Apr 022013
 

Contest Entries

During each calendar month, Spore Lore will accept postings of residential wildlife habitats to Spore Lore’s facebook page, Habitat It and They Will Come.

click to post your Habitat of the Month entry

Click to post your Habitat of the Month entry.

Contest entries must include:

1) The name of the garden habitat.

2) The 4 components of wildlife habitat:

SHELTER =

FOOD =

WATER =

SPACE TO RAISE YOUNG =

3) At least one picture of the the wildlife habitat.

Entry Awards and Contest Winners

All Habitat of the Month Contest entries will receive a “Habitat It!” bumper sticker.  Habitat of the Month, as in the The Winner, will receive a signed copy of Tony McGuigan’s book, Habitat It and They Will Come.  The month’s winning habitat will be chosen from a review of Comments (facebook) posted to the entry AND ALSO from Tony’s impression of the contest entry.  In the case of a tie, two (2) winners, both declared “Habitat of the Month” will be announced.

Contest entries (postings to the facebook page Habitat It and They Will Come) will be accepted till noon (Pacific treefrog time) of the 28th day of the month (26th day for February).  Contest winners will be announced by 6PM (Pacific treefrog time) on the 30th day of the same month (28th for February).  Contest winners will be announced primarily at Spore Lore’s website (sporelore.com\Blog\Habitat of the Month Contest) and at Spore Lore’s facebook page (Habitat It and They Will Come).

To receive your contest entry “Spore Lore” sticker, and/or receive a book if your habitat is chosen as Habitat of the Month, please email your postal address to habitatofthemonth@sporelore.com; please include the name of your habitat in your email.

Please enter your garden habitat one time only.  However, if significant changes have been made to the habitat and/or significant documentation (like pictures!) of the habitat is available, then the same habitat may be re-submitted as a new contest entry. 

Create wildlife habitat and have fun.

Post your habitat to Habitat of the Month.

Good Luck!

Fine Print — Other Rules

There is no cash value for any contest rewards or contest prizes.

Participants/Entrants of the Contest give Spore Lore permission to leave contest posts on Spore Lore’s facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/HabitatItAndTheyWillCome, and to post Contest entries and Contest winner announcements to Spore Lore’s facebook pages (Habitat It and They Will Come, Spore Lore, and Tony McGuigan), as well as Tony McGuigan’s/Spore Lore’s other social media sites (Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube) and Spore Lore’s website (sporelore.com).   Spore Lore reserves the right to use the winner’s name (if provided in the contest entry), habitat name and habitat location (if provided in the contest entry),  for publicity purposes only in connection with the Contest and for no other reason.

Spore Lore is not bound to announce contest entries/winner/winners. 

GOVERNING LAW: Contest governed by the laws of California and subject to all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations. Accordingly, all issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, interpretation and enforceability of these Official Rules, or the rights and obligations of the Contestant and Sponsor in connection with the Contest, shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of California, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules (whether of the State of California or any other jurisdiction). The Contest is void where prohibited by any applicable law. Contestants, by participating in this Contest, hereby waive and release, and agree to hold harmless Spore Lore and all of its respective officers, directors, employees and representatives and agents, from and against, any and all rights, claims and causes of action whatsoever that they may have, or which may arise, against any of them for any liability for any matter, cause or thing whatsoever, including but not limited to any injury, loss, damage, whether direct, compensatory, incidental or consequential, to person, including death, and /or property, arising in whole or in part, directly or indirectly, from their acceptance, possession, use or misuse of any prize, or their participation in this Contest, or any prize-related activity. By participating in this Contest, Contestants agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of Sponsor. Except where prohibited by law, by accepting a prize, winner agrees that Spore may use the winner’s name, address (state), photograph, likeness, and/or prize information for advertising, publicity and promotional purposes and to the use of statements made by or attributed to winner relating to Spore Lore or to this Contest and grants to Spore Lore any and all rights to said use without further notice and/or compensation except where prohibited by law.


Dec 052012
 
The drilling has begun!

First a video  re “Bucket Watering Can DIY 1 of 4”,  then some  pics of the project (below the video):

Bucket Watering Can DIY 1 of 4 (video):

From the project (pics):

Setting up project space for converting a 5 gallon bucket into a dishwater watering can.

Setting up project space for converting a 5 gallon bucket (left foreground) into a dishwater watering can.  Note our kitchen sink wash bucket (back of table) patiently waiting to be emptied into the new watering can.

 

The drill bit used to create a row of holes for the watering can.  The drill bit used to create a row of holes for the watering can.  The drill bit has a central spike and 2 cutting edges on the side, like an auger (without the screw).

 

Marking the center spout hole -- the drilling has begun! Marking the center spout hole — the drilling has begun!   The new holes will be fairly close to the bucket lid so that most of the water can drain out when the bucket is tipped.

 

Using a utility razor knife to cut the fill hole.Using a utility razor knife to cut the fill hole.  Not so easy as I thought the cut would be but the recessed plug ring helped guide the knife.

 

Happy DIY projects for your Habitat Food Forest.  See you tomorrow.

Tony

 

Nov 302012
 
Shallot stalk, “Do you like my (oak leaf) hat?”

First a video  re “Planting Garlic”,  then some  pics of “Young Garlic Plants AND  Leaf Mulch” (below the video):

Planting Garlic 6 of 6 (video):

Young Garlic Plants AND  Leaf Mulch (pics):

 

Rows of young garlic and yellow onion sprouts.

Rows of young garlic and yellow onion sprouts. The shallots, planted in the foreground soil (next to the collard), have yet to sprout – the best for last!

 

Garlic, yellow onion, shallots, and collard veggie bed along the sidewalk.

Garlic, yellow onion, shallots, and collard veggie bed along the sidewalk. Sure beats a lawn! Note the light covering of oak leaves as mulch, a good erosion protection from the winter rains.

 

Tree collard cuttings 3 weeks after propagation.

Tree collard cuttings 3 weeks after propagation. Some cuttings have been chewed down by snails or slugs, but others are going to thrive past that onslaught of Nature. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Plant enough cuttings to confuse the confounders! And, some of the collard cuttings will make it.

 

Shallot stalk, “Do you like my (oak leaf) hat?”

Shallot stalk, “Do you like my (oak leaf) hat?”

 

Cleaning up the sidewalk gives me plenty of rich, partially broken down leaves.

Rains are coming, so I fetched some sidewalk leaves to mulch the garlic/onion/shallots/collard veggie bed with. Cleaning up the sidewalk gives me plenty of rich, partially broken down leaves. The leaves were also used to extend the veggie bed in Tipped Wine Barrel (see blog entry next week?).

 

Garlic harvest from our sidewalk garden.

Garlic harvest from our sidewalk garden – Straw Bale Recliner Veggie Bed. Note how the garlic was rinsed to remove soil from the roots. The rack (a discarded baker’s tray) will allow the garlic to dry. Nice job, Frau Glory!

 

Happy mulching your veggie bed with leaves.  See you tomorrow.

Tony

 

Nov 292012
 
Straw Bale Recliner Veggie Bed planted with garlic, yellow onion, and shallots.

First a video  re “Planting Garlic”,  then some  pics of “Garlic, Yellow Onions, and Shallots Planting Completed” (below the video):

Planting Garlic 5 of 6 (video):

Garlic, Yellow Onions, and Shallots Planting Completed (pics):

 

Straw Bale Recliner Veggie Bed planted with garlic, yellow onion, and shallots.

Straw Bale Recliner Veggie Bed planted with garlic, yellow onion, and shallots. The dark red dust is blood meal, an attempt to keep local cats from using the unmulched soil as a litter box.

 

A raccoon paw print IN THE BLOOD MEAL!

A raccoon paw print IN THE BLOOD MEAL! The raccoon walked over the bed the first night of the planted crop. Well at least the soil does not look torn up by animals digging deeper in the soil or by cats using the veggie box as a litter box.

 

Happy planting garlic, onions, and shallots.  See you tomorrow.

Tony

 

Nov 292012
 
A bucket is used to break apart garlic bulbs into individual gloves.

First a video  re “Planting Garlic”,  then some  pics of “Garlic Bulbs Dusted with Spore” (below the video):

Planting Garlic 4 of 6 (video):

“Garlic Bulbs Dusted with Spore (pics):

 

A bucket is used to break apart garlic bulbs into individual gloves.

A bucket is used to break apart garlic bulbs into individual gloves that will be planted. The garlic papers will be strewn on top of the planting bed’s soil for mulch and nutrition.

 

Garlic cloves are moistened with water to thinly coat with mycorrhizal spore.

Garlic cloves are moistened with water to thinly coat with mycorrhizal spore.

 

Happy planting garlic, onions, and shallots.  See you tomorrow.

Tony

 

Nov 282012
 
Tree collard cuttings left to thrive in water till planted SOON!

First a video  re “Planting Garlic”,  then some  pics of Tree Collard Planting (below the video):

Planting Garlic 3 of 6 (video):

Tree Collard Planting (pics):

Full grown tree collard (left of Fuji apple tree).

The tree collard cuttings to be planted next to our sidewalk garlic bed came from this full grown tree collard. We harvest collard leaves to eat; the stalks leftover become cuttings to be propagated.

 

Tree collard cuttings to be propagated.

Tree collard cuttings to be propagated. Draw a line between the pruners and the leather sheath – that’s the expected soil line for the cuttings.

 

Tree collard cuttings left to thrive in water till planted SOON!

Tree collard cuttings left to thrive in water till planted SOON! The bucket contained rainwater and fallen leaves, a rich organic soup for the cuttings. Bacteria, fungi, and microbes in the water? Absolutely! And perhaps that’s a good thing. When I find out I’ll get back to you.

For more of Tony’s blog entries on tree collard, see:

20121106-Collard-Propagation–1-of-5-videos

20121107-Collard-Propagation–2-of-5-videos

20121108-Collard-Propagation–3-of-5-videos

20121109-Collard-Propagation–4-of-5-videos

20121110-Collard-Propagation–5-of-5-videos

 

Happy planting garlic, onions, and shallots AND planting tree collard.  See you tomorrow.

Tony

 

Nov 282012
 
Leaf Trench Highway, a fedge (food hedge) and soil-making trench along our garden path.

First a video  re “Planting Garlic”,  then some  pics of Soil Making in Leaf Trench Highway (below the video):

Planting Garlic 2 of 6 (video):

Soil Making in Leaf Trench Highway (pics):

 

Leaf Trench Highway, a fedge (food hedge) and soil-making trench along our garden path.

Leaf Trench Highway, a fedge (food hedge) and soil-making trench along our garden path. The veggie bed lasagna layer of compostables include (bottom to top): alfalfa straw, fresh greens (prunings and weeds), dead sticks and leaves, hay straw, hot (newer) horse manure, compost soil, mulch, and plants growing through the mulch.

 

View from Salamander Resort to Leaf Trench Highway.

View from Salamander Resort (the barrel pond is Salamander Sunny Swimhole) to Leaf Trench Highway. The “highway” refers to the trench’s habitat connectivity ability – the habitat food forest trench is a pathway between Salamander Resort animal habitat AND Cottage Pond animal habitat, which is under the deck in the background.

 

See blog entry 20121119  Patio Veggie Pots 5 of 6 for more pics of soil making in Leaf Trench Highway.

See blog entry 20121120  Patio Veggie Pots 6 of 6 for more pics of soil making in Leaf Trench Highway AND how the veggie bed not only makes soil but also provides animal habitat and habitat connectivity.

Read more about soil making in Leaf Trench Highway at blog entry Planting, finally! AND Soil Making in Leaf Trench Highway.

 

 

Happy planting garlic, onions, and shallots AND making soil.  See you tomorrow.

Tony

 

Nov 272012
 
Skyward Millipede on the move.

First a video  re “Planting Garlic”,  then some  pics of Skyward Pumpkin chop-and-drop (below the video):

Planting Garlic 1 of 6 (video):

Skyward Pumpkin chop-and-drop (pics):

See blog entry Skyward Pumpkins and Happy Halloween for another video of Skyward Pumpkins.

Skyward Pumpkin harvested.

Skyward Pumpkin harvested, taken down from its altar in the crosshatch of bamboo teepee trellis poles. Note the forced out-of-round shape; almost hurts to look at! Also notice the cozy spider web in the cracked-open vine. A red-backed Thompson’s jumper is tucked away, hoping we will GO AWAY!

 

Millipede in Skyward Pumpkin vine.

 

Skyward Millipede on the move.

Skyward Millipede on the move, all kazillion legs. Note the millipede’s segmented antennae and how each body segment has 2 legs on each side of the body. Watch out, millipede, you're headed for Skyward Pumpkin’s butt crack!

 

Skyward Millipede further on down the road.

Skyward Millipede further on down the road. How graceful!

 

 Pics and captions from Tony’s new book, Habitat It and They will Come :

 

Millipede, back (dorsal aspect).

Millipede, underside (ventral aspect).

Figure 4.194  Right Side Up.  Some of this millipede’s characteristics include: doesn’t bite (but does release a cyanide-based fluid that STINKS!), mostly a scavenger of organic debris, short antennae, slow crawler, legs are tucked under the body.  Most of those characteristics are in contrast with a centipede’s: centipedes are fast, long-antennaed, predatory, and pack a mean bite.  Figure 4.195  Up Side Down.  Same millipede, probably more annoyed at this point.

 

Happy planting garlic, onions, and shallots and see you tomorrow.

Tony

 

Nov 252012
 
April 2011. Salamander Castle moved to back garden.

First a video  re “Salamander Castle’s Ant Colony”,  then some  pics of Crossroads Compost (below the video):

Garden Tour (Salamander Castle’s Ant Colony) (video):

Crossroads Compost, a brief history (pics):

January, 2008.  Crossroads Compost was yet to be born.

January, 2008. Crossroads Compost was yet to be born, but the straw bale at the back of the yard, next to the fence, was the seed waiting to be planted. That bale was allowed to age there, providing habitat for soil critters and enriching the soil as it broke down.

 

May 2008.  Straw is stored next to the back fence .

May 2008. By now, we are storing straw next to the back fence (but not touching it) at the junction of our garden paths. There is a bale left intact as a seat, habitat, and future source of old straw. Other bales are pulled apart to create a mat over weeds we wanted to eliminate. Note how low ground level is and how young the plants are: currant (foreground), fig (left, supported by hoops), and the pineapple quava (back right).

 

May 2010.  Trellis vines overhead.

May 2010. The ground level is still fairly low; I have not started to stockpile wood chips in Crossroad Compost yet. The currant is larger and sporting green fruit. Fig and grape vine hover on Kiwi Gondola trellis.

 

April 2011.  Salamander Castle moved to back garden.

April 2011. Salamander Castle moved to back garden. This lucky oak stump was rescued from our nearby bike path, where the massive tree came down. Work crews cut the tree away from the path and left Salamander Castle off to the side, not knowing that its destiny was to become an animal habitat. Note the beginning of the wood chip pile covering the Crossroads, soon to be buried with other chips 3 feet deep – that’s a whole lotta nutrients and moisture for the fig, grape, kiwi, currant, blueberry, pineapple guava, apricot, lemon to enjoy. Salamander Castle was moved next to the currant stand and wood chips were piled against it.

 

Happy dusting ants off yourself (from disturbing their nest) and see you tomorrow.

Tony

 

Nov 242012
 
Earthworm Bin tucked away in the protective shade of a tree.

First a video  re “Garden Tour (Earthworms in Bog)”,  then some  pics of earthworms from our Earthworm Bin (below the video):

Garden Tour (Earthworms in Bog) (video):

Earthworms from our Earthworm Bin (pics):

 

Earthworm bin harvest, rich with red wiggler worms.

Earthworm bin harvest, rich with red wiggler worms, is added to a planting bed.

 

Earthworm Bin tucked away in the protective shade of a tree.

Earthworm Bin tucked away in the protective shade of a tree. Note the brick on top to prevent animals from feasting in the box. Evening primrose flower above; calendula flower below.

Pics and captions from Tony’s new book, Habitat It and They will Come :

Figure 4.143  Earthworm Bin Harvest.  Figure 4.143  Earthworm Bin Harvest.  Worm bin harvest layer over planting mix.  The worms and microbes will continue to feed on the organic matter like the eggshell and rhubarb stalk section shown.  And when all those microbe and crawly critters take a break from eating, they might just breed, or die.  The planting bed has been inoculated with Life — life that translates to nutritious and well-aerated soil for the kiwi vines.

 

Figure 4.190  With A Little Help From My Friends.

Figure 4.190  With A Little Help From My Friends.  Earthworm bin harvest to be placed at the crown of the tree.  These red wiggler worms, a typical compost pile worm, may not stay in the tree mound and surrounding soil on a long-term basis but they will enrich and aerate the soil till they do leave.

 

Happy earthworm harvest and see you tomorrow.

Tony