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jack sweeney

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since Feb 04, 2012
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Recent posts by jack sweeney

This is my second year with my wicking garden. Right now I have 7 wicking beds, 24 wicking pots made from 200lt plastic blue drums cut in half. And 8 smaller wicking pots which are made of 20lt drums with the top cut off.
Last year my first trial with wicking gardening was these blue drums but that was a fail. I didn’t have enough organic matter in the soil mix I made, and I didn’t water from the top to help the plants get established. this year I'm covering the hole with my hand while i water until i see water at the top. i do this once every few weeks. it wastes water when you let the water flow out but it does a very good job and leaves no dry spots.

This year I’m using straw bales as the walls. I know they won’t last long. I just needed fast construction. I will phase out the bales after this season with more permanent wicking beds.
At the moment I have one sunflower bed, two corn beds, one potato bed, two tomato beds and an Allium bed. The drums are full with seedlings right now, such as pumpkins, cucumbers, watermelon, rockmelon, zucchini, okra, silver beet, spinach, tomato’s, aloe Vera and herbs.

That’s all for now. I will post more updates as the season goes

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=15 ... =2&theater

EDIT: i have a video of my garden but the link doesn't seem to work. i will keep trying
7 years ago
I need a list of edible plants that grow in full shade.

The summers here can get very hot, I have set aside an area so I can make a 1000 square feet courtyard, and this courtyard will have at least 50 large leaf deciduous trees planted in and around it, I am going to have an Aquaponic system in this courtyard so the constant flow of water can help cool down the shaded courtyard even more.
I am doing all of this so I can have a nice cool place to sleep on those hot summer nights.
I am also going to make other larger courtyards that have plenty of sunlight to grow my food so don’t worry.

I would be a lot easer for me to just put a water fountain in the shaded courtyard but keeping with Permaculture why do it one way when you can do it a different way and also get food out of it.

So far the only plant I have on my list is Japanese wasabi, it thrives in 80% shade.
9 years ago
The world population has recently reached the six billion mark, with the United Nation’s projections indicating nine billion by the year 2050. These figures represent a global crisis for food and water supplies. Former Senator Paul Simons of Illinois said, "Within a few years, a water crisis of catastrophic proportions will explode upon us unless aroused citizens demand of their leadership actions reflecting vision, understanding and courage."

With the demand for water doubling every 21 years and food supplies expanding more quickly than they are able to be replenished, governments are searching for alternative solutions. One such solution is that of aquaponics.

Aquaponics may not be the answer to all of our future food supply and environmental issues. Grains and root crops, for example, will probably always be most efficiently grown in the soil. But for above ground, vegetative crops and fish protein, there simply isn’t a better growing technique on, and for, the planet than Aquaponics.

1) In aquaponics there is a significant reduction in the usage of water(compared to traditional soil methods of growing plants) as all water is recycled through the system and it is not necessary to discard or change any water (under normal conditions).

2) The Growth of plants is significantly faster then traditional methods using soil.

3) There is no need to use artificial fertilizer to feed the plants.

4) There is no need to dispose of fish waste or provide an artificial filtration system.

5) Significant reduction in land is required to grow the same crops as traditional soil methods.

6) Aquaponics grown vegetables are bigger and healthier then when grown in soil.

7) It's easier to setup for year round use compared to traditional gardening methods as grow beds are raised off the ground and growing area is compact allowing for economical "green house" type methods to be employed.

In aquaponics crops can be grown up to 80% closer then when grown in soil.

9) Its organic!

10) Reduced damage from pests and disease because plants are stronger and healthier.

11) No weeding or bending down on the ground required.

12) if you are not comfortable with your excess fish going on someone else’s table than the fish in an aquaponics system don’t need to be a food breed, they can be something like gold fish, which you can get quite a bit of money for if you do it right, I do both.
9 years ago
I am a vegetarian for health reasons alone, a few months ago I got into a long online argument with a whole heap of vegans, but before I started that argument when someone would ask me why am I a vegetarian I would say because of health and animal welfare reasons but now after the replies I got from that discussion I have come to the realisation that if I was doing it for the animals I would be a Vegan or raw foodist.
 Thanks to those Vegans I now put my survival over that of my animals, having said that I will still continue to take care of my animals as humanely as possible but I no longer feel false gilt if I sell excess animals off for meat as I am now only vegetarian for health reasons. I owe those vegans a lot because I can now sell my excess roosters, my excess ducks, my excess male goats (as I only need one for breeding stock), excess honey from my new EXTRA beehives, and I am now looking into aquaculture which is something I would never have done before because It would of gone against my false idea that I was a vegetarian for animal welfare, I am also going to supply most of my fish food as worms from my new large worm farms and other bugs.
If I thought meat was healthy I would keep some of it myself to eat but I don’t think anyone could convince me to do that.  
Meats not good enough for me to eat it but if people want to eat it than that’s there choice. I must admit i do make some omni people freak out a bit at first but after a short time everyone so far has come too really like my state of mind.
I have also found that omnies in general tend to be a lot more receptive to the idea of Vegetarianism than they used to be around me because of my new found laid back attitude, they see me as more of a realist now as opposed to some weirdo hippie making them feel bad and trying to convert them.
I now believe that people who think of themselves as omnivores have just as much right to eat meat as a carnivore such as a dog, I believe myself to be a Vegetarian therefore I have no right or need to eat meat!
 The mind is a powerful thing, to quote Henry Ford "Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.",  we can jump up and down and tell someone one logical fact after another until we are blue in the face and it wont matter one bit if they don’t believe that Vegetarianism or Veganism is right for them, if for some reason an omnivore who truly believes that they need meat to be healthy was forced to live on a vegetarian or vegan diet than there is a VERY HIGH chance that there physical and mental health would decrease (regardless of how much healthy food they eat) because of the restrictions that their mind has put in place!
Vegetarians and omnies are always getting bashed by vegans because they think that we don’t know enough about Animal rights and all that is needed is for vegans to fill in the gaps and that people (especially vegetarians) will jump on the band wagon as soon as they are told, that’s not the case for people in 3rd world countries and also for people like me who live in “first world countries” where the ground is so depleted from centuries of monoculture farming, mining and forestry that you could take a sledgehammer to the rock hard ground and break the hammers handle, and this is what we have to try and grow food in, which would be nearly impossible without the help of animals.
I would be quite surprised if there was a vegan or a vegetarian that has not tried to convert at leased one person. There is only one thing that can change or alter what the majority of the public believes (as it often does) and that is the Main Stream Media, sadly Adolph Hitler knew this all to well as he once said “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.” not that I am saying Vegetarianism is a lie but unless you can control the Main Stream Media you cannot change someone into believing that Vegetarianism or Veganism is right for them, it must be there choice that they make of there own free will and in there own time or else it wont last.
And as for health,
in my opinion there are many vegan and vegetarian foods that are a lot unhealthier to eat than either dairy or meat.
Lets talk about a man named John, John lives off a diet of mostly dairy, meat, white sugar, white flour, white rice, white bread, High Sugar breakfast Cereals, carbonated drinks, deep-fried foods, Cookies and Candy.
If our friend John was to change all of the above foods other than meat and dairy to healthier versions he would be a lot healthier than he would be if he only stopped eating meat and dairy and kept eating the rest.
 By themselves Vegetarianism and Veganism do not guarantee a healthy diet, they can be a start but by themselves all they will ever be when it comes to health is to be a part of a healthy diet.
So if you are only worried about health meat and dairy should be one of the last things you will need to cut out of your diet.
 And while we are on the topic of health, in my opinion there is not a single person in the world that can come up with a good argument that Honey is unhealthy.

9 years ago
i am thinking of puting yabbies in the bottom of the holes for a few weeks before i fill the holes with soil. first i will half fill the hole with water, then put the yabbies in the hole, as the water level goes the yabbies will dig deep down(i hope). yabbie means destructor.
9 years ago
I have got a lot of tree I want to plant but I have a problem with really bad drainage in my heavy clay soil. I dig the holes 8 inches wide by 3 foot deep. I dug 5 holes, filled them with water and they took at least a week to soak away. Is they anything I can do or add to help drainage ?
9 years ago
I have 12 Appleyard ducklings I want to sell but I have never sold any before, they hatched on 1/1/13.

How old do they need to be to sell them? How much should I charge for them? and How do I tell the sex when they are so young?
9 years ago
you cant have vegan compost because that would be abusing the micro organisms that made the compost, as well as all the worms and other criters that died to help make the compost.
9 years ago
i found this thread on suvival forum to be verry funny! i hope you like it!
You might be a Survivalist if.......
9 years ago
This year for the first time I have had to temporarily cover my vegetable garden with shade cloth, what I am using now is just lengths of different strength shade cloth that I have laying around but when I build my new and bigger Vegetable garden I am going to buy new stuff. The plan is to have strained wires spaning across the entire Vegetable garden and have the shade cloth stretched between the wires and attached to them with metal rings so that the shade clothe can slide back and forth with ease when they are needed. I can get lots of 70% shade cloth for a good price when compared to 30% shade cloth so I would like to use the 70% stuff if I can.

to give you an idea of what I am up against here is a short list of some of the plants I have had to cover so far,
sweet corn, tomatoes, potatoes, chillies, Jerusalem artichokes, capsicums, eggplant, dill, comfrey, pumpkin, squash, melons and sunflower.
9 years ago