Friday, April 3, 2015

Spring has arrived 

Sorry for being gone so long.  I always send out holiday cards to all the grand kids, aunts and uncles, and a few select friends.  In all there are 17 cards with personal notes and a blog like letter pertaining to the holiday that gets sent out.  This year it seemed like the Valentine's, St. Patrick's, and Easter holidays were packed back to back with not much recovery time in between.  Well, and maybe it's just a wee bit of procrastination that put the stress on the holiday cards. 

This is my latest project to tinker with.  Across the street from Terra Nova Gardens is a neighbor that gave me this beauty.  It's a chipper vac with a five horse Tecumseh engine.  Of course it wouldn't start which presented a challenge that I couldn't refuse.  For an engine to run it takes air, spark, and fuel.  After unclogging the chipper chamber and fixing the starting cord recoil, I found that of the three things needed for an engine to run fuel was an issue.  Any time an engine sets for a long period of time the gas will gum up the carburetor.  So an online search found a carburetor kit for $11 or an entirely new carburetor for $17.  It was a no brainer decision to get the new carburetor.  Here you see me installing the new carburetor.  A new air filter was installed as well.  I found that this little jewel was about 25 years old even though it doesn't look it.  It probably hasn't been used much by the looks of it.  However the chipping process was less than impressive.  Two key things for use on the chipper/vac are the plastic snout for the front ($150) and the bag to catch to chips on the back ($100).  Too much money to invest in an old chipper for me so I'm not sure what I'll use it for.  Online searching came up with a value of $300 just for the engine in a used condition so if nothing else that would be worth the effort of getting it running.  With a little coaxing after the new carburetor was installed the engine roared to life.

I've been watching a lot of British gardening shows on YouTube this last Winter.  My language has changed just a bit after that much British influence.  One of the things they talked about was "chitting" potatoes.

Now, chittin' potatoes as the British would say (they have this habit of forgetting to pronounce the last letter of a word) is when you put your potatoes in empty egg containers and let the eyes of potato sprout.  So, yeah, I been chittin' potatoes for about a month now and am plannin' on getting them planted soon.   Today, Good Friday, is supposed to be the traditional day for planting potatoes in Nebraska.  Maybe even today the first layer of potatoes will be planted.  Some may remember last year when I didn't take very good care of my seed potatoes and most rotted in the bucket.  Since now I know how to chit potatoes properly, they should grow a lot better.
I've been out in Terra Nova Gardens quite a bit in March.  I was totally embarrassed by the condition of the garden this Spring.  Weeds had really taken over last year after I threw up my hands and gave up.  The last straw was when the very last part of May a big storm blew through with 100+ MPH winds, seven inches of rain that caused flooding, and baseball sized hail.  It totally destroyed every thing in the garden for the third time.  I just didn't have anything left to plant and the nurseries only had the dregs of plants left.  This Spring has required much clean up.  I am hopeful for a good gardening year for this year. 

I'm just about ready to plant the basement buckets with tomatoes and green peppers but that's for another post that will a little sooner than the last one.  Until then plan on planting some thing this year.  It will make you feel better. 


  1. Hello! Happy Easter!
    You like a good challenge project don't you? I hope you get tons of potatoes. We keep getting tastes of spring and then some winter back at us. I keep holding off on putting out too much. When friends tell me what they're planting on a warm day, I hope the weather holds for them.
    Take care.

  2. Chittin' is a new one on me. (By the way, we Southerners tend to drop our "g's" too). I'm annoyed that we still haven't planted our potatoes. Here we aim to plant them around St. Patrick's Day. Now it's raining again and the garden I plan to use is mostly clay, so I'll have to wait awhile.

    Excited to see what Terra Nova gives you this year!