Judy follows up on her blockbuster video on repotting an orchid. This time she shows us how to water and fertilize our orchid.
Mary McCroan’s video is up on Stubborn Old Gardeners now, describing the advantages of perennial vegetables like French sorrel. Then she shows us how to make a hearty soup using the sorrel.
One of the advantages of shooting these videos is that John Barnes and I got to taste the soup. Yum!
We’re proud to share with you our latest Stubborn Old Gardeners video, in which Jane Mobley demonstrates the RIGHT way to clean and sharpen bypass pruners. Great job, Jane!
Amanda Borden presented at Herb Day on May 13 in Montgomery on “Planting to Attract Bees, Butterflies, and Friends.” Here is the text of her slides:
All four of the books Amanda recommended are on the last slide.
Here is the information Amanda passed around from the University of Georgia:
|Plants for prolonged-blooming bee pasture in the Southeast [xvi], [xvii], [xviii], [xix], [xx], [xxi]|
|Common Name||Scientific Name||Type||Availability||Resource (nectar orpollen)||Bloom Dates|
|Cajeput (Tea Tree)||Melaleuca quinquenervia||tree||feral||n,p||much of the year|
|Chickweed||Stellaria spp.||ann. or per. herb||feral||n,p||much of the year|
|Cucumber||Cucumis sativa||ann. herb||cultivated||n,p||much of the year|
|Pumpkin||Cucurbita spp.||ann.||cultivated||n,p||much of the year|
|Blueberry||Vaccinium spp.||shrub||cultivated, feral||n,p||January-June|
|Cantaloupe||Cucumis melo||ann. herb||cultivated||n,p||February-August|
|Dandelion||Taraxacum spp.||bien. or per. herb||feral||n,p||February-September|
|Dead Nettle (Henbit)||Lamium spp.||ann. or per. herb||feral, ornamental, sometimes invasive||p||February-October|
|Groundsel||Senecio spp.||ann. or per. herb, shrub||feral, ornamental||n,p||February-May|
|Hawthorn||Crataegus spp.||shrub, tree||feral||n,p||February-June|
|Pine||Pinus spp.||tree||cultivated, feral||p||February-April|
|Skunk Cabbage (Polecat Weed)||Symplocarpus foetidus||per. herb||feral, ornamental||p||February-April|
|Titi (Spring Titi)||Cliftonia spp.||shrub||feral||n,p||February-April|
|Blackberry||Rubus spp.||shrub||cultivated, feral||n,p||March-June|
|Black Locust||Robinia pseudoacacia||tree||feral||n,p||March-June|
|Cherry (cultivated and uncultivated)||Prunus spp.||tree, shrub||cultivated, feral||n,p||March-May|
|Flowering Dogwood||Cornus florida||tree||feral||n,p||March-April|
|Mustard||Brassica spp.||ann. or bien. herb||feral||n,p||March-September|
|Persimmon||Diospyros virginiana||tree||cultivated, feral||n,p||March-June|
|Plum (cultivated)||Prunus spp.||tree||cultivated||n,p||March-April|
|Rape (Canola)||Brassica napus||ann. herb.||cultivated oilseed||n,p||March-May|
|Rattan Vine||Berchemia scandens||shrub||feral||.||March-June|
|Redbud||Cercis spp.||shrub, tree||feral, ornamental||n,p||March-May|
|Vervain||Verbena spp.||ann. or per. herb||feral, ornamental||n,p||March-October|
|Alsike Clover||Trifolium hybridum||per. herb||cultivated forage||n,p||April-September|
|Bindweed||Convolvulus spp.||ann. or per. herb||feral, ornamental, sometimes invasive||n,p||April-September|
|Buckeye||Aesculus spp.||shrub, tree||feral||n,p||April-May|
|Buckthorn||Rhamnus spp.||shrub, tree||feral, ornamental||n,p||April-June|
|Catclaw||Acacia greggii||shrub, tree||feral||n,p||April-July|
|Coneflower||Rudbeckia spp.||ann., bien, or per. herb||feral, ornamental||n,p||April-September|
|Crimson Clover||Trifolium incarnatum||ann. herb||cultivated forage||n,p||April-June|
|Elderberry||Sambucus spp.||shrub, tree||feral, ornamental||n,p||April-July|
|Holly||Ilex spp.||shrub, tree||feral, ornamental||n,p||April-June|
|Honey Locust||Gleditsia triacanthos||tree||feral||n,p||April-June|
|Horsemint (Bee Balm)||Monarda spp.||ann. or per. herb||feral, ornamental||n,p||April-October|
|Johnson Grass||Sorghum halepense||per.||cultivated forage, feral, sometimes noxious||.||April-November|
|Marigold||Gaillardia pulchella||ann.||feral, ornamental||n,p||April-October|
|Mesquite||Prosopsis glandulosa||shrub, tree||feral||n,p||April-June|
|Pear||Pyrus spp.||tree||cultivated, ornamental||n,p||April-May|
|Pepper Vine||Ampelopsis spp.||vine, shrub||feral||n,p||April-August|
|Persian Clover||Trifolium resupinatum||ann. herb||.||n,p||April-September|
|Privet||Ligustrum spp.||shrub||feral, ornamental||n,p||April-July|
|Red Clover||Trifolium pratense||short-lived per.||cultivated forage||n,p||April-September|
|Sage||Salvia spp.||ann. or per. herb, shrub||ornamental||n,p||April-May|
|Sweet Clover (White, Yellow)||Melilotus spp.||bien. herb||cultivated forage||n,p||April-October|
|Thistles||Cirsium spp.||ann., bien., or per. herb||feral||n,p||April-October|
|Tickseed||Coreopsis lanceolata||per. herb||feral||n||April-June|
|Titi (Summer Titi)||Cyrilla racemiflora||shrub||feral||n,p||April-July|
|Tulip Poplar||Liriodendron tulipifera||tree||feral||n,p||April-June|
|Vetch||Vicia spp.||ann. or bien. herb||cultivated forage||n,p||April-September|
|White Clover (White Dutch, Ladino)||Trifolium repens||per.||cultivated forage||n,p||April-October|
|Yellow Rocket||Barbarea vulgaris||bien. or per. herb||feral, sometimes noxious||n,p||April-June|
|Alfalfa||Medicago sativa||per. herb||cultivated forage||n,p||May-October|
|American Beautyberry (French Mulberry)||Callicarpa americana||shrub||feral, ornamental||n||May-June|
|Aster||Aster spp.||per. herb||feral||n,p||May-November|
|Bermuda Grass||Cynodon dactylon||per. grass||cultivated forage||.||May-November|
|Carpet Grass||Phyla nodiflora||per. herb||feral, groundcover||n||May-frost|
|Catalpa (Catawba)||Catalpa spp.||tree||feral||n,p||May-June|
|Chinese Tallow Tree||Sapium sebiferum||tree||ornamental||n||May-June|
|Grape||Vitis spp.||per. vine||cultivated||n,p||May-July|
|Palmetto (Cabbage Palm)||Sabal spp.||palm||feral||n,p||May-July|
|Palmetto (Saw Palmetto)||Serenoa repens||palm||feral||n,p||May-July|
|Prickly Pear||Opuntia spp.||cacti, tree-like||feral, ornamental||n,p||May-June|
|Smartweed||Polygonum spp.||ann. or per. herb||cultivated, feral, ornamental||n,p||May-November|
|Sourwood||Oxydendrum arboreum||tree||feral, ornamental||n,p||May-July|
|Spanish Needles||Bidens spp.||ann. or per. herb||feral, ornamental||n,p||May-November|
|Sumac||Rhus spp.||shrub, tree||feral||n,p||May-September|
|Virginia Creeper||Parthenocissus quinquefolia||vine||feral, ornamental||n,p||May-August|
|Anise Hyssop||Agastache spp.||per. herb||feral, ornamental||n,p||June-September|
|Balloon Vine||Cardiospermum halicacabum||ann. or bien. vine||feral, ornamental||.||June-August|
|Blue Vine||Cynanchum laeve||per. herb||feral||n,p||June-September|
|Boneset (Joe-Pye Weed)||Eupatorium spp.||per. herb, shrub||feral, ornamental||n,p||June-November|
|Buttonbush||Cephalanthus spp.||shrub, tree||feral||n,p||June-September|
|Clethra (Sweet Pepperbush)||Clethra alnifolia||shrub||feral||n,p||June-September|
|Cotton||Gossypium spp.||ann. herb||cultivated||n,p||June-September|
|Cowpea||Vigna unguiculata||ann. herb||cultivated||n,p||June-September|
|Cranberry||Vaccinium macrocarpon||evergreen||cultivated, feral||n,p||June-July|
|Ironweed||Vernonia spp.||per. herb, shrub, tree||feral, ornamental||n,p||June-October|
|Lespedeza (Bush Clover)||Lespedeza spp.||per. herb, shrub||feral, ornamental||n,p||June-October|
|Lima Bean||Phaseolus lunatus||herb||cultivated||n,p||June-July|
|Loosestrife (Purple Loosestrife)||Lythrum salicaria||per. herb||cultivated, feral||n,p||June-September|
|Mexican Clover||Richardia scabra||ann. herb||cultivated, feral||n||June-frost|
|Milkweed||Asclepias spp.||per. herb||feral||n||June-August|
|Mint||Mentha spp.||per. herb||cultivated, feral, ornamental||n||June-September|
|Partridge Pea||Cassia fasciculata||ann. herb||feral||n,p||June-October|
|Prickly Ash||Aralia spinosa||shrub, tree||feral||n||June-August|
|Star Thistle||Centaurea spp.||ann., bien., or per. herb||feral, ornamental||n,p||June-October|
|Sunflower||Helianthus spp.||ann. or per. herb||cultivated ornamental and oilseed, feral||n,p||June-November|
|Vitex (Chaste Tree)||Vitex spp.||shrub, tree||ornamental||n,p||June-July|
|Broomweed||Gutierrezia texana||per. herb||feral||.||July-October|
|Goldenrod||Solidago spp.||per. herb||feral||n,p||July-November|
|Ragweed||Ambrosia spp.||herb||feral, often noxious||p||July-October|
|Snowvine||Mikania scandens||per. vine||feral||n,p||July-frost|
|Soybean||Glycine max||ann. herb||cultivated||n,p||July-October|
|Woodbine||Clematis virginiana||per. herb||feral, ornamental||n,p||July-September|
|Brazilian Pepper Tree||Schinus terebinthifolius||shrub, tree||feral, ornamental, sometimes noxious||.||August-October|
|Crown-beard||Verbesina spp.||ann. or per. herb, shrub, tree||feral||n,p||August-October|
|Matchweed (Snakeweed)||Gutierrezia sarothrae||per. herb||feral||n,p||August-October|
|Prairie clover||Dalea spp.||herb, shrub||feral||n,p||September-October|
|Baccharis (Groundsel)||Baccharis spp.||shrub||feral, ornamental||n,p||October-November|
|Strawberry||Fragaria x ananassa||per. herb||cultivated,feral||n,p||December-May|
It took Rhona Watson and me about 15 minutes Thursday to figure out that when I was working alone I had put two motor controller cables in the Y axis cable carrier instead of a motor power cable and a motor controller cable. If that’s incomprehensible to you, just know it’s not a good thing. The fix was to open the Y axis cable carrier back up, change out and reroute the cable, and then close it back up again.
And so goes our work assembling FarmBot. We make a little progress. We figure out something we did wrong. We cuss. Then we fix it and keep moving forward.
By the time we ran out of energy Thursday afternoon, we had connected power to both the X axis motors and had started in connecting the power to the Universal Tool Mount (UTM), the tiny little machine that alternately picks up, uses, and then puts down the key tools in FarmBot’s toolkit.
After several unsuccessful attempts to connect the 12 tiny wires in the UTM cable to the UTM, we made a decision to ignore the instructions from FarmBot about how to connect the wires and devised our own solution. FarmBot’s instructions say we should simply lay each wire against its designated screw and wrap it with a zip tie. Seemed flaky to us from the start and flakier after we actually tried it.
Instead, we ran to Fastenal in Montgomery (can’t get this at Lowe’s) and purchased some tiny 3M nuts. We then compressed each wire between the locknut provided by FarmBot and the nut we purchased. Tedious, but effective.
We’re taking a break until after the plant sale. When we return, we will finish wiring the UTM and move on to installing and connecting Farmbot’s Raspberry Pi computer.
Lee Borden presented a program for OLLI at Auburn on April 24, 2017 on Backyard Fruit. Here is the text portion of his slides:
It’s like when you build a house. When it’s first coming out of the ground, it seems something dramatic is happening every day. That’s the way it was at first with our farming robot. Now things have quieted down, and there are not as many pretty pictures, but we’re making progress nonetheless.
Here’s where things stand as of this afternoon. The cables are in place for the X axis (running the length of the bed), the Y axis (running from side to side), and the Z axis (running vertically up and down). All the cables are safely tucked away in plastic cable carriers that look the tiniest bit like bulldozer tracks.
Next up is to span the gurney (the gizmo that carries all this amazing stuff) and get power simultaneously to the twin x axis motors (one on each side of the gurney). Then we will be mounting a little plastic box that contains the brains of the outfit, a tiny computer called a Raspberry Pi.
We will mount the rack that holds all the tiny tools that FarmBot uses to plant seeds, measure moisture levels, add water, and suppress weeds. And then we will begin to struggle through the seemingly limitless ways things can get messed up on a robotics tool like FarmBot.
Here’s a little video that lets you see how it looks right now.
Friday was a day when Rhona Watson’s husband John and I made good progress on lots of tiny things. We were working with the components that make Farmbot a sophisticated precision farming machine.
I spent WAY too much time figuring out how to download and install the software that Farmbot needs to run its little Raspberry Pi 3 computer. While I was muttering in the corner in frustration, John mounted in their protective plastic box the computer, its little controller, and the shield that protects the controller.
We also put together the “Universal Tool Mount,” the little tin-can implement that alternately picks up to use and then puts down the seeder, the waterer, the soil sensor, and the weeder. Think wires. Tiny wires. Lots and lots of tiny wires. Secured to their mounting posts with, get this, tiny zip ties! Not the way this old man would have designed it, but what do I know?
Each of those implements needs little nubbins, knobs, and noodles to work, and we also put several of those tiny components together.
All in all a good day. Just no pretty pictures to share with you.
Judy May is one of CAMGA’s great teachers. Lean forward in your chair when you watch her demonstrate in our latest Stubborn Old Gardeners video how to repot an orchid. As with all our Stubborn Old Gardeners videos, you can rely on the accuracy of the captions!
We adjusted the tracks, rollers, belts, and motor so the end-to-end motion (that’s the x axis for all of you who speak robot) is nice and smooth.
We attached the cross beam and its supporting columns to those rollers. Farmbot rides from side to side over the bed (that’s the y axis) on the cross beam. Another motor and belt.
Nearly finished, you say? Well, not really. The next step gets very important, very tedious, and let’s just say it, hard. We’re about to begin installing and connecting all the tubes, wires, and cables that translate our direction – as in go plant these seeds – into all the movements needed to respond to that direction. Along the way, we’ll be connecting and installing a computer and what look to be about 146 separate circuit boards.
We’ve adjourned so we can all research the many steps that make up the important work that lies ahead. We’re hoping to reconvene on Good Friday to continue.