Category: Homesteading

Ohio Nursery Licensing

Anyone growing plants for sale in Ohio needs to have their plants inspected for pests — the idea is similar to not moving firewood to prevent the spread of insects … if you are going to be sending plants elsewhere, it is a good idea to ensure you are not also exporting ecosystem destroying bugs!

Relevant definitions are found in ORC 927.51— including what constitutes ‘nursery stock’ — and ORC 927.55 lists exceptions where a license/inspection is not required. It appears that you do not need a license to sell plants that cannot overwinter in Ohio (I see the logic there — if a bug or disease impacts PlantX and PlantX is only going to last a few months … we probably don’t need to worry about rampant spread of that bug or disease) or plants in bloom (that’s an odd exception — but explains how the folks I see selling chrysanthemums in the Autumn do so without a license). While there is a dealer license, that is for resellers and nurseries do not appear to need a dealer license. A nursery, instead, can get a license for additional sales locations.

The nursery license is about $100 a year (plus $11 per acre of production space), and you can apply for a permit online at https://www.apps.agri.ohio.gov/NILS

There is an annual inspection of the growing facility and plants — presuming the inspection doesn’t identify any serious pest or disease infestations, a certificate is issued. The certificate must be displayed in the nursery.

If selling plants for resale (wholesale or resale), then a copy of the certificate must be included on each box/package sent out. If you plan to ship plants outside of Ohio, other states may require a phytosanitary certificate from the Ohio Department of Agriculture. If you plan to ship outside of the United States, there’s an additional federal phytosanitary certificate process through the US Department of Agriculture.

Kahtoola MicroSpikes

I picked up a pair of MicroSpikes and NanoSpikes at the end of last season as retailers were clearing out their winter gear. These are awesome for walking in the snow and ice — I wasn’t sliding around at all.

The negative five degree temps (negative thirty with windchill) taught me that I’m not quite done purchasing winter gear — my balaclava kept most of my face warm, but ski goggles for the little bit of skin around my eyes away from the blowing ice.

Ash Kit

Ash Kit is doing well — he stays in Anya’s room at night, and I’m trying to train him to pounce on Anya to wake her up when the alarm starts in the morning.

Geothermal Energy Use — Multi-Year Analysis

I’m starting to look at some year-long roll-ups of our energy usage – the geothermal is running just around $700 a year to both heat and cool the house to really comfortable levels. Since we had paid $800 to fill up the propane task that lasted maybe a month, this is an incredible saving compared to the propane heater.

2020 Energy Usage

2021 Energy Usage

2022 Energy Usage

Planting Garlic

I planted our garlic today — an assortment of varieties filling one of the raised beds.

I only added about an inch of mulch to the bed. The garlic I planted last year never formed heads — we had lots of green leaves, beautiful scapes that we harvested quickly … but no garlic bulbs! Evidently garlic cloves need exposure to cold temperatures in order to form bulbs. You can actually mulch them too well! Hopefully I’ve got enough mulch to suppress weeds and retain moisture but not so much mulch that the cloves are too toasty this winter.

Ash’s Age

We’re trying to figure out a birthday for Ash — On August 08th, we thought there was a bigger Cali-Kitty … but that was probably just Patches being pregnant. Patches didn’t look pregnant anymore on September 05th, and on October 11th we first saw the kittens. There are just over five weeks between these two dates. Five or six weeks old (per a quick Internet search) is about the time kittens have good enough vision & are coordinated enough to be running around and starting to play.

That means he was probably born a few days before September 5th … now we have to figure out a cake for cats … tuna cake? Well, we’ve got about nine months to figure it out 🙂

Turkeys in the rain

It’s the time of year where people on TV keep saying that turkeys are soooo stupid that you cannot leave them out in the rain because they’ll look up and drown. I cannot speak for the broad-breasted white franken-turkeys from massive turkey farms, but you know what you get if you put a black Spanish turkey out in the rain? A wet turkey!

In warm weather, they seem to like the rain. Our turkeys rarely run for shelter when it is raining.

New Batch of Soap

We made a new batch of soap this evening — my normal 20% superfat coconut oil recipe but with 2 oz of beeswax. Anya melted the oils, and I mixed in the lye.

I mixed in a cool blue pigment. The portion I was stirring stayed nice and fluid, but the un-colored soap seized up rather quickly. Anya swirled it around in the mold. The cool blue color … turned purple!

All in all, it wasn’t my most successful soap making adventure 🙂 But it’ll clean us up (and we were pretty much out of soap in the house!)

Bath Time for Kittens

Ash had his first bath today — he was pretty calm. He wasn’t super thrilled to be walking around in a tub full of water, but he loved her rubbing soap into his pelt. Getting rinsed off wasn’t awesome, but he was happy to be snuggled in a fluffy towel and dried off.