Welcome to Comstock Seed's new blog. We specialize in Native Seed acquisition and consultation. If you'd like to visit our website, please go to http://www.comstockseed.com/ This blog will cover exciting things that happen on the farm, even if they are not seed related. Enjoy!

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Friday, February 26, 2010

Aeromotor windmill installation

Well, it's about time. We purchased a 1934 Aeromotor windmill 8 years ago. It has a 27 foot tower and will pump well water. We poured the footings on Feb 25th and hope to have the tower up shortly. Stay tuned; Ed

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Owl cam female leaves nest, three eggs in view

Hi folks; This is our first recording of the female leaving her nest. The actual time that she was gone was 3 minutes. Bird friends tell me that the male is bringing her mice but we haven't seen this on the films. Most of our films are made between 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. as they wake up each evening. I hear the eggs will be hatching in another 20 days and we will be providing film of hatchlings for a few months. Stay tuned; Ed

Saturday, February 20, 2010

More coop pictures

Finished chicken coop 2-19-10

Hi folks; We not only finished the chicken coop but we now have 4 resident chicks. They will be "cooped up" for about a month with a brooder box inside the coop to keep them warm. The coop is solar heated during the day and actually climbs to 80 degrees when the sun really shines in. An infared bulb keeps the brooder box in the low 90's for the time being. I can't wait for a month from now when spring weather allows us to open their doors and let them try out the two runs adjacent to the coop. Stay tuned. Ed

Friday, February 19, 2010

New chicks...

4 baby chicks joined the Comstock family yesterday. Any ideas on names?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

owls mating and first egg viewing 2-14-10

Happy Valentines Day! We knew something was up when we noticed one of the owls (the female) was sitting down all the time instead of sleeping on one foot. She's sitting on eggs and if you watch carefully, you can see an egg by her feet when she stands up. We will move the camera up at some point to get better views of the owl house floor.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Owl cam mating 1-29-10

We hadn't seen a female present during the first two weeks of filming. If you look carefully to the left of the owl box, you can see the male looking towards the camera when the female comes through the wall. Stay tuned; Ed

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Barn house construction update

The barn house foundation is progressing. This photo shows the five cinderblock columns installed. Once the weather warms, we will be installing a styrofoam block stemwall that will help keep our solar home warm. After that, we will be bringing the beams out for assembly. Stay tuned; Ed

New chicken coop

A good friend is moving to France and needs a "caring" home for her three hens and one rooster. Do we know anything about chickens? Only from books and warnings from several friends. This coop is rising in the corral next to our tortoise corral. It will have two chicken wire runs as well as three doors. I designed it both for winter warmth and summer coolings. Most walls open up to good cross ventilation and summer shade. I'm hoping for year around organic eggs and yet one more activity to keep Linda and myself busy as the kids are leaving the nest. We are using leftover greenhouse glazing for doors, as well as light and warmth. Stay tuned; Ed

Vineyard installation

Working with Tahoe Ridge Wnery and Full Circle Compost, we have plowed up 1/2 acre of old pasture that has well drain soil. In a few weeks, we will rototill the field and begin forming rows. On March 1st, 300 bare root Frontenac red wind grape vines will be arriving from New York. We will be ammending the soil and augering the holes in early March. We will be putting up grape trellises and installing a drip irrigation system. The grape variety belongs to a group of species called "interspecific hybrids" that we hope tolerate extreme drops in temperature as well as widely fluctuating temperatures. Stay tuned; Ed

Monday, February 1, 2010

1851 barn restoration into our new house

Many years ago, we dismantled an old barn in Quincy, California. We transported the pieces to Gardnerville ten years ago and worked on plans, engineering and permitting for several years. We have now begun construction and the footings have been poured. The following series of pictures show the dismantling and early construction. We are awaiting spring when the stemwalls will go up and we will begin assembling the barn sections. The design is completely solar, off grid, with a constructed wetland as a black water sewer. Stay tuned. Ed

This photo shows the footings that will hold the new structure. It is positioned for maximum solar gain.

new aerial photo of the farm

This aerial photo better defines our farm.