Research Project No. 7 — Hot Box Compost: Modular Composting System that Heats, Waters, and Fertilizes Grow Bed for Off-Season Production

This project tests the performance of a modular, scalable compost box that uses a composting chamber to support an attached growing bed with nitrogen, moisture, carbon dioxide, and heat to grow greens in the shoulder and off seasons; includes a series of controlled tests to determine best practices. … More Research Project No. 7 — Hot Box Compost: Modular Composting System that Heats, Waters, and Fertilizes Grow Bed for Off-Season Production

Lessons Learned in Small-Scale Wheat Harvest, Part II: Threshing, Storing, and Grinding

This year we harvested a tenth of an acre of modern red winter wheat from our neighbor’s field. I wrote up a few impressions soon after harvesting the wheat in a previous blog post, but here I hope to summarize more technical aspects of this process and suggestions for myself and others who hope to … More Lessons Learned in Small-Scale Wheat Harvest, Part II: Threshing, Storing, and Grinding

Late-Season Crops

It is high summer, but I have to be thinking about what we will be eating this fall. The average first frost date for this area is September 30th. That means I have just over sixty days of growing outside. The greenhouse next door will give me another week or two and our own greenhouse … More Late-Season Crops

Homemade Plant Fertilizer: Urine + Ashes

Nitrogen is the biggest bottleneck in post-fossil-fuel food production. Before the advent of the Haber-Bosch process, which compresses atmospheric nitrogen (N2) and hydrogen (H2) into ammonia fertilizer (NH3), nitrogen was harvested everywhere it could be found, from remote islands covered in bird droppings (even leading to a war) to domestic dung heaps. Surprisingly enough, the … More Homemade Plant Fertilizer: Urine + Ashes