Because it snowed overnight. I figured that today is a great day to sort beans. Winnowing doesn't remove all of the dirt clods or broken seeds.
I do what I call "normalization" on the seeds that I'm saving for replanting next year, by saving equal numbers of every type that I can identify, and saving any seeds that are unusual or new. I do this, to try to identify new hybrids, and to keep a few types of beans from predominating. If I were growing this seed only for myself, to feed my community, I would plant bulk seed, and a few varieties would come to dominate the population (the pintos, and the little pink bean). But because this is what I'm selling as seed-stock, I want to hold onto as much diversity as possible, to increase the odds that whomever plants it, wherever they are, that some type or other might thrive for them.
As a followup regarding the hardy kiwi that I transplanted into the field recently. Something (mammal I think) destroyed every plant. I'm looking forward to watching the local grocery store for more fruits.
It's late fall on my farm. The time of year when yellow jackets can engage in extensive robbing of bee colonies. Reducing the size of entrances helps the bees to defend themselves. Reducing the population of yellow jackets helps.
Here is my simple, do-it-yourself yellow jacket trap. Smear some smelly food (such as canned catfood) onto a board, and suspend the board over a container of soapy water. I leave about 1/2 headspace between the water and the board. The yellow jackets flop into the soapy water and drown while trying to get to the food. It is very effective. I caught the first yellow jacket within 5 seconds of installing the trap. And by the next day had caught a hundred. The trap is not attractive to honey bees.
Chris: I guess I could be more specific. I don't know how, as a home-scale subsistence farmer, to dehull sunflower seeds in order to turn them into food that can be directly eaten by humans in large enough quantity to supply a meaningful amount of nutrition.
Tyler: Thanks. Sprouting or feeding to chickens is within my skill set and budget.
The parsley was picked in early spring when it was still young, tender, and sweet from the chilly weather. It was blanched before freezing.
Typically, I add a tablespoon of oil, and 1/4 cup of water and saute in a cast iron skillet till it gets hot, which is about the same time that the water evaporates. Most often, I poach an egg or two on top of the greens. I usually season it with turmeric, garlic, black pepper, and sea salt.
Here's my breakfast/lunch for today. All from my farm: Parsley and oyster mushrooms, which were frozen earlier this summer. An egg which was laid minutes before it flopped into the frying pan. I've been feeding the chickens a few handfuls of my high-carotene corn each day. It sure makes for super-orange and tasty yolks!
Regarding sunglasses: I don't wear sunglasses at the farmer's market. No matter how bright the sunlight. My first priority at market is to connect with people, eye-to-eye.
Regarding the language we use to describe ourselves and those around us: Language is strong medicine. It can shape us, and shape them, and have strong influences on future interactions. Especially when it veers into "any", "always", "never", "nobody". I highly recommend the messy middle.
Matt: You might consider signing up for a booth at your local farmer's market. Take some veggies. Talk with the people there about your methods and ideas. The best resume and marketing for a grower, is a table full of healthy, beautiful vegetables.
You write: "The problem is I can't seem to get anyone to take interest in anything I do." Wow!!! That is pretty absolutist language. Is it always true?
From a purely pragmatic standpoint. I can offer encouragement in the form of virtual apples -- for making great posts to permies. My daily supply of apples is limited, but I often give apples for posts that contain photos showing:
Someone's garden or freshly harvested vegetables.
A meal cooked from homegrown veggies.
Swale or checkdam construction.
I rarely (perhaps never) give apples for videos, because it's such a slow and plodding way of exchanging information that I get bored with videos. I'm unlikely to read posts regarding hugelculture, so that's not a good topic to post on to try to get an apple from me.
I love, love, love to run. Barefoot of course. If I'm ever feeling depressed, or anxious, it's like "Oh duh! I haven't been running recently.". So I put on leggings and a sundress and go for a run! By the time I get back, everything is right with the world again.
Corn is near the top of calories per acre, therefore, lets do some math...
Yield is about 1 Kg of dried corn per square meter. 3/4 Kg would provide me with the 2700 calories I need for a day. So I'd need 273 square meters to grow enough calories for myself for a year. (About 2900 square feet, or 0.07 acres). I can only grow one crop per year due to my climate. Other gardeners might could grow several crops per year of various species.
One advantage to me, for planting garlic in the fall, is that soil is easier to prepare in the fall. In the spring time, it might be months after the snow has melted before the mud settles down enough that I could get into the field to plant. And in those months, the fall planted garlic could already be a foot tall.
"Tinkering with this site" is the home on permies for threads talking about how the site is run, censorship, moderation, being nice, etc. Those sorts of topics are basically not allowed in any other forum on the site.
Yes. I still have sunroot tubers available, but I didn't collect seeds this year. I have finally learned how to store tubers for a longer shipping window.
Sunroots are fully winter hardy in my USDA zone 4b garden, so they can be planted out any time that the ground isn't too frozen to dig a hole. Some people have reported problems with rodents eating them during the winter. And I wonder if the clay might be problematic and cause rotting. They store really well in the fridge in some dry-ish peat, etc..
I reviewed this thread, 4 years later. I just want to say that I am astonished at how much effort I put into growing mushrooms back then. Today my strategy is much simpler: I blend up whole mushrooms, with a bunch of water, and I pour the slurry over whatever I want to inoculate. It works great. My current oyster mushroom bed is wood chips on the ground, with logs stacked on top of that. I inoculate it whenever I have extra spawn. I add logs whenever they are available.
I grew up loving the taste of potatoes. Then I got married, and moved East to a big city. The potatoes there tasted horrid to me. They just didn't taste like potatoes. Ugh!!!
So a few years went by, and I went home. On the way, I stopped at a rest area, and when I got out of the truck, It smelled just like a good potato aught to taste! Ah tasty Idaho potatoes. So when I returned East, I pulled out the bag of potatoes, and it said, "Grown in Michigan". Ha! Since then, I have paid attention to the flavor profile of garden ecosystems. Soil is one component of a plants flavor. It seems to me like plants that are stressed by lack of consistent soil moisture can turn taste much earthier. There are some plants (particularly brassicas) that are very difficult for me to grow properly during hot weather, due to the low humidity.
Whenever a new field is auditioning to be added to my farm, I taste the soil. If that flavor isn't something that I want in my food, then I won't farm on that field... Root crops plain old taste like the dirt they are grown in.
To follow up... About 8 months ago I planted hardy kiwi seeds from fruits obtained in my local grocery store. They germinated quickly, and grew for the summer in pots, even though I didn't water them reliably. Today I transplanted them into a field in a clump. So we get to see if they truly are "hardy" kiwi. .
Milk production is both genetic and environmental. Take any mammal, massage her udders and nipples every few hours for a few weeks, and she may start producing milk. Some males even produce milk under those circumstances. Diet can also play a role. For example, alfalfa is fed to cows because it is believed to be a galactagogue. Other common galactagogues include fenugreek, fennel, stinging nettle, milk thistle.
The ago old key to breeding animals, is that "It's in the blood". So if you want more goats that produce milk without having kids, then a good place to look for that trait would be among offspring who's mothers or grandmothers produced milk without being pregnant. (Or perhaps who get pregnant only once in their life, and continue to produce milk for years after.
After I made my picking apron. I delivered a truckload of apples to a cider mill. And the proprietor showed me his picking apron. Which holds a full bushel. Mine only holds 1/2 bushel, and I'm perfectly content with that!!!
I took a few of the sunroots and made kraut-chi from them. Posted it for sale on our local social media. Utah recently passed a food freedom law, so it's legal for me to sell homemade food now.
Looks perfectly normal to me. I typically leave them outside, so that the microbe spores and oozes don't contaminate the house.
I might leave them plain old out in the weather, or I might put them inside an old shed. They freeze/thaw all winter. Get snowed on. Whatever. The shell is basically a piece of wood, so it can take a lot of weather.
Travis Johnson wrote:Not to change the topic any, but sometimes a person just cannot change their gait.
I have been consciously and methodically working on changing my gait for two years. It's been a slow (and painful) process fraught with injury and setback. and also filled with healing. I still have a long way to go before I will feel like I have a "consistently proper" gait.
When I originally started walking and running barefoot, two of my toes would drag on the ground, causing the skin to wear off those toes until they bled. That was an ongoing chronic condition. I coped by either just bleeding, or by putting tape over the spot that was getting rubbed raw. The toes had very limited mobility, and the end joint seemed seized up. After being out of shoes for about 6 months, the tendons had stretched enough that the toes weren't rubbing on the ground, and the bleeding stopped. After about 1.7 years, the end joints in those toes acquired a very slight amount of mobility. The toes spent 50 years getting into that condition, I can be patient as they work through regaining mobility. All manner of other joints in my feet and ankles, started becoming (more) mobile after being essentially immobile for most of my life. That created a lot of pain, over an extended time, as one joint or another gained mobility, then started aching due to the atrophied muscles and ligaments being strengthened.
One huge benefit of living habitually barefoot, is that my knees, hips, back, and neck also realigned, and chronic pain in those joints and muscles disappeared. My calf-muscles and Achilles tendon seem like they are finally getting to the point where a consistently proper gait seems possible. They have been the area most prone to overuse injury. I am going to need to change my wardrobe, because my calf-muscles are becoming too big to fit comfortably into the styles of blue-jeans that I have worn my whole life.
So back to the callus issue... I have noticed when working on the farm with hand tools, that calluses tend to form when a shearing/friction motion is present. For example by twisting a tool in my hands. They don't form much at all, if the force applied to the tool is exactly perpendicular to the hands. I only have one callus left on my feet. That is on the outside of my big toe, over the spot where there was a lot of friction for many decades. Places where my feet currently meet the ground are not forming calluses, because the force applied is perpendicular to the ground, and I am not twisting my feet on the ground. So when I wonder about gait, I am wondering if some sort of twisting/scuffing motion is occurring while moving. I notice when I walk or run barefoot, that my stride length is much shorter than while walking shod. I wonder if long-stride length might be contributing to the recurring callus?
Jason: I wonder where the callus is located that is causing you trouble?
Dan Boone wrote:aI am not sure if "hill person" in this context is supposed to be a polite euphemism for "hillbilly"
The "Valley people" live in flat places. They till the ground, and practice agriculture. They plant grain in straight rows, and irrigate it in furrows, and when it's harvested, it goes into a grainery, and each basket that goes into the storehouse is measured and carefully counted. The valley people are oriented towards contracts, math, counting, and meticulous writing. The size of the baskets is carefully regulated. Huge harvests are made at once, enough to provide food for a year or several. Then, because a grainery is such an easy target, the enforcers come to the grainery and take some portion of it to pay for regulating the size of the baskets, and for the schooling of the accountant. Because the Valley people plant crops in monoculture fields, that are attractive to weeds, pests, predators, and thieves, the valley people stay nearby to protect the crops, so they build stone houses to live in, and get deeply connected to a particular place, because their food and their shelter is all in the same place. They create institutions, and elaborate mating rituals and contracts to add even more stability.
The "Hill people" live in rough terrain. They practice horticulture: A poly-culture of assorted trees, and annual & perennial forbes. Harvesting is typically done just in time for a meal, so there is no obvious storehouse that can be raided by the enforcers. And because there are not straight rows, and huge numbers of identical baskets of food, it's too much work to try to do accounting. The hill people live by verbal agreement, and oral stories, and aren't all that particular about a story being the same each time it is told. The hill people don't keep records, even valuing illiteracy. Weeds are often eaten, and while pests or predators might kill one crop, there are a hundred other edible species in the food forest, most of which will survive and produce food. Thieves can't steal the harvest, because 1- they don't even recognize it as edible, and 2- It's too much work to act like an honest farmer. Because the food forest takes care of itself, there is no need for the hill people to stay right there and tend it every day. They can travel, and reorganize their personal affairs and relationships on a whim. They create rituals and social interactions that preserve their ability to roam.
I used to keep detailed records of the things I planted, when, where, why, how, etc.. How much was harvested, what it sold for. What I preserved etc. etc. etc. Then I couldn't find useful data when I wanted. it.
These days, I keep approximately zero written records of what transpired. But I doodle with fantasies, and sometimes I follow through on them.
About the only written records that I keep these days are labels on seed packets.
The journal that has been most useful to me is photographs... Lots and lots of photographs, of all sorts of things. Then gallery software on my computer so that I can review them easily. Many times, if I have a question about some plant or other, I can find the answer in a photograph with a different subject, where the plant of interest was in the background. One year, I took photos of the seed packets, laid out in the order that I planted the garden. That was easy.
Here is the recipe for the kraut that I started today:
4.8 pounds of mixed vegetables: cabbage, turnip, onion, garlic, carrot.
5 pounds of sunroots. (I stopped grating when I reached my target weight, since my crock holds 10 pounds easily.)
6 tablespoons of salt (1 tablespoon for each 1.6 pounds of veggies, my standard ratio)
2 ounces 5% vinegar.
The veggies quickly made their own brine upon coming into contact with the salt, so no water needed.
I had jalapenos available, but just couldn't bring myself to add one. And I didn't add turmeric or spices.
Then put the veggies into a crock. I put a plate inside the crock to weigh the vegetables down, and make sure they are covered in brine, and I put 1.5 pounds of weight on the plate, then put a non-sealing lid on the crock. It's sitting on the counter-top in the kitchen for a few weeks. Will bottle it when it tastes glorious, then store it in the fridge. Sunroots are a wonderful ingredient for lacto-fermentation.
I routinely bury dead animal parts and carcasses in the garden. My strategy is to get about a foot of dirt over them. That's a totally arbitrary depth, but it works fine for me. There are a lot of animals around here that get hit by vehicles. For increased fertility, I could be harvesting those, and burying them in my garden.
Bones just go onto the surface. They can get tilled in next time I till, or dragged off by animals. Whatever.
I don't currently buy mulches, compost, or fertilizers for my garden. But a decade ago, I did. And the packaging said that there were however many billions per gram of living propagules of a wide range of species of microbes, including all the commonly talked about microbes for soil fertility and plant growth. I'm pretty skeptical that they could have actually measured something like that for each species, but whatever. For all I know, the success of my garden might have little to do with my current practices, and a lot to do with the inoculation that I bought from The Conglomerate about a decade ago.
Thanks John. I have long speculated that part of the reason that my plants thrive is because I don't use any sort of cides in my garden. No herbicides, fungicides, pesticides, anti-biotics, soaps, etc... So when I share my seeds, I am also sharing the associated microbes. Also, because I am encouraging promiscuous pollination in everything I grow, I am encouraging the exchange of microbes via pollen, and/or by insects. So once a beneficial microbe gets into my garden, it is easily spread around to other plants that can benefit from it. Also, as a plant breeder, I don't practice crop rotation, if anything I like to plant things in the same place from year to year, so that they WILL get infected with the local microbes (for better or for worse).
Here's a couple of more articles that explore the possibilities:
I haven't kept records about long keeping tomatoes... When I was growing commercial varieties, I used to grow "Burpee's Long Keeper". And there are the "De Colgar" varieties that are bred specifically for long storage. At one time, I was working on a long-keeping tomato project, and was getting tomatoes that would store from September until March. They'd be wrinkly and dehydrated by then, but very flavorful. Alas, so many projects that could be worked on, and some are more interesting to me than others. It's pretty common here to harvest green tomatoes the day before frost is expected, and to let them ripen over the next couple months.
My experience, with my walnuts, is that they taste really bitter if I eat seeds before they have fully dried. Later in the season, after they are crispy dry then they don't taste as bitter to me as they do just after they fall from the tree, while they are still damp.