runningwaterpottery

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Month: May, 2012

DSC01157

DSC01157

This is part of my main garden space. We are looking North with Runningwater Draw in the background. I’ll have to clear alot of the weeds that have sprouted, using a yo-yo, Cool Hand Luke style! We’ve had several inches of rain in the past few weeks and I don’t want to disturb my moisture.

I’ve seen quite a few farmer plowing their ground in preparation for cotton planting. It was 102 degrees yesterday with a 30 mph wind. It makes me wonder just how much moisture is being lost to plowing because the soil dries out to depth you plow.

You see a pile of mulch in the foreground. I’ll use that to mulch between the rows of okra and whatever else I plant.

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DSC01155

DSC01155

This drawing may clarify my plant and olla layout. The top of the drawing would be looking to the East. The large ollas are about 18″ apart with the cucumbers planted 2 1/2″ from the neck. The smaller ollas are spaced about the same but the peppers are planted in the middle, between the ollas at a 10″ spacing, roughly. The stock tank is 6 feet in diameter so this bed will be like a square foot garden if everything survives!

After the cucumbers are up and thriving, I’ll install some treliss wire behind them and trail them upwards. I hate growning cucumbers on the ground.

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DSC01154

Here is a view looking more toward the South. You can see the lids to the ollas poking up out of the cotton burr mulch. The cucumbers will grow to the left of the ollas. I planted them 2 1/2 ” away from the neck so their roots should wrap around the ollas very early in their development. The peppers are about 10″ away from the ollas. They need less water so I used a smaller olla and wider space. Then I interspersed pinto beans among all the ollas, all the way to the edges of the stock tank.
The cotton burr mulch is about 3 years old. I keep it in a pile under an old carport. The burrs at the bottom of the pile are 11 years old! I use a cold composting process.

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DSC01153

I have cucumbers planted on the far side of the large ollas in the back, behind the cages in the foreground that contain seven peppers. The cages are just 2″x4″ welded wire wrapped with window screen to buffer the wind, difuse the direct sunlight a bit, keep off driving rain and pea sized hail, and to keep out some of the critters. This garden is exceptionally exposed to the elements and there is a large grove of trees in Running Water Draw about 50 yards from the garden…lotsa critters, winged, hooved, and with claws. It’s a wild life refuge with a garden in the middle of it! No kidding! This view is looking East.

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DSC01152

Here’s how I laid out the ollas for my new raised lasagna planting bed. There are three of the 1 1/2 gallons from left to right along the back of the stock tank. They are lighter in color thatn the six 1/2 gallons on the nears side.

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DSC01151

The ollas are headed to Nazareth, TX in about an hour. They filled up the bed of my truck and the passenger’s seat/floorboard! There’s another layer of them under that blanket. Mission almost accomplished!

Olla Delivery

   I will make a delivery to Nazareth on Tuesday, 5/22/12, evening at 6:00 PM. I’ll be in touch with Darryl and see where the delivery will take place. For those in Lubbock, I’ll email you to make arrangements.

   I have a firing going on right now which should be finished later this afternoon. Then I will start another kiln and it will be through on Monday at lunch. Then I will do the final kiln load and stay up till midnight and finish it so it will be cool enough to unload Tuesday afternoon. That’s the plan and it seems to be working very well. I don’t like firing around the clock but I lost a week to to rain and we need to get our gardens planted so I gotta make hay (pots) while the sun shines. I always thought we baled at night…

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DSC01150

I filled up the opposite side of this shelving unit with the smaller ollas. These are the big ones; the 1 1/2 galloners. You can also see the stack of lids toward the upper right.

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DSC01148

Yesterday’s firing is a success. Nothing blew up. I love the feel of toasty pots coming out of the kiln!

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DSC01149

Remeber the lids that cracked 4-5 days ago? Well, I made some more to replace the cracked ones and they too cracked! I used these 4 to illustrate shrinkage in a previous post and now they are starring in a ‘cracked’ post! They are terra cotta and so were all of the ones that previously cracked so I must be treating them poorly or something. I cannot figure out the cracking. Fortunately I have 6 that did not crack but, I have 6 of the 1/2 gallon ollas made from terra cotta clay and no spares! All 6 must survive the firing. So, after lunch it’s back to the potter’s wheel to solve the mystery of the cracked terra cotta.