Thanks for all of the responses. So far I see that people are using dirt to grow sunflower microgreens and I haven't seen anyone sprouting sunflowers with just water in sprouting jars. Maybe that means that it is not done for a reason. I'm still searching on that issue. I do not want to use dirt as it is just not convenient for my situation.
I ordered a 10x20 abba greenhouse. I had one about 10 years ago and that same greenhouse is still performing like a champ (gave it up in a divorce).
I want another one so I ordered it and the shipping company (Pilot shipping) botched the delivery twice. In the meantime I am reading more reviews and it appears that there are a GREAT MANY bad reviews with in the ltwo years Including pictures of deteriorating fabric etc. I am concerned that possibly the product is not as good as it once was.
Can anyone recommend a good, durable, greenhouse kit to purchase? I want plastic film as I feel that it stands up to our winds better than plastic panels.
And..... has anyone bought the abba brand in the last couple of years? If so how is it holding up?
My motto has always been “what you don’t spend you don’t have to earn”.
I always buy homes in what many people consider ‘undesirable’ areas. Under NO circumstances will I buy where there is a homeowners association. My mortgages are always less than $500 a month. My current house is in town within walking distance to grocery, credit union, restaurants, etc.
So many people say it can’t be done but I’ve been doing it, in town and in the country for 30 years.
I retired two years ago and couldn’t possibly be happier. If I HAVE to get a job I can walk up the street and work as a cashier somewhere but my basic needs are taken care of.
I must add, though, that this retirement required me to do jobs of drudgery that a lot of my friends say they just cannot do. My answer is “you gotta pay to play”. 20 years of doing jobs that others wouldn’t touch gives me the freedom to laze about the house and travel now at 58 years old.
I am currently teaching myself French (second language is on bucket list), establishing my second Urban Permaculture Demonstration garden, riding my bicycles, creating art, and traveling. Next country on my list is France.
Madison Woods wrote:This is my latest kestrel. All of the color came from my own paints that I make from local stones and clay. If you’re interested in the paint, I have them listed at my website (www.wildozark.com). They’re called “Paleo Paints” 😁 The painting is sold.
I am very interested in your paints. When I was in Cuba recently a children's art program was teaching a technique of painting that used clay, coffee, and dirt. The paintings were beautiful.
I like the idea of using the found, recycled, and less toxic resources around me to create art. I currently have a studio full of oil paints and acrylics but eventually I would like to transition completely to all natural and recycled products.
Since retiring I have been able to devote somewhat full time to my art - of course there is still 'growies' and cycling - so I'm not sure what full time means.
But I love that there is an art forum here at permies and I am in awe of the posts here - some truly beautiful work.
So here is one of my favorites. The Age of Innocence was inspired by two children playing at a local farmers market. In this world of data, plastics, ipods games and tablets......these two children were completely fascinated with the rocks and dirt and leaves. They were totally unaware that a large group had formed around them and were taking pictures of them.
I used BLURB to self publish a book for my mother.
For a first timer with absolutely no experience I was happy with the results. We ended up with a quality product and BLURB allows for total inexperience mode where it guides you every step of the way - to very experienced where you can set up, change, organize however you want.
Expensive product, yes. That is the downside. However, if I decide to do it again I will use BLURB. I am thinking about making a catalog of my art.
"Thank you everyone. Now, I get it. What I have isn't sand. It is, fertile soil in training!"
I live in an area called the Sandhills of South Carolina so you can guess what our soil is like. On a previous property I spent over 10 years converting sand to rich earth with what I think was great success.
I am on a new-to-me property now, all sand of course. Worm holes are the number one tool that I use along with mulching leaves into the lawn for those areas that I mow, piles of wood chips and packing green grass clippings around the base of plants.
For wormholes I do the following:
Dig a hole about three feet deep and one foot in diameter. Put empty the daily kitchen scraps into the hole and cover with a stone or paver to keep animals out. Keep filling until it is full cover with a bit of soil and move to another location.
I have lizards and toads that like to move into my wormholes so I currently have three holes that I am leaving open because I don't want to disturb the two lizards and one toad that have taken up residence.
Roses, banana plants, apples trees, citrus trees are all planted next to wormholes and doing well. I think their roots grow into the hole.
I have been adding citrus peels to my 'wormholes' for 4 years now and my sandlot yard is converting nicely into soil that things actually grow in. Here is a video that I recently saw about using citrus as compost.
Also, my FAVORITE thing to do with citrus, as someone mentioned above, is Limoncello. I had a really nice batch of it from lemons that I picked while in Florida. But it's gone now. Time to make more!!
This is an Urban lot (in town) and there was already a house circa 1957. Sort of a working class ranch style neighborhood. Most of the houses are one bathroom but this one has two full baths. Fairly plain but comfortable and sturdy house.
As for earth bag construction - I do not have experience with it but I will assume that it would hold up fine. I believe that there are some communities in the Asheville area that might have some experience with these types of construction.
Hello Permies People,
There are so many new folks here since I was last a regular contributor that I feel that I should make an introduction. I spent about 10ish years developing a semi rural permaculture demonstration farmlette that some of you may have seen in my previous posts and photos. That is gone now and in it’s place is…..
The Urban Permaculture Project (UPP) is my new(ish) project, just about 4 years old.
The core of the UPP is an urban corner lot in Sumter, South Carolina and branching out from that core are many assorted projects. I am currently working with The Friendship Community Garden, about a mile from here, restoring an old 70s model Schwinn to be used for transportation, consulting with a local commercial grower who is incorporating sustainable methods into his farming operation, and finishing up Master Gardener course certification.
Recently retired (2 years ago) I now also have time to do more traveling. I returned from a trip to Cuba a couple of months ago and learned so many new things that I want to try and share. Next week I am leaving for a short trip to Peru to hike the Inca Trail. That to is a learning opportunity that I am eager to experience.
For today’s first photo I am featuring a picture of the ‘mini pond’. This water feature is the standard Lowes model that a friend has had in her yard for about 10 or more years. She didn’t want it anymore so I dug it up and installed it here at the UPP.
I believe that some sort of water feature is essential to every growing situation. It produces toads and frogs, dragonflies, nutrient laden water to feed plants and so on and so forth.
We are fortunate here to have an actual sidewalk – they seem to be disappearing in the USA – and I believe that sidewalks are so important to strong communities in so many ways. Hopscotch and other artwork is displayed on the sidewalk and friends and neighbors are encouraged to contribute.
This year, 2018, is the first year that ANYTHING has grown successfully on this barren sandy soil. The previous 3 years of composting and mulching appears to be paying off. There are lots of projects in the planning stages; food forest, book share, food/plant share, etc.
In my area winter time is my FAVORITE time to garden so I’m gearing up for a very active winter garden. Looking forward to sharing those posts with you.
Yes Leslie, I live in the Sandhills area of South Carolina. I bury wood and compost all of the time. Many areas here are pure sand and I find burying organic matter the best way to build a good soil. If you want to help it along even further add some worms to the hole or trench.
Had to have my scooter hauled into my local Yamaha dealer because I let it sit for over a year (bad scooter mom).
One of the first things he did was whip out this little rectangle thing and start the scooter with it. I was in total amazement as I had never seen one before. He said he starts his hunting buddies truck with it all of the time.
I had to have one immediately. It is part of my emergency kit. Starts cars, scooters, charges cell phones, computers. Has flashlight and beacon. Every kind of charging cord comes with it. I bought mine from my local yamaha dealer but this link is to Home Depot.
I was told to detox by a traditional (meaning not modern medicine) doctor about 15 years ago.
Modern medicine doctors wanted to put me on lifetime meds, do surgery, etc., etc. for a multitude of problems.
My doctor also warned me that when he said detox he did NOT mean that I should take additional supplements, purge or anything else of the sort.
He said what he meant was to stop putting bad stuff in my body. He said that the body is naturally set up to heal and detox on it’s own - but it cannot do that when it is constantly trying to heal from a daily barrage of toxins that we put into it.
He told me to drink only clean chemical free water, teas from clean plants (not sprayed or commercially processed), and real food from sources that I can depend on - grown and raised without chemicals or additives of any kind. Stop using antiperspirant, no artificial scents in the house, no fabric softener liquid or sheets, and the list of daily chemicals we use goes on and on.
This was VERY difficult to do but sourcing this food and water is what eventually led me to permaculture. Previously I had never read labels or questioned what each and every ingredient was.
I initially went on an alkaline diet and the fatigue, joint problems, skin problems and brain fog cleared up in an amazingly short period of time. Then I gradually included more foods in my diet but continued to ‘eat clean’ for many years.
I have fallen off the clean food wagon for the last 3 years and have paid a ‘heavy’ price; I’ve gained weight, joints are swollen and painful, skin problems are back --- so here I am - getting back on the clean food wagon again. And it is harder than one would think to ensure that we keep toxins out of our bodies.
I would first make a list of things that you want to eat or use (food and medicine). Then figure out how many of those things will fit in your space.
For example, in my yard a fig tree will take up too much space for the amount of figs that I might eat. I am the only person in the house that will eat figs so I will not plant a fig. Instead I will plant more apples and citrus. My husband and I will both eat apples and citrus and both of those trees - depending on type - will take up less space than the fig.
I have found that there are many things that grow well but I end up not actually using so there is no point in allowing them to take up my limited space and resources.
1. Chickens are great 'cleaners' in the garden beds.
2. Wait until you inbetween an old planting and a new one - they will go in and scratch the hell out of everything, tearing up everything as they go. They can turn a lush patch of green into bare earth in a matter of a couple of days. I have fenced in small areas that were super thick with weeds and put a flock of 10 or 12. They stripped it bare. I have found chickens to be the most effective tool to clear property - have you ever seen a chicken coop with even the tiniest plant in it?
3. I used to turn my loose in an area of well established plants about an hour before sundown because that only gave them enough time to go scratch around the base of the plants and then with dark coming they would head for the coop before they did too much damage to the plants.
4. Never turn them loose around seedlings or fragile plants - they will be scratched into oblivion.
5. Their manure, even though it is fresh, is scattered here and there as they wander and I have found that it is a great way to get my beds fertilized with no work at all on my part. I like the no work part, it is the essence of permaculture
Great post - I did not know about goats rue until I saw this post so I had to look it up. Apparently it is used for a lot of things besides breastfeeding. I have included a link that I found informative - for those, like me, who are just learning about this herb.
I also would like to know more about toxicity before I would consider using it - but it is now on my list to add to my medicinal plant collection.
I live in the sandhills of SC. So far I have learned that it takes me about 8 years to get a real transformation if I don't truck in loads of stuff but just use the waste from my own kitchen and yard.
BTW, where do you live? Frostline vs. no frostline makes a big difference in how you do everything.
In addition to burying wood here are some of my soil building techniques:
Bag green grass lawn clippings. Pack them thick (3" or more) around the base of plants and along garden paths. Suppresses weeds, retains moisture, makes plants happy, and after only a short time dirt underneath becomes very loose and black. A layer of newspaper underneath the clippings is even better as worms love the paper.
Large (250 gallon) wire pen or other container with the bottom cut out. All kitchen trash goes in. I don't bother with grinding anything up. I keep a rake nearby to rake up a few leaves to throw on top of any unsightly or juicy trash. I don't turn it but will occasionally water it. I also rinse out any milk/yogurt/cream containers and pour this water on the pile. I will move this pile once a year or so. I plant things around the outside of the pen. Right now I have ginger and turmeric growing around one of them.
After the pen is moved the area underneath is ready for planting. I'm going to move my biggest one in a couple weeks and plant carrots/turnips/mustard/lettuce.
Plants to enhance soil Mustard, Comfrey, Mullien, clover, buckwheat, any root crops.
I do not currently have animals at this location so once a year I get pig poo from a friend who raises pigs without chemicals and a 50 pound bag of dried quail poo from a local organic quail operation.
If you do not find any worms in your soil you can go out in the woods and dig around for them. I put them in my new compost pens and then 'harvest' them from the base as they multiply and move them to new areas in my yard. A little hole with a bit of paper and kitchen trash and a couple of worms and fill hole back with a bit of loose dirt.
The property before the one I own now was a super composter. After about 9 or so years of developing the soil I could bury a turkey carcass just 3 or 4 inches below the surface, put a rock on it, and a month later it was just rich black earth. Junk mail and cotton clothing took about 2 months but was still pretty good to plant right on top of pretty quickly.
On my current property - all sand - I have an approximately 250 gallon 'pen' made of chicken wire. In goes all kitchen scraps, dried leaves, and just recently a 5 gallon bucket of fresh pig shit. The plants around the base of the pen are looking fabulous and the worms that I find there look like they are on steroids.
I occasionally take some of those worms and move them to other areas of the yard.
I never turn the pile but will move it from time to time so it can create a new fertile section of soil.
Kudos to you Hamilton and I wish you many years of success.
I too believe (or hope) that there are alternatives to the current mainstream methods.
Personally I believe that we are so scared when we get some sort of diagnosis from modern doctors that we feel me must go along with modern treatments or die. It is a highly personal and emotional decision.
For myself I believe in herbal/food/lifestyle treatments and and happy to learn about the things that others have tried that they believe work.
I am currently growing and regularly taking turmeric. It is my hope that this root/herb will slow and possibly reverse my issues with skin cancer.
Except for the sweet potatoes, the plants above will grow throughout cool weather, once they get going to can always go out and trim a bit here and there to get a plate of fresh greens to toss into some beans or eggs.
The sweet potatoes can keep producing leave in a protected area throughout the winter and, if you don't take too much you can eat some leaf tips while at the same time establishing some root to grow in warmer weather.
Don't take all of anything at one time so that they will eventually go to seed so you can plant more from your own supply.
The netting is for all the other animals in the area that will want to eat if for you. Oh.....carrots are good too and in a hotter climate they are best planted for winter harvest. Sweeter when harvested in cool weather , bitter when harvested in hot weather.
Almost all of the bones in my feet have been broken at some point of my life.
I do not offer advice because I am not a medical professional. I am simply telling you what I do for myself - and it may not work for anyone else and/or may not be safe for someone else.
I take comfrey tea internally, I look up the dosage that I use each time as I always forget these things. I make my tea from both root and leaf. I also take a tea of calendula flowers.
Chiropractic care is essential. Years of limping around favoring one foot or another have caused damage to other joints in my body. I am skittish about letting just anyone do it though so I won't go to just anyone - I make an 80+ round trip drive once a week for treatment.
Elevating my feet several times a day is necessary to give what ever bone is currently broken a chance to rest from weight bearing.
Foot and calf massage from someone who has a firm but not aggressive touch is good for keeping blood circulating through the area and helps to prevent swelling and potential blood clots.
All of my shoes, without exception are zero drop or negative heel. Brands are Kalso Earth Shoe and Altra. This alleviates pressure on the bones in the forward portion of the foot. Earth Shoe tends to run a bit narrow so, at the moment, there is only one style - a sandal - that I am wearing. Altra has a wide toe box; I cannot wear any shoe that constricts the sides or top of my foot in any way.
And lastly, bone broth made from sustainably raised animals and good sources of vitamin D, such as sunlight, mushrooms that have been exposed to the sun.
I have been seeing more and more on this subject of JADAM. I have not yet seriously rooted around in all of these resources enough to make up my mind about the process. But it does appear to be a sincere effort to find a way to produce food that is less harmful to our environment.
At the bottom of the page on the website are links to 'how to' instructions. Apparently Yuongsang Cho wants eveyone to have access to this method free of charge even if they cannot afford to buy his book. I have included an excerpt about him from the website.
President of Jadam was born in Hwaseong, Korea in 1965. He graduated Suweon High School and studied chemistry in Aju University. He got his Master's in horticulture from Chungnam National University.
He served in the special forces unit 706 and upon completion of military service, went to Asan to start farming. He established Jadam (meaning "People that resemble nature") in 1991, and opened website www.jadam.kr He established "Natural Pesticide Institute" to do research on environment-friendly method of pest maangement. Having also gathered knowledge from many organic farmers on the fields, he founded the system of Ultra-Low Cost (ULC) Agriculture.
He wrote "Jadam Organic Farming: the Way to Ultra-Low Cost Agriculture." This book is a masterpiece that well collects and organizes the knowledge of Jadam method.
Below are some of Mr. Cho's inventions/innovations. It is his principle to "open and share" all knowledge instead of patenting them. This is to fight against knowledge being owned by the corporations. - Natural wetting agent (no heating)
- Natural sulfur (no heating)
- Natural microorganism solution made with potatoes
- Natural microorganism solution made with mixed grains
- Natural liquid fertilizer made without sugar or molasses
- Natural pesticide against rice bakanae disease
- Natural pesticide against canker, leaf spot
- Natural pesticide against powdery mildew, downy mildew
- Natural pesticide against aphids, mites
- Natural pesticide against tobacco moth, beet armyworm
- Natural pesticide against stinkbug, mealybug
- Natural pesticide against slug, snail
- Natural pesticide against citrus flatid planthopper, leafhopper
- Natural pesticide against rice water weevil (surface spreading agent)
- Comprehensive pesticide for rice
- Eliminating flies from livestock housings
- Complete fertilizer program for crops
- Naphthalene pesticide
JADAM Organic Farming