Tracy West

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since Jan 22, 2017
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Recent posts by Tracy West

I've fed raw for years to my cats and dogs. I aim for around 10% bone although it depends on their stools and how rich the rest of the meat is. I only get venison meat on rare occasion and then it's just organs and legs.
I just cut things with a knife for my small dog and older cat. I used to grind but none of them liked it hat way.
1 year ago
OP-have you had a soil test? You may want to get an extension agent out to help you formulate an action plan. Most parts of KS are very productive,they have just been overused and abused.
1 year ago
You should be able to get poultry litter,horse manure and maybe feedlot cleanings. I've found that horse manure,since it is mixed with plenty of bedding,is great even without anything else mixed in. I've spread it straight on the fields in winter using my manure spreader and have also piled it up and then spread after it sat for 3-6 months. I've never done a formal compost pile with turning but my piles of horse manure have always made fine compost and I was able to turn 40 acres of clay with sparse weeds to,lush Bermuda using this method and only the seeds from the manure and hay used to seed the pasture.
I currently don't have a large place,just a small garden and 1.5 acres for the horses. I do harrow their pasture and that,along with scraps from the round bales,adds a great amount of organic matter to the pasture. I pile the stall cleanings up and use it as my compost,adding leaf mold and worm castings. Btw,the horse manure straight is like worm crack.
The neighbor has a huge (maybe 2,000 acres?) of crop land and he piles a mountain of turkey litter up all winter,delivered by semi. In the spring they spread it on the fields on top of the winter oats. The oats grow a month or two longer and and then get turned under so they can plant. They also rotate crops,using either soy or peanuts,then alternating with cotton or corn.
For something large scale I think cover crops are key,then hauling in huge amounts of manure,letting it sit in a pile a few months and spreading it.
We have sandy soil here so the farmers all use this method. It also works on clay,which I've experienced in OK,AZ,CO and WY.
1 year ago
I bought some Carolina Gold rice seed this year. Not sure what I should do with it. I live only 1-2 hours to the north of where it grows naturally.
I have a few options but I've never grown rice. I have an old,sludgy koi pond that needs some repair because our big pond is leaking into one side. It hasn't had a fountain,filter or any type of maintenance in about 20 or more years. I'm leaning towards using this and perhaps raising the one end,which I've been meaning to do anyway. I could add a fountain to reduce mosquitoes and/or some type of mosquito eating small fish. It would need to be a native fish since I don't want anything possibly invasive to escape into the pond,although once I get that end repaired that should be a problem,it could still flood into the pond if we get another hurricane.
I have considered adding crawfish as well as a form of edible aquaponics.
I have a big pond but no way to drain and flood it. It does have one end that gets pretty shallow most of the summer,maybe 2 feet deep.
I could also use a kiddy pond if that would be better.
Should I start it in small pots,perhaps in the greenhouse? What temperature should it go out or be planted? I was thinking along with the sweet potatoes?
Should I broadcast or maybe seedball it?
1 year ago

Gilbert Fritz wrote:In the USA local extension services often do soil testing, for about $50.


Or free. Our soil tests through the extension agency are free most of the year and a very small fee during the busiest part of the spring.
I live in NC.
1 year ago
Very nice!
If you ever decide you want to sell seeds I will be the first to buy!
Welcome to Permies!
1 year ago
Meant to add,we have tons of wild muscadine and scuppernong grapes. The ones in shade don't produce but the ones in part shade do. I keep meaning to prune and fertilize a few of the better ones but just haven't done it,yet.
I love the Seminole pumpkin idea although I'll need to buy some seeds. I could also try some runner beans since I have a ton of seeds for those.
A lot of my shade is lighter in the winter. My woods are a mixture of long leaf pine and hardwoods. It's an amazing property. I think the original owners in 1980 leaned a bit towards permaculture since many of the original design is very permaculture friendly. I seven have solar panels for my hot water heater!
This is a fairly new climate for me,I've always lived in the west-CO,OK,AZ and a year in western WA.
1 year ago
These are all wonderful ideas and I will give a bunch of them trials. I love the ginger and turmeric idea since I have a pound of each to plant out in the garden.
Will the hardy kiwi also do well i
Shade or part shade? I'm looking for a good spot to plant 3 tiny females and a male. I don't really even know if they can do well in zone 8, I may need to switch to fuzzy kiwi instead.
1 year ago
Considering the price of gourmet mushrooms and fresh herbs at the grocery or market, I'm considering growing both for market when I retire. Basil,rosemary,lavender,thyme,cilantro,and parsley .
Bamboo is another,if you are creative and crafty. You can make a million things out of it and prices are ridiculous for simple crafts like deer scaring fountains and little flower vases. Plus,the shoots are edible and delicious.
Fruit, especially berries bring high prices but getting fruit grown that doesn't have bug issues and looks good for market would be a much bigger challenge.
If you live in an area where you are allowed to make things for market,
You can make things like pasta or pickles and jams. Nuts bring a very high price. That greatly increases prices but you may need a certified kitchen or other licenses in some states.
Root "spices" such as turmeric and ginger can also bring a high price but you need to be in a good climate for them or grow in a greenhouse.
Have you checked out the "Urban Farmer" videos by Curtis Stone? He's up in a cold Canadian climate,don't remember exactly where.
I've been looking at this stuff for awhile since I will do something when I retire in a few years. I may also consider doing some goat cheese and selling heirloom birds such as turkeys and ducks ready to eat for holidays.
1 year ago
I have broadcast seeded grains and grasses into pasture many times,while the ground is wet. I let the horses stomp it in,or cattle when I used to have them.
I've had great success with it,although I have normally done these cool grains and grasses in the fall. I will be doing this with common Bermuda this spring.
I love to plant cool season pasture for the horses,although I now have two old horses who seem to be sensitive to the high sugars in them.
I've not tried brassicas. This year,I did throw down some deer plot mix which had chicories,radish and clovers plus rye. I haven't seen much come up but  it was pretty dry this winter and my pasture is badly overgrazed. I'll try that again next fall since I think the goats will appreciate it.
2 years ago