Mark Reed

+ Follow
since Mar 19, 2020
Mark likes ...
dog fish trees writing
Merit badge: bb list bbv list
I grow stuff
For More
SE Indiana
Apples and Likes
Total received
In last 30 days
Total given
Total received
Received in last 30 days
Total given
Given in last 30 days
Forums and Threads
Scavenger Hunt
expand Pollinator Scavenger Hunt
expand Pioneer Scavenger Hunt Green check
expand First Scavenger Hunt Green check

Recent posts by Mark Reed

Hey Mathew, great to hear from you!

Those purple husks look just like those on the pure strain of the old Mexican landrace that I used because of its natural worm resistance. The ears look very similar as well as far as size and shape, but the kernel type is way different. Pure Zapalote Chico is a soft flour corn with a bit of a dent. I select to keep those purple husks because once I lost the short fat shape of ZC it's the only hint its genetics are still in there, well other than that the worms don't bother it.
2 days ago
We make a little money by almost completely eliminating production costs and effort. That for a start means little if any food. Produce is just too much effort to produce and when it's ready to sell, it has to sell. That sometimes means lowering the price, giving it away or composting it. No profit at all in that. Dealing with food in general especially any kind of meat leads to issues with safety and regulations, more time and trouble than it's worth on a small scale and one acre is small scale. I've never known anyone, producer or customer that was happy with a CSA but that might be different in a more urban and affluent area than mine.

We don't do farmer markets but instead yard sales, swap meets and flea markets. Our products are for the most part free to produce so sales are nearly 100% profit except for the gas to transport. We do not use greenhouses; we don't buy potting soil or anything else. We focus a lot on some of the following.

Perennial flowers that we simply dig up and divide from our established patches. Hosta, Iris, Peonies are good sellers and it they don't sell we take them home and place in our "holding pens" till next time.

People seem to love hens and chickens plants, they multiply on their own and sell great. It's amazing what someone might pay for an old shoe or toy with a couple hens and chickens' plants in it. Actually, any winter hardy, self-propagating succulent plant including prickly pear sells like crazy.

Trees are big sellers; I simply collect seeds of maple, tulip poplar, pecan, magnolia, red bud and so on and direct plant them in garden beds. It's free and very little work, they sell easily bare root for up to five dollars apiece.

We do some spring transplants, primarily tomatoes, sold as pulled plants wrapped in in moist newspaper with a little soil. Five bucks for six plants and if they don't sell, compost.

Herbs are big, sometimes as freshly started plants but many like thyme, winter savory and sage can be easily propagated by staking down side branches in the fall and letting them root into new larger plants.

Wildflowers, especially perennials are gold, these include Virginia Bluebells, columbine, wild daises, purple coneflower and more.

Perennial garlic and onion bulbils sell good, not for immediate use as food but to plant. They would actually do better for the customer if sold "as is" to plant themselves but people seem more likely to buy and pay more if they are stuck in a little pot already growing, go figure.

The only foods we dabble in are flavored salts. Grind up some garlic or onion with some quality sea salt and dry it, then regrind, people love it. Dried pepper flakes of various heat levels sell good too.

The only "produce" we sell occasionally, once again isn't for food but decorations. This is mostly ornamental corn and squash. I'm developing a line of popcorn and have aspirations of doing the same with squash where it is both good as food and decorations. Customers don't want the food though, or at least won't pay as much for it so they don't have to know they can eat it unless they ask. They can also, if they ask, plant the seeds and not have to buy it anymore.

We like to garden, and we end up with most of this stuff anyway. It needs divided and thinned anyway. Once it's established its free to produce. So, the path we have taken and that is working pretty well is eliminate as much as possible the expense and effort to produce. The minute you buy something to help increase or improve production you've move into commitment and pressure to make it work and we didn't like that at all.

Most any pots we need are accumulated from other people's discards. The sea salt and bottles cost a bit but selling a half dozen bottles gets it all back, so the next 100 are all profit.

Growing conditions, market availability and customer preferences may be completely different where you live but I suspect with a little observation and assessment you can find some easy high profit things to focus on too.
1 month ago
I like Revere Ware stainless steel. Much lighter than cast iron, does not rust, ever, and almost indestructible. It isn't as non-stick as whatever that stuff modern pans are coated with, but I'm fine with being careful not to burn stuff and the extra effort needed to clean it when I do.

I'm talking about when it was made in Illinois or New York. Mine mostly came from junk stores and yard sales and some of it is easily 100 years old.
1 month ago
We have tons of wrens. I never thought about what kinds of plants they like, but we do have lots of trees and surrounded by a whole bunch more trees. They will live in practically anything, gourds, wood houses, cocoanuts. coffee cans, on top a mop in the shed. They built a nest in my pants one time when I left them hanging on the line too long.
1 month ago
I commonly add new commercial seed, based on descriptions that match my goals. Especially in the case of wind or insect pollinated species I grow them separately the first year. If they pass the test, they get added to mine the next year, if not I'm done with them.
2 months ago
I looked it up on the Pierce County gis, looks like a fantastic property. Wasn't able to capture a screen shot but you can track it down here Pierce County

Sounds like what here in Indiana is called a tax sale and property value was listed at about $250,000. Unless there is something terrible wrong with it, I bet it easily brings that. In Indiana owners can redeem a property up till the day of sale or even after by just paying the back taxes and fees. You have to wait several years before their right to do that runs out and you can sue for a clear title.

I wonder what happened to the owners that they let it get that far. Maybe since they are known someone could contact them and make a deal to pay it out of tax sale and buy it from them. They get something rather than losing everything and you get a better deal than by bidding. I've seen that happen here a couple of times.
My seed vault is two antique stainless steel milk cans buried in the ground containing a number of smaller stainless steel canisters and plastic bottles full of seeds. These are my own seeds saved over the last few years. Although not deep enough in the ground to be perfectly stable at 55 degrees or whatever they are still kept cooler and more stable than in the house and they also never actually freeze.  

I don't use desiccants or vacuum packing and have never had an issue with my seeds going bad. Five-year-old seeds, as a rule germinate with little difference from one year old seeds. Although I am interested in prolonging the viability of my seeds, my primary concern is a disaster proof backup. If I haven't grown something for five years, I'm probably not going to. An added bonus to my underground vault is that it requires no electricity. I open the vault every two or three years and rotate in newer seeds. Excess of older seeds are used in the current season, given away, sold, planted for biomass, or fed to critters.
2 months ago
I've recently taken up watercolor painting. Never painted anything at all and not much good at drawing so I'm just making it up as I go along. So far, I have completed a total of three paintings. "Moon Over Water" and "Nothern Lights Over Frozen Water" were gifted without being photographed.  I can say without any attempt at bragging that they are both beautiful, far better than any of those I saw done on YouTube tutorials.

A good friend and retired art teacher at first kept trying to give me pointers and instruction which I ignored. Not out of disrespect but because I knew I would never accomplish anything if I tried to do learn the right way. I knew she had spent time on the shore of Lake Superior and loved the lights, so she got that one. She cried a bit and hasn't offered painting advice since. When I ask, she just doesn't seem to know what to say.

This earlier and much poorer "Moon Over Water" below was destined for the trash but someone else rescued it and hung it on the wall. Currently I'm working on "Lightening at Night Over Water" but so far have wasted a lot of paint and paper on it. Proper lightening is damn hard to paint.

I paint a combination of flat and tilted and a combination of on wet and dry paper but like I said I'm just making it up as I go.  Anyway, here is the crappy "Moon Over Water".  
2 months ago
To state it simply as a joke all that's needed is.

How do we know there is no oxygen on the moon?"
If there were, the cheese would have gone bad by now."

Similar to:
How we know the earth isn't flat?
If it was, cats would have knocked everything off by now.

Pearl Sutton wrote:A new thread, for memes about not being quite so young anymore.

Why was the corner taped? I went straight from vinal to CD, never owned a cassette or 8-track.

Sprots drink dispenser, when I was a kid.

2 months ago