Skandi Rogers

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since Dec 02, 2016
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Recent posts by Skandi Rogers

Good luck! lots of cats and raptors here and we have a plague of voles the warm winter let them breed the whole way though. We have lost some trees, horseradish! and plenty of vegetables to them this year, I'm worried about my strawberries.  Keeping grass short and reducing cover for them is meant to help, but I'm not convinced that will put off a burrowing animal and it doesn't seem to upset mine at all.
Traps or poison I think it the only solution, my cat (who died last week :( ) used to catch 2-3 a day and made no noticeable impact on the population, I'm trying some plaster of paris "poison" at the moment, but they've not been interested in the oatmeal at all yet
9 hours ago
Yes, tomatoes will root all along the stem that one just thinks the conditions are right for some more roots.
9 hours ago
I grow potatoes on a very small commercial scale, with hand tools, we plant our potatoes deep and do not hill as such. They do get a bit of extra soil pulled up round them preferably once, sometimes twice depending on how bad the weeds are, but that soil will be less than an inch in total.
Big bakers will get 3-4 inches when they hit flowering as they tend to push up out of the ground and go green.  over the last 5 days we've dug 80lb of potatoes grown with no hilling at all (the weeds were nice to us) and we got 2 green potatoes out of all of that, hilling would not have been cost effective at all. These are of course first earlies (Solist) so the potatoes themselves are small.  hilling pushes the production back and since we need the earliers possible potatoes to get the premium price and get traffic to the stand we do everything possible to get them out as early as possible including having them in a greenhouse!
I also help on the family farm which grows around 15-20 acres of potatoes, these are set and harvested by machine, so they are not planted as deep and the machine makes a mound over the seed piece, the reason is simply because the harvesting machine doesn't want to have to dig a foot down to get the potatoes so the seed piece is set about 1inch under the ground surface and a mount put over it. Once or twice the hiller will be put over the potatoes during the growing season. The main reason is to remove weeds but a secondary one is to reform the hills. since they are raised the soil tends to slump and get washed off a bit risking exposing the potatoes. I have never measured but I would guess that the hills end up around 6 inches higher than they started by the end of the season.

In my experience constant hilling is counter productive, we have a short season and blight is a when not an if, so anything that delays the harvest like burying all the food creating leaves is a dumb idea.
11 hours ago
Hmm I like the use of the potato starch, I have 60lb of last year potatoes to turn into oven chips, that will make a fair bit of starch perhaps I should try to capture it rather than sending it to the septic.
16 hours ago

Roxanne H - Dunn wrote:Skandi - My garden is full but I can squeeze some things in. I plan on feeding them my extras and "waste" from my garden. Would love some extra. I am planning on asking the neighbors to drop theirs off as well. Just trying to think of an easy way both for them and for me. Maybe a bucket at the end of the driveway?

How about giving each neighbour who agrees a bucket that they put out every few days when they have something? you could also ask on FB if anyone is throwing out vegetables I don't know about your area but is seems farmers in some areas are.
1 day ago
Food for pigs in the raising units here is rationed so yes you can limit how much they eat, how much you can limit it to I don't know. Could you get some seeds and grow something in bulk for them? Radishes, turnips, lettuce or other fast growing greens, maybe buckwheat. anything to fill up the bellies without piling on the fat or eating your wallet empty. Since it's October they are due you still really have time for carrots/potatoes as well (if your weather permits)
1 day ago
So what happens to the strawberries in the second year? Do they not come back after winter or do they just not flower.  The blog post shows plants that are much to close together, strawberries should have around 30cm between plants that may explain why you are not getting anywhere the second year as they are crowding each-other out.

You do have another option that is to buy commercial bare root strawberries, these come in different sizes and the larger sizes (A3 and waiting bed) produce fruit in their first year, around 200g-500g per plant. commercially they are planted, harvested and then ploughed under so no second year to worry about.  I had A3 plants last year which did well, and this year they are much bigger and have more flowers (12+ sets per plant) whether they will produce decent fruit only time will tell.
1 day ago
It's meant to be due to excessive heat as the berries develop.  Are they Cavendish by any chance, they are especially prone to it.
2 days ago
I can a lot of stuff most of which is sold so I have tons of normal jars (brand new they have to be) but they are not suitable for pressure canning I don't believe, and no these potatoes would be for a specific dish in the winter, small potatoes will not store so they have to be canned. Hmm thinking about it the jars they come in are pretty much the same as mine, I guess I would have to ask the manufacturer what the tollerances are. but that still would leave me in search of a canner.
2 days ago
Since it's potato season again and we have lots of tiny little potatoes that will end up in the compost I was thinking about canning them, but I cannot find anywhere that sells any of the stuff other than seriously expensive ball jars and lids (equivalent to $8 each) that would mean I could buy 10kg of potatoes for every jar I made, not counting any cost of the canner itself.

So is there anyone in Europe who knows of a source for such things?
2 days ago