BBBC Welcome

Hi,

As the kids say these days, “I did a thing and I want to share it with you”.

I’m a Bitcoin, blockchain, and cryptocurrency (BBC) enthusiast/fanboy.  I’m having a fantastic time learning and participating in the BBC ecosystem. I’m making a little money too and that adds to the fun.

Lately, I’ve talked with a number of friends who had misconceptions, fears, and bad facts.  I found that I could help them with a couple simple explanations and a link or two where they could learn more.

So, I’m building a newsletter to help my friends and family understand Bitcoins, Blockchains, and Cryptocurrencies.

I think you might like it and benefit from it so I’m sending you this invitation.

Click Here to Subscribe to my twice-monthly newsletter.

Here’s a link to what I’m doing and why I’m doing it – Boomers, Bitcoins, Blockchains & Cryptocurrencies

First, listening to the news is absolutely the worst place to learn about BBC. I’ve learned a ton over the past 5 years in BBC and will share short accurate explanations so you can form your own opinions based on facts.  I know some of the good places to learn and I’ll share them with you.

I’m an active BBC investor and have formed some beliefs, opinions, and strategies based on what I’ve learned, seen and experienced. I’ll share these opinions and beliefs with you as well.

You should Do Your Own Research and form your own opinions, beliefs and strategies.

I’m not a financial advisor and you shouldn’t take my advice.

Lastly, I’ve learned that most of the power of knowledge lies in powerful thinking questions. I use thinking questions to motivate my own deeper learning. I’ll share these with you a well.

Here’s what you can expect:

I’ll compact it all into about 500 word nuggets that you can read during a break or listen to on your commute.

I’ll also archive them all on my hobby website so it will be easy for anyone to join in at any point in the timeline and go back and fill in concepts from previous posts.

I’ll do this approximately twice each month in an email newsletter.

I hope you’ll join us for some learning and fun.

Click here to subscribe.

– Jeff

New Rain Drip Irrigation for Orchard and Garden

Spring arrives and it is time to use all the rain drip irrigation water that I stored during the Fall and Winter.  It’s also time to expand the garden and build a new orchard and vineyard.

Building More Rain Drip Irrigated Square Foot Gardens

White Sacks of Fertilizer and Grey Tarp to Build Rain Drip Irrigation Square Foot Garden Start
Rain Drip Irrigation Square Foot Garden Start
Square foot gardens are easy to build and much easier to maintain than a traditional dirt garden.  Really, a couple sacks of peat moss, vermiculite and compost is all it takes! Mix then 1/3 each on a tarp and then roll it into a 8×4 foot box on the ground.  I use a weed barrier as the bottom layer to help reduce the amount of weeding needed.

Rain Drip Irrigation in the Origianl Square Foot Garden

Brown and Black Square Foot Garden with Rain Drip Irrigation Installed
Square Foot Garden with Rain Drip Irrigation Installed
My original square foot garden continues to perform well.  I do add a bag of compost every year to help replenish the macro and micro nutrients in the soil.  My rain drip irrigation system is timed to flow enough water so that each plant is low-moist by the time the next watering cycle occurs.  In Texas, I water twice daily for shorter periods rather than once daily.
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The Square Foot Gardens

3 Brown, Black and Silver Rain Drip Irrigated Square Foot Gardens
3 Rain Drip Irrigated Square Foot Gardens
Rain drip irrigated square foot gardens and crowded by design.  That crowding can lead to problems when one type of plant shades another type of plant too much.  In my case, cucumbers compete too heavily with tomatoes.  So, I built two additional SFGs – one for tomatoes and one for cucumbers.  We’ll see how that works out.

Drip Irrigation Vegetable Harvests

Fresh Red Tomatoes
Fresh Tomatoes
I am always so excited to pick the first vegetables out of my garden.  It’s usually the cherry tomatoes and always worth a little celebration right there in the garden.  These didn’t even make it past the garden gate before I ate them!

Rain Drip Irrigation for a Porch Garden

Black and Silver Rain Drip Irrigation for Porch Garden with Green and Red Plants
Rain Drip Irrigation for Porch Garden
My rain drip collection system resulted in a funny little dog leg by my front porch.  A little ingenuity led me to build a small porch garden for plants my wife likes.  You can see the rain spout collection filter on the right side of this picture.  Garden where you can!

Cherry Trees in Texas?

Brown and Green Royal Lee Cherry Tree
Royal Lee Cherry Tree
The nursery in my area found a variety of cherry tree that has low enough chilling hours to qualify for growing in Texas.  I love cherries and am very excited about these bare-root cherry trees growing and producing in my rain drip irrigated orchard.

Rain Drip Irrigated Orchard Starts to Grow

Brown and Green Orient Pear Tree Adding Leaves
Orient Pear Tree Adding Leaves
Pear trees do very well in Texas and this little guy is growing quickly. This picture was taken in March when it was 24″ tall.  As of July, that tree is well over 12 feet tall!

Drip Irrigated Vineyard Starts Growing

Green Austin Dewberries on Brown Mulch
Austin Dewberries
These Austin Dewberries are starting to take off nicely from their rain drip irrigation!

Dweberries Don’t Like a Trellis

Green Dewberries Don't Like Silver Trellis
Dewberries Don’t Like Trellis
I have learned that dewberries do not like a trellis for their primacanes – no matter how much rain drip irrigation I provide.  I’m going to put these primacanes back on the ground for this season and try to move them to a trellis in Winter so that the floricanes are easier to harvest.  It’s also harder for snakes to hide on a trellis!

Orchard Gates and Hinges

Yellow and Green Orchard Fence Gate Hinge
Orchard Fence Gate Hinge
Each tree and vine in my rain drip irrigated orchard and vineyard have a fence around them to prevent the deer from eating the leaves.  But, to tend the trees and vines, I need to be able to get inside those small fenced enclosures.  Also, and possibly more important, I need to be able to get to the tree and vine to appreciate what it is doing and how it grows.  So, I build little gates for each enclosure from cattle/hog panels.  I devised a little trick using a wire insulator from an electric fence to function as a gate hinge.  They aren’t terribly sturdy and do wear out quickly but they definitely meet their goal of providing easy access to my trees and vines so I can more easily adjust my rain drip irrigation flow nozzles.

Summary of Rain Drip Irrigation for Orchard and Garden

Winter fades and the trees and vines in my rain drip irrigated orchard and vineyard and sprouting leaves and growing.  Spring arrives and it is time to expand my rain drip irrigated square foot gardens. I am very glad I expanded my rain drip irrigation collection tanks from a couple thousand gallons to over 5000 gallons!  I’m going to need more storage for the orchard and vineyard – always something to fuss with in a rain drip irrigated garden and orchard!

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Living the Bobwhite Quail Dream

Last Sunday I realized a big part of my Bobwhite Quail Dream.  When I started raising wild bobwhite quail a few years ago, I did so because my bird dog was getting ruined on pen raised birds and there weren’t any wild bobwhite quail available.  My goal was to hunt quail anytime I wanted.  Last Sunday on a hot Texas June morning, we got 15 points – a new record.  I know my dog is living the bird dog dream!

Point Bobwhite Quail All Year

Orange and White Brittany Dog on a Bobwhite Quail Point
Bobwhite Quail Point
We are very fortunate that our hard work has paid off.  We can consistently find bobwhite quail to point all year long.  We are much more cautious during the breeding season so as not to disturb the covey and scatter the chicks, but we definitely hunt and point them anyway!

Wild Turkeys Benefit from Bobwhite Quail Habitat

Grey and White Wild Turkeys on a Green Grass Field
Wild Turkeys
Raising bobwhite quail is hard. Getting them to stay and reproduce is even harder.  But, those efforts also benefit other species – like wild Rio Grande Turkeys.  I’m not a turkey hunter but have friends that are and they think this is great!

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Farming for Bobwhite Quail

Dark Brown Plowed Ground with Green Grass Surrounding for Bobwhite Quail Food Plot
Plowed Ground for Bobwhite Quail Food Plot
Getting the bobwhite quail chicks from hatch to release is only the start.  They are there but they are going to wander to the best habitat they can find.  I actually do more and spend more in habitat management than in actually raising the chicks.  I am in the process of figuring out “quail strips” that look somewhat like the pheasant strips you see in the midwest.  They will have adequate cover and protection while providing great nutrition for each stage of a quail’s like.  This mean that I get to drive a tractor and do a little farming.  If you haven’t farmed then you’re missing something really cool. I expand my food plots each year and this is a picture of breaking new ground to plant.

Scattering and Covering Bobwhite Quail Food Plot Seeds

Green and Black Mule Dragging the Bobwhite Quail Food Plot
Dragging the Bobwhite Quail Food Plot
Planting seeds on a largish scale to feed bobwhite quail is a challenge.  My plots aren’t big enough for large commercial equipment so sometimes I just have to make do.  I scatter the seed with a seed thrower – just like you use in your yard.  But, the seeds need to be covered – just a little bit – and dragging an old railroad tie around the freshly planted area seems to do the trick nicely.  My plots are getting larger and I am in the process of rebuilding an old seed drill so my planted seed stand a better chance of germinating and growing evenly and to full production.  Hand scattered seeds have a density problem.

Seeds Planted in Bobwhite Quail Food Plot

Rich Red Dirt Holding Seeds Planted in Bobwhite Quail Food Plot
Seeds Planted in Bobwhite Quail Food Plot
Very few things are as pretty as a freshly plowed, planted and dragged food plot.

Bobwhite Quail Food Plot Seeds Germinate

Light Green Young Seedlings in Brown and Grey Bobwhite Quail Food Plot
Young Seedlings in Bobwhite Quail Food Plot
It takes a week or so for the bobwhite quail food plot seeds to germinate and break ground.  But, when they do it is always a special occasion for celebration.

Better Seed Planting for Bobwhite Quail Food Plots

Green John Deere Seed Drill for Bobwhite Quail Food Plot
Seed Drill for Bobwhite Quail Food Plot
Hand scattering seeds is very inefficient.  The seed density is very random and this causes issues with plant growth and maturity – not mention harvesting if you plan to do that – I don’t.  I purchased an antique seed drill.  It needs some work and repairs and I expect it to be ready by Fall 2015 for testing.  When it does work, a single pass with the seed drill will take the place of walking with a hand scatterer and then dragging with a mule and railroad tie.  But, it should have a much bigger impact on the quality of the plants that the seeds produce and allow me to farm a larger area and hold more bobwhite quail in the habitat.

Wild Dewberries as Bobwhite Quail Food

Pink and Red Wild Dewberries for Bobwhite Quail
Wild Dewberries for Bobwhite Quail
We are fortunate to have a bunch of wild dewberries on our ranch where I raise bobwhite quail.  This year was a spectacular season due to the higher than normal Spring rains.  Dewberries area also delicious for humans and I can seldom walk past a vine loaded with berries.  But, be careful!  Snakes LOVE dewberry patches as hiding and ambush spots for smaller animals.  Get a long stick and make sure the snakes have left before you start snacking!

Hog Snares and Bobwhite Quail Management

Silver Wire Hog Snare in Brown Dirt Hole
Hog Snare
We don’t have a hog problem.  We used to have a hog problem and now we have an occasional hog situation.  We constantly run hog snares in our fencelines to trap hogs.  Hogs pose two threats to wild bobwhite quail.  Hogs will find and eat eggs in the nest.  Hogs also love tearing up my bobwhite quail food plots.  So, we are fortunate to have managed downward from problem to situation and only see or snare a couple every year.

Dead Hog

Dead Black Wild Hog on Green Grass with Black Pistol
Dead Hog
This young boar was caught recently in one of my snares.  Unfortunately, he was caught by the leg instead of the neck.  This can present a distinct problem and danger when the time comes to untangle the mess of a very live and angry hog from a tough wire snare.  In this case, the hog actually jumped and broke the snare as I approached.  It took an entire clip to do the job but the job got done.

Summary of Bobwhite Quail Dreams

It took 3 years before I ever saw a wild bobwhite quail more than 2 weeks after a release.  This was hugely disappointing but I didn’t give up.  I doubled down and started habitat management in addition to continuing to raise batches of surrogated bobwhite quail. I cut brush, fixed fences, snared hogs, planted grain and built water/wet spots for bugs. But, the effort was entirely worth it.  Now, I can hunt and point wild bobwhite quail almost any day we feel the notion to.  Nice!  Dog agrees!

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