Monday, 5 March 2012

calculus in the garden

KorganIconThe other day I got a chance to use some calculus for real-world stuff.

So our yard is one of those that floods when it rains. It's clay and it has trough shapes. There is one main trough shape and I thought that I would like to get it filled up with soil. So how much soil would I need?

Well I knew I could solve this with an integral. So I went ahead and assumed the curve of the trough was parabolic. Who knows what it was but this was a fair guess.

I went out and measured the depth of the trough and gauged its length. That gave me my parabolic function. It was something like y=-(13/(36^2))x^2+13. The integral of this multiplied by the trough's length gave me the volume of the trough. So it turns out I need around 122 cubic feet of soil.

Turns out that costs somewhere around $200-$500. So looks like I'm keeping the trough. :D

Sunday, 26 February 2012


KorganIcon Haven't posted in forever but since spring's coming, I will have more content soon. In the meantime, here is a picture of Hugh sitting outside.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Hidden Bricks

KorganIcon I was digging around in the yard, and noticed brickwork underneath the weeds just outside the back door. Poking around a bit more, noticed that there was a whole brick path out there. So a couple of hours later, with my trusty pitchfork and sweeping brush, I got it to look like this:

So that's pretty cool.

For comparison, this is how it looked before:


Sunday, 25 September 2011

New Compost Pile

KorganIconHere are some pics of the first compost pile in my garden. Just dumped 3 bags of mowed lawn into it and already it's steaming and rife with happy bacteria :D

Decided that I'm going to have to build a ton more piles to get the amount of compost I need to initialise my garden. Looks like my current garden project is compost batching.

So many people in Conway put their lawn waste out like trash. NOBODY composts! Which is awesome for me :D

Monday, 12 September 2011

Korgan's Garden

KorganIconFinally! We moved house, and I have my very own yard. It was full of long grass and weeds when we moved in a couple of weeks ago. Today, I finally got my hands on a strimmer and attacked that.

Then I put posts in the ground to mark areas and tied ropes to them. Then, we went and got pallets. I tied them together for a quick compost bin. Here are some progress pics and the plan I sketched up.

I'll be updating regularly with progress pics.

Saturday, 6 August 2011

KorganIconI tried to render some fat tonight from Kroger beef.

I've done this before and tallow is usually hard and white. You can snap it. What I got from this Kroger beef was not hard at all. It was exactly what the fat looks like in documentaries about liposuction. It was not cow fat. What the fuck is it?

...and after reading this I'm not keen on trying it again:
"Most of the serious toxins that you read about are lipophilic (or, hydrophobic) and hence will tend to partition into animals’ fat in the wild (i.e. bioaccumulate). Examples include dioxins, PDBEs, PCBs, etc."

Sunday, 24 July 2011

KorganIconWe're moving to a house with a bunch of yard space, and I have a bunch of projects in mind to start as soon as possible. there's a lot of preparatory labour work I have to do, but after that it'll be compost heaps, rainbarrels, wind-powered water pumps (if I can manage it), chickens and bees. Yep. So that starts in a month or so. Finally.