Have started planting my winter greens spinach, kale, beet tops and some new ones too.. I am also going to start doing cuttings from my sweet potatoes, black berry bushes, Raspberry bushes, and try some fruit tree cuttings too. Maybe a few flowers this year also. I did some strawberries through last winter and they did well and will try them again this winter. I am adding light and heat to them this year too… Haven’t ever done any extended light or added heat before.. I think it will be a great year for this. Will try to keep pictures and growth posted with time. This is my first raised bed that I have covered for winter greens, I still have 3 more to do later this fall. It is a lot of work to clean up and remove old plastic and strips along with all the weeds and other obstacles before being ready to do the recover and planting. Will add new rabbit poo and maybe other organic matter for mulch to the soil before planting. The bed that I have planted and replanted is not covered yet and will add a couple of pictures as soon as possible. The kale is doing good and the spinach and beet’s are far behind but should show up in pics. If interested please follow and comment as needed to help or encourage too. Thanks Calvin Allen
Starting My Winter Planting of Cold Frame Crop’s and Cuttings
Calvin graduated from Mineral Area College, majoring in Electronics, Physics and Math. He has worked at Westinghouse Electric as a design engineer for 3-phase transformers and Quality control of built product and at Callaway Nuclear Plant in start-up support and Materials Engineering, Electrical division. He has had owned his own business in electrical and communications for over 20 years and has built several homes as a general contractor. However his biggest interest is in providing Alternative Resources of Energy for rural homes and industries at a reasonable non cost-prohibited expense to customers. Calvin also had a small greenhouse business to help fund his college education and continued to do greenhouse and gardening for a added income through out the years.. Loves to garden and work with plant care. Calvin also did several years of electronic service and repair of Electronic equipment on hybrid and tube type of equipment. Calvin still studies about organic chemistry and other alternative energy services and supply solutions. Currently working on some inexpensive DIY collectors from 4 inch schedule 35 pvc with spray adhesive and alluvium foil to heat water or antifreeze for heating system.. Will show work as completed.
I came across your website, while surfing for solar panels on craigslist…Can you send me the spec. sheet on the 300W panels you have displayed there? My wife and I are in the midst of building our farm house on 74 acres we purchased back in 2008 outside of Richwoods, MO. I see that you gave Davisville, MO as your place of residents; Not that far from us by backroads, although I have never driven it that way… I wanted to suggest to you to maybe think about using Solexx as substitution for plastic on your coldframes…I have not tried this yet, but have given it some thought as a cover to convert a carport into a greenhouse. I have heard that it does not break down under uv light, with some people claiming after 12 years that it still is as good as new!!! And it has better heat retention than plastic. Have you thought of creating a controller to monitor inner coldframe temps and venting as required. Also, check out farmbot.com, which you may find interesting. We are in the process of finishing our home and have been looking for someone to consult and guide us on building an off grid hybrid wind and solar system. We currently are limping along on one (1) 230W panel and an array of batteries (total of 48 volts). We live and work in St. Louis county, but spend 3 days a week at our future home, working on getting into the farm location ASAP (My wife and I are both avid gardeners) and getting settled into a rural way of life. (Probably won’t happen until next Spring, but we are still planning on working on site through the Winter, when possible.) I use the panel setup mostly for keeping the batteries charged up enough to use with construction tools; I plan to test running our well pump in the near future as I have never tried it with this set of batteries and our 3500W Inverter. Have you done much RE work in our area? Oh, by the way, I am an Electronics Technician by trade for over 25 years, so RE is one of my interests, as well as music, and gardening.
I added new pics on craigs list and one of the pics has the back label on it CanadianSolar 300 watt 44.6 Voc 8.3 amps
Stuart, I was reading your comment again and looked up the solexx martial for greenhouse use. A customer of mine uses this on their frames and the frames were made from red wood. They purchased the product as a ready made system and it was quiet costly but very long lasting. Better to spend once and not have to redo if possible though. If you are doing the labor and don’t have a lot to do, or enjoy redoing things, then there are less expensive ways of doing it. Otherwise if this is just one of a long list of projects, then this is a great way to do it, if affordable for the project.
Stuart, I was wondering what kind of charge controller and Inverter you are using for your system too. Can you add several more panels without changing your system or would you have to add more items besides just the panels? You could add just add a panel at a time if you have the right equipment. You said you have a 48 volt system so I am guessing you either have 4 each 12 volt batteries or 8 each 6 volt. Which are you using for your storage? I am setting up a store front in Cuba Missouri and will be selling my panels up there also in the new future. Call me if you have any interest or want more info, Please. Thank You Calvin Allen 573-743-6357