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Hay Bale Farming  RSS feed

 
Doris Ledet
Posts: 5
Location: South Mississippi, zone 8
1
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My husband and i have a very small area for our annual garden, and it gets flooded as we are located on wetlands.  We tried hay bale planting in 2016, however they fell apart before harvest.  So, after harvesting we just broke them down the rest of the way and allowed our flocks to forage in it the rest of  the year.  This helped to build up the soil a bit and we used cardboard in our walking areas to prevent weeds, and a combo of rabbit poop and composted chicken poop.  Our garden grew so much more this year.  So much that we had to give away a lot.  The flooding was still an issue, however.

What can i do to "build up" the soil even more in our off season?  If i spread hay over the area and let it compost into the soil, would that help?  Or is there a cover crop that grows well in the fall/winter that can be used?

Thanks for your help.

PS, what are the steps to becoming organic?  We use no chemicals in our yard due to our poultry.
 
Bryant RedHawk
gardener
Posts: 2549
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
210
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Sounds like you just need to keep doing what you know now works.

If flooding is an issue then you might need to think about raised beds.

We use organic straw bales for our tomato garden spaces.
I lay out two bales wide by 5 bales long gardens then I use 2x10's to enclose the bales so they stay where I want them.
After the first year of growing they are broken down to half their bulk, at the end of two years I just set new bales on top of the now compost previous bales.
This gives us a very nice garden bed for other plantings and the biology of the soil is very improved along with the friability of the soil under the composted straw bales.

When you ask about going organic, do you plan to raise items for sale at farmer's markets?
If you aren't going to do that, then just follow the No pesticides, No herbicides, No commercial, artificial fertilizer and you will be better than "organic".

The USDA Organic certification was designed for large farms and so allows some items to be used that I would never use on my "All Natural Grown" farm.

We don't buy any fertilizers, don't use any "Cides" don't use antibiotics, don't use any feeds that might be GMO or contain GMO products.
We try to keep everything from any "outside" influences so mostly if we can't make it on the farm, we don't use it.
Our end goal on Buzzard's Roost is to be a closed farm operation. Meaning nothing from anywhere else for growing vegetables, fruits, hogs, chickens or goats. It is a lofty goal but I am hopeful to get there.

Redhawk
 
Justyn Mavis
Posts: 44
Location: FEMA District III
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Sounds like you need some berry bushes, ducks, trees and a few swales. This will help redirect the water.

It sounds like you are Beyond Organic.


-Justyn
 
Doris Ledet
Posts: 5
Location: South Mississippi, zone 8
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chicken duck rabbit
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Justyn Mavis wrote:Sounds like you need some berry bushes, ducks, trees and a few swales. This will help redirect the water.

It sounds like you are Beyond Organic.


-Justyn


We do have ducks as well.  I've thought about swales and adding a pond to our place.  Still a work in progress.
Not 100% organic, but working towards it.  We've added comfrey to for feed so we can get our flock completely off of any commercially produced feed.
Thank you for your suggestions.
 
Doris Ledet
Posts: 5
Location: South Mississippi, zone 8
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chicken duck rabbit
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:Sounds like you just need to keep doing what you know now works.

If flooding is an issue then you might need to think about raised beds.

We use organic straw bales for our tomato garden spaces.
I lay out two bales wide by 5 bales long gardens then I use 2x10's to enclose the bales so they stay where I want them.
After the first year of growing they are broken down to half their bulk, at the end of two years I just set new bales on top of the now compost previous bales.
This gives us a very nice garden bed for other plantings and the biology of the soil is very improved along with the friability of the soil under the composted straw bales.

When you ask about going organic, do you plan to raise items for sale at farmer's markets?
If you aren't going to do that, then just follow the No pesticides, No herbicides, No commercial, artificial fertilizer and you will be better than "organic".

The USDA Organic certification was designed for large farms and so allows some items to be used that I would never use on my "All Natural Grown" farm.

We don't buy any fertilizers, don't use any "Cides" don't use antibiotics, don't use any feeds that might be GMO or contain GMO products.
We try to keep everything from any "outside" influences so mostly if we can't make it on the farm, we don't use it.
Our end goal on Buzzard's Roost is to be a closed farm operation. Meaning nothing from anywhere else for growing vegetables, fruits, hogs, chickens or goats. It is a lofty goal but I am hopeful to get there.

Redhawk


What do you mean by "closed farm operation"? 
 
Bill Erickson
master steward
Posts: 1124
Location: Northwest Montana from Zone 3a to 4b (multiple properties)
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I believe Bryant is referring to the practice of not using any amendments from off property and building dense fertility into the soil with the right mix of "green manure" crops (clovers and others) along with those that pull nutrients from deep in the soil to the top like daikon radish and similar. He has some great writing on what "soil" is made up of and other things around here.
You can click on his name in his posts which takes you to his profile and you can then find a lot of his thoughts on these things. He is one of the many treasures of this place.
 
Angelika Maier
pollinator
Posts: 938
Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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I am not a big friens of these raised beds with structures around, but in your case it might be the way to go. I often use old roofing sheets for my propagation beds which I simply screw on timber posts in every corner. And Because I don't like the angle grinder I leave them as they are, that means the beds are about hip high. You will be out of the flood zone (hopefully). The second thing is woodchips, I love them. You might get thekm for free ask treeloppers in your area.
 
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