Braden Pickard

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since Jun 06, 2014
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Recent posts by Braden Pickard

Edward Norton wrote:When I lived in the UK, I had regular deliveries from Riverford. They are a box scheme, similar to CSA’s but on a national scale. They leave a box of veg on your door step. I was very impressed with their packaging. They used very strong, collapsable cardboard boxes which you could leave out for them to pick up. They had a wax finish, so were semi waterproof. In addition, they used compostable ‘plastic’ bags and small cardboard punnets that looled like they were made of papier-mâché.

I confess, I still have two of their veg boxes in my basement full of camping gear.

Here’s a link to their website that explains their current packaging solution -

Thank you so much! That information is super helpful.
2 years ago
I’ve been running a small urban CSA farm on public school property the past couple years, last year we had 15 members, this year we had 20-40 members. This upcoming season we’ll transition to running the CSA from our 12 acre farm (5 miles northwest of downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma). We are shooting for 50 shares/week for 30 weeks. It will include fresh vegetables along with an optional add on of a dozen eggs.

We have currently been using these insulated bags from Amazon, along with these plastic produce bags:

This has worked okay for us. We bought double the amount of members we have, and so each week that member leaves the previous week’s bag on their porch for us to pick up when we drop off their new bag of produce. I’d like to switch to something a little sturdier, and I don’t think with how we’ll do deliveries and pickups that it will need to be insulated. I’d like it to be able to hold a carton of eggs, produce, look nice, be sturdy (last multiple seasons), and I’d like to put our name/logo on it.

I was thinking of doing wooden crates, something like this:

Also, I’d really like to get away from using the plastic disposable produce bags. I was thinking of buying these to hold any loose produce (greens, cherry tomatoes, small carrots etc…)
And sticking all that in the wooden crate.

What are your thoughts? Any concerns? Thanks for any input you have!

2 years ago

Jen Fulkerson wrote:Unfortunately I read the seeds are quite poisonous to chickens, and my chickens will gobble up what ever they can get through the fence.  It's a great idea though, I just need to find an alternative. To bad because the sunn hemp has so many benefits.  Good luck to you. Happy gardening.

You might ask a company that sells it if they think it would go to seed in your climate. Supposedly it needs a pretty specific climate in order to go to seed.

Dave Bross wrote:Thank you for this big time!

I believe you may have just solved about 5 excess heat and sun problems I've been puzzling over for a while...not to mention the added benefits.

So, I went looking, and found a resource for Sun Hemp bulk and many other very interesting and different cover and other crops:

He even has ancient peruvian corn as it was before it was Zea Mays corn:

The only other I found in small enough quantity were on Ebay, and a good bit more expensive, but small quantities of 300 seeds available if that's of interest.

The ebay source does have a dwarf version called Tropic Moon.

Again, many thanks.

Thanks for that link! That corn looks really cool. I've been trying to figure out how to grow more forage for our pigs, chickens, and ducks and that looks like a really cool addition.

There's a local seed store in our area that we buy the sunn hemp seed from in 50 pound bags and it's pretty cheap.
50 pounds will go really far, especially if your just using it on the borders of beds for shade.

Here's where I've also looked at buying it and other cover crop seed from:
I manage a 1/2 acre vegetable market garden in Oklahoma for a non profit that has a pretty low budget for inputting materials.
The first year our tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, beans etc...all stopped producing from July 1st-Sep 1st because the temperatures were so high and the plants had no protection from the sun. I wanted to put shade cloth over the entire half acre but the price would of been wayyy to high.

Last year I experimented with growing the shade for those summer crops with Sunn Hemp. And it was incredible! In May I would cut a little furrow on the very outside edge of the beds (our beds are 3 feet wide), sow the sunn hemp seeds in the furrow pretty thickly, then rake the soil back over it. It germinates crazy fast, even without much moisture. And then it would grow crazy fast! I would just chop and drop however much to get to the amount of shade I thought was best.

-So I ended up getting the shade I needed at a way cheaper price. And I didn't have to build a structure to put the shade cloth on. And I don't have to find somewhere to store the shade cloth when its not hot.
-It became a constant source of green mulch to lay around the summer crops (the plants I chopped and dropped kept growing back super fast so I was able to rechop them every other week).
-It's a nitrogen fixer!
-The plants I didn't chop and drop make these really pretty yellow flowers that would attract birds and pollinators.
-We had troubles with Bermuda grass in the walking paths and it couldn't get past the thick wall of sunn hemp into our garden beds!
-The tap roots go down really deep and I suspect bring up water and nutrients to share with the vegetables rather than competing.
-it's an annual so after the first frost it dies and that big root system decomposes over the winter and helps decompact and feed the soil.

I was super happy with it and I'll be experimenting more this year. I imagine if it's a hotter climate than Oklahoma I would plant a row down the middle of the bed as well as the borders for extra shade in the very middle of the day.
We get milk from our two dairy goats that we like to make yogurt from. We always struggled to get consistent results until this past year we started using our instant pot (electric pressure cooker). It has a yogurt setting, basically we pour a gallon of raw goat milk in, put the lid on and press a button, it heats it to
180ish, then turns off. Comes down to 110, we open the lid, put a 1/2 cup of a live heirloom yoghurt in, press another button and it keeps it right at 110 for however many hours you want it to incubate. Worked consistently every time, such a relief!

This year we'd like to make larger batches (3 gallons worth). I found this electric pressure cooker that is big enough for 3 1/2 gallons, it also has a yogurt setting. Anyone had experience with this brand?

Also thought about getting this, it's cheaper and used for keeping soup at a certain temperature for catering events, you can adjust it to any temperature between 100-190 and fits 3 1/2 gallons as well.

Interested to hear anyone else's experience with making yogurt in larger batches. Thanks!
3 years ago

John C Daley wrote: Septic tanks are very simple devices.
I looked at the site, it seems ok, but I doubt you need a book that big to complete a system.
If you have no skills whatsoever it looks as if it will be great.
For the money the risk is not high.

Hi John, thanks for taking the time to look at that and reply. I really appreciate it!
3 years ago
(if this is in the wrong forum feel free to move or delete it)

Just curious if anyone's bought this book or built a septic system using it? Wanted to see if anyone thought it was a scam before I bought it. On sale for $26 right now.
3 years ago

Anne Miller wrote:Braden, I found some threads that might be an interest to you and maybe answer some questions.

If not maybe another member might be able to help.

Thank you!
3 years ago
We live in northeastern Oklahoma and I am planning to build a 1 story 40'x40' house on a conventional concrete stem wall foundation.
We have twelve acres and have a hillside covered in beautiful sandstone.
I've experimented with building slipform stonewalls on my land and have had some conventional framing construction experience the past couple years and feel pretty confident in that.

My question is, could I build the stud framing of the exterior first, then infill with light clay straw (for a 6 inch wall) let it dry completely, then do slipform stone (8 inch thick) on the outside of the light clay straw stud walls (using just one side of the slipform built up against the light clay straw wall as the other side of the form)?

I would build the roof onto the slipform stone walls. I'd run electric in conduit inside the LCS, then do a lime plaster on the interior with the stone on the outside.

Our climate is driest in end of June - September, so I'd plan to start the LCS in fill July 1st.

3 years ago