. ALTITUDE is generally used to indicate an OBJECT’s relation to sea level, such as an a ...

August 3, 2020

EVERY YEAR IS DIFFERENT

I'm learning that EVERY YEAR IS DIFFERENT, especially at high elevation. Gardens here present more challenges than those at lower elevation: variable and cold weather, short seasons, new pests & old ones, personal health issues, as well as other factors such as COVID-19 in 2020, which affected seed & garden supply shortages. Fortunately, I had ordered all my seeds prior to the shortages, and I generally have all the other supplies I need on hand. August 3, ...

Pack Rats

2020 SUMMER NEMESES

In the past we haven't had many problems with pests. We thought our garden was pretty much pest-proof. We were pretty sure no deer, bunnies or squirrels could get in. This year we have experienced two new nemeses that kept us busy trying to get rid of them. First, mice. Then their larger cousin, the pack rat. Yeesh! What a year. MICEEarly in May, we began to see evidence of chewing on some of the freshly transplanted seedlings, particularly things like the broccoli, cabbage & cauliflower pla ...

Snow in September

SNOW. SEPTEMBER 8.

Snow in September Yes, it's September. When I posted about a late snow in June, I had no idea that my very next post would be about an early snow in September, but here we are. This year, from our last snow to the first snow was 92 days. From the last day less than 32° to the first, it was 69 days. This was an unusually short summer, even here. In the previous 5 years (since I have been recording the weather) the days between last/first snow have ranged from 12 ...

SNOW IN JUNE

SNOW IN JUNE ?!?!?!?

If that's a question, the answer is YES. It can snow in June here in the Rockies. On Tuesday morning, June 9, we woke up to 2-4" of soggy snow. It was pretty windy overnight so the snow drifted to make it hard to measure exactly how much. On the average I'd say there was a good 2". The overnight low temperature was 29.5°, and was below 32° for about 5 hours. What about the garden? We are well prepared for almost anything, including snow and below-freezing temperatures. We'd seen the forecas ...

EARLY SPRING

EARLY SPRING 2020

MAY 25, 2020 - BEGINNING TO "GREEN UP" I know most folks wouldn't call this "early" spring, but here in the mountains it's still early. Because our average last frost date is sometime around June 10-15, I need to be careful about what is planted outdoors prior to that time. In the past I have started a few beds of veggies around May 15, I've kept them covered through at least the end of May, with the ability to throw on some frost cloth up to the end of June. (In 2018 and 2019, the last day of ...

LOCK DOWN!

The CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC is out there, and here in Colorado we've been "locked down" with a stay-at-home order since March 26th. Even before that, we hadn't been out much, just being careful without being asked...er...ordered. Our life here hasn't really changed all that much. Instead of trips to town once or twice a week, we now go out once every two weeks or so and we wear masks in the stores we visit. At this time our county has 6 confirmed cases of coronavirus with no deaths. I think that th ...