I've fed raw for years to my cats and dogs. I aim for around 10% bone although it depends on their stools and how rich the rest of the meat is. I only get venison meat on rare occasion and then it's just organs and legs.
I just cut things with a knife for my small dog and older cat. I used to grind but none of them liked it hat way.
You should be able to get poultry litter,horse manure and maybe feedlot cleanings. I've found that horse manure,since it is mixed with plenty of bedding,is great even without anything else mixed in. I've spread it straight on the fields in winter using my manure spreader and have also piled it up and then spread after it sat for 3-6 months. I've never done a formal compost pile with turning but my piles of horse manure have always made fine compost and I was able to turn 40 acres of clay with sparse weeds to,lush Bermuda using this method and only the seeds from the manure and hay used to seed the pasture.
I currently don't have a large place,just a small garden and 1.5 acres for the horses. I do harrow their pasture and that,along with scraps from the round bales,adds a great amount of organic matter to the pasture. I pile the stall cleanings up and use it as my compost,adding leaf mold and worm castings. Btw,the horse manure straight is like worm crack.
The neighbor has a huge (maybe 2,000 acres?) of crop land and he piles a mountain of turkey litter up all winter,delivered by semi. In the spring they spread it on the fields on top of the winter oats. The oats grow a month or two longer and and then get turned under so they can plant. They also rotate crops,using either soy or peanuts,then alternating with cotton or corn.
For something large scale I think cover crops are key,then hauling in huge amounts of manure,letting it sit in a pile a few months and spreading it.
We have sandy soil here so the farmers all use this method. It also works on clay,which I've experienced in OK,AZ,CO and WY.
I bought some Carolina Gold rice seed this year. Not sure what I should do with it. I live only 1-2 hours to the north of where it grows naturally.
I have a few options but I've never grown rice. I have an old,sludgy koi pond that needs some repair because our big pond is leaking into one side. It hasn't had a fountain,filter or any type of maintenance in about 20 or more years. I'm leaning towards using this and perhaps raising the one end,which I've been meaning to do anyway. I could add a fountain to reduce mosquitoes and/or some type of mosquito eating small fish. It would need to be a native fish since I don't want anything possibly invasive to escape into the pond,although once I get that end repaired that should be a problem,it could still flood into the pond if we get another hurricane.
I have considered adding crawfish as well as a form of edible aquaponics.
I have a big pond but no way to drain and flood it. It does have one end that gets pretty shallow most of the summer,maybe 2 feet deep.
I could also use a kiddy pond if that would be better.
Should I start it in small pots,perhaps in the greenhouse? What temperature should it go out or be planted? I was thinking along with the sweet potatoes?
Should I broadcast or maybe seedball it?
Meant to add,we have tons of wild muscadine and scuppernong grapes. The ones in shade don't produce but the ones in part shade do. I keep meaning to prune and fertilize a few of the better ones but just haven't done it,yet.
I love the Seminole pumpkin idea although I'll need to buy some seeds. I could also try some runner beans since I have a ton of seeds for those.
A lot of my shade is lighter in the winter. My woods are a mixture of long leaf pine and hardwoods. It's an amazing property. I think the original owners in 1980 leaned a bit towards permaculture since many of the original design is very permaculture friendly. I seven have solar panels for my hot water heater!
This is a fairly new climate for me,I've always lived in the west-CO,OK,AZ and a year in western WA.
These are all wonderful ideas and I will give a bunch of them trials. I love the ginger and turmeric idea since I have a pound of each to plant out in the garden.
Will the hardy kiwi also do well i
Shade or part shade? I'm looking for a good spot to plant 3 tiny females and a male. I don't really even know if they can do well in zone 8, I may need to switch to fuzzy kiwi instead.
Considering the price of gourmet mushrooms and fresh herbs at the grocery or market, I'm considering growing both for market when I retire. Basil,rosemary,lavender,thyme,cilantro,and parsley .
Bamboo is another,if you are creative and crafty. You can make a million things out of it and prices are ridiculous for simple crafts like deer scaring fountains and little flower vases. Plus,the shoots are edible and delicious.
Fruit, especially berries bring high prices but getting fruit grown that doesn't have bug issues and looks good for market would be a much bigger challenge.
If you live in an area where you are allowed to make things for market,
You can make things like pasta or pickles and jams. Nuts bring a very high price. That greatly increases prices but you may need a certified kitchen or other licenses in some states.
Root "spices" such as turmeric and ginger can also bring a high price but you need to be in a good climate for them or grow in a greenhouse.
Have you checked out the "Urban Farmer" videos by Curtis Stone? He's up in a cold Canadian climate,don't remember exactly where.
I've been looking at this stuff for awhile since I will do something when I retire in a few years. I may also consider doing some goat cheese and selling heirloom birds such as turkeys and ducks ready to eat for holidays.
I have broadcast seeded grains and grasses into pasture many times,while the ground is wet. I let the horses stomp it in,or cattle when I used to have them.
I've had great success with it,although I have normally done these cool grains and grasses in the fall. I will be doing this with common Bermuda this spring.
I love to plant cool season pasture for the horses,although I now have two old horses who seem to be sensitive to the high sugars in them.
I've not tried brassicas. This year,I did throw down some deer plot mix which had chicories,radish and clovers plus rye. I haven't seen much come up but it was pretty dry this winter and my pasture is badly overgrazed. I'll try that again next fall since I think the goats will appreciate it.
I just finished reading the entire thread.
Does anyone else can their beans? I thought it was silly when I first heard of it but after trying,I'm a huge fan. I do a whole bunch at a time and then I have ready to use beans whiteout the canned flavor of grocery store beans for a fraction of the cost.
I just ordered about 75 lbs of beans off Amazon. Their grocery prices are going down. I live in a small town and the produce stand where I did buy great varieties of dried beans in bulk recently closed.
I do still have a produce stand that sells shelled limas and cowpeas,they freeze a lot to continue selling in winter. Two different varieties of limas,the green and the speckled. One of our favorite meals is simply boiled limas with a little olive and garlic and a bit of butter. I sometimes put some Parmesan on mine.
We love shelled cowpeas the same way and also love them cooked with collard greens or kale.
I'll try growing some pole varieties of both here this year since they seem to be the best pulses for our area. I would love to have enough space to grow all of our bean needs but we eat a lot of beans and I doubt I could do it,even if I used up the entire horse pasture.
Deb-have you tried cowpeas and teperaries? I would think they'd be better suited for your area then pigeon peas.
I'd love to grow a perennial like pigeon peas but in zone 8a I don't think it would work.
Amaranth is easy.snd high protein. Sunflowers are a weed that grow really well in CO. Beans, potatoes and corn do well in CO. Squash.
Don't forget that mushrooms are high in protein. And, fat is needed so seeds/nuts would be important. Trees produce a lot per footprint so apples and pears are a good option. Nuts.
Safety in diversifying.
Rabbits,meat chickens,quails and pigeons,ducks,are all efficient meat producers. Pigeons and ducks could feed themselves in summer if you're rural. Eggs are a great protein source,too.
I think quinoa would also work for your area.
I grew up in Niwot,parents had a good sized garden.
Thanks so much for the valuable information,especially about the herbs.
My 3 goats run free on 23 acres of deciduous woods with some pine trees,lots of wild grapes and bamboo. They are beyond obese. They prefer wild grapes first,then bamboo,and nibble on everything they can reach. They love bamboo if I chop it down so they can reach it.
I haven't really needed to do they're feet since shortly after I got them 2 years ago which surprises me since we live on mostly soft sand and it's a wetter climate much of the year.
I do have some questions. do you know of a good brand minerals carried by Tractor Supply or Southern states? Can I use cattle minerals?
I'd like to get my female bred sometime,maybe to a Pygmy goat. She's a nicely bred Alpine from a show breeder although I don't have the contact information on the breeder,since she was given to me by a family moving out of town. Is it possible to breed her with shipped semen? Can I bring her in to heat like they do cows or horses so that I can tell when she's in? I haven't been able to find a vet that does goats near me.
Does anybody grow moringa annually as a protein supplement? I was thinking it could be chopped and dried to provide extra protein.
I know this is a little off topic but any pointers on growing kabocha/maxima in a hot climate like Southeastern NC? I had zero squash luck since I moved here with Costata and Trombocino. I think they succumbed to borers.
My favorite squashes of all time are kabocha. I love really dry,sweet squash.
I plan to try Joseph's method of planting every couple of weeks,maybe hit the right weather window and bug margin.
I'm in North Carolina,zone 8. Can go from extremely wet to extremely dry.
Right now looking for edible perennials for the front yard but will take other ideas to other areas of the property.
Considering converting an old koi pond into a bog or water garden with edibles,maybe even crayfish and aquaculture.
Really interested in fruit trees, semi-hardy tropical stuff and unusual.
Have some tree kale getting started,hardy kiwis on order. Blueberries,apples,stone fruits for my sunnier spots.
My soil is acid, lots of blueberry farms locally.
Never tried it.
I have used sulfa dust on woody/pine straw mulched areas when we lived in town.
I have had guineas in several locations and they really cut down on ticks.
Keeping brush piles and long grass cut really helps,too.
I have 23 acres,mostly wooded. I do have one sunny spot where I started my garden and an area around the pond where I will put sunchokes,goumi,yacon and maybe a few others.
I need something for my many large areas with full or near full shade,particularly my zone 1/2 areas.
Any suggestions? I will be attempting some vining edibles,annual and perennials up the trees. Also have some hardy kiwi on order.
I have started a king stropharis mushroom patch and have many more dowels for other varieties that I need to plug.
I would like to become as self sufficient as possible. I live in south-central NC,on the SC border,at the line between Sandhills and Coastal Plains. Zone 8, used to be zone 7.
How much space do I actually need for sunchoke? I bought a pound of the red on amazon,have them in pots waiting to sprout. May be unnecessary but I can't decide where I want them. Do goats find the plants overly delicious? Have to decide if they can grow on my garden fence.
I have 2 lbs. I'm not sure how they will do,I'm in the "Coastal plain" of NC but just outside of the Sandhills region and a few miles from SC.
I also bought yacon bought did t catch that what I was ordering were storage tubers rather than the planting ones. Will these not sprout? If so, anybody know where I can buy or trade some from?
I'm looking for corn smut spores or spawn. Any ideas where to get it?
I had it in a restaurant in Phoenix that specialized in it and loved it. I'd grow corn just for the smut,although we also love the corn.
I recently started a wine cap patch,although I did it right before a cold snap and haven't seen any signs of life. I hope I didn't lose it.
I have also grown Lion's mane and oyster indoors. I have a maitake indoors almost ready to eat but haven't tasted it,yet. I had tons of meadow mushrooms in my pasture after the hurricane but I wasn't confident in my I'd at the time so didn't try them. I did find a two pound lion's mane this winter and it tasted awesome. Can't wait to try the maitake and wine caps.
Oh,I found one tiny morel two years ago. Cooked it up to try it and I'd say it was my favorite so far.
I like the idea of kiwi,it should do well.
Passionflower are a beautiful and nicely behaved vine. They are also the only host for the Gulf Fritallary butterfly. I planted it in the shade in AZ and it did beautifully,at least until we moved and the new owners didn't irrigate and got rid of it because it "was infested with caterpillars". I wish they asked me! I was amazed that the vine attracted butterflies laying eggs the very first day when I was still hardening off on the porch. How do they do that?
I climbed mine on a wire fence.
I had an amazing hyacinth bean which was also well behaved and not only self sowed but it also perennialized and climbed to the top of a 40 foot palm. It was stunning both in bloom and with bright purple beans loaded on it. I'd be happy to send you some seeds.
My goats are out of control. I have three goats that run loose. My wimpy solar electric fence keeps the horse in but the goats ignore it. I don't want to replace the charger because we will be spending a lot of money on permanent fencing, probably in the next year.
My garden is 54x80 and I have cattle panels around it.
My problem is that I want to plant a number of tall crops and vining crops around the edges of the garden since it makes the most sense in my layout. Sunchokes,sweet potato,squash,okra,amaranth,artichokes,cardoons.
Last summer I planted amaranth and okra about 2 feet from the fence. The goats climbed the fence and stood on it until they bent it over far enough to basically climb over. They also stuck their heads through to eat everything.
I can stop the heads being stuck through by adding some wire ( I have some scraps) along the fence but that doesn't stop the climbing.
can anybody think of a plant that is tall,sturdy,attractive to goats and that horse will ignore that I could use as a boundary outside the garden?
I am beefing up the fence with more and sturdier t-posts. My father suggested adding a wire fence outside the garden fence but that would involve a lot more t-posts and I'd rather not have that expense if I can prevent it another way.