Digging the root
Turnip root is right at the surface. The top of the ball is the crown from which the leaves spring. At the bottom of the ball is the root, perhaps 1/2" wide on bigger plants. There may be a few whispy roots here and there, but there is no strength to them. Grab the leaves at the bottom of the stem and lift. No need for a shovel. This is after I've taken greens repeatedly.
You can harvest the roots at any time. Ping pong ball is a fine size. I've seen them grow to 5-6" wide. In the first year they don't get woody as do kohlrabi.
As soon as the leaves are big enough to get a meal I start the harvest. Lots of plants means I'll start taking the leaves at 2-3". From seed to first harvest is maybe 3 weeks.
I take the outer leaves, they'll be bigger and fill the bowl/bucket/basket faster. The center leaves will keep growing, as will the root. I don't take all the leaves. Gotta let the plant keep growing. I've left them looking like a molting hen. I can get another harvest in a couple weeks from the same plants. About 3 dozen plants will give me a meal every week for 3 months. I plant them at 4" intervals. 4 square feet, 2'x2', produces all I can stand.
Turnips are biennial. They won't bolt the first year. The leaves never get bitter. Larger leaves will see some strings in the stem. Chop them a few times before cooking and it's not a problem.
Summer heat will slow down production. The greens grow faster in the sun and can get long. This gives you lots of stem for the amount of leaves. I cut them short in the kitchen and put em in the compost bucket.
Winter slows growth. By the time the plants have slowed down the roots have grown to substantial size. 3 or 4 roots is a heaping bowl.
Turnip is a shallow root crop and as it grows will break up the surface of the soil.
I cut of the crown end deep to clean it up. This crown area is thin but can have a tougher texture. I cut off the root to be flush with the ball. Any blemishes can be pared away. The ball gets washed. There is nothing to peel so give em a good scrub.
They can be baked whole but tend to dry out which makes them tough to chew. Try wrapping some bacon around them.
Soup calls for dicing or slicing, toss into the pot for 30-45 minutes depending on size and how soft you like.
Boil as you would mashed potato. Smush, serve as mashed potato. Leave them unmashed and they are just as good. Serve with butter, gravy, sour cream, perhaps a touch of horseradish.
Left unmashed the leftovers do much justice to a pan of red flannel hash, or fry them up with some bacon grease.
If I'm making a couple pounds of mashed potato, I don't mind tossing in a half pound of turnip right in with the potatoes. I'll put the beater to them to whip smooth. If I can't find the beaters I have a hand masher that does the job fine. If they come out a little bit lumpy, they are even better. The flavor gives the potatoes just a little bite.
Add to a pot roast 20 minutes after you add the potatoes and carrots.
Gotta have turnip for a Yankee boiled dinner: ham, potato, carrot, onion, cabbage, parsnip and turnip. Any root crop will do.
Makes a good cream soup or bisque.
My grandmother would make a sandwich with leftover greens. The directions are explicit:
Take some bread that is stale and dry, the kind that even the chickens would turn their beaks up at. Scrape some cool butter across so the bread rolls up and falls apart. Cover with leftover, cold, well drained turnip greens from the night before, better yet, from 2 nights before. Wrap in aluminum foil that has been used a minimum of 14 times. Serve out in the field on a cold, soggy day.
What I'd give for one of those right now!
Would this be a budget for a season of 26 episodes? Half hour or hour?
Seems to me this is an opportunity to show the viewers a look at each of several projects in depth.
Building a wofati or Dick Proenneke cabin from start to finish offers appeal. The series would sell the dream of a simpler lifestyle, inviting people to consider self-sufficiency as a realistic alternative.
Build it and they will come, or perhaps emulate.
Give it a round door and explore the woodshop. Add heat with an RMH. Add all the comforts of home with Jean Pain hot water showers, an outdoor kitchen, and solar power cart.
Gather, grow, preserve food-I could fill every episode with food alone.
Livestock brings in meatsmithy, yorkshire pudding, curing a $4000 ham, a cold smoker for bacon, sausage making, and suede. Harvesting an animal on TV would be a decision to make. PETA would have a cow.
Production limits the time available to put all these projects together. One homesite can only do so much. Several homesites would offer a wider canvas and can expose the viewers to ideas they could implement at home.
Is 'Won't you be my neighbor' still available? With the exposure of a series, privacy would demand that production be in a separate and distinct location. Closer to a large town can draw in tourists. Get the land, build the home base, add systems, then get those tourists involved with classes and workshops. The whole thing becomes the Wheaton Permaculture Center after the TV show is done.
Turnip greens, in my opinion, is one of the better greens. Easy to grow, takes a frost well, highly productive, edible raw or cook em up any way you like.
These are cut and come again. Cut or snap off the outer leaves, new leaves will grow from the center. Smaller leaves will be a bit more tender, but even the large leaves are quite thin. The stems are easy to chew, older stems too. The stems don't get stiff as do collards. The simplest method of cooking: put em in a pot, boil em up for a couple minutes, top with a dab of butter and splash of vinegar.
As the leaves grow they will form tiny prickly structures on the underside. Nothing to worry about, it only makes them a bit rough when raw. Upon cooking this roughness goes away.
Cleaning is easy as the leaves are not ruffled or savoyed. They grow very well in the cool weather when bugs are not so much of a concern.
As you talk to people share ideas with them. If they are not interested in investing in the property, they may be interested in being a customer. Renting garden plots would generate the income to pay the bills. Having customers lined up ahead of time makes the project more viable. If the project can offer a return on investment with a realistic plan, finding investors gets easier.
If the structure was available, a large group could set up a Creative Reuse Center, it would quickly be filled with materials for artists and crafters to draw supplies and ideas. Cottages or booths could be set up to hold a craft fair now and then, giving the artists and crafters a means of supporting themselves while drawing the general public to the farm as well as the Creative Reuse Center.
Growing up in Maine we could get spruce gum anywhere in the woods, and there's a LOT of woods up there. I can still taste it.
The stuff needs to be hard. The harder the better. You don't need much-the flavor is STRONG. If it's not hard you'll spit it right out and you mouth will taste like a pinecone forest the rest of the day. It takes a few chews to crunch it up and the flavor can be overpowering. It'll make you drool for sure. If you can get through that first minute it becomes more gum-like. You can chew it, suck on it, stick twigs together. Try not to get it on your clothes, regular detergent won't get it out. Mineral spirits/turpentine gets it out-it comes from trees.
The kids like to try it out.
If the lady valued your efforts the price would not be an issue. If the lady did not value my efforts, I would choose not to do business with her. In growing a squash and offering for sale nothing has been taken from the lady. She has every opportunity to get her own land, get her own seed, and invest her own time and effort into growing her own squash. In one breath she claims you are taking advantage of her. In her next, she wants to take advantage of you. Perhaps if the lady possessed ambition she would have all the squash she could stand and ample to do with as she pleased, including give them away.
Greed can be interpreted as the want of money. It is self-serving. I would think some level of greed would be essential to look after ones own needs. Unbridled greed, the love of money for it's own sake, serves no purpose and is detrimental to the notion of independence. One becomes a slave to acquiring more money.
The counterpart to greed is charity. Go ahead and share the surplus. I use economics to determine who to share it with. As with greed, unbridled charity is self destructive.
Ambition is a separate subject. Ambition is a driving force. Without ambition there is no passion, no will to achieve. Permaculture says 'produce a yield'. Wouldn't a person need at least a little ambition to accomplish that? Ambition is limited by ability. Unbridled ambition, when coupled with unbridled ability has the power to change the world.
The counterpart of ambition is indifference: Why bother? Without inspiration the human spirit dies.
I want money because it can give me Freedom. I won't be beholding to anyone for my needs. I won't have to trade my time for money. I'll be free to pursue my ambition. I have more ability that I'm allowed to express at a job; A job imposes limits. When I tell my boss "THERE'S MORE OUT THERE' I'm referring to the freedom follow my passion. He perceives it as 'maybe I can get a better job working for someone else' so I end up getting a raise, which is kinda nice. With every paycheck I get a little closer to paying off the mortgage. When it's gone, the whole equation changes. I won't need the job. I'll be free to do those things I want to do rather than spend all my time doing the things I have to do.
The problem I see has nothing to do with the guns. You could substitute the word 'cookbook' and the problem remains.
We the people have rights. They are not granted to us by the government. We have them by nature of our existence. These rights are not in the jurisdiction of the gubmint other than to protect and it is not in the power of the gubmint to take away these rights except in cases of breach of social contract, i.e. conviction of a crime. History shows us that when a people are granted rights by their government, over time that government erodes those rights in order to serve its own will over the needs of the people. The pattern begins with corruption and ends with oppression. Our system has checks and balances to ensure our liberties, but that system is faltering. If not for our rights, that system would have been swept away long ago.
Auditory: 10%, I never listen and nobody can tell me anything
Tactile: 55%, yup this is me alright. Probably why I like woodworking, gardening, cooking. This is how I train and teach: hands on.
I've done the hills.
Everything slopes all the time. On a good day, I'm clumsy and awkward on flat surfaces.
Personal preferences aside, the hills offer a more diverse environment. High on the hills will tend to be dryer. Down in the valleys will see more moisture, great for berries. Some areas will have wind, some are protected. If an orchard is in your future, the slope puts more fruit within reach, on one side anyway. Besides being flood proof, there is the simple fact that you can't build into the side of a hill on flat land. Sure is pretty.
On the other hand, that flat piece would be awesome for solar energy-no shade when you need the sun. Sure is nice to be able to walk around the place without the workout of climbing hills all the time. If stuff blows over, it doesn't roll downhill. If vegetable production is your objective, flat land is easier to work on.
If I had to choose based on these 2 photos alone, I'd take the hills even if I wobble and fall down. I think I'd like to wake up to that view every day.
Harriet Taub is the Executive Director of Materials for the Arts in New York City, one of the largest reuse centers in the U.S. This place is 35000 square feet, filled floor to ceiling with usable donations.
Our mission is to put unwanted books into the hands of those who want them.
I've not found any mention that they ship books and there is no inventory listed on the website. It appears you have to show up, but you can help yourself to whatever you like.
I expect to be driving through Baltimore next summer. This presents an opportunity to bring back some books.
What can be done with a truckload of books?
Stock up some Little Free Libraries.
Book Swap Parties.
I gotta contact Eric Stewart over at Kinship Urban Farm. A community garden with a library of books to swap could help draw people in. Head over, help out, meet other locals with common interests, and swap books so folks can study and learn on their own. I'm not seeing a downside here.
Craig Dobbelyu wrote:I would be broke... sooooooooo broke.
I'm in touch with that emotion. Fortunately it's a 90 minute drive.
Craig D suggests bringing in artists to create works with the available material.
Arts and Crafts fairs/demonstrations could draw in some folks.
Back in grade school we had what was called a 'Mini-Day'
Rather than our regular class schedule a large number of people in the community came in and offered workshops. For a 7 year old it was exciting to see and do new things all day. We signed up for the workshops in the gym, had to work out our own schedule. It was kinda like registering for classes. Each class was an hour or two.
A geologist came in with samples of rocks. We all got a special rock sample.
One lady came in with a HUGE pile of yarn and we did macrame, took our work home.
There was some sort of wooden block thing with nails that we tied string around to make some sort of pattern. No idea what that was about, but it musta been impressive because I still remember it.
I think there was a workshop for oragami. Mostly I just made paper airplanes.
I'd swear Bob Ross was there.
I'm thinking a Book Swap Event could bring considerable exposure. As a monthly event, it could draw in a few regulars.
What sort of activities and events would you include with a Repurpose Project that would draw in people regularly as customers and volunteers?
Some of the books have started to come in already. They are being shipped out from 9 different locations. From the looks of things, Thriftbooks.com is a blending of several used book sellers across the US who have their act together. The site is a composite of what is available. A listing for a particular book shows the best available copy and offers books in other condition as well as hard and soft cover. This gives you the chance to save a little more.
The condition of the books is impressive. Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma came in hardcover with the dustcover. There is what may be a fingernail imprint on one spot. It's as good as brand new, was listed as 'Very Good'. Cover price: $26.95. My price was $4.84 and I got 50¢ off because I bought more than 1 book at a time. $4.34 included shipping. They are giving them away. The Autobiography of Ben Franklin (it doesn't name the author for some reason) had a page that was folded-the worst damage found. Most of these look like they have never been read.
For a book swap or Little Free Library, I think the hardcover versions of books will be the way to go. They'll hold up longer to wear.
In a disposable society we use it, consume it, wear it out, replace it, and throw the old one away. The problem is there is no 'Away'. Trash, waste, scraps, construction debris and millions of tons of the remnants of civilization are piled up in landfills to become monuments to civilization.
The exponential growth of the population, combined with technological advancements and economic expansion has produced consumer products like never before in history. Cheap energy and assembly line production keeps the distribution chains stocked. Keep the stores open and hang up a sign advertising "Everything, All The Time.' Come out with a new diet book, a faster processor, a prettier little black dress, a new style for every season or a new type of light bulb and all that stuff you have is obsolete. We live in a finite world. Consuming limited natural resources at an ever increasing rate, then scattering the debris across the terrain is not logical, practical, or sustainable.
Reducing our consumption is part of the answer. Everyone is willing to save the world as long as it does not cost them extra.
Recycling makes good sense. We've come a long way in the past few decades. We have much further to go.
Repurposing needs more attention. Put those things to use rather than throw it away. This trend has spawned Creative Reuse Centers, particularly in urban areas where there is an abundance of stuff to work with.
We are a thrift store that salvages items usually not accepted by traditional second hand stores! Our mission is to capture these overlooked treasures before they end up in the landfill and make them available to the public through our retail store. Here are some examples: art supplies, office supplies, building supplies, legs off a broken table, scraps of wood, craft supplies, etc. We also carry regular thrift store items such as furniture, household items, books, toys, games, etc. The sale of these traditional items help to cover our overhead expenses.
The video on the site explains things better than I can and offers a short tour.
Some items are listed on Craigslist. I think this is how I first found out about the project.
I picked up some books there to add to my Book Swap project.
I found a grain mill which was sold to provide a fine boost to the Farmland Fund.
The response of the community and the abundance of usable items have seen the Repurpose Project move to a larger location over the past few months.
This is a shining example of what can be done to make the world a better place every day.
Here's an article describing How To Make Your Own Bonemeal Fertilizer Step 1 is gather bones
Step 2 is clean them by cooking. If you are using them for soup stock, you're already up to this step
Step 3 Dry.
Step 4 Grind into powder
Engineers Without Borders has a biomass grinder which I think would handle grinding of the bones.
For the plants to make use of the pottassium, the soil will need a slightly acidic pH.
Add some rotted pine needles.
Climate, soil quality, surrounding environment, sunlight, length of growing season, how much the 50 people use and what types of crops are all factors.
1 pound of harvested produce per day per person suggests 1 sqft per person per day. Round upwards to 400 sqft each for a year.
50 people equates to 20,000 square feet.
To account for pathways, increase that by 30%. If these 50 people will be picking their own produce, increase by 50%.
The weather is pretty screwy. Perhaps you won't get the desired conditions (too wet/dry hot/cold). increase the growing area to account for that as best you can.
Bugs can wail on crops despite your best effort. Increase your estimate by 25-50%
I once suffered from late blight that wiped out hundred of potato and tomato plants. Are the folks dependent on your production and if so, do they go without or look for another supplier?
If the soil is poor, and production is low, increase the estimate accordingly.
Crop selection has it's place. Brussels sprouts will take longer to raise than lettuce. Do you skip the sprouts to raise faster crops such as turnip or yellow squash?
Is there time in the season to raise some slow crops and fill in the early spring and late fall with fast and tasty greens?
There will be blemished and misshapen produce. The people may not accept them, but it may be possible to turn ugly tomatoes into sauce, ugly cukes into pickles.
Providing vegetables for 50 people on an acre is a challenge. 25/acres can work with the right conditions, skillful attention and fair weather. 10/acre may be more realistic.
Does this growing space account for space needed for support?
I use heaps of grass and leaves. An acre of grass and an acre of woods sure is a handy thing to harvest for mulch and compost.
Have you accounted for parking? If these 50 people are coming to the farm to pick up the produce, they'll need a few parking spots nearby.
A toolshed, farmstand or other structure won't take up much room but needs to be figured in. It's not just the footprint of the building, but the shade behind and walkway to it it that can be lost.
Things evolve over time. The plan for this place has evolved as I get a clearer picture of how ideas fit together.
In the short term I'd like to grow vegetables and market them as a Pick Your Own farm. This will take a few weeks to get going and perhaps a few months before sales are more than a novelty. Previously the offer made in back channels was 25% of sales. I handle all operational expenses, housing, utilities, groceries and supplies. The offer has been amended to include $50/week because I think a person should have some money in their pocket. This will be an advance on that 25%. Sales up to $100/week is not substantial enough for me to try to recover expenses. The first $100/week in sales will be an advance on the 25%. It works out to $50 minimum each week, and should grow to $100 where it will hold until balance is achieved. I think that for many folks this would be an amount which would offer them dignity, freedom, and an incentive to perform.
I'm aware of WWOOF and Workaway. They are fine organizations but I'm not looking for a temporary assistant.
I intend to find the right person here on Permies.com.