Sherry Jansen

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since Dec 19, 2012
Gardened casually for 20 yrs, then read Twilight in the Desert and it changed how we lived. Bought the farm to test ourselves on how much we could comfortably sustain ourselves.
Southern MN
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Recent posts by Sherry Jansen

I am not so sure BuckWheat will deter any weeds, including thistle.

However, I do know that rye will stop weed seeds from germinating so it is often the first thing old time farmers put down.

The 2 types of rye are Annual, which dies if you have a hard freeze, so you need to cut it prior to it seeding, and, Perenial rye, which also has 2 sub species- Endophyte free and Endophyte ... Not free.
having any of these types of rye will reduce the weeds from germinating, so, if you get the Perenial rye, most weeds will disappear over time as most are annual and many are perennial for several years.
if you let the rye go to seed, then you will see the rye take over.

I look for endophyte free since the endophytes can be toxic to runament animals. It's more expensive, but since I raise foraging sheep, worth it.


4 years ago
Most, not all, states have adopted uniform Environment Protection Agency rules.

The INTENT is generally - Not to Pollute Suface or SubSurface Soils.

This generally means that What YOU do INSIDE your house does NOT apply to these Rules and Statutes, though there are exceptions to the rules.

Generally, STATES have NO Authority IF you- Recycle Greywater into usable water for things but not drinking water.
Or, Composting and incinerating toilets.

Don't let them bully you because most local authorities think they are god in regulating your home's "waste", the trick is that THERE is No Waste!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hb0xf3mRbJM [/youtube]
4 years ago
I have been looking at Sand Filtration for our grey water-


Then, once clean, it be used for nearly everything except for drinking. If you heated the water it could do dishes, laundry or, flushing toilets, though most people don't make enough grey water to use for the water wasting toilets so maybe get a SeaLand toilet with a compost toilet system?
4 years ago
You could plumb in a pump to pump it to a toilet, but yes, most toilets flush more than 2 gal/day.

I have been researching Sand Filters so, once the water is cleaned, I guess it could be used for a lot of things- clothes washing? Toilet flushing? Store it and use it when the garden needs it?

Here's a link to Sand Filter system:
4 years ago
Thanks for the compliment on the plow pan article. I live near the area that only got 50% planted this spring and it's a bad scene around here.

Here's one article Is Cutting Edge grass seed a GMO?

It's better to stick with the low growing, no mowing grasses on the market before 1997. My favorite is Low growing no mowing less watering no chemicals lawn grass seed...... I just had to throw that in!
5 years ago
And oh, yeah, I hate those toilets.

We have a big SunMar, a Natures Head and a home made system.
The SunMar has fruit fly issues.
The Natures Head is constant work.
The home made system is easiest....but it also tends to have fruit flies.
5 years ago
Give her a shot of collidoil silver once a week. More if she has reoccurring UTIs.

If this is the first time she has used the silver, go light on the dose. Most people have so many bad germs built up in their system that they experience some flu-like symptoms the first week on taking it. If someone is real sick, their liver gets overloaded with cleaning out dead decaying germ bodies.

I had a diabetic in the family and it kept her UTI away.
5 years ago

R. Morgan wrote:I have a hard white clay subsoil with a small amount of dusty brown soil on top. Grass struggles and is slow growing. Soil is acidic.
I am thinking of adding lots of horse manure to improve soil structure , moisture holding capacity and fertility. This is a smallish area
of irrigated pasture (in South Australia) which I need to establish. I need to find out what deep rooted plants to put in the mix, where to get the seeds for
it in small enough quantities and really.......... everything
All ideas appreciated.



Hi again, The hard sub-soil can be broken up by planting deep rooted plants. Alfalfa, crown vetch, clover (get a tall kind and the roots will correspond to do the breaking up the sub soil).

If you can't get grasses to grow there now, you will shortly after those nitrogen fixing plants have established themselves and the grasses and other plants will be ideal for pasture for your animals. They will also help the grass get deep roots.

I prefer using crown vetch because of how deep the root system is. I stay away from alfalfa because I have to keep replanting it. The other benefit to the crown vetch, IF it is legal to grow in your area, -it doesn't cause bloating in runimant animals. IF you are in a restricted area who does not allow crown vetch, hairy vetch might be an option.

If you have a problem getting the nitrogen fixer started, then you may have to dig in some plants of them first. As the plants establish, you won't need to add manure to the area again.
5 years ago
Just a suggestion-reduce the lentils as most nitrogen fixing seeds become an "anti-nutrient" as they first sprout. Alfalfa, beans, peas, lentils and the like. Small animals like growing chickens and baby goats, sheep, calves are more sensitive to the anti-nutrients and can get nerve damage from too much of them.

I have a couple books on Advanced Sprouting Fodder. It talks about the nutrient values of the sprouted grains and most grass grains have a high protein value during the first 10 days of sprouting. It also talks about some unique designs to save time and space for sprouting.

I mainly use oats as the base grain cause the cost is unavoidable. The protein values of oats is close to barley.

One other thing I do to make sure the animals get all the nutrients they need is to add a light dusting of Rock Dust Minerals over the sprouts before they eat it. it doesn't take much, just a pinch, but it makes them extra healthy and the manure is nutrient dense for the gardens.
Blue grasses are high maintenance, if that's what you want. Besides, it might not like the heat of your Sone unless you plan on adding a sprinkler and wasting your water on it.
I think looking for a no mowing low growing grass would give you the lawn you want unless you like adding to your workload.

Start any lawn renovation by getting rid of weeds, then choose your grass and follow the directions.
5 years ago