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Inside, or Outside, Farms/Gardens????  RSS feed

 
Dean Howard
Posts: 126
Location: NE ARIZONA, Zone 5B, 7K feet, 24" rain
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Alas, I've come to the conclusion I have way too many insects, birds, and predators, yet I'm reading of Ben Falk's success in cold climates with zillions of obstacles he's overcome. I know, in theory, having the knowledge and planting all the right stuff, chases away the bad bugs, or at least, offers them up to good bugs, critters, and predators, but it's a little overwhelming to think a lot of us can make the leap. Help me out here... :>

How does one make the decision to grow outdoors, or grow inside, be it on a large scale, or very small scale?

Should I expect massive crop failure, and disease, as being the norm, until I get more well established in all the "Permie ways"?

I realize poor results are natures way of telling me something... I hope it's not telling me to go sell LiveSavers door-to-door... yep, young people may not know what those are. Uncle sold them between Wars I & II

How long until the average person can see the light and have hope of less, and less bugs, and more, and more yield?

WHO got off the ground in Permaculture recently and has good stories to share...?

I thank you all


Current crop: Gnats, flies, and garlic.
Local critters: Elk, deer, wolf, coyotes, rabbit, mice/rats/chipmunks, tarantulas, lizards/horned toads/gecko/snizards, raven, hawks, other birds
Local flora: Juniper, Cedar, Pinion pine, cactus, misc. ground cover, grasses
 
Su Ba
pollinator
Posts: 979
Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
122
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"Make the leap" .........I'm doing it by taking lots of baby steps in a row. I started out by scratch in 2004. Along the way I gradually learned about various crops, growing techniques, pests, diseases, etc. I'm still experiencing new pests and diseases, and new ways that crops can fail. Every year is a major learning experience. But every year I'm getting better at it. I could now be self-sustaining foodwise if I had to be.

"Massive crop failure, and disease, as being the norm" .......... I've never experienced across the board crop failure (except for the time the goat and ram broke into the garden and ate it), but I've had plenty of individual crops fail. Right now this year I can't produce tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, okra, or cowpeas. This spring all the peas failed due to a disease I hadn't seen before. But other crops are doing better than I ever had grown before. So it all evens out as far as food production is concerned. When I first started out my success rate was low on the production scale but every year I'm getting better. I can now steadily produce scads of potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, onions, and assorted greens without much effort.

"Large scale, or very small scale"........I always start out small then expand as I master the technique.

"Grow outdoors, or grow inside".......while I'd love to have massive greenhouses, I can't justify the expense. So my choice in my situation has been to learn how to grow outdoors. But I'm at the point where I'm seriously considering building a small but expandable greenhouse in order to produce peppers and tomatoes.

"Poor results"......I see them as learning opportunities. Kind of like an outdoor, hands-on brain teaser to be figured out. I enjoy brain teasers.

"How long?" .........I started out growing a little bit of lots of different things. So I actually saw some small successes even the first year. Even for me it was hard to fail with radishes and beans. They weren't grand the first crop around, but it was so morale boosting to be eating my first homegrown foods.

When I started teaching gardening to my friends, I quickly learned that everybody's situation was unique. Things could be different.......sun, rain, wind, soil fertility, the ability to gather resources, compost making, veggie varieties that did well, pests, diseases, the amount of time devoted to gardening, etc. So everybody's success rate was different. But to be successful, each gardener had to be willing not only to take their first baby steps, but be willing to keep learning and trying season after season. You can't be successful if you don't give it a go.
 
Dean Howard
Posts: 126
Location: NE ARIZONA, Zone 5B, 7K feet, 24" rain
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Thank you very much Su Ba! That was a wonderful response... very detailed, and encouraging.
 
Joseph Lofthouse
gardener
Posts: 2572
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
499
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Indoor growing is much more troublesome to me that growing outdoors. The bugs are worse for me. The damping diseases are worse. It's hard to get the lighting right. Water is always a struggle. The greenhouse is prone to overheating.

I add a few crops to my repertoire per year. Some do great for me immediately. Some I struggle with for years on end. Eventually I either develop varieties that do adequate to great in my garden, or I abandon the crop. No sense wasting effort on a totally lost cause. I can spend all the effort I want on projects with some hope of success.

I likewise have never had total crop failure... It's common for me to lose all the brassicas: Has to do with the timing of our spring rains, and with flea beetle populations. This year we had glorious crops of lots of different kinds of brassicas. I grow warm weather beans, and cool weather beans. That way, even if the season is unusually hot or unusually cold, I still get to harvest one or the other. In average years I get to harvest both.

I recommend that people start small. It's way easy to get overwhelmed by taking on a larger project than can be completed with the available skill set, labor, and resources. I weeded 4/10 of an acre today before it got too hot about 11 AM. I have practiced for years, and studied every ergonomic movement and trick of the trade that can be applied to weeding. Some of the people that come to my garden can barely distinguish a grass from a radish... That's OK. Cause I'm new to growing okra, and the last two times that I weeded the okra patch I chopped off more than a few plants thinking that they were weeds. I haven't yet learned to distinguish okra from lambs-quarters.

Massive crop failure to me would require something like an earthquake breaking our irrigation system. And even then, with adequate advance notice I could plan for crops that might succeed even without irrigation.




 
elle sagenev
Posts: 1282
Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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I did my first swales and planting exactly a year ago. We have bugs. I have some plants that are absolutely infested with aphids. The interesting thing there is that it is the plants I hate. Curly dock and some unidentified flowering weed. I hate these plants because they get so large adn spread so fast. I have eliminated all but 1 curly dock plant. That plant I'm taking the seed heads off regularly. The aphids remain and guess what, lady bugs are there. Lady bugs I didn't buy or bring. They came all on their own. Yay!

I also noticed a beetle, name I can't remember, that eats other beetles. I always find this beetle where there are earwigs. Yay beetle!

We found lizards for the first time ever.

Now if we can get a few snakes I'd be really happy.

So, you can do it. It won't save everything. Our kale has been completely consumed this year. But the green leaf lettuce is doing ok and so are many other things. So plant, and see!


I'm growing outdoors on a rather large scale. I only have 5 acres done now but 80 is the goal.
 
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