Saturday, October 20, 2012

Winter Temps Are Here- Growing Moringa In the House Update

The largest of the Moringa Trees that are not in 33 gal containers in the laundry room/green house experiment. I trimmed them this week as well.  There are more by another window in this room.

Well Tuesday marks the first predicted freeze. It will freeze three days in a row. This is about the time is happened last year as well.  There is a lot here to do in Nevada to prepare for winter. . In the summer here you must open up the chicken and rabbit house so that it does not get too hot.  Now today we had to go in and make it warmer for the animals. I treat my livestock well.  I sleep better at night knowing they are well taken care of.

The goats get a heating element attached to their metal water trough. It keeps the water from freezing. Last year, it did not run up the electric bill much.  They also have a stall with warm hay inside. 

The rabbits have a big shed plus fenced outside area. Inside the shed is two dog houses for the cold nights. They also have angora coats to keep them warm. 

The rabbits and chickens get heated water bowls. I do have heat lamps if we have a severe winter
 The chicken house was originally designed as a green house, so the chickens have a great house for the winter. The building was then turned into a shed. It is ideal because it has light that comes in through the roof, heavy wood walls, a window or two in the sides that can be opened or closed depending on the time of year.  The door going into it does not however have a hinged door.  So I rigged up a heavy duty tarp across the door opening with some room for them to go in at the bottom. This is taken off in the summer, to cool it down. Their roost has hay to help keep their feet warm. 

The only ones not taken care of yet is the ducks. They roam the property and hang out under some trees. I built them an enclosure which they seem to be afraid of. They don't want to be confined even it its warmer in there.  We will see when the cold hits on Tuesday if they will use it or not. The only other solution is running them into the chicken coop. I have tried that several evenings but they split up in one than one direction. Since I am alone with Marty gone at work when it gets dark.....that does not get them in.  Originally they would go in by themselves but have decided they don't want to be penned in. There are 20 of them to herd in. They have eaten the weeds, the bugs, and have been invaluable to keep the area weed free. The chickens help too.  Their water enriched with duck do, is dumped underneath the elm trees every day. Those particular elm trees grew the fastest. They were half dead when we moved here because the house had been vacant for a long time. The duck water also was great for the garden. Diluted it never burned the plants.  So we still have a duck dilemma until I figure it out.

One patio Tomato, one aloe, one Pau d'arco, and several baby Moringa trees in the laundry room.

The Moringa Experiment......

I have observed that the Moringa trees in our spare bedroom-laundry room are still growing slowing. I have also noticed it is warmer there and is getting some sun. So we moved all but the 33 gal Moringa trees into that room.  I set up a humidifier and heater set to 70 degrees. This room can more easily be heated and filled with moist warm air.  We also brought in the two patio tomatoes with a ton of green tomatoes on them. At least we can keep the plants alive until the current fruit gets ripe.  I hope this experiment will show, that I can keep the Moringa trees growing, even if it is slowly all winter. The ones in the laundry room have not gone dormant. They will also get the warmth from the dryer and the wall heater which serves the office, bedroom, and laundry room. There is one in the living room under the grow lights that is still growing as well.  The biggest ones, are  so tall, it makes it difficult to put a grow light on. There are so very heavy that my husband and I cannot move them by ourselves. Originally we paid two big strong kids to move them in from the U Hall.  When you take 33 gallon trash cans then fill them with potting soil, you have a lot of weight. They may just have to stay where they are. It gets sun but will be hard to heat. There is no central heater in the living room.

So we will see how this works. I have about 10 trees from babies to several 3 footers in the laundry room.

I hope by next year to have enough experience growing them in cold areas, to be able to give you more concrete advice. I am still experimenting to see what will work and what will not.  A greenhouse, unless it is heated, will not keep them from freezing in very cold areas. In mild areas like Southern California  you may get away without heat.  The cold winds which started back up here today, will also destroy the trees.  I see them as a survival tree and so to me it is important to figure out how to keep them going through the winter. One woman suggested Christmas led lights around the trees. That is an interesting idea since the Christmas season is almost here. That is not going to save them outside in cold areas. 

So will show you pictures as we go along.  This will be a long winter. On the plus side, we moved here to Stagecoach from Mina....which mostly had disadvantages. There is beauty here in Stagecoach with a million dollar view of the mountains. The area is cheap to live in, inexpensive water, close to civilization if you need it, and we have over an acre of land to our self.  We pay for a house and land, what many are paying for a one bedroom apt in some cases.  This house is $600 for over 1800 sq feet and it is in good shape with a new roof....there are reasons to live in the remoter areas. The neighbors are five star as well.  Our pet sitter lives on one side of our property and will milk the goats later, if we needed to be gone....We are greatly blessed this year! 


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