Monday, March 5, 2018

M. Rabbit's Garden Thoughts and a Homesteading Project

Out in the garden late this past week and weekend
as I was happily playing with some
lettuces and herbs I'd picked up on sale
I thought about springtime and our
sweet Monsieur Rabbit...

A view posted to Instagram just before the spring garden clean up on a late February day when it was particularly warm out.

I puttered about  and as I was cleaning pots and doing
a bit of weeding and just generally having the best time
playing in the garden
I distinctly heard M. Rabbit* asking me a question,
"Pardon me, Madam, but this year do you think
you might be persuaded to fix my ears?"

Well  you see his poor ears were cracked when he left
California a year ago via a large brown truck and
although he was particularly well packed
in his box carrier his poor ears did
suffer this indignation!

*M. est l'abréviation pour le "Monsieur" au Français.

He did  receive a good bath and a pedi scrub
while I was at all this snipping and planting.
This made M. Rabbit quite happy.

Last year and the year previous Monsieur Rabbit helped
in the garden with his words of encouragement
while I worked.
Afterwards, he enjoyed a bit of tea time!

His cousins then came this past year to visit us for a little
Easter spring tea and brought along the sweetest
pink bandanas to use for the tea table.
Ils étaient fantastique!
{It was pretty fantastic, if I do say so myself!}

This year  M. Rabbit is thinking we should have
a salad bar when friends come for luncheon.
His idea has merit as the little lettuces just planted
may be ready for harvest as whole heads by then.

Getting back  to his poor rabbit ears, though,
I talked with him about doing a whole
rabbit makeover...

Meanwhile  sitting at a stoplight early last week
I saw the first trees beginning to bloom ~ isn't this
one just soooo pretty?

And even  our pansies which were covered over much
of the winter during the hard freezes have come back
mightily with their sunny-faced blooms.

This winter  I'd set up a little "heater" to help the plants
during the cold nights with this bucket stuck in another
black greenhouse bucket.

How to make a garden heater

I'd seen a version of this while watching a homesteading
show and thought maybe it would work to protect
our tender plants...

Normally this would be done inside a greenhouse
but I didn't have one and I didn't think our landlords
would let me set up a cement block version
this is what I came up with:

A mini garden heater

1) Fill a container with water and cover with a lid.
2) Paint with black paint or tape off with black duct tape
{which is what I did}
3) During the day the "garden heater" will absorb
sunlight and heat up, then at night it will release
its heat.

Here I've just used the leftover water to water
the newly planted lettuces.
Monsieur Rabbit approved of my recycling!

Creating a heated greenhouse for homesteading

1) Ideally, a greenhouse is built out of cement blocks,
logs, planks of recycled wood on three sides
{or built into a hillside for the third side/back side}
with the fourth side at the front composed of
all glass windows and an entry door.

2) The greenhouse is filled with river rocks for a floor
and then large drums painted black, filled with water
sealed and are placed inside the greenhouse.

The drums or a series of painted pipes would sit
at the front of the greenhouse to absorb
the maximum sunlight during the day.
Both rocks and drums/pipes would heat the greenhouse
all through the night.

3) Shelves are made for potted plants and seedlings
and larger potted plants can be set on the stones.

The heat given off by these water-filled drums or by a series of black painted water-filled pipes at night will create a sustainable warm environment for growing vegetables
throughout the late fall through winter.

4) A roof would be made from logs or framing with
a metal roof covering.
This can be insulated, too.
I was blown away with the whole idea!
I've wanted a little greenhouse for years but in the hot
Southern California climate it was never going to be
a reality ~ plants can "cook" even in wintertime.

But here in Texas...

The possibilities  might become realities!
Monsieur Rabbit definitely approves.

Sharing with
Blogging Fifty
Dishing It and Digging It
Style Showcase
Friday Friends Parade ~ Happy Happy Nester
Wonderful Wednesday

Happy almost spring!

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I am so glad you stopped by today! I appreciate your leaving me a comment, thank you.

Happy hugs to you,
Barb :)

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