Red pill remedies

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Saffron's picture
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Red pill remedies

or ... what have you done that you never thought you'd do?

or ... where besides here can I find people who will applaud what I just did?

Today a friend and I processed chickens. Probably not a big deal for many of you here, but this was the first time either of us had ever killed anything bigger than a cockroach ... and I use the phrase "either of us" loosely as I shamelessly handed the chickens off to him and stayed out of viewing distance. I also cound not go as far as gutting them just yet, BUT! I've become quite good at plucking feathers, should anyone with massive acreage and a large henouse wish to avail themselves of my talents (I do come with 3 kids, a hubby, a cat and a dog.)

Hopefully there is an inverse exponential learning curve to this activity as it took us five and a half hours to do nine chickens ... or, to be more precise, since I convinced my 15 yo to join us for part of it, we put 13 man/woman/teen hours into 9 chickens ... almost 1.5 hours per bird. I understand Joel Salatin can gut one in about 20 seconds.

We weren't really surprised we couldn't convince anyone else to join us, but it was a little sad how many actually mocked the whole idea and dismissed their own disconnect to their food source by saying they'd go vegetarian before doing anything like this. I can't say I wouldn't have said the same 20 years ago and it got me pondering whether I would be pushing myself into doing some of these things if I wasn't convinced that (as Chris says) "the next 20 years will be quite different than the last 20 years."

I have wanted to homestead for a lot longer than I've known about our coming changes, but I don't recall the vision I had involving *all* that I am now attempting to learn. Yes, meat animals were a part of it, but somehow my fantasies went straight from throwing grain to my softly clucking brood to putting a fully roasted bird on the table amidst the ooohs and aahs of impressed and salivating family members. I'd conveniently skipped the parts with the floppy, bleeding head and the teen who now insists he is never eating chicken in *this* house again.

The question is, without the incentive of preparing for an unknown future, I wonder how I would have fared today? Would I have worked as hard to steel myself to something so challenging and foreign (to me)? Hopefully I'm not putting off those of you who do this on a regular basis ... the truth is, I wish I'd been raised doing this so it *wouldn't* be foreign and challenging. But I wasn't and it is and I'm willingly pushing myself to experience it so that hopefully it won't be so foreign to my kids - hey, the 7yo watched with healthy curiosity and as dh said later "doesn't seem damaged by it." The 15yo is another matter - his only reason for helping was to get on mom's good side so she'll approve him getting a driving permit. There is a certain irony when you compare our competing incentives.

Anyway, your mission - should you decide to accept it - is to share how taking the red pill has taken you out of your comfort zone in a positive way. What are you doing that you wouldn't have tried ... maybe it's something you've come to really enjoy, but you wouldn't have considered it before. It would be a way to note the benefits of taking the red pill as opposed to wishing we hadn't (which I do often enough.)

Saffron

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Re: Red pill remedies

Hey Saffron,

Thanks for sharing your experience! I'm glad to hear the red pill has been somewhat palatable to you :)

Anyway, my parents have been vegetarians ever since before I was born. I've grown quite healthy thank you eating beans, tofu, yogurt, cheese, eggs, peanut butter and stuff like that all the time, and I never have cravings for meat. I quite like these foods actually, so I won't be butchering anytime soon, but one thing that has changed recently is that, I used to see gardening, farming, as a backward activity. My mom used to tell me: "Playing with your computer won't bring you food on the table, Samuel", "Whaa? I can go buy whatever food I feel like eating at the supermarket anytime I want!" was my reaction, and well she couldn't argue as she didn't understand all the technical stuff like Chris Martenson does... But recently, I started to grow a little garden in the backyard of my apartment. It's kind of struggling, but at least I feel like I'm learning something important, and what do you know, once I learned about its importance, it's actually a pretty interesting activity!

Samuel, the farmer Cool

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Re: Red pill remedies

We learned to milk goats - well actually, the milking machine (made from scrap parts) now milks the goats, and soon it will milk the dairy sheep.The hard part was teaching the goats to GET milked. Now to teach the dairy sheep. I found if I teach them to follow the grain scoop (filled with oats), I can lead them nearly anywhere If they don't trample me down. Having a good head lock in the stantion and plenty of food so they eat until the job is done helps too.

Yeah, dairy sheep - if you've seen the 45 sec sheep sheering youtube videos - be sure to catch our 2.5hr - 2 people wrestling a sheep to sheer it video. The end result wasn't pretty as our sheep look like they went through a blender or are having a bad hair day. At one point the sheep got extra points for a straight on left hook to my right jaw. We only have 3 sheep and had to take breaks - a day long between sheep. You can hear about our little adventures in learning to farm on: MyBackAchers.com where we are detailing our experience in developing our zero net energy farm - though neither of us have more than casual farming experience.

And yes, our family thinks we are Bat-$#it Doomers and quickly change the subject when we are open and straight about what we are doing and WHY we're doing it. Luckly, we have a few friends who are as Bat-$#it as we are and we can all feed each others psychosis.

EndGamePlayer

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Re: Red pill remedies

Butchering chickens is SO 2009....Cool

I don't post here often but I do read frequently. I find many of these posts to be empowering, especially when folks talk about doing something, such as butchering, milking, etc.  Significant Other & I have been working steadily, studying hard and making it happen.  After getting the link on this forum for "my fifty dollar hoophouse" I am proud to say that we were eating chard and spinach in late March in Maine!  We built 4 more raised beds and now growing for the local farmer's market.  Purchased our first bee hive.  Our freezers are full of homegrown pork and beef and chicken.  And between us, S.O. and I, we work 4 part /full-time jobs. (gotta pay that mortgage!)

Goals for 2010: more hoop houses, root cellar and focusing on eating only food that has been grown within 50 miles of home as well as beginning to look at technology that works after Peak Oil, such as a hand pump for water, outhouse, etc.

And maybe most important of all: we have a new housemate, someone who is building a 12 x 12 cob cabin in the woods and will live for free in exchange for 2 hours of work on the farm a day.  Woo-hoo! Our own little Transition Town!  Please don't tell the tax assessor.....

Come on, folks, if we can do it, so can you!  Live each moment like it matters, because it does!

The Maine dirt farmer

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Re: Red pill remedies

The raising chickens came naturally to this city-girl, but the thought of butchering them leaves me chilled....I mean the kids have names for all of them!  Yet I know that I would and could.

I think what has challenged me the most is trying to learn and understand all the investment/finance part of the coming collapse.  Trying to prepare by storing and growing was easy.  Trying to figure out what to do with our money has been very difficult.  I'm starting to think it would be easier to spend it all now buying more stuff...then it does not matter what camp inflation/deflation you are in.

Anyway back to the chicken slaughter...can't I just feed the family eggs??

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Re: Red pill remedies

Yes you can just feed the family eggs. You can adopt a vegetarian diet.

V

PS The only remedy for the red pill is a blue one.

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Re: Red pill remedies
Romans12.2 wrote:

Anyway back to the chicken slaughter...can't I just feed the family eggs??

Sure you can; eggs are full of protein.  But I prefer meat that I knew rather than what I buy from the store which is full of who-knows-what.

Do what we do with our 8 pigs- don't give them cute names.  We name them after Yankees (we are in Maine, after all - Red Sox territory).  We know they'll be slaughtered in the Fall.  (ducking and awaiting Yankee wrath....)

Cheers!

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Re: Red pill remedies
Romans12.2 wrote:

The raising chickens came naturally to this city-girl, but the thought of butchering them leaves me chilled....I mean the kids have names for all of them!  Yet I know that I would and could.

I think what has challenged me the most is trying to learn and understand all the investment/finance part of the coming collapse.  Trying to prepare by storing and growing was easy.  Trying to figure out what to do with our money has been very difficult.  I'm starting to think it would be easier to spend it all now buying more stuff...then it does not matter what camp inflation/deflation you are in.

Anyway back to the chicken slaughter...can't I just feed the family eggs??

My daughter names our chickens too.   I give them alternative names like:  Noodle soup, Extra Crispy and Original Recipe....

Seriously tho, you just have to go to a different place in your mind.....a place in the food chain where all of us came from.    Just do it quickly, cleanly with kindness, perhaps a blessing and it will all go just fine....

 

 

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Re: Red pill remedies
mooselick7 wrote:

My daughter names our chickens too.   I give them alternative names like:  Noodle soup, Extra Crispy and Original Recipe....

Dude, this is hilarious, LOL!! Talk about exploiting psychology in ways I have never imagined Laughing

Samuel

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Re: Red pill remedies

I have thought about keeping my darling chickens forever.  Problem is they stop laying so well in a few years and then lay less and less.  And you still have to feed them but for no eggs. I decided it is not so simple to just let them live out their days. 

And if you have baby chicks, well, 50% of them will be roosters.  Same thing.  Do you just feed them forever ?

I have often thought about this whole ethical and vegetarian thing but keep thinking that if we domesticate them to keep them, we have to manage them somehow.  But I am not wanting to turn this thread in to a vegetarian debate!

My red pill activities include starting a large heirloom vegetable patch.  Not that its out of my comfort zone but is definately new to me.

Thanks for starting a great thread.

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Romans12.2
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Re: Red pill remedies

Amanda - we have always had a garden but this year started heirloom seeds in a greenhouse and just planted last weekend.  I'm so much more excited about our crop!  I can't wait to try an African Togo Tomato and see what Mayflower Bush Beans look like.  I want to learn how to save and store seeds next. 

I bought about 10,000 seeds from some super crazy seed lady on ebay (I know, I know I'm crazy too). 

My husband loves hot peppers, I've got NINE varieties growing!  This is really fun! 

My blue pill friends just roll their eyes...but they all want my veggies come August.

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Re: Red pill remedies- seed saving tips

Hi Romans- Sounds like you have something to get excited about! But before you plan on saving any seed - here's some tips-

  • Don't plant "same colored flowers" next to "same colored flowers" as they cross pollinate. I saved seed once from a watermelon that grew next to zuc and sure enough - the following year my watermelon tasted like zucchini.
  • I plant a single plant far away from ALL other plants to save seed from just as an extra precaution. 30+ ft or more is best. Planting things of the same color flower will only be ok when they have entirely different bloom times.
  • Once you see the fruit/seed start to set - enclose it with a plastic bag and zip it shut as far as you can around the seeds or rubberband it. Many people break them off at this point and hang the stem to dry and collect seeds there but you would loose some germination. I let them get sunlight and "finish" before breaking the stem and finish drying.
  • Seeds need to be completely dry before storing or mold will set in so gently dry them before putting in first paper then plastic and store in a cool dry place to keep dormant. I have a draw in the refrig where I keep mine but many seeds like to stratify (be frozen) for a number of months before planting.

EGP

A Dog's Paradise is No Less Paradise.

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Romans12.2
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Re: Red pill remedies

EGP- hmmmm wish I read this last week!  What about cucumber next to zuchinni? 

How do I know what color the flowers are now?Smile

I do have an extra garden space and extra plants...so the single plant far away is a great idea that I will try.

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Re: Red pill remedies
Amanda V wrote:

And if you have baby chicks, well, 50% of them will be roosters.  Same thing.  Do you just feed them forever ?

I have often thought about this whole ethical and vegetarian thing but keep thinking that if we domesticate them to keep them, we have to manage them somehow.  But I am not wanting to turn this thread in to a vegetarian debate!

My red pill activities include starting a large heirloom vegetable patch.  Not that its out of my comfort zone but is definately new to me.

You let them in the gentle care of the cat or the dog... I am positive it will have no ethical second thought about what to do with them :)

Samuel

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Re: Red pill remedies
guardia wrote:
Amanda V wrote:

And if you have baby chicks, well, 50% of them will be roosters.  Same thing.  Do you just feed them forever ?

I have often thought about this whole ethical and vegetarian thing but keep thinking that if we domesticate them to keep them, we have to manage them somehow.  But I am not wanting to turn this thread in to a vegetarian debate!

My red pill activities include starting a large heirloom vegetable patch.  Not that its out of my comfort zone but is definately new to me.

You let them in the gentle care of the cat or the dog... I am positive it will have no ethical second thought about what to do with them :)

Samuel

We were born physiologically as omnivores not herbivores.  It is cultural/religious influences that cause us to question the "ethical" nature of killing something for sustenance.

My opinion is that we should honor the renewables that have been presented to us for sustenance, with chickens being one of them.  The ethical questions, in my mind, regard the treatment of those animals during their life. Including their slaughter.

I am not big on taking the life of a living creature. That line of thought is how I make it work for me.

When we, as a nation, were more personally involved with the production of our food, we were more mindful of the respect it deserves.

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Re: Red pill remedies

 Vegetarian debate ...  So funny !   My husband tells me if he was born to be a herbivore  his eyes would be on the side of his head  to worry about being eaten .  But since they are in the front of his head he was designed to be a predator .     Hunter not hunted.     I do not think it is something we should worry about  as we are on this earth such a short  time and  all things are here for us to  care for and enjoy .  

  Each to their own .  But I doubt I eat anything coming out of the Gulf of Mexico anytime soon .

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Re: Red pill remedies

My wife put it more simply: "Vegetarian? What do you think I am, a goat?"  Laughing

- Nick

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Re: Red pill remedies
nickbert wrote:

My wife put it more simply: "Vegetarian? What do you think I am, a goat?"  Laughing

- Nick

Nick -

After almost 26 years of marriage to Cat, I will be so presumtuous as to offer this:

Don't answer her question.

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Re: Red pill remedies

 Goats butt ... sheep follow .      Yep best to leave that one alone .

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Re: Red pill remedies- seed saving tips
EndGamePlayer wrote:

Hi Romans- Sounds like you have something to get excited about! But before you plan on saving any seed - here's some tips-

  • Don't plant "same colored flowers" next to "same colored flowers" as they cross pollinate. I saved seed once from a watermelon that grew next to zuc and sure enough - the following year my watermelon tasted like zucchini.

EGP, cross pollination is dependent upon the particular genus and species and the flower colour is secondary. I'm no expert and know little about these crops having only grown zuchinni.

Romans, it appears that cucumber will not pollinate zuchinni so you are OK.

Quote:

To know which cucurbit crops can cross-pollinate with one another may be important for saving seed which will produce true-to-type plants the following year. Although there are distinct visual differences between pumpkins, squashes and gourds, they are not important regarding cross-pollination.

All vine crops belong to the Cucurbitaceae family, but only the pumpkins, squashes, and most gourds belong to the genus Cucurbita. However, cross-pollination will depend upon the species in this genus (See page 3). Watermelon and citron both belong to the same genus (Citrullus) and therefore will cross-pollinate each other. Muskmelons and Casaba melons will cross, since they are both in the same genus (Cucumis) and also the same species (melo). Cucumbers belong to the genus Cucumis and thus will not pollinate with pumpkins, squashes, gourds and watermelons, since they are of a different genus. In addition, cucumbers will not cross with other melons of the same genus, since cucumbers belong to a different species known as sativus.

http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/87-043.htm

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Re: Red pill remedies

On Memorial Day we assembled a group of red pill local CC grads to plant our first community potato patch. It was great fun. We are thankful for the petroleum to rototill the acre+ patch but the rest was a hand done activity.

We plan three more events to hill and weed and then in the fall we will hold a "diggin party" to harvest and eat some of the fruits of our labor. The patch will likely produce about 10,000lbs of food which will be distributed by our local CSA called "Outer Aisle Foods" and is run by Christine and Eric Taylor. we thank Eric for hosting the event and educating us on the process!

That is Eric showing how to use the BCS rototiller rather than the hand furrower we used on the first three rows! It took us 2-1/2 hours to plant over 1000lbs of seed potatoes.  Great commu ity building activity!

Coop

 

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Re: Red pill remedies

 COOP , you will have way enough potatoes for that group for sure .  Hope you have enough cellar space !  And I am sure it was much more fun sharing the job .

 

 We till up the dirt   for the potatoes , then  after they are cut and cured we lay them on top of the soil and cover them with straw  .  We then watch them and put on more straw as needed . When it is time to harvest we lift off the straw .   Way easier than digging  and you do not loose any from slicing them with a shovel .  

  As for Sweet potatoes we put on top of hills with straw in the ditches for pathways .  Were planning on putting them in boxes but the sign of the moon came upon us faster than we were ready .

   Many people should not eat potatoes because they do not get  enough exercise or live stressful lives . ... Sweet potatoes should be good for everyone .

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Re: Red pill remedies

Yeap SteveW- It's just a general rule I follow. . . its not a law but I try to error on the side of being safe as a lot of planning can go into saving seeds. EGP- A Dog's Paradise is No Less Paradise. . . that goes for chickens too - we treat them good for the short time they get! Happy Chickens taste best.

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Re: Red pill remedies

FM,

Fortunately most of the potatoes will be distributed out to the 200+ members of the CSA. We had discussion about the straw hilling method and it is questionable whether the intense summer heat and lack of rain in our Mediterranean climate would treat the "taters" too well. We may try a small experimental patch. Thanks for the recommendation. Where are you located?

Coop

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Re: Red pill remedies

And now for  a different perspective.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Diet for a Small Planet is a 1971 bestselling book by Frances Moore Lappé, the first book to exposed the enormous waste built into U.S. grain-fed meat production—for her a symbol of a global food system creating hunger out of plenty. Eating a planet-centered diet, she argued, means choosing what is best for the earth and our bodies—a daily action that reminds us of our power to create a saner world.

Knowing that her audience would be skeptical that a vegetarian diet could supply sufficient protein, much of the book is devoted to introducing her theory of complementing proteins, also called protein combining. This is a method of eating different plant foods together so that their combined amino acid pattern matches that of animal foods. But while Lappé was correct that combining would indeed result in a more meat-like protein profile, it is also unnecessary: Individual plant foods contain all the amino acids required by humans, in amounts which satisfy growth and maintenance.[1] In other words, mimicking the composition of animal proteins is not essential to human nutrition. After this was pointed out, Lappé recanted the idea of protein combining in the 10th anniversary 1981 version of the book:

"In 1971 I stressed protein complementarity because I assumed that the only way to get enough protein ... was to create a protein as usable by the body as animal protein. In combating the myth that meat is the only way to get high-quality protein, I reinforced another myth. I gave the impression that in order to get enough protein without meat, considerable care was needed in choosing foods. Actually, it is much easier than I thought.
"With three important exceptions, there is little danger of protein deficiency in a plant food diet. The exceptions are diets very heavily dependent on [1] fruit or on [2] some tubers, such as sweet potatoes or cassava, or on [3] junk food (refined flours, sugars, and fat). Fortunately, relatively few people in the world try to survive on diets in which these foods are virtually the sole source of calories. In all other diets, if people are getting enough calories, they are virtually certain of getting enough protein."[2]

The first edition, published by Ballantine, was sponsored by the Friends of the Earth organization. It includes recipes based on the complementary combinations and was followed by a collection, Recipes for a Small Planet by Ellen Buchman Ewald, with an introduction written by Lappé.

[edit]Topics covered in the book

  • Part I: Earth's Labor Lost — Protein in United States agribusiness
  • Part II: Bringing Protein Theory Down to Earth — Protein in human nutrition
  • Part III: Eating From the Earth: Protein Theory Applied — Includes tables of food values, and explanations relating proteins to caloric and economic factors
  • Part IV: Combining Non-Meat Foods to Increase Protein Values — Guidelines and recipes
  • Appendices, Notes, Index

[edit]Bibliography

Frances Moore Lappé, Diet for a Small Planet, illus. by Kathleen Zimmerman and Ralph Iwamoto. New York: Ballantine Books, 1971 ISBN 0345023781

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Re: Red pill remedies
Dogs_In_A_Pile wrote:
nickbert wrote:

My wife put it more simply: "Vegetarian? What do you think I am, a goat?"  Laughing

- Nick

Nick -

After almost 26 years of marriage to Cat, I will be so presumtuous as to offer this:

Don't answer her question.

I managed to keep any funny remarks to myself that time.  Though I slip up other times, like that time my wife called me at work saying "Hello honey, this is your wife...."

.... Before I could stop myself, I answered "Which one?" 

Well I thought it was funny. 

We're only in our second year of marriage; she is still working on beating the smart aleck out of me.

I guess humor is another good red pill remedy.  Well, at least if you know where the line is  Laughing

- Nick

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Re: Red pill remedies
nickbert wrote:

I managed to keep any funny remarks to myself that time.  Though I slip up other times, like that time my wife called me at work saying "Hello honey, this is your wife...."

.... Before I could stop myself, I answered "Which one?" 

Well I thought it was funny. 

LOL, me too! Just writing to rassure you :)

I got married recently myself. I'll try to keep that on the top of my head when she calls me next time, just in case she starts calling herself this way and see how that goes with Japanese humor Innocent

Samuel

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Re: Red pill remedies

Hi Romans

Great to hear somebody else really getting in to heirloom seeds.

I am doing the best vegetable growing and seed saving course in the world IMO.

The reason it converted me to heirloom seeds is that there is a genetic ability of vegetables to hold nutrients.  A lot of the new and hybrid varieties are bred to grow quickly and look pretty.  Those traits breed out the ability to hold nutrients in the food. 

Of course, there is more than the genetics in terms of nutrition.  A lot depends on how it is grown.  Commercial farmers add nitrogen artificially which dissolves and the soluble form is effectively forced to be taken  up by the plant and with it takes up a lot of water.  You get a fat juicy looking vegetable with very little nutrient at all. 

The "trendy" term for my kind of vegetable growing is "nutrient dense".  And heirloom seeds are the first place to start.

And - hope you are interested, because I am on a roll - some of the other points about growing nutrient dense food is making sure there is a lot of humus in the soil.  This day and age has forgotton humus like our grandparents used to know how important it was.  The carbon matrix "holds" minerals in a way the plants' roots can pick exactly what it needs.  The best way to make humus is out of parts of other plants after they have gone to seed - and they are just a carbon shell.  eg straw, dried out bean pods, corn stalks etc etc used in your compost.

In addition, a plants roots are more efficient and able at absorbing nutrients if the soil is friable deep down.  It is because the point of the root that absorbs these nutrients is JUST behind the growth tip.  And if the growth tip is able to actively keep growing - the nutritent absorbing part of the root works most efficiently.  So again, more nutrient in the food.

Back to heirloom seeds:  They not only have the best nutrition, but they come true when you collect seeds.  Hybrids will not - or they might for one generation but then not come true.  Who wants that ?  I want food security in my own garden.

About seed saving:  The guy that takes our course has been saving seeds with over a decade of experience apprenticing himself to other seed savers.  What he stressses is that seed saving is something you need to be very careful with. 

You need to know how many plants you need to plant in order to keep the seeds genetic strength.  For example, if you wish to collect corn seeds, you will need to plant a minimum of 1000 plants.  Brassicas it is about 300.  You could just plant a few and collect the seeds and the following year they would be OK but if you continually did this you would lose the genetic strength.  Yes even with heirloom seeds.

Yes, as discussed you need to be careful they don't cross with other stuff growing in your garden.

The man in our course said that in the days where man lived in small communities with co-operation blah blah, you had to spend your life learning and working with plants to be given the responsibility in your later years of being in charge of seeds and seed saving because it was so crucial to the survival of the community. 

Anyway to make a long story short - I really suggest you try and find a (good) seed saving course, and b) get a copy of Seed to seed by suzanne ashworth. 

 

 

V's picture
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Re: Red pill remedies

One way to test he nutritonal value of food is with a Brix meter. They can be found for less than $100

V

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Re: Red pill remedies

What is a brix meter?  Sorry I will Google!

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V
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