Off the top of my head, there are a few permaculture options for helping combat pests. Have you looked into companion planting/interplanting multiple crops in the same bed(s)? Some companion crops help with certain pests while others just grow better together. I don't know if it's an option since you are leasing your land and don't have much open space, but planting certain herbs near your crops can keep insect pests away and/or create a home for pest predators.
"Turning the sand and rocks into food and pollinator habitat one compostable at a time." - Erica Daly
Hey everybody, it's really nice to look at some of the pictures from last year, helps me realize that I am late at direct seeding my watermelon!! and that my pepper plants were already outside at this time last year!?
Anyway, we are not doing the CSA so I am not as stressed as I was last year at this time. I am still putting in fairly long days, I just finished prepping the new strawberry patch (all 13 rows were planted April 30th and May 1st) which will be an extra 1/4 of an acre, so next year I will have 3/4 of an acre in full production and I might bring back to life an older patch so that id have a full acre. The berries are going to be early this year, the patch is a bit patchy and i had some weevils larvae and weevils damage all throughout the patch, I have applied Hb nematodes, 2 applications and I so hope that is has worked, I will be so discouraged if all the plants get droopy just before harvest but I have faith that the nematodes have done their thing, I think the timing was right...
I uploaded a few pics of the patch, upick should start in 2-3 weeks I am guessing, wish me luck.
I just went back in time, really cool to see pics of what I did last year. Makes me feel like I should have taken more pics this year. It also makes me realize how well I did on my first full year farming.
Well, well... after 2 years, I am not going to lie, still not making a living !! I feel like I am setup alright for next year though, don't we all say this? For now, I am having to work in the bush in September-October, hopefully raise enough money to farm next year haha
The strawberry season went well, the patch could have yielded more but we did sell out, all in u-pick, we did not have to pick a single berry, except for our own freezer!! I did over spend on the nematodes early in the season, but the patch is looking great right now, appears to be pest free.
Next was the garlic, what a disappointment, but I should have known, do not plant small cloves!! don't even bother, so many heads were too small to process and sell. On the other hand, I did have some really nice garlic as well, I saved most of it for seed stock though. We are up to 7000 in the ground for next year 5000 of which should grow very very big. I am hoping to get another 2000-3000 medium size cloves in the ground.
Finally, thank god for the pickling cukes! by far the best money crop for us this year, as far as money per row anyway. The cukes season could not have gone any better, nice flow of orders, a little bit of luck, and no cukes went to waste!
We also dipped our toes in a farmer market for the first time, we did around 4-5 weeks of it, where my partner JoAnne sold all of our carrots, a lot of our garlic and some other stuff too.
All in all, we spent around 20 000 and sold around 20 000 haha
Goal for next year is to sell over 40 000 and spend no more than 10 000
Hi my name is Ben I'm new but I have been studying permaculture and the like for over a year now. I am actually planning on doing a kickstarter to set up my own farm and education center. Earlier in the post you were looking for a better way to control weeds without having to use the black plastic. The best way I found (via research) was to use leaf mulch. Or standard wood mulch if you can find it without any pine. The technique is mostly pioneered by the guy who started "back to Eden gardening". Just put it over everything after harvesting and when spring comes just make a hole and drop the seed in, repeat every year. As far as I know you couldn't ask for a better soil health and I'm not sure why all permaculture people aren't doing it. I know Eric Tosenheimer does.
Yes I find fall leaves are hard to get in large amount. I know about the work of Paul Gautshi and I have already started putting down the woodchips heavily in some sections. Most experimental rows I did with woodchips did very well.
I was very lucky this summer there was a local woodchipping company parking their trucks at the farm when working in my area so I have all the woodchips I can possibly have time to spread in the winter.
I'm not worried about pine or cedar for now. So much free organic matter I can't be picky, most of it is really diverse, lots of fir.
I plan tu use lots of plastic for a couple more years. Ideally, you want to cover the soil with plastic before putting down the woodchips...for like 8 summer weeks, then peel the plastic, finally put down thick layer of woodchips
Nice way to start a garden, only did this over 1 row of perennials I planted in the Spring and it was very low maintenance throughout the summer.