cmonkey's journal

Where are you and where are you going?
halfmoon
Posts: 694
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:19 pm

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by halfmoon » Sat Feb 11, 2017 9:39 pm

George the original one wrote:Anyway, I'll be planting first batch of peas on Monday as we get another rain cycle after that and who knows when the next dryish spell will come.
Wait, what? Planting peas? I've been assuming that your climate is similar to ours, but we plant peas in April. You do know that it's early February, right? By the way: we had 10" of snow...SO THERE.

Sorry for the hijacking, cmonkey, but I cannot let the snow/pea-planting challenge go unanswered. :evil:

User avatar
cmonkey
Posts: 1621
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:56 am

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey » Sun Feb 12, 2017 11:24 am

Haha! It is far from 'dry'. I couldn't walk in the dirt (mud) until I put down the wood chips. They are beneficial already. :)

That's a ton of rain!

George the original one
Posts: 4559
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:28 am
Location: Wettest corner of Orygun

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by George the original one » Sun Feb 12, 2017 11:55 am

Temperate (instead of tropical) rain forest. The coast range snags low clouds coming in off the ocean and they spill rainwater. We're 10 miles inland from the official weather stations, so our rainfall is often double the prediction. It is not uncommon for rain to fall that doesn't show up on radar because the precipitation is too low for the radar to pick up.

Fortunately the garden soil drains fairly well, being sandy loam or sandy clay. I can usually walk on it a day or two after these deluges without sinking into muck and by the third day can work it with a fork.

User avatar
cmonkey
Posts: 1621
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:56 am

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey » Sun Feb 12, 2017 12:51 pm

We sit on a very heavy clay and so our soil takes a longer time to dry out. After a deluge like that I don't think I'd be able to get in the garden up to a week after that. I'm planning on the wood chips to break down and lighten the soil over time.

George the original one
Posts: 4559
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:28 am
Location: Wettest corner of Orygun

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by George the original one » Sun Feb 12, 2017 1:13 pm

Our old place in Oregon City was clay loam or silty loam, depending on where you were on the acre. I used a lot of compost on the clay areas and even with less rain, it could take a week to be dry enough to fork. Very fertile, though!

User avatar
cmonkey
Posts: 1621
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:56 am

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey » Mon Feb 13, 2017 8:22 pm

Single Catdom Update

Well we officially have half of the operation done. Monty and the one girl can be together and be trusted alone. Monty has been taking the entire thing very well, only displaying mild interest in the girls. No aggression at all. The one he is now merged with only gave some mild spatting a few times. Now she is down to small hisses if she gets a good whiff of him. In time this should pass.

The other girl is going to take a lot longer. She still has not graduated beyond the kennel yet because she still growls a little when she seems him for the first time each evening. She will nap within a foot of him after the first 20 minutes so its coming along well.

Positive association! We haven't let them leave on a bad note.


Image

melonhead
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:12 am

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by melonhead » Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:35 pm

Registered on the forums to post a warning about woodchip gardening.

At our house in SE Michigan we have a ton of slugs. On rainy nights we can go outside and pick up hundreds of them without putting much of a dent in the population. The slugs are a huge problem in the garden as they will decimate anything green. They're especially detrimental when seedlings are first planted, and we've had entire plantings wiped out in a single night. I have found over the last 2-3 years that woodchips seem to be a favorite place for them to live and breed. I think they'll even overwinter in them, if the woodchips are deep enough. I have also seen this information corroborated on the Permies forum from another individual in SE Michigan who runs a CSA off of his small farm.

I'm not sure how the slug pressure is where you live cmonkey, but I know a few of the other posters in this thread are from the Pacific NW and I imagine the banana slugs out there are even worse than what I see here. Just thought I'd throw out a warning.

User avatar
cmonkey
Posts: 1621
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:56 am

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey » Thu Feb 16, 2017 2:17 pm

Thanks for the warning melonhead. We've got some very tiny slugs, but nothing over 1/4 inch in size. From what I've read they live in the soil during sunny days and come out at night and on cloudy days. The wood chips might give them more opportunity to hide, but at the same time you get more places for predators as well.

The best thing you can do if you have a slug problem is to build a pond (of any size). Once you have some frogs living in your garden they will go to town and keep them in check.

I'll keep any eye out for more slugs.

User avatar
Kriegsspiel
Posts: 551
Joined: Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:05 pm

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by Kriegsspiel » Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:12 pm

Do chickens not eat slugs? Can't you just turn them loose upon the wood chips?

halfmoon
Posts: 694
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:19 pm

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by halfmoon » Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:25 pm

cmonkey wrote:The best thing you can do if you have a slug problem is to build a pond (of any size). Once you have some frogs living in your garden they will go to town and keep them in check.
Thus speaks the midwest gardener! ;) We have a large pond filled with frogs, and they're too busy having frog sex to keep up with the slugs. The only possible way we can impact the slug population is rigorous patrol with hedge shears, snipping them in half whenever we see them. Doesn't result in nasty slug carcasses everywhere, because the live slugs quickly consume the dead (soylent green, anyone?). Slug snipping is DH's job, along with killing other things as required. That's the deal; my job is cleaning up nasty messes. When we had numerous dogs, I could snap out of a deep sleep to the sound of a dog puking in the next room.

Back on topic: seems like having a wood chip playground for the slugs would make it easier to find them. Snip, snip.

melonhead
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2017 11:12 am

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by melonhead » Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:54 pm

Chickens will eat small slugs, but typically need to be trained to eat larger ones (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtcD2RcVgrk). We have 6 chickens and have had little success training them. I think if we had more birds I would put more time into it.

I would be concerned with running them through wood chips though. I've heard the sharp edges of the chips can puncture their feet. Once their feet have a wound it is likely to get infected.

User avatar
cmonkey
Posts: 1621
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:56 am

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey » Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:12 pm

The chickens would work a little, but slugs are mostly out at night when the chickens are roosting. Also +1 on the woodchips not being good for their feet. We've had to treat one chicken's foot so far and just found another one that needs treating today. They currently have soft leaves to walk on.

The woodchips would most likely make it a bit more difficult for small slugs to get around because they would have to crawl UP and DOWN each piece of wood. It's also very dry and scratchy, which they hate as well. I would expect to not have much issue, but I'll let everyone know.

George the original one
Posts: 4559
Joined: Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:28 am
Location: Wettest corner of Orygun

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by George the original one » Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:19 pm

I thought ducks & geese are supposed to be more enamored of slugs than chickens?

My favorite use of birds for garden pest control, however, was a bird run made of poultry fencing around the garden perimeter. Took care of the problem that the birds tend to abuse the vegetation too much if left on their own. Basically a chicken moat for the garden!

halfmoon
Posts: 694
Joined: Mon Nov 07, 2016 10:19 pm

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by halfmoon » Thu Feb 16, 2017 7:51 pm

George the original one wrote:My favorite use of birds for garden pest control, however, was a bird run made of poultry fencing around the garden perimeter. Took care of the problem that the birds tend to abuse the vegetation too much if left on their own. Basically a chicken moat for the garden!
This is brilliant, for all sorts of buggy pests. :idea: I feel that chickens are (again) in our future!

I also have heard that ducks are better at eating slugs; not sure about geese, because the ones we had only ate grass. I've seen ducks lunge out of our pond, run across the grass and sieze a slug, then carry it back to eat in the water. I'm guessing that the water is to wash the gluelike slime out of their mouths. I would need kerosene.

This is all species-dependent, of course. Ducks are just as picky as humans: some only dive for food, some never dive, some are vegans, some are pescatarians, some follow the @brute keto diet.

User avatar
cmonkey
Posts: 1621
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:56 am

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey » Fri Feb 17, 2017 6:24 pm

Hoophouse Update


One month ago tomorrow I planted my seed. I think I'm going to have to do some thinning. :D We'll probably have a lot of arugula and lettuce in mid-March which is very early for our climate.

Image

User avatar
cmonkey
Posts: 1621
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:56 am

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey » Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:57 am

February 2017

Another great month - in fact this was a record low for expenses for us. We saved 90% of our income.

Life is just chugging along right now with nothing spectacular going on. Work has been exceptionally busy, but it makes the days go fast. I'm working from home 2 time weekly now.

We spent only 73 on food this month. We have been concentrating on eating what's in our freezer/cubboards that we stored from the garden. So we bought very little. We also haven't eaten out in a long time.

We're starting seeds now - onions, peppers and celery. We're also thinking of starting some peas and spinach in the garden because its been so warm. I'd say about half of the garden is covered in woodchips at this point. We are also finally getting lots of eggs again after getting nothing for 3 months.

I also changed my 401k deposits to 23% so I'll max it out for the year. In December I'll need to change the % so I don't go over.

I've also finally started working on re-finishing the floor in our bedroom, so we had some small renovation expenses.


Expenses/Savings

Total Spend - $585.05
Renovation Spend - $66.35
Normal Spend - $518.70
Total Savings - $5,501.20 ; 90%


Image

Image


Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image


Total FAI - $4,028.83 (+255.37)

Time to Bills Only - 6 Months (-1)
Time to Bills & Food - 20 Months (-1)
Time to TTM Expenses - 42 Months (-4)

TTM Expenses - $13882.23(-729.41)


Our TTM dropped sharply this month and contributed to a 4 month gain in our time to having our expenses covered by investments. :) We are up to just over 8 years of expenses saved at this point and a SWR of 12.36%
Last edited by cmonkey on Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:34 am, edited 1 time in total.

wolf
Posts: 606
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:09 pm
Location: Germany

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by wolf » Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:14 am

Hello cmonkey. Congratulations for your good numbers in february. It's quite impressing. Am I assuming correctly that you are aiming for 2020? That's the point when your passive income rises above your ttm expenses, isn't it?

User avatar
cmonkey
Posts: 1621
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:56 am

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey » Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:30 am

@MDFIRE, August 2020 is the current 'crossover' date, but if our expenses fall as I anticipate them falling, our date will come back to late summer of 2019. I likely won't quit working at that point, because I won't be at 3% yet, more like 3.5%-3.75%, but I might explore other employment options once we cross over. 'More comfortable with more risk' sort of thing.

So it'll be the first step of FI. We'll be FI, but why not try for super-FI? :) As I get closer to 2019, I'm planning to add another goal on my FAI chart. It would likely be another year of work.

User avatar
C40
Posts: 2069
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:30 am
Location: Western U.S.
Contact:

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by C40 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:49 am

90%!? Holy moly!

And spring is such a great time for a gardener. Life is full of possibilities

User avatar
cmonkey
Posts: 1621
Joined: Mon Apr 21, 2014 11:56 am

Re: cmonkey's journal

Post by cmonkey » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:57 pm

C40 wrote:90%!? Holy moly!

And spring is such a great time for a gardener. Life is full of possibilities

:D Holy moly indeed.

Spring is definitely here where I am. We have tons of crocus blooming in our orchard, they spread from last year. Daffodils are poking through, day lilies have 6 inches of growth on them. My plum tree's buds are swelling. I just hope the trees don't bloom for a while yet, they will certainly get knocked off by a cold night.

Post Reply