Saturday, April 17, 2010

Where Do I Live? An Odd Town With 218 Other People, Funny Read

That's right!!! where the woods are full of Kung-Foo fighting bears!!

A place where mullets are out dated (sort of)

A place where the animals love everyone (thou you might be on the menu)

A place where if you wanna stop and dance, nobody's looking

A place where if your not careful you could get
on the cheek

And I think I now Hate snow!!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Springtime Warning, Early Spring Late Frost

If you happen to be in a area of the country that has a early springtime like I do remember to watch the weather patterns and prepare yourself to cover your garden/plants to protect from a late frost.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Cold Frame Growing Your Own Food In Winter To Be Self Sufficient.

So as you have read I have been using a cold frame to grow some veggies. I think I built it correct but note that it sure does need watered quite often about every other day. I have tried to get my head around why but sometimes you just gotta get on with it.
I think I am doing pretty good with the garden soil as the test came out between 6.3-6.8 so I am pleased. I didn't test the more clay areas, that is a waste of time and I will plant and put fertilizer down when I grow there.
The bottom picture shows my Swiss Chard, something I have never grown before and perhaps will need to post a question on the forum. I don't want to crowd the buggers.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

First Pic Of My Garden 2010 In Zone 5a, Being Self Sufficient Thoughts

Well this year the soil looks very nice and all my hard work over the past three years is paying off. Like anyone else I expected more from the soil in the past years as I did so much work to get it to be so much better. I was pleased this year with most of the garden looking better than ever, except the upper right portion where I ran out of organic stuff last year and the year before. I had forgotten two years in a row, but the area is pretty small and still able to put some plants in.
I got my shallots, onions and next years garlic in already and hoping the weather will continue to head to warmer spring/summer days.
When we started our farm and decided to become more self sufficient, we didn't know what we faced or how life was going to be. The amount of pride that I have about the quality of my living is enormous as well as the wonderful food that we eat.
Finding local meat was a small challenge, but once I started reaching out to locals, they were ready to help. Now that I have established those relationships and fitting in with the community, I find myself realizing just how many people around me are living their life as self sufficient as they decide to do. There is a notable difference in attitudes among the people here compared with folks living in the city. Not as people, but as a general group. Folks here know the winter challenges we all face as well as a short growing season. I find that folks here are more willing to listen, help and offer direction if you ask.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Update Bramble Hedge Rows, Year Two, Fruit Tree And Nut Tree Warning!

Well I wanted to post an update for you folks who are wondering how my hedge rows were doing. Drew/Erin purchased their first blackberry plant and so I wanted to tell them yay and show them what they can expect next year.
First off, a warning of mixing fruit trees with nut trees. In my country wisdom book I read last year a chemical that is given off by nut tree roots system which spreads to the surrounding soil and doesn't allow fruit trees to produce buds/blossoms. I had said I would look that up, however time has limited me today to follow up on that research. However it is a survival defense for the tree so that it can allow its own seeds to fall and reproduce with any fruit tree taking up the space.
Second when pruning your brambles be sure to either trash the cuttings or burn them. If you don't your inviting all sorts of problems including fungi/rust issues.

The close ups are of my Darrow plants, on the lower end I do have some Chicksaw as well. Chicksaw has thorns, sharp, narrow ouchy ones that poke and draw blood. It produces a fine tasting berry though, my fav to eat fresh.
Country Wisdom book has some very good  instructions on how to raise berries. I credit them for me getting a nice harvest the first year and this years harvest is going to be wonderful. I do side dress my plants 3 times a year with 100% organic fertilizer and start to trim the main new stalks when they get 4-5 feet long. This alows for as many branches to grow for the next years harvest.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Hedge Rows Grapes/Brambles How To Video

Sustainable Future? Are You Ready? One Step Forward!! Plant A Pot Of Veggies!

Some might read my blog and see the hard work it takes to become self sufficient, and I know I have only tipped the top of the iceberg. I know that I can only live a certain level of self sufficiency, but I have never regretted getting started. I can tell you that my struggles have been many, whether through my own mistakes or lack of understanding what is going on because I did not educate myself enough.
I wonder what the future holds for my children as adults? With a yearly boom of the population 88 million people, can the earth handle this amount of human life in say 30 years? If mankind keeps heading down this road we are on now, I fear that the earth will die in the next 30 years.
I wonder how many people have at least decided to have 2-3 meals a week without meat and have more than one/two servings of veggies per meal? I also wonder how many people have started their own sustainable future by growing a garden for the first time this year? If empty pockets in the seed display are a sign of people gardening this year, the future looks great as noticed when I passed the seed display the other day. I am by no means a vegetarian, I like to gnaw on my bones, but my point is a healthier choice of living better.

The day I opened my freezer, and all the food within was grown/gather/fished/hunted by me and my family members, the feeling was undescribable. Though I struggle with the weeds as I learn to become more weed free every year, I found that all the home processing/blanching/freezing/canning was a reward I did not truly understand till that day.
Take a gallon size container and grow a tomato plant for fresh tomatoes, once you eat your first one, you will be hooked!!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Fun Game For Earthday 2010, What Is Your Carbon Footprint?

One on of my fav sites is a new game, even though I am more than 60% self sufficient I found my carbon print to be eye opening. I can tell you that it more than made me think about how I can become more self sufficient, I need to do more to help our Mother Earth. Of course I am glad that I decided to start my changes some years ago, just wish I had done it sooner.
I hope that you and others wil understand and educate yourself how we need to save the world from our own destruction. I think that we need to do more, I need to do more, do you need to do more?
 This Is a fun way to see your carbon footprint 

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Working The Soil In The Garden, Blight Warning!!

I have been working the soil in the garden for four years now, and its starting to get just where I want it. I would like it less clumpy reason the I added gypsum to break down the clay. I also have added tons of stuff to make new soil to grow plants. The fact that I see Robins in there almost all day long tells me there is plenty of worms in there.

Now, if you happened to get the blight as I did last year, remember not to plant your tomatoes in the same spot for the next 2 years. The blight spores are holding in the soil and it takes some time to kill them off. If you plant same place again than your maters will certainly be affected again this year by the blight and you will be passing it down wind. I was nothing less than disgusted last year when the plants I worked so hard to raise were killed. I was ill prepared last year and by the time I had educated myself, my plants were already starting to die.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Here Is A Rare Garden Soil Secret, 100% Natural For Your Soil, CHEAP!! Green House Up!!

There are few old tricks that can help you help your garden soil pretty cheap and all natural. What I started with 3 years go as garden soil was a top layer of soil, about 3 inches. The rest was clay and lots of stones, so from the first till I knew I had to add tons of organic materials. I would hate to guess how many tons of materials I hae foraged for, leaves, grass clippings, old mulch and mushroom compost.

I wish I had some follow up photos to share, but I tilled the garden and set my onions and shallots before the rain came. Than it was dinner time and a storm has moved in. But the soil color is getting better every year as well as my garden plants remain healthy and seem to be getting better every year.

Gypsum is used in soil to help break up clay as well as break the soil down to convert it into a finer textured soil to work with. It has no value so it won't change the acid/ph at all. It also helps to let air in for healthier soil.
Pound for Pound, Alfalfa Meal has the cheapest, most available nitrogen for your garden. For two years now I have added 4 50 pound a year into the soil. Mother Earth News covered this method last year it it is the cheapest most natural way to go. I paid 12.00 for a 50 pound bag. Consider doing it when it isn't windy outside as it is a meal/powder form of alfalfa. I will need to till the soil several more times before the Gypsum can do its job.
I did get the green house up with little effort, it took just a half an hour from start to finish, and I already have some seeds as well as plants. I plain to build a blueberry cage as well as consider getting my fence up in the near future before I can get some cold weather veggies in.
The plants in the cold frame are doing well, I sure hope I like swiss chard, we'll find out soon!!!!!