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adelady

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #150 on: April 01, 2014, 04:25:36 PM »
Lawn?  Well so long as you're not interested in reproducing a lawn bowls or lawn tennis surface they do have their uses - in limited sizes.   First and foremost, comfort

For sitting out in the sun on a nice day with a cool drink or cup of tea.  Maybe playing bocce or just chatting with family or friends and neighbours around the BBQ/ pizza oven.   If you have kids - in the house or as expected visitors - a lawn area for vigorous or loud play is good, even if it's not much more than the space required for a clothes line.    Better if there's enough room for one of those tennis poles or a badminton net or a basketball ring.   

Back to comfort.  The other thing a lawn can do if you get it right is to use at as the absorber for your laundry grey water which then gets turned into green stuff for your compost heap or chook run.    The comfort angle?  Positioned where evening breezes will cross it before getting to the house, it's a self air conditioning aid, particularly if you've done a couple of loads of washing in the mid afternoon.  Won't alleviate 35C, but will enhance cooling down from a moderately warm day.   

Most importantly, get away from conventional "lawn grasses".  You might want a reasonably level surface for ease of walking or standing while tending the BBQ, but you don't need billiard table level.   Some people like to use meadow grasses or herbs like thyme - I'm not keen.  If your garden is attractive to bees, then flowering plants underfoot will be the place where weary bees go to die - and that's when they're most likely to sting someone who disturbs them by walking on them.  And Murphy's Law tells us the person who gets stung is the only one in the group who's sensitive or even allergic to the stings. 

Most importantly there should never be any, none at all, bare soil in a garden.  I rather dislike hard surfaces and I heartily detest most of the weeds we get here, so perennial grasses or other groundcover plants are the easiest way to cover a largish area.   

bkpr

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #151 on: April 01, 2014, 10:07:47 PM »
Sorry, left out part of cleaning the used garbage disposal before use. I gave it a slug of chlorine and left it in the sun for a good while before attaching it to the used SS sink on pallet pedestal. Use care on how the switch is wired. :)Separate what is good for the worms, run it first, all excess and other items get shredded for the compost piles.

We stopped using peat sometime ago after a story in Mother Earth News. Sorry no link. We switched to coir, the shredded husk of the coconut. It comes in compressed bricks. When watered for the first time, the expansion is amazing. Coir, perlite and a mix we make here using some organic matter, fully formed compost (black gold) and we then test for mineral deficiencies and adjust. Robust starts, low mortality, and we think that the vast compression of the coir results in a smaller carbon footprint than peat in a bale or bag.

We use a one gallon net bag with drawstring per 40 to 50 gallons of water to make poo tea or compost tea. So as not to clog the drip tips or spray tip, we use a fine mesh that keep most particulates out, and lets the nutrients steep. Again about 24 hrs seems to work.

We use to be fond of fish emulsion and seaweed for soil amending, but now with Fuke, we will have to adjust how we replenish certain minerals. :(

We have acquired two scythes, we took them to a real good sand blaster, who used beads in lieu of sand, (less abrasive) and he bead blasted all steel parts so as to let us get them apart.
Then my 78 yr old friend, who has one I'm coveting has the stone designed to keep a sharp edge on. I want that too, now that I know how to use it. We eventually bought the middle and two hand size scythes. kept sharp, I can get in where the whacker tears out too much good most times.  How to resurrect life in a old hickory or oak handle. This takes a bit. Using a scrubby and a bit of water. clean the old surface dirt off.  Using hand paper, smooth the surfaces a bit for comfort of use. Tack off the wood dust or use a jet blast of air. Using great care to prevent flash over, heat a cup or two of linseed oil warm enough to work it's way into the grain but not so hot a rubber gloved hand can't handle it. Let it soak in all over for 4 hrs and repeat.  Let dry for eight and see if the wood doesn't "feel" a bit more elastic.  Depending on age, this may take several applications to achieve penetration of linseed oil into the dry old grain. This works on all oak and hickory handles, and can be performed each winter to keep these old, well made, wooden handled tools. When you think the handle can't absorb another drop or coating, wipe excess with shop towel. CAUTION, a linseed soaked rag can and will spontaneously combust. Use a proper designed storage container for oily rags. In a pinch it can be saturated with water and left in a large zip lock bag, sealed against air, until proper disposal can be made.

Great tips for and about pollinators. Check and see if Xerces.org has a branch close to you. World wide organization for all types of pollinators.

Happy Growing
bkpr

idunno

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #152 on: April 01, 2014, 11:13:26 PM »
addendum to bkpr's excellent advice...

add turpentine

Start with 2 parts terps to 1 linseed

then with 1 to 1 mix

then 2 linseed to 1te rps.

Aids penetration and absorbsion.

There are two vulnerable parts on a scythe; the heel and the middle handle.

Above, I suggest that using a scythe involves less effort than using  a lawnmower or a strimmer...

Let's rephrase that a bit...

Definitely less effort involved than strimming;and you get to keep your fillings. Saves on dentistry.  I guess a lawnmower is easier, per acre, where appropriate. But in my back garden, my 'lawn' has daffodils, primroses, a jonquil, wild chives, daffodils and a bunch of other stuff. That's a lot of swerving with a mower.

adelady

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #153 on: April 02, 2014, 02:21:51 AM »
As for feeding worms.  I've never kept a worm farm, but the usual advice here is to keep a worm- feed-only blender on the kitchen bench.  Maybe buy a second hand one for the purpose.  As you put aside all your veg parings and peelings and other food waste, the stuff for compost goes into its designated container and the stuff suitable for worms goes into its blender.   When it's time to feed the worms, hit the button then take it outside. 

sidd

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #154 on: April 02, 2014, 06:04:33 AM »
Re: Amish and horse drawn ag

heeheehee

it all depends on the bishop ...

we got all kindsa amish, mennonite, you name it
some use cellfones. some wear mirrored sunglasses and run auctions. some use electric in the barn. some dont have curtains. some use bicycles. some use horse teams and ground drive equipment. some (i didnt believe till i saw) use a horse drawn flatbed with a engine on it that driving the rest of the equipment. some make icecream by hand. some make it with a gas engine. my amish welder makes electric with a big block v8 hooked to an ancient alternator, but drives a horse and buggy to work, and grows tobacco for the "english" (all non amish, including me who comes from climes very far from perfidious albion ...)

it all depends on the particular community, especially the bishop and the elders.

but they are almost all good to do business with, handshake deals are good enuf. Infact good enuf for the US IRS to allow exemption from tax withholding since they almost _never_ collect benefits.

i like all the ones i know, but i also have friends that lived by the infamous amish guy in ohio who was convicted for runnin round and beatin up people and shaving their beards and lots else.

they are movin to mexico. good land is too expensive in USA

sidd

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #155 on: April 02, 2014, 06:08:27 AM »
ooo, i forgot to say, one of the amish guys who grows some canola for me has a field fulla solar panels. his family (him, 2 brothers and dad are the principals) are typically sitting on 10-15 million US$ of commodity (soy, corn, ...) in any given year, if you have driven ion PA turnpike you have seen their trucks.

sidd

JackTaylor

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #156 on: April 02, 2014, 11:24:04 PM »
Peat is the largest terrestrial carbon sink, after the oceans, as you remind me. I believe that it stored more carbon per hectare than tropical rainforest, which surprises most people, but may be old hat on a blog so concerned with permafrost on tundra.
Thanks for the information in that post.

Did some more minor seeking information and believe you've convinced to try some "Coconut Coir."

If one claims to be interested in protecting the environment -
a change to ignorant ways is in order.

`

Laurent

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #157 on: April 03, 2014, 09:20:00 AM »
For whose who live in USA, you can test your soil with this king of thing.
http://www.gemplers.com/search/kit+soil
Measuring carbon content could prove useful in the futur (ok you can see it most of the time). Having a scientific approach may be interesting (may be not for a garden...)

I am looking for the same thing in Europe. There is that but it is not a sell's site apparently.
http://www.lamotte-europe.com/agriculture-and-horticulture.php

jai mitchell

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #158 on: April 13, 2014, 06:10:45 AM »
This is the best example I have found so far for a fully integrated urban solution.  This is an active project using a combination of fish ponds, compost-heat (for winter greenhouse-they are in northern border of Midwest U.S.)  and vertically integrated growing space to produce

1 million pounds of food
10,000 fish
500 yards of compost

on 3 acres (1.22 hectares)



The only thing that I can see that is missing from this system is chicken and cattle for the processing of greenwaste.   If they combined a methane capture system to the composting then they could run most of the water heater from that source.
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adelady

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #159 on: April 14, 2014, 05:25:25 PM »
Quote
The only thing that I can see that is missing from this system is chicken and cattle for the processing of greenwaste.   If they combined a methane capture system to the composting then they could run most of the water heater from that source.

You couldn't run cattle on 3 acres, but you should run chooks.    In some areas with less extreme winters, people use the henhouse at one end of a greenhouse (smaller than the one in the video) as a source of warmth during the colder months.   

If you manage your compost correctly, there shouldn't be any methane worth collecting.  Methane's a problem - in landfills -  because of the anaerobic conditions.  Properly made compost shouldn't have anaerobic conditions at all - if you do get a slimy, smelly mess you take the heap apart and rebuild it with better aeration and extra, more suitable materials.   

I realise that they're running that set-up for commercial/ community operations, but I see no reason why you couldn't fit a good number of nut and fruit trees on 3 acres, even if most of it is taken up with greenhouses.   Not much point in growing good food if you have to buy lots of  other stuff for the workers/ owners to eat.   And if you combine it with chooks to run underneath and control weeds and get rid of any missed windfalls and the associated insect pests and their eggs, your fruit/nuts and egg production are mutually beneficial systems. 

One thing I noted about the vertical operation, this would make using those sprawling tomato plants easy.  Plant them in containers which you hang high in the greenhouse and pick the fruit from the trailing foliage.   No posts, no strings, no fuss, just prune out the inconvenient/ tangling stems. 

Clare

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #160 on: May 05, 2014, 06:45:08 AM »
I'm sure like me all you gardeners here will enjoy looking at someone else's plot:
 
http://permaculturenews.org/2013/04/21/letters-from-new-zealand-a-permaculture-food-forest-in-the-far-south/

The 2nd video linked here is quite amusing where the neighbours comment on this couple's gardening methods!
Oh and to translate kiwi-speak 'the Bush' refers to native forest. And gorse & broom are pest species here, brought by early settlers homesick for the plants of their homeland but the species 'liked' NZ's climate tooooo well.

Neven's field may look like this in 20 years time meaning their beautiful sturdy house might be hard to see for the 'forest'!
« Last Edit: May 05, 2014, 12:14:47 PM by Clare »

jai mitchell

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #161 on: May 05, 2014, 10:21:01 PM »
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RunningChristo

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #162 on: May 05, 2014, 11:00:31 PM »
Ha ha, that's a Good one Jai Mitchell, war "propaganda" I figure?! I admit it strike my mind now and then how important might get to be in a world going of the hinges, With rising foodprices and also a kind of closed borders due to risk of importing Dangerous pests and "biological diversity" that doesn't fit in all over the globe! Nobody know the future, so keep Gardening, and not just for fun! We sure put a huge burden upon Your Gardening shoulders, Neven, ha ha!
My fancy for ice & glaciers started in 1995:-).

jai mitchell

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #163 on: May 06, 2014, 04:10:48 AM »
In the WWII era the federal government put regional supply stores to allow people access to seeds, equipment, soil and even low-cost canning and storage equipment (taking steel from the war industry to do  it)

it was that important.





in 1943 41% of all produce eaten in the United States was grown at home.

http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/victory-gardens-zbcz1310.aspx#axzz30tgwablT
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Laurent

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #164 on: May 09, 2014, 10:30:03 PM »

yan

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #165 on: May 10, 2014, 02:57:31 PM »
Hi Everybody,

A glimpse of our community garden, based on in Permaculture, south France

more infos here (sorry french language)
www.jardiniersdepeyrolles.over-blog.com

Lynn Shwadchuck

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #166 on: May 14, 2014, 04:34:42 AM »
I've been away from the forum all winter, but this gardening thread is great! I've just speed-read all four pages so I don't reinvent the wheel. One thing I didn't see a lot of detail on, and the thing that will ultimately help our soil hold water, is a good composting system for building more organic matter in our soil.

Granted, we have some advantages here:
1. many trees for 'brown' leaves in spring (stockpiled in paper bags or in a low spot where they can't blow away)
2. lots of 'green': many weeds and small saplings in wild areas (we have 4 acres, at least 2//3 in woods)
3. 'microbes': plenty of organic matter – a swamp for black goo

Here's a link to the composting page on my old site (I built it when I believed I could make a difference by encouraging vegetarianism) http://www.10in10diet.com/three-bin-composting.php

Also, I'm enjoying and nodding at most of what Adelady writes. Except I don't know what a chook is. I'm planting more and more deep-rooted things: berries, asparagus, rhubarb, trees and diverting as much rainwater as possible to those roots. I do a LOT of hand watering from seven rain barrels. It wastes the least water and it's good upper body exercise.

I disagree (or don't understand) what Adelady said about onions. I plant sets in sandy soil and get plenty of nice, small onions. (Correct about the hand weeding. They also need plenty of water.) The key is to cure them properly so they keep in a coolish room. There are many good websites and videos on curing onions. Small onions make fabulous stock without peeling or cutting them.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2014, 08:17:44 PM by Lynn Shwadchuck »
Still living in the bush in eastern Ontario. Gave up on growing annual veggies. Too much drought.

Bruce Steele

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #167 on: May 14, 2014, 05:19:34 AM »
Lynn, Good to see you back. It's been a little quiet on the gardening thread lately , maybe because the gardening takes a lot of devotion as things heat up. 95F here tomorrow . I have good luck with onions and shallots in sandy soil but they demand moisture especially while getting established. I think a chook is a chicken.
Could you elaborate on black goo from the swamp? Sounds anoxic ? Using a pond to supplement garden fertility sounds like a good idea but I am interested in how you source it, and use it in your compost. Carbon heavy or nitrogen ?

Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #168 on: May 14, 2014, 09:08:54 AM »
Lynn, thanks a lot for that link to your website. I want to set up a serious composting system as soon as I'm done with building the house. That's to say, as soon as it's livable and we can move in.

I built a quick compost structure with wooden planks (measuring 1 x 1 x 1 m, ie 1 m3), and we're filling it up - veeeery slowly - with kitchen scraps. I'm thinking about asking the neighbours for their grass clippings (we don't have any as of yet, and I want it to rot in place to build up the soil) and mix those with wood shavings. It would be nice to have some compost next year, so we don't have to buy it.
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yan

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #169 on: May 14, 2014, 01:18:28 PM »
Neven
Below you have a photo of what I began 1 year later on a poor soil just around my house:  spread straw in 30 cm thickness and...wait. During winter the rain work with the straw and worms to make natural compost. I put 30 cm more straw after 6 month (in march this year). In 1 year my old poor soil is well compost, I planted potatoes and srawberries in april this year.  When potatoes wil grow up I will put more straw. After the harvest of potatoes (end of summer) I will plant winter vegetables like beans and/or just put more straw to make more compost for next year etc...I paid my bundles of straw 1 euros and I need 1 bundles for 10 m2.

Laurent

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #170 on: May 14, 2014, 02:16:06 PM »
1€ That's pretty cheap, is that bio...?
There is that for potatoes.

Here one piece of straw is between 1 and 3€ (15kg).
If I had plenty of grass I would put my potatoes on the soil and the grass above, not a lot just enough to block the light and a little bit more. Then add some more later on, just to make sure only the potatoes grow.


Lynn Shwadchuck

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #171 on: May 14, 2014, 03:02:03 PM »
Neven, don't be shy about asking your neighbours for grass clippings! But use them fresh and thinly as 'fire' (nitrogen) to light your 'carbon' stuff (brown leaves). I think what my friend Mike said (quoted extensively on my page) is a few inches of dry brown stuff and a thin coating of fresh green. (Kitchen scraps are 'green'.) The other thing you can do for green is have a weed patch or a patch of red clover and harvest it before it seeds (never compost weeds that have gone to seed). Red clover flowers dried in the oven make lovely tea all winter and clover fixes nitrogen like crazy. My husband goes around the lawn and uses a Lee Valley dandelion digger to harvest plantains, dandelions and other weeds for the compost.

Bruce, the swamp goo is really black humus made of decomposed grasses. It hasn't been full of water for years. The spot we dig is at the edge of a treed area, so it's hard to say whether it's more forest floor or wetland edge. We only use it sparingly, like a condiment to get things cooking. My husband inserts one or two white PVC pipes into the middle and pours in urine.

Yan, I see what you've done with straw, some things like potatoes and squash will grow well in a pile of anything fluffy. But for speed-composting, never use straw. We made a huge mistake last fall and put dry lowland hay in as a carbon layer. That stuff is NEVER going to decompose. We bought a truckload of bales from a farmer to make a snapping turtle barrier around the garden and they climbed right over it. So I thought it would compost. Think of all the old barns you've seen with antique straw in the loft. Straw is not fast enough for the three bin system. If you have space to spare you can have long term compost piles (I think I quoted Tom Waller on my page, describing windrows). My husband worked his butt off sifting all that straw-thatched compost to get rid of the straw. Anyway, this spring we have seven wheelbarrows, maybe two cubic metres, of lovely dark compost.

Gradually, slowly, our no-till beds are getting higher. I just aerate them with a garden fork and rake the top inch or two and plant.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2014, 03:22:25 PM by Lynn Shwadchuck »
Still living in the bush in eastern Ontario. Gave up on growing annual veggies. Too much drought.

Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #172 on: May 14, 2014, 10:13:33 PM »
I bought straw back in September, and we made a lasagna (layers of cow dung, grass clippings, compost and lots of straw) for this spring's garden beds. I assumed the straw was well-thrashed, turned out it wasn't. We had wheat growing in our garden beds!

Looks like I will have to find a better source of straw.  ;D

I'm hoping our pond will provide lots of mulching material, but couldn't find a lot of info on what plant species to plant. Of course, we're planting stuff like cattail (Typha minima) and reeds (Phragmites). We ordered some seeds of plants that pollinators like, and that look nice to boot, but it takes a long time for them to germinate! So I'm going to buy some potted Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) as well. And some under water plants that generate oxygen.

My wife planted a clover mix today.
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Lynn Shwadchuck

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #173 on: May 14, 2014, 11:04:31 PM »
I forgot about lasagna gardens. They hold lots of moisture.

I learned a hard lesson about mulching this spring. I had used lots of that straw to deeply mulch the raspberry canes. They did very well and I didn't have to weed them all summer. Then after our very deep snow cover melted I saw the damage mice had done to the bottom foot of bark on the canes. Apparently that mulch is a wonderful place for mouse nests! They say not to put that mulch on until there have been several hard frosts. The mice find other places to make their winter nests and are less likely to even find the canes. So I guess that means remove the mulch when it's time to cut down the spent canes.

I'm in north-eastern Ontario, Canada. Purple loosestrife is invasive here. Not as bad as alarmists predicted fifteen years ago. But the idea of paying money for it in a pot is pretty weird here.
Still living in the bush in eastern Ontario. Gave up on growing annual veggies. Too much drought.

Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #174 on: May 14, 2014, 11:09:41 PM »
Well, people are willing to pay for some good weed too.  ;)

I read about the plant being considered invasive in the US (which made me doubt if I would buy it), but there was no mention whatsoever on the German Wikipedia. And then I thought: if it's so invasive, it will probably spread easily by itself, and I only need to buy one plant!  :P
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Clare

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #175 on: May 15, 2014, 11:22:01 AM »
OT slightly :
I thought you might enjoy seeing this photo of old straw (for the horses) in Scott's Hut at Cape Evans in Antarctica! No sign of decomposition here!
« Last Edit: May 15, 2014, 01:02:39 PM by Clare »

jai mitchell

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #176 on: May 17, 2014, 04:08:20 AM »
I have it on good authority that laying newspaper down under and then over the mulch layer each season is a wonderful weed suppressor and also works very well to keep moisture in the ground.  Such a simple thing to do but a very effective tool for soil management.

here is a good reference:

http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/newspaper-mulch-zmaz80mjzraw.aspx
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johnm33

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #177 on: May 17, 2014, 11:44:46 AM »
I,m pretty sure that almost all coloured inks used in newspapers are seriously toxic. When I've put them in with my tiger worms they slow down the whole show, black inks not so bad -- usually.

Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #178 on: May 17, 2014, 11:52:48 AM »
I've read that the inks aren't a problem (except for glossy stuff), but somehow I don't trust it either.
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ghoti

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #179 on: May 17, 2014, 04:25:45 PM »
Our local paper claims to use vegetable based ink. I don't know whether this is the industry standard now or not. I've been using newspaper for many years. I hope I haven't been poisoning myself through garden vegetables.

Lynn Shwadchuck

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #180 on: May 17, 2014, 07:37:45 PM »
Here's a very knowledgeable Aussie writing on the subject. Myself, I'd lean toward using corrugated cardboard for that bottom layer of a lasagne garden. Not that I've grown one.
http://cityfoodgrowers.com.au/blog-latestposts.php?catid=104

"Heavy metals from petro-chemical ink – Its quite likely that the newspapers you use for your garden have a mixture of petro-chemical and soy based ink.  When released into the atmosphere, petro-chemicals can contaminate soil and groundwater.
Support of GM products in soy ink – Usage of GM products is very contentious with the proponents believing it’s the saviour of our ailing food system and it has no adverse affects on the environment. If you don't support GM products and prefer to be more cautious with the avoiding the potential impacts of GM products residues in your soil, then avoid newspaper produced with GM soy ink"
« Last Edit: May 17, 2014, 09:00:44 PM by Lynn Shwadchuck »
Still living in the bush in eastern Ontario. Gave up on growing annual veggies. Too much drought.

Bruce Steele

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #181 on: May 17, 2014, 08:22:41 PM »
I would agree with Lynn that cardboard might be a better option. It makes a better weed barrier and usually has less ink. I live in an agriculture area and there are box fabricating businesses where you can get reject boxes all flattened out and in one ton bales, really cheap. You can lay the cardboard right on top of weeds under trees then just bury it with lawn clippings and leaves. Repeat when weeds reappear. I think it's also called sheet mulching, no pun intended.

jai mitchell

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #182 on: May 17, 2014, 11:00:50 PM »
Since I heat with a wood stove I was concerned with toxic metals in ink, then I found out that the soy-based inks were much cheaper due to production costs and environmental hazard/cleanup risks.  So they use soy-based inks now.

If newsprint was toxic I would be much more concerned with exposure to my skin while I am reading it than by putting it into the garden.

I am not sure if cardboard would be better due to the differences in manufacturing processes.  it certainly takes less weight of newsprint to do the job than cardboard.

This is only a small part of the overall restoration of garden soil to an active humus intense growing process:

This is how it is done on an industrial scale, using biodynamic techniques.  There are tons of references at the bottom of the page.

http://www.ibiblio.org/steved/Luebke/Luebke-compost2.html
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Re: Gardening
« Reply #183 on: May 21, 2014, 08:35:02 PM »
Imho: Cardboard/paper "mulching" == disgusting. Not "perma" "culture": Gardening with industrial garbage. But who can resist? We just need to pollute wherever we can, so let's begin in our garden!  Anyhow, even German engineers are usually unable to distinguish paper from plastic. And then they proudly burn it in their stupid stove (fossil optimized stove == stupid stove) and then happily contaminate their soil with what they call ashes. Some even like to burn old wood with lead paint! Then paper makes no difference.

There are many sorts of paper, some more contaminated, some not. (E.g. recycling accumulates heavy metals.) Who knows? So, why think hard and look close and find excuses for some particular paper being "clean"...

Just forget about it, don't waste your neurons, and don't use it! I'm pretty sure, tree leaves are way better material.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2014, 08:45:23 PM by Martin Gisser »

Laurent

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #184 on: May 21, 2014, 09:05:32 PM »
I should add that the soy oil is certainly made out of GMO, that mean it may contain round up or something similar...
In anycase if you are against GMO try to avoid soy oil.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2014, 09:47:32 PM by Laurent »

Lynn Shwadchuck

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #185 on: May 21, 2014, 09:39:57 PM »
Thanks, Martin, for saying what I sort of think but didn't want to say. I think a lot of these new-fangled garden ways are just something to write about, something you can teach in a one-day workshop. It appeals to new food producers because it promises to save digging, watering and weeding. In other words, as Maynard G. Krebbs would say – WORK!
• I dig a shovel deep and then never step on that bed again. I just aerate with a fork in spring.
• Weeding is to gardening as petting is to pet ownership. At least it is for me. I care how the garden looks every day. For me half the pleasure of growing things is watching them. I'm an artist, so it matters.
• My watering comes down to soaker hoses on the deep-rooted perennials (they don't spread the water evenly enough on annual vegetable beds) and hand watering from rain barrels (or the tap if it gets really dry). Straw mulching cuts down on the drying-out of raspberry canes, but I paid a price for leaving it on, in mouse-gnawing.
Still living in the bush in eastern Ontario. Gave up on growing annual veggies. Too much drought.

Bruce Steele

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #186 on: May 21, 2014, 09:47:29 PM »
Martin, O.K. Newspaper and cardboard probably are not a perfect solution and even though I use an "organically" approved paper mulch product who really knows how "clean" it really is. However I do think sometimes we can be dragged down by the perfect being the enemy of the good. A vast majority of food consumed isn't organically approved and surely not permaculture. In a more perfect world everyone would seek to produce their own food or at least some large portion of it but for all the years I have been crawling around pulling weeds I have watched as fewer and fewer people actually do the hard dirty work that is required for self sustenance let alone producing enough to feed other people.
Take someone who isn't used to the workload ,have them crawl a half mile a day on their hands and knees in heat and full sun. Try as hard as you might to control the gophers,birds, squirrels, deer, bugs,raccoons, skunks,and badgers organically. It takes fences , traps, and tricks acquired from years of experience and those solutions won't be equally effective at different locations. Do your best to keep your soil health in good shape with homemade mulches , locally sourced manures( from  your own farm animals ideally) and use cover crops. Do all these things to the best of your abilities but don't expect new gardeners to achieve perfection from their first efforts. IMHO newspaper and cardboard mulches are far less damaging to the environment than the fossil fuels we consume in otherwise "organically or bio-dynamically" approved methods. It takes many years to perfect your own gardening technics but please don't expect perfection out of new or novice gardeners. I have never met the perfect gardener or seen the perfect garden. Please don't let perfection be the enemy of the good. Strive for getting better with each season and  encourage new gardeners with helpful advice as opposed to unobtainable ideals. Like Lynn says it is the work load that kills most newbie
 efforts so be easy on the beginners, we need every gardener we can muster.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2014, 10:08:49 PM by Bruce Steele »

sidd

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #187 on: May 22, 2014, 05:46:42 AM »
Re: GMO soy oil

cannot detect difference in GMO soy oil and nonGMO soy oil from chemical or gas chromatograph analysis 

need PCR on bean fragments in the oil, may not work if finely filtered

works for biodiesel just fine, either way

sidd

Lynn Shwadchuck

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #188 on: May 22, 2014, 04:05:17 PM »
Bruce is right. Let's not get carried away (or bogged down) worrying ourselves sick over every molecule that may ultimately enter our bodies from our gardens. We already grew up in a poisoned world.
Still living in the bush in eastern Ontario. Gave up on growing annual veggies. Too much drought.

lisa

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #189 on: June 09, 2014, 03:09:08 AM »
How is everyone's 2014 gardening season going? 

I'm in central Michigan, USA, and I'm just getting started.  I'm working two jobs so I'm not able to put in the time I want to, but I've got 3 double-dug beds, each one about 6 meters long and about 1.5 meters across.  I've got leaf lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, peas, sweet corn, potatoes, tomatoes, pumpkins, melons, winter squash and zucchini.  I've also got rhubarb,  raspberries, concord grapes, and asparagus.   

Everything is still very small, so we'll see how they come along.  I've been able to harvest some rhubarb though, and as soon as my mulberry ripens, I'll make some rhubarb and mulberry jam.  I anyone else into canning?  I just got a great book and am excited about some of the recipes.  Also, I'm going to try my hand at home brew -- anyone into that, or mead?

Lynn Shwadchuck

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #190 on: June 09, 2014, 04:27:41 AM »
Hi Lisa, that's not a small garden! I canned a lot in my twenties and again for a few years recently (I'm in my sixties), but now less. Mostly stuff to put in the yogurt I make from a local small-scale organic dairy's milk. Jam and lots of jars of rhubarb sauce. I picked over eleven pounds of rhubarb the other day.

I'm concentrating on deep-rooted perennials like asparagus, berries, grapes, fruit trees. I'm less disappointed when annuals don't come up or get chewed off than I was a few years ago, or there's a really dry summer or a too-wet summer (we've had one of each the last two years). I love our local farmer's market, so I can support local producers where my garden fails or just when I'm lazy.

Here's the little video that some fans made or our market. I live in a very sparsely populated area where the population doubles in the summer, just a village, so this market has taken a handful of people a lot of work and boosting.

Still living in the bush in eastern Ontario. Gave up on growing annual veggies. Too much drought.

lisa

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #191 on: June 09, 2014, 06:09:58 AM »
Lynn, what a great video!  Love the fiddle girl.

I live in a blue collar neighborhood of Lansing, Michigan but originally from the Upper Peninsula, a little town called Negaunee -- so I know rural. 

I live in an older "Arts and Crafts" bungalow with a tiny yard; we've only been here for a couple of years.  But there's an empty lot across the street where a house burned down some ten years ago and I'm guerrilla gardening there.   

I've been canning standard jams for years -- put up a really fine batch of wild fox grape jam last fall -- but this book has a lot of interesting savory and herb jellies and sauces that I'm very interested in, to be used as a glaze for meats or a savory sandwich spread.

I'm 53, with grown children and grandchildren.  Today, a couple of my grandkids where out in the garden with me and it brought back memories of my own grandmother.  Very cool.

JayW

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #192 on: June 09, 2014, 12:41:22 PM »
Well, people are willing to pay for some good weed too.  ;)

I read about the plant being considered invasive in the US (which made me doubt if I would buy it), but there was no mention whatsoever on the German Wikipedia. And then I thought: if it's so invasive, it will probably spread easily by itself, and I only need to buy one plant!  :P

10 years ago it looked like purple loostrife was going to displace the cattails (cat o' nine tails is the local vernacular where I live  :) ) I rarely seen them now.  I did hear anecdotally that bee hives near it would produce purple honey though, but didn't see, it so I'm not sure, but sounded cool.
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Re: Gardening
« Reply #193 on: June 12, 2014, 09:54:58 PM »
Thanks, Martin, for saying what I sort of think but didn't want to say.
Haha. I've always been quite ruthless, and in this ridicu-lousy century I lost patience and mercy. Still I often regret what I said later. Here I mostly regret the bad/sloppy texting.

However I do think sometimes we can be dragged down by the perfect being the enemy of the good.
(...)
Strive for getting better with each season and  encourage new gardeners with helpful advice as opposed to unobtainable ideals. Like Lynn says it is the work load that kills most newbie efforts so be easy on the beginners, we need every gardener we can muster.
Yeah, right.

It seems I'm a bit like Lynn. My gardening is mostly art (Florifulgurator's horizontal climbing park) and experimentation with plants and soil (Terra Preta). My harvests are only some handful of garlic, herbs, strawberries, beans, and a few half empty sweet corn cobs. The rest is flowers.

So, I'm actually not in a position to criticize the bigger and more serious gardeners.

Quote
• Weeding is to gardening as petting is to pet ownership. At least it is for me. I care how the garden looks every day. For me half the pleasure of growing things is watching them. I'm an artist, so it matters.
Exactly. Weeding focuses attention. I even introduce weeds e.g. by mulching with stinging-nettle. Also I like to let the seeds decide where to grow best, and so some of the "good plants" end up as "weeds" to be pulled out.  Instead of hoeing I just pull weeds and leave them as mulch. I'm doing it standing, often straddling and stretching over the intricate microtopography of my Hügelbeet-in-stinging-nettle-belt. This is my only sports/yoga.

-------------------

Apropos experimentation: I sowed woad (Isatis tinctoria) in late in April. None sprouting.
Why? Has the evil mouse eaten all? Anybody here with experience in woad? Woad seems an excellent pioneer (yet also the ruin of good fields if done wrong). I want to try dyeing with woad (indigo blue) for some very crazy project.

Lynn Shwadchuck

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #194 on: June 21, 2014, 03:44:43 AM »
Thought I'd check in to see how everyone's spring has shaped up in the gardens. I've had so many rows of veggies either fail to germinate or be nibbled off at the sprout stage that I'm pretty much planning on concentrating on fruits and a couple of perennial veggies – asparagus and rhubarb. It's a very good year for berry bushes, plenty of rain, not too hot. Next year's canes are thick and there are lots of raspberries and black raspberries coming along. I'm most optimistic about the three large fruit elderberries I put in this spring. The grape vines are in their third summer, so I'm nipping the fruits and growing wood. The plum tree could bear any year now. This is year six. I LOVE growing cantaloupe. It's doing well from direct seeding.

I'll buy green veggies at the farmers Market. If it push came to shove I think we'd be pretty well nourished on our own produce.
Still living in the bush in eastern Ontario. Gave up on growing annual veggies. Too much drought.

Laurent

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #195 on: June 21, 2014, 11:26:03 AM »

Lynn Shwadchuck

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #196 on: June 21, 2014, 01:46:28 PM »
Wow, Laurent, well said by Jigmi Y. Thinley is Chairman, Gross National Happiness Centre, Bhutan, and former prime minister of Bhutan.

"Our commitment to organic farming must not be compromised by the volatilities of the market. It must stay true to the long-term interest of the farmers and of society.

"And it must remain mindful of the reality that the ultimate well-being, happiness and the very survival of the human race together with all other sentient beings will depend on organic agriculture.

"The Royal Government of Bhutan on its part, will relentlessly promote and continue with its endeavour to realize the dreams we share - of bringing about a global movement to transit to organic agriculture so that crops and the earth on which they grow will become genuinely sustainable.

And so that agriculture will contribute not to the degradation but rather to the resuscitation and revitalization of nature."

Still living in the bush in eastern Ontario. Gave up on growing annual veggies. Too much drought.

Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #197 on: June 24, 2014, 09:02:39 AM »
Thought I'd check in to see how everyone's spring has shaped up in the gardens. I've had so many rows of veggies either fail to germinate or be nibbled off at the sprout stage

Hi Lynn!

Yes, we've also had some start-up problems, but a couple of things are growing now. Unfortunately we're still so busy building (and will remain so for the next 3 months at least) that the garden has less of a priority, but as we've said we're going to try to improve from year on year, it's best not to set the bar too high in the first year, right?  ;)

Anyway, my wife was intrigued by the square foot gardening technique, and as coincidentally a couple of people here on the Forum also were positive about it, she decided we should try it out. So she built a couple of raised beds, and divided them in square feet with ropes. Here's how things are looking so far:



A couple of cabbages, some salad, hopefully cucumbers and tomatoes soon, but weather conditions are very fickle, so we'll have to see how things work out. Our berry bushes still need time to adapt, and we have to cut them back properly come Fall. Still, they produced a handful of berries.

Our poor soil is hard as a brick, but the phacelia has come up very nicely, some sown this year, and huge ones from last year in soil that has been moved to all parts of the plot by a backhoe during construction work. We're amazed at the bushes springing up everywhere.

Just when the phacelia is about to stop flowering, the crimson clover (trifolium incarnatum) is springing up:



Unfortunately the alfalfa has been a catastrophic failure. We spread a whole sack of seeds, but only 5 or so have germinated.

Either way, the soil will improve, albeit slowly.
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RunningChristo

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #198 on: June 24, 2014, 09:33:41 AM »
Looking pomising Neven! Cabbages are the most healthy veggies the rumour goes!  In Norway and other "cooler" parts of Europe the Iberia is a kind of plague, so such raised beds are much preferred. I would raise the walls another 15-20 cm though, to make it deeper and thus allowing the plants to do better, a mix of soil in bags, some composted cowshit, all mixed With some of the available soil at Your site will suffice. Also ergonomically raised beds are to prefer ;).

What kind of berry bushes have you planted Neven? As a Professional gardner I Wonder why you are thinking of pruning them hard, this is mostly NOT my advice, unless Your bushes are biannual (raspberries) or just very old (not even then I would cut ALL branches back!)?! Prune only the branches, always at ground Level!, growing wrong direction, the weakest, and look for keeping 3-6 New strong branches every year. When the plants are 3-5 year of age it's time for developing a classic Russian 5 year plan, meaning ALL branches are to be cut away in that time frame, allowing the bush to rejuvenate itself With New branches and not allowing branches to age more than 4-6 years. This way you will make sure the plants stay fresh and healthy and also prevent them from occupying Your entire garden ;D.

The spring and summer in Scandinavia have been very favorable for most crops, good for the amateur and the farmer 8).

Keep it up man!  Your "excuse" for neglecting Your garden until the house is finished is SO common and much understandable!!
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Neven

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #199 on: June 24, 2014, 09:52:36 AM »
Quote
What kind of berry bushes have you planted Neven? As a Professional gardner I Wonder why you are thinking of pruning them hard, this is mostly NOT my advice, unless Your bushes are biannual (raspberries) or just very old (not even then I would cut ALL branches back!)?!

Mostly jostaberries that we received from a friend last year. The reason I think we need to prune a lot, is that he never pruned them, and branches look very long with not a lot of leaves on them (bushes are adapting, I think).

I will gather more information before sawing everything off, of course.  ;D
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