Sunday, February 7, 2010

2 of the new ducks are clearly females, the other is a drake and recently flys over the fence to be with the other 2 males. He will soon be seperated from the females.

It should be time for egg laying soon I hope. Maybe the recent warm spell will induce some activity. I should start to make some nesting boxes soon to be ready.

In farming news I've been dealt a blow. Looks like field #2 is unavailable this year as the neighbors will be using it while constructing a home for their kin on the adjoining field. Wasn't counting on that. Field #1 has been lent out and can't renege on that.

Just put the 'self' back in 'self sufficient'. So...looks like raised beds it is! Some for the garden and maybe some forest farming in the side yard. I'm up for the challenge. I have enough knee-high, 40cm diameter cedar logs to construct several raised beds. These will be stood vertically and lined on the sides and bottom to prevent soil loss. Filling them will be a problem and may have to buy some soil. The money for this will come from not having to service the tiller and have it trucked over here, so it is a push. All of this will force me to do what I should have done originally and focus, focus, focus on my existing resources.

Testing the solar charge controller, battery and everything today. It is an MPPT solar charger, which just means super efficient. Here's about 100watts running. No problem in full sun (9amps), but a big problem at night. This would run down the battery in about 3-4hrs. I intend to only use about 60 watts worth of CFL's or 15 watts or so of LED's.

However by using LED lights, the battery power will last many nights. But 5 of these lamps cost the same as another deep-cycle battery, which should be added to the system anyway. LED's will last for 10 years or more. While testing I used CFL bulbs from the kitchen, some were marked 1/05 by me, so are now 6 years old!

Eventually the controller and inverter will be housed in it's own cabinet in the screen porch with the battery bank in an insulated box underneath.

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