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Questions about non-traditional plants and more

 
pollinator
Posts: 212
Location: WV
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So I've pretty much decided against going back to work for someone else and am working on expanding my garden beds.  I am currently using raised beds and taking the no till approach.  I'm hoping to start producing for market in 2021.  Meanwhile I have planted rhubarb and asparagus from seed and was wondering if others have had luck selling them at market.  I know the rhubarb will be limited harvest next year and the asparagus really shouldn't be harvested until the year after.  I have never seen rhubarb for sale locally and the asparagus spears at the supermarket look sick compared to what I harvest from my current plants.  I do have about a dozen established rhubarb plants already.  Have seeds arriving for purple asparagus and Glaskins Perpetual rhubarb also.

I had a bumper crop of Jerusalem artichokes last year and am planting them in the chicken yard this year as we aren't planning to get chickens again until at least next year (coyotes and repairs needed to chicken house).  Not sure how well they would sell locally since we're in a pretty backwoods rural area but know I could sell them online if needed.  My first question is would I need to worry about E. coli contamination by planting in the chicken yard?  There hasn't been chickens there in three years and I planted them there simply for convenience this year and so I could free up the area where they were growing previously.  The next question is would Jerusalem artichokes be hazardous to chickens?  I know I'm not going to get all of them out of the ground and thought I'd leave a few so the chickens could have some shade while in the pen.  I also remember letting the chickens loose in my garden several years ago to scratch around as I'd done several times before with no problems.  This time though, they ate most of a dozen cabbage plants and were pretty sluggish.  I know from my personal experience that the artichokes cause more gas than cabbage.

I'm also growing chives and garlic chives from seed as we use lots of both.  I would probably sell these in 4-inch pots and was wondering how many plants per pot?  I've seen chives for sale at garden centers with 3-5 plants in a pot and thought they looked rather skimpy.
 
pollinator
Posts: 2140
Location: 4b
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I think you have a great idea.  If at all possible I would grow the asparagus from crowns.  Even when doing that, it's a few years until good production.

You shouldn't have anything to worry about with E. Coli in the chicken area.  There is more risk from this year's bunny shit than there is from your chickens from three years ago.  I've never heard of Sunchokes hurting chickens.  Some people feed them to chickens.  I'll be surprised if you freed up the area they were growing previously.  I've never done it without really intentionally covering the area with plastic for quite a long period of time, but that is a different subject :)  The chickens may kill them off at some point though.  I often see people looking for sunchokes to buy to plant, you may have a revenue stream there.

No idea about growing chives to sell, I just have plants in my forest garden for my use.
 
Michelle Heath
pollinator
Posts: 212
Location: WV
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Thanks Trace!  

I was planning to get asparagus crowns this year as well as seeds but by the time I had cash everyone was sold out.   Hopefully I can find some this year as well as seeds.

Yeah, I missed several Jerusalem artichokes.  I read where someone had luck yanking the shoots out when they broke through the soil so I’ve been doing that.  Ironically I got the biggest tubers out of my paths vs the “improved” area where they escaped.
 
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