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Laurent

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #300 on: April 08, 2015, 10:25:06 AM »
The use of Jean Pain method and more.
https://player.vimeo.com/video/63357390

Jean Pain - English - Part 1
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHRvwNJRNag

Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #301 on: April 08, 2015, 07:21:43 PM »
A NZ Urban Garden project:
I thought this Koanga Institute
http://www.koanga.org.nz/knowledgebase/design-knowledge/200-sq-m-urban-design/
site might interest other gardeners, yes I realise a number of you are pros, or that a sustainable closed self sufficient system is not everyone's goal. And maybe like me you couldn't cope with breeding rabbits & guinea pigs to kill for your dinner?  :(
But they are trying some interesting things & 'cos they are a couple of hours drive north of me I have booked myself & DH for their next garden tour! This group have been saving heritage seeds & fruit trees for 30 years & have recently expanded their goals to include this.

The 1930's Weston Price book mentioned is available as a free download here.
http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks02/0200251h.html

And I'll try adding a Dropbox link here
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/b7bsqfc2ymtzirh/AADvx27fXuB_wMVmLx44R8Vua?dl=0
 to an article about this garden project that featured in a recent NZ Gardener magazine, or just email me if it doesn't & you would like to read it.

Clare


Wow, that's awesome. I really like that they are trying to meet nutritional needs based on the Weston Price nutritional model. I have a copy of the WA Price book myself and hope to grow part of this diet myself too. I think I'll be looking into this project a lot, so thanks for the link, Clare.

We've planted some more berries our neighbour gave us, and are now fencing in our 45 square metre vegetable garden.  We'll have to start thinking about windbreaks as well, because for the past year we've been having huge winds over here (making life difficult for our plants last year). The Austrians who have lived here for a long time say it's very unusual. Lots of wind, little rain so far this year.
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jai mitchell

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #302 on: April 08, 2015, 09:42:09 PM »
If you haven't read it this is a very good look at a new form of no-till agriculture

http://craftsmanship.net/drought-fighters/

Apparently he over composts with lots of woody pulp mulch (and maybe bio char now?) and uses trees and multiple crops to preserve soil.  No till agriculture he simply covers portions for part of the year to allow mulch decompostion and weed suppression. 

Some say that overmulching is bad for the water quality (N2O runoff) but some recent studies show that higher amounts of wood pulp and biochar significantly reduce this runoff.  Certainly more than modern monocrop and petroleum based nitrogen fixing does!

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jbatteen

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #303 on: April 09, 2015, 10:34:08 PM »
That's really cool Clare, thanks for sharing!

I'm putting that article on my read-later list jai, it also looks very promising. 

Clare

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #304 on: April 10, 2015, 01:06:46 AM »
Thanks for this link, Jai,

Doubly interesting to me as I am familiar with the Sebastopol CA area, have family nearby in Santa Rosa.
(One of the highlights of my many visits there to my (now late) aunt were always to the Saturday morning Farmers market held nearby. Sooooo much beautiful fresh produce & a carnival atmosphere, we didn't have anything like that sort of thing here then.)

The climate he has would actually be very similar to the site of the Koanga Gardens I posted about above, though I dont know about the comparison of soil types.
Clare

jai mitchell

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #305 on: April 11, 2015, 08:37:40 AM »
Thanks for this link, Jai,

Doubly interesting to me as I am familiar with the Sebastopol CA area, have family nearby in Santa Rosa.
(One of the highlights of my many visits there to my (now late) aunt were always to the Saturday morning Farmers market held nearby. Sooooo much beautiful fresh produce & a carnival atmosphere, we didn't have anything like that sort of thing here then.)

The climate he has would actually be very similar to the site of the Koanga Gardens I posted about above, though I dont know about the comparison of soil types.
Clare

in many ways, backyard gardening and municipal scale compost and farmer's markets are JUST as important as distributed solar/wind energy generation and public transportation for the new low-carbon emission paradigm.  I am pretty close to the Santa Rosa farmer's market, I should head down and check it out.  What a wonderful way to meet the neighbors eh?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5Mz0p0kgc4
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Clare

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #306 on: April 13, 2015, 06:58:48 AM »
in many ways, backyard gardening and municipal scale compost and farmer's markets are JUST as important as distributed solar/wind energy generation and public transportation for the new low-carbon emission paradigm.  I am pretty close to the Santa Rosa farmer's market, I should head down and check it out.  What a wonderful way to meet the neighbors eh?


Yes I agree. & Lynn S mentioned a while back about how important developing relationships within your community by supporting other growers like at Farmers Markets etc.
We manage to grow most of what we need here all year round & so don't often go to the local Farmers market
http://www.hawkesbayfarmersmarket.co.nz
it's quite a drive & also things there seem to be selling at gourmet prices! I dont grudge the growers getting good prices for their efforts but we cant afford those. We try to use "what's in the cupboard" as much as possible. That did mean rather a lot of zucchini based meals for a while there, now it's beans & feijoas every which way. I'm collecting 10+kg a day of the latter, luckily everyone I know loves them.
Something that has started up recently in NZ is a site called Neighbourly,
https://www.neighbourly.co.nzwhere you are linked to others in your neighbourhood, so people can share or trade or swap stuff. A digi age version of a neighbourhood?
« Last Edit: April 13, 2015, 07:04:45 AM by Clare »

lisa

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #307 on: May 14, 2015, 03:35:23 AM »
Here is my April gardening report -- quite a bit late.  I want to do these every month and I'd love to hear how others are doing.

-- I'm trying to get into nursing school, and so had to take some prerequisite science classes that had expired.  But even with that, I was able to prep my three double dug beds.  Each is about 6m long and 3m wide.  Because of school and work, I didn't do my own seedlings this year, but got some from the Lansing garden project -- http://greaterlansingfoodbank.org/programs/the-garden-project/resources/. 

I'm also starting something new this year - I'm planting a couple of apple trees.  I don't have the room for them on my own small postage-stamp plot, but the local YMCA is more than happy to host my trees. 

Also, I've got my vertical garden half up.  I'm hoping that, now that school is out, I'll have the other half up next week.  I'll post pics; it's pretty cool.

This year I hope to grow: peas, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, tomatoes, potatoes, sweet corn, quinoa, runner beans, cucumber, carrots, beats, onion, rutabaga, zucchini, pumpkin and butternut squash.  We also just planted three high-bush blueberry, and we've got raspberry and rhubarb.  I'm planning to plant the very top of the vertical garden pylons with strawberry at the end of May.

My plan with this garden is mostly to learn how to grow these things; like, last year I learned what late blight looked like.  Now I know what to look for.

How about you?  How does your garden grow?

Bruce Steele

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #308 on: May 14, 2015, 08:17:54 AM »
Trying to limit my water and energy inputs has really challenged my gardening / farming plans for this year. I have new solar panels powering my pumps this year but in the interests of conserving water I am planning on reducing water ( metered use) by 33% from two years ago. That Is two years into a four year drought.
 Metering and 33% down  5 months in so far. I have lost some fruit trees and truthfully the trees are heavily stressed. Horse pasture is dust so feed for most stock is trucked in . 
 I have a very small vegetable effort this year. ( one acre ) I am trying to pasture former vegetable ground this year and let pigs help me control some nasty weeds in the hope that I might capitalize on starving some weeds in a nasty drought.
 I put out 100 grafted tomatoes ( heirloom plant/ disease hearty rootstock) 
Horse manure and weed barrier . 200 ft. Row   
 Early spring beets doing well      200+ ft. Row.   Red, Yellow and Chioga
Dug in cover only 
 Early carrots still growing          100ft. Row. Cover crops tilled for fertility
Lakota Red and Yukon yellow potatoes   200ft. Row. Horse manure
200 ft . of emmer wheat, summer squash, and lettuce going in soon.
 100 ft. of shishito peppers ( weed barrier ) horse manure 
Melons need some greenhouse efforts still in planning

I am fairly sure I will have flood issues coming this fall and preparing for that possibility is going to take some serious efforts this summer. The possibility of water is making me think starting some trees and getting their roots established enough to take advantage of a wet year next year will be worth extra effort also.

Winter squash, flint corn and pumpkins will finish my efforts but not yet ready.  

   

Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #309 on: May 18, 2015, 09:37:33 AM »
How about you?  How does your garden grow?

In the past month we've been building a wooden fence around our vegetable plot. A friend was over last week and together we built a mini electric fence to keep out the slugs as they were happily munching away at our little seedlings (literally dozens of big brown slugs, and hundreds (thousands?) small white ones). I've got 9v running on the fence (see images below) and it works pretty well, although I need to improve a couple of things like build in a small LED lamp that shows me if there's a short circuit.

We had started out planting out early, but it went horribly wrong. Seedlings sprouted and everything and then suddenly their development stalled. We suspect it's because our house has triple glazing, and so they didn't receive enough sunlight in the right bandwidth for photosynthesis. So we had to start all over again once air temperature was high enough.

My wife has planted plenty of cabbages, salad, beans and flowers, but they're all struggling a bit because of the slugs and mostly inclement weather. We're going on a 10-day holiday soon, and hopefully we can at least wipe out the slugs within the vegetable plot perimeter.

Oh well, live and learn. We didn't get things going smoothly, so now we hope to end the growing season strong.  :)
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Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #310 on: May 18, 2015, 09:40:39 AM »
Here are some images showing the electric fence. I was hoping it would just scare the slugs away, but it actually kills some of them (I might go and try 4.8V or 7.2V instead of 9.6V with 8 rechargeable batteries):

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johnm33

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #311 on: May 18, 2015, 11:38:06 AM »
Last year I used pellets for slugs with little success, this year i'm leaving lengths of untreated scrap timber on the ground, by newly planted seedlings, and asking for volunteers to help feed the chickens, happily there's been an enthusiastic response  from the slugs, even more so from the chooks. :)

Martin Gisser

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #312 on: May 19, 2015, 04:31:24 PM »
Amazing: My 2nd year woad (isatis tinctoria) attracts most of the slugs. It is growing very fast, so they can't eat it completely. 1st year woad they leave mostly alone.
Why is the earth silent at this destruction? (Martin Heidegger ca. 1937)

silkman

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #313 on: May 19, 2015, 09:15:05 PM »
Neven

The humble slug almost deserves its own thread.

I salute your impressive efforts to defend your precious seedlings but I fear your valiant attempt is doomed to failure. I hope I'm wrong but I think the smaller version of the gardener's nemesis - we don't get too many of the big brown ones over here - are not encroaching on your plot from the outside but are lurking furtively under the surface of your soil as eggs or immature adults, ready to emerge in search of food as soon as your back is turned.

My fingers are firmly crossed for your crop. If effort and ingenuity count for anything you should come out on top!

Enjoy your holiday and let us know the outcome when you return.

I'm off to check the garden for signs of slug damage!

sidd

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #314 on: May 20, 2015, 03:42:40 AM »
Re:slugs

any chance of hiring a duck or two ?

lisa

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #315 on: May 21, 2015, 02:55:21 AM »
Neven, your electric slug fence is beautiful!

Laurent

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #316 on: May 21, 2015, 09:55:04 AM »
La Belgique victime d'une invasion de limaces
http://www.dhnet.be/actu/societe/la-belgique-victime-d-une-invasion-de-limaces-555cb90d3570fde9b35424b6

Sorry for the french, but sometimes it is good to know that you are not alone !
The article says Belgium is invided by slugs around 5 times more than usual. That is due to pesticides, herbicides...and also slugcides...because they kill also the predators.

I do have also a lot of slugs, I try to bring back predator by installing in different part of the garden some piles of wood and some of stones. May be I should make sure while installing them that there is some place for a hedgehog family, snakes and big lizards are good predators too. Some time I go out at night to collect slugs. The garden is not very tidy so the slugs eat also wild plants and flowers. Plant not just for you but for nature too, 30% should be all right.

P-maker

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #317 on: May 21, 2015, 11:07:57 AM »
Silkman:

The humble slug almost deserves its own thread.

No way!

Slugs are an integral part of antropogenic climate change. Warmer winters mean higher survival rates for eggs an juveniles, more moisture in the warmer atmosphere means more dewfall and longer nights for them to roam, eat and mate & higher CO2 concentrations means stronger green growth and more fodder.

The trick is to convert this pest into something useful, and I suggest using dead slugs in biogas plants - the questions is just how we persuade them to creep in that direction...

wili

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #318 on: May 21, 2015, 04:39:36 PM »
I always heard that bottle lids filled with beer is the best way to kill slugs. But I've never had much of a slug problem so I haven't tried it first hand. Seems like a terrible waste of beer to me, frankly.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

Martin Gisser

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #319 on: May 21, 2015, 07:27:50 PM »
The beer trap is ususally nonsense, since the smell attracts slugs from far. But with Neven's electric fence a beer trap inside the garden would make sense to catch those who are already in.

There's a nice but rarely found predator slug: Limax maximus (German: Tigerschnegel, english: leopard slug, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limax_maximus ) It eats other slug/snail eggs and even life slugs, but also rotten plants and only rarely green plants. It seems they are quite competitive, as I never managed to get a large population. They are active at night and return to the same sleeping place. Their mating is quite spectacular. This year I got one just an hour after putting a pot with a leftover rice-vegetable dish outside the tent. :) Last year one got killed in the mouse trap :(

I also used to carry escargot snails into my garden. But it seems it's a myth that they eat other snail/slug eggs. At least they are harmless and it's nice seeing two while kissing.

-------------
The only serious "problem" I have with slugs is that they eat the hemp seedlings I plug here and there for fun. I've never ever seen one grow up. A friend who is a serious outdoor guerilla hemp grower puts a special plastic collar around each plant. More expensive but less reliable is a simple ring made of copper.

--------------------
From this years experience with 2nd year woad (Isatis tinctoria) I will continue tending this plant in my garden: The snails love it, it grows and blooms early (in 2nd year) and so fast and big that they can't kill it. And the long roots will be good food for the deep earth worms.
Why is the earth silent at this destruction? (Martin Heidegger ca. 1937)

TerryM

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #320 on: June 02, 2015, 01:07:28 PM »
A casual gardener here is using crushed egg shells around plants that previously had served as sustenance to her snail hoard with good results. She simply saves breakfast egg shells, grinds them in her hand and sprinkles them around cabbages & other snail delicacies.
Not a solution for a large garden, but she is happy with the results.

Terry

Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #321 on: June 03, 2015, 01:44:56 PM »
There's a nice but rarely found predator slug: Limax maximus (German: Tigerschnegel, english: leopard slug, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limax_maximus )


Amazing! I read this yesterday afternoon, and then yesterday evening I was checking for slugs, and I ran into one of these leopard slugs! Luckily I already knew these slugs are beneficial and so didn't kill it. It did seem, though, as though it had received a shock from the electric fence, as it was sitting below it without moving.

My wife wanted me to put it in our fenced garden, but I was afraid it would try to get out as it doesn't have that much space to hide in there, but wouldn't be able because of the 9V fence. So I put it in my daughter's strawberry garden, where there's loads of big and small slugs.

Anyway, the fence seems to have done the job well enough while we were away. There was only one semi-big brown slug I could find, but still loads of small, white ones (two of them mating, so that explains it) drilling holes in the large cabbage leaves. We'll keep picking those by hand, and maybe sprinkle a few of those slug pellets under the planks. Everything is well under control now.

I now have to add a small LED lamp to the set-up that functions as a resistance (which is better for the batteries) and shows me when there is a short-circuit (right now I check if the wet-up is still working by putting my tongue to the two wires, much to my wife's amusement). It rained a lot while we were away and the burn marks behind the metal wires are a sign that there was quite a bit of short-circuiting due to water drops. Maybe I'll have to add a small cover to protect the wires from rain drops.

I'm also contemplating moving to 7.2V or even 4.8V (6 or 4 batteries respectively), as the 9V is frying the (smaller) slugs and of course, small is beautiful.

Some of the plants are coming along nicely, now that we finally have some really good weather, but other problems are popping up (lice, etc), and so we're learning a lot. One discouraging thing is that our berry plants are doing really well, but are hardly carrying any berries! I don't think it was a frost, but winds were blowing quite hard when they were flowering. Or maybe we just didn't add enough compost back in March...

So no berries this year...  :'(
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Martin Gisser

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #322 on: June 08, 2015, 02:24:00 PM »
maybe sprinkle a few of those slug pellets under the planks.
Did you leave the planks on the ground while you were away? They are the central breeding station and hiding place of most snails..

The planks are a much better trap than the beer trap: Lots of eggs and snails to be "harvested" and/or trampled. Or just put the planks up against the fence, downside facing the sun, and let the summer sun  kill the eggs.

The planks need to be examined regularly. That's why I don't use them anymore. :) I had a little scratcher to harvest eggs and snails from the boards and from the ground, then do something evil and ugly with them and then make the compost happy.

------------------
This year I got quite a population of Limax Maximus. I start hating them :)  because I mostly step on these when out at night barefoot. They "run" around everywhere and are the most sticky-slimy when stepped on.
Why is the earth silent at this destruction? (Martin Heidegger ca. 1937)

Latent

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #323 on: August 02, 2015, 04:30:51 PM »
Suggestions on slug/snail trapping.

1.  Put out flowerpots or dark plastic containers before heavy rain is forecast.  In the morning after the rain inspect your pots. The slugs and snails often crawl up into them to take shelter.

2.  Mulch with lawn grass cuttings - about 2 - 4 inches (4 - 10cm) deep.  It will dry out and the beasties just can't be bothered to slime their way over it to your precious plants.  It also helps to keep the soil moist by preventing evaporation in hot weather.

3.  Salt.  I use dishwasher salt.  In small quantities around the edges of your wooden fencing. It does seem to deter the slugs though of course you do need to take into consideration the crops you are going to grow afterwards.  It works fine with brassicas.

Best of luck!

P-maker

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #324 on: September 14, 2015, 09:47:50 PM »
Neven,

wellcome back!

Glad to see that you have created a global trend:

http://www.eater.com/2015/9/14/9324311/rene-redzepi-closes-noma-urban-garden

See you above sea level

Cheers P

Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #325 on: September 17, 2015, 12:44:34 AM »
Cool stuff. I translated a documentary last year about some old anthrosophic Danish farmer that sold a lot of produce to exclusive restaurants in Copenhagen, so I'm not surprised that the Noma owner is taking this direction.

We had a mixed gardening season, with some stuff working well, other stuff not so well. Biggest problems: getting seedlings going before planting into the garden, slugs (especially the small white ones), and then a big downturn was a flea beetle plague that my wife couldn't get under control, and I didn't help her enough being too busy working, blogging and building. Those flea beetles, hundreds of them, rain or shine, really did a lot of damage.

But very instructive. When we got the slugs under control, we were able to mulch (a bit à la Ruth Stout), using the stuff our lawnmower churned out, grass, but also lots of the clover we planted last year, and herbs, etc. My wife bought a few perennial plants, that have cabbage- and spinach-like leaves, which are looking very promising. The trees have their first summer behind them, so hopefully they will continue growing. Increasing amount and variety of berries too (added aronia and goji, etc).

We're going to do another round of improvised experimentation next year, and then maybe try to become more professional in 2017. Or at least do some planning beforehand.
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Bruce Steele

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #326 on: September 17, 2015, 03:57:46 PM »
I bombed out gardening this year but the pig project is going well , 120 mangalitsa pigs right now.
Drought made me feel guilty watering a garden then the pigs got out and vaporized $400 of
grafted tomato plants in about fifteen minutes. You can't herd pigs so they weren't tempted by my offerings of fresh squash back in their pen until they had finished off all the tomatoes first.
 It is harvest season again and I have collected about ten tons of large crook necked squash from a farmers field that is overripe and soon to be tilled under. My bag-a-nut acorn collector works well on acorn falls along the sides of the road. About 300 lbs. of white oak acorns so far. The drought has really hurt the white oak crop this year but the red oaks are loaded but not falling yet .Somehow I think they know a big rain year is brewing.I will need to leach the red oak acorns before feeding but they keep well and I can deal with leaching them when winter arrives. I also stopped and picked some olives and plan on curing them with some leftover sodium hydroxide from my biodiesel project now discontinued.
 I have the beater blades from my wife's electric mixer fixed to a battery powered hand drill and I am going to use it to deseed winter squash in another farm field ready for tilling. I feed barley to my pigs and the squash/pumpkin seed is high in protein and lysine and can be dried and stored for winter feed supplements. Normally farmers feed corn or soybeans to get a higher protein feed for their pigs but both are GMO these days so I am loath to feed the stuff. I have naturally occurring diatomaceous earth in my soil around here and noticed the pigs where searching it out and eating it so I went to an outcrop and collected 100 lbs. and I have been throwing them chunks to eat when they choose to.
My next experiment is leaching out the toxins from mountain cherry pits that where a staple for local Native Americans.( Islay in the local dialect ) They require multiple leaching cycles with boiling water and the smell of almonds gets quite strong. Deadly unless done properly so don't try this unless you know what you're doing.
 So the pigs are worth a lot more than my vegetable efforts over the last decade and they give me a great excuse to forage that I really enjoy. Walnuts are just about ready . It is truly amazing the wealth of food that simply falls on the sides of the road around here. There are hundreds of acres of walnuts and olives in unirrigated orchards that never get picked anymore. Kinda sad but primetime for the swineherd.     

TerryM

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #327 on: September 17, 2015, 06:40:23 PM »
Bruce
You are living an exciting life & I am jealous!

I googled your mangalitsa pigs & never came across a breed that seems better suited to our time. The very lean pork that's been marketed lately has somehow left all the flavor behind, and there has to be some use for that hair. Boar bristle shaving brushes? Pig skin winter jackets, with hair?

I buy pork from a local Mennonite farmer and the meat is much more flavorful than that available from supermarkets. Next time I see him I'll ask what breed his are, although he's likely to tell me that it's the same herd that his great-great-grandfather brought from Pennsylvania in the 18th century.

Many years ago friends hunted boar in oak forests south of Santa Barbara, the pigs had apparently been let lose during the depression & bow hunting, (so as to not alarm the neighbors), produced the most wonderful nut flavored pork chops imaginable. Their wild lifestyle gave lots of marbling, but very little fat.

Hope you survive the cherry pit experiment. I'd once tried to replicate ancient Paiute methods of cooking agave in lime stone pits, but the results were not tasty at all. The locals had forgotten their ancestor's recipes, except for making mescal.  ;>)

Terry

ivica

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #328 on: September 17, 2015, 08:36:42 PM »
Bruce
You are living an exciting life & I am jealous!

Ditto!

BTW: Life here is good these days, my figs are ripe :)
« Last Edit: September 17, 2015, 09:18:37 PM by ivica »

Martin Gisser

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #329 on: September 17, 2015, 09:47:15 PM »
Bruce
You are living an exciting life & I am jealous!


Ditto!

Ditto, too!
Swineherd is my dream job!
Better to cast pearls before swine than before homo sapiens: The pigs rejoice, while sapiens don't care.
I plan to drop computer bs programming next year and buy a little land. All I need is the right woman. Oh, and the right neighbors. And the right land...
A friend here in Bavaria has helped save the Angeln Saddleback (Angler Sattelschwein) which seems even better than Mangalitza. http://www.angler-sattelschweine.de/galerie_heute.html He's the only small farmer who is not teetering at the verge of bankruptcy. He even bought the neighbor farm. And that while doing Demeter organic. Pig farming seems very profitable.
Why is the earth silent at this destruction? (Martin Heidegger ca. 1937)

Bruce Steele

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #330 on: September 18, 2015, 01:29:49 AM »
Terry, I have gone through the leaching cherry pits before and ate some myself but it is risky . Tasted better than leached acorns and it is just an experiment anyhow. I'll be careful but the plan is for feeding it to pigs and I will only work with one pig until I am sure all well. The pigs are mighty perceptive but I don't want to hurt a single one.
 Ivica, You live in a part of the world that remembers the value of their gardens,chickens and maybe even how to prepare a hog for winter stores . We are having to relearn those lessons or we will learn the price of forgetting .
 Martin , I ran a vegy stand for over ten years and you are very correct about pigs appreciation of a good meal. I like to say they are " happy customers ". I don't think I ever found anyone who raved over the acorn/ amaranth brownies I used to sell at my farm stand . Maybe one or two people let me know they appreciated my efforts but honestly I think it was the chocolate and sugar more than the forage crops . The mangalitsa pigs are very hardy and thrive on 10 % protein while most modern pigs need something closer to 16%.  Tough times may favor hardy pigs and much different staples for the two legged critters that currently ply supermarket aisles. Profit does seem always elusive but maybe other things are more important anyhow? Just enough to not go backward would probably be a good target but on second thought a large enough pile of dry beans to get through a two winters would be better. A fifty pound sack of bean culls will only run you five bucks around here and you'd gladly suffer through sorting out the rocks if your stomach was empty. Two winters store of beans seems cheap insurance.         

ivica

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #331 on: September 18, 2015, 01:49:31 AM »
Ivica, You live in a part of the world that remembers the value of their gardens,chickens and maybe even how to prepare a hog for winter stores . We are having to relearn those lessons or we will learn the price of forgetting .

Fortunately, you did not mention how to make a delicious ham, "pac", ...
Why "fortunately" ? My uncle was the last one (in my family, & wider, much wider) who knew how to do that stuff properly. No one listened him. I'm not exception. Now, everything we buy (or get it from someone) tastes like soap ...

BTW: Do you have Gypsies (real ones) there, if so - talk with them ...
« Last Edit: September 18, 2015, 02:58:53 AM by ivica »

Bruce Steele

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #332 on: September 18, 2015, 05:34:26 AM »
Ivica, The quality of the pig and the diet of the pig you cure ( salt and age ) will largely determine the quality of the final product. You have some of the best quality genetics available anywhere in the world , Serbia , Croatia ,Hungary, Romania . You have the traditions still there but they are maybe hard to find. I wish I knew your Grandfather. If it is any encouragement I am just finishing eating a prosciutto from my first pig. It was spectacular and Hungarians representing the Mangalitsa Breeders association and some Italian salumi producers agree with me. Trick is to remember exactly what I did in the 18 month cure. Maybe beginners luck.
 We have Native Americans who remember how to forage for available foods but pigs were never part of that diet. There aren't Gypsies that I know of here but I might need to look / seek  them out. They may be here and blend in somehow. I traveled Hungary and frankly the Gypsies were treated rather badly. Here the Native Americans are also treated badly. Won't matter when crunch time arrives as retained knowledge will provide advantage. Will they treat us better than we have treated them?
Some of this gets into the religion discussion Ccg and Wili were promoting. I value the somewhat blended Mexican / Indian knowledge base that is available here locally and if you pay attention to our local politics( please don't ) popular politics would prefer to rub that knowledge base out for good. Somehow the condition of man. We call progress. Snark.       

Martin Gisser

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #333 on: September 18, 2015, 06:36:21 PM »
Apropos Gypsies/Roma. Ugo Bardi has some very interesting observations from Italy. This one struck me. After he gave a talk on Peak Oil (no less!) to Roma without much formal education (but a greater attention span than many university students), he was told:
Many of the old folks could do things. Like singing or playing instruments, buying and selling horses. But we can't do that any more. We didn't want to learn. We saw all this wealth, here, and we thought that there was no need of working so hard. If there was so much wealth; why couldn't we share a little of it? We didn't want to be rich; we just wanted a little - enough to live in peace. And we thought it would last forever. But, you are right, professor, it is not going to last forever. And now we are in trouble.
http://cassandralegacy.blogspot.it/2013/04/gypsies-at-peak.html
Why is the earth silent at this destruction? (Martin Heidegger ca. 1937)

Bruce Steele

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #334 on: September 19, 2015, 08:05:45 PM »
High standards for swineherds

1. No GMO feed
   a.  Corn , rice, soybeans and alfalfa are GMO so almost all commercial feeds contain GMO in the U.S.
   b.  Barley and wheat are not GMO ,they can be fed as a base for a feed mix.

   c. Most veggies aren't GMO except zucchini squash.

2. To obtain a good nutritional and mineral  complete diet Barley and Wheat need extra lysine as a supplement . Squash and squash seed are a good source. Amaranth seed also contains a good compete amino acid balance.

3. Kelp or canned fish ( sterilized ) provide minerals and trace minerals hard to get otherwise.

4. Diatomaceous earth from deposits of freshwater origin contain silica , phosphorus and calcium.
   a. Diatomaceous earth from oceanic origins may help control parasites but are also a lung irritant. Pigs seek it out however so maybe they know something I don't.

5. Calcium , Oyster shell and urchin tests both contain calcium but urchin has a high iodine content so should be used sparingly.

6. Natural oil /fat are contained in acorns, walnuts , almond and nuts in general.
Fish also has oil but it needs to be canned first because it also potentially contains pathogens that can passed from pig to pig once contracted from contaminated fish.
( Called San Miguel Sea Lion Disease )

7. Sterilized fish bones ( 90 + minutes in a pressure cooker at 15lbs ) contains a good phosphorus /calcium content and whole sardines and herring bone will be rendered soft.

8. Generous pasture , the veld  

http://www.livestrong.com/article/201787-what-grains-are-not-gmo/

OrganicSu

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #335 on: September 20, 2015, 10:56:49 AM »
Weeds? Best food I ate from the garden this year was Common Purslane (delicious and very healthy). 2nd best was Amaranth leaves. For past 6 years I weeded these "weeds".
By not weeding at all everything else did way better. My hypothesis after research is that this was because I didn't need to water as often as there was much less evaporation. By watering less often the root system was more stable (root ends die back when flooded and too dry).

ivica

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #336 on: September 20, 2015, 01:39:29 PM »
OrganicSu, thank you!
Your share encouraged me to open the thread dedicated for such experiances.

BTW: Perhaps we could use one more, dedicated to the herbs and medicinal trees. Anyone?

Clare

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #337 on: September 21, 2015, 08:40:51 AM »
Thanks for this thread Ivica.
My DH gagged at the mention of purslane = 'postelein' in Holland. Said they had it too often as a kid & it was slimy. Maybe his mum overcooked it? I haven't seen it in our garden so he is safe for a bit!

Clare

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #338 on: September 22, 2015, 01:50:24 AM »
Thanks Bruce, I always enjoy your thoughtful posts. And have joined your mailing list, sorry but just to be nosey, no shopping from downunder.

on food foraging in general:
Maybe if folk who have limited space at home you might like to do a bit of guerilla gardening or gather edible wild plants from around the neighbourhood?
Or seed bombing in good sheltered spots away from car fumes & pooing dogs?
(As a uni student in the 70's some of my flatmates were big on guerilla gardening, raised copious marijuana seedlings at our flat they then planted all around the local river bed! They grew well, 2m++!! but this was long before the days of police helicopter search teams looking for telltale signs of plantations!)

We have ~100 vacant sections around our suburb currently as the government housing provider has demolished a lot of their rental homes (what are they thinking??) leaving extensive grassed vacant sections but fortuneately also many trees were left as well.
I gathered bags of beautiful walnuts from one huge tree this autumn & see several trees are now loaded with mandarins & lemons (I have ample in my garden). People around here don't seem that interested but in Christchurch they are & ORGANISED!

After the earthquakes lots of properties have been abandoned &/or demolished and 'red zoned' which is now unsuitable for rebuilding on. Have a look at this with trees all logged on google maps!
http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/food-wine/food-news/67690529/Fruit-foraging-in-Christchurchs-red-zone

Clare

Bruce Steele

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #339 on: September 22, 2015, 09:26:43 AM »
Clare, Funny thing the net. I am usually embarrassed to be posting about things I learned from my mother, aunt and Grandmother while talking to scholars far outside of my league. Strange also that some of the best gardeners I know spent a good part of their youth practicing Johnny Appleseed  techniques growing herb many miles into the wilderness. And yes infrared and goons in helicopters put an end to it, but those are stories not shared with mom. The mayor of a town I lived in ( Pt. Arena ) was Raven Earlygrow. Not very subtle that.
 I think some of the lessons learned are applicable to how to operate under a surveillance state but I guess the only way to learn those lessons are with a bit of risk and sharing them is really self-defeating .
 If I was in Christchurch I would be buying and planting Truffle inoculated oak trees. Maybe a long term return on the investment but the lack of native fungi that will outcompete truffles almost anywhere else on earth makes the south island a very attractive guerilla gardening mecca. Sterile culture techniques are a real challenge but edible fungi are an amazing return on ones education. Makes curing meat seem rather straight forward. We inoculate meat with penicillin so should things ever get really scary maybe some knowledge about sterile culture , and lessons learned from mushroom culture will have some utility in making medicine/ antibiotics.     
 

Martin Gisser

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #340 on: September 22, 2015, 02:17:33 PM »
Hahaha, the hemp. It's an amazing plant. Even if you don't want to inhale, it's worth being grown: For the seed, for the soil improvement (good pioneer plant, good mulch) or just for the beauty...

In my later youth I've once grown it indoor (250W lamp in a big box with filtered air), just to see what all the fuss is about. It turned out to be not good for my daytime work as a maths teaching assistant, even when smoked only at night. So I stopped and threw it away. :-( But something remained: It turned me into a gardener...
« Last Edit: September 22, 2015, 02:22:45 PM by Martin Gisser »
Why is the earth silent at this destruction? (Martin Heidegger ca. 1937)

Bruce Steele

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #341 on: September 22, 2015, 05:18:32 PM »
Clare, My mother was an avid gleaner so roadside blackberries( yum the best ), walnuts, almonds,huckleberries, sascatoon berries, blueberries, and the occasional morel mushroom finds were all part of every roadtrip I can remember from my youth and sometimes the entire trip was formatted with harvest in mind.
 I was intrigued with your " red zone " story. We have similar GPS fruit tree catalogs for some cities but somehow they miss critical data like fruit harvest windows or yield estimates.
 If a program was invented to provide a GPS guide to fruit and nut gleaning ( public property ) sites with the intention to promote a gleaners subculture I would be much interested. I have put some thoughts into such a concept . I am no programer however.
 So a site could be invented that was open access with a caveat. You had to download two equally valuable trees not already listed for every tree you could access from a list. Some trees are a lot more valuable than others so some list of value would also need to be incorporated , a point system rather than a straight two trees for one. So the site would for example say an almond tree that produced 50lbs. was equal to a walnut that delivered similar volumes but  you had two deliver two walnut tree locations to "see" the almond tree location. You might , again as an example ,need four apple trees to get the walnut or almond location. There would be a monitor for these downloaded tree locations and some expulsion from the list for scammers. There would be areas of interest so maybe someone planning a road trip could research fruit tree sites , harvest dates and volume in planning their trip.
Eventually if enough people participated a"already picked " column would also be part of the program. I suppose the site overlord ( monitor ) would deserve extra points for their efforts. If such a site gained momentum a whole class of professional gleaners might arise and group harvest events planned to meet up at the pinions, acorn, huckleberry ,or blackberry patches that went on beyond anyones immediate needs. Some crops only are plentiful on certain years so again some networking and trading of points might lead to a large social organization, meet the monitors or change the points via some democratic method.
 The Gleaners 

Clare

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #342 on: September 23, 2015, 12:10:50 AM »
Have you run across Gareth Renowden, Bruce?

He runs this NZ climate site:
http://hot-topic.co.nz/
but is also a truffle grower farming just north of Christchurch
http://limestonehills.co.nz/
with nice pics here
http://www.podgardening.co.nz/gareth-renownden.html

I think there are a few other growers in NZ but not sure how big the market is - small population base & it's a VERY low wage economy here which must limit demand. But perhaps people export them? Same story for other specialty farms with eg. wasabi, green tea, saffron....



Bruce Steele

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #343 on: September 24, 2015, 02:07:34 PM »
Clare, What a beautiful farm. It's green, I miss that.  :)
I read thru Gareth's blog and noticed some familiar names from Skeptical Science in the comments.
We don't have truffles around here and I am no expert but that monster Gareth is holding is worth several hundred dollars. Export for sure .
 For a lark I am planning on training a sow to hunt truffles. I can buy truffle oil and hide prizes for her to discover. She seems to love me for some reason, confused maybe, but I don't have a dog right now so pig training will have to do. Not that I don't have plenty of work to do but a truffle pig seems to fit somehow even though there aren't any to hunt around here. I drive a right hand drive Australian 62' VW beetle  and when I had my Great Dane sitting in the drivers seat ( left side ) it drove people either crazy or into fits of laughter . A pig sitting there would probably cause car crashes. 

OrganicSu

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #344 on: October 03, 2015, 04:20:35 PM »
If you have olive trees be wary of growing tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, potato, cotton and some others underneath them. They cause an incurable disease, potentially fatal - Verticillium Wilt. http://www.oliveoilsource.com/page/disease-control#verticillium I just found out after several years of doing this...

P-maker

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #345 on: October 10, 2015, 05:22:43 PM »
Gents (and flood stricken ladies in CA & drought-stricken chicks in AUS)

All your kind words are more than  welcome. A  new opportunity has arisen, which you may all help to explore/exploit.

Destiny has come our way. The new liberal government (supported by opportunistic nationalists  “Dansk Folkeparti”) have  decided in their wisdom, that not only will our (otherwise sensible) programme be cut by 85 % next year, they have also decided to relocate our group westwards some 300 km.

This leaves me with a golden opportunity, since my wife is still able and willing to travel some 100 km every day to a well-paid job in the pharmaceutical industry.

The question now is – considering the imminent loss of Arctic sea ice – and many other calamities, what are the best options overall?

1)   Should I go for a small farm located close to one of the main railway lines in order to attract customers from nearby cities?
2)   Should I go for a greenhouse farm close to a smaller town with a stable consumption pattern?
3)   Should I go for a mixed bag of products in order to retain flexibility?
4)   Should I go for a specific product – such as well-tasting pigs bred on local produce?
5)   Should I aim for a family business, which can accommodate  sons and daughters in law (cheap and willing work force, when it’s about surviving total eclipse of the global markets)?

Bruce Steele

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #346 on: October 10, 2015, 07:43:58 PM »
P-maker, Marketing should drive your decision making process. Look first at local high end restaurants
that  support local farmers. Go in and look carefully at the menu, think about what you might be able to produce that is on the menu and what seasons you can produce those products. I have only minor experience with your part of the world but I remember Guinea Fowl on a menu for example. That is the sort of niche product that might go along with squab , Quail, or small game birds in a small farm operation. Bird flu might make that choice either a bad one or an opportunity but finding a niche
product or product line is an important first step in getting into good restaurants and once you have a working relationship with some good chefs you can ask them for tips on new food trends that you can expand into as time progresses. You will need to be nimble because your first crop choices may not work out or be profitable or maybe they will just go out of style. What is important is the relationship you develop with the market which is largely a personal relationship with the purchasing chef. That relationship is based upon your ability to be very dependable( never tell a chef you will deliver tomorrow and not show up ). Your product is built into the menu and the chef will have to go out of his way to track down an alternative source, they will Never forgive you. First thoughts. 
 

P-maker

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #347 on: October 10, 2015, 09:30:58 PM »
Bruce, thanks for your initial thoughts.

You seem, to be inclined towards solution 4 - specializing in a high quality product for a top local restauarant. I tend to agree with you, and I am working on building up these important relationships.

I was also thinking about the difference between open air farming/gardening versus greenhouse/intensive gardening. The latter way of production both requires less land and less resources for irrigation/light. I'm in particular watching risks and opportunities  related to a future more volatile climate and more or less mobile customers.

Bruce Steele

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #348 on: October 11, 2015, 04:32:51 AM »
P-maker, Hothouse culture does give you a jump on the production season and allows for an extended season also. The first year or two you can focus on high end crops like heirloom tomatoes but soil fungus and plant disease will build up and force you to rotate crops in the greenhouse and typically you will be forced into less profitable crops as you wait out the three or four years necessary before you can return to tomatoes. Some people do well with flowers but it was never my thing. There is another thing that kinda bothers me about wall to wall greenhouses and that is you will totally eliminate any natural biodiversity like birds or other native critters . This is both a blessing and a curse because sometimes those critters will take a lot of production but also sometimes they can control insects for you. I try to not overdue pest eradication because somehow it feels like you in the process mimic the standard mono crop , pest control methods of most farmers these days. I think GMO favors the same mentality although that isn't an issue for European farmers. Very little seed diversity ( no heirlooms ) plastic, no biodiversity and a kinda sterile environment. It is difficult to be a beginner farmer however and the dependability of greenhouse culture does have it's allure.
 Ultimately profit is a necessary thing or you will lose your farm and I can't tell you from half a world away wether plants or animals should be your specialty but much depends on your local competitors , your skill at marketing, and no small amount of luck picking crops or animals that happen to be trendy before everyone else jumps in and drives the market price into the tank. Again I think the chefs you work with can help but having what they want before they even know they want it is better. :)

Martin Gisser

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #349 on: October 12, 2015, 06:23:01 PM »
Apropos producing for restaurants. One of my many super business ideas is to combine farm/garden and restaurant. Eating delicious stuff right where it grows. (Plus feeding back the waste etc.)
Why is the earth silent at this destruction? (Martin Heidegger ca. 1937)