Thinning out apples with sevin
The following is a brief description of the process of thinning out apple trees using sevin. Sevins are used to make sure that there will not be any problems with fruit set or other things like that. So it helps if you have some experience in making your own sevins. You might want to read our article on Making Your Own Sevin before starting this process.
We recommend that you start with one or two small trees. The reason is because you need to use less sevin than usual to keep the tree healthy. If you do not have enough sevins, then your tree will become very weak and die soon after the first year. Also, you must remember that if the trees are large, they might take several years before they reach their full size.
In order to thin out the trees, you need to cut them down completely. You can do this either by hand or with a chainsaw. For the purpose of this article, we will show you how to do it with a chainsaw. But you could also use a knife and saw if necessary.
First thing is to remove all leaves from around the tree so that there won’t be any danger of infection during the process of cutting off branches and trunk sections. Since you are going to be using a chainsaw, it is very important that you do not let the machines come in contact with each other. Begin by cutting off all the branches coming out of the main trunk and place them on the ground. After the process is over, you should place the removed sections back on top of the branches. This will allow them to dry out and then you can cut them up for firewood later on.
When you are finished trimming the tree, you need to clean up the area around it. You don’t want any branches or twigs to get caught in the chainsaw while your are working so you should go around and pick them all up before beginning. The next thing to do is start cutting off the main trunk. You may need to cut from several different angles to make sure that all sections of trunk are at least 1 foot long. You will harvest these later on.
Now you need to cut the root ball off at ground level. Using a shovel, dig around the base of the tree until you have exposed all the roots. Cut these off as well at ground level and then cover everything back up with soil. This will prevent any disease or pests from entering into the tree during the trimming process.
At this point you can begin to work on the remaining branches and twigs of the tree. You will need to cut off all the small branches and twigs from the major branches. At this point you don’t need to worry about size because you will be using a sledge hammer to break them up later on.
As you are cutting the branches off, you will notice that they have numerous buds along their length. There are two types of buds, the soft pink ones and the hard blue/gray ones. The soft pink ones will eventually produce leaves and grow into a new branch. The hard blue/gray ones will produce nuts. You want to keep as many of these as possible because they are the ones that produce the nuts that you will eventually harvest.
You will need to cut off small sections of the branches every four inches or so. Make sure that you leave all of the hard blue/gray buds on these sections. As you cut them off, place the sections into a container.
After you have all the small branches and twigs cut off, you need to take your sledge hammer and begin smashing them up by hand. You want to try to get them into as many small pieces as possible because this will help in the next step which is to place them into a mesh bag so that you can remove all the small twigs, leaves, and other debris that are mixed in with them.
Once this is done, you need to take the mesh bag of shavings and place it inside of another mesh bag that has had the twine removed from its bottom so that you can use it like a pillow case. You are then going to suspend this mesh bag full of shavings over a 5 gallon bucket. Using a broom handle or something similar, begin to gently push the shavings down into the bottom of the mesh bag. This will cause all of the twigs and small leaves to settle to the bottom and all of the shavings to remain at the top inside of the mesh bag.
The next step is to take a small knife and begin cutting slits into the sides of the mesh bag starting at the top. When you cut these slits, make sure that you only cut through one layer. The idea is to make the openings big enough to allow the shavings to slowly work their way through the openings and fall into the bucket. (The shavings are very light and will not be able to force their way through the mesh)
After all of the shavings have dropped into the bucket, you can begin to remove them from the bag. Simply grab a handful and give it a shake over the bucket and they will all fall out. You can then place them into a container and use them as mulch around your plants or whatever else you are going to use them for.
At this point if you have extra time and energy you can take what is left of the branches that you cut up and begin grinding them up in a chipper/shredder to produce wood chips. These can be used in flower beds and around other plants that you would like to add some color too.
Once you have finished grinding up the rest of your branches you can then take the shredded material and place it into a mesh bag. You will need to remove the twine from the bottom of this mesh bag also before you place the shredded wood into it. Then you will suspend this mesh bag over a 5 gallon bucket and follow the same procedure as described above for the shavings, only in this case you are trying to get small pieces of wood dust.
Once you have finished this, you can use the wood dust around plants as a slow release fertilizer. This is a great way to get some “free” stuff for your garden. You now have mulch and fertilizer for your plants.
The next time you need to trim your trees, instead of throwing the clippings away, you can place them into a mesh bag and follow the same procedures above to produce both shredded wood and wood dust.
To store any of this until you are ready to use it, all you need to do is place it into a plastic trash bag, seal it up and throw it in your garage or storage area. The beauty of all of this is that you can produce this stuff yourself for almost no cost other than your time involved in producing it.
NOTE: Always be sure to wear gloves and safety glasses when performing these procedures!
Also, there are “trendy” arts and crafts projects in which you can use wood dust and shavings. You can paint pieces of wood, then grind them up to create a fine dust to use in your projects. Depending on the type of project you are doing, you might be able to get by with just using the shavings without grinding them up at all. You can also use these wood dusts in potpourri.
If you want to take the time to experiment with different mixtures, you can actually produce a type of charcoal out of your wood. This is used for different types of projects and can be sold for a higher profit.
These are just a few of the things that you can do to get started down the road to producing a sustainable income without having to purchase the products. Once you are able to generate enough capital, then and only then should you ever need to even consider the purchase of anything in the future.
Selling Your Products
Now that you have your own DYI operation up and running, it’s time to start selling your products. Depending on the area in which you live, some of these things might be very easy to sell and others may be more difficult.
Start off by taking some of your product and visiting some local flea markets in the area to see if you can’t sell some of your items. Don’t just sell the easy items either, sell everything! People will most likely be interested in buying your homemade bio-diesel rather than commercial bio-diesel, so you should have no problem selling it.
Don’t forget to take along pictures and descriptions of all of your other products as well though. People may be very interested in some of the other items that you are producing and are looking for a cheaper alternative to store bought materials.
The nice thing about selling your items at flea markets is that it is fairly low-key as far as permits and such are concerned. The not so nice thing is you will probably be paying for a booth each time you attend, but this can still work in your favor if you plan things out correctly.
If you are able to attend regularly enough, it will almost be like paying your booth rent each week rather than paying it all at once for the entire season. You may also be able to negotiate a lesser fee depending on how many weeks you commit to setting up at that particular flea market. If you are able to get in contact with the owner of the flea market, he may even give you a discount due to the amount of business you will bring in.
Another suggestion would be to go door to door in the surrounding areas and offer your products. This will help you learn the lay of the area and who your potential customers are. If you decide to do this, be sure you have a good idea of your potential profit margin before approaching anyone. You don’t want to be caught standing at someone’s door trying to sell them something and having it not be worth your time or theirs.
But what if you don’t live in an area that has flea markets or there aren’t any close by?
Well you are going to have to be a bit more creative in how you sell your items. One of the easiest ways is to set up a website. This can be done for free or very cheap with the various websites available today.
Advertise your website anywhere and everywhere. That includes online ads, pamphlets, flyers (if allowed), word of mouth, etc. Don’t forget to also search alternate websites that might cater to your products as well. For example, if you are selling bio-diesel, then search websites about green energy or “going green” since you will probably have more success there.
Of course if you don’t have a lot of money to start advertising your website right away, then do the leg work yourself and spread the word. When you get some extra money, then you can advertize more heavily.
What if I told you that you didn’t need a website at all?
Well, you don’t. If you are really serious about selling your items or products, then what you can do is attend various local fairs and festivals that take place in your area. Talk to the people in charge and see if you can get a spot to vend for a small fee.
Of course you will still have to do your advertising online and in person as mentioned above.
Another way that some people are using to sell their homegrown goods is by setting up a booth at the farmer’s market. You will need to contact the market owner or manager and see about getting a spot, but there are benefits for doing this. For one, you can often set your own prices since you aren’t selling through a company. Second, the market manager may even take a smaller cut of your earnings in exchange for being allowed to vend there.
Other than these ideas, there are others that exist out there and you are welcome to use them or develop your own ideas. The most important thing is to get started somewhere and eventually you will find a niche that works for you.
Making Alcohol at Home
You may have heard about people making their own alcohol and how it’s not illegal to do so. This is true to a point. There are some restrictions on what you can and cannot make. For example, you cannot legally make anything above 15% ABV (alcohol by volume), which would exclude most types of hard liquor.
However, if you want to make hard cider or wine, you’re free to do that as long as you adhere to the laws for those. You can also make your own beer below a certain ABV.
Making your own beer is actually easier than you might think. Many recipes exist for beer that don’t require any special equipment and only need to be left to ferment for a couple of weeks. This is a good place to start if you’re just learning how to do this.
Of course if you want to make a true lager (which requires lower temperatures) or a ale (which requires higher temperatures), you’re going to need to buy some equipment such as a thermometer and a carboy. Consider looking on sites like Amazon or E-bay for these items since they are not always available at your local brewing supply store. Once you have the supplies, the rest is easy. Just follow the instructions that come with the kit or use a proven recipe.
If you are of legal age and want to make hard cider or wine, you can do that too. Again, there are kits available that you can get online or at your local liquor store that will allow you to make your own version of various wines and ciders. You might need to do some research since different types of alcohol require different ingredients in order to make the best type of alcohol for your purposes. Be sure to check the ABV for each recipe as some are higher than others.
Making your own alcohol requires some forethought since you need to make sure you allow enough time for the items to ferment properly. You might need to buy new supplies if you want to make a higher ABV version of any alcohol since these versions often require special ingredients or equipment that you may not have.
Regardless of which method you decide to go with, have fun and be safe when making your own alcohol. While it’s illegal to sell your alcohol, there’s nothing illegal about drinking it. Your friends will probably thank you for making cheaper alternatives to buying the stuff at their local store.
You can also use your alcohol as a way of saving money in the long run. Rather than spend $10 on a six pack of beer every week, you can make your own for about half of that cost. This money that you’re saving can be put to other uses such as paying down debt or investing it.
Alcohol can be a fun hobby and if you get good at it, something that you can even turn into a small business. Many bars and restaurants prefer to make their own alcohol so they can ensure that it’s 100% grain alcohol rather than buying industrial alcohol which has harmful chemicals in it. If you’re able to produce a high quality product, you can charge a little more for your product while others will come to you since they know it’s good.
Having your own home brewery isn’t something that’s easy to get into. It takes time, patience, money and a thorough understanding of the entire process before you even start. If you’re interested in learning more about this, there are many books and guides available for sale on Amazon and other online retailers.
The next time you’re at a bar or a liquor store, take a look at the alcohol. Chances are that it was made in a factory rather than coming straight from the distillery which may be located thousands of miles away. There is nothing wrong with using premade products but making your own alcohol can be a fun way to spend time with friends and save money while doing so.
While you can make your own wine or beer, the investment in equipment and time is much higher. With hard liquors like vodka and whiskey, it’s much easier to make since all you need is some high proof grain alcohol and a few other ingredients. In addition, hard liquor bottles sell for more money since they are sold by the ounce and not by volume. This makes your profit margin much higher than wine or beer.
So what type of alcohol should you try to make?
It really depends on what you like to drink and how much time and money you want to put into your hobby. Many people start out by making wine since the initial investment is cheaper and the process is relatively easy. If you have a favorite type of wine, look up a recipe and give it a try.
For our purposes, we’re going to concentrate on making vodka. Vodka is one of the easiest liquors to make since it doesn’t require any special ingredients or equipment. You can easily make it in your kitchen unless you live in a apartment or dorm. Many people also like the taste of vodka and how it can be mixed with virtually anything.
If you decide to make your own alcohol, do your research first. There are many recipes online as well as in books at your local library or bookstore. Don’t rely on a single source since you want to make sure that your recipe is accurate. Always use correct measurements since if you put in too much of a particular ingredient, your batch can become undrinkable.
In addition, be prepared for the process to take longer than you think. Even though you’re using a proven recipe, the yeast need a certain amount of time to transform the sugar into alcohol. You can’t rush the process or you could ruin the entire batch. Patience is a virtue when it comes to brewing your own alcohol.
The basic process of making alcohol is fairly simple. You heat up water and dissolve sugar into it, cool it down to room temperature then add yeast. The yeast preforms its magic and you have yourself some alcohol after about two weeks. It’s a good idea to put the alcohol in a jug and add some fruit or berries for flavor. This is called fermenting and it’s when most home brewers say their alcohol is done.
Since we want to make vodka, we need to repeat this process multiple times with various filters in order to remove the yeast and other impurities from our drink.
The first and most important step is to get your hands on some yeast.
Sources & references used in this article:
Chemical thinning of apples by LD Batchelor – 1913 – Utah Agricultural Experiment Station
Influence of time of flower and fruit thinning on the firmness of ‘Cox’s Orange Pippin’apples at harvest and after storage by MW Williams – Hort. Rev, 1979 – Wiley Online Library
Thinning ofFuji’apple trees with ethephon, NAD and BA, alone and in combination by H Koike, T Ono – Compact fruit tree, 1998