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wili

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #1000 on: July 02, 2020, 12:10:34 AM »
I used to dig a lot more than I do now. I still do some digging for laying wood down for hugelkultur, but I don't really have to dig potatoes out of the ground anymore, since I grow them in piles of leaves!

Alex, fungus and bacteria are everywhere and find there way into everything. But undisturbed, healthy soil is generally much richer in both (but especially fungus) than even most commercially sold compost, or so I'm told by folks who follow this stuff much more deeply than i do.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2020, 12:15:45 AM by wili »
"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."

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #1001 on: July 02, 2020, 06:58:08 AM »
Cardboard is just wood that is easy to compost because the fibres are already broken. It will become compost quite fast. It is not going to stop fungus and bacteria.

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #1002 on: July 02, 2020, 07:21:15 AM »
Re: cardboard, soil life

Got to be careful, not all cardboard is the same. Some contain toxics.

sidd

El Cid

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #1003 on: July 02, 2020, 09:03:55 AM »
Double-digging in the spring is good for at least three things:

1) Bury fresh manure and green cover crops well under root level
2) Bury warm topsoil at a deeper level to get the growing season started earlier
3) Bring fresh deep soil to the surface to help seed germination

1) Worms will bury it for free much more effectively than you
2) That warm topsoil will cool down to the normal temperature in a few days, ie. it won't help much
3) I don't understand this one. Seeds germinate very well without "fresh deep soil".

But by turning over the soil you bring up weed-seeds from the bottom, so you will have a weedier garden. You will also destroy worm-channels, and will destroy fungal networks.

Charles Dowding has a long ongoing experiment of dig vs no dig with many pictures and exact data:

https://charlesdowding.co.uk/no-dig-trial-2013-2019-current-year-at-top/

TLDR:

13 year’s yields from 2007-2019 are 1035.11kg (2277lb) from the dig beds, and 1134.97kg (2497lb) of same plantings from the no dig bed  Also he has less weeds in no dig beds.

johnm33

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #1004 on: July 02, 2020, 10:48:12 PM »
I've been learning from everyone here so the veggie patch. Still a work in progress.

On the left runner beans mixed in with sunflowers and some volunteer nasturtiums,  beside them some rasberries and spuds and further, netted, blackcurrents. Beyong those broad beans obscured by celery run to seed and 'spud' behind the bin peas and to the right more broad beans and in the foreground among the canes more peas. The teasels are trying to take over so I'm culling them before they run to seed, some laid at the foot of the sunflowers nettles too so that's a bag of them beside the bin. At the bottom beyond the goji berries/hazel and bamboo are the composters and a compost heap. And finally the chicken run beyond which is the polytunnel.
 

Alexander555

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #1005 on: July 03, 2020, 06:29:10 PM »
Maybe a stupid question. The place where i want to do some gardning is not so far from a small river. And there are rats near the river. When i start to make compost, will that not become like a buffet for the rats ? Or is it just easy for them to find food all the time. There are some gardens with fruits and vegtables anyway. Or should i maybe avoid putting some kind of stuff in the compost. I have been reading about it a little bit, and when they have a good source of food the population can explode fast. I just try to imagine how big the impact could be from a few boxes with compost. Or should i maybe make the boxes closed.

El Cid

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #1006 on: July 03, 2020, 08:01:11 PM »
I've been learning from everyone here so the veggie patch. Still a work in progress.

This is wonderful!

...

We had very little sunshine during June, so the mulberry fruits are quite tasteless (pity, they are one of my favourites) but the raspberries ar extremely delicious. Actually I am more into trees and berries (and perennials/non-annuals) as they require much less work and I like fruits more than veggies...One non-annual we have is artichokes. They are small here by mediterranean standards but quite delicious and require no effort at all. Also, onions (and garlic) are pretty easy. Even though by now onions are overrun by weeds (and I mean real weeds: waist high!), they were weedfree during the first month and that made all the difference: they are healthy. I picked many kilograms. Actually, most vegetables need only the first month to be weedfree (I read concincing research on this) and their yield will not be much lower than those that are kept weed-free all along.

I wish everyone a great harvest!

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #1007 on: July 03, 2020, 10:09:46 PM »
Maybe a stupid question. The place where i want to do some gardning is not so far from a small river. And there are rats near the river. When i start to make compost, will that not become like a buffet for the rats ? Or is it just easy for them to find food all the time. There are some gardens with fruits and vegtables anyway. Or should i maybe avoid putting some kind of stuff in the compost. I have been reading about it a little bit, and when they have a good source of food the population can explode fast. I just try to imagine how big the impact could be from a few boxes with compost. Or should i maybe make the boxes closed.
I don't have any experience with rats, but I know that putting cooked things on the compost attract them. I have heard of people putting aviary mesh around and under the compost so that rats and mice couldn't enter. Some flowers are rats repellent, but I never had to inform myself about it.

Alexander555

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #1008 on: July 03, 2020, 11:08:20 PM »
The aviary mesh is probably a good idea, just to be sure. There are some small dikes in the area with a road on top of it. Rats can have a pretty big impact on the stability of these dikes.

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #1009 on: July 04, 2020, 08:58:46 AM »
If you look for "rat repellent flowers" on google, you get a list with :

https://bayarealandscapes.info/plants-that-keep-rats-away-garden/
Quote
Plants known to deter rats, mice, and rodents include:

    Marigolds (Rosmarinus officinalis)
    Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
    Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
    Lavender (Lavandula)
    Onions (Allium sepa)
    Grape Hyacinth (Muscari asparagaceae)
    Garlic (Allium sativum)
    Daffodils
    Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
    Sage (Salvia officinalis)
    Cayenne
    Black pepper
    Tomatoes

I have most of it in my garden. So that's worth trying. I just wonder if I would plant salads and vegetables that grow on the ground and that are eaten without prior cooking.

P-maker

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #1010 on: July 04, 2020, 11:20:02 AM »
El Cid, quoting Charles Dowding:
Quote
13 year’s yields from 2007-2019 are 1035.11kg (2277lb) from the dig beds, and 1134.97kg (2497lb) of same plantings from the no dig bed  Also he has less weeds in no dig beds.

Maybe, in all fairness, you should also have inserted this statement from a statistician going over his numbers again:
Quote
In overall terms, no significant differences were found between “dig” and “no dig” levels in both analysed trials considering all vegetable types and all years (P>0.05).

With all due respect to Dowding's huge work, I suggested double-digging the garden in the spring (not December, as Dowding does). This follows advice form another garden guru, John Seymour, who has served me well for many years.

Spring digging will leave room for overwintering crops such as leeks, garlic, beets, kale and brussel sprouts.

After a week of warm weather in spring, most of the crops above will be done, and all overwintering weeds will start growing again and fresh weeds will germinate. All this lot will be buried deep - together with the warm topsoil - and fresh manure and seaweed (+ compost, which is ready by this time) in order to add som nitrogen to the soil after the worst leaching season (winter rains) is over.

Double-digging will bring fresh soil to the surface to let it warm in the sun for a few days. This will give you a perfect sowing bed before spring droughts eventually set in. To my experience, weed is not an issue, if you apply this method. Just make sure to keep plants close together and pull the weeds, when they occur after sowing/planting.

Cheers P
« Last Edit: July 04, 2020, 11:28:10 AM by P-maker »

El Cid

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #1011 on: July 04, 2020, 03:08:15 PM »
P-maker,

I understand that your method has served you well and that is great if it works for you, keep up the good work! I merely wanted to point out that digging is very tiresome and does not seem to produce any added benefits in terms of yield. So why do it?

I believe that digging is just an ancient bad habit that was inherited by today's gardeners. You do not see digging in Nature (other than wild boars doing some sort of shallow digging at places). So I do not dig.

Digging and "working the soil" probably comes from the need to plow. In ancient times they had no other way to get rid of weeds other than plowing. So they plowed, got rid of weeds and planted. After many years it became an agricultural tenet that you need to plow, to "aerate" the soil, to make it better, etc, etc. So plowing (and digging) came to be seen beneficial on their own. However, now there is a nodig/notill "counterrevolution" as it turned out that these activities by themselves do not confer any positives to the soil...

Alexander555

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #1012 on: July 04, 2020, 08:35:37 PM »
If you look for "rat repellent flowers" on google, you get a list with :

https://bayarealandscapes.info/plants-that-keep-rats-away-garden/
Quote
Plants known to deter rats, mice, and rodents include:

    Marigolds (Rosmarinus officinalis)
    Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
    Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
    Lavender (Lavandula)
    Onions (Allium sepa)
    Grape Hyacinth (Muscari asparagaceae)
    Garlic (Allium sativum)
    Daffodils
    Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
    Sage (Salvia officinalis)
    Cayenne
    Black pepper
    Tomatoes

I have most of it in my garden. So that's worth trying. I just wonder if I would plant salads and vegetables that grow on the ground and that are eaten without prior cooking.

I think i will use nets on top of everything anyway. Because i just start experimenting with gardning. And it's not just rodents. Without paying much attention to it, i have seen at least a dozen different kind of birds. And amfhibians, frogs, salamanders......Plenty of insects. So i plan to cover everything to start with, than i will see how it works out.

Alexander555

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #1013 on: July 04, 2020, 08:44:56 PM »
And the moles are very active for the moment. And that surprised me a little bit with the high water table. But that should work. A friend of mine, he has like a little stick with a solar panel on it. It vibrates every .....minuts. And that keeps the moles away he told me. I think it's going to be a battle to get myself a meal from my own garden.

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #1014 on: July 04, 2020, 09:10:21 PM »
Here, instead of a solar panel, they put an empty soda bottle on the stick, upside down. It would also create vibration each time that the wind blows, which is quite often here.

With frogs and salamanders, insects might not be an issue.

Alexander555

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #1015 on: July 07, 2020, 07:15:32 PM »
Just a question about the cardboard, to make the place free of weed and grass. Is there not some kind of glue used in the cardboard, to stick it together ?

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #1016 on: July 08, 2020, 06:03:35 PM »
I don't know, but I heard for example for cleaning products, that if you exclude the organic ones, the cheapest are the environmentally better because each chemical that is added to make it more efficient increases the price and the pollution. Cheap cardboard is a very basic product, so the glue could be not so problematic. 

Alexander555

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #1017 on: July 08, 2020, 08:37:56 PM »
Basically it's just to cover the soil. So why would plastic not do the job ? Lets assume that i first remove all grass and weeds. Than  i cover it with plastic, some wood or watherver on top of it. After a year i take the wood and the plastic out, and cover it again with compost. And wait another year. Would the plastic not leave less behind than the cardbord ? I have a problem with the idea of bio farming, fungus, bacteria....and than to put some cardbord with glue on it on top of it. I collected some cardboard, and the tick pieces have a visible layer of glue between them. It just looks like a bad start.

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #1018 on: July 08, 2020, 09:03:37 PM »

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #1019 on: July 09, 2020, 07:23:16 AM »
Basically it's just to cover the soil. So why would plastic not do the job ? Lets assume that i first remove all grass and weeds. Than  i cover it with plastic, some wood or watherver on top of it. After a year i take the wood and the plastic out, and cover it again with compost. And wait another year. Would the plastic not leave less behind than the cardbord ? I have a problem with the idea of bio farming, fungus, bacteria....and than to put some cardbord with glue on it on top of it. I collected some cardboard, and the tick pieces have a visible layer of glue between them. It just looks like a bad start.
If you put plastic on the ground, you're 100% sure that some will remain when you remove it. With cardboard, it will become compost, and the unwanted chemicals that could remain are much less than if you put plastic on the ground and remove it afterwards.

It's what I always say about fair trade products. If you buy them, you can't be 100 % sure that workers got a fair wage, but if you buy normal products, you're 100% sure they don't.

El Cid

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #1020 on: July 09, 2020, 07:54:51 AM »
If you use a thick plastic, like pondliner that is OK, no plastic will remain and you will have a weedfree area to plant

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #1021 on: July 11, 2020, 04:12:07 AM »
If you use a thick plastic, like pondliner that is OK, no plastic will remain and you will have a weedfree area to plant
Plastic leaches plasticizers and stabilizers like dioctyl phthalate and other estrogen disruptors. Cardboard is biodegradable.
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El Cid

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #1022 on: July 11, 2020, 07:45:35 AM »
you are likely right vox, and i prefer cardboard or even a very thick mulch (30-40-50 cm). but let's not be purists. when you buy stuff at your local supermarket, how much plasticresidue do you think is in those foods? herbicide, pesticide, fungicide residues? I bet that those are do a 100 times more harm than covering the soil with plastic for 1 or 2 months

nanning

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #1023 on: July 11, 2020, 08:16:00 AM »
I have my first ever bit of harvest :).
Getting half of the (muddy) potatoes ("Frieslander") out resulted in 6Kg. They are all beautiful smooth and ovaloid but most are smallish.  I've left the very small ones behind on the soil.
The other vegetable I've harvested is the "andijvie" (NL) (Cichorium endivia) and I have already eaten from it this morning. Delicious :).

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etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #1024 on: July 11, 2020, 07:24:59 PM »
I have my first ever bit of harvest :).
Getting half of the (muddy) potatoes ("Frieslander") out resulted in 6Kg. They are all beautiful smooth and ovaloid but most are smallish.  I've left the very small ones behind on the soil.
The other vegetable I've harvested is the "andijvie" (NL) (Cichorium endivia) and I have already eaten from it this morning. Delicious :).
Congratulation. You can also leave the potatoes in the ground and only take out the ones you need for the day. I do it that way, into the soil is the best way to keep it fresh. With salads, I'm not so lucky this year, but kohlrabi are good and green peas are abundant.
Rucola works fine, and nobody wants the salad burnet, even if it is good with cheese. 
Berries were also good this year.
Chamomile works better than expected, I'll have enough of it for the winter.

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #1025 on: July 11, 2020, 08:43:13 PM »
I harvested wheat today doing everything as they did it thousands of years ago!

cca 3 m2 was used. Used a scythe to harvest it, then manually (hitting it with big sticks) thrashed it, not very effectively, lots of wheat was lost. 0,5 kg wheat is the grand result of lots of work :D

We are going to make bread tomorrow with sourdough. I wanted to show my children from sowing to harvesting to making bread how it really happens. They were surprised how much work and how many processes are involved. I think it  could be an interesting schoolproject for all children

Alexander555

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #1026 on: July 11, 2020, 09:10:13 PM »
I harvested wheat today doing everything as they did it thousands of years ago!

cca 3 m2 was used. Used a scythe to harvest it, then manually (hitting it with big sticks) thrashed it, not very effectively, lots of wheat was lost. 0,5 kg wheat is the grand result of lots of work :D

We are going to make bread tomorrow with sourdough. I wanted to show my children from sowing to harvesting to making bread how it really happens. They were surprised how much work and how many processes are involved. I think it  could be an interesting schoolproject for all children

You use an oven in the kitchen, or a wood fired oven to make the bread ? One of my uncles he always made bread in a wood fired oven in the garden. No better bread as the one he makes.

Bruce Steele

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #1027 on: July 11, 2020, 09:28:21 PM »
El CID, I have been trying something like what these people are doing. I thresh on a threshing floor.
A rough concrete pad out in the wind. I don’t own pilgrim clothes however.

https://michaelbunker.com/2015/06/29/harvesting-wheat-by-hand/

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #1028 on: July 11, 2020, 11:18:06 PM »
I harvested wheat today doing everything as they did it thousands of years ago!

cca 3 m2 was used. Used a scythe to harvest it, then manually (hitting it with big sticks) thrashed it, not very effectively, lots of wheat was lost. 0,5 kg wheat is the grand result of lots of work :D

We are going to make bread tomorrow with sourdough. I wanted to show my children from sowing to harvesting to making bread how it really happens. They were surprised how much work and how many processes are involved. I think it  could be an interesting schoolproject for all children

You use an oven in the kitchen, or a wood fired oven to make the bread ? One of my uncles he always made bread in a wood fired oven in the garden. No better bread as the one he makes.

if you want to cook the bread in a pan, here is a good recipe https://rasamalaysia.com/naan/ but it is not with sourdough.

El Cid

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #1029 on: July 12, 2020, 05:43:26 PM »
Bruce,

threshing without the proper tools was really hard for us...I did not think of this beforehand. A concrete pad would have come handy :)

etienne, Alexander

I am still thinking about options, we will probably "bake" some of this bread over open fire and some in the oven

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #1030 on: July 12, 2020, 10:49:20 PM »
In Germany, they also cook bread directly on the fire, rolled around a wood stick. It's a "just for the fun of the kids" activity because most of the time you end up with bread that is burned outside and not cooked inside.

Bruce Steele

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #1031 on: July 14, 2020, 05:23:08 PM »
El CID, Acorns are far more work to process than wheat. I took some wheat to my threshing floor and beat small bundles, swept the wheat and chaff with my hands, rubbed the grains that hadn’t released, and then by hand sorted out the biggest chaff pieces. I then put the grain in a large stainless bowl and winnowed it in the wind. So with very few tools I got one pound of cleaned wheat in about half an hour.
It took another ten minutes to grind the wheat in my electric flour mill and another fifteen minutes to get the dough ready for it’s first rising. I added one cup of store flour to the five cups of whole wheat flour and the results were two nice loaves of bread.
 I have been looking at pictures of threshing floors and they are designed as round pads with a low curb. They are designed for a beast of burden to pull a wooden sedge around in circles. Wheat was for thousands of years emmer, spelt and einkorn, hulled wheat that didn’t easily release the grain.  Modern wheat doesn’t require the hulls to be rubbed off like emmer requires, or requires very little rubbing. A threshing floor designed for modern wheat would be different but nobody threshes by hand anymore.
You know you are into some archaic projects when you tube doesn’t have tutorials.
 I see Africa still does some hand threshing but I can’t find anything about how to thresh wheat by hand or what kinds of yields to expect. My small 2000 sq foot wheat patch that had zero fossil fuel use, and used zero fossil fuel to harvest or process could produce enough flour to make a loaf of bread every day of the year.
 Three or four hundred pounds of acorns could be dried and stored for emergencies and processed as needed.
 The half acre of corn I have planted is going to produce hundreds of pounds of dried corn. Processing corn is even easier than wheat so between the wheat, corn, and foraged acorns I see no problem with one man, zero fossil fuels, and a one acre garden feeding a small family. Feeding farm animals is another challenge as scale needs expanding to get animals through winter season.There are embodied energy costs in the electric tiller and electric flour mill. I have hand pecked stones bowls, mortars as well as manos  and metates but processing flour without electrics is very, very time consuming whether it is , wheat, acorns or corn flour being processed.
 Most farmers 150 years ago hauled their grains to a water powered grist mill and they also had communal stills for whiskey. If several small farmers combined resources for milling and alcohol,  infrastructure costs and embodied energy costs of infrastructure could be reduced further.
 
 

El Cid

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #1032 on: July 14, 2020, 07:27:41 PM »
. So with very few tools I got one pound of cleaned wheat in about half an hour.
 

Pretty much the same here, cca 30-40 min for scything, threshing, winnowing etc ... Yet, my children said that it is quite a lot of work for a pound of wheat

:)

Actually, as I said, I like fruits and berries much more than veg and grains. All annuals are way too much work :)

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #1033 on: July 15, 2020, 06:56:30 AM »
You could try perennial grain https://landinstitute.org/about-us/

OrganicSu

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #1034 on: July 15, 2020, 07:41:59 PM »
I bake bread with 20 to 50% beans (dry first, then grind). I have a very small mill so it does black eye beans and chickpeas. Broad beans are too hard. Have had huge success this year growing beans and so needed another way to use them up. Beans take so little work per kg of final product. And yes, the bread is delicious...

El Cid

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #1035 on: July 15, 2020, 09:08:12 PM »
never tried bread with beans...do you cook the beans before putting into the bread or do you just grind them dry and mix it with the flour?

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #1036 on: July 27, 2020, 08:21:52 AM »
Another Covid19 activity with kids. It's not so easy to find something for everyday, and here they get some experiences with handwork.

We hope to sale them on some Christmas-market if there are some this winter.

Tor Bejnar

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #1037 on: July 27, 2020, 07:37:12 PM »
never tried bread with beans...do you cook the beans before putting into the bread or do you just grind them dry and mix it with the flour?
Just grind into flour any dried bean.  I've added chick peas (garbanzo) and lentils as well as gains like buckwheat, oats, quinoa, millet and amaranth.  I regularly add cooked oats (rolled or steel-cut) to my bread dough after its first rise (with the salt  and a little of one of these 'other' flours mixed into it).  You could, of course, add 're-fried beans' (a paste texture) to bread dough.

I've experimented with blended (in a blender or food processor) sprouts (like alfalfa, lentil or mung bean sprouts [edit:  mostly wheat berry sprouts (nice and sweet) - it's been a while!]) in bread as I like "Ezekiel Bread", but it's a lot more work!  Speaking of 'work', I once made 100% rye bread with an apricot compote rising agent for a gluten and yeast intolerant person at our table. 

I recall reading that when you mix flours you want at least 80% wheat and up to 20% 'anything else'.  Some things add more flavor than others.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2020, 04:17:38 PM by Tor Bejnar »
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El Cid

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #1038 on: July 28, 2020, 08:37:01 AM »
thx! That is a lot of bread-making experience! ;)

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #1039 on: July 28, 2020, 12:30:11 PM »
The 80% wheat is not totally right. I would say breadable flour.  The definition of bread is also not very clear. A bread with 100% rye flour is very good, but can't be compared with wheat bread. Here is an example https://simplehealthyhomemade.wordpress.com/2012/04/21/walliser-brot-100-swiss-rye-bread/, but there is also a danish version. There is also corn bread...

etienne

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #1040 on: August 02, 2020, 03:30:38 PM »
Here is the garlic of the year. It should even be enough to be able to plant it next year. It was a good year regarding volume, but the taste was better last year. The early spring was too wet.

El Cid

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Re: Gardening
« Reply #1041 on: August 02, 2020, 07:44:29 PM »
August-September is real abundance time in NH midlatitude gardens. All of a sudden figs have started to ripen in my garden and peaches as well. Lots of them. I can already see that in 3 weeks time grapes and pears will be ready. At the same time, there are plenty of green beans, summer squash, sweet corn, and too many tomatoes to eat (my friends will be happy though as they get all the fresh produce we can not eat!). Then there are salads and basil and other herbs. Also, melons and canteloupes will ripen very soon. 

I did not even plant summer and autumn apples, only winter ones, because of this late summer-early autumn abundance. Apples can wait until November! And it seems that for the first time I will be able to pick persimmons (at the end of October, hopefully)!

This is the best time to be a gardener. Nothing to do, only harvesting!