Modular Shelving using Pallets

Okay, I needed some quick shelves to store some emergency supplies. As usual, a couple of free pallets from my local lumber yard, a handful of deck Screws, and my trusty DeWalt saw and driver and presto! Instant shelves! Continue reading “Modular Shelving using Pallets”

Tale of Two Thermometers

I have been engaging in some reasearch trying to come up with a hoophouse design that didn’t cook my plants during the day and freeze them at night.

To try and assess how well the design works I took two thermometers and placed one outside and one inside.

So far so good. Then I started getting some weird readings…. like off the chart stuff. The two thermometers were different types. (One was a bulb thermometer and one was the spring loaded kind.

Perhaps that was the problem. To get closer to accurate results I went out and bought another bulb type, an exact duplicate of the one I had…. or so I thought.

The readings were better but they still seemed off. Like in the morning when the temp inside the greenhouse was colder than the temp outside!

I thought about it for a day, then I had the idea to put the two thermometers side by side.


Two identical thermometers, made by the same manufacturer and the bulb assemblies were in totally different places!

I went back to the store and started comparing thermometers. To my astonishment, Not only was there no agreement in temperature between different brands of thermometers on the shelf, there wasn’t even agreement between the same manufacturers product!

How maddening is that? To buy two identical measuring devices, bring them home and find they are off by several degrees! Imagine if that were the case with calipers, or tape measures?

Lesson learned, when accuracy is importantin a measuring device, check the product before you leave the store.

E-Z Turn composter

One of the things I have been involved with this year is teaching classes in how to make “hot” compost. A hot compost pile is one which is constructed to create the ideal environment for thermophilic bcteria which can break down organic material is as little as one month.

The downside to hot composting is that in order for the thermophilic bacteria to thrive, they need an oxygen rich environment. Normally this means you must turn your pile… a lot.

Wet steamy compost is very heavy. Thus, after several bouts of sore muscles, and even tendonitis, I began to think of ways in which oxygen could be introduced with as little physical labor as possible.

This is my first attempt at a solution: A drum composter that sits on the ground and is simply rolled along. Tumbling the drum, turns the pile and aerates the compost. Voilá! Better faster compost with less work.



Composter Plans

Finished design.

Easily filled

Easily rolledcover to keep in heatStarting temp.

24 hours later. Temp starts to rise…

update: 48 hours in, temp. At 130 degrees. (No camera, you’ll have to take my word for it. 😎