Phaedra's Adventure

Phaedra

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Phaedra can you please post the recipe for the lemon oolong tea. I would like to try it. Thank you
Ah, most of the time, I don't have a recipe - what I can share with you is how I made the tea.

Quick Lemon Syrup:
1. Quick Lemon Syrup: whenever there is a special offer of lemon, I will buy several kgs to make (A) lemon juice ice cubes and (B) lemon syrup

2. The quickest way to make such a syrup is to wash and slice your lemon, and then put them inside a disinfected glass jar - several lemon slices --> sugar/or honey --> lemon slices --> sugar/or honey until the jar is full. It is suggested to have sugar/or honey as the top, to more or less act as an isolation layer.

3. After a few days to one week, the syrup is ready. As we use fresh lemon and don't heat it up, the syrup should be kept in the fridge and used as soon as possible. If you can't finish the syrup in a short time, either you make less or keep them in the freezer.

4. Personal preference: I usually peel the skins for other purposes, cut and discard the white layer completely, and only use the flesh for making quick syrup.

Tea:
1. You can use Oolong, green tea, or black tea - different types of tea require different temperature to properly brew them, and you can easily find the information online.

2. Brew your tea and let cool.

3. Dilute the lemon syrup with water and the tea - if you want to add ice into the tea, then don't add too much water. Or you can simply just mix tea and the syrup. Just try a bit and find the flavor profile you like.
 

Phaedra

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I used some leftover materials to turn two plastic shelves into a tiny greenhouse and tool storage.
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The lowest spaces are for storing pots and tools. Such "greenhouse" should be sufficient for seedlings to harden-off or pre-sprouting with much less weather interferences. Whatever needs better protection will stay in the glass greenhouse. :D
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I utilized PVC pipes reinforced by inserting bamboo sticks to add weight and stabilize the front panel.

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This setup helps create a warmer environment inside, particularly since it faces west, while also acting as a barrier against the wind outside.

A tiny area for ivy (propagated from cuttings) and needle trees
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Okay, then I am going to make a foldable door for my mini hoop tunnel. :D
 

flowerbug

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i make lime sludge (aka grog) out of peeled limes (skins otherwise left on) and then i use my stick blender to grind it all up. the stick blender has slots on the side which tend to catch the bits of skin which are very tough and full of fiber. and so as i'm blending i'm also pulling that fiber out of the slots and chewing on it to get the juice out of it and then i just swallow it to add to the fiber stock in the first stomach (no, i don't have any others it just amuses me to say that)...

when i'm done grinding it all up i add some sugar and put it in a jar and keep it in the fridge for a week or so. that's about as long as a batch lasts me. i call it grog, but it has no alcohol added to it or salt or water. just straight ground up limes and sugar. it's for the same purpose as grog though, a vitamin C dose in the middle of winter or the rest of the year when i'm due for a change from tangerines or lemons. it could be pressed for removing the pulp, but i don't mind that at all.
 

Phaedra

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Working on the hotel for warmth-loving plants
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My second door, originally for one chicken run - it served for about one week, and I decided to make the 3rd one, which is much better made. Later last week, I decided to use it as a door for the mini hoop tunnel. When I give it a close look, I realized that my skill did improve - how can this be so sloppy :lol:

And the worse is, I will make another door based on the logic I had several months ago.
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My Batman and Robin today, both are USB charged small tools - but they are practical and easy to handle.
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First of all, I need to correct some old issues...
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My 5th door was done.
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It can be open/close to different level.
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And then I thinking, mmm, why not a small 6th door for the right side? Luckily, I have sufficient materials to make another small door, so I should be able to finish it today.

The mini greenhouse revised from a plastic shelf also do a good job - it still has some ventilation, but inside is obviously warmer than outside.
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digitS'

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Phaedra, my greenhouse metal door has become such an eyesore. It's metal because I thought that would be best, 25 years ago. Never painted beyond the gray primer – it began to rust about 10 years ago. Luckily, it can only be seen from the garage or chicken house.

The temporary hoop house just has a 2" x 2" board frame door covered with plastic film on both sides. The window is the same. The door knob is an empty thread spool :). That 50 mile/hour wind the other day, blew them into the garden from the carport where they are stored for 9 months out of the year.

The little hoopies that appear on my lawn for a few weeks annually have boards to hold the film down on the long sides. The film is just rolled around the boards and can be rolled up further and set on a crate for afternoon ventilation.

Temporary "construction" and where it is more permanent, it suffers from the casual nature of my orientation. Luckily, young plants don't know any better and don't seem to mind ;).

Steve
PS. It's 8 AM and we are having a sunny morning. i just went out to bring a container of soil mix in – it has been in water and dripping, for today's planting of tomato seeds. that metal door is frozen shut! the thermometer says that it's 30°f (-1°C) inside so, it's just a matter of waiting a little while. no starts in there except onion seed in a flat of soil and they are fine. yesterday's melting snow and overnight temperature down to 20f (-7C).
 
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Phaedra

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Temporary "construction" and where it is more permanent, it suffers from the casual nature of my orientation. Luckily, young plants don't know any better and don't seem to mind ;).

Steve
PS. It's 8 AM and we are having a sunny morning. i just went out to bring a container of soil mix in – it has been in water and dripping, for today's planting of tomato seeds. that metal door is frozen shut! the thermometer says that it's 30°f (-1°C) inside so, it's just a matter of waiting a little while. no starts in there except onion seed in a flat of soil and they are fine. yesterday's melting snow and overnight temperature down to 20f (-7C).
Yes, everything besides the necessary protection is just nice-to-have. Sometimes, I watched the videos of those homesteaders who are very skilled in building things, wow, super professional. But then I ask myself if I am willing to spend that much time to advance all kinds of building skills, including math....(my math is terribly poor.), the answer is no. :lol:

Our weather seems a bit milder recently, although cold snaps might still ambush us somewhere in the spring. I used to apply a layer of fleece on raised beds at this time of the year, but it's troublesome and not always that helpful. So I want to try adding doors to the hoop tunnel, let's see.
 

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After a few more hours, it's done! I also tried my first non-perpendicular piece, yay~
We ran out of the dark gray paint, so I used the white color one, not bad at all.
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Still can open/close to different levels
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I added the latches so no cats can go inside and use it as a public toilet.
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I have a gut feeling that one day in the near future, I will try to build a non-hoop tunnel greenhouse, haha.
 

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I filled another two plastic planters with homemade compost and transplanted some leafy greens.
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It's a right decision to ensure the doors can be fully open, easier to work and adjust the humidity level when necessary. So far, the temperature inside the closed tunnel can be 3-5 degree C higher than the temperature outside. The young plants inside are also protected from the strong winds.
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All done! Before it becomes a tomato house in early June, some leafy greens and pre-sprouting summer tubers/bulbs can be the first group of residents that enjoy a pleasant protection from any cold snap. Even if there is some badass frost, I can temporarily fix multiple layers of fleece horizontally on the pipes.
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For some small tools :D
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Let me share a trick I saw today - Using such fruit protection bags (originally for grapes) to protect leafy greens from birds and all kinds of insects, including flea beetles. I immediately tried the method as this specific lettuce was attacked by birds badly.
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Phaedra

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Rainy day, but mostly drizzle, so I decided to work in the garden. This decision kept me outside for couple of hours.

In the beginning, I just wanted to add some cardboards and prepared some trellis for climbing beans.
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Well, the trellis were done, and I supposed to call it a day.
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Then, I removed the raised beds.... :lol:
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...and added the leftover fabric originally used under raised beds...piled up the small bricks, and a temporary barrier. Anyway, the bed is almost ready now.
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My plan is to redo and extend this small attachment for a trial project - and see if I can build something instead of a hoop tunnel on the top. This area would be totally different from last year, I believe.
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