Monday, March 17, 2008

Jack's Permaculture Part 2


At 7:21 AM, Blogger Weaseldog said...

Over on YouTube...
jmsjoin (1 hour ago) Show Hide
I hope this works. I had to do this in 2 parts! Can the spinach and grow swiss chard. Plant an Asparagus bed it produces very well every year. Did you know carrots love tomatoes? Have you discovered companion planting? Use of Garlic? You discovered winter wheat but I gather you don't know yet its value and why it is planted?
Anyway, I could be here all day and I have to research so I better go. Adios!

My soil is yellow river bottom silt. It still packs hard int eh summer. Without any amendments, it becomes like concrete. I've had a little success with sweet potatoes but regular potatoes come out very tiny. So I haven't worried about root crops. Maybe after composting in a few hundred more bags of leaves I can do carrots... If you have any ideas on this, I love to hear them. The nice thing about the soil is that it is mineral rich.

I'm in a climate with very hot summers here. The spinach will be dying in June. Will Swiss Chard do better? I've never grown it.

I have elephant and some kind of hardneck garlic growing, along with horseradish.

For the winter wheat, I can till it back in? Then grow something else? Or use for hay? that bed is probably going to become okra when it gets hot.

I have volunteer Poke Salat coming back up. I didn't know it was a perennial, it is resprouting from last years roots.

At 10:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Weaseldog, I really enjoyed the video.

Maybe after composting in a few hundred more bags of leaves I can do carrots...

People from very rich fertile areas have no idea what we're up against in TX and OK. Sometimes they are downright snotty about it. It is a yearly struggle to find enough organic material to amend to soil. I have composted in two feet of packed down leaves and grass only to end up with 1/4 - 1/2" of a good rich layer. Keep at it, you are on the right track.

At 10:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

P.S. You weren't kidding about your chickens being happy. I would be happy too, if I was a chicken and had that setup.

At 2:39 PM, Blogger an average patriot said...

I don't know where to start! Believe it or not one of my Brothers is an avid Gardener and living in the Mohave Desert amends his soil with what is available and that is raw material plastic pellets and it works well.
He also has to shade his plants. Here I always used leaves even going around the neighborhood picking up all the neighbors and going to the local dump.
Poultry was my major in High School and I managed many broiler farms amongst Beef and Dairy. Every 9 weeks we shipped out 50,000 broilers and I always kept 30 or so to butcher for us. We smoked our own bacon too, scrumptious!
Having a caged chicken run through the garden is something I picked up in Germany. They really do it right.
As for swiss chard, it is hardier than spinach and a lot larger and more prolific. potatoes are the one crop that likes to be planted in the same spot year after year and likes poor soil. That's why it does well in Ireland and they suffered so deeply during the potato famine.
You do not want to use leaves to compost for carrots unless you do it years in advance and have it totally broke down. I have grown some great carrots and believe it or not done it in peat and it takes a shit load of water.
Ultimately you would want to sift your hard pan if you can and break it up at least a foot deep but that sounds impossible in Texas. I never gardened in Texas but took my combat training in the hills and it was hard not very fertile and full of little cactuses.
Anyway I envy you for doing what you are and I hope a lot of people check out your videos!

At 7:17 PM, Blogger betmo said...

hi there- jim sent me over and i really enjoyed your video. my thought is- hard times lie ahead of us. the un has predicted food shortages and folks are talking water wars too. those are the basic necessities of life and i really don't want to depend on 'the system' for my basic necessities. they have been doing a craptacular job of things for decades. i believe you about oil too. anyhoo- i am from upstate new york and currently live in a small city here- but grew up in the country. i am hoping to get back within the next few years- and have enough room to fully sustain hubby and me. i am putting in a small garden at my sister's house (i own it) and i am going to can and freeze what i can. i don't have the problems you have in texas- but believe it or not- the soil here can be clay in some layers. i had a pot garden last year- i grew tomatoes and peppers and green beans on my small porch here in the city- i even coaxed some cucumbers out of a window box. i made a compost bin out of a rubber maid bin with a lid- and the compost was excellent- although not quite enough. i really think that the more self sufficient we can become as far as basic necessities- the better off we'll be. my next challenge- storing water.

At 9:33 AM, Blogger Weaseldog said...

Welcome Betmo! Your efforts sound great! Will you post a video when you get going with that garden?

Jim, our soil is not so bad as West Texas. I'm just outside of the black clay region that was once so famous as cotton country. My home lies in an area where the trinity river once flowed. The river now lies a few miles away.

Today we're enjoying thunderstorms. My garden should really take off over the next few days.

At 1:54 PM, Blogger an average patriot said...

You're a hit! I just noticed your comment on winter wheat. You know it is grown as a soil cover and as a green manure as you till it under in the spring. Very good! i am going to check out you first video now!

At 11:26 AM, Blogger Reluctant Lemming said...

Great videos; thank you! Have you read any Fukuoka? He has ideas and methods that might be simpatico with your garden. For instance, he used white clover as a ground cover everywhere - even in garden areas. It adds nitrogen and organic material to the soil; it stays low to the ground. It even smells nice and helps make tasty honey - if you ever take up beekeeping.

At 11:36 AM, Blogger Weaseldog said...

Thank you RL. I'm taken a bit aback as to how well these videos have been received. Especially considering the poor quality from my inexperience at working my neighbor's camera.

I plan to work clover into my garden. I had intended to do so, long ago, but I seem to forget when I place seed orders. Now my office has some lovely white clover growing out front. I may snag some on the way out today.

All of the clover growing in my area atm, is the kind that produces those annoying burrs.

I am interested in bee keeping. I have enough woodworking skill that I can probably make my own frames.

My grandfather kept bees so I'm comfortable with them, and with wasps. Before I start with bees, I probably need to fence the last bit of property behind my back fence and put it there. It needs to be where it won't frighten my wife and kids wandering about won't be tempted to throw rocks at it.

At 11:55 AM, Blogger an average patriot said...

I was going to suggest bees to you. lot of benefits besides the honey. Use to keep those too. There is probably somewhere around where you can but the frames. You don't have to extract the honey but just chew thew honey combs, Maybe you can find a cheap extractor?
By the way I never heard of clover with Burrs. What's up with that?

At 12:18 PM, Blogger Weaseldog said...

Here's a link to Burr Medic, one of the Burr Clovers that can be found here.

The burrs aren't particularly bothersome unless you have hairy livestock or pets. It causes terrible tangles.

I think I'd enjoy making the hives from scratch. At one time, I even came across molds for beeswax on EBay. Maybe I can figure out how to make those too?

It is my goal to try to learn how to do much of this work, on as little expenditure as possible. There are some items I can't avoid buying, but when I do, I look for things that will last a long time. My last big expense was an old fruit press that is still in good working order.

At 1:21 PM, Blogger Reluctant Lemming said...

Before you go into beekeeping, look around at newer methods than the traditional box & frame hive. I've been getting ready to start keeping bees next month and along the way I found two interesting schools of thought. There is the Langstroth hive: a stack of boxes with frames, sheets of foundation, tops, bottom boards, etc. And there is the Top Bar hive: a box, a row of bars across the top and a roof.

There is plenty written about TBHs on the 'net, even some videos, but Bush Bees is one of my favs:

At 1:40 PM, Blogger Weaseldog said...

Thanks RL!

At 4:49 PM, Blogger an average patriot said...

Excellent Jack
we use to buy the combs and just slide them into the hive then cut the wax off and spin the honey out or eat the honey comb.
Do you have a cider press? Yes we made cider too and it was a pressing process Ha! but they must have house hold size huh? You do alright. I wish betmo would talk to you more. She is very interested in this too!

At 8:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi wease!


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