Sunday, March 18, 2018

Repotting a Red Currant

Painting the outside of the drum.
Last year I potted a red currant in a small container. It grew substantially over the summer so this spring I gave it a bigger home.

I used a 55-gallon plastic barrel given to me by my friend John. It was quite worn, so I spray painted the exterior with Rust-oleum flat black that adheres plastic.

The bottom filled with empty plastic bottles.
The top third of the barrel was cut off (I used it for a separate planter), leaving a large area for soil and root growth. After drilling the bottom with drain holes, I filled it with a layer of empty plastic bottles.

Cutting a drainage filter.
Then I cut a large circle of mill felt (course woven polyester) to go on top of the bottles to prevent soil from clogging the drainage holes. When I don't have mill felt, I use cut-to-fit air conditioner replacement pads.

Before filling the container with soil, I inserted a 64" high metal fan trellis and attached it to the back of the barrel by drilling holes and wiring it securely in place.

My repotted red currant now has ample space for root growth and a trellis to train and support its branches. This summer I'm hoping for a good crop of berries on the branches that grew last year.

The red currant repotted with a trellis to support vertical growth.

The cost for my new container was $24.00:

55-gallon barrel (free from a friend)
Rustoleum Spray Paint $4.00 (with lots left over)
Fan trellis from Canadian Tire ($20.00)
Plastic bottles (recycled)
Mill felt (free from a friend)

How do you get low cost large containers for growing plants?

Hop on over to the Not So Modern Housewife and see some great ideas for homesteading and simple living.

Want more ideas? Try Nancy's Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop.

Head over to Blogghetti for Happiness is Homemade to see more recipes, crafts and DIY projects. -- Margy

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Canning: Pressure Canning Carrots

I grow carrots in my float garden. I plant in spring and begin harvesting in August. I can carrots in the ground through winter. Our climate can get below freezing, but even with a bit of snow they survive better in the ground than indoors.

This week I pulled the last of my carrots to prepare my beds for spring planting. There were so many left I decided to can them to tide us over until the new crop comes in.

I'm new at canning, especially pressure canning. In fact, this is my second time doing it. The first was with potatoes. I found a Facebook group called Safe Canning Recipes and the admins and members help answer my newbie questions. I read their blog, used their advice and then followed the recipe that came with my Presto pressure canner.

Processing the carrots.
First I had to process all the carrots. Some were quite large. Scarlet Nantes get that way yet remain crisp and sweet. I washed, trimmed and peeled them before chopping into medium-sized chunks. Thanks to Ginger on Facebook for the tip to keep them in water until ready to can.

I used the raw pack method. I packed the carrot chunks into each jar leaving an inch of empty space. Then I filled the jar with boiling water, again leaving one inch of head space for expansion during canning.

Filling the pints one at a time.

I have a dial-gauge, so I have to watch the canner while it's working. I treated myself to a glass of wine and played solitaire on my iPad for the 25 minutes of processing time. For complete safe canning instructions refer to National Center for Home Food Preservation and your canner's manufacturer.

The finished product resting for 24-hours on a rare winter sunny day.

Tonight I’ll wash the jars and put them in my pantry. Canning carrots is much easier than jam or pickles. This year I’ll do more vegetables and fruits to have on hand for winter use. It’s been nice to go to my pantry and make meals without having to go to the store so often.

Can’t you image us opening a jar of these lovely bright orange carrots for dinner some night?  Do you can at your home? What are some of your favourite things to put up?

Hop on over to the Not So Modern Housewife and see some great ideas for homesteading and simple living.

Want more ideas? Try Nancy's Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop. - Margy

Friday, March 09, 2018

Float Cabin Living: What Happens During Storms?

We love to be at our float cabin home in all seasons, so we're there for all types of weather. We are relatively safe in Hole in the Wall. The bay, promontory and nearby Goat Island protect us from the worst winds. On the open lake, especially in the area dubbed the “North Sea” just beyond First Narrows, storm winds out of the southeast can whip the water into three foot plus waves.

After storms pass, clearing northwest winds blast down First Narrows creating dangerous waves. I’ve even seen hefty workboats duck into Hole in the Wall for a brief respite. Traveling on the lake in our Hewescraft would be more dangerous than staying put.

The worst damage we've experienced is a dislodged chimney, broken anchor cables (Up the Lake Chapter 4), and a rust weakened BBQ that flew the coop leaving its legs sticking up like a dead bug. That’s not bad. Several cabins have been severely damaged.

The weight of snow on the float could be a problem. Fortunately Powell Lake’s weather is moderated by the nearby ocean. Snow typically sticks only a few days. The biggest problem we have is uncovering solar panels so we can continue to gather the limited winter sun.

Rain is the most common type of storm. If you live in a floating cabin, a little more water isn’t a problem. Thin cracks between the boards on the deck let the water run right through.

The cabin rides easily up and down on its anchor cables as the lake rises and falls from wet to dry seasons.

Additional weather videos you might enjoy include:

A Snowy Day at Hole in the Wall
Windstorm Waterspouts
Mother Nature Blowing Bubbles

So, let it storm and let it rain. We’re prepared. Are you?

Today is Sky Watch Friday. Go to the Sky Watch Friday website and you'll see sky photos from all over the world! -- Margy

Monday, March 05, 2018

Float Cabin Marina

When you live in a floating cabin, boats are a very important part of your life, but I think we may have taken it to the extreme. Our float cabin decks and docks have turned into a mini-marina. Each of our boats has a different purpose.

Our aluminum Hewscraft is for transportation on our 50 km long fjord-like Powell Lake. It's a sturdy craft to travel even in wind driven waves.

Other boats include a 2452 ocean-going Bayliner that visits in the winter for a freshwater bath, a barge to carry our quads to logging roads, a small tin boat for odd jobs and fishing, and Wayne's sailboat.

Come along on a video walking tour of our float cabin marina.

Do you have a boat? What kind do you have and how do you use it?

Thanks for visiting part of my world this week. For more great posts from Our World Tuesday, click here.

And also a meme called Through My Lens by Mersad. -- Margy