Arrow Durfee

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since Nov 01, 2012
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Recent posts by Arrow Durfee

I use heating pads, not the ones from green house supply, but ones for humans from a drug store or or walmart or somewhere and are much less expensive. They get much hotter. I fix that by putting a few layers of towels over then under the trays.

Look for old heating pads at garage sales and used used stores. Another option Ive considered is an electric blanket.
7 years ago
I do lasagna raised beds. You can collect dried leaves, grass clippings, a hay bale, or staw and layer these on. Never use more than 1 inch thick of green or dried grass so it wont get slimey. Save some of your best planting mix to put one or two inches on top. Put your seeds into this or your plant starts which ever you do. Two inches of the others under. It will compost by itself in the bed over the season. Look up lasagna gardening on youtube there are lots of videos on it

a good additive that all plants like is epson salts... magnesium, which you should be able to purchase in a pharmacy or food store. Sprinkle it on when you plant and then again about half way through the season. Magesium tends to leach down so two or three applications are ok. Just sprinkle, dont coat the top.

Make some manuer tea or compost tea in a 5 gallon bucket to fertilize with.

Fertilize with diluted human urine.. about one quart per gallon for the whole bed. . Im not kidding. It wont stink. I promise.

cabbage and broccoli take up a lot of room. I prefer cabbage because I get more product than borccoli for the space it takes.

plant some large leaf basil for raw salads and for cooking. I also dry some for the winter.

You can plant potatoes well in a 5 gallon bucket. Fill the bucket 20% full. When the greens come up put more soil in and to almost cover the greens. your buckt should be maybe 1/3 full or so. Let them grow up again. and cover again when they are about 8 inches tall. repeat until the bucket is full. Do you get frost there? Only harvest after the greens have been killed by frost for that is when your potatos will get bigger.

I dont really know your climate there but bloomingdale long standing spinach will tolerate heat and cool weather pretty well and it will last a long time.
Plant foods you enjoy. I like beets becasue first you can harvest the greens for salads or soups and stew then later you can harvest the beet... just remember the more leaves you harvest the smaller the beet will be.

most of all have fun with it.
8 years ago
Actually the product Im looking at isnt fish emulsion at all, its Fish Hydrolylate! .. and this is what that paper from Colorado State says about it... I didnt know the difference between the two. With the enzyme action looks like it would be a preferred product over the other.

Enzymatically Digested Hydrolyzed Liquid Fish
Enzymatically digested hydrolyzed liquid fish have used enzymes to digest the
nutrients from fish wastes instead of using heat and acids. This retains more of the
proteins, enzymes, vitamins and micronutrients than emulsions.
Enzymatically Digested Hydrolyzed Liquid Fish
Typical NPK analysis 4-2-2
Release time 1 – 4 months
Pros More nutrients than emulsions
Cons More expensive than emulsions
8 years ago
Guess I will call them. They claim their product is organic so how could they use chemicals to break it down and maintain and organic certification?
As far as heat goes, compost piles cook pretty regularly. I'll ask them to what degree they go.

I will look into the grases you mention.
8 years ago
So fish emmulsion not organic? is this because its coming from commercialized fish farms? didnt think of that. what else would make you say this?

What soil innoculant would you reccommend? this is all new to us.

the grasses we selected were what was recommended for our 6,000 ft altitude and general soil and dry conditions. Basically its what most of the ranchers use here.

this is what I was looking at... claims organic
8 years ago
You really dont need a fancy breed of dog to protect your property. Most muts will willing do the work and love it. Since you only have an acre it will be easy for them

My dog guards about 4 acres of our 8 acre parce but he will keep deer off the full eight becasue he can hear or see them from afar. I can count on him to keep fox, coyotes and deer away from my garden beds that I have relatively close to the house. My gardens further away we did fence for deer for he cant guard them well from the area he likes the best and rabbit were the biggest issue out there.

He keeps deer out of our pasture and runs foxes off. Ive never seen a coyote on our land and perhaps its because he marks the perimeters routinely, but there are coyote all around us, and some wolf too.
Scent will keep some animals at bay.

What he has not done so well with is skunks. They just kind of ignore him. Rabits tend to keep their distance but I see them around once in a while. I put 2.5 foot fencing around a couple of gardens that were close in for them but Im not sure that I needed to.

Our dog was raised from a pup and he's half chow and half golden lab... he looks more like chow in his black tongue and thick dark fur and curled tail but his snout looks more like a lab and his demeanor is more like lab with people but he will get all gruff and bark at strangers. He's never bitten anyone and really if someone wanted to rob us this dog would not keep them away for an extended hand and a freindly voice is all that is requried to lower his dander.

So you really dont have to have a fancy breed. Id go to the pound and look for a dog that is half guard dog type and half hunter type and a pup or young dog is best. Walk the property with him and let him know what is yours and what is not. Many dogs can be good protectors without paying through the nose for a pedigree. It is instincutal for them.

If I had chickens I would not count on the dog to protect them at night. You will have to put them away in a secured area that a fox cannot burrow into. Burying the fence down 6 inches helps or actually fencing the bottom of the cage, then cover with soil, hay, whatever. Our concern here is attack from bald and golden eagles in the pasture. I dont have chickens yet but if I free range them i might have to get a different dog to train to stay with the chickens in the pasture all day long. Our current dog is too old to learn new tricks.

A working dog can be worth their weight in gold. Mine didnt start out that way but he has risen to the task when we moved from the city to the country.
8 years ago
Now we are not into permaculture regarding this field, so I will start with that.

We planted a 3 acre hay field 3 seasons ago of alfalfa, timothy, brome and orchard grass and fertilized it with a well composted cow manure, organic, that we purchased by the semi truck load.
We have harvested the hay and sold it in small bales.
Our intent is to have a few head of cattle on it so we wont be cutting it then but until then we are cutting and selling to help pay for the fencing yet to be put up.

We are thinking that this spring we should fertilize again but Im looking for other solutions rather than using the organic composted cow manure as it is rather costly.
So Ive been considering using a liquid fertilizer of fish emmulsion that we can spray on.
Any opinions on this for a hay field? Anyone know how much to use per acre?

Also my neighbor cuts lawns and has access to lots of grass clippings that have never seen pesticides or herbicides. Im wondering if spreading a thin layer of this on would be helpful to provide biomass.

8 years ago
Another item I make is homemade vanilla extract. Very easy to make. I sell it in four ounce dropper bottles and I put a vanilla bean in each one, mostly for show. At 5.50 a bottle thats a pretty good price for vanilla extract. I will refill their bottle if they bring it back and that reduces the price 50 cents. I now have a following for it amongst local bakers.
8 years ago
Coming on to this thread late but anyway....

I sell my items at our local farmer's market which allows homemade craft items to be sold.
Aside from produce I sell aprons and earrings and home made laundry soap.
I sell quite a bit of laundry soap, its cheap to make, and at $5 a gallon ( I collect used water and vinegar gallon jugs to sell it in and accept recyled jugs)
and at about 0.25 cents under 50 cents to make a gallon... I do well enough. 1/8 to 1/4 cup per load.... so its very economical for my customers too!
8 years ago