Marilyn Paris

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since Aug 04, 2015
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Hillsdale County, Michigan
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Recent posts by Marilyn Paris

re: a factor of five.

I don't have my goats on the lawn but they are fertilizing it just the same.  I tossed out a lot of diluted kefir to the north of the well to the edge of the hay field all winter long.
I about covered every inch but more so 10 feet from the porch, where the grass grows much taller and faster. It is so much easier to toss it from the porch than to walk out on the snow some days just to get it spread more evenly.
Spreading it evenly is not that important. It is only the lawn.
I left the lawn alone to the south of the well. You can see the line where the grass was "fertilized". Not with manure but definitely with a goat product.
I have already mowed that area 3 times and it needs it again. The grass is taller there right now than to the south of the well where I haven't mowed even once. It does finally need it now.
It is only end of April and all my neighbors have mowed their lawn one time. But I am going on four times in just this small area.
Marilyn Kefirlady,
who will have gallons of extra kefir all summer and need to find an easy way to apply it to the hayfield. And more evenly than I have been.
The last two years I walked out with a couple of five gallon buckets every day (heavy) and tossed it here and there without rhyme or reason.
When half circles of lush grass showed up I knew something good was going on. And in the farthest corners where I never walk that far, it only needed mowing three times last year, but it was hardly lush.
Where the kefir got applied and my pee, I believe I mowed 8 times. Green and thick.
1 year ago
I don't remember. All I know is that I am not going to waste any more time mixing half done or less than completely composted sawdust in potting mixtures. If it worked for you, great. Marilyn
2 years ago
Sawdust mixed in with potting mixes didn't work for me even though urine soaked. Killed my plants. Maybe it would work after the sawdust is completely composted. It was great for mulch in the garden.

Marilyn Kefirlady
2 years ago
Methinks your plants will die if planted directly into fresh anything. It really needs to be aged. That said, let me tell you what I did last year and it worked fabulously.

A little background just so you know how bad my soil was when I moved here. Last year was my first garden. Soil is totally yellow colored clay with many rocks. It is either waterlogged or cracked when it starts to dry out. Rototilling was bad and I discovered just in time. I decided never to rototill again.

So I needed a place to put the goat bedding and didn't want to make piles any more. Piles breed flies in my experience. And then it takes two years for them to break down enough to use if the pile isn't turned. Mine weren't turned.

So I was exactly like you, everything in cells waiting to be planted out. So I planted my well started tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, etc in rows three feet apart directly into the clay soil. Then I placed the fresh goat manure full of straw between the plants for mulch. Not too deep. First rain and the manure washed into the soil below and all you could see was straw on top. There was no odor and no flies! My harvest was wonderful being fed with manure tea every time it rained. I did NOT have to water the garden at all last year. Where I did not have the mulch, the soil cracked and the plants suffered. Clay you know does that. Same exact soil was constantly moist underneath where the goat mulch was even during dry spells. I couldn't wait to have to clean the barn again just so I could lay down more mulch between my waiting plants. That's a switch. LOL

By the end of summer most of the mulch had disappeared into the soil. This year it is completely gone but the clay is not cracking and I can get my broadfork into it several inches! After one season my soil is being transformed! Marilyn Kefirlady

P.S. The sawdust experiment above failed. Can't plant into sawdust. But my fresh urine soaked sawdust worked great as a mulch for my strawberry plants last fall. It smothered the weeds and the strawberry plants got huge and gave me lots of fruit this spring.
2 years ago
The way I understand how a guinea bird controls ticks is that they are tick magnets. The ticks find them! Just like they find your dog. The difference between the dog tick magnet and the guinea tick magnet is that guineas eat ticks. They clean themselves up. Marilyn Kefirlady
2 years ago
Hi Niele,

You make a good point about watching out for overly wet foods and is addressed below. Probably everyone knows here about being careful about introducing a new food to a rabbit or to any animal. You do it gradually. Another thing to consider with wheat grass is its high protein content. It can be as high as 22% on a dry matter basis. You want a rabbit to have between 16 and 18%. So wheat grass is a little rich besides. Adding hay is a great idea.

As far as moisture goes, there is a simple fix. If growing the wheat grass in soil, cut and air dry it. It probably doesn't have to be overly dry because you aren't baling it. What I am doing for the goats, is growing wheat grass without soil. I want them to eat those roots, which are totally white by the way, but I don't want them eating sopping wet roots, so I turn the whole mat over and let those roots dry out for a day before feeding. I like the small trays I use. There is 0 mold with my method because I am able to keep every square inch to an even moisture. This was not so with the larger trays I used in the past back when I had my cow. There were overly wet spots and dry spots. Here is a whole window dedicated to wheat grass; the two trays of pea shoots on the sill are for me. Marilyn
2 years ago
Hi Ian,

If no one else speaks up, (hopefully some one will from your country), I can send you some this spring. Shipping them will be a small fortune. Just warning you. Marilyn
3 years ago
Brian Hetrich, who is in charge of all the sprouting going on at the Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach, Florida says:

"Sprouts are 10 to 30 times more nutritious than the best vegetables because they are baby plants in their prime. At this stage of their growth they have the greatest concentration of nutrients than at any other part in their life. Sprouts are highly digestible and release their nutriets easily due to their delicate cell walls and abundance of enzymes."

I don't own his book but if you are new to sprouting you might want to get it. It's called Growing Your Own Living Foods and you can get it on I have been sprouting, mostly in jars as he teaches you, for 40 years. Also, I see from the pictures that he is using large trays (where are you going to put them?) and using jars (been there done that). The jar method simply uses way too much water and is time consuming rinsing twice daily and again where are you going to put all those jars? A better book to get on sprouting and is the source for most of my inspiration is Year-Round Indoor Salad Gardening: How to Grow Nutrient-Dense, Soil-Sprouted Greens in Less Than 10 days by Peter Burke.

Marilyn, hoping to infect the minds of everyone who likes to eat salad greens with something so simple to do and that is 10-30 times more nutritious than the mature plants you get in your garden. Not to mention, delicious and with a good texture. Oh, yeah, since this is the rabbit thread, it's gotta be great for your critters. And probably why the dairies who feed barley fodder can get away with no supplementation for their cattle.
3 years ago

Tom Connolly wrote:This thread has done a bit of meandering - hope I didn't miss anything that I am commenting on now. I am reading up on raising rabbits now and have been interested in the idea of growing wheat grass for bunnies. I have read some posts that say that rabbits love it but I think they were fed the wheat grass from weaning time. There are many systems available to grow your own wheat grass - takes about 2 weeks. Some are large enough to use to feed cattle. It is always a good idea to use what is growing locally, but in winter, if you live in an area that is cooler, there may be less of a choice.

Hi Tom,

I read through this whole thread, three pages long and starting four years ago to see if anyone was feeding their rabbits wheat grass. Unless I missed it, no one commented on your post. I don't have rabbits any more but I do have goats. And they get fresh wheat grass in winter. If I had rabbits I would definitely consider growing wheat grass for them in winter if you live in a cold climate. The beauty of wheat or barley grass for that matter is that the plant can pick up all 70+ minerals if they are available. So fertilize your wheat grass with ocean water. I know of at least one dairy that feeds fodder growing it with one of those fancy set ups and their dry cows thrive on just fodder with no supplementation necessary. They do supplement their lactating cows with grain. This thread is about all the variety available for a rabbit diet. Growing your own wheat grass and vegetable sprouts would be very doable for a few rabbits. And inexpensive. And easy peasy with the right method. I got that method.

I grow wheat grass in soil in 4 X 8 solid bottom containers in my house for some of the goats all winter and green them in the window. I start six trays per day for a treat for just the ones I am milking right now. I bought special window shelves because I do a lot of sprouting for myself. With four shelves per unit, one window is now worth five windows as far as sunshine goes. I get a green salad every day with exotic greens like sunflower greens, buckwheat lettuce, pea shoots, radish greens, turnip greens, cabbage, kale, cress, arugula, and on and on and all done in 7-10 days. Pea shoots are cut and come again several times and my most prolific green. The others are cut and then they are done. I don't need a tractor or grow lights, pumps, a greenhouse or other expensive equipment. I recycle the root cakes and compost them in a five gallon bucket so after a while potting soil will not be an expense. I have all the trays I need and now the shelves. Sunshine is free. I already heat the house. I didn't realize I was living in a greenhouse. It is 0° out there today in southern Michigan but balmy inside and the plants are happy. I fertilize with liquid kelp and ocean water in a soil less mix. Everything is delicious and I think because those plants have all the nutrients they need for their short life.

It takes a little bit of time to plant the trays, which I thoroughly enjoy. Then you do nothing for four days while they are in the dark. This makes the sprouts get "leggy" the opposite of what you want in normal farming. But you are harvesting the sprouts for their first leaf and stem, think biomass. It only takes about five minutes per day to water the whole window garden. Each tray gets one or two tablespoons of water. Remember there are no drainage holes so you have to be careful not to over water. I go by weight. If a tray feels heavy I skip a day. You are bottom watering so there is no mold, unlike you get with those spray systems. And you use a lot less water. No drainage holes, no muss, no fuss, no mess. And they look great in the window. Marilyn
3 years ago
Hi Dana,
Charles Walters, the one man army. I love him. I've read quite a few of his books but I haven't read that particular book. Tell me if he mentions that grass is the only plant on earth that can pick up all 70+ minerals if they are in the soil. This makes grass better than kelp, which cannot do that, but which exists in the ocean where all the minerals are! Other high end foods are sweet potatoes at I believe 67 minerals and tomatoes at 56 minerals. Tomatoes at the store have about 12 minerals because that's all they put in their hydroponic solution. No wonder they taste the way they do and spoil so fast.

Back to the topic we started with. Here is an update on my patch of grass where I was drying my grass for a day before picking it up for haylage or hay, which left quite a bit of grass because I couldn't rake it all up. I'll call it the mulched area. We had some close to 0° weather a week ago and everything went dormant. By dormant I mean, it is not green anywhere I look...except... drumroll, ...the mulched area. It is still green in that spot. I should also mention that there is a large section of my hay field that I had treated with diluted urine and right next to it diluted kefir. It is all mapped out with flags so I know where I put what. When the whole field was brown and dormant, that spot was green also until this cold spell. Now it is brown out there, as would be expected in winter. As far as the color green goes, it is more important to mulch with grass than to fertilize with nitrogen. That's my observation. Marilyn

3 years ago