Kevin Teeter

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since Apr 14, 2012
Minnesota, USA (Zone 4b)
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Recent posts by Kevin Teeter

That is amazing to see the growth of taking place at those Permaculture sites. I really liked those big trees.
7 years ago
I know I am dragging up an old thread here, but I wanted to add to this list of Old Farming Book resources.

http://chla.library.cornell.edu/c/chla/index.html

Cornell's library is quite large.
7 years ago
Hello Chris,

Its great to have you on the forum. I just recently found your podcast and I am enjoying it allot, and learning so much. Your podcast introduced me to the works of Greg Judy and Ian Mitchell-Innes, so thank you so much for that.

I am in a similar circumstance as you were, I don't have any farming or ranching background, but I am looking for opportunities to do internships, since listening to your podcast, that seems to be the best way to learn as well as actually do, some farming and ranching to build that experience level.
7 years ago
I wanted to share my first experience growing sweet corn, and describe how it went.

The land I planted on has been tilled alot over the previous years. I am growing on a friends land and he loves to till, upwards of 6 times in a season. The "soil" is sandy with not much organic matter.
I planted a patch of sweet corn 25ft by 25 ft.
I watered the corn occasionally (maybe 4 times) till it was about 1ft. tall. And weeded right around the plants once with a scuffle hoe.
I fertilized it with a total of 20 gallons of free! urine fertilizer.
Then the weeds really took off they got about knee high, and my other conventional gardener friends were admonishing me as to the value of thoroughly weeding.
Well I was reading Masanobu Fukuoka's Natural Farming at the time, so I had other thoughts about weeds.
So I simply chopped them down with a Japanese sickle and left the debris in the rows.
They again got knee high and again I chopped them down.
We had a dry spell and I watered only once.
My corn plants by no means look impressive, kind of sad looking to be honest. So I thought I was not going to get anything from them. I was about to cut them down since the season is winding down, but was surprised to peel back a husk and find full juicy kernels, I took 6 ears home right away and cooked em up, mmm delicious.
The ears are small about 4 to 6 in.

Over all $2.07 in seed, plus a little bit of time, 5 waterings, and chopping down weeds, I have probably 2 to 3 dozen ears, not big ears but good tasting non the less. $2 will only get you about 6 ears of sweet corn from a road side stand around here, so I am quite surprised and happy with my little ugly surprisingly tasty corns.

I can't wait to transition to no-till and watch how the plants do.

So to all those who are thinking about trying some "contrary gardening", I encourage you, with home size gardens the risk is small and you may be pleasantly surprised what those ugly plants can produce.
8 years ago

Eric Markov wrote:Kevin,

5 gallons over 50 sq ft, wow that's a lot of fertilizer all at once.

Have you ever been able to add "too much" and seen plants die back b/c of too much fertilizer?

I'd also noticed that just applying this to a garden with clay soil, low organic matter the effect didn't last long 1-2 weeks.

This year though on a hugelkultur bed I apply ~10cups on 15 sq ft. and it is good enough for about a month (squash plants).

I apply it directly and then just hose it in for a half a minute.




Eric,

Because of how I collect the urine the "5 gallons" is about 2/3 urine and 1/3 water, but still it is alot of urine. I have not noticed any burn out or die back, but then again I am mostly putting it on my corn and sorghum which are both nitrogen pigs. Also, so far I have only dosed each "50 sqr ft" once in the season, so no one "50" has gotten a second dose.

That is interesting about the clay soil with low organic matter, holding the N effect for only 1-2 weeks, also. I kind of suspect that as we build up the organic matter it will sort of dampen the spike of available N after fertilizing, since the N can be "bonded" or absorbed by the organic matter. But that's just speculation. Your hugel fertilizing on squash kind of points to the validity of that speculation.

My squash, watermelon, and pumpkins were all epic fails, which kind of surprised me, although this is my first ever garden, I kind of thought that those were pretty easy to grow. I think I will have to try doing some mini hugels for them.

8 years ago
I have not been using urine in the garden for years, yet (just started this summer). I garden on land that has been tilled alot like upwards of 8 times in a season, needless to say the "soil" structure is very poor, almost all sand, very little organic matter. I collect a 5 gal bucket of urine per week, I cut it 50/50 with water and spray that over 50 sqr ft, and I move that 50 sqr ft around the garden. My sorghum and sweet corn have shown a very noticeable flush of green that only lasts for two weeks, which tells me that soil is lacking in nitrogen.

Anyway, concerning salt, there are two things that make me not so worried about it. One I have sandy soil, so salt will leach through pretty quickly I would think. Two, because the urine is being collected in one container over a week long period, I have noticed the salt settles out as a "scale" at the bottom of the bucket, so if your concerned about it, you could just pour the last little bit that has lots of salt scale somewhere else. I have poured all of the salt scale from the bucket onto a pig weed, and it just seemed to say "Thank you!", and suddenly there was a giant pig weed

I think next spring I am going to start dosing my rye cover crop with urine as soon as the day time temps are above 35 F.

Hope this helps, and if you want any tips on collecting the urine and then applying it in the garden, let me know, I have worked out a system that I think works quite well.
8 years ago
Just wanted to stop in and say Hello to all the Minnesoootans. I moved to MN from WI last year. I have been cruising the forums checking stuff out, oh also I am listening to piles of Paul's podcasts. This is my first year doing a garden, iv'e got 300 onions in the ground, and a 100 more waiting to go in. Haha yes people laugh at me, when they hear how many onions I planted. I have big big garden plans, they include wheat, oats, buckwheat, corn, squash, pumpkins, watermelons, tomatoes, peppers, beans, peas etc.

I am glad to see fellow Minnesotans with a permaculture mindset, when I first started reading about permaculture it was all about places on the west coast, which is difficult to translate to this climate.
8 years ago