When I was growing up everybody used to prop up the loaded branches with 2x4's
My eating peach is from the rootstock of an ornamental peach that froze one winter. When I saw that the rootstock was growing I let it be to see what it would do and I am glad that I did! It turned out to be a clingstone peach that did not taste any better than a pretty good store-bought peach, and it was firm and a little crunchy while I prefer a soft peach. But it is rapidly becoming my favorite fruit tree.
See, I got a bumper crop 2 years ago and so I dried some. Drying it did not injure the peach flavor like some peaches do, instead it made it rather more intense. Those were some grand dried peaches! We did not get any peaches last year because of a late frost, but I have real hopes for this year!!!
Ela, some areas have trouble growing some vegetables. In my area you have to jump through hoops to raise blueberries or to raise lettuce that is not too bitter to eat, but, cabbages do great.
potatos are delicate so I start mine inside. And, green beans grow like bad weeds!
My advice to you would be to look at vegetable gardens in your area to see what is happy in your soil and your climate. And, your state extension service will give advice for free. They might or might not give free soil tests, but all of them will tell you how to amend your soil to fix any shortages that a soil test may show up.
Also do the maple trees shade your raised beds? In a very hot area a little shade during the heat of the day is not bad, but where the summers are shorter and cooler it will set back your plants
Winter in Kansas is cold enough so that they would not help mid-winter, but I would not mind getting more cold relief in the Fall! I like to plant hardy greens and harvest them until it gets too cold inside.
Larry Shaules wrote:I have found that washing with Dawn dish soap and applying it on infected areas after using witch hazel to kill the infection is the easiest and most cost effective answer. I am very sensitive to poison oak and have even gotten it from the dust. I am now able to go prospecting for gold in California without fear. Oh happy days.
Hope this helps.
Soap washes the poison ivy off of your skin: water does not!
My allergist says that it is too dangerous to eat poison oak or poison ivy
I had shots to help me with my allergies and a couple of times I reacted to the shots but I just took benedryl and scratched for 2 days. The thing about eating poison ivy is that you can have an outbreak on your internal organs, and my allergist tells me that that would be dangerous.
I do not know anything about it of my own knowledge, and it is possible that we know more now than we did 10 years ago. For myself I think I would rather avoid the stuff and bath when I get in
I am having trouble with my ankles now, and I ended up buying a scooter chair at a yard sale to help me care for my place. It has worked out fairly well: it fits between my raised beds and it is really good for helping me pick up the sticks in the lawn that come down after every heavy rain. And, it works out fairly well for harvesting the blackberries in the back fence.
I want a little cart, but the needed hitch is not available, possibly due to COVID shutting down the factories.
Now that my grapes are older I am getting a little less black rot. And, yes, I ALSO keep my grape vines open to the wind and sun!
This year the black rot got about 10% of my grapes, but I can live with that. The squirrels were a worse problem: they got 2/3 of the grapes and I ended up talking the grapes a few days before they would have been at the peak of sweetness just to make sure that I got what I wanted.
I did/do most of the homesteading work in our 1 acre back yard. Since I am now 65 and handicapped I need a lot of help on any large project but this was not always so! I am only 5 ft 2 inches tall, but there are a lot of ways to make the physical work easier.
If you live in a house with a back yard, can you start right now or would that hurt your property value? Different areas expect different things of property owners, and since you want to sell the house you will want to keep the property value up.
At any rate, I think an excellent place to start would be to grow a variety of salad greens. I plant a bed of them and my salads tend to be half bought lettuce and the other half will be rainbow swiss chard, bok choi, spinach, etc from my raised bed.
ALso children adore cherry tomatos! They love to pick them and eat them right off the plant.
In my area of late frosts my fruit trees do not always bear, but when they do bear they are great. This year I am pretty sure I got 60 pounds of fruit from the 2 dwarf trees that did bear. The apples did not bear because we got a frost just as the apples bloomed.
This summer my husband helped me build 2 more raised beds. I have a bed of onions that winter over and can give me onions all year round. I will now include, I hope, a bed of potatos that will winter over but I am not sure I will succeed with this: This will be my third year growing potatos and there is a great deal that I have not yet learned.
If I had enough grain products then we could manage for a long time.
I do not have enough land to raise grain and I do not even try. However rice with soy and garden vegetables make a good stir fry, vegetable soup with bread can make a dinner, an easy over egg with a piece of toast makes a fine breakfast, and I have fruit and this year I will likely raise beans, etc.
I cannot feed the neighbors and I do not intend to try.
My husband is a city boy and wanted to STAY a city boy, and so he got a job in a SMALL city as that way we could live on a small parcel of land and commute. We bought a house on an acre of land that was close enough to his city job and then later we bought 5 acres outside of town.
Because he DID get a job in a small city, my husband simply followed a highway from his job to outside of town to what he thought was a reasonable commute, and that was where we bought the house on an acre of land.
Every morning he followed that highway to work, and I also took the highway to the job I got in a hospital.
So, you want to farm. Fine. That means that you will want to sell what you grow. Or, you can do child care and farm in your free time: child care providers can bring in a decent wage and then you can work your land in the evenings or on weekends. Because you have school debts you might still need your income for a while
So, if you want to sell what you grow you might get a job in a store for the practice in selling, or you can raise plants in your back yard and sell at a farmer's market on Saturdays, or whatever. At any rate it is almost spring: you might raise a fine garden in your yard for experience.
A farm is a business but a homestead is not. I am not certain: are you wanting to farm or to homestead?
I give my laying hens as many feed pellets as they want, and they do not get fat. However my hens are starting to molt, and that means that their egg production is not very good. The 2 big things that stop my hens from laying are days that are too short and them having their yearly molt
Lack of protein will also cause chickens to lay poorly. Grain tends to run about 11% protein and chickens need to have a diet that is about 18% protein. The feed that I am able to buy is only 16% protein and so I give my hens treats of high protein foods. It may be that your hens were getting enough insects in the summer to give them enough protein but now it is getting close to the Fall and they might be getting fewer insects
In your climate, I suspect that potatos will do the best for you.
This spring was so cold and so wet that I started my potatos inside. It worked out pretty wel, though I lost a few that I started too soon. Potatos do not need light to get them started but there does come a time when indoor light is not enough! If this coming spring is again cold and wet (I think it will be) then I will pot up my seed potatos when they would normally go outside
The climate predictions of the global warming people have not turned out as they predicted. What that means is that the science is not yet settled.
I spent a lot of time last winter searching the net. And, there are a huge number of variables that have been identified as affecting climate, far more than I think the global warming scientists have taken into account, and I do not think that a lot of variables to climate have even been identified yet, let alone understood. It appears to be a highly complex subject
Building a home is a full time job, starting a business is a full time job, and when you add the hours spent homeschooling and parenting THAT is a full time job.
Are you a single parent or do you have a partner? Will your brother be your full time partner or a source of part time help? I can just see 2 full time people who also work at the project on weekends accomplishing all that, but as a single person? That sounds like way too many hours.
I once attended a farm show, and I asked a speaker how I could learn to sell when my skills were in my hands. His reply was to take a job in sales, as the basic technique was the same regardless of what you were selling. Well there was a recession on, and I could not find a job in sales, and so I visited a popular nursery, found the person who was assisting the most customers, and I watched her out of the corner of my eyes, and then I practiced in front of a mirror. THEN I started selling at Farmer's Markets for the experience.
Tell me, since you wish to sell your produce, have you ever sold anything or is this also a skill you need to learn first? I learned a LOT from watching that sales lady!
Tyler Ludens wrote:Ecology Action has determined that it takes a minimum of 4000 square feet to grow a nearly nutritionally complete vegan diet for one adult using Biointensive growing methods. This amount of land is under good conditions. Poor land or difficult conditions will require more area. Using different methods is likely to require more area.
I imagine that this would also need a long growing season. I have lived both in California with an 11 month growing season and in the Midwest with a shorter growing season, and an acre of California land will raise many times what an acre of Kansas last can raise, because the growing season is longer
In China, where people could double-crop, an acre would be a subsistence farm for 3-4 people. And, while the Chinese enjoyed meat when they could get it, the majority of their calories would come from grain.
I suppose they would also have has to sell some of their crop to pay taxes and whatever.
An account of a Chinese farm in the 1800's said that the farmer would raise "Chinese clover" in the spring, harvest it and immediately sell it in town, and 2 days after the Chines clover was harvested the land would already be plowed and then they would transplant the rice seedlings into the soil. And, after the rice was harvested some areas could put in a third crop as well.
That being said, I do not understand how cosmic rays can trigger a volcano. The article is a bit lacking in the subject of "how".
That does not mean that a solar minimum will not take place: that only means that the article does not convince me that the article is based on good science. Personally I do not believe in global warming any longer: climate change, yes, the weather where I live has been very odd lately. The climate may well be changing where I live.
And, I am aware that the polar ice caps are expanding very quickly, but, how much of that is because it is winter out? It is too soon to say if the rate at which the ice caps are growing is a cause for alarm or not. No doubt we will know more in a year's time
Elliot Coleman uses unheated greenhouses in Maine. He does not just use the greenhouse for cover: he also lays one, two, or three layers of plastic across his greenhouse growing beds.
I have used this method in my own unheated greenhouse, and it works as long as the weather behaves itself. Lately we have been getting VERY cold weather here in Kansas in the early Fall and during what is supposed to be our spring, and so for Christmas this year I am getting myself a "Big buddy" LP space heater. I could not really use the greenhouse this Fall as the weather has been just too cold, but I am hoping to be able to use the greenhouse properly this spring!
I am the only one in my family who cares about agriculture in any form.
This is life.
As much as I would love to share this with those that I love, their interest begins and ends with a good meal. And if I am not there to provide them with berry pie from my own land then they will eat ice cream with chocolate syrup and enjoy it just as well.
My joy in my land has to be enough for me. And, when I die, my home and land will be sold because nobody will want to care for an acre of land, and my family will use their inheritance to fund their OWN dreams
Carla Burke wrote:Just a note on the chicken manure - just like rabbit manure, it can go straight into your beds, without any curing. It doesn't get hot, so it's safe, straight from the critters - just one of the reasons chickens can be great, in the garden.
I strongly disagree! Chicken manure is hot while rabbit manure is not. Rabbits eat a highly fibrous diet and the undigested fiber ends up in the poop. The nitrogen is surrounded by a lot of carbon. Chickens, on the other hand, eat as much concentrated feed as they can get (bugs, fruit, seeds, etc) and their poop is NOT full of carbon. Chicken poop can burn the plants. When I use chicken poop I am careful to either use it in the fall or scatter it thinly
You are off to a very good start. I would throw some soil on top and call it good.
Like you, I am older. DH and I just finished framing a raised bed that sits on the ground, so I could sit on the edge while I garden. Now I will throw in everything that I have: lawn clippings, chicken manure (I agree with you: after it gets rained on a few times it should be good) some sticks and rotten firewood and, yes, some soil because the soil has both minerals and beneficial microbes. Also organic material breaks down and shrinks and soil will not
The land of the Midwest grows excellent grass, the cattle eat the grass and fertilize with their droppings. The grass puts on more growth and the top half of the plants are eaten again and fertilized again.
As another poster pointed out, it is not fair to lump together feedlots and pasture.
A gent on youtube gardens in sand. He uses a lot of organic matter and he says that over the years his soil has gotten very, very good. If you go to youtube and type in "Deep South Homestead" you will find him.
Do you know, there have been so MANY lies told about cattle that I cannot tell what facts are true and which are not. For example, before we had farting cows in the Midwest we had farting buffalo in the midwest. And yet some people take farting cows VERY seriously.
I am not convinced that not eating meat is a solution. Back before they fed good grain to cattle they fed them hay and straw and let them graze on brush. That might be a better idea that feeding them large amounts of grin.
I have not yet read the rest of the thread, but 2 things come to mind.
1. you do not need to break up the soil under a pond. Heck, Midwestern farmers used to let pigs wallow in their future ponds to kill any vegetation and compact the soil a bit so that there were no cracks and no roots to let the water seep into the earth.
And, 2. respect clay soil. All of my gardens have been on clay soil, and once you learn how to grow things on it you will find out that clay soil is just lovely. It holds nutrients and water and, once there are good roots in the soil the plants just love it. I live in Eastern Kansas, which is in the breadbasket of the nation, and most of the soil here is clay soil. The farmers here get great crops.
To repeat myself: once you get roots in the soil! Compost is good but a cover crop is great because of the roots. It does concern me that there are such deep cracks in the ground you are considering: either the clay is much heavier than I am used to or the soil needs a lot of roots growing, or both. As the roots decay it amends the soil down deep while compost tends to amend the soil on the surface first and then trickle down as the rain takes the nutrients and bacteria downwards. So a cover crop can give you more changes during the first year than compost will.
When it comes to the farmers in the area speak just a little and listen a lot. They understand what the soil can do for you. Have you ever heard the old statement that "Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker"? Well, chemical fertilizer is quicker than organics but either chemicals or organic will work. The local farmers will have been raising crops on clay for a very long time and they know how it is done. They understand about things like when the seed needs to go into the ground and what varieties are suited for your area. I do not know where the land you are looking at is, but I can tell you that where I live timing is important. If the seed goes in late then you might not have enough moisture to raise your crop and get a good yield. And that is for grain: I do not know what your cash crop will be but vegetables where I live need irrigation because our Augusts and late July are very dry. Farmers out here get around this by either raising varieties of wheat that will ripen in July before the rain stops falling or by raising varieties of corn that will have deep roots by the time the soil gets dry.
Mostly I use 2 large bowls. New eggs are put in one bowl while eggs are used out of the OTHER bowl. This means I always have one bowl full of newer eggs and one bowl full of older eggs.
And, when the eggs build up too much then I make a point to use them. My family likes deviled eggs and engelfood cake, and in a pinch eggs can be mashed into a skillet, bakes shells and all, and the resultant large egg patty fed back to the chickens. I do not believe that 16% protein layer pellets have enough protein, so I either throw them some cat food once in a while of feed a few eggs back.
Before I sent to using 2 large bowls I set the eggs from left to right, so the newer eggs would be to the right and the older eggs to the left.
By the way, if you steam the eggs instead of boiling them they are MUCH easier to peel
For what it is worth, I used turmeric for 2-3 years to ease the symptoms of my multiple sclerosis. It really is a strong anti inflammatory, and since Multiple Sclerosis is caused by the body attacking itself the turmeric really did help.
Alas, after a bit it started to irritate my insides, and so I reluctantly quit using it.
I went to look at your linked thread "you know you're a permie when...." and laughed when I saw "your garden has weeds and you don't care". Reminds me that I do need to go get some of them under control but I really don't give a crap about them most of the time.
The wood that I used had bugs in them, and as the swelling potatos touched the buried wood the bugs started eating the potatos. Fully 1/3 of my spuds had holes in them with bugs inside! There were roly polies and a cricket and such
The onions were OK, but then the onions are a shallower plant and not many touched any buried wood. In the future I will make a point to not plant potatos over buried wood!
J Anders wrote:
I've never quite figured out what she wants out of our marriage. She constantly talks about having kids but won't make the necessary changes to her diet and lifestyle to have children. Having constant blood sugar 250-300 does nothing for your child bearing ability (normal is 120) and she doesn't have health insurance or take medication for it. I've encouraged her to purchase christian health sharing insurance, $85/month with $1000 deductible but that's not on her list of priorities. I personally have insurance but I don't use it for anything but hearing aids.
I take glucophage for my high blood sugar. It costs me $8 a month, and I feel VERY much better! I am no longer sleepy during the day, I can sleep through the night without having to get up and use the bathroom, and I just feel more alert and energetic.
True, I also watch my diet. But, there are worse things than having scrambled eggs for breakfast. I do SOMETIMES cheat on my diet, but I always feel cruddy afterwards, so I do usually avoid the high blood sugar. Feeling healthy and good is addicting, so outside of the odd "treat" I do watch my diet.
At any rate, I think that if your wife would take pills she would find that she enjoys life more, and flat out feels better every single day. Personally, I have found that if I eat a carbohydrate free dinner such as meat and a salad, that I can tolerate a small dessert afterwards. So I can have my cake and eat it too .... as long as I plan the meal to have my carbs in the form of a SMALL dessert instead of in the form of baked potatos. I can have either, but not both in the same meal.
Bethany Dutch wrote:
Accepting it is what I tried to do for a decade personally, and nearly had a nervous breakdown for my efforts. I’ll never put marriage on such a a pedestal again to the point of sacrificing my own mental health to continue in it.
I think accepting can also mean accepting that the spouse is someone you are not able to get along with, and therefore it would be appropriate to leave them.
You cannot really change a person so that they become what you want them to be: they either are or they are not!
It sounds like both of you are trying to change the other, and that never ends well! People are what they are. "Radical acceptance" is accepting what you cannot change. Your wife will probably never want to help you in the garden
And, where I live winter will come in perhaps 2 months time and I do not like that, but because I accept it I can plan for it. Next Saturday I will be buying Fall vegetables to be planted into the new bed I am putting up, and I will harvest and freeze them before winter. IF I HAD NOT ACCEPTED the fact that winter was coming I would have planted seeds and ended up with nothing to show for it. Because I accept what I cannot change I lead a better life
By the same token, your wife is who she is. Accept it and plan for it, so that you lead a rich and fulfilling life.
You are under no obligation to join your wife in doing the things that she wishes to do. You do not have to join her for chick flicks, new car buying, window shopping, or whatever. Different people have different interests, is all. And, by the same token, she does not have to share your dreams either. She has her own dreams: the TRICK is for both of you to be able to pursue your dreams
My own husband had a dream of making cities grow, while I had a dream of disappearing into the woods and only coming out when I chose to. We HAVE managed to be blissfully happy even so, but it does take negotiation and compromise, as we loved each other but have always had different goals and dreams. So he got a job in a SMALL city, and he drove out to the country on a highway what he thought was a reasonable commute, and that was where we bought a home. Later on we bought bare land further out.
But this is about you, not me. Every couple does have to do their own negotiating. If the 2 of you *DO* stay together, please make sure she can drive herself to town, since she values it.
Money. Money turned out to be a biggie. Each of us wanted to spend it on our own dreams, and buying a farm is expensive. Also my husband loves to shop. We eventually set up a monthly amount of money for my husband to enjoy as he wishes, no questions asked. That helped a bit, your own solution would be???
Lastly, there was a myth in the 70's when I was growing up that a couple had to be "compatible". Nope. Not a bit of it. Being COMPLEMENTARY works also. I have my own set of skills and interests and my husband has his: between the 2 of us we can do just about anything.
My advice to you- and free advice is often worth what you pay for it, is to work on the money end by working out a budget so that each of you can use your allotted money to follow your own set of dreams. That will probably mean a budget. I regard my husbands spending money to be untouchable, and it is my job to manage on the rest of it. Fortunately my own interests include saving and gardening, which does help.
And, when I got an inheritance I did keep it, with my husbands enthusiastic approval. It is what he considers to be right.
One last comment: your wife will probably never help you outside. It does not appear to be an interest of hers'. DO NOT EXPECT HER TO, it does not turn out well! Make your plans for what you can do with your own hands, and let it be. Every person is entitled to their own dreams, and her dreams do not seem to be yours.
As I have said, my husband has no interest in agriculture and I do, and to make things harder I am now handicapped. I STILL ask for no more than perhaps 30 minutes of help PER MONTH! Modern times are wonderful, and I have a riding mower, weed barrier on the garden, a greenhouse I built when I was healthier, raised beds for when I am not as strong as I am right now, and I pay a young relative $20 an hour to help me if I need more muscle than I have. Because, ONLY one person will fit in one person's skin, and my DH has his own dreams to follow. I want him to be able to follow them.
I see that this is your first post: WELCOME! Since my DH does not care to talk about outside activities, I go to the internet to talk to people with similar interests. I hope to see more of you soon!
I improved it by mixing weeds and lawn clippings into the top 4 inches at about a 50-50 mix. I also added a little wood ash, some fertilizer, and whatever else looked good. Then I planted potatos because potatos do not need a fine seed bed. That was 4 months ago and that soil is looking DARNED good.
I hope that whatever you settled on has done well for you!