Haven't posted for a while, been busy. I wanted to make sure that everyone that this could cause problems for is aware of it.
The USDA is proposing changing some of their rules. Although it sounds as if it is directed at dogs, please be aware that it clearly states "farm animals" as well. While it shouldn't have too much of an impact on people raising their own, it can be ugly for those who sell any intact animals. Even so much as one intact bunny sold off premises by a 4H'r as a pet would mean that household would be under USDA regulation. There has been quite a bit of public upset, however not many folks are commenting about it on the USDA site. We only have until the 16th of this month to do so.
Here is a link, read carefully. I suspect you'll all be surprised by how many people you know who will fall under USDA regulation:
Just heard about this today and thought I would share. Basically consists of a water/bleach filled plastic pop bottle in a hole in the roof.. during the day time can allow in the amount of light equal to a 50 watt bulb!
Wouldn't work for me in the winter.... but who knows.. maybe able to figure something out. Anyway, here's the link for anyone who is interested:
Well, all seemed to be growing well (I never did plant the last 5 bulbs.. the ones I missed during the initial planting). My plan was to grow for the scapes or bulbils so that I could increase the quantity I had before harvesting. So.. scapes came on.. I'm thinking things are looking great. Then I made a trip out of town and was gone for three days. When I came back the scapes were gone. Someone (mouse/deer/packrat/bear/kinda someone) had beat me to the harvest. Anyone have any idea what may have done this? There isn't a single one left. I haven't checked the garlic bulbs for size as stems are still abit green, but think Iprobably could so there's still some hope of having something to grow for next year.
Ok, finally got a pic of the no trespassing sign that I love and no one seems to question. I keep thinking when I get some $$ I'll try to find someone to make me some.
The other attachment is of a sign like that I found for sale in one of our local stores. It seems to speak to more people than a simple no trespassing sign, but it's also identical to the one that I have had people drive right past.
Another thought.. because my growing season is so short.. can this be used to my advantage, for example, the season for things tends to be long gone elsewhere.. when things start happening in my area. An example, lilacs bloomed nearly a full month behind areas in Vancouver, Portland, SE Idaho. Same with many other things. I'm thinking that this could be used to my advantage as it could extend the availability of some seasonal foods and flowering plants.
Just all thoughts that keep rattling around in my head and I need to figure out how to use them!
Ok, I still keep tossing this idea around in my head. I'm thinking that the best plant choices would be natives or hardy perennials, so I wouldn't have to worry too much about climate control.
I'm thinking I would need pots and would like to start seeds directly in the pots they are going to grow in, so that I don't have to deal with transplanting. Obviously, most things started from cuttings would be started in flats, and would need to be potted up.. with a few exceptions.
So.. one of the huge issues with conventional nurseries is.. watering. The person doing the watering is the person who makes or breaks the nursery. I want to avoid watering. That's a pretty big thought.. pretty challenging.. how on earth to start stuff in pots, but not water?
So here's a thought.. if I built mini hugelkulture beds, basically a series of steeply raised inverted V shape beds, using alder that is maybe 4 inches in diameter as the primary skeletal structure, building the beds about three and a half to four feet tall and cover with very loose soil. Plant one side with some sort of cash crop (s) preferably perennial. The other side would be planted in pots. A horizontal row of pots, horizontal row of.. something planted directly into the bed, another row of pots. Mulched well over the top.
The hugelkulture, so that there is natural moisture retention and a tiny bit easier access then if I were to just grow in beds at ground level. The cash crop plants on one side, for all sorts of reasons 1) to give an alternative to selling potted plants (I'm thinking along the lines of strawberries.. or something similar) 2) to help maintain a "living system" with established micorrhizae 3)to help attract water and maintain humidity 4) to prevent the top soil layer from drying out.
The horizontal pot rows 1) because I have a hard time getting away with conventional thinking and it makes the concept flow easier for me 2) if the soil is loose enough and the pots sunk deeply enough in it then the plants should be well insultated/protected and simultaneously, should wick up water from below
The horizontal hugelkultur row plantings that alternate with the horizontal pot rows 1) to help maintain humidity 2) to help draw up moisture (hmmm, should I consider dandelions or some sort of mix, for these rows?) 3) will be harvested annually as ground will be disturbed from potted plant harvest
I've also considered growing seedlings such as tamarack, pine, goats etc by direct seeding. The competition is really tough as it would be competing with people who grow gazillions of these a year for reforestation. But there may be a limited market at farmers market, etc. I would prefer to sell potted, not bareroot. Any suggestions on how to grow in a manner that is easy to harvest (I'm thinking this may not be amenable to hugelkulture as the roots may grow into some of the rotten wood?), and again, requires little or no watering or maintenance?
When I drive up the forest roads, along the shoulder, I frequently notice tons of plants that have started which would be wonderful to resell (they aren't mine), and are totally self maintained. I feel that the root systems on such may not be the best (if one were to do an alleycrop type system) when it comes to transplanting. Any experiences, thoughts on this? Thanks again!
we could start our own thread with this topic.......Bra-less, grungy clothes, and check out the Feet.....I love the feel of the dirt under my toes..... It is best to wear gloves to avoid the callusses and rough skin. I never go out side with out a pair of gloves in My back pocket. As I always find myself in the garden no matter what I went out side for in the first place.
I have one that is similar, but without the per day fee. I have had all sorts of people drive right by it and it's on one of the gates at my driveway. Big thing. A year or so ago, had some strange guy show up, I was out with the dogs, as I came back he was just getting into his vehicle and leaving (had been at my front door). I ran into him a few days later in town, he had gotten the wrong driveway and was looking for his friends. I asked him what I could do to let people know that unanticipated visitors are unwelcome. He suggested I get "One of those signs they sell at Eich's". I told him that his passenger window was less than 2 feet away from one when he came through my gate. So.. do they work? Maybe if you whap someone upside the head with them.
I was involved in a standoff situation with some bad guys a few years ago. I was blocking their exit route and their pickup was loaded with my absentee neighbors belongings. Call was out to the Sheriff's department.. .really long story short, they got away. But the sheriff's department felt that I could be in danger, so they checked up on me with great regularity. Used to scare the crap out of me. I'd think I was all alone.. and the next thing.. here comes a deputy. I asked them to call me, I begged them to call me "If you're worried just give me a call, if I don't answer.. well come see what's going on". That no trespassing sign never, not once slowed them down. What finally did the trick was the day we only had two deputies working, one had to transport someone out of the county, and the other decided to come up and check on me. Got his 4x4 stuck at the bottom of my driveway.. which is not the best place to be when you're the only deputy on duty in the county. That worked better then anything else. I don't have a problem with our deputies, I don't do anything illegal, I just have BIG space needs and really love the solitude. Anyway.. that sign didn't work for me. If I think about it, I'll try to get a pic of one of my neighbors signs.. they work.
I also had problems with the census people. I mailed my census report in. Later found another one attached to my gate, then another, then I was coming home one day and encountered a woman from the census department just leaving my place. Asked her what she was doing, told her I had already mailed mine in. She wanted to know if the people who lived in my RV were on there. I have an older RV that is not visible from the road at any point, you have to be right on my property to see it. I asked her what she knew about my RV, she told me nothing, but that the pre-census person who came around earlier in the spring had made a note that I had an RV, so there was a possibility of it being inhabited. That made me really angry. I told her so, she told me that the census people tell them when they are orienting them that they can go anywhere, that it is a felony to do anything bad or threaten a federal employee. I filed a massive complaint and never heard a word back. Also, for those of us who live close to a border, because of the homeland security regulations there are different laws protecting our privacy.. and they don't amount to much.
I know the guy from the assessor's office in my county. He has some horror stories to tell about being shot at.. among other things. I told him that I would appreciate a call before he comes up. He told me that for people who don't let him on their property, he can only make assumptions.. so.. those assumptions are usually on the high side.
Done with that rant <VBG>
They are made just like a regular road sign, with reflective metallic paint, they say "Stay Safe, Stay Alive, Stay Out".
Finally found it. Decided that it would be just my luck if it was a noxious weed.. so I took a look at the noxious weed list for my state and sure nuf!
Here is the name: Hyoscyamus niger L. black henbane
Sounds like it can be particularly nasty.. has quite a few livestock deaths attributed to it. Does have some uses as a medicinal. However, the two I have on my property will be going into the compost pile tomorrow. Just glad I found them before they seeded. Sounds like the seeds are viable for decades.
Have done lots of looking/thinking about greenhouses and their alternatives. I definately need a greenhouse, but I do want to try to consider ways to minimize greenhouse use. For example, if I may be able to seed directly into pots, using normal fall seeding techniques, in the fall, trench (in a place that won't accumulate water), tuck the pots in with mulch... in the same manner I would a fall seeded bed, gently uncover in the spring. Same type thing with any cuttings that are taken, no immediate results. But one of the issues is.. the longer something is on hand, the more risk of something happening to it. Voles/deer, mis watering...etc.
Don't have power.. so I probably wouldn't be very productive at making the newspaper pots <VBG> Seriously, I've used them and like them.
IdahoFolk wrote: I know of a couple of women who are successful (on a small scale) selling things out of the ground. No pots, hardy perennials only.
I hope I've inspired you!
They both sound awesome to me... except.. sigh... I'm more than a bit off the beaten path, which means I won't be able to rely on "driveway" sales. I'm thinking more of farmers market, craigslist, etc as a way of marketing.
The soil thing is exactly what I want to avoid. Years ago when I managed greenhouses/garden centers, I made a nice soilless mix out of shredded bark, sand, and compost that worked great. Started cuttings in sand, perlite or vermiculite, seedlings were started in a sterilized soil mix.
I have been interested for sometime in running a plant nursery.. but... my experiences are all with traditional growers, long rows/tables of one or two types of plants, lots of plastic flats, pots, etc. Things outside grown on level ground, lots of water added.
Is it possible to run a self sustainable plant nursery.. one with minimized human input? A seed it, forget it kinda thing. Could Hugelkultur be integrated?
I live in a cold climate, zone 4 ish. I would like to avoid "dead" soil, chemicals/pesticides, etc. So looking for creativity, sustainability.
A favorite flower press of mine is made out of an old baby cradle. It was damaged, someone was throwing it away. I took one look at the slatted sides and said "Eureka!" I cut both ends off of the two sides, use giant rubber bands cut from old inner tubes to hold them together. I sandwich newspapers in between cardboard, with the plants between the newspapers.
Sorry Pam! Bad on me, but I was wishing a clever horse on you... lot easier to deal with than a bad neighbor. We have lots of problems in this area with trespassers. If the gates are fastened shut, it's not uncommon to have them pulled out of the ground....IF that's easier then cutting the fence.
I wish I had a solution for you, I don't. I wish you a speedy and happy resolution.
Ok, I'm probably asking to get slapped upside the head for this but.... Are you sure your horses aren't opening the gate and/or lifting it off of the hinges? I've seen critters lift fences off hinges. The most impressive was a bull with a particular impressive set of large horns. He had been in with some cow, he was taken out and put in an enclosed area near them. As soon as the people who put them their started walking away, he put one horn tip through the gate, gently lifted it off of the hinges, pulled it back, dropped it and walked out!
I have goats who are really talented at opening my gates.. and just recently watched one of my dogs opening a gate to let the goats out. Sigh.
You can often find game cameras for under $100 on Ebay or some of the sporting good stores.
I visited an arboretum a couple of years ago during the fall. I was told that anything that had come off of a tree and was on the ground could be removed from the grounds. Removing something from a tree was a $500 fine. Tons and tons of crabapples and there were probably 15 or 20 different varieties of parent trees, there were all sorts of evergreens and cones on the ground as well as ginko, walnuts, etc. Arboretums can be a great source! Jus sayiin....
It does get pretty cold here in the winter. So.. in conventional fashion, I use manmade fabrics for clothing. Works great, I stay toasty warm most of the time and have spent many, many nights without a fire. I haven't found any natural stuff that keeps me as warm as the artificial stuff. To make my choices in clothing "acceptable" to me, the majority come from second hand stores and are someone's discards. Here are some of my winter clothing choices. If anyone has some great natural alternatives.. love to hear them!
Headwear: Typically one or more polar fleece hats, sometimes include face covering. Neckwear: Polarfleece scarf... or not. Helly Hanson Lifa or Pro Lifa undergarments Layers of polar fleece, (pants/shirts), depends on the weather and my activities how many layers. Wool socks, over a polypropylene liner (wool itches) Boots--http://www.empirecanvasworks.com/truenorthboots.htm (I am 100% convinced that there is no better winter footwear than true north boots! Incredibly lightweight, no rubbing/blistering, super, super comfortable) I live in my True Norths several months out of the year and have been known to sleep with them on (okay, that happens.... but the good part about them is.. forgetting they are on your feet and going to look for your boots because of the comfort level). The only downside is..watering livestock. They can get soggy without care. They also work great with my snowshoes. Hands--those grey or silver thermal gloves with the rubberized palms. Occasionally I'll wear a pair of cheap stretch gloves underneath. Parka--Helly Hanson, Columbia waterproof parka, again with a fleece liner. With the other fleece I wear I don't have to wear a parka all the time.
Fred Morgan wrote: I think perhaps one of the things that helps you figure out whether you could make it or not under a certain situation is to try it. One of the most memorable times of my life was when I was 18 and I decided to camp out, by my self, in the forever wild part of the Adirondacks (Around Stillwater lake, if anyone is curious) I was armed to the teeth and I am pretty good with a rifle.
One thing I learned really fast (besides have a 4-wheel drive vehicle when you go off road. ) was that where I am complete comfortable camping with people, is pretty scary, alone.
And the fish aren't biting when you are hungry... I swear they can smell your hunger.
I often hear about people talking about how they will raise all their food, and fish and hunt. You would be surprised how many of them have never had a garden, and rarely fish or hunt. The skills you need you don't want to be learning while you are starving - or freezing.
I think self confidence, positive attitude and a sense of humor are the three most essential survival traits. Preparedness would be number four on my list.
Most of us rarely have a minute to ourselves. Seriously, most people rarely get more than a couple hundred yards from the next nearest person. If someone gets in a bind, there is usually someone around who can help. Being alone takes a lot of self confidence and many people are lacking in that these days. Fear is not necessarily a bad thing, so long as it is not incapacitating or life controlling. Some fear is what keeps the human race alive. It protects us.
Sounds like you learned a lot of great lessons at a young age<VBG>.
I can't believe how many big city folk come looking for property in my neck of the woods to buy as a bolt hole. Usually 20 acres, occasionally more. Talk with them and they will tell you that if things go to.... wherever.. that they won't have any worries, they'll have their property, plenty of game, wildlife, vegetation on it, they'll be fine. Of course they are usually seeing and purchasing this property in the middle of summer, really are clueless that it's probably going to be under snow, deep snow for 6 months out of the year, that the wildlife tend to move on, hibernate, whatever and that each 20 acre parcel is not stocked with adequate wildlife to support them. Baffles me. Good for the economy though. Usually takes about three years before they realize they can't even get to their property in the middle of winter, that single digits and sub zeros are really cold, that the crackling warm fire in the fireplace has to be built, started, tended and fed and put to bed at night AND it's a good idea to have firewood before the snow flies. OK, done with that vent.
Looks like there are quite a few people out there selling them. I read descriptions on a couple of sites and am not quite sure why they are considered so special. Guess I'd have to own one. At present, it looks like they are "designer dogs".. a breed in the making. That's how most of our breeds started out. Depending on how far along the development path they are, they still may not be much more than "mutts"..... Not saying there is anything bad about mutts... but ya don't always get what you expect.
Very fascinating! Thank you so much for sharing this. I'd love to learn more about the indigenous micro-organisms. Will be watching this thread closely for any who are willing to share details/expertise. Thanks.
As Feral said, money is a huge motivator..but from both sides of the aisle. It can be economically advantageous to medicate like mad to prevent any death loss (or at least think you are preventing death loss), but that is short term! If that animal isn't processed before it can spread it's genes, then you are simply propagating a high maintenance line. That animal's offspring will have to be medicated or it may get sick and die, then you have wasted time and money.....and so on and so on.
Unfortunately, many of our modern intensive meat producers use a rearing program in which hormones/chemicals/vaccines play just as big a role as the feed the animals are receiving. I think those farmers would flounder in bewilderment and throw their hands up in the air if someone said. "Stop". They don't have a clue how to do it differently (and in some management systems it would be impossible to with any success). They have been told and convinced that what they are doing is the right and the best and the most productive. They have experience behind them, they know what works for them, in their situation and pooey to anyone who wants them to try something different.. afterall, it's their income that's at stake.
Certain breeds are better in different climates against different diseases, pests, and parasites.
Yes! And not only certain breeds, but certain lines within those breeds.
Proper management techniques combined with selective breeding can eliminate parasite problems (both inside and outside the animal).
Yes! Again, however, the problem with selective breeding is maintaining enough diversity to continue the lines without inbreeding. There are lots of great population genetics studies on this. If the selective breeding is implemented without consideration for overall genetics, after a time the major histocompatability complex becomes homozygous and the you will lose the resistance that you have been working to develop. It IS possible to have a heterozygous MHC with a high level of inbreeding and has been observed in some situations involving closed populations of animals. They believe that the animals are attracted to mates who have different MHCs and that animals can somehow tell this through the pheromones they produce. So when left to their own to select mates, the animals make wiser choices for themselves that will sustain their population than we can as humans.
I know a guy who does not vaccinate, worm, or pour any of his cattle. They're happy, calm, healthy, pretty, and most importantly low maintenance. However, it took several years to develop such a herd. Its a grass based operation, and the cattle rarely stay anywhere for more than a couple days (similar to how the buffalo grazed).
Yes! again. Livestock genetics and management need to work hand in hand to obtain the most optimal health.
If something has a problem we deal with it; and if the animal requires medication that's ok....but that animal will not be allowed to contribute to the gene pool (unless it was something stupid: like an infected eye from poking it in a hay feeder). Poor herd management has caused many of the problems we currently have with livestock, we have disrupted natural selection way too much.
At the Maudlin site in the links I posted previously on this thread are some of the best articles I've ever seen on managing for worm control.
I thought I'd share yet another link. In regards to MHC resistance and a goat virus called CAE (it's kind of heavy reading):
Vaccinosis is a real condition. I don't know how much impact it has on farm animals, as most have a relatively short life expectancy. We deal with it a lot with dogs. A whole lot. The vet associations have finally admitted that vaccinations are a trigger for many autoimmune issues. Sometimes the issue is bigger then just the vaccination, however. Animals who are inbred often have a homozygous MHC (major histocompatibility complex). The animals with homozygous MHC's are at increased risk for autoimmune issues, as well as overall decreased immunity (their immune systems are just plain screwed up!). Wish I could give you some livestock specifics, but can only give canine info.
I have goats, I will eventually have a closed herd, though at present I don't have the diversity of genetics I need to maintain diversity long term in a closed herd. I don't vaccinate. I DO have testing done.
One of the big issues with vaccines is MONEY 1) no one wants sick animals 2)we are taught that vaccines can prevent certain diseases that we don't want our animals to suffer from 3)Vets are uhhh.. this sounds harsh brainwashed in vet school to believe that vaccines are all good 4)There is a lot of money to be made in vaccines. The more we buy, the more vets sell and give, the more money that is changing hands and the bigger the market. 5)The folks behind this market are the ones who do the testing regarding safety/efficiency, etc. 6) Rarely do the money makers test how long a vaccine is good for. For example, if a critter is vaccinated annually vs once in a lifetime, think of the amount of money that no longer flows. So.. why would anyone making money from vaccines want to test to see how long the vaccines provide immunity for?
I am NOT saying don't vaccinate. Vaccines have done a world of good, they have also done a whole lot of harm. I would encourage everyone to vaccinate with extreme caution and prejudice AND use other measures of health promotion (titer levels, health testing, closed herds) in addition to vaccination.
re: deworming. There are currently huge issues in the agriculture world as many of the parasites livestock get are rapidly becoming resistant to the wormers that we have available. Many people worm with the calendar, not with the presence of parasites... again because that is what they have been taught, that is what sells wormer, that is what puts money into folks pockets. Vets are trained to promote and recommend worming products and people who don't comply should be burned at the stake, and can be considered by popular opinion to be bad or negligent owners. There are no new de-worming products on the immediate horizons to replace the ones the parasites have developed a resistance to.
Here are a couple of links to goat sites (sorry, again, I don't do cattle), which use mostly natural methods, or which are great resources on parasite resistance:
Zeer Pots-- great for keeping things cool (probably not appropriate for dairy, meats or to prevent spoilage.. they are coolers, not refrigerators) they can limit the number of times necessary to open the fridge doors are cheap to use and super convenient... keep one in the garden!
Sorry... I don't have any knowledge or experience with this at all. I was simply thinking of some of the natural ponds and small lakes I've seen.. and of the plant life and fish I've seen in them. I would think that there would be some association between pond depth/temperature/oxygenation.
So WHAT good is this little critter, have we discovered it yet? I think there is good in most everything, sometimes you have to look, and there has to be understanding of what one is looking at. I suspect the average person would be eager to torch that juniper. I'm not.