jbreezy McCoy wrote:Most of the time the default to thinking that the food is organic or at least treated differently then what they get at the grocery store.
This is very common where I live. People automatically assume that if it is grown by someone local, it's organic. I'm very vocal about my practices and try to educate others enough that they will start to ask other growers.
There is a small farm near me that used to be certified organic and dropped it because of the cost. They have no trouble selling their product without any certification. Yup, "know your grower" makes all the difference in the world in these parts.
This is what I read from the "Permaculture Techniques" pdf download from Permaculture.org. (http://www.permaculture.org/nm/images/uploads/Permaculture_Techniques.pdf)
White mulberry as chicken forage is as good as a double crop of grain. It is 17% protein. The mulberry crop is a very good chicken food for the period of bearing in which it occurs, and beyond it; because the chickens are getting seed long after the mulberries are gone.
I assumed he was talking about the fruit as I don't normally think about the chickens eating the leaves. Do you know of anyone who has attempted to feed them dry leaves (whole, crushed, powdered?) in the winter (perhaps mixed with something else)?
Last year I froze mulberries to feed in the winter but with the small crop I had this year I won't be able to. Looks like it would have been better (more nutritious) to dry them instead.
I am raising meal worms to replace the mulberries this winter. Permaguy, have you considered adding meal worms or other insects to your tool?
Thistle - I read somewhere here on Permies.com to cut them while they were in bloom. Something about it affecting the roots because of the blooms. I've just tried this year so I can't say how much it will help yet. Cutting them down over the years seems to have help to make my patch smaller, but yes, it has taken years.
Same with the bindweed, keep pulling. My patch seemed to disaappeard quicker than the thistles, but it still took a couple of years and every now and then one will pop up in that area. Heavy (really heavy) mulch seemed to help too.
For beds, I have used my pitchfork to make lots of holes or sometimes pulled back a bit on it to just loosen the soil lightly. Manure added on top and then watered in or a liquid sprayed heavily would easily run down those holes.
Doesn't a disc just slice open the soil? I would think you could run one over a large area and then go back and add the manure on top to allow it to flow down in.
Think about what will happen to the ground where the rain coming off the roof will hit. Here in Ohio, with lots of rain, an indention forms, along with a built up of gravel. Any plants in the area can die off from too much water and pounding from the of rain.
Sheets of ice pulled my gutters off after we put on a metal roof. I don't really want to replace them because it will just happen again, so I am considering putting in something like a french drain around the house and moving plants further out away from the building. It would be way cool to have this water collect in a tank that I could pump out when needed.
Preen Vegetable Garden Weed Preventer contains 100% corn gluten meal. They recommend application every 4 weeks. When I was using it, I could go a week or two longer before I would notice new weeds sprouting.
I do believe I read that corn gluten meal builds up in the soil, so more applications would create a longer application time.
If I were you I would test a small patch and see how it does. I would think you would know within a week to 10 days if your seed is going to germinate.
I try to avoid the chems as much as possible. I'm not scientific or knowledgeable enough to know what will break down and what won't or how much of what to make it break down.
I don't take lawn clippings from someone that uses chemicals on their lawn. I will take their leaves though. I take newspaper and cardboard
This year, I scored spoiled hay and straw for 50 cents a bail and got as much as I physically could by myself. I could be wrong, but I don't think it's sprayed as much as other crops.
I wouldn't take wood that still has a heavy layer of latex paint on it, it peels easy and, yuck, don't like seeing it in the soil, plus the chickens think it's food. I will take old barn siding, as usually most of the paint is gone and it has many different uses for me.
When I first started, I would buy what I needed when I needed it. That actually seemed to slow me down, usually from lack of funds. Now, I have learned to get what's available and stockpile so it's there when I need it, even if that is next year.
Oil soaked skids or have a funny smell, no way.
I think you'll need to figure out what you are comfortable with. You said "ad for free organic waste", you're not going to get organic from anyone that truly understands organic.
I had let the stems and leaves dry overnight...but I am wondering if I let it cool all the way before I put the lid on. Condensation dripping from the lid might explain too much water. I've had it in the fridge since I discovered the mold and no new growth.
I may scrape it off, reheat and then experiment to see if any more mold grows. Course, I have no idea if it will still be any good or not.
Not too long ago I was looking up the values of some canning jars that I bought and ran across one that had the writing upside down. They said they believed that it was originally intended for use on a blender.
When I was much younger, we sold plants from hotbeds that my grandfather would dig out and place fresh manure in, and old glass windows on the top. I think we had two or three, but I remember growing many different plants in those beds.
When a customer would stop, we'd pull the plants right from the beds and wrap them in newspaper. Saturday mornings were crazy, but it was my job after school and I had someone there everyday. All we had was a sign by the driveway in a pretty rural community.
I was thinking recently about this, wondering how it might work in a nursery setting, using a printed list that the customer would fill out and or order online and then the order would be pulled. They could order online and pick their order up on their way home from work.
With a major emphasis on customer service while minimalizing daily watering, plastic use and the soil staying on site. Ask the community to recycle their newspapers at your place. I'm still considering a test run for next year in my yard.
Last week, I made a some comfrey oil by cooking it on the stove for 3 hours before straining the oil off the leaves. This is stored in a glass jar with a plastic lid, covered with a towel to keep light out. I let the comfrey dry overnight to get rid of excess moisture because I had read that the moisture will cause mold issues.
Well, now I have mold issues with this jar. Should I have stored this in the refrigerator? Would that have prevented the mold? Can I heat this up or should I just dump it out?
I have another jar going, but am not cooking this one. This one will sit for 6 weeks before straining the oil. Hopefully, I'll have better luck this time.
Thank you sooo much for this information. It will help me tremendously.
I'll study up about the humus and topsoil loss in great detail as I know their eyebrows will raise when I bring that up. (That gives me a secret thrill when that happens!)
I stated that if I tested my soil against the field soil next to my land, that my test results would return much better. I was asked why I thought that since the field gets fertilized. My sparing partner thinks they will be somewhat equal. I know my soil has more life, but could those test results actually be close?
The glyphosphates used to kill weeds, also kills the microbes which are needed to convert that N into a plant usable form...
Do they know this? Maybe I should ask this way, do the majority of chem farmers know what is happening to their soil with the use of chemicals and either don't care or just don't know any other way?
The crop rotation helps to break the pest cycle.
Since I rarely have pest problems, I hadn't thought about that. Are there other reasons that they might rotate?
I remember one evening getting laughed at pretty heartily when I asked if they couldn't interplant beans and corn somehow. I did recently see a reference somewhere where someone did with alternating and wider spacing between rows, with excellent results. I know nothing about harvesting equipment, so I'm wondering if this is the most major drawback? If pests were a problem, would they eventually subside or would another crop thrown into the rotation help in that aspect?
I don't have a farming background but live in a predominately farming county. I need to learn more about what the farmers do and why so I can spar with them a little better.
Around here, it's a bean and corn rotation year after year after year. I was surprised a few weeks ago when one of the farmers mentioned that he had to fertilize before he could plant his corn. I always thought that the beans replaced the nitrogen. He said the beans do but they use it for themselves, therefore, he needs to fertilize... What the heck is the purpose of rotation then? I thought I had read that legumes have nodes that leave nitrogen or am I confused with something else?
Last night I was told the corn stalks left on the field will raise the acidity and so every few years, they need to lime the field. Is that because no "greens' ever get left? My favorite sparing partner said that my way of composting in place, will also eventually raise the acidity in my beds.
I really need to learn as much as I can about what they do and why, so I can sound half way intelligent when I'm combating their practices.
I have Sex Links and Golden Comets (there's only 9 of them).
My plans were pretty much what you are planning, moving them every week or so. I placed the coop pretty much in the middle and figured out a gate system to easily switch their area just by opening a different gate, with them always having access to the coop.
Once I realized how much they liked hanging out under the trees, for protection and shade, I had to change my plans, (they had practically no cover at all). I would have also had to mow those areas because they like shorter grass. That's when I nixed the idea of electric poultry netting.
They have access to a full acre but I only mow about a quarter acre of it. They don't go into the tall grassy weedy area and I kind of use it as a way to control where I want them to go. (This actually keeps the neighbors dogs out too.)
The snow fence came about because they were going through the field fence and I put it up simply because the slats were so close together. I was thrilled it worked so well.
My vegetable garden is in the middle of their area and is now surrounded by snow fence. They have yet to fly over it even though I know they can fly that high. They were flying up to the top of our gate (it's 4') and getting over because it was flat on the top. I fixed that pretty quick!
I haven't had to move them so I'm not really doing a paddock type thing. I will be adding 5 pullets in a couple of weeks and then 15 or 20 more in a couple of months. Even adding this many more, I do not expect to see any issues with that many for the area I have for them presently. If I do see some wear and tear, I have extra fence and posts ready to fence off different areas.
I think you will find you won't issues with them going home at night once they know where it is. If there's a straggler, the rooster goes after her and b*tches at her all the way back. I find that quite comical.
One thing you might want to keep in mind, if you are the one pounding the posts, our soil is soft right now and easy to put them in. When things are warmer and drier this summer, it won't be so easy and I may have to resort to some "man muscle". I have also found that it is best to put the posts no more than 5 feet apart as it will want to sag a bit, especially with strong winds. I also do not pound them in as far as they are supposed to be simply because I want to be able to pull them out myself whenever I want to.
It's not permanent and not ideal for everyone, but it works very well for me right now. We are talking about moving and I like the idea that I will be able to take it with me instead of spending a fortune on permanent fence that would have to stay here.
I am presently using snow fence with the wood slats and wiring it to T fence posts. It's working pretty dang good for me so far.
It's easy for me to take down, roll up and I can roll it with a push of my foot where I want it (if it's fairly close).
They go back to their coop at night by themselves and I close the door before I go to bed.
I do not have predator problems, other than the neighbors dogs, but I expect at some point, the coyotes might figure out they are here, it will be interesting to see if it will stop them. I have had the chickens just a little bit over a year.
Maybe not something I learned from grandparents, but my focus presently is on reducing my consumption of plastic and replacing plastic items with ones made from wood, metal or glass, as they need replaced. And I try to find those things previously owned.
I was proud of myself the other day when asked if I wanted a (plastic) tray to carry some plants in, I said no thanks, that's one less thing I will have to deal with at home.
I used beer caps instead of washers when I put my compost bins together from skids. I didn't bother to flatten them out. I found it much more pleasurable to open the bottle than going to the hardware store.
I think the key to a strong crop next year would to make sure that the area drains well, as they might rot if your spring is really wet. I'd mound the soil up, plant, and then cover with 6-12 inches of straw. When things start to warm up, pull the straw back so the soil can warm up too. Then as the potatoes sprout, start pulling the straw back around the plants. You won't have to dig them up with a nice thick layer of straw.
Brenda is spot on about waiting for the cooler weather. You want to mimic a plants natural life cycle, which is dropping seed for the next season, as the days grow shorter and cooler.
I had a serious problem one year out of 12 with them, don't know why they were so bad that time, but it seems to me that it was very dry that year. When I was young, large grasshoppers were always along the road where it was hot and dry. I wonder if spraying down your plants would move them out long enough to get row covers on them?
While you are searching for a solution, find some kids, put them to work with a butterfly net and put those bad boys in the freezer for the chickens this winter.
The only alternatives to TP around this house will be moist wipes! No way am I giving up toilet paper.
With that said, if I were in a position where I had to use a plant, I noticed a plant yesterday with very soft and large leaves. It's considered a weed around here, gets about 3 feet tall and has small orange blossoms on it. (I don't remember it's name.) I could probably deal with using it for a short time.
As a female, I'd would be concerned how my body would react to using plants as far as toxicity and or allergies that I might not be aware of.