Jan Hrbek

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since May 22, 2018
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chicken homestead purity
Europe - CZ, Pannonian / continental zone
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Recent posts by Jan Hrbek

Hello folks! I am planning to set a new vineyard in a few years. The land ( 1/3 acre) is covered by a wild grass now. My plan is to break and turn the grass sod with a plow and harrow it. I would like to sow some green manure mix there then. I am looking for some deep-rooting plants that also produce enough of biomass. The plan is to chop and drop the green parts and use it as a mulch. Deep roots would decompose during the winter and would act as a soil improving matter which helps the water to soak deep and also the roots of grapevines to penetrate the soil well. I was thinking a hemp, sunflower, some annual clovers and Phacelia would work well. Do you have some other candidates? Thanks for every answer!!
2 days ago
There is one perfect e-shop called Permaseminka.cz (= "perma seeds") in our country. This young man products and sells small packets of seeds of different varieties of many vegies.. All of them are stabile hybrids, so after buying it you can produce your own seed for next seasons.. Owner of the e-shop tries them on his garden first and when he finds them to be suitable for central Europe, only then he starts to sell it. Maybe some of them would grow well in Denmark too.
Building a brick wall just behind the fig bush would help. It accumulates a sun heat during the day and then irradiate it during the night.. Maybe using an heating wire during the coldest months of the year would help the branches not to freeze. A fig tree has two crops of fruits per season. The first one sprouts on over-wintered old wood in a early spring and ripe in a June. The second one sprouts on the new green shoots - these figs ripe in autumn (October), but not every year in our climate (only when the autumn is warm). It seems that only the first crop is feasible in your climate, so saving the branches not to freeze is crucial..
1 week ago
A fresh chicken manure is very"strong" and its direct use as a fertilizer is not recommended due to a high risk of "burning" plants. I use a large ammount of wood chips as a bedding in a chicken coop and a chicken run too. I clean chicken coop every 2-4 weeks in winter and every 4-6 weeks in summer - I give it into my vermicomposting trench (with kitchen scraps, leaves, grass clippings etc.) to lay there for 6-12 months. In the end of a winter, I start giving a fresh chicken manure / chips mix from a coop into a barrel and I let it ferment in a water till spring and summer. This barrel (cca 100 liters = 25 gallons) gives me about 50 liters of liquid fertilizer, which I mix with fresh water (1:10) and use it my vegetable garden (every two weeks..). A woodchip-bedding from outdoor run has another purpose.. I shovel it every spring and autumn and use it as a mulch. Directly.. This mix is already partially decomposed after the half a year of scratching and turning by chicken claws and beaks..
1 week ago
I am sure that using of coloured newspaper as a firestarter in the stove / heater is no problem. The ash from such a paper mixes with a much larger ammount of subsequent wood ash and any potential odds from colours are dissolved into unimportant concentration. Any potential traces of heavy metals in this ash are even more dissolved in the soil then and does not elevate the level of them any significantly (in almost all soils there are traces of Cu, Cd, Pb and others..). That is my oppinion..
2 weeks ago
Vermicomposting can be quite easy way how to make humanure safe. I read several studies which said that more than 95% of all potential pathogens (bacteria) are lost in a few weeks. Digestive system of red worms is colonized by a "ZOO" of "good" bacteria, which quickly neutralize the "bad" ones.. Ova of human helminths (roundworms and tapeworms) are the only pathogens which remain. We have outdoor composting toilet which our family uses from spring to autumn while working on garden. Also some visitors (friends) use it time to time. I am almost 100% sure thet none of us (and them) are colonized by roundworms or tapeworms, so I am not afraid to throw a humanure/wood shaving mix into our garden vermicomposting hole.. I empty it once a year and use it in our vegetable garden with no fear..
2 weeks ago
I have some 15 chicks for eggs and I´m also trying to cut down the percentage of bought grain in their fodder. I keep them in a run (approx. 30 sq meters) with deep mulch bedding (they like to scratch it very much), but I also let them forage in adjacent part of my vineyard (some 200 sq meters) and scratch worms on a compost plot from September to April. All kitchen scraps also go to them, both fresh and cooked, crushed bones included. Another part of their fodder is a dried bread, which I bring from my work. I also meet a local fish-seller on my way home, who gives me a bucket (cca 2-3 gallons) full of fresh fish offal every week. I give him some eggs as a reward. I throw them a basket full of greens (alfalfa, dandelions, clovers, common sainfoin, grass clippings..) every day from spring to autumn.. I also buy dried fish meal, made from local freshwater "weed fish" as a protein additivum. I also used "maggot dispenser" filled with some rotting offal during the summer..  During the winter, when there is only a little greens outside, I pick a scrap leaves (cabbage, cauliflower, kohlrabi) from a bin in our local supermaket. Nevertheless I buy corn, wheat and  barley. Organic, if possible (not always accessible). For example, I got one bag full of barley ( 50 kg ) from my colleague who have won it in a ball raffle last winter, just for a bottle of wine (which I got from a local person as a reward for some help..). I let the grain soak and ferment for several day before giving it to chickens - this also reduce the ammount of grain in their food..
1 month ago

Kristin Johnson wrote:My plan was to put down cardboard, wood chip compost, some horse manure this fall and let it all sit over the winter. Now I'm wondering if I should just let the kind neighbor plow it up this fall, then add some compost/horse manure on top. (skip the cardboard.)


Hello Kristin. I started my new vineyard on alfalfa field. Alfalfa has very deep root and is very viable plant. If you mulch it only with straw/woodchips/manure, it will not die, but it will sprout through the mulch in spring. I think layer of cardboard will be necessary. If you have enough mulching material, spread some manure just on the cut alfalfa this autumn, cover it by 2-3 layers of cardboard and some straw / woodchips on the top. The manure will atract worms on the surface and will help you with killing the alfalfa plants.. Dying roots will create excelent pores for roots of future plants and for water to soak.. The layer of cardboard will stop the sprouts to get through the mulch.
3 months ago
This practise occurs in books, but I did not try it sofar.  You must girdle only bark and floem of the shoot with the cluster (under the cluster of course..). You remove it circularly and completely, removing stripe 3-5 milimeters wide.. Thus you stop a flow of sugars from leaves above the girdle into the trunk and roots, so the sugar accumulates in the berries.. The flow of water and minerals from roots into the shoot is not interrupted, because it flow through the wood capilares.. You must not girdle all the shoots of the vine, because some sugars must flow down to the roots as a reserve for winter and spring.. I had an accident last year - a goose stripped a bark and floem from a trunk of one vine. Completely, circularly.. The clusters riped normaly, just like others. I cut the trunk this spring and suprisingly new shoot sprouted from a base of the stump.. So it did survive the winter..
6 months ago

Tj Jefferson wrote:I tried feeding the chickens fish parts, but they wouldn't eat them and it drew in vultures, like into th chicken pen. I tried making a solar cooker to cook them and it worked, but they still wouldn't eat it. I think they would if it was all cut up, but I ended up just putting it int the compost and letting them dig the compost up. I've tried with deer carcasses too. I had chickens that were pretty carnivorous, this bunch is not!


I have to cook it and mix it with soaked old bread and grain.. They do not want to eat it uncooked, neither cooked and whole.. My neighbour´s chickens are crazy about raw fish offal!
7 months ago