Building a home is a full time job, starting a business is a full time job, and when you add the hours spent homeschooling and parenting THAT is a full time job.
Are you a single parent or do you have a partner? Will your brother be your full time partner or a source of part time help? I can just see 2 full time people who also work at the project on weekends accomplishing all that, but as a single person? That sounds like way too many hours.
I once attended a farm show, and I asked a speaker how I could learn to sell when my skills were in my hands. His reply was to take a job in sales, as the basic technique was the same regardless of what you were selling. Well there was a recession on, and I could not find a job in sales, and so I visited a popular nursery, found the person who was assisting the most customers, and I watched her out of the corner of my eyes, and then I practiced in front of a mirror. THEN I started selling at Farmer's Markets for the experience.
Tell me, since you wish to sell your produce, have you ever sold anything or is this also a skill you need to learn first? I learned a LOT from watching that sales lady!
Tyler Ludens wrote:Ecology Action has determined that it takes a minimum of 4000 square feet to grow a nearly nutritionally complete vegan diet for one adult using Biointensive growing methods. This amount of land is under good conditions. Poor land or difficult conditions will require more area. Using different methods is likely to require more area.
I imagine that this would also need a long growing season. I have lived both in California with an 11 month growing season and in the Midwest with a shorter growing season, and an acre of California land will raise many times what an acre of Kansas last can raise, because the growing season is longer
In China, where people could double-crop, an acre would be a subsistence farm for 3-4 people. And, while the Chinese enjoyed meat when they could get it, the majority of their calories would come from grain.
I suppose they would also have has to sell some of their crop to pay taxes and whatever.
An account of a Chinese farm in the 1800's said that the farmer would raise "Chinese clover" in the spring, harvest it and immediately sell it in town, and 2 days after the Chines clover was harvested the land would already be plowed and then they would transplant the rice seedlings into the soil. And, after the rice was harvested some areas could put in a third crop as well.
That being said, I do not understand how cosmic rays can trigger a volcano. The article is a bit lacking in the subject of "how".
That does not mean that a solar minimum will not take place: that only means that the article does not convince me that the article is based on good science. Personally I do not believe in global warming any longer: climate change, yes, the weather where I live has been very odd lately. The climate may well be changing where I live.
And, I am aware that the polar ice caps are expanding very quickly, but, how much of that is because it is winter out? It is too soon to say if the rate at which the ice caps are growing is a cause for alarm or not. No doubt we will know more in a year's time
Elliot Coleman uses unheated greenhouses in Maine. He does not just use the greenhouse for cover: he also lays one, two, or three layers of plastic across his greenhouse growing beds.
I have used this method in my own unheated greenhouse, and it works as long as the weather behaves itself. Lately we have been getting VERY cold weather here in Kansas in the early Fall and during what is supposed to be our spring, and so for Christmas this year I am getting myself a "Big buddy" LP space heater. I could not really use the greenhouse this Fall as the weather has been just too cold, but I am hoping to be able to use the greenhouse properly this spring!
I am the only one in my family who cares about agriculture in any form.
This is life.
As much as I would love to share this with those that I love, their interest begins and ends with a good meal. And if I am not there to provide them with berry pie from my own land then they will eat ice cream with chocolate syrup and enjoy it just as well.
My joy in my land has to be enough for me. And, when I die, my home and land will be sold because nobody will want to care for an acre of land, and my family will use their inheritance to fund their OWN dreams
Carla Burke wrote:Just a note on the chicken manure - just like rabbit manure, it can go straight into your beds, without any curing. It doesn't get hot, so it's safe, straight from the critters - just one of the reasons chickens can be great, in the garden.
I strongly disagree! Chicken manure is hot while rabbit manure is not. Rabbits eat a highly fibrous diet and the undigested fiber ends up in the poop. The nitrogen is surrounded by a lot of carbon. Chickens, on the other hand, eat as much concentrated feed as they can get (bugs, fruit, seeds, etc) and their poop is NOT full of carbon. Chicken poop can burn the plants. When I use chicken poop I am careful to either use it in the fall or scatter it thinly
You are off to a very good start. I would throw some soil on top and call it good.
Like you, I am older. DH and I just finished framing a raised bed that sits on the ground, so I could sit on the edge while I garden. Now I will throw in everything that I have: lawn clippings, chicken manure (I agree with you: after it gets rained on a few times it should be good) some sticks and rotten firewood and, yes, some soil because the soil has both minerals and beneficial microbes. Also organic material breaks down and shrinks and soil will not
The land of the Midwest grows excellent grass, the cattle eat the grass and fertilize with their droppings. The grass puts on more growth and the top half of the plants are eaten again and fertilized again.
As another poster pointed out, it is not fair to lump together feedlots and pasture.
A gent on youtube gardens in sand. He uses a lot of organic matter and he says that over the years his soil has gotten very, very good. If you go to youtube and type in "Deep South Homestead" you will find him.
Do you know, there have been so MANY lies told about cattle that I cannot tell what facts are true and which are not. For example, before we had farting cows in the Midwest we had farting buffalo in the midwest. And yet some people take farting cows VERY seriously.
I am not convinced that not eating meat is a solution. Back before they fed good grain to cattle they fed them hay and straw and let them graze on brush. That might be a better idea that feeding them large amounts of grin.
I have not yet read the rest of the thread, but 2 things come to mind.
1. you do not need to break up the soil under a pond. Heck, Midwestern farmers used to let pigs wallow in their future ponds to kill any vegetation and compact the soil a bit so that there were no cracks and no roots to let the water seep into the earth.
And, 2. respect clay soil. All of my gardens have been on clay soil, and once you learn how to grow things on it you will find out that clay soil is just lovely. It holds nutrients and water and, once there are good roots in the soil the plants just love it. I live in Eastern Kansas, which is in the breadbasket of the nation, and most of the soil here is clay soil. The farmers here get great crops.
To repeat myself: once you get roots in the soil! Compost is good but a cover crop is great because of the roots. It does concern me that there are such deep cracks in the ground you are considering: either the clay is much heavier than I am used to or the soil needs a lot of roots growing, or both. As the roots decay it amends the soil down deep while compost tends to amend the soil on the surface first and then trickle down as the rain takes the nutrients and bacteria downwards. So a cover crop can give you more changes during the first year than compost will.
When it comes to the farmers in the area speak just a little and listen a lot. They understand what the soil can do for you. Have you ever heard the old statement that "Candy is dandy but liquor is quicker"? Well, chemical fertilizer is quicker than organics but either chemicals or organic will work. The local farmers will have been raising crops on clay for a very long time and they know how it is done. They understand about things like when the seed needs to go into the ground and what varieties are suited for your area. I do not know where the land you are looking at is, but I can tell you that where I live timing is important. If the seed goes in late then you might not have enough moisture to raise your crop and get a good yield. And that is for grain: I do not know what your cash crop will be but vegetables where I live need irrigation because our Augusts and late July are very dry. Farmers out here get around this by either raising varieties of wheat that will ripen in July before the rain stops falling or by raising varieties of corn that will have deep roots by the time the soil gets dry.
Mostly I use 2 large bowls. New eggs are put in one bowl while eggs are used out of the OTHER bowl. This means I always have one bowl full of newer eggs and one bowl full of older eggs.
And, when the eggs build up too much then I make a point to use them. My family likes deviled eggs and engelfood cake, and in a pinch eggs can be mashed into a skillet, bakes shells and all, and the resultant large egg patty fed back to the chickens. I do not believe that 16% protein layer pellets have enough protein, so I either throw them some cat food once in a while of feed a few eggs back.
Before I sent to using 2 large bowls I set the eggs from left to right, so the newer eggs would be to the right and the older eggs to the left.
By the way, if you steam the eggs instead of boiling them they are MUCH easier to peel
For what it is worth, I used turmeric for 2-3 years to ease the symptoms of my multiple sclerosis. It really is a strong anti inflammatory, and since Multiple Sclerosis is caused by the body attacking itself the turmeric really did help.
Alas, after a bit it started to irritate my insides, and so I reluctantly quit using it.
I went to look at your linked thread "you know you're a permie when...." and laughed when I saw "your garden has weeds and you don't care". Reminds me that I do need to go get some of them under control but I really don't give a crap about them most of the time.
The wood that I used had bugs in them, and as the swelling potatos touched the buried wood the bugs started eating the potatos. Fully 1/3 of my spuds had holes in them with bugs inside! There were roly polies and a cricket and such
The onions were OK, but then the onions are a shallower plant and not many touched any buried wood. In the future I will make a point to not plant potatos over buried wood!
J Anders wrote:
I've never quite figured out what she wants out of our marriage. She constantly talks about having kids but won't make the necessary changes to her diet and lifestyle to have children. Having constant blood sugar 250-300 does nothing for your child bearing ability (normal is 120) and she doesn't have health insurance or take medication for it. I've encouraged her to purchase christian health sharing insurance, $85/month with $1000 deductible but that's not on her list of priorities. I personally have insurance but I don't use it for anything but hearing aids.
I take glucophage for my high blood sugar. It costs me $8 a month, and I feel VERY much better! I am no longer sleepy during the day, I can sleep through the night without having to get up and use the bathroom, and I just feel more alert and energetic.
True, I also watch my diet. But, there are worse things than having scrambled eggs for breakfast. I do SOMETIMES cheat on my diet, but I always feel cruddy afterwards, so I do usually avoid the high blood sugar. Feeling healthy and good is addicting, so outside of the odd "treat" I do watch my diet.
At any rate, I think that if your wife would take pills she would find that she enjoys life more, and flat out feels better every single day. Personally, I have found that if I eat a carbohydrate free dinner such as meat and a salad, that I can tolerate a small dessert afterwards. So I can have my cake and eat it too .... as long as I plan the meal to have my carbs in the form of a SMALL dessert instead of in the form of baked potatos. I can have either, but not both in the same meal.
Bethany Dutch wrote:
Accepting it is what I tried to do for a decade personally, and nearly had a nervous breakdown for my efforts. I’ll never put marriage on such a a pedestal again to the point of sacrificing my own mental health to continue in it.
I think accepting can also mean accepting that the spouse is someone you are not able to get along with, and therefore it would be appropriate to leave them.
You cannot really change a person so that they become what you want them to be: they either are or they are not!
It sounds like both of you are trying to change the other, and that never ends well! People are what they are. "Radical acceptance" is accepting what you cannot change. Your wife will probably never want to help you in the garden
And, where I live winter will come in perhaps 2 months time and I do not like that, but because I accept it I can plan for it. Next Saturday I will be buying Fall vegetables to be planted into the new bed I am putting up, and I will harvest and freeze them before winter. IF I HAD NOT ACCEPTED the fact that winter was coming I would have planted seeds and ended up with nothing to show for it. Because I accept what I cannot change I lead a better life
By the same token, your wife is who she is. Accept it and plan for it, so that you lead a rich and fulfilling life.
You are under no obligation to join your wife in doing the things that she wishes to do. You do not have to join her for chick flicks, new car buying, window shopping, or whatever. Different people have different interests, is all. And, by the same token, she does not have to share your dreams either. She has her own dreams: the TRICK is for both of you to be able to pursue your dreams
My own husband had a dream of making cities grow, while I had a dream of disappearing into the woods and only coming out when I chose to. We HAVE managed to be blissfully happy even so, but it does take negotiation and compromise, as we loved each other but have always had different goals and dreams. So he got a job in a SMALL city, and he drove out to the country on a highway what he thought was a reasonable commute, and that was where we bought a home. Later on we bought bare land further out.
But this is about you, not me. Every couple does have to do their own negotiating. If the 2 of you *DO* stay together, please make sure she can drive herself to town, since she values it.
Money. Money turned out to be a biggie. Each of us wanted to spend it on our own dreams, and buying a farm is expensive. Also my husband loves to shop. We eventually set up a monthly amount of money for my husband to enjoy as he wishes, no questions asked. That helped a bit, your own solution would be???
Lastly, there was a myth in the 70's when I was growing up that a couple had to be "compatible". Nope. Not a bit of it. Being COMPLEMENTARY works also. I have my own set of skills and interests and my husband has his: between the 2 of us we can do just about anything.
My advice to you- and free advice is often worth what you pay for it, is to work on the money end by working out a budget so that each of you can use your allotted money to follow your own set of dreams. That will probably mean a budget. I regard my husbands spending money to be untouchable, and it is my job to manage on the rest of it. Fortunately my own interests include saving and gardening, which does help.
And, when I got an inheritance I did keep it, with my husbands enthusiastic approval. It is what he considers to be right.
One last comment: your wife will probably never help you outside. It does not appear to be an interest of hers'. DO NOT EXPECT HER TO, it does not turn out well! Make your plans for what you can do with your own hands, and let it be. Every person is entitled to their own dreams, and her dreams do not seem to be yours.
As I have said, my husband has no interest in agriculture and I do, and to make things harder I am now handicapped. I STILL ask for no more than perhaps 30 minutes of help PER MONTH! Modern times are wonderful, and I have a riding mower, weed barrier on the garden, a greenhouse I built when I was healthier, raised beds for when I am not as strong as I am right now, and I pay a young relative $20 an hour to help me if I need more muscle than I have. Because, ONLY one person will fit in one person's skin, and my DH has his own dreams to follow. I want him to be able to follow them.
I see that this is your first post: WELCOME! Since my DH does not care to talk about outside activities, I go to the internet to talk to people with similar interests. I hope to see more of you soon!
I improved it by mixing weeds and lawn clippings into the top 4 inches at about a 50-50 mix. I also added a little wood ash, some fertilizer, and whatever else looked good. Then I planted potatos because potatos do not need a fine seed bed. That was 4 months ago and that soil is looking DARNED good.
I hope that whatever you settled on has done well for you!
Michael, most people do not believe this, but I live in a VERY harsh climate. I live in an area where we will have snow one week and 3 weeks later (literally) it will be in the upper 80's for day after day. And, believe it or not I live in the middle of the nation's breadbasket.
Sometimes you have to plant what is comfortable in your climate, because not much else will do well unless you hover over it. For Kansas one of the very few plants that will thrive with the wild temperature swings is grass, and so raising cattle is big business. And, grain is in the grass family and *IF* you choose the right cultivars then the grain will take hold in our rich soil and thrive like no place I have ever seen. But even so you have to take the climate into account: some types of plants will never be happy her unless you constantly fiddle with them.
So. Sweet potatos are growing for you: great! You have dewberries. Excellent. This is a serious start. These are things you may want to focus on next year.
Also, if you planted 4 months ago you might have planted a bit late for your area. If you started the plants as early as you can then you might have plants that are large enough to better withstand the insect pressure. You might also need to spray with BT, which is an organic that is harmless to people. Spraying with BT gives the insects an illness.
You live in in area that is 107 degrees: few plants will thrive under these conditions. Expect it. My parents in California used to plant tomatos in early January, harvest a lot of tomtos, and then the plants would stop setting tomatos when the temperature went over 100 degrees. BUT! they would set more tomatos in the Fall. She used to can 100 quarts of tomatos every year just from 4 tomato plants. BUT! She did not expect anything from the plants when the weather was over 100 degrees. When it is that hot it was enough just for the plants to survive: they would produce again when the weather cooled off in the Fall.
You have made a truly wonderful start, but you have the climate that you have and the Texas climate must be taken into account. Right now it takes REAL talent to keep your plants alive: feel proud that so far you have been able to do this. Next year you might consider planting as early as your climate will allow, and then hopefully you will be able to harvest BEFORE the heat sets in and again AFTER the heat breaks. Heck, you might even see if you can raise cold hardy vegetables during the winter.
Texas is famous for having a harsh climate, and most of your difficulties sound like they are due to that climate. But, MOST of Texas is also noted for being a food-producing state which is very promising: learn what does well in your area and learn when to plant it and I think that your garden will produce very heavily!
I am going to change what I just said. I notice a change in the barred pattern on the neck and hackle feathers: i bet those feathers are starting to grow longer and get pointy. I now think it is a roo.
That look like a hen to me, though it Is easier to tell when they are older. Rosters get pointy feathers around their necks and on the back just in front of the tail. I usually look at the neck feathers for the first signs of roosterhood.
Speaking of tails, I did see the arching tail feather and that is more often seen in a half grown male than a female. I have seen that in hens but it is more common in the male. If that feather gets any longer I would say it is a male.
Otherwise it tastes just like soy sauce, cabbage, onion, and possibly ginger. I can put eggs in it also but the soy has a stronger flavor than the eggs.
And, Scott? Sometimes the people you shoot at will shoot back, and any friends they have might shoot also.
Personally I like the Irishman's old fashioned way of dealing with invaders: they planted potatos. Yes you could shoot the farmer, but then you would not only have to carry heavy loads of potatos away when you looted but also you might have to dig up the suckers. Which takes time that few looters (or invading armies from England) have or wish to spend.
OK, many years later the potato's got sick and died, but it really was a good way to deal with people who wanted to steal your food.
Which comes first, the chicken or the egg? When I cook it is usually the chicken, and an egg is an after thought!
Here is Kansas the farmers raise a quickly maturing variety of winter wheat. I have raised it in my back yard for fun and for cracked wheat to ad to my bread.
Basically, the seed is planted in the Fall and the grain starts to grow when it rains in the Fall. Winter snow covers it and protects it, though a somewhat reduced harvest will be gotten even if there is little snow.
In June, things often dry up for the rest of the summer but then the wheat is harvested in June. Having little rainfall in June just means that the fields will be dry when the wheat is harvested.
This works very well n Kansas: my area in the USA is noted for its large grain harvests.
r. ranson, can you share what vegetables do well for you? Because my water bill this year is higher than I care for, and I would like to try raising vegetables that need less irrigation water!
I could not entirely unplug because I fell madly in love with a city boy, but I hear you.
We compromised: we moved out to the edge of town onto an acre of land, and I use the land as it suits me. And, I am so MUCH less stressed than when I lived in town and had to act "normal"! For unknown thousands of years our ancestors did NOT live in cities, and some of us re just not suited for city life.
I feel so much better now that I can truly unwind! I did not know how on edge I was until I got out of the city!
What we did, was, we found work in a smallish city, and then we took the interstate out of the city to what would be a reasonable commute. And that was where we looked to live.
Today I made relish from my own cucumbers and deviled eggs from my hen's eggs. Tomorrow I will pick blackberries and serve them on home-made yogurt. Life is now MUCH better!
All plants take nutrients out of the soil, and they also absorb nitrogen from the air. When the plants die and rot they then release the nutrients back into the soil. The real question is, do your vegetables have what they need right now? Are they showing signs of a deficiency? Just because a decomposing weed will return the nutrients next month does not mean your vegetable might or might not benefit from nutrients now.
So, look at your vegetable plants: do they look healthy now? If your vegetable plants are looking good then they probably have what they need.
Chris Kott wrote:Prepper culture is fear-based, and it spreads by compounding people's fears. If you feed it, it will surely grow.
I am 63 years old and life has kicked me in the teeth - hard - every few years. My preps are my insurance, and we do use them. Heck, just today I told my family to feed themselves as I am not very well, and that is fine because food is something that we do have! I consider days like today to be a good way to rotate the stock, and it is better for them than delivery pizza.
As far as mapping out the homes of preppers and raiding them, well, preppers have guns too. Raiding sounds like a good way to get killed.