I transplanted 12 root cuttings from some 30 year old bushes that were on my dads place. They have literally taken off and I do believe that all of them are going to make it. They were transplanted in Nov. along a ditch and mulched heavily with pine straw. Digging the root cuttings was easy. It shouldn't be hard to find someone that would be willing to let you dig some up.
I was successful at germinating the comfrey seeds that I received from Great Britain. My goal is to plant the comfrey around my fruit trees and chop and drop them for mulch. They will also be a food source for free range chickens once my fruit trees are bigger. I already have white clover around the trees, however I wanted a plant to keep the grass down throughout the year and I settled on comfrey as my choice. Any thoughts or ideas on my plans or perhaps suggestions for another nutrient dropping plant would be appreciated.
Mike Guidry from Sulphur Louisiana asks: Geoff, you spent time here in Louisiana working with the army corps of engineers. What are your thoughts on the best water harnessing methods for land that is mostly flat? Thank you. .... And thank you also Paul for doing this.
If I see someone in need, I will try to help them if I can. If someone asks me for help then I also will do what I can to help them out. If someone tells me to give of my increase or time, I may or may not help them depending on the circumstance. If someone through force or coercion takes from me, then I will probably fight them (except in the case of taxes).
Then I found out the flourescent bulbs were not even made here in America. How many thousands of jobs sacrificed so that mercury from the flourescent bulbs can enter into our ground water stream. We must also be very careful with the fluorescent bulbs so as not to break them and subject our children to mercury poisoning. On the bright side however, my utility bill was lowered by a few dollars per month.
ivan. wrote: I have huge stands of comfrey here on Vashon Island WA, near Seattle and Tacoma. It was here when I bought the place in 1976. I feed it to cattle by the garbage can load, and they devour it readily, as do my two flocks of chickens. For a time I ran my neighbor's sheep on one of my pastures, and they went for the comfrey first and grazed it right to the ground.
The variety I have appears to be symphytum officinale, the kind that reproduces from seed. I have seen seedlings sprouting that, upon examination, had little to no root. If that is so, I consider myself fortunate.
The comfrey is thick in one pasture where I'll be putting 16 pigs in a few weeks. I expect them to feast on the roots while leaving me enough root fragments to make even thicker stands of comfrey in the summer, after butchering the hogs. Thanks Ivan. The more I learn about this herb, the more I can't wait to get some.
I use comfrey liberally for mulching damn near everything, and to make liquid fertilizer. For the fertilizer, I have a topless 55-gallon plastic drum, with a bunghole at the bottom of the side, into which I put used bricks, on the long edges, around the inside perimeter of the barrel. On the bricks are a couple of round barbecue grates. On top of that goes garbage cans full of comfrey leaves and stems.
I weigh the leaves down with a plastic garbage can lid that is just smaller than the inside circumference of the plastic drum. I weigh this down with a couple of bricks, to keep the comfrey leaves compressed.
At this point I should say that many recipes for liquid comfrey fertilizer tell you to add water to the leaves. I'm telling you right now -- DO NOT DO THIS! The stench will drive you mad, and you should never do this where neighbors might smell it. It simply is not necessary to dilute comfrey juice until you are ready to use it.
Every week or so, I add more comfrey to the top. After a while, the brown comfrey liquor comes out of the bunghole into a waiting container. I decant it into 2-gallon plastic jugs (old cat litter jugs are perfect for this; people should be happy to give them away free) and stir it.
When I need to use it on plants, I dilute it with rain water 20 to 1 (tap water is just fine), and apply it either as a drench or as a foliar spray.
One other thing I use it for, in the same 20-1 ratio, is to quench biochar. Not only does this put out the fire, it "charges" the biochar with nitrogen, potassium, and whatever other mineral element is in the comfrey.
My plan is to spread comfrey to all four corners of my 5 acres, and learn eventually how to make salve for wounds from the root. I hope all this is helpful.
Fluorescent bulbs are great and I couldn't say anything bad about them, until I needed a brooder bulb for my chicks. Sometimes things serve a purpose other than light. When we as a people or Govt. ban something we should step back and examine all of the uses of a given item before we eliminate its existence.
While I don't think I could do it, I would follow this experiment with passion. Good luck with this and please keep me posted as to developments regarding this venture. I would like to live near such a community. It would be nice to have good neighbors to barter with.
My Aunt lives in Shreveport so Im through there a few times a year. I am interested in what varieties of Apple you have. I have 1 apple tree (Ein Shemer), its an Israeli variety that Im trying out. Heres what I have so far in the way of trees. Not in alphabetical order.
I've only been on this property for 8 months so my fruit trees are very young at this juncture. The drought has been terrible this year and Im curious as to how you have been dealing with this. I've created some mini swales for planting fruit trees, as the land here is nearly flat. I have some comfrey seeds ordered and I intend to plant it as well as some different legumes under my various fruit trees. As many varieties as you have, I would assume that you've been at this for a while and you have opened yourself up as a resource. Thank you. I will be asking you questions and sharing what I have learned with you as well.
The flavor of home grown can't be matched by mass produced mono culture food production system fruits/vegetables. I sypathize and empathize with you. My children are the same way. My wife is picky also and eats no vegetables. My grandmother and parents are the only ones to share my veggies with. Until the food system fails and people are forced to start taking care of themselves, Im afraid most people will be dependant upon the bland produce that is displayed so enticingly on our supermarket shelves. Even worse and more addictive are the starchy processed foods that are shoved down the throats of our population and have greatly contributed to our obesity epidemic. Back to the topic though. I would rather eat organic, non hybrid, GMO free, fruits, vegetables, eggs, and meat, than anything that can be bought at a supermarket.
I live near a botanical garden. There is a variety of bambo called fernleaf bamboo that would be useful for this. It would offer protection from overhead predators and provide a good structure for the chickens to hide in. I have been looking for some of this bamboo, to give it a try.
I can't decide which is the best variety of heirloom tomato to get for heavy production. I want to can the tomatos primarily for use in salsas and chili etc. I was wondering if anyone had tried the heirloom roma varieties or had any heirloom varieties that were abundant producers. Space is limited so an heirloom variety with good yield is what Im looking for.
PapaBear wrote: Comfrey is supposedly safe for chickens and goats to eat, recommended for chickens actually as a feed crop. As for starting it from seed it can be difficult. I got some true comfrey seed at the beginning of this year. I planted these in seed pots and grew them out thru most of the year. They were slow to get started but eventually I had 35 seedlings ready for planting out of about 50-60 seeds. Out of those 15 seedlings have established themselves and are doing well. Its not easy to get them started but those 15 will easily multiply into 100s if left unchecked. Easily worth the effort for such a great plant.
I've got 250 seeds ordered and I have a greenhouse, so hopefully I will be successful in this venture. Its great to know that it can also be used to supplement my chickens diet. Thanks for the advice.
LivingWind wrote: Comfrey can be tough to start from seeds. I'd personally go cuttings, but that's just me. If you know of an established patch, retrieve some cuttings.
I wish I knew someone with an established patch. Unfortunately I don't know of anyone with it here in Louisiana. In fact I don't know of anyone in this area that is into permaculture. The seeds I ordered are coming from Great Britain, so it will be interesting to see what happens.
I ordered some comfrey seeds for spring planting. I got the symphytum officinale as skeeter recommended in the youtube video. I intend to have a patch of these for the suplementing of my compost pile and to plant around 'some' of my fruit trees. I intend to use this plant with care due to the fact that I don't want it to proliferate out of control. Therefore wherever I plant them, thats where they will stay. A few questions about this herb. Can comfrey be fed to chickens or goats? How should it be layered in a compost pile? Does anyone have any bad experiences with this plant? If so please share before I step off from the proverbial cliff.
I was wondering if it would be feasible to put a peach tree in a chicken coop. The concern I have is that the soil would be too rich in nitrogen and phosphorus to support the tree. If anyone has had experience with fruit trees in chicken coops or has had success in this venture, then I would appreciate some feed back. Pictures aren't necessary but I would enjoy looking at them if you have them.
Leila Rich wrote: I think Hubert's comment re the water is important. Is it hot where you are? I find transplants really struggle if they get hit by direct sun within about 12 hrs. I try to transplant after the sun's gone down or when the weather's reliably overcast. And I give them a really good water when I plant. We don't have miracle gro here (in fact, that's the first time I've typed it ), I don't have a worm farm and I do plenty of successful transplanting, so I'd look at cultural issues first.
The fact that the sun is blaring all day can definitely be a variable. We are in a midst of a drought here in Louisiana and it gets to the upper 80's still in the daytime. I've been fighting water issues with my fruit trees and other plants all year long. This is the worst drought I've seen around here. Thank you so much for the helpful advice. I will know next time to not transplant until a rain event. Unfortunately we aren't getting them.
Heres a few pics of my chicken tractor and chicken house. I have bantams in the chicken tractor and they seem to love it in there. I am getting more eggs from them since I moved them to the tractor. It is a 4X10 ft tractor. The other pic is of my chicken house. It is designed to allow for rotation of the chickens between different areas.
My chickens free range in the back yard. I have 6 large oak trees in my yard that are dropping acorns like crazy. When I go to feed my chickens they follow me like puppies all the way to the feed can. A few days ago I noticed they had stopped following me and were pecking something. When I walked across a concrete pad, I had crushed several acorns and they were eating them up. I gathered several gallons of acorns and crushed them and the feeding frenzy was on. I will pay a minimal food bill for the next month due to the love of acorns by my chooks. I hope this saves someone else some money due to feed being so high.
Thelma McGowan wrote: Just becasue it is called miracle grow....does not mean it really is a miracle. I learned that this year with my tomatoe starts. I have never had as good of luck as i did with worm castings and compost tea.
I did not get too fancy.....we have a pile about 2 years old that we toss the grass clippings on. at the bottom of the pile and near the edges I discovered this last spring that it was crawing with worms...just where the grass was turning to soil. I made a tea with a shovel full of this composted earth (and a few worms that I could not get out of the dirt :0( ) The compost teas had superior effect on my seedlings. They were greener, stouter, had beter roots.
I think that even marginally worming dirt has more miracle in it than the advertised Miracle Grow! Most Of my garden budget was going to miracle grow...that stuff is really expensive! Don't belive the hype....nearly false advertising!
After My experience, this summer I set some of my kitchen scraps asside for a small worm bin and now I have awsome compost with worms galore making their castings......of course I do not know why I did that since the product is currently being made under my Grass clippings.
ronie wrote: This isn't really an answer to your question. When transplanting I've found that the plants do much better if I put a white 5 gal bucket over the plants for a couple weeks. Remove the bucket for a little longer each day to lessen shock of the full intensity of the sun.
The bucket protects from the sun and helps keep the moisture near the transplants. (If the weather is cool a black bucket works good.)
As for a substitute for miracle gro, I suppose a green tea or aged manure tea, might work - anything that will provide N,K,P should replace miracle gro.
Im wondering if I start a worm bin and water it, leaving a drain with a bucket to collect the "tea" as it filters out would work as a substitute for the miracle gro. I can't think of any concoction more potent than a casting tea. It would be worth a try. Thanks guys for the ideas.
I want to go totally organic with my gardening. The current problem Im having is with my cabbage transplants. I moved a pile of grass mulch to put down some cardboard and plant my transplants, cutting a hole for each one. The ground was extremely rich with worms, castings, and organic material. I transplanted the cabbage and watered it good, thinking it was golden, and the next day instead of springing up, my cabbage transplants were all wilted down. I had some miracle grow and mixed it up, not knowing what else to try, I applied the miracle grow. Like magic a few hours later the plants had started rebounding. The question I have for you gurus out there, is this: Is there any natural miracle gro compound that I can make to give my plants a super charge when transplanting? I hate using any kind of fertilizer and I wouldn't have done it, if my plants weren't at deaths door.