I don't know much about prairie, but I know a bit about chickens, and your system sounds like it will work great. Our chickens love to scratch in leaf litter and disturbed ground-- we have to screen them out of areas where we are establishing plants-- but they don't do any damage to established areas. We even had a volunteer garden of squash, tomatoes, and onions arise out of undisturbed ground and the chickens left it alone.
A little more cover would be nice, but it sounds like you have enough. Low ground cover from shrubs and bushes is at least as important as trees. We have 50 chickens/acre, and at 4-8 chickens on 1/4 to 1/3 of acre, you'll be even less dense than that. So I don't see any reason to think your chickens will cause you any more trouble than ours do.
I just went back to the site, and it appears that individual species can be downloaded (as many as you want), but not the entire book as a single download -probably causing too big a burden on their server - over 800 pages in one download!
They also have free downloads for specialty crops for the region, as well as other publications.
A great resource for those in tropical regions.
alex Keenan wrote:From some research and testing over a decade ago, if you added 20% expanded materials like perlite, expanded shale, etc. to the subsoil and topsoil you should not have issues with soil compaction.
Your soils has macro pores, meso pores, and micro pores. Clay has lots of surface area but only micro pore space. Sand has lots of macro pores but does not hold water. It is the meso pores that will hold free water the plants can use. I like organic material with all the life in it to build porespace. However, you tend to find that in nature organic material decreases as depth increases form leaf litter layer down to subsoil. If you want good deep roots in clay consider double digging and amending with porous non-organic material in the subsoil and with organic and non-organic material in the top soil.
This will badly disrupt the soil but it is also a one time event. With this start you should be able to cover crop and/or mulch from that point forward.
Appreciate the advice Alex, that definitely taught me something new, so then i take it the meso pores are materials such as perlite & expanded shale, pumice etc ?
I did come accross a few stones scattered in the subsoil while breaking up the soil to mix the compost, im not sure however if they will work they probably dont have the same pore space ?
It makes alot of sense what you saying though, i never thought about including aeration into my soil, it could definitely do with some, i will look into some alternatives to see what is available in my area, if you have any suggestions on alternatives i would appreciate that too, thank you !
I stopped using yeast spread straight away; aside from it probably being a pointless addition,
I imagine the high salt content could retard the yeasty action I'm after.
I've tried a few versions:
No beer at all, just yeast, flour, sugar, water.
Result-rubbish. I got a few, but I think they were just wandering past and fell in.
I thought I'd try a specifically earwig version by squirting a couple of fish oil capsules into the mix
('they' often say to make earwig traps out of fishy cans...)
Result-less than in the 'standard' slug pub.
I got over myself and asked about collecting beer from a local bar's spill trays,
but of course they clean everything at the end of the night, and they're not saving me old beer
So for now it's cheap beer, flour, yeast, sugar and a little warm water.
I would recommend cracker cattle. It is a good size for the property and work load you describe. Well adapted to the heat. A "dryland" breed that won't linger near their water source causing over grazing. Not as "wild" as most other criollo breeds. The meat is gourmet in quality, lean and very "beefy" yet remaining pretty tender. It matures as fast or faster than almost any breed, reaching sexual maturity often before it even gets weaned. Easy keeper, not requiring assistance throwing a calf or much veterinarian assistance at all. There is even a few dairy strains out there.
Use of Florida Cracker Cattle: Florida Crackers and Pineywoods are triple-purpose cattle ideal for small-farm beef production, milking, and draft purposes (they make outstanding small oxen), especially in the Southeastern tier of states. Beef produced by these breeds is lean, flavorful, and their smaller carcasses make ideal freezer beef for today's smaller families. Thanks to their tasty beef, both Pineywoods and Florida Cracker cattle are listed on Slow Foods USA's Ark of Taste. And, since some strains emphasize dairy qualities; cows from these families make excellent hobby farm family dairy cows.
Thanks for the generous replies!
I may be foolish but the weeds don't scare me, as the lot is a sea of weeds anyway.
The stink is real, mind you I have spent the last two years as a drain cleaning plumber and am almost insensate when confronted with human sewage.
I suspect the conditions are crowded and less than ideal.
The whole opperation seems seedy, but who am I to talk?
I am wondering if cardboard over the poop would smother seeds and smell alike.
I ask because while leaves are easy to get in season,wood waste has been hard to come by but cardboard is always easy to get.
I do fear making vole havens as cardboard layers are sometimes said to do, but I fear not the tick....
Liz, upon re-reading your post, I see you say you don't have a machine for cutting grass, just a GOF Scythe. I love the Scythe, mine is around 100 years old, I do not consider it old fashioned though, just retro and energy efficient.
I just talked to tim about the idea of making a piece of wood cover that rides four inches over the top of the current surface. And the frame of this would not touch any of the wood surface. Instead, it would get it's structural integrity from the legs (below). So air would be able to pass under this new surface. And on the underside will be written something about how the butcher block surface is for building the right kind of bacteria for butchering meat. That the upper table surface is designed to allow air to pass over the butcher surface when the butcher surface is not in use. And the table needs a paper thin layer of salt when the butcher surface is not in use.
Why is the kitchen moveable?
Is there something about it here?
I may well have missed it...if so please post a link
In my world, kitchens basically either stay where they are or get hitched onto something and driven back where they came from..
You have to admit that folks are using less baking soda these days , but toilet paper ? I think not . The shrinking box con job is the key to most diet packaging . Like "Lean Cuisines" . Same ingredients as "Hungry Man" just way less of it for more money .
another delicata fan =)
but theres a lot of variation in the delicatas i have tried, some are definitely better than others, but none were bad. some are small cuties and some are huge long things. the small cuties i grew many years ago was the best and sweetest, i do not remember exactly what the variation was or where it was from. then i grew them again and got instead the long thin type, still good though, but not what i was expecting.
my favorite squash to grow is definitely spaghetti squash. theres a whole lot of them out in the garden right now, so close to being ready, looking forward to harvesting them soon.
Leila Rich wrote:
The biggie for me is they're a mixta species and shouldn't cross pollinate with my other squash.
Avoiding crossing makes seed saving cucurbits a bit of a juggling act for me.
That was a biggie for me, too!
It means I can grow them anywhere I've got a spare patch of ground, assuming I keep all my seed - it's getting difficult to source seed so don't waste any!
I should have some to share if anyone wants some, though I think it's easy enough to get in the US. Any Europeans want any? Am I allowed to send any to you Leila? Or are the regulations too strict? Have Candystick Delicata, too. And some Oregon Homestead...
Here's a few links with more photos and info on them.
oh and of course one has the signature space at the bottom of his posts where you can write I am Frank from merry farm's etc.
I was thinking about this point before getting up today, and I saw it as if we all where in the auditorium, or shop, at Wheaton labs and there is a lot of round tables let say all for 8 to 10 people and every table is a thread, you move from to another looking at your interests and knowledges and stop to chat a long even in a very simple and light way, we don't always have to be so serious. Well seeing this vision, which depicts our virtual presence in the auditorium at Wheaton labs I like the idea that people here get to know who I am, what I do, and maybe you just comunicate in a different way. I pop up sometimes in threads wher ei see no one has answered if I know or i am curious about the subject I say something. it's because it's as if I saw someone alone at one of the tables in the auditorium and I would pop up I mean if you came to sit here it's not to be alone or meditate you want exchange idea's.
if you want to stay alone do it but you can't on Forum.
nothing it was just an update on my thoughts.
My roots are pretty much entirely English, Irish and Scottish;
with nary an 'exotic' ancestor to be found
Successful small businesspeople looking for freedom from rigid class and tax systems don't make much of a thrilling origin story!
While quite break-able, I'm rather fond of glass cookware. Anything from pyrex dishes to borosilicate chemistry glass has been proven quite useful. I'm not sure about its uses on the steaming front, but good glassware is a versatile tool.
The equinox is here, and where I live that means gales as opposed to just windy.
I can't remember it being this...obvious...in other places I've been;
does the equinox at your place make the weather more dramatic than usual?
Yeah these guys totally look like late summer sun. They're that shade of gold and creams and browns. I was pretty sure I was going after the mushrooms currently know as Prince until you brought up those Almond Agaricus a while back. Since then I haven't been so sure. That love of calcium bit is really good to know. Same as the portabellas huh? I always do seem to find them on edges near conifers for whatever reason. Coincidence?
Yip, it gets reeaally complicated. Nature's not in the business of simple, that's for sure!
John Saltveit wrote:Whip and tongue, bark, cleft grafting is done in late winter and early spring from dormant new branches.
Bud grafting or just called budding, happens in the summer (august and september mostly).
I've been wanting to learn grafting for ages, and basically just never got around to it.
I've always been told that bud grafting is a great 'beginner' technique.
That's not much use to you, as it'd be nearly a year until budding season comes around
If you're in an area with grafting workshops, I think it'd be well worth going;
there'd sure to be all sorts of learning opportunities aside from just grafting.
Jon La Foy wrote:can you actually cut a small branch off then root it?
As John says-it depends. What plant(s) are you thinking about growing from cuttings?
I haven't heard of people rooting cuttings from fruittrees, which are generally grown from pip/stone or grafted onto rootstock.
People here may have.
These are easy though:
Berries like blueberries, gooseberries, currants etc
Also: if you plant seeds from an apple, fruit from the new tree will probably be very different-that doesn't mean not good though.
this thread goes on about it at length!
Stones from fruit like peaches usually grow a new plant that's pretty much the same as it's 'parent'.
Just a little update and need your advice with a bug problem .I did not have time to do the raised beds like I was planning on. Instead I tried container garden . It was already late in the season so I bought some tomatoes, sweet peas,peppers and cucumbers . I planted everything in empty 5 gallon buckets using garden soil I bought with the plants from Home Depot . I mixed in some compost from kitchen scraps and some saw dust. Everything was going great for 3 maybe 4 weeks,than the plants started going yellow and dying. I figured they were drying up from the heat. Today I was dumping the soil from the buckets and noticed what I believe to be the real reason for the plants dying . It happened to me a few years before when I was trying to make a garden . The soil was loaded with some kind of grubs . I believe the grubs are eating the ruts of the plants eventually killing them . There was maybe thirty grubs in a single 5 gallon bucket . Someone told me that the soil is to rich and I need to add lime to it . Is that correct ? My plan is to go as natural as possible . My neighbor has the same problem. How do I deal with it in the future ? Any advice greatly appreciated
Landor LeBaron wrote:"What we throw away in California for cosmetic reasons could end world hunger."
That was the thing that ticked me off the most. The obsession with "pretty food" that tastes like dishwater (and has about the same nutritional value) is killing the planet and everything that lives on it.
And, sure, let's import a gazillion beneficial insects to act as predators and then hose them down with the same insecticidal soap that we use to get rid of the "pests". BRILLIANT!!! (Not :/ )
Favorite way to eat cauliflower:
1) Steam a whole head until almost tender.
2) Cover with sliced or shredded cheese (I prefer a nutty Swiss like Jarlsberg).
3) Place under broiler just long enough to melt/slightly brown the cheese.
4) Cut into quarters & serve with a tasty beverage!
An update per request......The milk jugs didn't make a difference. None of the sweet potato slips grew much beyond a couple feet. The largest vine had a tuber the diameter of a pencil and about 1 1/2 inch in length. I'll try again next year.
Not sure about Oz, but here in the States it's not necessary to purchase new, let alone have one shipped to you. Almost any size and shape cast iron can be found in thrift stores, antique stores or garage sales. They're everywhere! Most people don't know what they're getting rid of when they donate their iron cookware or pile in a box to be sold. As an aside, I'm astounded at the amount of still-good stuff that hangs on the walls of some restaurant chains, but that's another story. It's my observation that the vast majority of the iron cookware found second hand can be made ready with a little TLC or re-seasoning and, voila! a new addition to your cookware selections. I ran across a video of a guy whose actual hobby is finding cast iron cookware and restoring it to good use. If a guy makes that his hobby, it's a good shot there's plenty of pieces out there to bring back to life.
I agree with the need to know about competing ideas in every field. I don't respect the intelect of those who only are knowledgeable about what they are selling. This is true whether they are selling poison, machines, some methodology or religion. For me to take them seriously, they must display an understanding of the ideas that compete with their own.
My wife is a "city girl" but when she had this stew, she said, if venison is this good, I can eat it daily.
South American Venison Cilantro stew
2 pounds venison
1/2 cup vinegar
1 teaspoon cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large red onion, chopped fine
1 aji pepper (or other hot chile pepper), chopped fine
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 bunch of cilantro (coriander leaf)
1 bottle of beer
1-2 cups chicken or beef stock
5-6 medium yellow potatoes or Yuca
Cut the meat into approximate 2 inch cubes.
Mix the vinegar with the garlic, cumin, 1/4 cup vegetable oil, and some salt and black pepper, and pour over the meat. Let meat marinate at room temperature for an hour.
Purée the cilantro with some water in a blender or food processor until you get a smooth paste. (you can also add 1 cup of spinach if you are not too fond of cilantro, however it will not taste the same)
Heat 3-4 tablespoons oil in a large pot or skillet on high heat. Working in 2 batches, brown the meat on all sides. Remove meat to a plate.
Lower the heat and add the onion and aji pepper to the same skillet with the leftover marinade. Cook until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Add the meat back to the skillet, along with the beer, the cilantro, and 1 cup of the chicken stock. Cover and cook over low heat until the meat is tender, about an hour.
Peel and quarter the potatoes or yuca, and add them to the stew. Continue to cook over low heat until potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes more, adding more chicken broth if necessary.
That said, I'm kind of stumped by what I've heard about the acidifying effect of Pine. That's the only situation I know of where pH is directly impacted by the influence by one plant (or many of the same plant, as pine tends to dominate).
Some people say it's the enormous quantity of pine needles, but I heard Paul say it's probably the roots that are acidifying the soil. In any case, if you have a few pine trees and underneath you find acid soil, I really don't think you could add other plants and change the pH in any significant way.
It's really hard to jump just 1 pH number. You can do it in a small container pretty well, but when you're dealing with thousands of tons of soil beneath your plant, it's not happening with plants on any short-term basis. Things like pH are shaped over thousands if not millions of years. Amendments like lime work, but I imagine post amendment, like 20 years down the road - even less, everything turns back to what it was before.
I've been thinking about this kind of thing too.
Here's a thread From what I understand, legume species often need really specific inoculants,
and if the plant isn't native-or at least naturalised-
I'd say you're likely to need to inoculate for efficient nitrogen fixation.
As has been mentioned, it needn't from a commercial source;
another way I've heard is to take seedlings from under a healthy 'mother' plant.
I'm pretty sure that if the 'right' rhizobia isn't there already, it needs to be brought in.