Genevieve Higgs

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since Aug 10, 2011
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Recent posts by Genevieve Higgs

I'd be interested to see what others are doing

Myself, I have decided not to do peas but have started the following:  parsley, kale, collard, mustard greens, mizuna, lettuce, swiss chard, green onions.

I'm thinking of adding in spinach, radishes and cilantro.  I will probably hold off until very early spring for the broad beans as squirrels love digging them up.  And of course garlic will be going in in a few months

I also have started a seed packet of ornamental kale.  I'm not sure if that is for decorative or culinary reasons,
I would definitely speak for the LOA option.  Take step back and dabble in the real world.  If you decide to return and finish the degree you can wait until hands-on education is re-established and return with some insight and context.

The idea of supplementing agricultural theoretical knowledge with some other needed, useful and profitable skill is not a bad one.  Go WOOF, and observe the world and consider getting a trade like welding, electrician, HVAC, plumbing.  Or a skill set like running a small business, producing commercial food etc.  Something that would let you be more self sufficient around your plot of land, contribute to your community, and pull in an external income when you need it.   These things don't need to be all done at once, but investing in yourself and your skill set doesn't need to be done in a university getting a degree.
2 years ago
If you have flax seed I would recommend a flax egg.  It gives you fiber and omega 3 and makes your pancakes have cute little "freckles"

My method is usually 3 heaping tablespoons in a blender ground to a flour consistency then add in 6 tablespoons of water, mix and let sit in fridge for 10min.  it gets the same volume and moisture content as an egg that way and can be used equivalently in most baking
2 years ago
Skandi - you're right, I hadn't thought about all the bits and pieces that hitchhike along with greens.  I guess root veggies might not have the monopoly on unintentional dirt consumption.  Mainly it was the thought that there might be some previously unrecognized benefits to growing the "plain jane" veggies in my garden that blew my mind.

As far as cobalt goes I see no literature suggesting an excess or lack of it in my region.  I guess that for now I will continue to amend with seaweed when possible and keep some deep rooted plants around as nutrient elevators.  Maybe one day when a soil test is done I will take more specific action.

William - Perhaps some Propionibacterium freudenreichii and lactobacillus helveticus or pseudomonas desnitrificans will make it into a compost tea!  Pseudomonas sounds like it will have a better shot at thriving in my soil, although the "produce yields all costs" part of my mentality doesn't like the denitrifying aspect.  I suppose that like all things it is important to have balance in the natural cycles.

As for direct consumibles first I will learn how to make sauerkraut and basic pickles, then one day will come the custom brews!  Some sort of fermented nut cheese could be awesome. But for now nutritional yeast or sublingual vitamin pills it is.
When choosing what edible plants to put in my garden I have focused on plants that are expensive, rare or perish quite quickly (within the constraint that they must grow happily in my region).  So herbs and leafy greens were high on my list.  Potatoes were not a high priority as the ones from the store were cheap and seemed just as tasty as garden fresh.

Recently I started eating a plant based diet, which can be lacking in B12.  Apparently before the green revolution root vegetables would be eaten with a bit of dirt and a schwipe of B12 producing bacteria.  Fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides have eliminated that source of B12 from the western diet- and to be honest I'm not sure I would want to eat dirt from a commercial farm. But maybe homegrown potatoes would provide a boost to my healthy diet.

So now root vegetables have risen up my priority list. but I am pondering the following things:

How many seasons of chemical free gardening with hefty mulches applied would truly return my soil to a state good enough to eat?

What conditions do B12 producing microbes like?

Would all root vegetables be equal or would some have better associations with b12 producing microbes?  Celeriac, beet, onion, garlic and potato have survived in my garden before.
When I ate meat it was my favorite for "breading" chicken prior to baking.  It seemed to hold in the flavour superbly.  Also great in brownies
3 years ago
Hey Amber welcome to the wonderful world of mucking around in the garden!!

What region/climate are you in?

I would go with the "keep it simple" and don't sweat the small stuff.  Plants have been growing with and without human interference for a long time.  Maybe ask other people in your area what grows well - if it wants to grow you won't have to work so hard to get a crop.  There is so many things you can do and almost nothing is flat out wrong.  Just with time you will notice some techniques will work better for your context.  So ya, maybe mulch, maybe compost, maybe dig -maybe not, maybe woodchips, maybe just stir up the dirt and shove something in.

If you see some seeds or seedlings on sale for cheap give something a whirl.  Each time you try you will learn!
Small detail:  I clipped my fingernails short, ensured that there are no cuticle snags and made sure that I have good soap and a basic hand lotion.  Easy to keep clean, healthy skin with fingertips that are unlikely to aggravate into microtears.

Think about how the grime stays under your nails and in the cracks when you work in the garden or on mechanical things.  That is likely where the germs will lurk
3 years ago
I have been observed rescuing and saving co-worker's discarded banana peels at work.  There is something about a bit of potassium for the compost that sparks my interest.
3 years ago
"She's working, and lives about 3 km out of town, and isn't fit enough to walk or bike that distance. "

3km by bicycle should be feasible in about 10-15 minutes by most people on most bikes without undue exertion.  Many people could cover that distance in under 5 minutes.  Either there is a large hill, which would affect choice of e-bike or there is a deeper underlying health problem that needs to be addressed when choosing a transportation mode.  Or deep mud or sand dunes or epic weather or a lack of interest in using cycling for commuting.

If someone doesn't want to cycle an e-bike isn't going to do it for them.  There is helmet hair, the need for bike handling skill, the need to interact with other commuters, the presence of weather.
3 years ago