Prepping: The Great Tomato Race

Follow-up today (with some pictures) from this year’s hydroponic build.  We are running a race, of sorts, between the hydroponic tomatoes and their cousins grown in the dirt and in more controlled conditions in large pots in the greenhouse.  Junior high school science project?  Not quite…

If you plan to eat when the crap hits the fan (TSHTF), and you have some solar panels, which growing method is ‘best’ given where you live?

Fun stuff- and since tomorrow is a holiday and the markets close early today, why not get down with our hoes and party a bit?

After some headlines with the latest jobs data just hitting and our Aggregate Index view of markets…

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19 thoughts on “Prepping: The Great Tomato Race”

  1. Good one today George. May I suggest you look at Masterblend plant food. I have been using the tomato and vegetable formula the past couple years and prefer it over miracle grow. This year I supplemented it with Foxfarms beastie blooms during the blooming stage greatly increasing blooms.

    I lost a part of my hoophouse to a line of thunderstorms a couple of weeks back bringing high winds, hail and nearly 6 inches of rain over a Friday and Saturday. The storms came through while I was away overnight so the system was flooded with rainwater. 20 plants lost leaving the remainder of this year’s tomato garden that is planted in containers and in the ground.

    This fall I am starting an Aquaponics set up.

    • All Superb ideas…thanks ever so much.

      You know, one of the things that sets Urban apart (and Peoplenomics) from most sites is we aren’t just here to monetize the shit out of things. We really DO walk the talk – wait till you see our first squash picture tomorrow…yum…

      Prepper sits seem like they are all=over the selling of stuff..but when comes to using – and pertinent here GROWING enough to feed a family, I don’t think anyone has done much on prepping fertilizer save the stuff on the old Urban site…

      The squash? It’s ready to fry or grill (Elaine’s call on that part) but with some BBQ country-style pork (boneless) and a couple of ears of corn and maybe 28 OZ of Sangria each, this will be a kicked-back Fourth..

      I’ll try the Masterblend on the fall garden and report back. Again, many thanks.

      • A big bag of Wally World 13-13-13 works, unless someone else has it on sale cheaper. Dad would only used composted cow manure from a feedlot for tomatoes, which were his specialty. He wasn’t above using bloom set in the heat of the summer.

  2. Urgent consultations in Washington, Moscow on reported US-Russian submarines in firefight

    First reports reaching DEBKAfile’s military sources say that a US submarine intercepted a Russian nuclear sub in American waters opposite Alaska. The Russian sub escorting the nuclear submarine responded with a Balkan 2000 torpedo and scuttled the US vessel. Urgent consultations in both the White House and the Kremlin were taking place on Tuesday night. US Vice President Mike Pence called off an appearance in New Hampshire after being recalled to Washington for a conference called by President Donald Trump without explanation.

    Entire article may be read here:

    11:59, anyone…?

    • This sounds like rewrite from Sorcha what’s her name. Great revenue ploy, low on ascertainables…

      OTOH we didn’t go long over the weekend, lol.

    • Rumor is Trump will be declaring martial law. The “military parade” is reinforcing the capitol building.

    • Sir,

      Yes, the lazy days of summer are upon us! Those tomatoes are going to throw some serious shade and squash the competition. As for doing next to nothing, let’s throw caution to the wind and embrace doing nothing. I’m adding Jenny Odell’s book, “How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy”, to my reading list.

    • I have been able to confirm most of the following:

      …meetings have been taking place at the White House this afternoon, with Vice President Pence being called back to the White House and having to cancel his scheduled trip to New Hampshire.

      As Pence was being called back, word broke in Russian media that Russian President Vladimir Putin cancelled a public event he had long scheduled, and diverted immediately for a meeting with his Defense Minister.

      Nobody’s telling me anything, even off the record or by omission (if there’s anything here, my paygrade is ‘WAY too low to hear any relevant scuttlebutt), so it’s damn’ hard, confirming anything. That said, I picked these up via directed searches (Geez, I miss AltaVista…)

      I consider them rumor or blather, until I can confirm or reject them (this is a part of my “news sniffing” which I never publish. I’m making a one-time exception because it is prescient to discussions at US/PN…

      “MOSCOW, July 2./TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has instructed Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to fly to Severomorsk to ensure a thorough investigation into the reasons behind the fire aboard a Russian navy submersible.

      “I ask you to fly to Severomorsk in order to personally listen to the reports and to aim the commission to get to the bottom of the causes of the tragedy,” Putin told the defense minister.

      “I ask you to report to me personally upon your return,” Putin said…

      “…The president stressed that the tragedy had occurred on board an uncommon research vessel. “The crew were top professionals. According to your early reports seven among the 14 casualties were captains rank, two were heroes of Russia,” Putin said. “This is a big loss for the fleet, for the army in general,” the president emphasized.”

      “An unnamed national security source told Russia’s RBC news service the vessel was an AS-12 deep-sea nuclear mini-sub, nicknamed the Losharik, which was designed for both research and military special operations. It has the capability to dive down thousands of meters, which would make it ideal for surveying and possibly cutting cables. NATO has warned that Russia has sent submarines to examine undersea cable networks over which a large portion of the international data is transmitted over the internet, but it has not been confirmed that the submarine was engaged in such a mission.

      Still, the incident, described as being the worst for a submersible in a decade, coincides with a major internet outage across the U.S. and Europe on Tuesday, as Cloudflare, an internet-hosting platform, was experiencing issues.”

      “As Pence was being called back, word broke in Russian media that Russian President Vladimir Putin cancelled a public event he had long scheduled, and diverted immediately for a meeting with his Defense Minister.

      At that meeting, both Putin and the Defense Minister SUMMONED the General Secretary of the Russian Armed Forces to the meeting.

      While that was taking place, the European Union headquarters in Brussels Belgium called an Emergency meeting of the EU National Security Council and, separately, the British Government called a COBRA meeting for its government.”

      UPDATE 7:36 PM EDT —

      I will give this Intel to you exactly how I just got it. Make of it what you will:

      “An unnatural mobilization at US and Western military bases in the Persian Gulf and in the Gulf states”


      Kremlin says details of a fire that killed 14 crew on a deep-water submersible will not be made public because they include classified information

      Axios and Russia Today have multiple, disjointed stories also, but like the above, display 21st Century journalistic license (That is: Opinion and speculation rather than journalistic integrity) and contribute nothing beyond the above quotes. ‘Most everything is c/p from DEBKA, from TASS or RBC (Russian Broadcasting Company, I believe), or from Hal Turner, which may make for a dandy conspiracy theory, but doesn’t proffer any confirmation or proof of anything.

      • “An unnatural mobilization at US and Western military bases in the Persian Gulf and in the Gulf states”

        I try to stay oblivious over such matters….
        for me at least Ignorance is bliss instead of having the feelings that you should be cowering in your closet go out and start up the grill and have a bratwurst or burger..or maybe some smoked beer can chicken..
        We can’t change anything the puppeteers are planning on doing or getting our country involved with they live by their own rules and they own our political system …
        but as far as the countries mobilizing..
        I personally think they have been doing that for a while now..when I got the heeby jeebies.. was when I seen UN military units and mobile missile defense systems rolling down the road in the USA.. doing training exercises.. why the UN why in the USA..rather than US military having training exercises.. Now that was scary for me.. some military unit from another country doesn’t care about the people in the USA.. then our politicians don’t care about the people in the USA.. other wise they would go to work and do something anything.. instead you hear that crap that MSM keeps putting out about how we should be feeling pretty sorry about people invading their communities by entering illegally

      • LOOB, information is always good. Accurate information is the most valuable commodity in the world, and has been for thousands of years.

        In digging, I’ve come to the conclusion that this is probably conspironut fodder, caused by someone at DEBKA taking an incident off the Russian West Coast, pretending it occurred off their East Coast, and creating a fiction based on that pretense.

        So, what did I learn? I learned that DEBKA is not the semi-reliable source it was 15 years ago.

        As a bonus, should I desire, I can run a goog or bing search on this and identify conspiracy sites with which I may not have been familiar, then “mark” them as “of questionable reliability…”

        A conspiracy theory ALWAYS sprouts from a bit of true fact, and a lack of subsequent information. It begins with a modicum of truth and ends with a guess. That truth may be nothing bad, or of no consequence, and the guess may be so far off-base as to not even be in the same time zone as the initial truth, but some people will take it and run with it.

        BTW, in 6 months, “conspiracy-minded” talkers will be referring to this on both blogs and radio shows as a “known incident,” because there’ll be enough conspiracy theories, and enough conspiracy blather, that a reader or listener will be able to discover that talk EXISTS, but they’ll not be able to make heads nor tails of what any of it means.

    • The Russian spy sub was sailing in the Barents Sea, between Russia and Sweden, not the Bering Sea, between Russia and Alaska. NATO is running Naval exercises in the area right now. My nose tells me there’s something going on between Russia and NATO, but my research tells me it may, but doesn’t necessarily, involve that submarine. ‘Problem is, it’s a spy sub, so everything about it, including an action against it, will be top secret until the next century, and I suspect it’ll cease to concern me, before then.

      I found lots of interesting stuff, but little that’s relevant to the Russian sub, and no indication of a “submarine battle.” The only things which might have bearing are the sub was carrying a LOT of spooky Russian brass — highly-decorated Naval Captains and two Naval National Heroes (although Putin in his first statement said it was a loss for the ARMY…), and Sweden today rolled out its long-mothballed anti-aircraft missile batteries.

      Oh, and one of the sites I quoted was Hal Turner. ‘Never heard of him before today but I guess he’s one of them thar prepper dudes…

      In my defense, I posted while driving from South Bend to Evansville, and so didn’t have time to do any pre-research (Yes folks, I’m past my medical grounding, and back on the road again!) Text to speech and speech to text only do so much…

    • The submarine was the AS-12 Losharik.

      It was running, with its mothership at the time, the BS-64 Podmoskovye, in the Barents Sea about 60NM east of the Norwegian panhandle, 8 NM off the coast of Russia, at about 60 fathoms (sea depth in this area is around 400 ft.)

      It suffered an electrical fire caused by an unfused short circuit of its battery bank, and was still on fire when it re-docked with the (surfaced) Podmoskovye (which suffered minor damage, but no casualties.)

      The “civilian” on-board (one of the survivors) was a scientist.

      What I suspect, is the civvy was installing some prototype newfangled kit, probably surveillance-oriented, for a running test, and somebody crossed the wrong wires.

      The sub was nowhere near any buried cable, nor were there any U.S. or NATO ships in the area.

      Other Things I Learned:

      The “Washington Standard” did a good job of aggregating most of the conspiracy sites, to which pieces of this were posted.

      “Asia Times” and “The Drive” did a good job of aggregating facts (“The Drive” also quoted the English release of Putin’s comments, from

      The best source I found for uncolored, actual news without a political bias was “Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty” which pleases me because I didn’t even know RFE was still around…

  3. George, wish I could send You a picture of my 6 ft. mater plants grown in above ground garden using cages and paracord to hold them upright. Used Ferti – lome Tomato and vegetable food. water twice daily with 2 gallons water. _

  4. Interesting article. I was interested in aquaponics thinking that it’s just a setup with no work, unlike gardening. That seems definitely untrue. OTOH, at least I can protect the plants from the varmints, moles and bunnies that will eat anything that grows around here. Unless you fence off six sides with 1/4″ hardware cloth, something will eat anything that we would and do it first.

    The big gotchas of the aquaponic world seem to be the hardware and inputs that need to be bought. Plastic is not eternal – sunlight kills it – especially at higher elevations. I suppose multiple redundancy is the only option.

    Good luck with the harvest! With two of you knowing how to prepare and cook the results, you should have happy eating.

  5. Good for you with the comparisons. I would be interested to know if you picked non GMO varieties, heirlooms, ? and I will be interested to know if you can tell a taste difference between the growing methods.

    • I enjoyed my small aquaponics system.. couldn’t do away with the fish.. dang things became pets..although it sure did help the garden grow. I’m using grow bags with the potatoes this year .. the fence post cover garden is phenomenal next year the whole garden will be that..
      The rBbits are exploding but I wont be able to harvest them either..

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