Cynthia Callahan

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since Nov 14, 2012
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Recent posts by Cynthia Callahan

Hanley, the grass is a mix of timothy and fescue.. it has a huge amount of canadian thistle and tansy mixed in.. (great huh) the grass has been pushed to one side of the path.. the path snakes back and forth and comes out right next to where it started. I planted peas, kale and lettuce. the peas have started showing their little faces, just waiting on the rest. I have been digging out the tansy and spraying vinegar on the thistle. The grass is almost tall enough now to start cutting and laying it out as a mulch on the raised areas. I planted a cover crop in the walkway. the walkway looks like a lake after a good rain, so it is doing it's double duty as a swale. the fruit trees are doing well and my hop plants have all made it out of the ground. it still does not look like a conventional garden.. probably never will. But I think as my first run on a food forest? bed it will work out great. I did add an additional 10 rows 4'x120' that I will plant corn, hulless oats, hulless barley, pole beans...etc... in .. Next year I hope that all the mulching and nitrogen fixing plants will give my spring a nicer start!
5 years ago
Tyler, Thank you for the videos, I had seen them before, they are great! the picture I drew was crude at best, and my plans have been for a winding/snaking path ( I think it aesthetically correct) I think if I do the raised bed/ swale on the up hill side. of the path (mind you it is close to flat) the beds could be higher than if I had them on both sides, if I went further into it and actually created hugelkulture beds for future loops I may see a gain ( I will have to bring in timber for it).
I especially liked the video that showed using the chickens to clear the land. unfortunately, I will have to have my chickens in a fortress as I have eagles, hawks , coyotes and raccoon's to keep out. pigs would work well, I think if the pig house was on wheels I could do a temporary pasture, then move them to new... but that is not going to happen this year, certainly it could be in my 5 year plan.
5 years ago
I did a sketch up of the lay out.. the brown strips are the area in question. the grass is so dense that I have to do something with it this year. the area is 400 ft long by 150 ft wide (this year), pretend the red car is my tractor. the path will be replanted with low clover, alyssum, what ever.. the space between the paths will be 20 to 30 ft, planted with fruit trees, and perennial herbs, berries, vegetables. one area will have hop plants low trellis, with herbs planted as companions. the benefit of doing raised on the edge is it will hold moisture into the perennial beds and it will warm faster. the field is flat, so adding some edge is another benefit. all my annual vegetables will be planted in this area. the soil has a lot of clay, so compaction is a concern. the size limits the options for the initial build. so I guess the real issue is how to set the grass back enough to plant the annuals..
5 years ago
Help, I am putting 2 of my 5 acres into a food forest/garden/I don't know what to describe it as.. my field is clay loam, I have planted about 20 fruit trees so far, and every shovel of dirt has many worms. I have mowed the grass, and this is where my thoughts get twisted... I am thinking that I will mow a path, then use my tiller to loosen the soil, and finally come through with my back blade and roll the loose soil into a raised bed along what will now be my path, I can till once more and pull the blade to put a mound on the other side of the path. have I lost my mind? should I just do a minimum till and not bother with creating the raised beds. I am too old to pull weeds all day, so I am working towards "do little get a lot".
5 years ago
SheWee seems like something to clean up...... just keep her trimmed up solves the no TP issue... when there is a group of people and you walk off, if you assume that everyone is watching you, you probably have an ego issue. My favorite spot to pee on is a mat of moss.. all is silent, no splash. I am 54 and wondering if I am going to have to deal with the sideways pee issue? hope not, I would have to learn how to lift one leg while squatting
6 years ago
5 years ago I lost my high stress job (blessing) and opted to take my pension rather than another high stress caustic job. My husband and I sold our "DREAM" errr maybe Nightmare.. home and bought a extreme fixer.
we did the repairs and improvements our selves and sold it last spring for a profit. We purchased a home on 5 acres in an area that will produce more food than we will need, so potential income abounds. Any repairs / improvements we have done we always get a bid from several contractors, freak out over the cost of supporting another family and do the work our selves. every home we lived in has made us money. This time, I do not want to move again, So instead of starting projects that add value to the home I am concentrating on making it a homestead. If I never sell a carrot or an apple I will be ahead, my food bill will drop by 90% by August this year. My children and their families will also enjoy the bounty, in turn their food bills will decrease. This acts as a buffer to the terrible inflation we suffer. If you sit and do nothing rather than walk your talk, keep a day job. If you don't think of farming/gardening/cooking/canning/building or repairing as a job the money you DO NOT MAKE has no negative consequence.
6 years ago
I just started "Bokashi" composting in November, I too refused to spend money on the bran. I made my own EM with rice water, then added molasses purchased from the local farm store, $12.00 for 3 gallons. I diluted the mixture into a spray bottle (20 parts water one part activated EM) and spray the kitchen waste as I place it into the bucket. I farm/garden so I felt no need to use a potato masher to press out the air, have palm, cam smoosh. the 1st bucket is ready to add to soil today, but alas it snowed so my day was spent doing other chores. I did move the bucket to the garage as it is in the last 2 days beginning to stink. I opened the bucket and have a marvelous bloom of white micelium??? no black mold, does not smell like pickles or sauerkraut. this 1st bucket has about 3 lbs of chicken feet in it as I made broth and do not feed cooked bones to my dogs. Biggest learning...... open the lid on the spray bottle, the pressure from the fermenting EM causes the spray bottle to force liquid out. 2nd bucket is full and has no chicken feet so I can make a mental assessment as to weather the large amount of animal caused the less than friendly smell.
compost with out turning is a great thing, I do have plenty of other things that need done... Keep it simple!
6 years ago
I think you should get a heavy equipment operator licence. that way you can earn money doing "GIGS", rent the equipment to build raised beds and terrace your land. Farm for health and sanity, operate something big so you can afford to buy truffle trees for your orchard..
6 years ago
in 1989 (about) I read an article about making a comfrey healing juice. it was simple to make, harvest comfrey, roll the leaves as tight as you could and pack tightly in a dark jar seal to keep out air. place the jar in a dark spot for 1 year. The resulting black liquid was then painted on the affected area, sprain, bruise... etc. I had made one batch and it lasted for over 5 years, I had good results, but I have not made it again. I am looking for more information on it. Does any one know the process I have described?
6 years ago