How to grow your own foods.

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How to grow your own foods.

Postby GodsStudent on Thu Jun 03, 2010 10:38 pm

Potatoes

http://www.thegardenhelper.com/potato.html

I have been learning so much about gardening. I read lots of resources and gather lots of information on how to grow all of God's seeds and plants......Fact is, God provided us perfect food for our bodies. We have deviated so far that many of us are sick. I have been working on and growing many things over the past few years. I feel so much better knowing that I am able to grow food for my family and others, too. I have God's seeds and as a result, I don't have to fear because I am able to use them over and over and over again. He provides for us in this way......

Many don't realize that we don't have to buy from a store every year. We don't have to get all of those chemicals, either.

God has given us and still does give us everything we need to grow the food He has provided for our benefit and use.

I would really like to share some of the things I've learned along the way, here on this thread, and if others want to add things they have learned, I would be thrilled to see it posted here.

Today is potatoes....who knows when the next post will be or what it will be about....but my goal is to talk about various things we grow and either what I already know about them or good, and informative links I run across on my journeys that are chock full of good information.

Potatoes are easy and can be nearly free forevermore with just a few simple steps to grow and store....and best of all, they can be gmo free if you start with heirloom seed. Better for you to eat and prepare your families food with IMO.
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby Loop on Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:54 am

Do you know how to keep potato's fresh, without the use of a cellar? In cases where one would have no cellar to put them in...
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby extravagantchristian on Fri Jun 04, 2010 11:05 am

Loop wrote:Do you know how to keep potato's fresh, without the use of a cellar? In cases where one would have no cellar to put them in...


Can them? That's what I would do.
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby learningmama on Fri Jun 04, 2010 11:10 am

Another important food to consider is dry beans. They enrich the soil, rather than depleting it, especially when you turn the plants/roots under when they're done. Most varieties are climbers, so you've got to have a place to go vertical if you're going to grow a lot of them, but in a crisis situation, they could even be let go to run on the ground. Dry beans are very easy to store (as long as they've been thoroughly dried), and can be consumed by simply sprouting them if there is no way to cook them. I planted about 30 seeds last year and got a quart and a half in return, which I dried and will plant as many as space allows. They can climb your corn stalks, sunflowers, fences, trees, posts.... you name it! In northern Ohio, you can plant them until the end of June and still have time for them to mature before frost.

If the market were to tank this month, I would go in my backyard and dig up the sod every 8" or so and pop a bean in there! It's mostly clay, some sand... not great soil, but it would still grow beans. Not as well as if you have wonderful, rich loam, but it's the best return that I know of nutritionally in a desperate situation.

About the potato question, I really don't know how to store them in warm climates (but I suggest Googling it!). I kept some in my basement all winter and they were still good in late Feb. They sprouted a bit, but they were still edible. The important thing is to look through them every week or two to remove any that are rotten.
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby GodsStudent on Fri Jun 04, 2010 12:35 pm

Loop wrote:Do you know how to keep potato's fresh, without the use of a cellar? In cases where one would have no cellar to put them in...


Hi Loop! In the summer months, storing potatoes can be a bit of a challenge as the main culprit to their demise is heat. Moisture is equally not good for them, so if you choose to store in a refridgerator, they must be sealed in a container that will keep the moisture out. During the winter months, just storing them outside in my garage extends their life quite a bit better than those kept indoors. My fall crop potatoes last well through the winter stored outdoors, and not necessarily in a true cold frame. In the summer months, storing them under the house might work.

Also, its important to store them single layer to add to their shelf life. If you stack them on top of each other, they will not do as well as if you lay them out single layer.
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby bchandler on Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:52 pm

"How to Grow More Vegetables" By Jean Jevons... Very Nice Book

Also "One Circle" For a subsistence vegan diet in emergencies.
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby GodsStudent on Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:22 pm

SEEDS....God made them....the end.

God made seeds, the end, I wish !!! The fact is that God made seeds and man decided he could make those seeds of the Lord’s work better, so he created GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) seeds. These seeds have living organisms in them and when you eat from fruits, vegetables and grains grown with them, you eat those living organisms, too. Sound like something you wouldn’t choose to do? Most of the potatoes, corn, sugar and countless other varieties of foods that are grown are now grown with these GMO seeds. The results? IMO, and this is truly my opinion, we get sick from them. Man feels he has done a great thing because these "new strains" of seed have higher yields, are disease resistant....so forth and so on. I have a better idea.....take good care of your garden and your garden will take good care of you. Be sure to read my future article on SOIL....black gold.

If you buy plants from the hardware store or even a lot of seed packets from the hardware store, you are very likely buying GMO seed. When you grow GMO, you cannot use the seed that came from GMO for your next year’s crops because they mutate and if they even produce, they will produce an unreliable strain.

It gets worse. If you are trying to grow God’s seeds and you have anything GMO growing in your garden, the GMO mutations can transfer into your heirloom (God’s seeds) plants. The bottom line.....to be safe, you must start a garden with only God’s seed. God’s seeds are commonly referred to as Heirloom seeds. If you want to secure your families food production, it’s a good idea to purchase and stock your home with plenty of Heirloom seeds. I suggest getting several varieties of each thing (ie: 3 kinds of cucumber) as different varieties of each type of plant will thrive in one location and perform poorly in others. Some varieties have long growing seasons which won’t work for northern climates. Other varieties aren’t highly heat tolerant, and will perform very poorly in the south.

Another thing to consider is others....what I mean by that is buy seeds for the fruits and vegetables your family will eat, but also consider what others in your immediate community might like.

FWIW, I have purchased heirloom seed from several sights. The Amish have seed and these two companies have sold me great seed that I have had good success with (Note: I don’t know these companies personally and get no discounts of any kind or money from them).

http://www.bountifulgardens.org/

http://www.botanicalinterests.com/store ... lect=03000

Be sure you are purchasing heirloom and if you aren’t sure, don’t buy them.
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby daffodyllady on Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:36 pm

I had posted a rather longish post the other night, but it got eaten... will try to reproduce it here...

I am researching about drying foods. You can dry almost any kind of produce and meat, and it is far healthier than canning it, as it basically is a raw food, preserving the enzymes, in most cases. Some foods do need to be blanched or cooked lightly, such as potatoes, broccoli, carrots. But tomatoes and many other veggies and fruits can just be sliced and laid out on the screens to dry in... a drier.

Which I am planning to construct this summer. (What is a summer without a construction project?)
Basically, I want to try to copy something I saw long long ago in a gardening magazine. It was a cold frame that doubled later as a food-drier. The window sashes propped open slightly to allow a little air-flow, and all along the sides were little 1 x 1's, to hold up screen shelves that could be slid in there come harvest season. The veggies were sun-dried, as natural as you please! Seedless grapes made lovely raisins, etc. Even in hunting season, rods can be put across instead of screens, and you can hang strips of venison to cure. A little smudge-fire pit can be dug a few feet away, and the cold smoke directed over to the frame.

Anyhow, the important thing, it seems, is to slice the veggies evenly, so they dry evenly.
I need to get this thing up and running.
.....

Also... I have learned how to make real honest sauerkraut from scratch! I sliced up a few heads of cabbage and tossed it with the prescribed amount of salt. Then I packed it down into a plastic ice cream bucket and placed it on the top of my fridge to ferment, with the lid almost completely snapped shut. In six weeks, I tried it alongside a grilled brat. :wow:
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby extravagantchristian on Mon Jun 07, 2010 8:53 pm

daffodyllady wrote:
Also... I have learned how to make real honest sauerkraut from scratch! I sliced up a few heads of cabbage and tossed it with the prescribed amount of salt. Then I packed it down into a plastic ice cream bucket and placed it on the top of my fridge to ferment, with the lid almost completely snapped shut. In six weeks, I tried it alongside a grilled brat. :wow:


That's awesome, I've seen the videos online about how to make sauerkraut, it looks real yummy. I've been making lacto-fermented grape and apple juice, which is basically homemade apple cider. It's pretty good and really healthy.
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby burien1 on Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:44 am

I love homemade sauerkraut. My mom use to make it in a crock every year. Its not Thankgiving dinner without it.
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby GodsStudent on Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:47 am

DIRT, IT REALLY IS BLACK GOLD !!!

Once you have secured HEIRLOOM SEEDS you will need to begin a new habit of working with the dirt in your yard to grow excellent and bountiful crops. There is a lot you can do to ensure this will be the results you get. Your dirt, water and your habits as a gardener will have the greatest impact on your success, so I am going to share what has been and is working for me in these areas, because I really believe its important for us all to KNOW how to grow our food for our families!

I cannot say enough about how much impact you can have on your growing dirt. This is the medium from which all successful gardeners work. If you follow the general information I give about making dirt and how to use it, the result will be that you are making dirt filled with the nutrients your plants need and can thrive in. This is paramount to providing you with the ability to require less (if none at all) of the commercial products that are out there to supplement the sad and sorry dirt that many people are working with. They have sad dirt because they don’t know how to make nutrient rich dirt, or don’t want to take the time to do so. This “chemical” way, such as adding miracle gro (sorry to single that company out, there are others), adds other “stuff” to our food and dirt (by manufacturing of these substances), that many say is not good for us or for our growing land. I report, you decide. All of this work is what I have learned as a gardener and based on my research and experiences, and we all know that its opinion, right?

Here are a few things you need to do to MAKE the dirt you will need (this is an over time process) to have a bountiful garden. I am going to cover each of the following 3 elements in greater detail, one at a time. I will begin with the first, to make compost. Lets get started on covering the following areas of your dirt:

1) create compost
2) make your own mixes for containers and seed starting, make your own mixes for raised beds and make your own mixes for ground beds.
3) grow cover crops
4) crop rotations, companion plantings and who took what from the dirt....

CREATE COMPOST

This is the singularly most important step to having rich, black dirt...the cornerstone to any good garden. Food scraps from the kitchen are paramount in this process. Do not put meat, oil, prepared dishes or anything that didn’t come from the earth in your compost. Do put all fruit and vegetable cutting (peel an onion, everything you don’t use for your food should go on your compost tub from the kitchen). Do put all tea and coffee grinds and filters. Do put all egg shells (better yet, on egg shells, which are high in calcium, should go straight into the dirt you are growing tomatoes in! This will increase your tomato yield significantly. Crush eggshells, but be careful, cause those shell shards can get into your natural hand and you will not believe the infection and pain that could result.....experience!). I keep two tubs that easily go under my cabinet in the kitchen so that I don’t have to run to the mulch bin every time I work in the kitchen. When they are full, I carry them down (more likely my husband will, lol). Our mulch bin is huge.....15 ft x 15 ft. I know they have those quick dirt mulch makers, but you have to turn and water all the time. Mine is on a large scale, I collect mulch 1x at the end of every summer (I take out the dirt and leave what hasn’t fully turned to mulch). I usually get a large stock of black dirt and I put 2/3 on my growing beds immediately in the fall to be turned down into the soil that is there. This mulch will work wonders with your dirt ph and be ready to go in springtime. You need to turn your dirt in the fall, just prior to growing a cover crop (we’re going to get to that soon). The remaining 1/3 is reserved to the side with a tarp over it for me to use as I plant new thing in pots or new beds the following spring.

If you have a paper shredder (and all gardeners should!), shred and put all white paper and newspaper into your compost pile. (NEVER use the shiny stuff as its chemical treated to get the shine. Plastic window envelopes are also a no-no). The shred paper and ink add nitrogen to your dirt. Nitrogen is the cornerstone to good roots and green leave production on your plants ...plain white paper and newspaper is good “brown” material. Compost is made up of 2 parts brown and 1 part green.

Leaves, burned wood ashes (from the fireplace), weeds that haven’t gone to seed (that I pull all through the summer, as they are developing), limb cuttings with leaves on them, shrubbery cuttings, spent flowers....every bit of yard debris, less pine needles and pine cones, all go into my mulch bins. Not to worry about those pine needles and pine cones. Those go in a pile to the side of my mulch bin. I also pull the sticks from limb and shrubbery cuttings in the pile on the side. These are going to mulch, of course, but at a much slower pace. The only thing I discard from my yard (as a rule of thumb) is weeds that have gone to seed, grass clippings (due to chemicals used on the grass to make it all pretty, lush and green) and large chunks of wood. Everything else stays. As a matter of fact, I have a confession (here’s where you laugh). I actually have my husband hooking the trailer up to the truck and riding through the neighborhood to gather clean yard debris from neighbors piles. Said neighbors pile it up to be picked up and hauled off. I can’t resist a good pile of brown leaves or shrubbery clippings here and there.....!

Be diligent about getting these things into your mulch bin and you will have untold pounds of compost. Compost is a very nutrient dense dirt and is so strong that you can’t grow in it, all by itself. The next section will focus on making mixes of dirt. You will need 1 part compost and two parts.........lol........its coming. Hope you’ll be back to learn more.

Did I mention that after a little while, if you follow “this plan” you will never buy a bag of potting soil from the store again?
Last edited by GodsStudent on Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby GodsStudent on Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:02 am

A FEW CORRECTIONS AND OVERSIGHTS

I said you need to turn your dirt in the fall. What I meant to be clear about was that once your mulch goes on your growing beds, you turn that mulch down into the growing bed. So, lay the mulch on top, get your handy tiller (or back breaking shovel), and turn the mulch down into the dirt where it can disperse the nutrients from it). Then, you will either plant a cover crop on that bed to grow through the fall and into winter, or let the bed rest, and either leave it be, doing nothing or cover it with a tarp. Why cover it with a tarp? Same philosophy as below, read on.

In the summertime, about mid July, I wet my mulch bin down real thoroughly and cover it with a tarp. We seal the edges with a few nails (to be removed later) or with a few bricks laid on top of it. This begins the "cooking of the dirt!" The heat and water breaks down what is in the mulch bin, and that speeds the process of dirt making. Your things will compost down very nicely if you have good heat and moisture. The lesser of either of these means a slower mulching process results. Once the heat goes well into the 90s under that tarp and in that amazon hot environment, another good thing happening in that dirt is bacteria and fungus and "bad stuff" is dying off, which will result in sterile and clean new dirt. Worms are critical in making mulch as they eat the kitchen scrap and mulching scraps and poop out nutrients all through the dirt. Worms should find their way to your mulch bin with little to no work on your part. I love my worms and I have tons of them in there doing their thing! Also, we lift one corner to add new stuff and put the brick back down to let it go back to cooking.

Covering your mulch and beds over the winter will raise the daytime temperatures in the soils (only slightly), which continues the cleaning and purifying of your dirt. Also, covered beds, when the covering is done over winter and into spring will increase the soil temperatures in the spring (only slightly), which will enable to you begin your spring crops a little sooner.

Scrap dirts: If you buy a plant from the store, the plant dies, have a plant you remove from anywhere for any reason....take the entire plant, dirt and all, and put it into your mulch bin. As said earlier, mulch bins cook bacterias and fungus out of soil making it good for use at a later time. Never immediately reuse dirt, but get into the habit of putting spent dirt back into your mulch bin and using your "new dirt" (which I am going to get into teaching you how to make from your own yard, and not out of a bag).
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby RaptureReady on Tue Jun 08, 2010 3:46 pm

GodsStudent,

Just wanted to thank you for this thread and the work you are doing to assist those of us who do not have the knowledge you have on this subject. I am enjoying learning about this subject from you very much. Keep up the good work...Please know your efforts are appreciated. :blessyou:
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby GodsStudent on Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:51 pm

I was just wondering tonight if anyone was reading this. I am glad to hear from you RaptureReady, and you are encouraging me to see this thread through. (There are still a lot of subjects to cover, a little at a time, until we all have green thumbs!!!). :mrgreen:
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby GodsStudent on Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:46 pm

Different soils for different growing conditions:

The gist of this commentary is to provide you the base recipe for your crops in beds, raised beds, containers and seed starting. There are a few plants, such as bananas, that require special conditions (bananas require large amounts of humus mixed into their soil), but for the most part, these soils will provide the foundation to the perfect growing conditions in any yard and for almost all plants.

OK, ok....I hear you, those with clay yards. You’re mad and think you can’t grow in your soil. Forget about it, you can! Raised beds are great and you can grow large amounts of food in a small space (bio intensive gardening is what this is called). You create certain kinds of rows at certain depths and you can plant all your plants much closer to each other and you wouldn’t believe how much produce you can get out of a tiny little space.....so for small spaces or soils that need significant amending to grow well, post your issue and lets see if we can work it out for less expense and more produce! Also, in clay, you can dig a hole in the clay (if you’re that committed!) an appropriate width and depth of the root ball “that kind of plant” will produce and put in our soil, found in the recipe below, and you will get the same results as if you had no clay at all!

The rest of us have one of two general types of soil. We either have sand or we have brown dirt. To begin our food growing areas, we will all need to make an initial investment in whichever of the below we don’t readily have in our yard to get our soil set to go. The good growing dirt recipe starts like this:
1/3 part sand
1/3 part general soil (brown dirt, regular yard dirt that isn’t sand)
1/3 part mulch from your mulch bin.

All growing beds should have the above combination at all times as the foundation. Since you don’t have mulch going yet, mix topsoil and manure at a rate of ½ of each to substitute for the mulch. Use this topsoil/manure mix with the other two as indicated above. It is very important that ANYTIME you put any manure in your growing beds you do not use the bed for at least 1 month. This gives ample time for the nutrients to disperse through the dirt and avoids burning your plants. In the future, you can use your mulch and do not necessarily need any manure (IMO). Of course if you have it, its always great to topdress all of your beds in the fall for spring crops, and blend down into the dirt just like you do the mulch.

This is the basic formula for all RAISED BED gardens and all IN GROUND gardens. Your yard is going to have the brown dirt or the sand, so all you need to spend money on is the 1 element you don’t have and the topsoil/manure mix. These can be bought from yard stores and picked up in a truck or something similar for a lot less than you spend on potting soil. Once you get your initial beds laid, you will never have to do this step again. The rest is adding compost to your beds every year and growing cover crops. If you happen to live near manure, you can always do a ½ manure and ½ compost topdress for the bed (which you will till under), but I don’t live near manure, and my compost and initial dirt, combined with a cover crop (we’re getting to that) is so fertile that my beds, without added supplemental foods, are booming!


Container Gardening:

This is important. If you use store bought potting soil in your containers and pots, you are smothering your plants and not getting the results you could with a lighter soil. All container gardening should be done with a special blended, lightweight and easily drained soil. To preserve the water you are feeding your containers, I recommend a bowl bigger than the bottom of your container for run off water to reserve in. The plant will drink from it and as long as you aren’t over watering (all water should be gone within 4 hours), the roots will get air, and the plant will flourish. For potting plants, I recommend a formula as follows:
½ part of the recipe above for raised and in ground gardens
1/4 part peat moss
1/4 part pearlite

Using the above formula, fill your pots initially. Wait your 1 month after the manure. Create another “batch” of the same dirt for all pots you would fill and set it aside in another area in your yard designated as “container mulch pile.” Keep this second pile covered with a tarp or similar. Alternate the dirt in the pots and the dirt in the piles in your growing seasons. If you want to put winter flowers in your pots, I suggest leaving the same dirt you grew in during the spring and summer and changing your soil in the pots once a year, every spring, for new “cooked” dirt to use during the growing months of spring, summer and if your climate allows, fall. Every fall, eyeball your pile and add 1/3 the size of that pile in compost to your pot dirt. Your dirt will increase in volume over time and never need to be replaced again. If you are growing flowers and not food in your pots, you don’t need the compost and can use a cheap ol’ nutrient substitute like miracle gro to feed your flowers (saving that black gold for the stuff you will grow your food in). They’ll do fine, but if you are using your pots like I use mine, you will want the compost in them, too. Peppers, tomatoes, bush beans, all do well in pots, and the beauty of pots is that you can put them where they will do you the most good. If your sprinkler hits certain spots well or if the sun shines well in certain spots, pots are great for increasing your yard production.

Well, I started doing the seed starting soil and decided to really dig deep into the subject of starting seeds so I am going to cover that topic in a new post. Please ask questions if you find you have any.
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby GodsStudent on Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:28 pm

Seed Starting and Seed Starting Soil:

This is an important mix. Seedlings are very temperamental. This is perhaps the most difficult part of gardening in my estimation. I use grow lights to start seeds until the ground is very warm and the daytime temperatures are great. I have more mature plants ready to go outside just as others are getting started. This allows me to plant spring and fall “batches” out of every summer growing season. This also allows me to put in successive crops so that my entire harvest doesn’t come all at one time (who wants to eat pounds of beans all at once?!). Right now, I have broccoli, cauliflower, onion, peppers, beans, cabbage, potato from true seed, and winter squash under my lights. These plants will be strong and healthy by the time I put them out to do their thing in the fall and early winter. I have turned my dining room into my greenhouse. If you don’t like eating in my den and kitchen breakfast nook, you’re probably too stuffy for GodsStudent anyway! Mastering getting seed to come up indoors requires a few consistent, basic and non negotiable things.
First: Many of the food seeds require darkness and heat to spring up out of the soil. No plant food is needed to start them as seedlings contain their own nutrients. So, put a little soil over the tops of the seeds you lay on the growing dirt and if you don’t have grow lights that are easily moveable, you need to get a heat mat. I prefer grow lights, and when placed no more than 4 inches from the dirt surface, they usually provide enough heat to get my seedlings going. Some sprout right up and grow, so you have to check them every two days or so. Also, grow lights evaporate the water from your trays, so you will need to water them every other day anyway. As the plant springs up, your lights have to go up. I have several lights and for seedlings that germinate slower, they stay under low hung light. Seedlings that produce a fast growing plant (like okra and peanut for example) go under the light I am going to move up away from the plant more often. Whether seedlings are sprouting or plants are under the lights, keep your lights about 4 inches above your seed tray or plant at all times. Once your seedlings have produced 2 sets of leaves (the first set often dies off after the second set of leaves has come up), you need to start feeding your baby plants with a diluted solution of rain water mixed with fish emulsion. Warning. Fish emulsion really smells bad, but all the professional growers feed their baby plants with fish emulsion. One bottle will last you a long time and costs around 10 bucks. You want to mix it at ½ strength and feed it once a week until you take your plants outside. Don’t have fish emulsion? Make it. Here’s an article on the reasons why for fish emulsion and I think information on making it. http://faq.gardenweb.com/faq/lists/orga ... 31662.html

That said, I have another option for when the really hard times fall on us and we can’t buy this stuff. (You’re not going to like the smell of this, either). Take all of your kitchen scraps for the mulch bin. Fill a large bucket and add rainwater to just over the top of the scraps. Do not use a lid as you will grow bacteria without fresh air. Soak them 24 hours. Drain off the liquid into a container with a lid. Put the scraps into your mulch bin. Feed very young seedling plants at a rate of ½ this and ½ rainwater. Feed more mature indoor plants with 3/4 this and 1/4 rainwater.

OK. So, we are finally at the soil mixes for seedlings. You must start out with a good, lightweight seed mix. Here are 3 recipes for great seed starting soils:
1 part perlite
1 part peat moss
1 part ground up sphagnum moss

2 parts peat moss
1 part vermiculite
1 part perlite

2 parts peat moss
1 part vermiculite
1 part perlite
1 part compost

Unlike your yard, which will sustain itself after the initial investment, seed starter mix has to be made. For this reason, I am very picky about my seed starter mix. First, if I start seeds in those 6 packs ( I throw nothing away from the hardware store plant department. During the peak of summer when their plants are dying, I buy the half dead plants in six packs in bulk and for loose change and if the plant cannot live, I put the dying plant and its dirt in my mulch bin. If the flower can be brought back, I put it in my flower beds . Then, I save all those little “6 pack” containers for my seedlings. Suffice it to say I will never have to buy anything for starting seeds but the dirt mix. Anyway.....To start my seeds, if I am growing in a 6 pack, I fill the bottom ½ with either of my yard mixes (bed mix or container mix). Then, I fill the top ½ with my seed starter mix.

I prefer to start my seeds in a single container (looks like a rectangular casserole size dish). Then, as they sprout, with 2 sets of leaves, I take a kitchen teaspoon, scoop out the little tiny plant, and put it into a six pack. I do this because I hate to waste seeds. If you start in 6 packs and put two seeds in each cell, you may end up having to transplant out seed plants. If you start in a 6 pack and some don’t come up, you lose space under your grow lights, as the six pack may have only, for example, 3 plants. So, I usually start in a tray, and end up in a six pack. Exceptions would be things that don’t transplant well, but we’re not there, yet.

From here, you just watch them grow.

To help you with a visual of grow lights and indoor gardening, I will show you a good grow light system. I am going to do another section on growing indoors with more in depth information on lights and set ups....This system, with professional grow lights and the rack costs a lot of money....but for under 100 bucks, we can set you up a system that will basically do the same thing. I will get into that more later, but just so you can visualize, check out this indoor system.

http://www.4seasongreenhouse.com/compac ... -1155.html

One thing I need to mention here is that thought I bought a rack system, I bought grow lights from this site. http://www.htgsupply.com/growlighttypes ... goryID=107

Professional grow lights have two types of bulbs. Grow spectrum for greenery and warm bloom spectrum for blooms. In gardening, you will likely only need grow spectrum lights for your lush greenery to produce. Fruits and vegetables won’t need the bloom spectrum so much until they are grown enough to produce flowers for pollination.

I haven’t used florescent lights in my growing, but I have heard many times that this is all you really need to start seeds, and based on my experience, I can believe that. You may need a warm seed mat if you go this route as they may not put out enough energy to keep the seedlings warm during germination.
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby GodsStudent on Tue Jun 08, 2010 9:35 pm

Rainwater versus tapwater

I wanted to explain why I always mention rainwater in my posts. I had heard before that rainwater could not be matched, but I learned for myself that this is the absolute truth. Every time I would take seedlings outside to be hardened off, the plants would thicken up overnight if it had rained. I had always used tapwater for my seedlings, being careful to let it sit 24 hours before use to evaporate the chlorine out and bring it to room temperature. I always thought this was enough. Since I started using only rainwater in my indoor gardening, my plants have taken off like never before.

When it rains around here, you can find me with trashcans and buckets and whatever else will hold rain out on the corners of the house where the water runs off best. I fill these containers up when it rains and use rainwater for everything related to my gardening. You can't close off these containers or the water will get smelly and icky, so I just bring the water indoors or in the mud room until I am ready to use. (sitting in the yard it will draw mosquitos, so you gotta make some kind of arrangements if you want to keep rainwater).

Hands down, rainwater is God's water, and as everything is with the Lord....its perfect!
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby RaptureReady on Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:28 am

Do you add fruits like cantaloupe and watermellon (with their seeds) to your compost bin? I was wondering if the seeds being grown from not heirloom seeds would contaminate the compost pile?
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby GodsStudent on Wed Jun 09, 2010 7:42 am

Good question and the answer is yes. Everything grown in the earth goes into the compost bin, to include GMO seeded watermelon and cantaloupe. Dont worry about growing plants in your mulch bin because you should be using a pitchfork or something similar to turn your compost bin at least every few weeks to keep the compost cooking well. This slow process of compost can take from a few months to 2 years and the deciding factor is how moist you keep your compost (not wet) and how often you turn it. I have found that turning every few weeks gives me an ample stock of dirt at the end of the growing season, but if you want to make your compost faster, turn it more often and be sure to keep it wet.

The reason you cannot grow GMO and non GMO seeds together in your garden is that when the bee's pollinate the flowers on your growing crop, they transfer elements from one plant to another. This is how cross pollination occurs. Cross pollination of GMO to non GMO damages the non GMO with the same things that the makers of GMO seeds put into their seed to require you to rebuy seed every year.

This thing, whatever it is, that GMO seeds have which will not allow you to reuse seeds from your crops, was put into place because of money. The makers of GMO seeds spend a lot of money in their research, so the only way to recoupe that is to mess with the genetic markers, rendering the offspring seed useless so you have to keep coming back for seed every year.
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby burien1 on Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:36 am

GodsStudent wrote:I was just wondering tonight if anyone was reading this. I am glad to hear from you RaptureReady, and you are encouraging me to see this thread through. (There are still a lot of subjects to cover, a little at a time, until we all have green thumbs!!!). :mrgreen:


Oh, you can bet I`m reading it. I`m the first to admit I`m NEVER too old to learn. :lol: Thanks GS !
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby bchandler on Wed Jun 09, 2010 8:40 am

Godstudent,

Just a little bit of feedback on composting.

There are two ways to do composting. The regular way generally involves yard, garden, and kitchen waste, and usually requires turning the compost pile in order to get a complete composting process.

The second method is called thermophilic composting.

There are certain kinds of bacteria that are present in dormant conditions everywhere, and some of these bacteria are called thermophiles. They thrive in very high temperatures and some can even thrive at boiling temps.

In thermophilic composting, the compost pile is not turned due to the fact that the thermophiles increase the temperature in the compost pile to 150-180 degrees. These kinds of bacteria require nitrogen rich compost materials, like manures and urine (urine is sterile) to be incorporated into the compost pile.

The reason that this can be done safely is this... There is no known pathogen or virus, human or otherwise, that can survive temperatures above 150 degrees for more than 24 hours, and thermophilic compost piles will hold temperature above 150 degrees for 1 to to weeks when properly prepared.

Turning a compost pile always results in the loss of some nitrogen and other nutrients into the air. So, if you have the ability to do thermophilic composting you will have higher nitrogen content and you can avoid the need to actually turn your compost pile.

If you are doing thermophilic composting you will need to monitor the temperatures inside your finished compost pile during the spring of the year following it's completion. If temperatures do not reach above (i think 150) a certain point for at least 24 hours you will probably need to delay using that compost for at least 1 more year. In general you would have 2 piles going at a time. The one you are currently adding to, and the one that is finishing its curing, and you stop adding to the one you are actively adding to in the winter. If you live in a climate where it freezes, don't worry. In the spring when the poo-cicles in your compost thaw out, the thermophiles will go right to work on them.

Because of the high temps you will likely need to add more water to a thermophilic pile when it is active in order to keep it functioning at peak temperatures and efficiency. There are hand held temperature probes that look like a giant meat thermometer that you can buy for monitoring your compost. This should be done regardless of which type of composting you are doing, as it will help you to know when you need to add water, and when you may need to turn a regular compost pile.

If you have manure and/ or urine to compost (any kind... this type of composting is safe even for composting human manures) they can be added to your compost pile. In general when you add manures to compost you will place them in depressions that you prepare in the central area of your compost pile, ensuring that there will be no direct exposure to the air. The manure is then covered with some dirt, followed by bulkier wastes that will provide air flow and finally topped off with some green materials (the specific order of layering a thermophilic pile is given in the e-book I reference in this post). If this is done properly, you will never have a bad odor emanating from your compost pile. If you do find an offensive odor coming from your compost you need add some more covering material.

The e-book (pdf) that you can download that explains everything you would ever need to know about composting animal wastes and composting in general is called the "humanure_handbook_third_edition.pdf".

The focus of this book is to show how you can safely return everything, including human waste, to the soil.

Of course it will work for any kind of animal waste, not just human waste. This book will also teach you how to build and use sawdust toilets.

I know the idea of recycling human waste is probably difficult for many of us to grapple with. We are raised from our youth to treat these things as dangerous and sources for disease. However, when we handle them correctly, they have the ability be a source of blessing to us rather than flushing them into our water supply to be "treated" and then flushed into our waterways.

Regardless of your desire to compost human waste or not, I encourage everyone who composts to read this book, as it is the most comprehensive guide to composting I have ever read.
I am not a god or a doctor, and nothing i say should be construed as medical advice or even as correct. I am merely a living soul who is exercising my unalienable rights, endowed upon me by my creator, and recognized in the Constitution for the united States of America, to freely speak about the things i believe. No other soul should grant my words any weight without first determining their credibility and/or accuracy for themselves.
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby GodsStudent on Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:03 am

Hi Bobby: As usual, you are all over it! :lol:

I don't want to discourage anyone from considering this form of composting and I might even read this book just for the raw knowledge. For me, and for now, here are my immediate thoughts;

When I started this venture, I wanted to keep my growing beds simple and uncomplicated to the point that I could spend very little money after my initial investment, and cause the gardens to regenerate on their own. One thing I don't have access to is free animal manure. As a matter of fact, we have no farms for miles where I live. Im in a neighborhood and I also considered the smell factor of constantly supplementing my beds or compost piles with manure (and/or urine). Also, I needed to know how to garden "without" in the event of an ENP or lack of funds (to buy manure etal.) and so forth.

That said, I believe I need to know how to make the compost you refer to, as the "richer" the dirt is, the greater one's chances are that no supplementation of any kind is needed for a bountiful crop. I KNOW human feces and urine add significant benefits to production, so I should probably keep and open mind, acquire the knowledge, and then decide whether or not I want to do a SEPARATE TEST PILE (don't put all your compost in one basket if you try this!). :mrgreen:

Another element to my particular situation is lack of sunshine. My compost is a slow pile because I have sunlight sporadically throughout my yard and have to grow where I can. The compost pile didn't make it to the sunshine list, so it sits in the shadier area of my yard. Due to the sheer volume of my compost pile (and its tremendous), I still get plenty of good dirt out of it, even though my overall composting process is probably a 2 year process. That said, its no big deal, because I compost everything out of my house, all spent plants and soil from my yard (and from all of my neighbors yards when they put their "trash" on the streets, LOL) and all paper and newspaper....so......if you deal in volume, you can still get a significant compost even if your pile is a slow processor due to environmental circumstances. ....and my yard is a lush forest fo growing greenery, so the compost I am getting is serving me well without a lot of energy (other than getting all this "stuff" to the pile).
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby bchandler on Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:29 am

Yea, well said Godstudent.

I might also point out that composting some of the waste products discussed in the e-book i spoke of may even be against local ordinances.

My primary point in raising the alternative was this:
In the event of a major event, like an EMP, Many services my simply stop functioning... like sewer, water, electric, and gas... so knowing how to safely dispose of common household wastes might actually be a necessary skill... so print the interesting e-books so you have them when you need them.

secondarily, others may have manure/urine that can be safely composted, rather than putting them directly into their soil. like small farm animal wastes, or pet wastes.

Sunshine s definitely a factor in getting your compost pile started breaking things down, but once the biological processes are started, most of the heat/energy comes from aerobic bacteria breaking things down in the presence of oxygen, which is why proper layering and adequate watering of your compost pile is so important.

You are quite correct also with the 2 year composting process, so when i built my own bins in the past, I had 3 compartments. one for the pile that was curing, one for the pile i was building, and one for supplemental layering materials. Each spring the cured compost is moved out, the active pile moves into it's curing phase, and a new pile is started. I think I miss-spoke in my previous post when I said that I stopped adding compost to the active pile in the winter.

Another possibility for composting is something called in place composting. In this situation you would compost directly on top of a planting bed that you were intending to let lay fallow. This method is rarely used because it takes a bed out of production for quite a while.
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby GodsStudent on Wed Jun 09, 2010 9:58 am

My primary point in raising the alternative was this:
In the event of a major event, like an EMP, Many services my simply stop functioning... like sewer, water, electric, and gas... so knowing how to safely dispose of common household wastes might actually be a necessary skill... so print the interesting e-books so you have them when you need them.


Brilliant observation, and for this reason alone, the knowledge is a necessity. Not knowing how to prepare in an unpredictable future in these times lends priority to managing circumstances that have potential to create real disasterous consequences. So, I will be reading the book and in the future, if I need this information, I can readily teach those around me how to deal with their "waste" in a safer manner, which will overall lend to a healthier and safer environment, at least in my immediate area.

( I know I am truly a nut job because without my neighborhood knowing it, I have worked out a plan for all of us to "co-op" when and if the need presents. We have lakes and the way I see it, if each family is responsible for just 1 or 2 crops, we can all work together to feed the numbers that will have a need.) This, of course, would be another issue that could be addressed and good knowledge of how to address it will be vital in the event other families handling of waste is factored into the overall equasion.


FWIW: Though Im not really down with the pre trib theory, wouldn't it be great? :mrgreen:
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby milo3 on Wed Jun 09, 2010 3:56 pm

Hey Godstudent neat thread.

My wife found an intersting website that sells survival seeds. I was wondering if you or anyone else would mind taking a quick look at it and letting me know what you think? Is this a good buy, should we be looking into buying something like this? This is definitely not my field of expertise, but I am grateful for the info posted here.

Here it is...http://www.survivalseedbank.com/

Thanks.

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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby GodsStudent on Wed Jun 09, 2010 5:20 pm

Hi Milo3:

At first I wanted to do a pros and cons list on this seed bank list, but the only real pro I could come up with was in the quantity of seed, and when I pulled my calculator out, even that didn’t sell these seed groupings for me. At $3.00 average a pack/per variety of heirloom seeds, you can buy approximately 50 varieties of heirloom seedlings. This website only offers 22 different seed types. Who needs 1450 seeds of one thing? LOL When you really think about it, the “regular seed packs” have 15-40 or so seeds....that will result in AT LEAST 10 viable plants....couple that with a few different varieties of seed of the same plant, and you have, I don’t know, 100 seeds/plants, AND VARIETY.....that will grow more food than most of us have space to grow it in, even if we are co-oping with our local neighbors. Then, once you realize the harvest of only one piece of fruit or vegetable from one of those plants, you have all the seed you can deal with from growing season one, on.

These sites harvested heirloom plants that were zone specific to their area. In my thread on heirloom seeds I talked about trying to choose seeds for your particular growing area. Some seeds have longer growing seasons to maturity (bad in the north), some don't thrive in hot conditions (bad in south), and so forth and so on. I would make a list of seeds I wanted to grow, and spend a little time on heirloom seed sites reading the narratives on each of those varieties and pick and choose my foods. This also results in a much tastier garden for your particular palate. Also, for example, there is a “blue flour corn” that you would likely want to buy in the event you had to produce your own flour or needed something for thickening things like gravy. These seed banks are very limited to “survival” and when you don’t shop the different things you want to grow, you’ll miss seeing all of these different types of goodies. For the extra $3.00 for that kind of flour seed, a lot of “worry” is forever a thing of the past. I found it looking for corn. There are a lot of examples of this “point in case.”

Also, I like buying several kinds of each thing so that I am not locked into a poorly producing seed for my climate, especially if I don't grow those varieties before crisis hits and I do it out of necessity only to find that one variety of bean the survival garden sent me was a poor producer in my area.

Survival seeds are not at all economically priced from what I have seen. not at all. SO, what is the benefit other than one click shopping, to buying these things? I'd rather buy what I will grow, more of certain things, and especially I strongly believe in cover crop seeds due to their ability to add nutrients back to the dirt, and these aren’t covered at all in these survival seed banks.

So, you need seeds in the case of emergency, but if you skip the cover crops, you will need some sort of food for your seedlings to thrive in.....see what I mean?



http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/search.html
There is one thing I mentioned in one of my lost Saturday posts that will really help all with this “job.” I live in South Carolina. We have the “Clemson University Extension” or our local agricultural site. This should be a link to searching the site. Put in a vegetable, like “Broccoli.” Lots of articles will come up. If you click on the first broccoli link, it tells you everything and more that you would need to know to grow that in SC. It also suggests varieties that will do really well in our area. IMO, all of us should search for agricultural sites/extensions for our specific areas. They will be able to lead you to several heirloom varieties that are known producers in your area.
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby GodsStudent on Wed Jun 09, 2010 5:34 pm

OK, now I've really done it. I need to say two things real quick about cross pollinating:

If you grow more than one kind of pepper in your yard, your seeds, even if heirloom, will cross pollinate, resulting in a different kind of pepper the following year. This is not like the GMO thing where what you get could look like a vegetable from outer space.....so, you will still get good peppers (hopefully), just not the "true strain" you originally planted the first year. Solution? Everyone in your "co-op" should grow 1 variety of pepper.

Blue Flour Corn: mentioned above in my post to Milo. This is probably a bigger deal than the peppers. If you grow different varieties of corn, they will cross pollinate, and so your yellow or your white may kind of mix together in your seeds saved for the next year. Blue Flour Corn should not be grown anywhere near the rest of your corn crop....ever......so, this is one thing you really want to be sure you have growing somewhere WAYYYYYYY down the road.
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby milo3 on Wed Jun 09, 2010 6:16 pm

Thanks Godstudent for checking that out for me, it seemed expensive with a limited selection, but what do I know. I am going to go check out the heirloom seed websites you posted earlier in the thread.

Thanks again for all the gardening info that you have posted.

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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby GodsStudent on Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:13 pm

COVER CROPS

The idea behind cover crops is to plant them when you are finished growing in each of your beds. Its not the end of the world if you don’t get them planted, but they will build the nutrients in your soil where your vegetables take them out of the soil....so if you want to garden with less to no chemicals, cover crops are the way to go.

There are many kinds of organic cover crop seeds available. I have a lot of them and if you let your cover crop go to seed (I recommend doing this in a very limited amount, say 1/3 of your bed is allowed to go to seed, the rest should be cut down before the seed emerges) you will never need to buy cover crop seed again, either. You don’t want your cover crops to seed because they will reseed in your bed and emerge in spring.

One thing I find fascinating that some do is they cut their cover crops down but don’t remove them (sort of like having dead grass in your garden bed). Then, when the spring comes, they dig a hole to put a plant in, and plant the plant...this is done all the way through the bed. Their logic is that the cover crop remnant keeps the dirt covered which cuts back or prevents weeds (all gardeners say that the earth’s policy is you cover it or I will.....). LOL

This person did a pretty good job covering cover crops so I am going to post their link and if anyone has any questions, please let me know.

http://www.organicgardening.com/feature ... -2,00.html
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby CaryC on Sun Jun 13, 2010 6:20 am

Hey,

Someone asked, a while back, about how to store/keep potatoes.

The old folks would spread them out under trees on leaves, or newspapers, and then cover them with lime. The powered kind, not the pelletized variety. Also, as was already stated, do not stack, make only one layer.

Something else that should be noted: to have enough potatoes to last from one season of potatoes to another, it will take up a good portion of land, a simple "truck patch" won't provide enough. However:

Back in the olden days, when a "truck patch" was used they would plant potatoes in/around Feb. along with early season plants like cabbage, carrots, turnips, and mustard. They would harvest enough of this type of food to last until, the next seasons food "came in". The second/next thing would be beans, peas, tomatoes, etc.... then they would again plant late season foods which is the same as the first season. Then when it would turn cold, or a time in which gardens don't grow, they would turn to meat, killing hogs, and hunting. With a second season on meat in the early spring, when the Mulberries are ripe.

Scathered through out the year long season, was times when fruit/wild fruit "came in", and time would be spent in the woods gathering to make jellies, pies. Not to mention that everyone had some tame fruits trees around their garden, and knew where near by trees existed.

We were out doing some geocashing yesterday, and found out the wild blackberries are just now starting to "come in". Another week, and it will be time to gather, make blackberry jelly, and pies. Our tomatoes aren't ripe yet, but can gather a few for some fried green tomatoes. A couple of more weeks and the tomatoes will be ripe, and so will the plums/peaches.

There is an interesting "natural" rotation to things.
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby bchandler on Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:24 am

I just wanted to point out another reason that you don't generally allow cover crops to go to seed.

Most cover crops do something really neat that we can learn to take advantage of. They actually store up extra nutrients in their root systems while they are growing, in preparation for creating fruit/seed. Making fruit/seed requires a tremendous amount of energy.

When the cover crop is cut down before it goes to seed, all of this energy stored in the root system stays in the soil to be used by the next seasons crops.

One of the best plants for putting down biomass in the soil, and building nutrient nodules in their root systems is rye. Provided it is mowed regularly, or allowed to winter kill and it is never allowed to begin to develop heads of grain.

Each stalk of rye will put down over 3000 miles of roots into the soil. If you have properly prepared your double-dug beds, they will put roots all the way down to the bottom of the bed, and in doing so they will begin building biomass, good bacteria, good fungi, and other beneficial things deeper and deeper into the soil.

In other words, by planting good cover crops, and by composting, you will actually be growing soil.

Using traditional farming methods in the US about 6 pounds of top soil is lost for every 1 pound of produce eaten. In China this ratio is closer to 20:1. Top soil erosion is one of the greatest problems facing our world, and no one is really talking about it or doing anything about it.

Ecology Action / Bountiful Gardens is the only organization I know that is actually teaching people how to farm in a way that actually builds topsoil rather than allowing it to be destroyed. The bio-intensive method of farming can actually build topsoil 60 times faster, or more, than nature does on it's own.

Over the years, as you practice bio-intensive farming, your topsoil will grow deeper and darker, until you have the richest possible, deepest possible topsoil that is as black as can be... truly black gold.

I encourage everyone who enjoys gardening to learn the bio-intensive method. It will maximize your yields, increase your crop density, improve your soil, and improve your little corner of our planet.
Last edited by bchandler on Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby bchandler on Sun Jun 13, 2010 8:31 am

As for preserving your food supply...

Nice little book, called "Preserving Summer's Bounty" will teach you how to do:

Freezing
Canning
Preserving
Pickling
Drying
Juicing
Root Cellaring

and it has a nice recipe section too.
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby GodsStudent on Sun Jun 13, 2010 1:05 pm

Ecology Action / Bountiful Gardens is the only organization I know that is actually teaching people how to farm in a way that actually builds topsoil rather than allowing it to be destroyed. The bio-intensive method of farming can actually build topsoil 60 times faster, or more, than nature does on it's own.

Over the years, as you practice bio-intensive farming, your topsoil will grow deeper and darker, until you have the richest possible, deepest possible topsoil that is as black as can be... truly black gold.

I encourage everyone who enjoys gardening to learn the bio-intensive method. It will maximize your yields, increase your crop density, improve your soil, and improve your little corner of our planet.


Hi Bobby! Due to the fact that I had never gardened outdoors when I embarked on my journey to learn how to grow "food" all at one time (who knew everything we grow has such varying needs, lol), I started on the bio intensive style, preferring to avoid having to purchase soil and large amounts of nutrients and also due to the limited amounts of sunlight in my yard versus what all I wanted to grow. Its mid June in South Carolina and I haven't added nutrients to anything in my entire yard. I have fruits and vegetables growing all over my yard. I am going to feed a few things as I can (the berries only have 1 month before they cant feed anymore, for example).....and I have to say that the reason my yard produces without a lot of added nutrients (any at this point) is because of the soil I produce. I was thinking today as I looked around the hardware store at their very expensive plants and nutrients and so forth that it is absolutely true that if you invest in the initial dirt to make the beds, all you have to do after that is add your own compost and you've got top of the line dirt all over your yard. Biointensive is the way to learn and grow, hands down.

I have been working in the yard this weekend (and its about 110* heat index, 100 actual degrees)........so I haven't had time to work on this thread alot. I will try to get back into it during the week. Of course, my husband and I are celebrating a week of "just us" as our daughter is gone for the week at camp....so I may be doing a lot of "dating" this week! :mrgreen:

Lots more I want to get added to this thread! Lots more to do and learn so that we are all able to make our own way if we need or want to. Yesterday in the grocery store, I was checking out the produce prices....out of this world. The "not good for you" stuff is on sale all through the store, but the nutrient dense stuff....it really costs!
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby GodsStudent on Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:06 pm

PROPOGATION

Hi everyone. I'm not able lately to keep adding to this thread like I'd like to, but as time permits, I certainly would like to. Its summertime and I'm out in the yard doing what it is I want to write about! Today I dead headed a lot of flowers and collected seed for my summer garden next year. I will put those seeds in my little baggies, label them, place those in my glass jars in the fridge, and keep going.

Propogation for a lot of flowers, both annual and perennial, is as easy as grabbing up the seeds, saving them, and either broadcasting when the ground warms up in the springtime, or starting them indoors under some good lights in a warm area in the house, or if you have good sunlight, right in your window sills.

Its important for all of us to know how to propogate things that feed us. I haven't done this, yet, but instead of going to the store to buy more raspberry, blueberry, blackberry, dwarf lemon, dwarf lime, banana, dwarf orange, strawberries, and on and on.....I need to spend time when I get a chance, googling and reading up on how to mulitply all of these successfully. Sometimes is as simple as putting a root in water....some do well with a hormone stimulant that you dip them in and then stick in dirt....the point is.....we need to know how to multiply everything we have.
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby daffodyllady on Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:34 pm

I have read that willow trees have so much rooting hormone that if you want to root something, put a willow branch into the water with your other cutting... it leaches rooting hormone into the water, and helps the other one along!
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby GodsStudent on Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:38 pm

daffodyllady wrote:I have read that willow trees have so much rooting hormone that if you want to root something, put a willow branch into the water with your other cutting... it leaches rooting hormone into the water, and helps the other one along!


AWESOME TIP, Daffodyllady! AWESOME !!! Well, there (hopefully) goes the need to have the rooting chemical....once again, God made a way before man did!
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby Sherree on Sun Aug 15, 2010 9:14 am

Hello, GodsStudent! I've been away from the board for quite some time, but have read your thread since coming back! I love it!!! So much info here. I love to garden when my health permits, and am always looking for more tips. I have raised beds, small garden plots, and a small orchard of fruit trees. A few muscadines on a trellis that Cary built for me. Thanks so much for all the work you have put into the thread!

Also, you mentioned about the dwarf fruit trees. Do you bring those inoors during the winter months, or is your climate warm enough to leave them outdoors during the winter? I have tried to grow them, but when I bring them indoors for the winter, they almost die on me! Would love to be able to have our own citus fruit to go along with all our other homegrown harvests!

Thanks again for a wonderful thread! :itsgood:
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby GodsStudent on Mon Aug 16, 2010 5:53 am

Hi Sherrie: I had planned on doing a lot more with this thread over the summer, but had medical issues followed by surgery and am now on the mend. Also, when it comes right down to it, the summer months are busy !!! LOL. Yesterday I packaged a full bushel of peaches for the winter months and cubed onions, froze them single layer on cookie sheets, bagged them, and now I have my onions ready for all of the recipes over the winter that require onion. Doing onion like this is great and the only thing my frozen onion can't be used for is things requiring fresh onion, like burgers. I buy them at the farmer's market for next to nothing! Love that!!! :lol:

I do bring my citrus trees in for the winter as we have deep freezes in the winter sometimes, and in general, they don't fare well in temperatures below 40. Like yours, mine suffer from leaves falling off and overall aren't real pretty, but I keep them alive with minimal water and no feeding to very little food, and come spring, I put them back outdoors, start feeding and watering them (they like to dry between watering), and they fill up buds and then fruit. Mine are all full of fruit right now, some ripe, some still ripening....so overall, they are making it through the indoor winters here at my house. Its as though they go dormant indoors....

If you tell me what you grow, I can PM you with a few articles I have on those specific fruit plants.

Here in the south we are seeing a severe fruit disease for which there is no known cure. At last I checked, all counties in Fla. and a few in SC and Georgia were quarantined on fruit plants due to this disease. I called the FDA about my plants early spring as they didn't look too good at first and they immediately sent someone out to check my plants. They told me my plants were hit by cold as I brought them out a little bit too early. I was much relieved to find out they weren't all going to die (as they cost about $50.00 each to buy!!!). After they finish fruiting this year, I plan to graft them so that I can make more of them.
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby Sherree on Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:28 am

Thanks for that great response! I like to grow dwarf lemon and orange trees. I've also tried to have a banana tree, but it got too big for the house, and had to let it stay out during the winter. I lost it from the hard freezes we get here. I've never replaced it.

Our apple trees started to get spots on their leaves and then dropped them. We sprayed and sprayed them for insects and diseases, but nothing helped. Cary took a sample of the leaves to our local nursery to get their advice. They had contracted a disease that comes from the regular cedar tree. The spores from the nearby cedar tree was falling on the apple trees causing this particular disease on them. We've been spraying for this particular disease, and so far things are looking better, although, it's time for the leaves to be dropping here anyway. We're in a semi drought here! 114 degree temps, too! :eek:
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby laney on Sun Sep 26, 2010 4:14 pm

http://www.gardensalive.com/Default.asp ... 1285542414

Ran upon this link..."gardensalive" and thought I'd post it here. :grin:
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby GodsStudent on Sun Nov 21, 2010 1:27 pm

viewtopic.php?f=18&t=58689

Hi, everyone. I just posted on this thread about the fact that the #1 thing to do now is get your plants and seeds to your house, and at least learn the basics for how to keep these things alive. Agriculture laws are up for vote now, and it may be hard or impossible to acquire these things as time goes on. Don't leave it to chance, and don't continue to go to the hardware store and buy those GMO tomato plants (and all of the others) to plant into your garden. Learn the basics of putting a seed in the ground and growing it into a mature and producing vegetable and fruit plant.

I have kind of let this thread simmer for a time as I have been busy growing my stuff. I now have seed from my garden this year and am getting towards the end of our growing season outdoors here in SC. I have brought in a lot of my stuff, and am thoroughly enjoying the lemons and limes that grew outdoors all summer. These plants will stay indoors with us over the winter. Sure wish my orange and tangerine trees would have produced, but they were too young this summer and will probably fruit next summer.

So......Is there anything anyone would like for me (and other members) to discuss on this thread? Any questions I can be of assistance with?

I know I said that I would cover several topics in the early posts on this thread. Is there any topic that I haven't covered, yet, that would be helpful for you?
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby xdrifter on Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:34 pm

started reading this Godstudent, will continue too.

We have a large garden planned for this year.
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Remember me affectionately to good Dr. Price and to the honest heretic Dr. Priestly. I do not call him honest by way of distinction; for I think all the heretics I have known have been virtuous men. They have the virtue of fortitude or they would not venture to own their heresy; and they cannot afford to be deficient in any of the other virtues, as that would give advantage to their many enemies; and they have not like orthodox sinners, such a number of friends to excuse or justify them. Do not, however mistake me. It is not to my good friend's heresy that I impute his honesty. On the contrary, 'tis his honesty that has brought upon him the character of heretic.
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby GodsStudent on Sat Apr 02, 2011 4:18 pm

Oh, I am having the most wonderful week. :grin:

I have been planting and planning and clearing and watering and feeding and pruning and spreading compost and ......I am so excited that spring has come. My yard is beautiful (I am in South Carolina). The azealas are in bloom, the dogwoods are just showing so incredibly beautiful........We have plans galore.

One thing.....

Beans and cukes both have shallow rooting systems.

Also, I read somewhere about the Indians, and how they call Corn, Squash and pole beans "the three sisters." You plant your corn 8-12 inches apart in wide rows, plant 2 or 3 beans around the corn and in the wide row middle, plant squash. The squash cover the ground, preserving the water for the water hungry corn roots. The beans, and their shallow roots and less water requirements grow up the corn.

We are growing this way in the corn patch this summer.
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby bchandler on Sat Apr 02, 2011 5:33 pm

I am so disgusted... I have the same growing season as Juno, Alaska... We are supposed to get snow tonight/tomorrow...
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby daffodyllady on Sat Apr 02, 2011 5:48 pm

I'm in zone 6 in the Blue Ridge... My lettuce, radishes, onions, swiss chard, and other greens are up! So exciting! I need to till the rest of my raised-bed garden, but it keeps on raining, and can't dry out. The soil is quite acid; I am applying my ashes from winter to sweeten the soil. They also add a good bit of minerals that trees bring up from deep down. The chicken house provides all the fertilizer I could use.

I am trying to figure out all the ways I can get more growing space. The ground in my mountain valley has more rock than the sand and clay between them. My neighbors just up the hill have far better soil than I do down here. so...

I figure I can put old hay bales into garbage bags, and cut planting slits in the top and drainage holes in the bottom. A little soil and manure in the top holes, and a few pole bean plants growing out of each bale... I'll place these on the south deck, on planks set up on bricks, to allow drainage. I can put strings up to the top of the windows on the south side of the house, for the plants to climb. ... thereby gaining some shade over that hot south end, for summertime. As long as I keep it watered well, they should grow ok.

All the flowerbeds are going to be growing edibles this summer, the good Lord willing and helping me.
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby GodsStudent on Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:34 am

BChandler....I am so sorry you are still getting snow. You can start seeds now to get some things growing. I can grow spring mix lettuce indoors year round. Starting these, and some of the cole crops (cabbage, broccoli)...get your potato and onion ready, because these will be the first crops you can grow, right? (Im sure there are a few more, and I don't know how warm it gets in your area....Im in zone 9 and have 3 full growing seasons, so we are quite diverse in what we are doing).

Daffodyllady: I have seen, on the internet, many articles and slideshows about gardening in bale hay. I have seen fantastic pictures of full fledged gardens in bale hay, so I know you can have success (and good mulch after the fact to add to the beds you want to grow in so that these can be increased to raised beds over time). Since you have hay readily available to you in your the mountain regions, it will be really cool to hear of your success gardening this way!!! I look forward to hearing what you find.

I add tons of shredded white paper (from junk mail, from newspaper circulars ....(no shiny stuff) and from my "scanned to computer" paper files from work, to my compost piles. This adds nitrogen, which is vital to good growing soil. Given the volume of white paper I have added, I am much surprised at how well it mulches down. Initially, it gets soaked, heavy and thick, but in six months to a year, its dirt (the deciding factor is how warm it gets and whether or not it was turned occasionally, and kept wet).

I think I covered composting in previous threads, but we have a huge slow pile, which we throw stuff in and don't bother other than to attempt to turn with a pitchfork every so often. This pile takes a year to compost down, but we don't really want or need the soil until spring, when we turn our beds and plant them. We put all vegetable food scraps, coffee grinds and tea bags, ashes from the fireplace, few weeds that haven't gone to seed, spent flowers and yard debris (save grass clippings, which we leave on the lawn and allow to mulch back down over the grass....for two reasons, the grass needs it and grass clippings contain the nutrients and chemicals we put on our grass, and we don't want these things to get into our mulch).
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby GodsStudent on Sun Apr 03, 2011 9:36 am

I LOVE seeing the Lord's Works in my presence, and gardening can do it! I arrange His Creations all around my yard and then watch Him grow them in His World. I am only the landscaper, He really does do everything else. When you have flowers everywhere and food growing amongst the landscaping, you can't help but watch His Creation in its natural lifecycle. On the days when I feel too far from Him, all I really have to do is walk out to my yard and look at His World, up close and personal, to see He is still here and still providing. It is always me who has gotten to far from Him, and never Him who has gotten to far from me.

Right now, I am teaching others who come to help me work in my yard. Finding family members who need work isn't hard to do right now, and while they work, I explain what they are working with and how to grow it and so forth. I send them home with plants and seeds to grow in their own yards, and we follow this pattern of working outside together through the course of the summers. We are all learning the heritage and lifestyle of our forefathers.

Right now, we are growing small amounts of many things to learn what ticks with each species. They don't all have the same needs, and in order to learn how to grow on a broad scale, I am "dabbling" in many things. If I can master each plant on a smaller scale in my yard now, and reap a harvest that contributes, but doesn't replace, our daily food needs, I will be much better prepared to rip up the grass and flower beds and grow foods all over our yards if, and when, the need to grow our own foods comes.

I have taken the raw materials out of my yard to help me have a sustainable garden, (through composting, which adds nutrients to the soil), and am using what I know about companion planting to help me get the most garden out of the smallest places.

I am doing something different this year. In years past, I have started most seeds indoors (save those things which don't transplant, such as corn and melons). I didn't start my plants indoors under my commercial grow lights this year. I want to see my garden grow from seed to maturity this year to see if I get as good a crop, a better crop, or don't have the sunlight needed to produce maturity in "a specific crop." We'll see how it goes. I am always experimenting, this year being no different. Its how I learn what works and what doesn't.

I grow an all heirloom garden. In some cases, people growing hybrid will get better results from their hardware store plants, which sell GMO plants, designed to produce more, stave off certain insects and plant diseases, but....these aren't God's seeds, and I want to grow and eat what the Lord made.

Please contribute to the gardening thread anytime you want to chime in about what you're doing, what you've done, what gets results....anything. I love to "chat" about anything plants.

Lisa
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby bchandler on Sun Apr 03, 2011 10:37 am

I thought I would list some of my favorite gardening books. These are good for everyone from the beginner to the expert. They will teach you how to get as much as 8 times the typical yield from your garden.

"Living in The Raw" - by Rose Lee Calabro - This book will teach you how to prepare all of those delicious foods you are going to grow, in way that will preserve and maximize your nutritional intake.

"Preserving Summer's Bounty" - A Rodale Garden Book" - This book covers freezing, canning, preserving, and drying the foods that you grow.

"How To Grow More Vegetables", 7th edition or later - By John Jeavons - This book will teach you the basics of the French intensive, also called Bio-intensive, also called Lazy Bed, method of gardening. An international seller, available in many languages. This unlocks the secrets to old-world knowledge that will increase your garden yields many fold. It will also show you how to do it all with nothing more than a few human powered tools. The first time you dig a bed, is the most work... after that... it is cake... especially with the u-bar tool.

"The Sustainable Vegetable Garden" - by John Jeavons and Carol Cox - This is a compact distillation of the 20 years of information that went into the book listed immediately previous to this one... A streamlined primer into the bio-intensive method.

"Future Fertility" - By John Beeby - This book is the end-all-be-all guide to recycling human waste... safely, cleanly, and without any environmental or health risk. It covers several methods, including thermophilic composting, which will also destroy any seeds in your compost. There is a PDF document that i linked to before (The Humanure Handbook) that i like better for thoroughly covering the processes of thermophilic composting. These are great to have, regardless of whether you can get past your fecal-phobia of viewing human waste as dangerous, or not. You never know when you might need to know these things out of necessity. Not to mention, as human populations increase, using potable water for sewage processing will become a thing of the past. Water toilets will be replaced with composting toilets and other systems that do not use potable water supplies.

"Seed to Seed" - by Suzanne Ashworth - This book teaches you how to preserve seed from your crops for subsequent plantings.

"One Circle" - By David Duhon, and "The Backyard Homestead Mini-Farm & Garden Log Book" - By John Jeavons and team - These books aim at teaching micro-farming techniques for fun, profit, and survivability. One Circle in particular is designed to provide a very specific vegetarian diet on as little as 1000 sq. ft. of garden, per person. The purpose being to show that in the event of any disaster, short of an ice age or the sun going out... anyone can have a sustainable food supply in as little as 60 days. While the other book focuses on creating a self-sufficient, economically independent lifestyle from your garden/mini-farm.

These are the basics of my Gardening Library. I hope and pray that you all find them useful.
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby GodsStudent on Sat Apr 16, 2011 12:42 pm

http://www.ghorganics.com/page2.html

Was doing some research on companion planting today for a few things. I really liked this one because it gives a lot of good information. I have some companion planting information, but this page was really good IMO.
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Re: How to grow your own foods.

Postby GodsStudent on Thu Jul 28, 2011 12:25 pm

Am I the only one???

What are you guys doing this summer?

So far, we've put up cream corn, beans and peppers in the freezer and made peach butter, peach preserves, blackberry preserves, raspberry preserves, cherry preserves, sweet, dill and kosher pickles, fig preserves, .....and we've got so much farther to go before summers end.....

I have eaten so much good produce this summer.....wow!!!

Anyone else harvesting and putting up their crop (or going to the farmer's market to buy to put up)?

I am also real excited, because I grew a completely organic and heirloom garden this year. I am going to sell my seed, I guess on the internet, this year. I am also looking into selling my canned items and probably cakes in some of the country stores up north this fall and winter.

This summer when I planted my garden, I asked the Lord to bless our yard and efforts. You guys....I am stunned at how beautiful and perfect and bountiful my gardens have been. Every day I have joy when I go outside!
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