Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Samsung EX2F - macro camera

     Last year I couldn't get the macro shots I wanted ( flowers, insects, etc ). So I looked into the capabilities of my Nikon Coolpix...while it's an okay camera the closest focus point in Macro mode is 4 inches away...NOT GOOD. So I just bought a Samsung EX2F from Adorama. Tons of great cameras in this price range, but this one lets me get within 1cm (.04 inches and still focus ). Fresh outa the box this am, here's a few pix....1st one is of the ever-curious Phoenix.

Then some seeds ~ Moon and Stars Watermelons ( very cool close up )
Red Kuri Squash
and last the Densuke Watermelon
Great camera the Samsung EX2F, gotta play with it alot more. Gonna be a great summer!!!

My affair with Mrs. Wages

     I'm a's true. Mrs. Wages and I have a quiet sort of thing going on since last summer. I decided I was going to get into canning veggies last summer. I figured that if the Zombie Apocalypse came along I was gonna have a skill that gets me into someones bunker. ( Yeah, cause a week's worth of pickles opens alot of doors. ) Within that vein of thinking is how I met Mrs. Wages.

     I wanted to get the principles of canning down last year. The times and temps.....working out the kinks. It's not as hard as it looks, but it is time consuming. I noticed that with making pickles there is alot of steps...brining, salting, waiting, washing....Whoa! Sensory overload! One day while getting some jars i see her there in the same shopping aisle ~ Mrs. Wages. She came in both Kosher Dill and Bread and Butter. Hanging out right next to the Salsa ( You had me at "Hello" ). I'm a tard.

    Anyway, very simple to use...pak the jars with sliced cukes...add white vinegar plus this mix and bring to a boil.....pour over the paked jars and set into canner.....and you're done! People keep hitting me up for more Salsa ( I made different types by adding , Mango, Peach or Pineapple ), and Pickles till I'm about out. I went on the website and found all kinds of Pickle Mixes that aren't for sale in the stores, also cheaper direct from the Mrs. Wages site.

  So consider this a ringing endorsment for Mrs. Wages Pickle and Salsa mixes. Figure that you will spend about $4 per session / Mix and Vinegar = 7 quarts vs. $2 pints storebought = $28 for 7 quarts
I'm loaded for the upcoming season,  I got multiple bags of each so I'll have plenty of varieties for sharing. Or, maybe I'm just bettering my chances to get in a bunker. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

I'm done with seeds for the, really!

        "Hi, my name is Chris and I'm a hoarder." . Granted my hoarding fits in a shoebox, but admitting you have a problem is the first step to awesome veggies.

 Besides my Squash arbor I got going for this Spring I only have 96 sq foot bed for growing. I made 37 quarts of Pickles last year and figured I'd cut back a lil on the cuckes ( last year 14 plants - this year 10 or 12 ). But I keep finding cool stuff to try growing. So it ends up I'm doing 3 Boston Pickilers, 3 Mexican Sour Gerhkins, 3 Crystal Apple Cucumbers and 3 Poona Kheera...LIKE i said I can't stop buying cool seeds....I'm glad this Winter shit is almost over and growing season is about to start. So here are the last add ons to my garden for this year....
Mexican Sour Gerhkin ( above n below )
Poona Kheera Cucumbers ( Indian )

Crystal Apple Cucumber ( above n below )
Black Futsu Pumpkin
and I do not have space for thee, but I got the seeds and would love to grow them...may have to hold onto until next year.   The Japanese Densuke Watermelon
Like I said, I done with seeds...for now....

T5's or T12's? ~ That is the Question

   The season is almost here. Last year I had green peppers in September, but they were suppose to be red. I clipped them all before the first frost and finished what ones would finish on the windowsill. During this Winter I had looked more into peppers and it seems that i should have started my seed much sooner than i did last year.
    So this Spring I decided to step my game up and get a nice setup for seedlings and propigation. ( Last year was a 2ft Walmart "grolite" resting on bookstacks. ) Now I've done a fair share of smoking pot in my day, so I found myself looking at Home Depot/Lowe's ( T12 and T8's ) vs. the Pot Grower's ( T5's ). Right off the bat, the first thing you notice is the price....I mean you can get a 4 banger of 4 foot T12's ....hood lights and all for around $60 - $80. And the T5's - it's almost $40 for just the bulbs...4ft lights are $30 each and the 4 bangers go for in the hundereds for some of question is WHY the difference?

     It ends up that from what I've read ( I only researched to I satisfied my own interests, if you were looking fdor a dissertation...move along )  the T12 and T8's in the gro lights convert less of the used energy into lumens for growing and more gets converted into heat. Whereas the T5's are more efficent and convert more energy into lumens and have a lesser heat signature. ( Similar to gardening the Pot Grower's also need the lights to be just shy of touching the veg to stimulate growth.

     So end result is T5's = more light stpectrum and less heat sig. Thats why the costs are much more than the T12's and T8's. Worth the invertment????? Gotta decide that one for yourself.

     So I searched out prices and at the end of the day I spent almost $200.00 at a place called Atlantis Hydroponics . I dont want to waste my time each Spring with homemade bullshit trying to McGiver my light set ups.... so I bought seedling Warming Mats.

and this company called ViaGro has really cool T5 light stands ( almost look like the partitions inside a file cabinent ). On one side they will fit perfectly to a 2 inch domed propigation tray, then once they exceed that height you flip them around and they fit over a 6 or 7 inch tray .
So....I'm jacked, stacked and ready to Monday I'm plugging in the warming mat and in go the Chocolate Bell Peppers. I'm gonna give these babies a good 8- 10 week head start indoors.