The Definitive Agriculture/Permaculture Thread
The seed catalogs are rolling in and it is time to get things planned for the new garden . Since most of the American population make less than 100K and with all the reports of food emergencies , this thread ought to be hopping . It takes years to learn grow enough food to feed your family and neighbors . Yes I guess there are loads of you tubes and info out there but how many places to share the frustrations and what not to do ? Success and failures ? Basically we want to grow as much food as we can with as little investment as we can . BUT OMG the time it takes to make all the mistakes yourself and many may need to hire and mentor a younger person with a strong back .. sounds like there are plenty of those sitting on couches across the country . .
Everyone needs to share .. what I am doing now Example : It is time to put sweet potatoes in the jar to get the slips started .
OH and I saw a way to use old gutters to grow spinach ,lettuce , radishes in a small amount of wall space has anyone used this method?
food , water ,and shelter are first priorities .
You start the sweet potatoes already? When do you put them out?
Yes, FM, this thread ought to be hopping.You need time – and land. We don’t have as much land as you, but we do have one acre.
And here is what I did so far this year, other than weeding. (Yes, weeding in December is one of the pitfalls of gardening in the Deep South. I still have cold-hardy peas and carrots under mulch producing on the south side of the house, on top of the winter favorite cabbages and turnips and califlower.) We have 18 Square Foot Garden raised beds of varying sizes and a space for things like potatoes in the actual yard. On a legal pad I made a sketch of the boxes positions, numbering each box and area as a key, and then sat down and decided what went where. This is based on whether there are diseases in a box (three boxes will be solarized at the height of the summer to kill nematodes and one had verticillium wilt), whether it was recently planted with a soil-enriching legume (like Lima beans) or a soil depleting crop (like tomatoes and peppers), and whether or not the light seemed right for this or that plant in the microclimates created by shade on the side of a shed or tree or house.
I had a list of what should go in each numbered box. Then I made an Ziploc bag of seeds for each numbered area in the key.
I am a seed saver, and I buy and save seeds in advance (2 year old seeds are usualy at least 80 percent viable) so I have a stockpile for me and neighbors. I have an alphabetical file for my seeds. It’s a basket like the top one below, with letter-sized manilla folders cut in thirds A to Z.
The new seeds I ordered for this year were not added to the file until the old ones were put in the Ziploc bags for each numbered garden area. Then I put the new seeds in the numbered Ziploc bags, too. Those Ziploc bags are in a bowl, in number order.
I made a list of what’s missing: garden nastriums for under the tomatoes was the only seed, but I need three bean and cuke teepees and more compost from the recycling center.
My next task will be to use my South Carolina Master Gardener Training Handbook to look up and jot down the planting dates on my calendar. A couple of things get planted in the middle of January, beleive it or not.
New Member here. So glad someone bumped these two threads(the Firearms one as well).
Seeing as that this is a financial site, I would have never known that there was such a great deal of interest in permaculture and growing.[/quote]
No, whilst this site could be conjured to be a financial site, it is actually based on CM’s THREE E’s… Economy, Energy, and Environment. It’s just that since its original inception, when I was there right from the start, it has been somewhat hijacked by people who "don’t get it" and are desperately trying to keep their wealth at any cost when this will become impossible.
The best wealth there is is that which you own outright, and grows in your garden. There are only three things essential to survival: water, food, and shelter. Everything else is a distraction. So if you are lucky enough to have excess wealth, you should be investing it in these three essentals. Those who don’t will be part of the great dieoff.
Yes I start them now because we plant the first of May . The store bought potatoes must have a sprout inhibitor on them . I plant 48 plants and I have many relatives and neighbors that need themas well . This is something you can sell at a farmers market too . But just this year did I learn that we need to cut back the vine to get more potato …. I truely learn something new all the time . Now I need a notebook because I do not store things so well anymore .
Safewrite wonderful plan for seed saving .. mine are on paperplates all over the greenhouse . And when the grandkids came over all the pepper seeds were mixed together by " NOT ME " . This will be an intresting summer . BTW could we plant peanuts in boxes ? I really could not get so cranked about digging as our soil is still quite heavy .
OH yes ,the Bicycle Wheel Sock Dryer that my 12 yo made makes an excellent pepper dryer as well !
Truely ,truely , the sooner we learn and can pass these things down the better .. it is a whole different life than beans and bacon from the store . In fact there are things we had to choose to say no to volunteering to because it is time consuming learning and doing . You will not be able to up and take a vacation just anytime you want as you are committed or had better have a friend or neighbor that will cove for you . 5 days and the weeds could take over and you are harvesting something every week once you get your timing right .
For now we get to try new ways to cook and eat our harvest and plan the layout and timing for next season . I am finding that we are eating far less grains and way more meat , vegs , and fruit ….really feel much better .
PS. a good time to think about ordering chicks soon . Everytime my Banties hatch a nest of eggs or I put a batch in the incubator they are way heavy on the roosters and really feel like as long as I can order pulletsat a decent price I will be better off doing that .
I just dropped off my soil samples at the local US cooperative extension (for SC, that is associated with Clemson University; for other states see this site ) They ask you to bring in one sample per ten acres at $6 a pop. I brought in two samples: one from my raised beds and one from my yard where we are growing potaoes. Results were promised in 8 to 10 business days. I was told winter is a good time to do this, as they are not as busy. Here are links to state and territory offices.
safewrite, thank for this information! Good to know. Can you educate on what exactly the soil tests will tell you? Are they able to give you practical recommendations on how to improve your soil quality? Thanks.
I just got this book which seems pretty good at describing the latest research regarding how the soil works. I think it does not contradict the tried and true practices, except possibly in saying that you need to bubble compost teas to make sure that aerobic bacteria grows rather than anaerobic bacteria.
They cover various ways of testing your soil to determine the sand/silt/clay composition and also for looking for various living things in the soil.
I am pretty much a newbie on this but I found it facinating.
Yet another fine contribution that shows how fine this community is!
Viva — Sager
If I recall correctly, the test are for pH and various trace minierals, as well as moisture retention and percent of organics. Other tests, like for salts, were available. They were careful to ask exactly what I was growing since pH irequirements are different for different things.
A funny story about the one sample that I labeled lawn & Irish and sweet potatoes.”What kind of lawn?” they asked. I had to pick the kind of grass from photos. I was informed, “That’s not a lawn – that’s weeds.”
Hey – it’s green and it’s grass and we mow it, so you could have fooled me! But they very carefully crossed ou the word “lawn”…