Saturday, March 31, 2012

Baby bunnies, spring downpours, cooped-up kitties

As we write this, the sun has finally come out for the first time in several days; accordingly, we are running for the exits to get caught up on our Vitamin D. Enjoy these pictures and a couple videos of all the new life around the Lounge!

The Snails

You'll never look at snails in the garden the same way after watching this French gem.   

Friday, March 23, 2012

Solar Hot Air Composter

Just a prototype:
Hypothesis: By providing a pathway for air to heat up via solar energy before it even hits the thermophilic "micro-herd" of bacteria and other organisms contained in the compost, the temperatures required for hot composting, 50-60 degrees Celsius (131-140 degrees Fahrenheit), could be attained much faster and more efficiently.

The greenhouse on the top is an afterthought; perhaps Co2-loving plants could be placed on top to capture not only the excess heat from the composting process, but also the excess Co2. It would also act as an insulating layer.

Other possible attachments: rain water catchment system, bike powered turning system, spigot for catching excess liquids

Thursday, March 22, 2012

What an incredible past couple of weeks. Even without the massive snowstorm that hit the Willamette Valley 2 days ago (immediately proceeding the vernal equinox, ironically enough), which felled hundreds of trees, postponed thousands of students finals, and wreaked general havoc on the local infrastructure, we would have been up to the top of our boots in work... nevertheless, we seem to find ways of managing these immediate challenges in hopes of a brighter (and less wet) future.
New developments at the Lounge include 8 healthy and wiggling week and a half old baby bunnies, 6 broiler chickens (and a fancy new 250 watt infrared light to keep them warm), a composting system plan which utilizes a passive solar air heater, and more. Enjoy!

Baby Bunnies at 1 week

The chickens have an amazing knack for sneaking into the garage and roosting in our straw bales 

A fat and proud new Momma Yin

Unexpected yet beautiful

Jenny found a new potting technique at Bring Recycling!

Saw these anchors at Bring and was curious enough to take a picture of them... coincidentally, a couple of days later reading Solomon's ever more impressive Vegetable Gardening When It Counts, we found out; they are improvised stands for watering systems. Additionally, we stumbled upon his latest project,, a gigantic library of agricultural resources from pretty much any given time period in history. The breath of this collection is staggering, and we definitely recommend it for any gardener or farmer today that wants to try something different.

Possible chicken tractor sleds?

A technique for vertical farming using old rain gutters, something we plan on trying this upcoming season. Kudos to the kind soul that posted this great idea at Bring.

Flower bouquets constantly seem to migrate through the house.

These next pictures are taken at Pierce St. Gardens, a local vegetable and plant business run out of the back of the house of a wonderfully magnanimous (and highly elusive) woman named Marcia.

Jenny couldn't resist purchasing this stoic gem of a succulent.

The inside of Pierce St. Gardens' newly refurbished and expanded south-facing greenhouse, providing home for seemingly endless rows of exotic vegetation.

Three spectacular varieties of succulents.

I spy...

It's often hard to imagine that many of these plants are actually slow and methodically living creatures, and don't just spontaneously erupt out of the meager substrate encapsulating their roots.


Jenny, whimsically lost in this plant mecca.

Solar power!

A great find at a local Asian foods market. We also purchased some nutrient packed, yet cheap varieties of random sea dwelling kelp's and grasses, often used in soup recipes, which we plan to make some compost tea out of as a means of feeding some hungry plants in the summer

Some wise, old kale in the Alton Baker Community Garden.

Speaking of which, hopefully we will be getting another community garden plot this upcoming season, this time at Amazon Park, which is pictured above.

Another "vertical farming" technique to try, found at Amazon. Bean trellis, green teepee, and platform for potted plants, all in one!

The snow hits.

March? Really?

At least the chickens have a good layer of new feathers to keep them warm.

These little ones, on the other hand, get the infrared light.

The fluff ball, a.k.a. Mama Llama, has finally made a full recovery, after at least 3 months of recuperating from a broken bone. Chickens are surprisingly tough.

The garden bed (with no less than 2 packets of impatiently planted seeds) is blanketed with a thick layer of heavy snow, confounding any hopes of early spring crops.

Finally, the most highly anticipated project of the year... thanks for reading and stay tuned!