"Modern scientific tests have shown that red clover contains isoflavones, plant based chemicals that produce estrogen like effects in the body. Isoflavones have shown potential in the treatment of a number of conditions associated with menopause, such as hot flashes, cardiovascular health, and osteoporosis. However, as researchers have become aware of the side effects of taking estrogen, there is also some concern about the safety of isoflavones. And the evidence that red clover helps reduce any menopausal symptoms -- like hot flashes -- is mixed."
"No serious side effects have been reported in people taking red clover for up to one year. General side effects may include headache, nausea, and rash. However, animals that graze on large amounts of red clover have become infertile. People who have been diagnosed with breast cancer should not use red clover without discussing it with their physician."
Angelika, we did make sure the ground was pretty flat for the cinder blocks to lay flat. We used no mortar. There is a rebar down each corner though to help with stability. We recycled used blocks we picked up here and there and then finished off with purchasing the remainder new for about $1.20 each.
After our first season, the level of the dirt sank by almost a full block. Since we used mostly branches, not so much trunks, it continued to compact over the season. I wish we had had more trunks/stumps to use. But produce-wise this was the most successful garden I have ever grown.
This style may not be appropriate for everyone, but I have a very bad back and getting onto the ground to garden is nearly impossible for me. The design of this was so that I could sit on the edge or on a chair to garden.
I used wood ash on my raised bed/hugelkultur in addition to lots of hot sheep manure and some semi-composted chicken manure. My garden grew like gang busters. It was so lush. I would say we used 6-8 inches of manure to 1/2 inch wood ash. Here are pictures if you want to scroll through them to see the garden grow:
About 3 years we (our whole state) had a terrible year with haemonchus contortus and we lost an adult ewe. Everyone local I knew with sheep or goats was having losses that summer. That was when I stopped my regular worming routine with Ivermectin every 6-8 weeks. It clearly wasn't the solution. I have since learned about the Famacha system and have begun integrating DE. Once I started actually checking the eye membranes I could see that most of the sheep weren't having any problem at all. Just a few, which we could treat and note for future culling. Off to read about the vinegar in that link!
Just wanted to share something to help warn others. We planted a new pasture a few years back and included red clover in the pasture mix. The red clover did VERY well and our sheep and goats absolutely love it. As a nitrogen fixer it is supposed to be excellent for the land.
Then for the past 3 years about half of our ewes were not getting pregnant. It was very perplexing. Finally the vet asked if we had red clover in the pasture. Oh YES, we have tons! Well, apparently red clover has estrogen in it and may be responsible for preventing our ewes from becoming bred. There is not much we can do about it now--it is too much to tear up and reseed ten acres because of this. So we resorted to the (very unnatural) giving of injections to force the heat before breeding. The vet believes that will overcome the problem, if that was the problem.
At this point our goats remain unaffected and reproduce just fine.
I am not sure about all your terms, but here in PA, USA, the lamb prices were great as of 6 months ago. We were getting close to $200/ head for a 6 month lamb (approx 100 lbs). I now get the same amount for auction culls as I can get for top breeding stock--it's odd.
I'm a printer so.... There are petrolium products in the inks, the kind of alchol that caused blindness in the fountain solution, glue no one should eat in the paper, the paper fiber themselves go through bleaching, book covers usually have UV lacquer or varnish on them. So I'd STRONGLY suggest that you not do this.
Thanks, Dan. That's exactly what I needed to know.
I had asked for advice here last winter on combining the ideas of hugelkultur with a raised bed and I think it was a complete success. I have a fairly small bed (5' x 13') but I did intensive planting in it and everything is just thriving and some of it is exploding. I have zero pests now (had some trouble early on with the brassicas, but that is past now) and of course used no pesticides. I have just been thrilled with the progress and outcome. On my blog I photographed and documented all the steps.
In this space I have 5 varieties of tomatoes (3 each), 2 varieties of cucumber, bush beans, broccoli and brussels sprouts, radishes and carrots. Also one each of basil, oregano, cilantro, comfrey. Plus garlic and shallots.
It's standard practice in the horse world to rotate de-wormers (use a different one each time) in order to cover a wider variety of parasites and help prevent resistance. When I had horses, vet's recommended de-worming every 8 weeks. Ivermectin and Strongid are popular ones--but there are many to choose from. You are probably looking at a variety cocktail throughout the year. We never experienced any dead spots from manure from any time of year with any de-wormer. It's always been lovely, black gold!
These gals grow 7,000 lbs of organic produce from 1/10 acre on their urban homestead located 100 yards from an 11 lane freeway in Pasadena. If you search their site you might get some ideas for your situation.
Welcome Chaya and Wilson!
I have a question about logging. We have an 11 acre property that is 95% wooded (it is actually a property we have with a hunting cabin on it, not our regular home). We have gotten offers from logging companies to come in and remove some of the trees for a pretty good amount of money. It is a lot of red maple, tulip trees and oaks.
What kind of guidelines should we be thinking about in considering this. It is not something we have ever done before.
TOPS is great. The total hands-on approach is wonderful for kids who can't absorb much from sitting in front of a text book. One of my daughters had near zero retention of what she read in her science books. She needed to process all of her science through her hands in order to learn it. TOPS saved us on that front!
The only problem is most homeschoolers have never heard of it. They need to market it more aggressively/effectively in the homeschool market.
Tim Southwell wrote:Tell me more about the consignment shop, what made you open it and how did it benefit your own HS efforts?
I opened it because of frustration at not being able to see curriculum before ordering it-- at the time my choices were ordering from the internet or wait for the annual fair. There was also a hs business that traveled from area to area rebuying people's books they were done with for an insulting price--just pennies a piece. So I wanted a local place where people could get a reasonable return on their used books.
My children were guinea pigs. I tried out just about every new thing on the market with them. They loved the variety and I got to know the ins and outs, ups and downs for everything I sold. Personal benefits include all free curriculum for our homeschool and access to just about everything.
I would love to help other people set up stores in other parts of the country. I have cross-country customers because nothing exists in their states like this. There is a serious need for this kind of store in many areas.
From the article:
"Because of persistent rumors that rendered by-products contain dead dogs and cats, the FDA conducted a study looking for pentobarbital, the most common euthanasia drug, in pet foods. They found it. Ingredients that were most commonly associated with the presence of pentobarbital were meat-and-bone-meal and animal fat. However, they also used very sensitive tests to look for canine and feline DNA, which were not found. Industry insiders admit that rendered pets and roadkill were used in pet food some years ago. Although there are still no laws or regulations against it, the practice is uncommon today, and pet food companies universally deny that their products contain any such materials. However, so-called “4D” animals (dead, dying, diseased, disabled) were only recently banned for human consumption and are still legitimate ingredients for pet food" : http://www.bornfreeusa.org/facts.php?more=1&p=359
Now I myself cook food for my dogs and cats.
I worked at an animal shelter from 1988-1991 as manager and cruelty agent. One of my jobs was euthanizing cats and dogs (about 3,000/year). The drugs used were sodium pentobarbital, ketamine and acepromazine. The bodies were picked up weekly by a rendering company. After the animals were rendered the solids went for pet food (meat by-products and bone meal) and the fat went for cosmetics. My last year there, we had a crematorium installed and ended the rendering contract.
I homeschooled for 11 years, then we did some cyber school for AP classes. I have two daughters 16 and 18. The 18 year old is in college now. I also own a homeschool curriculum consignment shop--since 1998-- which gives me the benefit of knowing hundreds of homeschool families in my area. We have about 700 families registered in the local homeschool groups and yet I think only about half join these groups so the actual numbers are much higher.
Alison Freeth-Thomas wrote: We're on a farm too and they amaze (and shock!!) their relatives/friends with the things they know, especially about reproduction! They are just so matter-of-fact about things that it makes me laugh.
Same with us. I remember an incident where my daughter was about 8 and got talking with another family. Somehow the topic came up of someone trying to molest another (a story from the Bible), and my daughter pipes up with, "I think she wanted to mate with him". It was just hysterical in context. But that was all her training with our goats, sheep and chickens showing through!
Paul, Thank you for all the hours you have put into what you do. Permies.com has educated me on a number of fronts AND allowed me to ask my sometimes really ignorant questions safely. I enjoy reading through a variety of opinions. I have watched many videos linked from the forums and I have bought (and read) books recommended by the folks here. I have radically altered my plans for gardening this spring because of what I learned here.
Please don't become 'perfect' because then I won't fit in.
The important thing is to protect them from wind and wet. Then they can stand well below freezing with no problem. If you have a breed with big red juicy combs they could be subject to frostbite but it doesn't seem to bother them.
James Colbert wrote:Simply placing wood chips on your soil seems a superior option to Hugelkultur and making biochar, though you may be able to use the biochar along with this method. What do you guys think... Is this all that is needed... are we working to hard with Hugelkultur or even an initial till of fresh land?
You have to look at the resources it takes to produce those wood chips if you do not have an easy/free source of them. A chipper that will chip the size of wood required for long term hugelkulture is not cheap, with hugelkulture, you just need manual labor to move the ingredients into place so there is something to be said for that.
I agree--wood chips are going to require an input of petroleum at some point to make them, whereas the hugelkulture can go as is.
However, hugelkulture wasn't intended to be a mulch for blocking weeds.
I just found out the dairy I get raw milk from may stop selling it soon. I asked if it was some new law on the horizon? Nope, their insurance company will drop them if they continue the raw milk sales and apparently at insurance conventions talk of this is spreading.
Wow, loved the video! I never thought to have a stand like that. I even have a business on my home property in a separate building with a really large porch (I sell homeschool books). That porch would make a great area for produce and I already have a clientele filing by! Thanks for the inspiration. Now I just have to figure out if there are laws to worry about here.