Maureen Atsali wrote:The challenges...
-All of the soil issues I have touched on before. It has improved, but it is still pretty pathetic. I dump all the mulch and compost on it I can, but the tropical conditions eat through it faster than I produce it. As for the erosion factor, I haven't done much about that yet, except to try and keep the soil covered in mulch, planted, or otherwise undisturbed. More erosion control is on the to do list this year.
- By far my biggest losses come from my nearby neighbors - on two fronts. Their domestic animals which escape or free range onto my property. Cows, pigs and chickens. And its not just accidental... I have found their cows TIED in my garden. Secondly thieves of the two legged variety. They will steal anything. Sugarcane, greens, fruits, fish from the pond, the dog's chains. The man next door tries to sneak in and cut my Napier grass for his cows. This last fall my husband caught 4 of that man's kids digging up sweet potatoes and hiding them in the coat of the littlest one. A few weeks ago someone dug up two young papaya trees that were about 4 feet tall and took the whole trees. This is a cultural problem here...people pull each other down. This mentality of "if I can't succeed, neither should you." Aside from that, especially during the dry season, people are experiencing hunger.
My husband thinks a good fence will curb that problem. I am not so optimistic. It might deter the animals, but I think it will just be a challenge to the people. Either way, we can't afford to fence the entire 2.5 acres right now, and we have so many other projects on the table. And projects are a subject for another post.
- The third challenge is ME. I pretty much handle all the farm work alone. My husband hates farm work, probably because he was forced to do it as a child. He runs a tree and timber service. I love the farm work, but find 2.5 acres an awful lot for one person to manage. And I am slightly disabled and there is no mechanization. I can only put in about 2 hours of hard labor a day. Ohh and add to that that I am highly distractable. I get side tracked, have too many things going at once, and have a hard time finishing a project.
Fourth is finances. We survive on 400 USD a month, give or take. Because we have no debt and no bills and life is fairly cheap here, we are able to survive. But it doesn't leave much for savings, investments, improvements, or emergencies. We had a terrible problem last month when my 13 yo needed an emergency surgery. Really opened my eyes for the need of some reserve, which really requires more income.
Always open to new ideas in solving these problems!
Jan Sebastian Dunkelheit wrote:Put the carrot seeds in a glass of handwarm water for 6 hours OR in a glass of wet sand for 5 days and directly seed them. I like the method with sand best, the seeds are easier to sprinkle when they are mixed with sand. It is very important to keep them moist till they germinate otherwise they burst. You can use a sieve to cover the seeds with fine soil or: Just put some fine sand on top of them. Fine seedbed is a must for small seeds.
They take awfully long to germinate so don't forget to mark the place where you put them and reduce competetion by weeding.
ediblecities idea to cover them with board is good to keep the seeds moist but it is a really bad idead when you have a problem with slugs. Slugs gather under board and wooden planks. In fact: I always leave some wooden planks lying around and check under them frequently. I pick the slugs gathering there put them in a plastic bag and throw them in a trash can. Heartless, I know.
Heartfully, I would put them in a net or clothbag together with a stone, big enough that the bag will drown in water. Then put the bag/net in a buket/drum full water, stirr regularly for oxigenation and use after completely decomposition as fertilizer for plants which have a big nutrion consumption like Squash, Watermelon, Tomatoes, Peppers, Grapes. Dillute 1:10. This is the same process than the "Road-Kill-Brew" of the bio-dynamic farming. Can be with compostpreparations 502 - 507 (Dandelion, Yarrow, Camomile, Stinging Nettle, Oak Bark, Equisetum). It can be done with all kinds of Insects, Rats, Mice, dead Lifestock, any dead animals, you come across with. Important is to make sure, that the dead animals stay under water so that you are still able to stir. The more oxigen inthe Water the faster the breake down and the bigger the surface to volume ratio, the faster is the breake down. For example slugs have a relative big surface to volume ratio, Ants would have an even bigger surface to volume ratio while a pig would have a small surface to volume ratio.