Armageddon MUD General Discussion Board

Non-Armageddon Discussion => Non-Armageddon Discussion => Topic started by: Melkor on April 19, 2017, 03:31:57 PM

Title: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 19, 2017, 03:31:57 PM
Post pictures. Ask questions. Offer Advice. Swap Seeds/cuttings.

(http://i.imgur.com/3K6cQiE.jpg)


This is a 2.5 year old Japanese Fuyu persimmon grafted onto a Native Persimmon rootstock, fresh out of winter dormancy. The Japanese roots are very susceptible to nematodes and disease, where the native persimmon are quite resilient.

(http://i.imgur.com/otMwQoF.jpg)

Already forming a persimmon blossom... I am tempted to let it grow and see it produce, but I will most likely prune the blossom.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: boog on April 19, 2017, 03:36:20 PM
None of your pictures ever link for me!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 19, 2017, 03:46:08 PM
Waaaat. I suck at internets. Let me try this shit again.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: BadSkeelz on April 19, 2017, 03:46:31 PM
It looks like the links Melkor is giving are A) not images themselves and B) behind an account wall.

You'd need to get to the source image (so that the URL ends in something like .jpeg .gif .png etc.), then post with [img] tags.

Melkor I suggest going to your links, right clicking on the image and selecting "View Image". That should get you to the source. That URL might be usable with tags or it might get blocked again by Google. If it's blocked I suggest rehosting on imgur or some other free hosting site.

Anyway that's my advice. Oh also Topsy Turvey planters suck unless you have really good light.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 19, 2017, 03:56:15 PM
The account wall was the issue. Thanks for the tip. just went and hosted on imgur.

If my blueberry picture from the other thread didn't show up, as well...

(https://i.imgur.com/9rrea45.jpg)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Refugee on April 19, 2017, 06:54:24 PM
Did you do the grafting yourself?  I would love to grow persimmons but the native variety are so very tall that us old folks don't want to mess with them.  Will your persimmon tree stay small like a pure Japanese tree?  And how different does the fruit taste between the native and Japanese variety?

Is your soil acidic enough for the blueberry or did you have to amend it?  I planted six blueberry bushes last month, four different cultivars for ripening throughout the summer.  I'm going to mulch the crap out of them with pine needles, and feed them food for acid loving plants.  I'd love to hear what you did.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Refugee on April 19, 2017, 06:59:03 PM
This is my sick peach tree.  It has peach leaf wilt.   :'(

(http://www.dogwoodmists.com/Refugee/Peach 3.jpg)

It's a fungus and very contagious to other peach trees.  I have to strip the infected leaves and burn them.  I'm going to pull off the little fruit too, so the tree will put all its energy to fighting off this invader and making more leaves to feed itself.  There are a lot of infected leaves.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 19, 2017, 07:16:53 PM
Did you do the grafting yourself?  I would love to grow persimmons but the native variety are so very tall that us old folks don't want to mess with them.  Will your persimmon tree stay small like a pure Japanese tree?  And how different does the fruit taste between the native and Japanese variety?

Is your soil acidic enough for the blueberry or did you have to amend it?  I planted six blueberry bushes last month, four different cultivars for ripening throughout the summer.  I'm going to mulch the crap out of them with pine needles, and feed them food for acid loving plants.  I'd love to hear what you did.

A friend of mine down in Jonesville did the grafting, and showed me how. He has some Fuyu persimmons grafted onto native rootstocks that are over 10 years old and about 15 feet tall. But if you want it more convenient, then topping and pruning will make the tree conform to your needs.

Persimmons are my favorite fruit. Our native ones are horribly astringent, and almost inedible until they are almost rotten, when the sugars overwhelm the astringency. Really native persimmons are only good for harvesting for their sugar, and rootstocks. There are other cultivars of persimmons that grow in Asia that are non-astringent, and delicious. My favorite is Fuyu persimmon, which looks like a big orange tomato with flesh the texture of firm honeydew, or if you let it overripen, like a tomato. They are so damned delicious. Every year I go to my friend's orchard in October and bring home bags of Fuyu Persimmons.

Right now, I am mass-planting native-persimmon seeds I collected from the woods. I want to grow like 30 native trees, then use them to graft clones of my Fuyu persimmon onto. My end-goal is to turn all of my land, and some of the surrounding forest, into a massive permaculture food forest. Many years of work ahead of me to see that endeavor realized.

My soil, undisturbed, is pretty neutral, a mix of limestone, sand, and clay. I amended the soil around where I planted my blueberry with the oak-leaf loam I can get from the woods - literally inches thick layer of rotten oak-leaf detritus -  mixed in with the surrounding soil. I have heard that top-mulching with acidic mulch like pinestraw and oak-leaves will only have a real impact with sandy soil, otherwise, it needs to me mixed in with the soil and left to decay.


Damn. That sucks about your peach tree. Years back, I had to cut and burn my orange and lime trees because they were infected with citrus canker. Will stripping the leaves and fruit be enough to prevent the spread to your other trees?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: boog on April 19, 2017, 07:37:32 PM
You can graft anything onto anything! I recommend watching Dave Wilson Nursery's video series about backyard orchards, Refugee! You can prune nearly any tree and keep them very, very small and manageable!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 19, 2017, 07:50:39 PM
I thought trees have to be in the same Genus to be graft-compatible? Like all citrus can graft, apples and plums and whatnot can graft together, all persimmons can graft together, etc.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: boog on April 19, 2017, 07:54:21 PM
Forgive me. I got excited. I don't think my statement was amazingly accurate, but I'm in between cooking supper and cleaning, so..

I know i works with ALL stone fruit. So, a cherry, plum, peach, can all be grafted onto the same root stock.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 19, 2017, 07:58:59 PM
Haha no worries. It is really exciting stuff. I've only recently gotten into grafting and cloning trees. I have two cuttings from a UF florida prince peach tree that I am trying to root right now. They are staying green and healthy, and they have been within moist soil for 3 or 4 days now, so I have high hopes. Other than that, I have a cutting from a Celeste fig, two blackberry cuttings, and a branch of my rose bush that my dog bent over that I am hoping I can root into a new plant.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 19, 2017, 08:14:10 PM
Even though the other side did amazingly? There aren't any barriers or anything in that garden. It's just a big stretch of dirt.

I grew so many watermelon, squash, and zucchini on the other side, that I was really ready to do just that, scorch the earth, heh.

I dunno if it's worth a go again. That place has never yielded well, unless it's a curcurbit. Everything else shits the bed at the park. :(

It's just hard and sad to give it up because it's been a part of my life for almost a decade now.

But I want fucking tomatoes and peppers, god dammit.

Um. Yeah. Garden thread. Let me get on that.


Hey Boog. I was thinking, maybe someone scorched the soil on the bad-side with a ton of concentrated fertilizer? or perhaps it is the opposite, depleted.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Refugee on April 19, 2017, 09:02:04 PM
Well sandy soil is not what I have at all!  I will have to change my plan.

I only have the one peach.  I had planned to put more in this year.  It affects peaches and nectarines. 

When I was a kid I loved the tart persimmons that grew wild on our farm, but you're right, it's important to wait until they are very very ripe!  I liked them after the first frost...if you could beat the cows to them.



Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Refugee on April 19, 2017, 10:35:04 PM
Thanks for the recommendation of the nursery videos, Boog, that site is great!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: boog on April 20, 2017, 09:31:30 AM
Thanks for the recommendation of the nursery videos, Boog, that site is great!

I'm glad you're enjoying it! When I was working at the pharmacy I pulled 13 hour shifts for 3 days, so I'd get all my full time stuff out of the way. Sometimes, it'd get quiet in between backup calls (my job was to call in emergency 3 day supplies of medicine for patients who didn't receive their deliveries from us during the day/that evening/over the weekend), so I'd sit there and watch the backyard orchard series over and over and over again.

It's all super comprehensive and I feel incredibly knowledgeable just by having watched those videos. Plus, the guy who does the whole series is incredibly charismatic. I tried watching their container blueberry videos but that guy just isn't as good.

I want ALL of their fruit tree varieties. They're pricy, but I've heard their persimmons (since you two seem to like them a lot!) are ... fabulous.

I'm going to be moving my blueberry bushes from the park garden to my mother's house tomorrow, y'all. Wish me luck that I don't kill them. Blueberries are (supposedly) notoriously hard to transplant after they've been established in the ground. I'm taking some garbage bags and my shovel, digging wide trenches around each bush and extracting them with as much of the rootball intact as I'm able to.

Whew. It's gonna be tough work tomorrow. It's a good excuse to take it a little easier at the gym tonight. 8)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Refugee on April 20, 2017, 12:22:49 PM
Good luck!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 20, 2017, 01:16:11 PM
Those Dave Wilson Nursery videos are great. I just spent the whole time watching his pruning videos salivating at the branches he was cutting off... Give them to me, man! Im going to get in touch with my friend with the persimmon nursery, see if he will let me keep his pruned branches this summer.

Ground to Ground transplants can be rough. Out of 8 or 9 Loquat trees of various sizes I transplanted last month, two died, two are in rough shape, three are decent, and one is awesomee. The two in rough shape have tap-roots that are intertwined, so I pulled them and planted them together. I am babying the hell out of them with tons of mulch and water. They seem to be hanging on, so I imagine new root growth is happening.

With your blueberries, I would suggest the same. Consider pruning the blossoms and fruit on it, and have your mom water it every morning and night. Root reestablishment is what you want.

Yo, refugee, we were talking about bows in the other thread. This morning, I took my dog on a 2 mile hike east of me to find a nice Eastern Red Cedar (Technically NOT a cedar, it is a Juniper, as it grows berries, not cones) Juniperus Virginiana to cut, replant some berries nearby, and carry home to green-carve.

I am aiming to make an English Long-bow (D-shaped limbs and handle, over 6 feet long) out of the heart-wood, which is very elastic, and beautiful in color.

(https://i.imgur.com/dSeOXtn.jpg)
Note that delicious purple heart-wood. I make depth-cuts with my chainsaw across the belly of the bow, the flat part of the D-shape. The back of the bow cannot be cut with anything other than hand-planers, surforms, rasps, and sandpaper, as a dip or rise of a millimeter in thickness can make that bow snap in your hands during the draw.

(https://i.imgur.com/wcCiZmd.jpg)
shot of the bark.

(https://i.imgur.com/MnzWQK0.jpg)
Some of the more recent bows I have carved. Left to right: Red oak flatbow, backed with fiberglass. Heavy as hell. I went overboard trying to make the fiberglass less ugly... wound up painting the shit out of it. I kinda hate it.
Yew stickbow. A decent bow. Only at about 45lbs at full draw. It is taking a lot of set over time. Beeswax and jute string made by a friend.
An ash recurve (heat treated and bent the tips into a slight reflex) backed with faux gator-skin. I wish I would have paid up for real gator-skin, but I was being cheap. Kinda bummed about that. Havent finished the bow for that reason.
An ash-backed, mahogany flatbow. Turns out you cant use mahogany as a bow-wood. lmfao. Way too brittle, porous.
Bamboo-backed, white-oak longbow with a white-oak riser. I fucked this bow during the tillering process. The bamboo backing was too thick, so it separated from the oak. I tried to re-laminate it, but it is done. Cant bring myself to burn it, though. It was turning out so nice.
A nice stave of sweetgum from my property that has been curing for the last 9 months in my shed. I painted the ends of the stave with latex paint to control the drying process, preventing checking and splitting.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Refugee on April 20, 2017, 01:37:55 PM
Awesome bows, man!

Cedar is so soft, I wouldn't think it would make a good bow?  In Kentucky, Eastern Cedar's like a tree-weed, it will take over your pasture in a couple of years if you don't constantly fight it.  We use it for fence posts because it's good against rot and bugs.



Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 20, 2017, 01:53:06 PM
Awesome bows, man!

Cedar is so soft, I wouldn't think it would make a good bow?  In Kentucky, Eastern Cedar's like a tree-weed, it will take over your pasture in a couple of years if you don't constantly fight it.  We use it for fence posts because it's good against rot and bugs.

Thanks. I still consider myself an apprentice bowyer. I break so many, it is so frustrating spending 20+ hours carving a piece of wood, only to have it break. This older bowyer (Who makes true works of art, they are incredible) I speak with reassures me that this is unavoidable, even with a ton of experience.
Absoultely. True Cedar cannot be used as a bow-wood. However, Eastern Red Cedar is a Juniper, and Junipers are surprisingly elastic per mass. The Sap-wood is around half of the density of water, but the heartwood is a little more dense, but a lot more elastic. For a shorter bow, it NEEDS to be backed. A long-bow disperses the tension along a longer length of wood, so you can leave it thicker without snapping. The length of wood I chose has about two inches of heart-wood on the thinner portion of the stave. I am probably going to back it with fiberglass, or rawhide if I feel like buying some. I read a while back that tribals used to use thicker limbs of juniper, backed with sinew.
The eastern Red Cedar thrives in the limestone quarry northeast of me, where the soil sucksss.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Refugee on April 20, 2017, 03:37:05 PM
Yeah, it likes the side of a hill where the limestone juts out of the ground.  Our little place doesn't have cedar problems, but it does get eat up with pine.  Pine's not as voracious but it's still a hassle to deal with.

Eastern cedar is the best whittling wood because it's so soft!  Whittling used to be a thing in the hills.  You just sit there and slowly turn a piece of wood into a pile of thin curls.  You don't want hard wood because that would be too much work, and whittling is about down time.  Unlike carving which is also a thing but turns the piece of wood into -something-.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 20, 2017, 05:10:39 PM
Down south, I waged a never-ending war against the Brazillian Pepper/Pink Peppercorn trees. They grew like wildfire, and the only way to kill them was to rip them out of the ground, or cut them down to stumps and keep a bonfire on them for half a day. They were sooo damned bad. The cardinals loved them, but lots of people are allergic to their sap, their pollen, and even their scent, which was so strong. The Islanders down south used the little peppercorns (not real peppercorns) to season their pork and seafood. I cut so many down that the scent was repulsive to me.

So, with whittling, you are not trying to really create anything?

(https://i.imgur.com/peJzJAr.jpgg)

Here is the healthiest loquat I transplanted from the woods to the east to the woods on my property.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Refugee on April 20, 2017, 09:27:02 PM
No, with whittling the idea was... let me see if I can describe it.

You have a smooth piece of eastern cedar you've been working on for a half hour.  You hold it in your hands and turn it as you work, each tiny imperfection to be smoothed away in lovely curling shavings.  All there is is this function, the feel of the wood, the look of it, the smell, your razor-sharp pocketknife, the growing pile of shavings.  You never take off a chunk, each cut removes just a very thin but long curling bit of wood.  It inevitably leaves a tiny imperfection because your wood is round and the blade is flat, so your next slice takes that...and so on.  Your mind is free to solve the great mysteries of the universe.  It's oddly satisfying, soothing.  Even as a hyper kid, I could do this for a long time. 

When I was a kid, I'd get paid $5 an acre to grub out baby cedars growing in peoples' pastures.  To put that in perspective, that was 100 packs of chewing gum, 50 bottles of pop, 15-20 gallons of gas.  It is a suck job but there wasn't a lot else you could earn that kind of money at as a young kid.  It also says a lot that people were willing to pay someone to do it.  There wasn't a lot of money in my area in those days.  I'd ride my fat pony bareback to some field and she'd graze all day while I hacked with my grubbin' hoe.  What we called a grubbing hoe isn't what I've found other people call that.  This is what we called a grubbin' hoe.  (http://www.materialhandlingoutlet.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/a/m/amj_1195300.jpg)

You couldn't just cut them off at the surface, you had to dig down and get the better part of the roots too.



Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 20, 2017, 10:08:37 PM
I can see how that would be very therapeutic, meditative.

Ah, thats an adze, or maybe a mattock with the blade on the back end.

Depending on the density and size of the cedars growing, that sounds like an awesome job for a kid. There's no real work like that for kids these days. Instead, you have adults working minimum wage, and young-adults unemployed. I was lucky enough to finangle my way into working as a helper on local construction sites as a teenager, 20 bucks for a few hours of carrying lumber, cleaning up, whatever, until I was 18 and was actually a legal hourly employee.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Refugee on April 20, 2017, 10:35:10 PM
As a teenager I worked for $3 a day and a meal as a laborer in the fields doing whatever was needed until I got to be 16.  Mostly working hay, corn, and tobacco.  Then I got a job for $2 an hour working at a riding stable at a local resort, which I loved.

The day after my 17th birthday I went to the Navy recruiter and started the paperwork.  Woulda went on my birthday but it was a Sunday.  Couldn't wait to get out of there.  Ever since I've been struggling to get back.  And now I am finally going home.

Back to the subject of the thread!  So far I have cherry trees, apple trees, and one sick peach tree, blueberries, blackberries, and gooseberries, and pawpaws. 

I planned to have a big garden this year but our plans have been delayed that I don't think I will have time.  I want to try to grow as much of the animal feed as I can.  I think I will use the down year to put pigs over the garden area, so they can root out the blackberry rhizomes.  Those dang things....





Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 21, 2017, 01:50:31 AM
That is a great start on fruit trees you have going. Are they all bearing fruit?

I have a section of land, probably a solid quarter-acre, which is clear, flat, open to sunlight, and fertile. The only issue is a huge boulder of limestone in the ground right in the middle. I am planning on renting an earth-mover and digging it up. Maybe grabbing some other boulders from around my property and outside to make a rock fence around my lawn.

Once the land is ready, I think I will do plot of the three-sisters, though I should be starting that right now, so it will probably happen next year.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Refugee on April 21, 2017, 08:59:41 AM
Not yet, they're all babies I put in this year.  The apples I planted last year but then we had that terrible drought where the mountains were burning, you'll remember.  Right after I put them in the ground!  And we were not there to care for the newly planted trees.  So when I showed up this spring, I was sure they would be dead.  But two of them had a few leaves, and one had leaf buds.  Red Delicious, Granny Smith, and Honeycrisp.

How big is it?  Man.  Our farm when I was a kid, limestone is what we grew best.  We'd drive the tractor along in the fields, pulling a hay wagon.  And load it up with stones.  Clear the fields.  And in two or three years we'd have to do it again.  I never could figure out where they were coming from.  In the low lands our farm stretched for a mile along a creek, so that could explain the ones down there, but up high on the hills?  Frost heave I guess.

There's such a thing as dynamite you know.

That was my plan too, as I saw the year dwindling down, to plant a three sisters patch, but now I'm thinking I won't even do that since I've not even broken ground and I still have so much to do before winter.  Wiring, plumbing, insulation.  Gotta get a barn in, buy a cow, get the hives going, butcher a bunch of bunnies and chickens....







Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: boog on April 21, 2017, 09:07:22 AM
Whenever I get enough land to plant, I wanna plant an apple orchard with trees from Trees of Antiquity. They have a ton of heirloom varieties. I'm pretty sure one of the trees' lineage dates back to the 1300s. Maybe it was later than that. I should look again - it's been a while.

Edit: Oh, good, I'm not a lunatic:

http://www.treesofantiquity.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1&products_id=145
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 21, 2017, 09:50:33 AM
Once all those apples of yours start producing, you'll have more deer coming through than you know what to do with. :D
Such a great perk of having an orchard.
Im working on turning about 4 acres of my 5 into orchard, and maybe half an acre into gardens. Hopefully, in the near future, I can buy up the woods around me and expand my orchard.

Sounds like the frost was pulling stones to the surface. I saw that happen in the Sierra Moutains in California.
I think the boulder is about 5x5x? because I have never dug under it. If it turned out to be bigger, I'd probably just spend a few days with a sledge, pickaxe, and a wheel-barrow, getting a decent work-out in.

Holy hell. I would definitely call an apple cultivar dating back nearly a millennium to be "heirloom." xD

(https://i.imgur.com/ywcBwDz.jpg)
I scattered a line of sunflower seeds in front of my house, on either side of my porch. Fingers crossed.

Oh, anyone wanna help me identify this tree?
(https://i.imgur.com/x9B76QG.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/49xZilE.jpg)

Never saw these down south or out west. North Florida is fairly new territory for me. Boog, you're in the carolinas, right? Anything like this, near you?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Refugee on April 21, 2017, 10:32:16 AM
I like that tree nursery site!  I might get a couple from there for my orchard.

Deer!  We already have deer, they come all night to drink at our pond.  Right through the cabin yard.  My cousin owns a big deer preserve and rehab center that is all around us.  I love seeing them but they are getting to pest level around there.  A neighbor had half her soybeans eaten last year, many acres worth.

I don't think we will have any trouble keeping our freezer full.

Man, it kinda looks like walnut but kinda not.  Can you take a better picture of the leaves?  Showing how they are arranged, etc.


Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: boog on April 21, 2017, 11:41:48 AM
Yeah, pick a leaf or two off and get them in single shots.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 21, 2017, 12:04:11 PM
(https://i.imgur.com/f6YACyA.jpg)

Leaves are staggered on the twig, not in pairs. Veins branch from the central line on the leaf. Edges seem both serrated and smooth? Idk. Also, I dont remember these trees blooming/fruiting in the last year, though I may have just not noticed.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: manipura on April 21, 2017, 12:40:13 PM
Before you took that little twig:

(http://i1207.photobucket.com/albums/bb475/singlehart/IMG_5321.jpg)
or
(http://i1207.photobucket.com/albums/bb475/singlehart/IMG_5322.jpg)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Refugee on April 21, 2017, 12:41:54 PM
I dunno, it still looks like a walnut, but walnut bark is always much rougher unless it's a very young tree.

Maybe in Florida walnuts are different than in Kentucky.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: manipura on April 21, 2017, 12:50:01 PM
Could be a different type of walnut tree, but aren't walnut leaves usually a little longer and narrower than those? 
...I have no idea how many different kinds of walnut trees there are, maybe there's a dozen different leaves in the Florida area.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 21, 2017, 01:02:02 PM
@ manipura, it couldnt be those, because the leaves are staggered, not in pairs.

I dont think it is a walnut. The only nuts I have found on my property are acorns, sweetgum spiky-balls, and mockernut hickories.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Refugee on April 21, 2017, 01:09:31 PM
Walnuts take two years to make a nut if I remember right.  They bloom one year and fruit the next.  I don't know if that helps you any.



Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: manipura on April 21, 2017, 01:33:00 PM
I didn't mean to imply that the leaves looked like the ones in the pictures...I was referring more to the arrangement of the twigs, if that makes any sense...meaning, was the twig you took a single twig, like the bottom picture?  Or several twigs extending from a central twig, like the top picture?
I'm probably not explaining it well.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 21, 2017, 01:36:08 PM
Oh, these trees are at least 20 years old, Refugee. Around 25 feet tall.

Ahhh I gotcha, manipura. They are like the first one, then.

Did a few hours of carving today, if y'all are interested. (Kinda relevant, as I took the wood from trees on/near my property.)

Broke out the table-saw to establish the near-final belly to work with. Worked with my draw-knife to start taking off mass, finding the right growth-ring on the cedar to be the back of the bow, and start establishing the back of the bow on the sweetgum (which does not have the same discernible growth rings.)
(https://i.imgur.com/HnVrtuh.jpg)
Sweetgum shortbow on the left. Just shy of 5 feet. Slight snake in the grain, which lines-up straight right now. A few pinhole knots which shouldnt cause problems.

Juniper on the right.  7 damned feet long. Huge knots, very common for juniper. I will have to work around them, and compensate for their weakness with extra wood to make sure they dont break. If I can pull it off, with a fiberglass backing, it will be a badass, character longbow.
(https://i.imgur.com/NFh3t9j.jpg)
The bellies.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Refugee on April 21, 2017, 03:02:40 PM
No no, I mean, they make nuts every two years.  First year they bloom, next year they make nuts.  And so on repeating the pattern.

Eastern cedar is a pretty wood, isn't it?  And it smells so fine too.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 21, 2017, 03:11:01 PM
oh! Well that would be awesome if I have some walnuts growing.

Yes, ERC has gorgeous heartwood. I am excited to have a longbow of that purple/red wood, as long as I dont break it.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Refugee on April 21, 2017, 03:20:37 PM
When I was a kid, there was this guy who made bows for his kids to use.  We had great fun with them and they were pretty powerful.  He used hickory.  He would cut a stave and let it season for a year, and then carve it into the right shape.  I don't remember what he used for a string.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 21, 2017, 03:41:12 PM
Hickory is a fantastic bow-wood - one of the best - at around 3/4 the density of water. So hard to break a hickory bow. I considered taking down the mockernut hickory I have in the woods near-by.. but there are only one or two of them, so I decided not to. I have a few staves curing in my shed. Oak and Sweetgum. I am green-carving the ERC because I was eager to get started on another bow, along with the sweetgum I am working on.

Strings can be natural or synthetic. Oiled/waxed hemp or jute is fine for a bow up to about 50lbs, which is heavier than most children could pull. Anything heavier, you need a great sinew string, or synthetic, like dacron, which is best, honestly.

You and your friends were lucky to have a bowyer around. They are few and far between. I had child's bows when I was young, and made little stickbows and bundle-bows all the time, but my first real bow, I bought at this convenience store/bait shop/restaurant by our lake. An Indian flat-bow, probably about 10-15 years old when I bought it in 98. Broke before I left california in 2000. Old age, bad storage. When I moved to Florida, I asked for a compound bow to hunt with. I used a compound bow until I was about 20, when I switched to traditional. Never going back.

Speaking of bow-woods, though... Do you have any bois-d'arc aka Orange Osage in your area?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: whitt on April 21, 2017, 03:49:10 PM
Leaves are staggered on the twig, not in pairs. Veins branch from the central line on the leaf. Edges seem both serrated and smooth? Idk. Also, I dont remember these trees blooming/fruiting in the last year, though I may have just not noticed.

Maybe flowering dogwood?  It would bloom very soon if so.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: boog on April 21, 2017, 04:02:14 PM
Melkor:I thought at first the tree was a black walnut, but the Arbor Day website suggests a Kentucky Coffeetree, from what I can ascertain from the photos. I don't think that's right, looking at the leaves, because the KC's leaves are too flat and veiny. I'll keep digging.

(https://i.imgur.com/qWKFbJq.jpg)

My pears still have no blooms. Sigh. Year 3. Maybe next year.

Please excuse the shoddy landscaping. My mother bought the house after its previous owner, an elderly woman, died, and my mother has a black thumb. I stuck the trees in the front yard so they got the most amount of sun they could. It's where I'll be sticking the blueberries, too -- today was too hot! I'm gonna do THE BIG MOVE on Monday.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Refugee on April 21, 2017, 04:52:39 PM
It doesn't look like dogwoods I know, but there are lots of different kinds so maybe.

I had to look up that orange osage.  We do have them but they're not common.  We call them hedge apples.  I've actually never seen the plant, but I've seen the fruit handed around as an oddity someone found in the woods.

I don't think Hawk was a bowyer exactly.  Hill men of my father's generation just knew how to do everything.  They could build a house from scratch, chimney and all, grow anything, give a cow a c-section, rebuild a tractor engine, train a mule, anything that was necessary.  They never had money to pay anyone to do it for them so they did it themselves.  I'm still in contact with one of his kids, I'm going to ask what he used for the bowstring.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: boog on April 21, 2017, 06:15:22 PM
I'm watching this Youtuber garden and he's hooting, "Oh shit," and cutting his harvest randomly with a huge knife in the middle of his garden.

Surely, I can also have a successful YouTube channel while hooting, "Oh shit," and being way cuter.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Refugee on April 21, 2017, 06:28:20 PM
Hahaha!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 21, 2017, 07:36:24 PM
Boog. I appreciate the research. The bark is much smoother than the KC, and the leaves are staggered, unlike the Black Walnut.
Hey, i like your landscaping. Better than mine. I just shove plants in the dirt wherever I know they'll have sun, shade, soil, and water, lol. That pear on the right has a nice thick trunk. Are you going to top them when they get to roof-height? You could keep them pruned short so they grow outwards, or just let them grow naturally and extend over the house. A little extra shade on your roof helps with the AC bill in the summer.

Hrmmm, I don't think it is a dogwood, either. We have them down here, and I'd like to grow them near the entrance to my driveway. So pretty when they are in bloom. I dont have any yet, though.

They burn Orange Osages in Texas because horses can get sick from the fruit. It happens to be a revered bow-wood, among the 3 best in the world. The other two are Snakewood/Soldierwood, found in jungles of the Caribbean, and supposedly south florida (I doubt it. I spent so much time in swamps, savannas, and woods in south florida and never saw anything like it, other than certain eucalyptus which look similar); and various species of Mangrove... which are so damned illegal to cut. Fines and Jail-time, unless you have them on your own property. All 3 of these woods are more dense than water, so they sink when thrown in water.
I was always tempted to take a stave of mangrove from down south, but the legal ramifications are way too great to risk. Also, the mangroves are so important to wildlife.

Men like that are all but extinct, these days. A strenuous life has taught me a lot of useful things, and I consider myself a jack of all trades, but it will be some years before I would consider myself as competent as those hill-men, mountain men, etc.

Hey man, if he carves bows, I say hes a bowyer. :)

If he is in kentucky, I will bet he is either using waxed hemp or sinew.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: boog on April 21, 2017, 09:18:14 PM
http://weeklyads.aldi.us/Aldi/ListingDetail/Index/?StoreID=2623556&ListingID=-2029731017&ItemDetailClickSource=grid

This is miiiiiiine.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 21, 2017, 09:27:39 PM
Scorrreeee :)

It looks nice, too, so your landlord shouldn't give you shit about it.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Refugee on April 21, 2017, 10:11:55 PM
Hawk's daughter doesn't even remember the bows!  I'm surprised, she messed with them as much as the rest of us.  But she says she bets it was cotton string, because they used it for everything.  Maybe he braided it?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 21, 2017, 10:21:35 PM
Tightly-braided and waxed cotton would work, though I've never seen one.

I mean technically, you can make a bowstring out of any cordage. When I start the tillering process of a bow, I use a length of 550 paracord tied with a slip-knot and a timber-hitch.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Refugee on April 21, 2017, 10:49:37 PM
I guess I was 11 or 12, so it's been 45 years ago.  I can't remember many details about how it was made.  But I know the only way I could pull it all the way was to stick the arrow in the ground, nock the bow and use my weight, lol.  My uncle had a 50 lb compound bow and I couldn't pull that with the same technique at that time.

I forgot when listing my orchard plants, I've a couple of concord grape vines too.








Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 22, 2017, 08:52:23 AM
I guess I was 11 or 12, so it's been 45 years ago.  I can't remember many details about how it was made.  But I know the only way I could pull it all the way was to stick the arrow in the ground, nock the bow and use my weight, lol.  My uncle had a 50 lb compound bow and I couldn't pull that with the same technique at that time.

I forgot when listing my orchard plants, I've a couple of concord grape vines too.

Man. The only grapes that do well in Florida are Muscadine, and they are a bitch to sex. Something like 1 in 10 are producing females, so the best way to get them growing are to take clones of someone's producing vines.

lol kids. I woulda smacked you for drawing a bow like that xD. Yeah, it was probably around 40lbs. I think I was like 12 or 13 before I could draw a 45lb compound bow, and thus be legally allowed to hunt with a bow. I have an 70lb compound right now that sits in my shed, pretty neglected. It has several hogs, turkeys, and rabbits under its' belt. That oak "tiger bow" I carved is probably around 80lbs at full-draw.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: boog on April 22, 2017, 10:58:05 AM
Muscadines are muscadisgusting.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 22, 2017, 12:21:25 PM
ba-dum-tissss.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: boog on April 22, 2017, 07:20:52 PM
How do I convince my mother to let me have chickens at her house?

Hrm.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: BadSkeelz on April 22, 2017, 07:29:38 PM
Just drop a bunch off unannounced in the dead of night. She probably can't catch them all.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: boog on April 22, 2017, 07:30:52 PM
I'd have to make them a chicken run first, because there are a lot of dogs that roam free in her little 'neighborhood'.

Hm.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Refugee on April 22, 2017, 08:30:03 PM
I was going to suggest bug patrol, but that won't work if you're going to keep them in a run...unless you put them in a tractor?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: boog on April 22, 2017, 08:58:33 PM
Ah, I go down there like 3-5 times a week. She lives about 10-15 minutes away depending upon traffic so it's no big whoop. I'd just put them in a run with a mobile coop to keep them in at night and a run for when I'm not around.

She does hate bugs, though. Hm...
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: chrisdcoulombe on April 23, 2017, 02:29:50 AM
(https://i.imgur.com/f6YACyA.jpg)

Leaves are staggered on the twig, not in pairs. Veins branch from the central line on the leaf. Edges seem both serrated and smooth? Idk. Also, I dont remember these trees blooming/fruiting in the last year, though I may have just not noticed.

I think its some type of alder tree, not positive cause its hard to tell in pictures.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 23, 2017, 06:59:25 PM
If you decide to use a chicken tractor, it has to me moved DAILY, or else the lawn will get patchy.

A Coop and Run seems more convenient. After a few months in the coop, you can let your hens out to hunt bugs; they know where home is.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: boog on April 23, 2017, 09:43:43 PM
My mother's lawn is already patchy as fuck because she didn't buy full sun grass seed. She swears it's the septic tank but the ground wouldn't be damn scorched if that were the case. Jayzus.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 24, 2017, 07:34:54 PM
@ Boog. Also, check with city ordinances, and any other regulations pertaining to where your mother lives. Would suck to buy chickens and build a coop, only to be slapped with a fine, and have to get rid of it all.


(https://i.imgur.com/IeByOq5.jpg)

4 month old avocado tree from a frost-hardy cultivar grown locally. I am told the tree the fruit came from was the grand-daughter of  the original avocado tree on the gentleman's property, so this one should produce just fine.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: boog on April 24, 2017, 09:38:00 PM
A max of 5 chickens per backyard, which is insane. Only the backyard. And no roosters, but I know that fucker across the street has a rooster because it shouts every god damn day that I visit.

Nice on the avocado tree. I want one!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Refugee on April 24, 2017, 09:45:41 PM
I didn't know avocados grew in Florida.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 24, 2017, 10:35:51 PM
5 australorp hens means about 30 eggs per week. Sounds good to me. :D

Roosters aren't necessary, unless you are trying to breed your hens. That being said, they are awesome protectors. Roosters fight to the death to protect their hens.

Thank ya! I had a fully-grown avocado tree down south that produced deeeelicious avocados, but it was not frost-tolerant at all, so I couldnt grow it up here. The one I am growing now is a central-american cultivar, shiny green skin.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: boog on April 24, 2017, 10:51:50 PM
I know! Australorp are my absolute faves. I like Rhode Island Reds, too, but Australorp are also ... decent eating when they're, y'know, beyond laying eggs. ;)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 24, 2017, 10:56:42 PM
My girl's grandfather raises Reds. Gorgeous birds. Australorps are arguably one of the best breeds. There's an awesome website for all things chicken. backyardchickens.com. Once I handle a few financial priorities, I am going to get a few chickens of my own.

My father has fighting-cocks where he lives in the Philippines; the hens over there are goddamned delicious. 
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Refugee on April 25, 2017, 07:25:00 AM
I've got 15 Australorps ordered (2 roos), along with 5 Buff Orpingtons.  My hope is that the Orpingtons will be broody enough to raise lots of generations of Australorps for meat and eggs for ourselves and the dog.

Also going to raise rabbits.  I've got them already arranged to pick up next week (except for one doe who is too young to leave mama yet).  I've got two Rexes, a little amber buck and a chocolate doe.  A young pure California doe and three meat mutts, one of them is an older buck who will go to freezer camp when the little Rex buck gets old enough to do the job.

Here's Buckthorn, the future patriarch of my rabbit empire:
(http://www.dogwoodmists.com/Refugee/Buckthorn 2.jpg)

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 25, 2017, 07:57:55 AM
Thats perfect, Refugee. I love rabbit. for the last 15 years or so (Save the last 2, with my new work schedule) , I go out every easter at 4am and bring home a rabbit for lunch. I have never raised rabbits, though. If I did, I would not be able to resist naming them after the rabbits from Watership Down.Any plans for what to do with all the pelts?

Fun bit of trivia, your australorps and Orpingtons are cousins separated by just a few hundred years. Australorps are Orpingtons which were brought to Australia during the initial colonization.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Refugee on April 25, 2017, 08:12:59 AM
I didn't know that about the chickens.  Australorps are not known for being very broody and Orpingtons are, so I'm hoping they will do enough of that so that I don't have to buy chicks all the time.

Buckthorn is a name from Watership Down!  But he's not for eating, not yet anyway.  I hope he will make lots of babies that we will eat lol!  I don't plan to name them.  The names of my other five "foundation" bunnies are Pinto, Holly, Coco, Peppercorn, and Clover.  Pinto is the older buck.  Peppercorn is an older doe who I'm getting free, and she will mostly be to foster kits if the other girls don't do well with their first litters.  Holly and Peppercorn will come to me already bred so there will be kits soon, with luck.  Moving pregnant does can cause problems.

I don't have plans for the pelts.  Rexes have really nice pelts too.  I would like to be able to use as much of the animal as possible.  The woman that I am getting the Rexes from sells rabbit feet key chains, I didn't know those were still a thing. 
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Refugee on April 25, 2017, 08:20:21 AM
Peppercorn
(http://www.dogwoodmists.com/Refugee/Black doe 1.jpg)

Clover
(http://www.dogwoodmists.com/Refugee/gloria 6.jpg)

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Landscaping Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 25, 2017, 08:48:02 AM
Such pretty animals. How does your wife feel about the rabbits? My girl is too soft-hearted to raise "bunnies" for food. I cant even get her to try the meat. lol.

The most i've made with rabbit skins are grips for bows, and little drawstring pouches; though, I never had leatherworking tools, either.

If you ever have a reeeaaallllly big kit, powerfeed it to massive size and name him Bigwig :D

my 3 favorite ways to eat rabbit are: Stew with beef stock, carrots, onions, celery, potatoes. Mole' cooked with tomatoes, onions, chilies and unsweet chocolate on rice inside a tortilla. aaaand Spaghetti.   
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on April 25, 2017, 10:15:54 AM
I'm giggling over here. Ah, I love you, Refugee.

Um. Can I just say I want lavender orpingtons just to show? They're absolutely gorgeous. And they lay! And they're sweet. I mean, I want Australorp to comprise most of my flock, but pretty lil lavender orps make me sigh with appreciation for their aesthetics.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on April 25, 2017, 01:35:19 PM
 ;)  Boog!!!

Rabbit meat is very healthy, it's healthier than chicken.  Our animals will be raised with love and respect, clean and with plenty of room and care, and dispatched with as much kindness as possible, and consumed with a grateful heart.  If you buy your meat at the supermarket, you can't say any of that about it!

Life in a factory farm is horrendous.  I have a friend who raises chickens for Tyson...ugh.  The stories.  And he just raises the breeders who will produce the mutant creatures who can't breed on their own or even walk without breaking their own legs and who can only lay in their own filth, eating and shitting nonstop until harvesting day, when they are taken alive into machines like gathering up ears of corn or something.  That's where those nice big fat chicken breasts come from in the supermarket!

One of us has diabetes and the other has stage 3 kidney disease, so eating clean is important to us.  We're both pretty pragmatic when it comes to real life.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 25, 2017, 02:16:52 PM
Did I miss a joke? *shrug*

Rabbit IS delicious. However, if it is the only source of protein you are consuming, you have to consume the brains, eyes, and intestines to avoid getting protein poisoning. (Thanks, boyscouts). This doesnt hold true if you are consuming fats from other foods like cooking oils, dairy, etc.

factory superfarms are disgusting.... But damn, the breasts that come off of those mutant superbirds are huuuuge. They do lack in flavor, though. The first food I ate when I arrived at the island of Siquijior, which became my home for a few months, was some chicken on a stick from a roadside-stall. I felt like I had never tasted real chicken before that moment. Unfortunately, with the earth's current population, it would never be possible to feed everybody humane chicken, beef, pork, goat, etc. without decimating what little forests, plains, prairies, wild lands we have left, and even that wouldnt cover it. (Hmm... Another topic for my communism thread.) It is a lifelong goal of mine to own a large homestead which is nearly 100% self sufficient.

In australia, doctors prescribe kangaroo meat to people with diabetes; apparently it is incredibly healthy.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on April 25, 2017, 02:44:38 PM
Actually, Joel Salatin disagrees with your assessment of not being able to feed everyone on Earth with sustainable agriculture!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 25, 2017, 03:02:16 PM
Yes, he does. He is selling his brand.

Okay, over 1/4 of the Earth's inhabitable landmass is currently devoted just to grazing. If we were to take those hundreds of millions of heads of cattle within factory farms and give them each the 2 acres of grass per mother-calf pair to live semi-comfortably.... how much forest would have to be cut down? How many wild animals would need to be killed, displaced, etc? And thats just bovine. Now think to expand all chicken production, pork production, goat, etc.

Still think there is enough land to feed the whole world, without decimating every bit of wildlife that remains?

Now, keep in mind, that factory farms have a smaller carbon footprint than natural, humane farms.... Yeah.

It is a tough situation. Personally, I feel the real issue is overpopulation.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on April 25, 2017, 03:06:10 PM
We currently have a huge food surplus, though. We just aren't getting the food to hungry mouths.

And I don't think he's selling his brand. I think he believes that his idea of farming can feed the world. I could probably feed my mother's neighborhood on her small 0.5 acre with intensive and extended season gardening practices. And chickens. Except someone else has gotta kill the chickens, because I don't know that I could do it.

Unless that chicken was a fuckwad. Then I could.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 25, 2017, 03:28:06 PM
fastest and most humane ways to dispatch a chicken are: quick beheading.. simple, but i had a neighbor nick his hand somehow doing it. Windmill hanging. Pet the chicken so it is nice and comfy, hold it by the head.... and swing it in a really fast circle.. the neck breaks instantly. Always do it away from other chickens... lol.

This is true. lots of food is wasted, and lots of people are gluttons like me consuming 4-5k calories per day. I just had a lunch of 6 eggs, 3 sausages, 6 slices of bread, an onion, jalapenos, and a tall iced tea. I definitely do not need that much food, but I like it, and my body is sore from work, so I am recuperating.

Here is the issue, either people willingly work to feed others, or they are compensated to do so, or they are enslaved to do so. Most of the world cannot afford  sustainable beef, chicken, pork, so compensation is out. Willingness to work for charity? Hell yeah. I love it. I work for Habitat for Humanity once a year for the good feels. It is not something that can be relied upon, though. Once a government tells people they have to work on the farm to feed others... well damn. Back to slavery, it is.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on April 25, 2017, 03:35:32 PM
Oh, really? I watched Joel (I'm a big fan of his) nick some of the chickens in a vein in their neck and I cried. :/
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 25, 2017, 03:59:33 PM
Yeah, that is another reasonable method, though the death is not instant. It is calm, yes, but they still feel the pain, and know that they are dying. As opposed to CHOP.... or.... CRACK. Once the spinal cord is severed/damaged, the feeling is gone.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on April 25, 2017, 04:02:48 PM
He said a euphoria washes over them. I don't know! I just, um. I'm very, uh.

I don't even fucking hook worms. I always made my dad hook them!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on April 25, 2017, 04:12:08 PM
You kind of took my post wrong, Melkor.  I wasn't advocating feeding the entire world my way.  I was addressing the "OMG you eat rabbits?  Monster!" attitude that we get from people sometimes.  Giving you something you can tell your wife about rabbits.  Maybe she will let you have some!  They turn feed into meat at a better rate than pigs even, and you can actually pasture them in tractors if you've got the land for it, which cuts down the cost of the resulting meat even more.



Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on April 25, 2017, 04:17:29 PM
I'd eat the fuck outta rabbits. Wanna know why?

They chomp on my garden, especially my raspberry leaves. If I ever catch any of the bunny or deer that come onto my mom's property, I'm gonna Rambo knife them to death without any god damn remorse.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on April 25, 2017, 04:24:37 PM
Hahahah!  Boog!  Fry that up and serve it with gravy and biscuits!  That'll show him!

I understand the cute little meat bunnies often turn into assholes with puberty so the slaying becomes less traumatic for you.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on April 25, 2017, 04:35:42 PM
I like Salatin and I learn a lot from his videos.  But he does have a huge army of free help and that makes his techniques more practical for the size of production he does.

For killing rabbits I'm considering this:
http://www.bunnyrancher.com/store/p42/The_Ballista_-_Penetrating_Bolt_Gun_.html (http://www.bunnyrancher.com/store/p42/The_Ballista_-_Penetrating_Bolt_Gun_.html)

For killing chickens probably the cone method.  And I'm getting a plucker because for the numbers of chickens we'll kill every year, it's too much work for two old folks to pluck them by hand.

I hoped to have a milk cow this year but it might have to wait til next, we're a month behind on our move and have a lot to do.  Same with pigs, it's not hardly worth it now to buy feeders just to slaughter in fall, starting so late.  But I might.

My plan is to use the 5 acres of forest for pigs regularly, and to keep at least two sows eventually so I don't have to buy feeders.  And to have a Jersey cow that I breed to a Angus bull every year.  The calves will be for the freezer.

I would like to think we will butcher the larger animals ourselves too, but we might not be able to.  We might be able to get some help from some of our younger neighbors.  I'd rather not send them to the butcher if I can help it, all those adrenaline chemicals in the meat at the end after going to so much trouble to raise them naturally.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 25, 2017, 05:54:45 PM
He said a euphoria washes over them. I don't know! I just, um. I'm very, uh.

I don't even fucking hook worms. I always made my dad hook them!

Hahaha. I understand. My woman can not do harm to a creature, either. There is a YUGE armadillo who likes eating my flowers, seedlings, and now, blueberries. I want to shoot the fucker dead, but Susie went and named him Henry....

You kind of took my post wrong, Melkor.  I wasn't advocating feeding the entire world my way.  I was addressing the "OMG you eat rabbits?  Monster!" attitude that we get from people sometimes.  Giving you something you can tell your wife about rabbits.  Maybe she will let you have some!  They turn feed into meat at a better rate than pigs even, and you can actually pasture them in tractors if you've got the land for it, which cuts down the cost of the resulting meat even more.

Oh nonono. I just decided to go on a tangent about humane farming, playing devil's advocate for the messed up factory farms, not against you. lol.

Fun fact: Kim Jong Il had a plan to solve world hunger by breeding giant rabbits.

Refugee, you have a fantastic setup going on. Definitely some envy here :D. But no worries, i'll get there. My next purchase is goats to eat up all the poison ivy in my woods.

Btw with that bolt-gun you'll be like Anton Chigurh from No Country for Old Men. Haha.

(https://i.imgur.com/AXLVbNR.jpg)

Progress, including a white-oak flatbow (middle) I stopped working on last october, because I shaved off the pad of my index finger to the periosteum while planing off the riser. It is very weak, and slow. I will definitely be backing it with some fiberglass, or covering the whole bow in fiberglass, like a wood/glass composite.

The juniper bow is knotty as hell... I think I can make it work, though. I am worried.

The sweetgum bow is looking so nice, though I am worried about the deflex, and the length. Fiberglass is a must.

I just got a hookup for some real gator-skin through a friend who hunts them legally on the santa-fe river when they are in season, so I will be stripping the recurve of the faux-skin.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on April 25, 2017, 06:57:46 PM
I'm dubious about the juniper bow.  I've never seen eastern cedar used for anything like that and I swear, it ought to be the Kentucky state tree, the stuff is so rampant.  But I'm fascinated to see if you make it work.

Goats!  People keep suggesting goats because I have a terrible blackberry briar problem but I don't know anything about goats except they are very hard to keep where you want them.  People didn't have goats when I was a kid though they are quite the thing now.  I have a bush hog that I pull behind my Foreman which cuts them down but of course they just come back from the rhizomes.  I think I will put pigs over that land in small mobile pens, to let them root out the rhizomes and that should work.  I'm kind of wary of the goat idea even though there is tons of info on the web about them.  But I might break down and get a couple of wethers just to battle the evil blackberries, some places are too difficult to get to with my ATV.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 25, 2017, 07:19:08 PM
I love goat's milk and meat, so there is no downside, for me.

Well... Fuck. Broke the sweetgum bow. Barely put 30lbs of pressure on the limbs and the limb with less deflex snapped. That limb was mostly white sapwood, which is very porous. I will show you why.

(https://i.imgur.com/6WIjFyb.jpg)

(https://i.imgur.com/yVmT0eJ.jpg)

Here is my other sweetgum stave. I just cut off the latex cap. See how it doesnt have defined growth rings? It has weird spirals and blotches of light and dark. The light is soft, porous sapwood, and the dark is strong, elastic heartwood. Sweetgum is difficult because it is a diffuse-porous hardwood. Fingers crossed on this next stave.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on April 25, 2017, 07:39:15 PM
I've never tasted goat meat or milk.  Is the milk very different from cow milk?

I'm sorry about your bow stave!  Sucks to work on something and break it.  I used to know a wood carver named Ed Cress.  He was this old guy with one eye, he could carve the most amazing, lifelike wild things he saw around the hills.  Actually it's his son in law who made the bows for the kids I was talking about earlier.  Anyway, Ed Cress wanted very badly for some reason to carve a life size cigar store Indian, which you hardly ever saw in my day but was a big thing when he was young.  So he would get started on a big log, and carve it down with all this detail, and inevitably it would start splitting at the top for some reason.  And he would start again.  I remember his workshop porch having all these half-done wooden Indians, man-sized, sitting around.  He never had done it successfully by the time I grew up and left, but I understand he finally did.  His tiny little animals you could hold in your hand were bringing $75 when I was a teenager.  I can't imagine what his Cigar Store Indian was worth. 

I was always fascinated by his pocket knives.  He would carve these wooden pocket knives that had backsprings (they didn't really spring but they rocked when the blades were opened and closed) and working blades, and he would do it all in one piece somehow, without carving the pieces separate and assembling them.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on April 25, 2017, 07:46:54 PM
There's a lady I watch on YouTube, Our Half Acre Homestead, and she uses goat a lot of times as a substitute for beef. I'm not sure how it tastes, honestly.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 25, 2017, 07:51:11 PM
I've never tasted goat meat or milk.  Is the milk very different from cow milk?

I'm sorry about your bow stave!  Sucks to work on something and break it.  I used to know a wood carver named Ed Cress.  He was this old guy with one eye, he could carve the most amazing, lifelike wild things he saw around the hills.  Actually it's his son in law who made the bows for the kids I was talking about earlier.  Anyway, Ed Cress wanted very badly for some reason to carve a life size cigar store Indian, which you hardly ever saw in my day but was a big thing when he was young.  So he would get started on a big log, and carve it down with all this detail, and inevitably it would start splitting at the top for some reason.  And he would start again.  I remember his workshop porch having all these half-done wooden Indians, man-sized, sitting around.  He never had done it successfully by the time I grew up and left, but I understand he finally did.  His tiny little animals you could hold in your hand were bringing $75 when I was a teenager.  I can't imagine what his Cigar Store Indian was worth. 

I was always fascinated by his pocket knives.  He would carve these wooden pocket knives that had backsprings (they didn't really spring but they rocked when the blades were opened and closed) and working blades, and he would do it all in one piece somehow, without carving the pieces separate and assembling them.

Yeah. It happens. It used to really bum me out, and I wouldnt carve for a couple months, but now, I always have 2 or three bows to work on, so I never just stop.  This was my first sweetgum bow, so only now do I realize how fragile the sapwood is.

Maaan that is rough about his life-sized indians. I would say it was either issues with initial curing, storing, or weather that was causing it to split. I am not very artistic, but I can work wood with utility in mind. I knew a chainsaw artist in my old town. Very talented. He sold his art off of his front lawn, which was on the main road on the edge of town.

Ah, the pocket-knife handles are hard to do, but simple in theory. There is the bored hole for the blade to rotate on, there is a notch that the blade's notch will hook into, and there is a ledge that will fit a little V-spring to keep the notch in place. I might just carve one, soon.

Goat meat tastes like mutton, which I love. The milk tastes creamy, thick, and it has a... hrm... sharp? flavor that is a surprise at first. Almost sweet. I really enjoy it, cold. Also, it is less irritating to humans than cow's milk. Does not produce as much mucous, is easier for lactose-intolerant people to consume.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on April 25, 2017, 07:54:44 PM
No, not pocket knife handles.  The blades were wood, the backspring was wood, it was a wooden pocket knife that he carved all in one piece.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 25, 2017, 08:00:07 PM
Oh? Thats an interesting oddity. Like something to give a kid? Or something to display on a shelf?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on April 25, 2017, 08:10:48 PM
Display on a shelf.  I could not figure out how he did it.  But maybe if I had seen one as an adult I could, the last time I remember seeing one I was about 13.  He was a cool old guy, with loads of talent.  Lots of talented people back in the hills.  His daughter and my mother had been best friends as girls, so we would see them often when I was young.  I would hang out with Ed sometimes and he would talk to me about carving, but I never was any good at it.



Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 25, 2017, 08:22:22 PM
With age and experience comes true talent and ability. I cant wait to see the wealth of knowledge and ability I will accumulate by the time I am aged.

The bowyer I knew is named Pappy, and he moved onto his family's land in Tenn. Hes probably in his mid to late 60s now. He is the one who told me to work on many staves at once, so you never get bored or discouraged by breaks. "If you ain't breakin, you ain't makin." Probably the best advice I've received regarding carving bows.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on April 25, 2017, 08:31:12 PM
That's good advice!  What do you do with the bows you are successful with?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 25, 2017, 08:40:57 PM
I keep some. I use some until they break. Ive given a few away (siblings, friends), Ive sold two for 50 and 80 bucks. I have probably made a little over 15 functioning bows. I've probably broken like 30 or more... lmao jesus. That being said, a lot of those breaks were from using inferior/unsuitable woods. Slash-pine, Sea-grape, Magnolia, Mango, Water-oak, Brazilian Pepper, Eucalyptus, Mahogany, Southern Cedar. Poplar.

The hardest part is acquiring the wood. Good hardwood is hard to find, even harder to find straight staves of it. To buy a good 6-foot stave of workable hardwood is close to 100 bucks online. So I keep a hand-saw in my car, and I drive back-roads with my eyes on the woods. Even if I see the right tree, I wont cut it down if it is alone in that patch of woods with no saplings around it, if it is more than 40 years old, etc.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on April 25, 2017, 09:09:49 PM
What makes it workable?

I'm seeing a possibility for making my woods suddenly more than just a place for pigs.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 25, 2017, 09:18:33 PM
Density of the wood when dry is a pretty good indicator of a quality bow-wood. if a chunk of the dry wood sinks in water... Score. If it rises to the surface slowly, probably okay. If it shoots to the surface, nope. You want wood at least half the density of water.

Also, a lack of porous wood is good. Distinct growth-rings are good. Elasticity is crucial. Poplar can be hard, but it is so brittle, and about a third of the density of water.

Most fruit trees have suitable wood. Most nut trees do, as well. The best way to find out is to try a stave. It is best to have it cure for 8-12 months in a dry shed before carving, but some bowyers say it is fine to carve a stave down to the heartwood before leaving to cure. If you are going to cure it, seal the ends of your stave with wax or a few coats of latex-based paint to slow the drying process and mitigate cracking.

What types of trees do you have on your land?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on April 25, 2017, 10:03:07 PM
To be honest, I've not been deep into my woods.  But my old man also owns about 300 acres about 2 miles away, and probably 100 is wooded as well.

I've seen on my place dogwood, redbud, poplar, sycamore, oak, birch, walnut, locust, and maple.  But there's lots of old growth woods I haven't been into, that's just the edges.

I know Dad has dogwood, redbud, holly, hickory, poplar, sycamore, oak,  sassafras, elm, locust, alder, pawpaw, persimmon, and maple.  Buckeye if he hasn't cut it down and burned it.  And there's something with a yellow wood that I can't remember what was.  Probably more I don't remember.  He has roads cut into his so he can get all over it with his ATV.  Haha, he bought himself a little bulldozer one year and had a great time with it until it caught fire and burned up in his back pasture.  He loves playing with big equipment.  Used to drive one of those humongous rock trucks when they put the 4-lane through our hills.  Now he has a huge front-loader he knocks trees over with.  I keep worrying he's going to hurt himself, but he has a great time with it and what more do you need when you're in your 80s?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 25, 2017, 10:11:47 PM
Hell yeah, man. Dogwood, Oak, Birch, Walnut, Locust, Elm, Holly, Maple, Persimmon, and Hickory are all fine bow-woods. Sassafrass and Sycamore can be, if they are babied. Not sure about redbud or pawpaw.

Lmaooo yeah. I say let the old man have some fun tearin shit up. :D
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on April 25, 2017, 10:17:52 PM
Right?  Anyway, it's not like anyone could stop him doing what he wants to do.  You'd get yourself shot if you tried lmao!

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on April 26, 2017, 12:34:25 PM
grumble grumble slugs eating my tender young pole beans.

This is what I get for not proactively protecting them from the ravages of garden life.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on April 26, 2017, 12:37:51 PM
 :'(

What's your battle plan?  I hear ducks are awesome with slugs and they don't tear up your garden like chickens do. 

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on April 26, 2017, 12:40:26 PM
If you can put a little container of beer on your plot ... or well, beer inside a tupperware thing, it'll lure them and drown them.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 26, 2017, 01:20:44 PM
Those slimy bastards. A lot of people swear by diatomaceous earth... I've never tried. I always use Cayenne Pepper. Buy one of those huge bottles of cayenne pepper powder from the ethnic aisle at walmart. Buy a spray-bottle. put a ton of powder in the bottle with water. Shake it up. Spray everything. Nothing will eat your stuff again, except for tenacious armadillos. Also, new-growth is still vulnerable, as it does not have any cayenne on it.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on April 26, 2017, 01:28:21 PM
I was gonna crush up eggshells from my breakfasts and scatter them around the ground as that has worked well for me in the past. The cayenne pepper thing is a great idea though, and I do have an empty spray bottle and a well-stocked spice cabinet.

It'll probably keep those darn bunnies away too.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 26, 2017, 01:30:47 PM
I've heard eggshells work, as well as coffee grounds. Oh yeah, rabbits wont touch your veg if it has cayenne on it. Deer either.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on April 26, 2017, 01:35:09 PM
I'm gonna remember that cayenne trick.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on April 26, 2017, 01:42:47 PM
Rabbits got my broccoli already. They're pretty bad around here because there aren't really any predators.

The odd downfalls of a nice neighborhood. No stray cats, no nuffin'. And LOTS of woodland for them to hide in.

So it's a battle. Empowered with my shiny new bottle of cayenne spray, hopefully I'll have a successful year.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 26, 2017, 01:50:18 PM
Delirium.... You are the hero your neighborhood needs. YOU are the rabbit predator. Eat them all.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on April 26, 2017, 02:16:21 PM
LOL I just finished reading the rest of this thread. Talk about topical.

Yeah I don't know if my apartment complex would be cool with me setting up rabbit traps, and I'm too soft-hearted to actually wring their necks. I'll stick with cayenne pepper. :P
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on April 26, 2017, 03:29:07 PM
I bought the most beautiful lavender plant today but I had to cut and extract it from its pot because it was so hopelessly rootbound.

I hope the roots spread in the bigger pot I bought for it; I wasn't going to cause trauma by trying to undo the knotted roots. Holy shit they were tangled to hell.

And I bought some southern wildflower mix because it was on sale and because pollinators need to come help my strawberries out!

I have a big strawberry already, though, waiting for a bright set of days to ripen. I can't wait.

Oh, and I swung by mom's, and I have at least thirty blueberry clusters on my Ochlockonee. She also bought me a couple of Alapaha and they have some clusters too! And then my Premier is trucking along.

I still have to transplant the other dudes. Today's the first partly sunny day since last week. :X
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 26, 2017, 04:19:29 PM
You suuuuure, Delirium? They taste goood :D

Boog. Hell yeah, froots! My blueberries may be on the cusp of ripening. One turned slightly purple and I got excited and ate it... lmao. Sour, but I enjoyed it.

Good luck on your blueberry replanting. Im excited to hear how that goes. What does the soil look like in your neck of the woods?

Lavender is nice. I have seen and heard two different schools of thought on rootbound plants. Some say to just chop all of those fine roots loose, avoiding the thick ones, and plant it. Some say to leave the roots intact and plant it. I have tried both, not seeing much of a difference, tbh.

So, I took a hike through the woods a couple of miles with my dog to find another Eastern Red Cedar tree to harvest. I found a HUUUUGE tree with a perfect limb the size of a young tree, so I harvested just a limb. As soon as I started cutting, my dog started walking away, which he has never done. I was a little worried, but I trust him. Sure enough, he just walked home. lol.

Carrying this 8 foot stave home was a biiiitch, especially through dense woods.
My girl took this picture when I came home.
(https://i.imgur.com/U2FmWE8.jpg)

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on April 29, 2017, 03:32:48 PM
SO MANY FUCKING WEEDS
AT LEAST I HAVE BLACKBERRIES GROWING

JESUS FUCKING CHRIST
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on April 29, 2017, 03:33:43 PM
ALSO, INVASIVE BAMBOO
GONNA HAVE TO DIG A TRENCH AND FILL IT WITH CONCRETE SO THE ROOTS DON'T SPREAD HORIZONTALLY
THEY'RE INVADING MY GARDEN
GONNA LOSE MY SHIT
THEY'RE SO DEEP IN THE GROUND.

DON'T CARE THAT THIS IS IN CAPS IT DOESN'T EVEN COME CLOSE TO EXEMPLIFYING MY ABSOLUTE FUCKING RAGE AT SOME OF NATURE'S SHENANIGANS.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on April 29, 2017, 03:35:04 PM
Triple posting, don't care:

Melkor, I have good ol' Carolina red clay. However, I use only hydrangea/azalea (I believe) fertilizer to acidify the soil. I also ask people for coffee grounds (I don't drink it myself) to dump around the plants.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on April 29, 2017, 03:51:15 PM
I tried the cayenne pepper. So far the new growth on my bean sprouts is untouched. Here's hoping!

I'm setting up the vertical trellises for my cucumber plants this weekend. Poles, wire netting, and lots of hemp cord.

Making the most of this 2x3 community plot!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on April 29, 2017, 03:56:14 PM
Vertical is the way to go. My peas are shooting up! I only bought bush bean varieties except for a Chinese Yard Long Bean and Mung Beans. I'm excited to get those going.

You can also get some mini watermelon varieties and trellis them, D! I might do that next year, smaller varieties. This year, I mounded up a hill on a hill (Xzibit would be proud) and stuck 3 ollas in the ground and planted the watermelon around them so they have a steady supply of water.

I put Congo, Jubilee, Minnesota Midget, and a hybrid seedless variety in the ground because that should help reduce the number of seeds in the heirloom varieties. I loooove the taste of Ledmon and Ali Baba watermelons, but the kids find the seeds super cumbersome (and I can't blame them).
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 29, 2017, 07:11:59 PM
CAPS LOCK IS CRUISE-CONTROL FOR COOL.

Clay is cool. I have clay about 1-2 feet down. Sand on top of that. In many spots, a 2-3 inch thick layer of deliciousss brown loam, then leaves. I have a compost pit out in the woods for all food scraps, and a different pit for cat litter. The food-scraps pit is for opossums and raccoons, honestly. I'll probably plant some melons on top in a couple years. The cat-litter pit will be the spot for a tree to grow.

I heard chinese long-beans grow greeat in florida. I tried them last year, but started them too late. I think I am focusing on flowers and trees, this year, rather than veggies.

Vert is definitely a great way to go. Just remember to water it a bunch. Trellis'd plants can dry out easily (at least down here).
I hope the cayenne works for you, Delirium!

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on April 29, 2017, 07:22:34 PM
Blackberries are a curse.  Red clay is a curse too.  But at least it's not limestone and cedar trees, which is what the other side of my hill looks like (SEP).

Maybe NC is a lot like KY.  I've been there before but only on the western edge.

I read once where this gardener used pantyhose to support heavy fruit like melons on vertical trellises.  They'd put the fruit into the hose when it was small and tie it off to the trellis, and the fruit would be supported while it grew.



Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on April 29, 2017, 07:45:40 PM
Yeah, the plot gets brutalized by full sun all day long, so it needs a lot of water.

I doubt I have room left for watermelons but I've been thinking of strawberries.

I'm a rebel and didn't plant tomatoes because I can never eat them fast enough and they take up SO MUCH SPACE.

Plus they're an ant magnet.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: manipura on April 29, 2017, 10:15:34 PM
Pretty soon I'm just going to embrace the fact that I have a pet squirrel who lives outside and eats organic greens and herbs and strawberries, because nothing works to keep him away.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: whitt on April 29, 2017, 11:25:26 PM
Pretty soon I'm just going to embrace the fact that I have a pet squirrel who lives outside and eats organic greens and herbs and strawberries, because nothing works to keep him away.

I am fairly certain there are many folks in your state who would challenge that assessment.
;)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on April 29, 2017, 11:42:16 PM
http://andrewzimmern.com/2013/11/08/chicken-fried-squirrel-pan-gravy/
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: manipura on April 30, 2017, 12:33:07 AM
Pretty soon I'm just going to embrace the fact that I have a pet squirrel who lives outside and eats organic greens and herbs and strawberries, because nothing works to keep him away.

I am fairly certain there are many folks in your state who would challenge that assessment.
;)

Well I've got a knack for shooting and five guns to pick from...but then I'd have a dead squirrel to deal with. 

And the recipe is -most appreciated-, Refugee, but I haven't eaten meat in years and I'm not going to start again with squirrel.  So I would indeed have a dead squirrel and no good use for it.  ;D
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: WanderingOoze on April 30, 2017, 08:31:46 PM
Well I've got a knack for shooting and five guns to pick from...but then I'd have a dead squirrel to deal with. 

And the recipe is -most appreciated-, Refugee, but I haven't eaten meat in years and I'm not going to start again with squirrel.  So I would indeed have a dead squirrel and no good use for it.  ;D

You could have it taxidermied and keep it as a nice pet. Or mount it's head on a toothpick as a warning to the other squirrels to stay away from your plants.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on April 30, 2017, 09:21:37 PM
Maybe you could catch two, and call it "Armageddon Squirrels"

(http://www.dogwoodmists.com/Refugee/armageddonsquirrels.jpg)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on April 30, 2017, 10:17:36 PM
Wild violets everywhere.

Fuck me. That plus bindweed plus the horizontally crawling invasive bamboo makes me so fucking pissed off.

I'm gonna be as brown as dirt this summer with how much time I'm spending manually removing all this shit.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on May 01, 2017, 12:03:00 PM
Violets can be a blessing.  People make a very pretty jelly from the petals.  Or a syrup for cake or ice cream.  You're stuck with then, might as well devour them! I'd post a recipe but my computer is packed away, but you can find it online.

I have no advice about the other things.  Good luck! 

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 01, 2017, 01:34:00 PM
Their rhizomes are huge and they're soooo hardy, Ref. Those root systems are killin' me.

I like violets! None of them are blooming, which is strange. But they're everywhere and the keep springing up in my garden and I keep having to not so lovingly pluck them out because they seem to be very overpowering!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on May 01, 2017, 02:13:01 PM
I didn't realize they were such a pain.  Ha.  My dad taught me a game to play with then called rooster fighting.  You hold one you've pulled up by the stalk, and another kid does the same with another.  You hook then together by the crook up by the flower, and give a yank.  One's "head" will fly off and that kid loses.  We could go through a whole patch of them pretty fast.  Now I suspect my old man had ulterior motives in teaching us this game. Got us to get rid of his problem and do the work gladly!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 01, 2017, 02:56:07 PM
I'll have to teach my kids that. Maybe next year. Right now they're all too content to try to dig holes EVERYWHERE. My eldest pays attention to what I tell him not to pull up, but the littlest, oh god. He just digs holes in the middle of my mom's yard and makes her mad. Heh.

The bamboo and bindweed are another problem entirely. I hate them both with a fiery, undying passion.

So, with the bamboo, I'm gonna have to dig a deep trench and fill it with concrete come fall so it stops spread horizontally. I haven't found any other ways that seem to work and I loathe my mother dousing the shoots that come up in Roundup. She's too lazy to dig the new stalks that form out for whatever reason.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on May 01, 2017, 03:24:12 PM
Wow, a concrete trench?!  That must be one tough plant.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 01, 2017, 03:37:07 PM
Yeah. I believe it's Japanese knotweed. I'm tempted to rent a flame thrower and a brush hog. Maybe a backhoe. Otherwise, it's going to need to be excavated, I think, to get all the shit out.

SO, ARMAGEDDON FOLKS. DON'T EVER BUY A HOME WITH GOD DAMN BAMBOO AROUND IT. EVER. BAD IDEA. TERRIBLE. WORST THING YOU CAN IMAGINE.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on May 01, 2017, 04:00:20 PM
Can you have pigs?  A pig can destroy anything fast and they eat what they root up and turn it into bacon.  That's my plan for my blackberry problem.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 01, 2017, 04:36:13 PM
I dunno. Apparently, it can propagate horizontally as well as from any seed spread.

This shit is ... whew. I'm probably gonna hack a bunch down with a machete, keep on top of the shoots that pop up, and then trench it this fall.

I'm going to try to convince my mother to let me garden in her front yard next year. There is absolutely no hope for the backyard if it's going to have continual issues with bamboo growth. It needs to be eradicated, first.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 01, 2017, 04:47:55 PM
I looked it up. Apparently pigs can be hit or miss with the taste.

I know a guy with a couple of pigs. I'm tempted to ask him to have his pigs come out and claw my mother's backyard to shit, just to get the bamboo out.

Fuck. First time home buyer at 48, she had no idea what she was looking for or at. Sinkholes everywhere in her yard and a fucking bamboo forest to contend with. Sigh.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on May 01, 2017, 05:43:49 PM
Stuff sounds awful.  Pigs would be worth trying.   Some people rent out pigs just for that kind of problem.  I dunno if a broad fork would help you.  They can lift out rhizomes and you can burn them or something. 
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 01, 2017, 06:30:53 PM
People were recommending -back hoes- and other crazy, excavation type stuff. I'm mortified. O_O

If your neighbors ever talk about bamboo, tell them no. Not even in a pot. Because Japanese knotweed can spread its rhizomes through the HOLE in the bottom of a pot. They're -that- insidious.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 01, 2017, 07:00:23 PM
Oh, but there's this that's happy making:

(http://i.imgur.com/AC2F0Ra.jpg)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on May 01, 2017, 07:05:23 PM
3 days and 40 hours on the clock later... I am alive.

Boog, I would also recommend a broad fork.
That, or... Find a bunch of free pallets on craigslist. Cut the bamboo to the ground with a machete. Stack the pallets on top of where the roots are. Bonfire. Stack a new pallet on top every once in a while. Keep it burning for a few hours to heat the ground hot enough to kill the roots, or they will grow back.

Or, ya know. Broad-fork.

That being said... I am meaning to take some bamboo from my neighbor-through the woods' property and grow it on mine. Bamboo makes suuuch great arrow-shafts.

Eat that strawb! My blueberries are ripening for the last 2 days, and I noticed some were stolen. I'm gonna wake up early and sit on my porch for a few hours to find the culprit and have a lunch of rabbit/squirrel/whatever.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 01, 2017, 08:41:28 PM
It's illegal to burn; she's within city limits.

I really would never recommend anyone grow bamboo. Ever.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on May 02, 2017, 09:02:42 AM
If you dig it up with a backhoe, how will you dispose of it?  You could do the same with a broadfork. 

It's like that terrible cr
ap the Grier Brothers brought in to cover the sides of the highway when they put the four lane through.  Cudzu.  Holy cow you can't kill that stuff off and is predatory.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 03, 2017, 01:05:00 PM
https://imgur.com/a/UJlRa

Some pictures from today! I've been in the garden for 3.5 hours. I'm pooped and dirty.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on May 03, 2017, 01:22:30 PM
Great pictures, Boog! You're gonna be laden with jams and preserves someday soon :)

Tilled garden plots make me happy. I like yours a lot.

That is quite a stand of bamboo! I have tons of uses for bamboo, so I'd love a stand like that. Man's trash, right?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 03, 2017, 01:24:27 PM
And Ref, I think I will just ignore the ordinance if it comes down to it. Maybe. Or pile what I dig up in black garbage bags until I'm ready to dispose of it ... then rent a flamethrower and um, hopefully not set flame to everything else.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 03, 2017, 01:25:36 PM
You do not want this shit! It can spread its rhizomes through drain holes in a frigging pot!

But uh. If you wanna come chop some of the wood down for bows, feel free. I macheted a lot last year. You can't even fucking tell this year!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 03, 2017, 01:28:32 PM
Triple posting, sue me, I'm in the tub.

Drip tape isn't working. I think I might need a new pressure regulator.

And that isn't tilled, Melkor! I lasagna gardened it over winter. That's just decayed compost and mulch and a bit of soil I let ripen during the cooler months. The soil for the first 6 inches before the shitty clay reapproaches is glorious. I'll have to start the lasagna sooner than what I had this year so that all the cardboard decays properly.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on May 03, 2017, 01:34:10 PM
haha I'll keep the offer in mind if I am ever up in the carolinas.

Your adamant stance on the evils of bamboo is appreciated. I may grow it on the quarry's property and not mine :P


Ohhh I see! The sand I have to work with is really best tilled and mixed with some loam or manure.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 03, 2017, 03:05:23 PM
Yeah, I don't have any animals with shit I can use to till into the earth, unless you count my kids, and well, humans aren't useful to nature in any way, even their poop.

My mom asked the zoo if they needed any bamboo, hoping they'd come up and cut it for her. They said they were fine.

It looks like the sprouts have slowed down ... this week, anyway. I have one stuck in the middle of my garden, but I'll get it out somehow, without disturbing the other plants ... I hope.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on May 03, 2017, 07:28:29 PM
Human poop is great but it has to cook awhile.  Check out websites about humanure or the humanure book.  I'm testing the theory while we wait for the septic tank.  This spring has not been great for digging projects with all the rain. 
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on May 03, 2017, 07:42:21 PM
Nothing wrong with human poop, tbh. Like Refugee said, it just takes a while for all the bacteria to eat itself to death.
The leech-field to my septic tank goes out into a patch of trees to my east, which are  a few days ahead of the rest in annual developmental stages, I'd say from so much water and manure. Their leaves and branches that fall and deteriorate add to the topsoil of everything around them. Septic tanks rule.
Down south, I set up my washing-mashine to drain instead of to the septic-tank (Around which the lawn was always green) to a dry patch of lawn on the other side of my house. A few months later, that grey-water had my entire lawn looking like a golf green.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 03, 2017, 09:44:33 PM
Uh.

Hm.

Well, I guess if I had to fertilize with anyone's poop in the house, it'd be the kids' since ... they're relatively new and fresh compared to me!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on May 03, 2017, 11:31:23 PM
I wouldn't use it on root vegetables especially.  In case the heat of the composting somehow missed an undesirable microbe.  But it's fine on fruit trees or ornamental things. I'm composting my experimental batches mixed with pine shavings for a year.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 04, 2017, 03:50:38 PM
So, maybe I should mention the varieties of shtuff I'm growing this year so if you guys are interested, and I don't have crop failures, I can send you some seeds! I'll add to this list more a little later in the week because right now I'm only working off of memory. That's what I get for leaving the notebook at mom's. I -am- growing some F1s this year (as much as I despise hybrids because they take too long to stabilize), just because I wanted to make sure that I had something to fall back on in case none of the heirlooms grew or my mom's yard sucked the big one.

Tomatoes
San Marzano
Anna Russian
Debbie Blackburn
Barry's Crazy Cherry
Helsing Junction Blues
Hillbilly
Jaune Flamme

Squash
Sweet Meat
Blue Hubbard
Tatume
Yellow Crookneck Summer Squash
Yellow Straight Neck Summer Squash

Zucchini
Ortolana di Faenza

Beans
Contender Bush
Kentucky Wonder Bush
Weekend/Castandel

Watermelons
Jubilee
Congo

Cantaloupe
Minnesota Midget

Flowers
Moonflower
Orange Milkweed

Eggplant
Black Beauty
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: manipura on May 04, 2017, 04:37:37 PM
This fucking squirrel...  >:(
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Armaddict on May 04, 2017, 05:39:57 PM
There are humane squirrel traps you could use to catch it without harming it.

So that you could take it and dump it in the ocean to insure it never returns.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on May 04, 2017, 05:58:22 PM
Eaaaat iit! :D

Havahart traps are humane. Buy one of them.

Thats awesome, Boog. Save dem seeds!

So, Im fucking bummed. I have all of these california poppies and marigolds that I planted in pots, right? I saw a weird plant sprouting among a young california poppy and I went to rip it, and the whole seed pod came up.... It was an old persimmon seed I forgot about. It had been in the dirt for 6+ months. Maaaaan. >:(
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 04, 2017, 06:34:50 PM
Debbie Blackburn is the reported shit, y'all. If you want some of these seeds, do let me know.

I'm also partial to them because when I worked in retail pharmacy, I knew a raspy-voiced woman named Debbie Blackburn. She always smelled of musk and was in love with Fleetwood Mac. I imagine she's still alive, but I don't venture out to where I used to work often, because I hate most of the yuppy fucks that live out there.

So, Debbie, I'm growing Debbie in your honor. Your tomato counterpart is the shit.

I also have some other seeds that I've thought about sowing, but I'm running out of space. Heh. I considered planting a few tomatoes near my mom's deck and putting ollas in. Maybe I'll do that. Hm. I really wanna grow a few Granny Cantrell's and Aunt Ruby's German Green for sure!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 08, 2017, 12:36:34 PM
All the blueberries are now at mom's.

Homeboy got big over the past few years. He's just under 5 ft tall.

(https://i.imgur.com/Yo9P3Qn.jpg)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on May 08, 2017, 01:58:25 PM
Ugh there has to be something seriously wrong with the soil in my garden plot.

The cukes look freaking anemic and the pole beans are really struggling.

Last year's plot was a complete failure and the pansies I planted over the winter struggled a lot as well.

Using fertilizer didn't help at all. I don't THINK it's nematodes and I saw plenty of earthworms while I was prepping so ???

Gonna have to get a test kit and try and figure out what the problem is.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: stark on May 08, 2017, 03:59:59 PM
"Ugh there has to be something seriously wrong with my soil in my garden plot." - by Delerium

I can't actually put in a garden where I live, despite having owned this home for over twenty years. For one thing, the soil has a very high clay content, and my  yard is at a relatively steep angle running off into the neighbors that live behind me and over one, and the city decided putting sewer lines along the BACK of the property lines makes for tilling and digging issues. I also have quite an array of drainage material in the top half of the yard which carries water away from the house and out into the slanted yard. I've put in some big trees and they grow great, blocking nearly all the sun, and keeping the moisture and coolness in my yard so I can grow hardy things like lilies and some ornamental grasses.

I know my soil tests out very poorly, but I keep mulching the dead leaves and am working on building up layers of mulch in my yard in the hope that I can at least get mushrooms to grow. I do believe that much soil has lost it's nutritional value and being chemtrailed doesn't help, so if you do not compost, you might consider it. Be careful about where you get compost materials, maybe head to a heavily forested area that is not sprayed by the city or county, and gather up supplies for composting. We have a local company that renders composting material from waste products sent to the dump, and since I just don't feel like I can verify the safety of it, I've asked them for test results from their compost bins. I am still waiting to hear back.

I do keep a kit to test the alkaline/acidic levels of the water and soil, and I do a little bit of container gardening, keeping the food bins out under the trees or in the back driveway during the day, and on my screened in porch or in the garage at night. We have community gardens here, and a program called No More Empty Pots that helps with growing food and learning to can and preserve foods, and there is a person that has a lot of experience with gardening/horticulture that heads up the team. Maybe spend a year or two composting your soils and raising the levels of songbirds and healthy insects and studying some permaculture/symbiotic growing practices that will help you yield better results.

It's amazing to me that we, as human beings, are so dependent on something like food, and yet we've become so stupid that we don't even remember how to grow it, care for it, store it, and eat it so that it benefits our whole body and mind. I know very few people who can still farm by the moon cycles. It's a crime that the government pays farmers to produce corn in such great quantities for biofuels and and corn syrups, rather than pay them to grow food. We have food deserts in my own state, Nebraska, which is a farming state. Think about that.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on May 08, 2017, 04:16:58 PM
Thing is, my soil is in a raised bed in a community garden, and I inherited the plot last fall.

I think part of the problem is actually that it gets an intense amount of sun and the drainage is TOO good - so I'm going to start watering every single day for a while and then taper off to every other day and see if that makes any difference.

Until now I've only been watering twice a week, or not at all if it rains a couple times.

I think with raised beds you really can't overwater, especially not if it's 2 feet tall and has swift drainage.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 08, 2017, 04:25:52 PM
Try some ollas, Delirium! They're super easy to make!

Two terracotta pots glued together with food grade silicone. Fill 'em up with water, dig 'em in the earth nearish to your plants so they slow release while you're not there, so you don't have to go to water every single day (if that's an inconvenience for you!)

Also, if you take pictures so we can all ruminate on the possible cause of the illness here in the Horticulture thread, I think, speaking for myself at least, we'd be willing to look into what might be goin' on!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on May 08, 2017, 04:28:42 PM
It's a good idea! I can try that if I ever go on vacation for more than a few days.

As it is I really welcome the excuse to take a walk through my neighborhood and putter in the garden :)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 08, 2017, 04:30:33 PM
Ah! Not such a bad thing, then. I kinda do that at my mom's. I drop the kids off in the morning and then take the extra 5 minutes to vroom down to her place just to weed. I've never weeded so much in my life. But it's nice to just relax and kill shit at the same time.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on May 08, 2017, 04:37:59 PM
I weed ruthlessly. Two of my cukes died soon after sprouting, and so did three of my beans.

The okra keeps dying... I've got four new seedlings sort of limping along, currently. If these die, well, I give up.

I'll take some pics when I water tomorrow morning.

They'll be nice to look back on, really, if I can get this fucking garden actually growing.

"See, look how little you were, beansprout!"

The fact that they're sprouting and THEN dying off really makes me think it's the amount of sun vs not enough water.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on May 09, 2017, 10:26:32 AM
@ Stark.

Continue your soil-building project. It will pay off!

As far as gardening on a steep-slope, you can use long strips of plywood, say about 2 feet wide by 8 feet long, 12 inches into the ground then filled with soil to build "Steps" or "Shelves" into the side of a hill, kinda like how they make rice-paddies on hillsides in china. I have a friend who moved to south-america to study tropical farming, and he has been experimenting with that hillside/shelf farming, and inga-alley-cropping.

As far as modern society's detachment from food, and reality in general...

Preaching to the choir, brother. Take away electricity for a month, without government assistance, most Americans would be in dire straits.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Riev on May 09, 2017, 10:46:41 AM
Preaching to the choir, brother. Take away electricity for a month, without government assistance, most Americans would be in dire straits.

Especially since... you know. The majority of Americans live in urban centers not farmlands.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on May 09, 2017, 10:52:31 AM
Yes.... By Choice. They live in an unnatural,  barely sustainable , fragile, volatile environment ... by choice.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 09, 2017, 10:57:13 AM
I'm gonna have to disagree. Most people don't live in the place they live in by choice. Some people have to live where they live for their job, because they can't afford the commute, or otherwise. It's not always exactly a choice.

Don't you sully up my gardening thread with politics, though. I'll cut everyone!

I'm gonna go putter about Home Depot and Lowe's today and see if there's anything else I wanna buy since none of my seeds seem to be germinating.

I THINK I might stick some more seeds in the house underneath a grow light for 24 hours for a couple of weeks to see if I can't get them to go. Debbie Blackburn and Anna Russian aren't waking up. I'm afraid they're being eaten by birds or by ants. Motherfuckers. Good thing I saved some of their seeds!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on May 09, 2017, 11:43:00 AM
I spotted a few yard-waste bags at the end of a neighbor's driveway. Mineeee. All Oak and sweetgum leaves. I dumped them all on the south-eastern corner of my property, where the soil gets rockier. Im 5 years, I'll put a plot of corn there.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 09, 2017, 02:38:55 PM
My mom has a ton of rose thorns that I've thought about composting, but ... I dunno how well they break down! I guess I should look into that.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on May 09, 2017, 02:58:27 PM
My mom has a ton of rose thorns that I've thought about composting, but ... I dunno how well they break down! I guess I should look into that.

Dig a hole, throw em in, cover the hole. In a year, plant something on top!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 09, 2017, 03:05:17 PM
I might bought some mulberry plants today.

And some more seeds because my tomatoes haven't come up yet! Though, it's been cold as fuck so I can't blame them.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on May 09, 2017, 03:12:45 PM
I bought a dormant mulberry tree (Root and a few inches of stem) online a few years back, and it arrived with the taproot snapped in half -___-. I should get some growing.

edited to add:

It is still cold up in the carolinas? It is hot as fuck today down in North Florida. I have to water my new trees twice a day until they get their roots down to the water-table.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 09, 2017, 03:44:12 PM
Usually I have my AC on by now! But this week has been super chilly.

Oh! Well. I'm buying two little plants. I'm gonna keep them as shrubs instead of trees. They'll fruit easier that way.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on May 09, 2017, 03:47:14 PM
Keep your seeds, Boog! :D
I'll trade you seeds from my little moringa tree, once it starts bearing. Or fig. Or loquat. Or Persimmon. All of my trees are young, but just you wait. Im gonna live in a damned orchard. ^_^
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 10, 2017, 01:54:42 PM
 https://imgur.com/gallery/PxJxl
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on May 10, 2017, 09:15:11 PM
Hawt.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 12, 2017, 04:48:58 PM
Instead of going out to eat for Mother's Day, I asked my mom if she'd buy me a pair of apple trees! So, I'm the new owner of two Empire and Arkansas Black apple trees. Yay!

My pears still haven't flowered at all. They're going to be hard pruned this dormant season and I'll be more vigilant about fertilizing them. But I'm excited because these apples are capable of flowering and fruiting already! So, I'll probably prune them back a ways and see what's in store for next year! :)

Squee!

Oh, and I bought a grape vine for 5 bucks at the farmer's market. It's a Mars grape. I haven't told boogy bear baby that its name is Mars yet, or he'd flip his lid and ask why we can't have one named Uranus.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on May 12, 2017, 05:02:43 PM
Ughhh no fair. I want trees for mothers day.

Careful not to burn them when fertilizing! I'd recommend HEAVILY diluting whatever fertilizer you use.

Im babying a young papaya that wilts every day at high-sun, despite having shade for many hours every day.

If the roots dont grow deep enough to get some water, soon, I'm going to have to make some shade for it.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 12, 2017, 05:21:35 PM
Yeah. I only use non-chemical fertilizer on the trees, so it's hard to burn them with that, buuuut, the trees are also mulched to shit, so all of that isn't getting down into their roots. I hate removing mulch, so I just water over it near the base of the trunk. Ain't nobody got time to take the mulch off.

I only fertilize about once a month with organic liquid fertilizer. Then, I dress it with some Jobe's Organic once every season.

Fucking pears. I swear to god.

These apples will be fabulous, though. I just have to clear my mom's forest hill in the back.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on May 12, 2017, 05:40:05 PM
Thats awesome. Plus, your mulch itself is good fertilizer, ya know.

I have a bunch of california poppies sprouting, some marigolds, etc. Come at me, bees.

I just made friends with some tree-trimmers, and I told them they could dump their wood/branches on my land if they were ever in the area. Free wood and mulch!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on May 12, 2017, 06:07:15 PM
I figured out what's wrong with my soil. I just need to start amending it once this growing season is over. Fortunately we live in a wooded area so there's plenty of pine needles and leaves. And I've started putting up a sun shade for the hottest part of the day until the plants get better established.

Watering every single day is overkill so I'm backing it off to every other day. They WILL grow, damnit.

Marigolds and four-o-clocks at the edges of the bed for bees and butterflies. I love four-o-clocks because they're what we planted at the corners of the garden my dad and I had when I was growing up, so the nostalgia factor is high - and they always mutated to different colors and stripes for next year, so it was a game of "what'll the four-o-clocks look like this year?" The only hassle was those godawful japanese beetles loved eating them. Every day I'd be out there picking them off and tossing them in a bucket of soapy water to gleefully watch those motherfuckers drown.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on May 12, 2017, 06:13:08 PM
if you dont have your compost-bin yet, you could just put several stakes in the ground in a circle, and fill the middle with organic material. it will continuously rot down, and in a month or two, there will be the best rotten stuff at the bottom with which to amend soil.

I'm hoping my sunflowers live though their seedling-stage.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on May 12, 2017, 07:31:19 PM
I don't have a place to make compost :) Except perhaps a bucket w/ a lid on the porch, heh. Which I've thought about.

My loose idea was to simply layer it all in come late fall, plant a cover crop, then see what happens in the spring.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on May 12, 2017, 07:39:02 PM
Lol not on your porch, delirium! It'll stink if its digesting properly.

A hole filled with organics is a good a place as any to compost.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 12, 2017, 09:01:45 PM
I lasagna composted/gardened over the fall and winter. My soil is dope as fuck now. I was going to plant field peas to till into the soil but never got around to it.

I need a broad fork. Hum.

Oh. I released some lady bugs today. The guy at the farm store swears I don't have aphids so it was stupid of me to buy ladybugs, but I built them a home and put raisins out for them, so maybe they'll stick around. Anyway, he said all my damage was probably slug damage, so I set out multiple beer traps today.

Fuckers.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 13, 2017, 01:19:28 PM
I didn't realize Arkansas Black was a triploid and required two pollinators, SO, I went back and bought a McIntosh (upstate New York's best apple, imho) and a Newtown Pippin, which is one of those old, winy, aromatic heirlooms, for my damn self for Mother's Day. It was either McIntosh, Golden Delicious (meh, they're always available), Red Delicious (always available and if you like store bought Red Delicious for raw eating we can't be friends), Braeburn (read its disease resistance leaves something to be desired), Jonagold (this was nearly bought, but my mom professed her love for McIntosh while we were browsing and I agreed), Granny Smith (eh, I only like these for cooking, or to put sweet things onto), or Red Rome (people said this was insipid and watery, so I passed).

I AM PLUM CHUFFED.

I'm going to probably dig a big hole and put all 4 trees together, tilted away from one another. I might put a large olla in the middle; I'm not entirely sold upon that idea yet, though.

I'm not sure if I should keep the fruit on them or not, though, because the kids really want apples this year. I can't blame them, since our fucking pears still haven't even bloomed.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on May 13, 2017, 02:15:15 PM
Fruit-tree rich. :)

If you are just planting these trees, I would recommend pruning the blossoms and fruits; better that energy and nutrients be used to extend root systems.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 13, 2017, 04:22:44 PM
I KNOW BUT I DON'T WANNA. Watch them not flower next year and I'll cry like a baby.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on May 13, 2017, 05:02:26 PM
I KNOW BUT I DON'T WANNA. Watch them not flower next year and I'll cry like a baby.

You let them produce now and they'll never reach any potential at all and die during the first drought.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on May 13, 2017, 05:09:09 PM
I'm crazy busy, but I wanted to share this picture I took today so you could see what it looks like off my porch when there are leaves on the trees.

Also awesome to read what you are all growing.  Next week my bees and rabbits arrive.  My uncle says he's gonna give me his fourteen grown chickens, and I've got twenty chicks coming next month from the hatchery, so my freezer is going to be full of chicken this year.  He has one of those goofy turkey-necked roosters.  I think I'll eat him first!

(http://www.dogwoodmists.com/Refugee/May.png)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 13, 2017, 05:14:17 PM
I KNOWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW

I have to prune them anyway because I'm sticking them so close together.

But god almighty. :(

My youngest found one of the broken branches (because some neurotic bitch at the farmer's market grabbed my wagon from me so one of her lackeys could cart it around for me and she ended up toppling my fucking Pippin) and he played with it all day. He ... swept my mother's floor with the branch and has held onto the baby apples all day as though they were marbles. The branch is his new best friend.

Ooh, Ref, so lovely. Me, I'm just trying to make sure I have enough fruit in case the end of the world comes. Now I gotta buy some guns next. Maybe when the kids are older, because I don't trust my kids to not go playing with shit, and let's be honest: keeping a gun in a safe with a lock is just a hindrance if someone's gonna come into your house to kill you. So. Anyway. :x
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on May 13, 2017, 05:41:08 PM
Boog- Lols Kids are great. I cant wait to have my own. (Child labor muahahaha)
A .22 rifle is all you need. Versatile, easy to fire, cheap, and cheap+plentiful ammunition.
If you like, I can tell you how I was introduced to firearms at 5 years old, and why I never abused them in my life, despite having easy access to them, even as a young boy.

Refugee.. Beautiful country, man. I love it. Keep us updated with your slice of earth a time goes on.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on May 13, 2017, 06:45:44 PM

Why are they so close together?

Two trees crowded together will produce less fruit than one tree uncrowded.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 13, 2017, 06:48:59 PM
I've read and watched a lot of information about backyard orcharding and Dave Wilson Nurseries in particular thinks that you can hard prune trees to keep them small and close and to take up less space, especially if their rootstock is dwarf or semi-dwarf.

Trees of Antiquity recommends that if you're low on space that you can put multiple trees together in a rather large hole, 18" apart.

My mother only has about half of an acre. A lot of this is encroached upon by violets and invasive Japanese knotwood. She has a huge hill full of creeping brush that I have to take and whittle back every year. I don't have a ton of space left to work with!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on May 13, 2017, 07:10:52 PM

Dave Wilson Nurseries sells trees, so you can expect them to advocate a method which sells more trees.

I don't do dwarf stock ever. They only live about 8-12 years and they don't start producing well until 4 years into it.

I've never heard of the Trees of Antiquity thing, but I've had TERRIBLE luck with old varieties. There's such a plague of tree diseases now due to the chemical spraying and proliferation that these old stocks just can't compete at all. Or they taste terrible.

If you're tight on space, skip the fruit trees and work in some lower level fruit producers. Grapevines can go right up the side of your house on a south-facing wall taking up almost NO growing space. And I've got an 80 year old grapevine I transplanted from Illinois when we moved and I'll take it with me when we move to Hawaii at the end of this year. It'll be producing for us again in four more years.

Berry bushes are great for fast production, but I'm not a big fan of berries. On our 10 acres here in Texas I established about 12 pecan trees but it'll be 10 years before they're producing. However they were a big selling point when we put the house on the market.

Go with smaller production to maximize your space. Trellis some grapes, line the boundaries with berry bushes, and put in a few beds of strawberries. You've got room for MAYBE two fruit trees if you space them out properly.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on May 13, 2017, 07:21:27 PM
In my opinion, the safest thing you can do about kids and guns is teach them the proper way to respect them from an early age.  Where I grew up everyone had multiple guns in their houses, and boys were universally given a .22 by the time they were 12 and allowed to carry them alone to hunt.  Kids didn't shoot each other or ourselves.  Just like you had to learn not to put the tractor in neutral at the top of the hill or just how to behave when a mean sow has a litter, it was a fact of farm living and the exact wrong thing is to make them mysterious and alluring, in my opinion. 



Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 13, 2017, 07:23:11 PM
I did buy a Mars grapevine that was discounted to $5 that I'm excited to plant!

I dunno. I guess I'm just used to closer spacing of trees! All the orchards I went to as a little girl in upstate New York were pretty closely spaced in rows!

(http://media.syracuse.com/cny/photo/2012-09-13-dn-apples3jpg-825b5307c49fd278.jpg)

Maybe commercial is different than backyard orcharding, but I plan on keeping the trees to only about 6 feet maximum because I'm short and I don't have the desire to have huge mounds of trees. And, you can always graft, so I'm not worried about the trees dying so much. On top of that, they were cheap, and they're at my mom's; if I move away, I'm not going to have such close or sure access for everything I've put at her house.

I have a ton of stuff there already, if you peek back a few pages. :)

And Ref, hehe, you've posted every time I mean to post! But, I agree. I just don't... live in rural anywhere, so having them shoot at things isn't really a thing I'm able to do right now. If I did it at my house in the town, I'd have CPS called on me. If I do it where my mom lives, I'd probably have the neighbors call the cops.

I want to move out to the country badly! But, it's not feasible at this moment.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on May 14, 2017, 11:53:54 AM

Tomato plants ... yeesh.

The ones I transplanted at the middle of March, covered with buckets on frosty nights, watered, nurtured, pampered, and babied ... the ones I planted direct from seed almost a month later are now just as big.

I don't know how many times I need to learn this lesson.

The soil and air temperature, as well as the hardiness of having a non-disturbed taproot from direct seeding, make the timeframe of tomato planting almost irrelevant. When the soil temps hit 68F, it's time to direct seed tomatoes. Doing so before just makes for a very slow-growing and maintenance heavy experience.

Maybe next year I'll learn.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on May 14, 2017, 12:55:33 PM
Wow...how long is your growing season?

All these years I've thought I needed to start them inside or else buy plants.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on May 14, 2017, 01:48:08 PM

Here in West Texas It's usually about 250 days or so IF you prepare to cover for a couple of light frosts.

When we lived in Illinois though I had to start plants in my greenhouse or they just wouldn't get to production before the killing frosts hit.

It just entirely depends on your climate.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 14, 2017, 02:27:09 PM
Yeah, here in NC it's completely unnecessary buttttt... I like babying stuff in the winter.

I get antsy for my plantsies!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on May 15, 2017, 07:42:14 PM
Morning visitors under the dogwood tree (http://www.dogwoodmists.com/Refugee/morningvisitors.jpg)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on May 15, 2017, 09:44:51 PM
That's an epic shot.

Those are dogwoods? They're huge.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on May 15, 2017, 09:49:04 PM
That one big one is.  It's awesome.  I've several smaller ones about the place but that one is huge.  We call the place Dogwood Mists Homestead.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 15, 2017, 09:53:23 PM
I wanna live there!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on May 15, 2017, 09:55:09 PM
If you raise meat rabbits, an app called Hutch is having free trials.  So far I like it and think I will subscribe.  I believe it would work for any breeding program, not just rabbits.  Check it out if you're interested. 

http://barntrax.com/ (http://barntrax.com/)

It would not be complicated to do all the functions with Excel, but it's pretty inexpensive and I like the ease of use. 

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 16, 2017, 01:42:39 PM
Nothing too much at all to note, but:

http://imgur.com/a/JZUM5

I watered, fertilized, and tidied up a little today. Now I gotta go home and fertilize the pots and put the mulberries into containers!

Also, my grow light is miraculously working again. Hopefully I can catch these little seedlings up, since their counterparts I direct sowed into the ground haven't popped up at all. :(
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 18, 2017, 10:08:23 AM
My Orient Wonder Yard Long Beans aren't doing so hot. It says they tolerate cooler and drier climates better than most yard long noodle beans, buuuut... After the nearly 2 weeks we had of straight rain, they look very diseased. :/

I might yank them out and put some Triomphe de Farcy beans in or something. They were a buck at Home Depot.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 18, 2017, 02:52:46 PM
The kids scarfed the shit out of the handful of Old North Sea strawberries I picked. I put out a slug trap and got -three- fucking slugs. THREE! Assholes!

(http://i.imgur.com/pT03Icy.jpg)

I need to tidy this up and weed whack the encroaching shit from the hill to the right. I know. A few spots look bare, but there's stuff growing! They're just tiny right now.

(http://i.imgur.com/oLdCWwX.jpg)
These are some of those Oriental Wonders I'd talked about. There are a few that are still healthy and green, but for the most part, they're all mottled yellow. I don't usually deal with bean diseases, so I'm not sure what they could be dying from. Whatever. I'll yank 'em out for something better. Or different. Whatever!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 19, 2017, 04:19:28 PM
So glad I trellised my peas earlier just so they could be knocked down by this vicious ass thunderstorm and hail.

Fucking what the fuck.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: BadSkeelz on May 19, 2017, 04:47:02 PM
Clearly God hates a gardener. Further proof: Jesus turns water into wine (thus cutting out vintners) and summons bread (suck it, wheat farmers!).
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on May 19, 2017, 05:57:16 PM

Every year provides its own particular challenges.

Gardening is not for pussies.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Marc on May 19, 2017, 08:46:31 PM
Birth is for pussies
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 19, 2017, 10:31:00 PM
To be fair, I'd trade giving birth 20 times without drugs for not having to weed my garden this year.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on May 20, 2017, 12:22:32 PM
To be fair, I'd trade giving birth 20 times without drugs for not having to weed my garden this year.

You know what will really piss you off about weeding?

90% of those weeds you're pulling are what people used to eat and they provide more vitamins and nutritional content than the plants you're making room for.

Their sin? They contain a lot of Vitamin B and thus taste bitter to the white man's sugar-coated tongue.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 20, 2017, 12:26:57 PM
Oh. It's all grass and violets. I'd leave it if it were something useful.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Lizzie on May 20, 2017, 01:28:27 PM
(http://i.imgur.com/ws0R89o.jpg?1)

I don't water, fertlize, or otherwise nurture this garden. I weed it when it starts looking really hideous, and I harvest the oregano and melissa and savory for cooking a few times every year. I dry the oregano along with a few sprigs of lemonbalm, and that is the combination I use for my meatballs. I bunch them up, tie them with string, and hang them upside down over my kitchen sink.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Lizzie on May 20, 2017, 01:45:36 PM
One more for now. We're replacing our old fence, with a new one. The new one will actually be at the property line, which is a few dozen feet behind where our old fence is. So we have to clear out the area so the fence guys can get in there and put down the posts and such. Hubby found a bird's nest with an unhatched egg in it, right where we need the fence to go. So he moved the nest and placed it on my sink. The sink is on a dilapidated park bench, on top of a mulched circle around Mama Maple. The circle is enclosed with stone and abandoned bricks from the back yard of our property, and logs from a few of our cut-down trees. The entire project I call LogHenge. We found the sink in the back yard, under a mound of dirt. I cleaned it up as much as possible and use the original piping and hardware as adornment. If I grow vines, I usually thread them through the pipes so they look like they grew that way.

The plant growing in it is lemon thyme (thymus citriodorus), which I planted this year. I think the sink is too shallow to "not" provide any care and let it develop naturally, so I'll probably toss in 1/8 teaspoon of miracle gro mixed with a half-gallon of water in a few weeks. Other than that I'm hoping it'll just spread by itself.
(http://i.imgur.com/vWgCBl7.jpg?1)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 21, 2017, 02:58:31 PM
I'm thinking of installing a little micro-drip for my containers here at home. It's such a pita to have everything dry out and water it twice a day. Mrr.

I just don't know if the hose hook up works outside... Hm. I wonder if there's a way to connect it from inside.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Lizzie on May 21, 2017, 04:59:45 PM
I'm thinking of installing a little micro-drip for my containers here at home. It's such a pita to have everything dry out and water it twice a day. Mrr.

I just don't know if the hose hook up works outside... Hm. I wonder if there's a way to connect it from inside.

You probably just have to turn it on. In our house, it's in our basement, where the pipe connects through the outer wall to our plumbing. It's just a big blue-handled toggle-switch attached to the pipe to re-direct the water. If you can do that, I'd recommend a timer-controlled mister. You can give your plants a spritz a few times every morning, then a few times before sunset. Don't mist during mid-sun, or the water droplets will act as a magnifying glass and roast your plants.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 21, 2017, 06:10:23 PM
Er. Well, I don't think I have permission. I rent this place. ;) I mostly garden at my mother's, but I keep some pots here, too.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on May 22, 2017, 10:00:52 PM
I've been crazy busy and haven't been contributing to this thread.  But I got my beehive going, and I have six rabbits, two of which are pregnant already.  We had to run off a coyote in broad daylight the other day, so we put their cages in a 10x10 chain link kennel with a tarp over the top.  Should do for the coyotes but not the raccoons.  Fingers crossed.

Also, glorious day, we had the drains and vents all finished up in the cabin.  This means we can shower inside, dump dishwasher down the drains instead of carrying it out to throw over the fence, install a washing machine instead of having to take laundry to town...  THIS is a big improvement to our lives.  Still carrying water and still going to the bathroom in buckets.  But I'm ecstatic about the drains.







Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on May 22, 2017, 11:03:07 PM

https://www.amazon.com/Humanure-Handbook-Guide-Composting-Manure/dp/0964425831

I've been composting humanure (pooping in buckets) 5 years now. A family of 7.

You can rock that compost, man. Only crazy white people infected with civilization poop in drinking water.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on May 23, 2017, 04:16:11 AM
I've been away for a while as well. The new position at work + new schedule has my groove messed up.

Sounds awesome, Refugee.

Miradus, I like your sentiment, dont like your delivery.

As for me, a pair of armadillos are eating my sunflower seedlings, despite the cayenne spray. I usually dont kill anything I dont plan on eating, or feeding to my dog (I know you /can/ eat armadillo, but that ~5% rate of leprosy infection ruins it for me), but they're wasting my time and money, so I'm gonna kill them. The opossums will enjoy their bodies, I am sure.

My papaya tree is growing strong, and my fig tree has new growth. I might take some pics soon.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on May 23, 2017, 08:21:25 AM
I've read the Humanure book and considered for a long time going that way permanently.  I really like it.But you can't legally get water or electricity to your place in this county without a septic tank.  You can build your house out of popsicle sticks or live in a barrel, they don't care out here in the unincorporated areas, but you gotta have a 2BR septic system.  I don't have a spring (surprising really, the place is eat up with springs, I really wanted to find a spring!).  I planned to catch rainwater and we still will, but being old and decrepit we decided we had better get in line and get city water.  Then when something goes wrong they have to fix it.  That "old" thing isn't going to get any better...

Two of my rabbits, a little buck and a doe, are pedigreed Rex rabbits.  Two are Californian (a buck and a doe), and two are meat mutts.  The Californian doe is pregnant with her first litter, and one of the meat mutts is two years old and has had many litters.  The young doe should kindle two days before the older.  I planned it that way so that if the newb doesn't do well with her kits, I might be able to have the experienced mom foster some.

Leprosy?!  Armadillos have leprosy? 





Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on May 23, 2017, 09:05:08 AM

The state gave me grief about a septic system too.

Eventually I marched down to the county and said that a septic system only covers waste and we don't generate any. We generate compost and there's no laws governing that. I agreed that the moment I started generating waste I would fall under their jurisdiction and comply, but so long as I only generated compost then they could mind their own business. I agree though if you hook up to their grid that it becomes easier for them to control you.

I didn't "win". You never win against the bureaucracy. But they did apparently decided I was too little meat for too much trouble and just decided to ignore me.

So if you like the idea of building your own compost, then go ahead and get the septic tank and just don't use it. They're not going to come out and watch you poop or take samples out of the tank to make sure the poop content means you've really been using it. They mostly just want their permit fees and to be seen as forcing compliance.

We have a 3,000 gallon rainwater collection and an elevated tank I pump the water up into. From there it goes into some pipes and the elevated tank provides gravity feed for what plumbing exists. I screwed up when I built the elevated tank and the height is 2" off what I need to collect water directly to it.

Measure twice, cut once. :(

Seriously though, you ought to at least try a side project for awhile generating some humanure compost for yourself, no matter how you configure your home. There's no better way to build soil fertility, in my opinion.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on May 23, 2017, 09:34:08 AM
Right now we're using separate buckets for urine and poop, and it's working out well.  Every time someone poops, we cover it up with some pine shavings.  It works well.  It takes the two of us about a week to fill up a bucket, and then we set it out to compost, planned to compost it for a year.  How long do you cook yours?

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 23, 2017, 10:32:46 AM
Um.

I have a couple squash fruiting and some beans flowering.

I have nothing to add to the poop conversation. Except poop. But I'm not driving to your houses to poop. Haha.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on May 23, 2017, 10:35:46 AM
7 people in our household means we fill up about 3-4 buckets per day (more on Taco Tuesday). I have 5 bins, each one is 8x8x8. When they're full I move to a new bin.

Everything sits in a bin for about a year. After about 6-7 months it's pretty broken down. There's always other stuff in there though too, like dead chickens or cardboard boxes, so while the mulch and manure breaks down fast, the other stuff takes some time. At the end of the garden year (around September) I take the oldest bin apart and move the compost to the garden beds where it will sit over the winter until the next spring. Then I start refilling that empty bin.

So everything sits in the bin composting for about a year. I don't do any turning of the compost. When you're dealing with 5-6 tons of it then that becomes too much effort. After the year it sits in the raised beds to break down further and is exposed to more rain and sunlight.

Then in the spring I grow giant vegetables in it.



Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on May 23, 2017, 10:40:00 AM

I have nothing to add to the poop conversation. Except poop. But I'm not driving to your houses to poop. Haha.

We call it "making a deposit in the soil bank."

Seriously, China has been using this method to fertilize their soil for over 10,000 years and the only long-term problem it's caused them is overpopulation.

I admit if someone came to visit who I knew had hepatitis or something I'd be a little weird about where to dump their pocket. But overall, composting fixes everything. Given enough time.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on May 23, 2017, 02:38:24 PM
Only a small percentage of armadillos carry leprosy, but I'd rather not take the chance, no matter how small.

My dog does his business all in the woods and whatnot, so he is adding to my land's fertility. I consider my septic tank to add to my land's fertility as well. The oaks take the nutrients from the leech fields and drop leaves which decay into topsoil. I, personally, wouldnt have a problem with composting my own waste, but my girl wouldn't be pleased with the situation :P.

As far as turning dead chickens into compost... Have you ever heard of turning dead animals/roadkill/rotting meat into chicken feed? You basically put the carrion into a bucket with a bunch of holes drilled in the bottom and you allow flies to breed maggots in it. The maggots fall through the holes and your chickens eat the maggots. I haven't personally done this, but an old neighbor of mine did down south. Theres probably info on it on the intarwebs.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on May 23, 2017, 02:48:47 PM
Only a small percentage of armadillos carry leprosy, but I'd rather not take the chance, no matter how small.

My dog does his business all in the woods and whatnot, so he is adding to my land's fertility. I consider my septic tank to add to my land's fertility as well. The oaks take the nutrients from the leech fields and drop leaves which decay into topsoil. I, personally, wouldnt have a problem with composting my own waste, but my girl wouldn't be pleased with the situation :P.

As far as turning dead chickens into compost... Have you ever heard of turning dead animals/roadkill/rotting meat into chicken feed? You basically put the carrion into a bucket with a bunch of holes drilled in the bottom and you allow flies to breed maggots in it. The maggots fall through the holes and your chickens eat the maggots. I haven't personally done this, but an old neighbor of mine did down south. Theres probably info on it on the intarwebs.

Yeah, pretty much any methodology that doesn't include having your organic waste or produce hauled away improves your land. Some does it slow and some does it fast. It's a reason I don't sell anything, aside from the fact that I have five children who eat as much as I can produce.

Three years ago I almost got taken to county jail for picking up a dead deer on the highway (to feed my hogs). After that I decided that roadkill belongs to the state. :(

Maggots do tend to grow in the compost pile though, at the top layer where it's not hot. Chickens go scratch that up and eat those. Poop maggots for the win.

Once the temp gets warm enough for massive maggot spawn, you can certainly taste the difference in the eggs. Delicious, delicious poop maggot eggs. Rich yellow yolks full of flavor. It's pretty much the only time of the year I can tolerate eggs.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 23, 2017, 02:54:54 PM
Most humans are immune to leprosy, I believe, bro. ;)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on May 23, 2017, 03:13:24 PM

Yeah, pretty much any methodology that doesn't include having your organic waste or produce hauled away improves your land. Some does it slow and some does it fast. It's a reason I don't sell anything, aside from the fact that I have five children who eat as much as I can produce.

Three years ago I almost got taken to county jail for picking up a dead deer on the highway (to feed my hogs). After that I decided that roadkill belongs to the state. :(

Maggots do tend to grow in the compost pile though, at the top layer where it's not hot. Chickens go scratch that up and eat those. Poop maggots for the win.

Once the temp gets warm enough for massive maggot spawn, you can certainly taste the difference in the eggs. Delicious, delicious poop maggot eggs. Rich yellow yolks full of flavor. It's pretty much the only time of the year I can tolerate eggs.

Too right. my neighbor lives on some land that is 99% limestone rock, but the whole area where his leechfield sits is green and lush, with great topsoil from chop-and-drop fertilizing.

Good deal, man. Chickens are awesome. Almost as good as opossums when it comes to processing waste.

I forgot to mention, the waste my cats produce in their clay litter all goes into a 10X10x10 pit in the woods, along with all of my paper and cardboard waste. When it is 3/4 full, I will put dirt on top and plant a fruit tree. Also, all of my food scraps (veg AND meat (poultry bones that I wont give to my doggo)) get thrown in the woods for the critters. it always disappears.

Most humans are immune to leprosy, I believe, bro. ;)
Lol I still wouldnt take the chance unless I was starving. Ive known mexicans whose families eat them after boiling them forever, but nah. Not for me :)
One of the few critters I won't eat under normal circumstances. The opossums will enjoy them.

They messed with my grow, so they've got to go.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on May 23, 2017, 04:59:27 PM
As far as turning dead chickens into compost... Have you ever heard of turning dead animals/roadkill/rotting meat into chicken feed? You basically put the carrion into a bucket with a bunch of holes drilled in the bottom and you allow flies to breed maggots in it. The maggots fall through the holes and your chickens eat the maggots. I haven't personally done this, but an old neighbor of mine did down south. Theres probably info on it on the intarwebs.

I read a lot about this and I might try it when I get my chickens.  Something to do with rabbit and chicken guts if I don't have pigs yet.  Apparently the plain bucket with holes in it stinks a lot but there are some pretty ingenious methods people have come up with to defeat the problem.  Lots of You-Tube videos about it.  This one is fun...   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZctRHAwAHg (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZctRHAwAHg)


When I was researching those, I came across the black soldier fly farms that grow larvae on vegetable waste.   They also self-harvest.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8f3B1G6lgY (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8f3B1G6lgY)

I'm intrigued with growing meal worms too.  I probably will try all three of these things.

I'm also going to cycle rabbit poop through earthworm bins.  Rabbit poop is great for improving dirt by itself, you don't even have to let it cure like other poops, but it gets even better when put through worms.  And the worms can also feed the chickens as well as be added to the garden and even sold.  My cousin owns thousands of acres of a hunting preserve and he has a big bass lake and a big catfish pond.  Maybe I can provide his customers with worms!  But even if not, the worms will be great for my chicken and my dirt.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on May 24, 2017, 08:34:13 AM
The kid I got four of my rabbits and two cages from has some kind of illness in his herd. He lost a rabbit Sunday and has others sick.  I picked up my rabbits from him Wednesday.  The dead rabbit was in one of the cages I got from him.  I am concerned!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on May 24, 2017, 09:21:59 AM
The kid I got four of my rabbits and two cages from has some kind of illness in his herd. He lost a rabbit Sunday and has others sick.  I picked up my rabbits from him Wednesday.  The dead rabbit was in one of the cages I got from him.  I am concerned!

Some apple cider vinegar and a shot of Vitamin B is about the best you can do. Vet costs for small livestock (any livestock) is prohibitory unless it's prize breeding stock.

I learned my lesson about just bringing home livestock from anyone. It's more of a problem when you have an established herd and you bring in some new ones. I had some goat problems from this once.

On the topic of feeding chickens ... you have more leftover food waste that can be tossed out to them than you'll get from any complex "maggot farms". I only ever buy feed for mine in the winter. Table scraps and letting them free range will solve all your food problems.

If you have to pen them up because of property lines or something (chickens are no respecters of property lines), then yeah, more solutions are required. But I don't think I'd be happy smelling a dead animal all day.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on May 24, 2017, 09:47:44 AM
The smell is a problem for me too.  If I can work up a way to avoid that, I like the idea of using garbage from the slaughter to provide food, I want to use every piece of the animal I can.  I think I will do fodder for the winter too.

I had meant to free range my chickens and lock them up at night, but we've already had to run off a coyote in the middle of the day, and the neighbors all have dogs they let run, so I'm not sure yet.  I will probably try letting them range and see how it works.  I would prefer the eggs and meat from free ranging chickens and I would prefer also to keep feed costs low.





Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on May 24, 2017, 09:55:49 AM
Garden is finally starting to take off... just in time for it to rain three days in a row. Yikes.

Marigolds and four o'clocks are shooting up, beans are going wild, and okra is finally starting to take off.

I did have to pull one of my bean sprouts which means I only have four healthy pole beans, so I'm not exactly expecting an abundant harvest. I'm not sure what happened; the stem at the base was all slimy and rotting through, so I just pulled the whole thing to hopefully keep whatever happened to it from spreading.

For kicks I planted one of the cukes from a greenhouse that was offered by the apartment complex, near the cuke that I raised from seed. The difference between the health of the two is remarkable (in favor of mine).
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on May 24, 2017, 10:09:42 AM
Our first week here I shot 3 of my neighbor's dogs who came to chase chickens. It did not endear me to the neighborhood, but the law was on my side.

My own dogs don't roam off our property and they keep the coyotes away. I don't even close up the coop anymore. The dogs keep raccoons and coyotes away just fine.

A shotgun and some good farm dogs makes up for a lot of security.

Not just from animal predators either. All rural property suffers from the meth epidemic. A house in the country is considered free shit for the roaming methheads and the only thing that gets through their drug-addled brains is a shotgun blast fired off in the dark.

But it does seem like there's a social media or network specifically for meth-criminals. You shoot a couple of times and word gets around that you WILL shoot and suddenly all the creeping prowlers at night disappear.

It's just part of agriculture in America now. You grow your organic strawberries, do what you can to improve soil fertility, and watch out for the tax man, code enforcement officers, and the meth heads. ALL of which will take something from you if they can.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on May 24, 2017, 10:24:16 AM
Yep.  We're well armed here.  There's a lot of theft back in these hills these days.  ATVs, tools, generators, guns are all favorite targets.  This boy I grew up with, he's a sheriff and a preacher now, was telling me about a fellow who got a big brand new tractor and his large folding-arm sprayer taken.  Never seen again.  That's a lot of money there.   My dad got his milkers and even the tank stolen out of his dairy!   Fella down the road lost a bunch of cows.  Most folks are too cash poor to have insurance on their stuff around here.  It's sad, really.  When I was growing up here, we never locked our doors. 

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on May 24, 2017, 11:20:36 AM

I like that you know both the good and the bad of the homesteading life. Bodes well for your future. I've seen a lot of people get into it, run into the bad they didn't expect, and then just bail on it.

I go out to the goat pen and see baby goats and that makes the bad just disappear for me. Or bringing in a bowl of fresh-picked strawberries for the kids, or watching the whole family weed down a row of planted beans together.

And three years ago I literally got down to $43 in my pocket and nothing at all coming in. For four months until blessings started flowing in a more financial manner, we were blessed by our garden. Nobody missed a meal. And in the near thirty years I've been gardening, I have NEVER seen a garden produce like it did that summer when we needed it to.

A friend of mine always says "the best fertilizer is the gardener's footprint". That is the truest statement I know.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on May 25, 2017, 03:39:51 AM
Loud dogs and loaded weapons make for a safe home.

Jesus, Miradus, I get you were protecting your livestock, and therefore, your livelihood, but I know if a neighbor killed my dogs, I would fuck their life up until the end of time. Maybe I am unreasonable. I would rather have the offending neighbor reimburse me in excess with food/money for any birds lost, than create an enemy from my neighbors.

A TON of rain here in florida, this week. The new trees are digging it, but my blueberry bush took a shit for some reason. A new native persimmon is sprouting, and tons more seeds are incubating.

Unfortunately, the peach, blackberry, mango, and guava cuttings I was trying to root rotted out on me. Bah. Oh well, It happens.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on May 25, 2017, 09:32:17 AM

It's about a mile to the nearest house. If you have a pack of four dogs roaming over a mile from your home and killing someone else's livestock, then you're a bad dog owner.

My experience is going to explain to these people that they need to keep their dogs at home does not work.

This isn't the suburbs. It's very rural, the houses are very far apart, and everyone keeps livestock. It's a given out here that if your dogs aren't staying home and are chasing someone's chickens or calves, they're going to get shot.

I love my dogs and I love other people's dogs too. But it isn't just killing chickens. You've got a pack of big, untrained dogs who return to your property again and again to kill things. At the time some of my children were toddlers. I wasn't JUST worried about my chickens.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 25, 2017, 10:36:47 AM
Loud dogs and loaded weapons make for a safe home.

Jesus, Miradus, I get you were protecting your livestock, and therefore, your livelihood, but I know if a neighbor killed my dogs, I would fuck their life up until the end of time. Maybe I am unreasonable. I would rather have the offending neighbor reimburse me in excess with food/money for any birds lost, than create an enemy from my neighbors.

A TON of rain here in florida, this week. The new trees are digging it, but my blueberry bush took a shit for some reason. A new native persimmon is sprouting, and tons more seeds are incubating.

Unfortunately, the peach, blackberry, mango, and guava cuttings I was trying to root rotted out on me. Bah. Oh well, It happens.

I always put my cuttings of anything under a grow light in my house that I made for like, $20 bucks. It's just a shop light with the right lightbulbs, hung from some PVC. I have some tomatoes, peppers, and my little mulberry cuttings in there right now. The tomatoes and peppers are because it's been really wet here and I'm anticipating some fungal death.

I wouldn't shoot someone's dog unless it was going to harm me or mine. I think it was alright if they kept coming back. Shooting dogs makes me think mournfully of my dead dog Bruno, though. He was a huuuuge ol' chocolate lab and he and the older golden retriever ran off one day while I was gathering firewood for our woodstove; I think they went and chased deer. Anyway, the golden retriever came back limping and dirty. Bruno never came back. A couple days later, after we'd all looked tirelessly for him (I walked eight miles one afternoon with my dad along a creek, yelling for him. Why the creek? My aunt, whom we lived with, said a pet psychic told her he was by some water. I didn't have a choice in the matter. :P Also, it cut through all the woods until a road ran through it, so it wasn't a bad idea anyway.), I went back to the nearest road, which was about a half mile away and went up and down it, yelling for him. Some guy comes outta his house and goes, 'Might not wanna let your dogs out. It's deer season. One of 'em might get shot.'

I almost slugged this smug motherfucker. I was only 17, though, and he probably would've done other things to me, especially if he mistook my very short, chocolate lab of a dog for a fucking deer.

Anyway. Uh. Someone on this garden group I subscribe to on Facebook told me my mulch is too close to the stems of my bell peppers. I guess, the next sunny day, I'm gonna push it away from the stems.

But for now, the gym. Because I don't live on a homestead, yet, and I need to move my butt a lil bit! 8)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on May 25, 2017, 11:06:47 AM

There's people out there who enjoy hurting animals. I'm not one of them. Dogs sometimes get out and run off to cause mischief. The first time a stray dog shows off I go out and yell at them and see how they react. Most of the time they run off. But if the same dog shows up again later, and then again later, it's a problem. This particular group of dogs were mostly Pits (who can be very loving) who killed two chickens their first visit and the second visit chased a couple of our cats up onto the porch and stood right outside the back door growling at them. I wasn't home that time so my wife told me about it. The third visit was their final one. I didn't go tell the neighbor I'd shot their dogs. And I intended to only shoot one and let the others run home but they didn't run. They just kept acting aggressive.

I don't even raise hogs anymore because I got too attached to them. I'd be a vegetarian but bacon tastes so damn good (and all the hogs I ever knew would agree with me on that point). I don't hunt anymore, but I still fish. Most of the time I release what I catch. If I want fish to eat then I put out a trap and sort through it to find the good ones and release the others.

Hogs are smart. They're great for a small homestead because they'll eat anything you have extra, but when you've got 400 pound boar hogs who run over wagging their little tails for you to scratch their backs and oink happily at you then it gets hard to kill them. I've always believed when you raise livestock that you have an obligation to give them the best life possible before you killed and ate them. But eventually I just sort of became a softie about it and no longer wanted to kill them. Most of my chickens now die of old age. We stopped raising rabbits because it just seemed that domesticated rabbits are never really happy (they seem insane). That and the heat here means they only breed for a very narrow window in the year.

Most our animal protein comes from fish or eggs. Occasionally we'll grab some steaks or pork chops but it's pretty rare. It just costs too much and it doesn't taste very good.

Unlike a Whataburger double-cheeseburger. Nobody can resist those.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on May 25, 2017, 11:14:51 AM
Everyone lets their dogs run around here.  They feel it's cruel to fence them in.  They strongly disapprove of our Gordon Setter always being in a fenced area or else on a leash. 

When I was a kid, it was expected that if your dog was chasing someone else's chickens or livestock, it would be shot.  This was also true if it was chasing -yours-.  But I don't know now how that would go over.  I know my neighbors would reimburse me for any losses, because I have really good neighbors, thankfully. 

I've always heard, if a dog kills on your property, it will always come back for more.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on May 25, 2017, 11:27:35 AM

I don't think most dogs INTEND to kill. Certainly it's very rare that a lone dog will do it. But when they group up in a pack they can sometimes get carried away.

When I've seen labs kill a chicken it's because they're trying to catch and retrieve it. They do it over and over until the chicken ends up dead.

The worst chicken-chaser I've ever had is my current dog Sam. He's an Australian Shepherd. At age 9 he doesn't chase them so much anymore, but he's always watching them. A dog that watches chickens is a dog that wants to chase them. I've got another dog named Fang who is just some unknown hybrid mutt I found as a puppy dying in the ditch. He is clearly a hunting dog but he won't chase chickens at all. He just wants to walk beside you and point whenever he sees game.

Dogs are funny. For probably 60,000 years we built useful instinct into their genetics. Hunting, herding, protecting, and yes, sometimes fighting. But now in this modern time, most people just buy a breed (or pick up a stray) and use it for some other purpose, mostly idle leisure. All their instincts turn towards chasing cars or livestock because they never receive guidance or training on how/when to do it.

We used to have this Great Pyrenees. Those are beautiful, gentle dogs. But they are literally hardcoded in their genes to protect livestock. She was the hardest dog in the world to train because she literally did not give a shit about people. You couldn't reward her with love because she didn't care if people loved her. She was meant to live with the goats. Screw the people. And the worst part of it was that her instincts told her to patrol about a 5 mile area (like she was bred for ... patrolling mountain pastures to keep away predators). So on our 5 acre farm in Illinois she would just go over the fence and disappear for a day. I'd get a call from a neighbor that my dog was over on their place sitting in their horse pen. I'd ask if she was hurting anything and they'd say no, she's just sitting their beside the horse as happy as can be.

I finally took her to a friend in Alabama who lived far more rural than we did at the time. She had multiple Great Pyrs already and knew how to handle them. I know that as my dog she was just going to end up tied to a tree most her life.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on May 25, 2017, 12:58:51 PM
I gotcha, Mir. Like I said, I feel you are completely justified in protecting your livelihood, and your family. I just think keeping neighbors, no matter how far away they live, as friends rather than enemies, would be a good thing. I might have packed a few shells with some rock salt/crushed up salt pellets and taken a shot from too far away, as to show them some pain, but not necessarily kill the dogs. My dog runs the hundreds of acres of woods around my home, and I spot my neighbor's pit bull and beagle running together, and they're about a half mile though the woods, west of me. One fight with my dog, and now they avoid my property. Like I said before, though, if anyone killed my dog, or any of my dogs to come... Their life is fucked, forever. Maybe I am too vindictive.

Regarding dog genetics... Totally with you, and it goes even further than that. If you look at dogs like Great Danes, which were bred to hunt boar for centuries... Now, they are useless. The hunt was bred out of them in the last 100 years. I had a friend who tried to teach one to hunt by raising a GD pup with his american bulldogs (hunted with them before. GREAT catch dogs) and this big dog never went so far as to bite a living boar. It would stand back and bark incessantly, like a bay dog without the ability to scent a hog.

Some dogs kill accidentally, some definitely mean to. My family had a massive german shepherd who was given to my father when they retired the dog from the Army (my father was an active lt colonel at the time), and this fucker would take a chicken if you left him alone with them for more than 10 minutes. Always one chicken. You'd come back and he'd have blood and feathers on him, and there would be feathers on the ground. nothing left of the bird. Our elderly neighbor said that any dogs that are "Wolf-like" in appearance are ridiculously difficult to break the predatory drive from. He had a little scruffy-haired dog that he trained to carry his hens with a soft bite if they wandered too far from home.

What type of mulch are you using, Boog? I think it would depend on the size/density of the mulch, and its' ability to retain moisture. I mulch with shredded wood from the electric company's wood chipper, so the pieces are very large, and dry out quickly. If you are using store-bought wood mulch, or oak-leaves/pinestraw, then yeah, I would allow a few inches around the base of soft-stemmed plants so they dont stay wet. Btw, I'll consider whipping up a little cloning box like you said.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Yam on May 25, 2017, 03:24:40 PM
Our first week here I shot 3 of my neighbor's dogs who came to chase chickens. It did not endear me to the neighborhood, but the law was on my side.

My own dogs don't roam off our property and they keep the coyotes away. I don't even close up the coop anymore. The dogs keep raccoons and coyotes away just fine.

A shotgun and some good farm dogs makes up for a lot of security.

Not just from animal predators either. All rural property suffers from the meth epidemic. A house in the country is considered free shit for the roaming methheads and the only thing that gets through their drug-addled brains is a shotgun blast fired off in the dark.

But it does seem like there's a social media or network specifically for meth-criminals. You shoot a couple of times and word gets around that you WILL shoot and suddenly all the creeping prowlers at night disappear.

It's just part of agriculture in America now. You grow your organic strawberries, do what you can to improve soil fertility, and watch out for the tax man, code enforcement officers, and the meth heads. ALL of which will take something from you if they can.

That's pretty fucking malicious.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on May 25, 2017, 07:21:10 PM
Which part, defending his food or defending his property?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on May 25, 2017, 07:53:19 PM
Which part, defending his food or defending his property?

Meh. It doesn't have to be defended. Some things are tough to understand until you're in a position to understand them.

Everything you have must be defended. You lock your doors. You fence off your garden. You weed your garden. You may even go so far as to spray pesticides on your garden.

This year's strawberry crop is shit. I mean just completely shit. It's been cool and wet and all the bugs have eaten most everything. We are not off to a good start.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Is Friday on May 25, 2017, 08:00:26 PM
Sucks that you had to shoot the dogs to protect your chickens. But that's life.

More power to you.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 25, 2017, 09:15:42 PM
Which part, defending his food or defending his property?

Meh. It doesn't have to be defended. Some things are tough to understand until you're in a position to understand them.

Everything you have must be defended. You lock your doors. You fence off your garden. You weed your garden. You may even go so far as to spray pesticides on your garden.

This year's strawberry crop is shit. I mean just completely shit. It's been cool and wet and all the bugs have eaten most everything. We are not off to a good start.

I've harvested like, 10. I feel you.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on May 25, 2017, 09:36:42 PM
It's been a very wet spring all right.  And a late cold snap.  I'm glad I didn't have time to start a garden.  At least we are getting a lot of work done inside the cabin. 
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on May 26, 2017, 10:15:02 AM

So coming up so far is zucchini, I have three tomato plants going strong still, 5 that have decided the cold and wet are just too sucky to continue their lives. We don't get the wilt here that has plagued my tomato plants my entire gardening life, but the cold and wet has stunted everything.

Tomato plants like heat. They want soil temps of 70F+. They want nightly temps of above 60F and daytime temps between 70F-94F. Anything above 94F and their pollen liquefies and they can't set seed.

Okra is the same way, but you can add about 15F to those temperatures. Two years ago when we were having daily temps of 110F, I had okra plants as big as triffids out there. I swore I could hear them rattling their leaves at night and plotting against humanity.

Zucchini is a challenge here. It's a race to get as much produce as you can from the plants before the squash bugs eventually overcome them. I don't use chemicals, either organic or commercial, so I try natural methods, and just get overwhelmed eventually. But we'll usually get 20-30 pounds of zukes before it's done, and that's sufficient.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 26, 2017, 11:18:54 AM
Zukes and squash do excellently here. Tomatoes and peppers have always been a challenge.

I'm gonna go visit the garden a little later today and hopefully take some pictures.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Synthesis on May 26, 2017, 01:10:59 PM
Our first week here I shot 3 of my neighbor's dogs who came to chase chickens. It did not endear me to the neighborhood, but the law was on my side.

My own dogs don't roam off our property and they keep the coyotes away. I don't even close up the coop anymore. The dogs keep raccoons and coyotes away just fine.

A shotgun and some good farm dogs makes up for a lot of security.

Not just from animal predators either. All rural property suffers from the meth epidemic. A house in the country is considered free shit for the roaming methheads and the only thing that gets through their drug-addled brains is a shotgun blast fired off in the dark.

But it does seem like there's a social media or network specifically for meth-criminals. You shoot a couple of times and word gets around that you WILL shoot and suddenly all the creeping prowlers at night disappear.

It's just part of agriculture in America now. You grow your organic strawberries, do what you can to improve soil fertility, and watch out for the tax man, code enforcement officers, and the meth heads. ALL of which will take something from you if they can.

That's pretty fucking malicious.

The law here specifically states that you're justified in killing someone else's dogs that are chasing or killing your livestock.  You can even put poison out, as long as you post a notice and remove the poison as soon as the threat is taken care of.

This is a pretty universal sort of ordinance in the United States, with minor details varying from state to state.  I suppose you could make the argument that it's a law from a bygone era that enables maliciousness...but what would your alternative be?

You could write a law that says, okay...only animal control or law enforcement officers can kill the dogs.  Problems:  What evidence constitutes sufficient cause?  Under what circumstances can the seizure/killing be done?  Who's going to pay for animal control to conduct a stakeout on your property to wait for those damn dogs to return?  Would you really want to be the cop who has to drive out into the boonies and demand that some probably well-armed hillbilly turn over his probably beloved animal based on some hearsay from the hillbilly on the next lot over?

You could write a law that says, okay...no dogs are getting killed, but the owner of the dog has to pay restitution.  Problems:  what constitutes ownership of a pack of roaming dogs?  How do you prove that A actually owns the dogs that did the damage, if A claims he doesn't?  How do you prove that those particular dogs did the damage? Assuming you can prove that, how do you make A actually pay up?  Folks in the country with money generally don't let their dogs roam around, so largely you're talking about trying to squeeze restitution money out of already borderline-destitute individuals.

I can't think of a more bureaucratic procedure that wouldn't cause more problems than the current set of codes.  I think it's pretty well circumscribed by the fact that people in general don't maliciously abuse other people's dogs (not saying that it doesn't happen, but it's not such a prevalent problem that dog-shooting is occurring willy-nilly regardless of justified circumstances).  If malicious dog-shooting were a widespread problem, then you could make an argument that the current evidentiary standard (i.e. "the shooter's word") is insufficient to achieve justice, and that an administrative procedure with stricter standards and oversight would be necessary.  Likewise, if revenge acts were a common aftermath of "shooter's word" dog killings, you could argue that an administrative procedure could ameliorate those negative consequences of unregulated dog killing.  I don't think either of those problems is the case though.  In the United States, people generally understand that their neighbor is not out to get their dogs for no good reason and that therefore they deserve the benefit of the doubt when it comes to such matters.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on May 26, 2017, 01:53:31 PM

I've had the problem happened before. A little terrier caught a broody hen in the coop and killed her.

I knew whose terrier it was and we got along pretty well so I went and complained. The little chicken killer had dug right under my fence.

The dog owner apologized profusely and offered to pay for the chicken. She offered me $5, which she said is what a whole fresh chicken costs in the grocery store.

Now those of you who raise chickens know how hard it is to get a broody hen who can successfully hatch out eggs year after year, much less raise those chicks without losing them. She was four years old, well past her laying prime, but I kept her around because every year, without fail, she would go broody maybe twice and hatch and raise as many eggs as you could put under her.

All I wanted was for the lady to put up a fence or keep her terrier inside or on a leash so it didn't roam the neighborhood. I didn't want the $5 and I didn't want to shoot an otherwise very friendly dog belonging to someone I knew and generally got along with.

So that was the BEST CASE dog scenario.

In the worst case, where I had to shoot the dogs, I've got a rundown trailer house with about 10 dogs on the porch over on the main road where they pile up trash in the yard and on a clear summer night from over a mile away you can hear the wife and husband screaming obscenities at each other.

So no ... I didn't particularly want to drop by their house and ask them to keep their pit bulls at home.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on May 26, 2017, 02:16:29 PM
Lol damn, Mir. Those are some shit neighbors you got there. Sucks, for sure.
Of my 6 closest neighbors, I would be comfortable going to 5 of them for anything I needed. The 6th is probably a good person, but he is a wealthy pharm rep with a huge fence and gate around his land, so I've never spoken with him.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on May 26, 2017, 04:05:54 PM
Yeah, if you go in any direction there's probably 11 neighbors total within a 10 mile range.

Only one of them really caused me any problems and that was solved right quick.

The rest I either get along with or don't speak to and thus have no problems.

Most of them are old Texans though, and just sort of look askance at someone like me who doesn't have a herd of cattle or a steady job in town. To most of them, *I'M* the crazy hillbilly in the rundown trailer home.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on May 26, 2017, 09:27:16 PM
Yeah nobody around here understands us either, leaving the good job and the 4br house in the big city to come scratch it out here.  Except the others who have done it.  People who never left here can't understand, and those of us who did always longed to get back.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on May 28, 2017, 08:23:39 AM
After a limping start and growing/learning pains, my garden is finally taking off. Too late for a decent bean harvest, alas.

Wondering if it's too late to just replant the pole beans... hmm....
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Lizzie on May 28, 2017, 09:09:37 AM
Not sure about the tomatoes yet, I either will be inspired to buy them today, or not at all this season. My herb patch is doing great, and the lemon thyme in the Loghenge Sink is filling out beautifully.

The joys of perennial gardening are infinite.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 28, 2017, 12:33:30 PM
After a limping start and growing/learning pains, my garden is finally taking off. Too late for a decent bean harvest, alas.

Wondering if it's too late to just replant the pole beans... hmm....

(Most) Beans like the heat! Peas don't.

Okay, I lied. Fava beans don't. But bush beans and pole beans usually do, especially older varieties.

My beans are going crazy!

You have enough time!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on May 28, 2017, 02:59:39 PM

The glory and wonder of beans is that there are so many kinds that you can have them growing pretty much year round in a lot of climates. Even in the cold.

I like those Alaskan peas. They grow first in the year, even during frost. In fact, a light frost makes them as sweet as candy.

I generally have about 5-6 bushes of them, but they never make it into the house. I pick them in the garden and eat them there raw as a treat. Like candy. Mmmm.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 28, 2017, 03:52:01 PM
I have like ten varieties of beans growing right now. Heh.

My peas have a few flowers, but they'll wilt soon, I'm sure. I think they're Wando, so they SHOULD last a week or two later than most peas in the heat, but...

I need to get out here early and harvest my lettuce. The afternoon sun is blazing them bitter.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on May 28, 2017, 03:55:01 PM
Amateur hour lesson: they weren't kidding around when they called them pole beans. They completely ignored the trellis to go for the poles that support the whole thing. So... really... that makes it easier to set things up next time. A lot easier.

I want an actual garden so I can make a straight-up teepee out of pole beans and grow something shade-loving inside!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on May 28, 2017, 03:58:37 PM
I had to fence my garden to keep the deer (and chickens) out of it. So it's a 6' wire mesh running around the whole perimeter.

To save space, I only plant the beans around that perimeter so they grow up that wire mesh.

But they're genetically hard-coded to kill other plants. They will not only grow up the fence but seek out other plants to grow up them as well and strangle them out.

Life's most bitter struggle for survival takes place in slow motion in your garden.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 28, 2017, 04:07:33 PM
It's really funny to watch cucumbers and beans try to kill one another.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on May 28, 2017, 04:27:00 PM
I was thinking spinach! I could just succession plant it in a circle because we can eat the hell out of spinach. I like growing it so much more than other leafy greens because it's so versatile. Raw, sauteed, in soups... mmmm spinach...
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 28, 2017, 04:55:48 PM
Spinach hates the heat. It bolts for me the first day near 90.

An alternative is chard, which can withstand some high temperatures.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on May 28, 2017, 05:34:34 PM
Spinach hates the heat. It bolts for me the first day near 90.

An alternative is chard, which can withstand some high temperatures.

I grow some chard but the family hates it. I used it as a pot herb mostly and just pick some and throw it into whatever stir fry or soup we're cooking. It's the only way they'll eat it.

When I tried to grow regular spinach I had huge insect problems, and then whatever spinach survived would go bitter as soon as it bolted. We can get a 90F day in February so there's just no predicting what's good spinach weather.

So I planted a bunch of New Zealand spinach. No bugs like it and it's tolerant of a lot more range of cold to hot than regular spinach is. I think it tastes kind of bitter if you use it for salad greens but if you use it like you would cooked spinach (in a pot of beans or something) then it's great. More nutritious too, I believe.

It's a perennial and very hardy, but I do tend to lose about half of the 10 plants or so I have every winter since I don't cover them up. So I have 1-2 plants I let go to seed and then I replant the casualties.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 28, 2017, 08:15:57 PM
Is that the Malabar Spinach?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on May 28, 2017, 08:32:27 PM
Is that the Malabar Spinach?

No, I've never heard of Malabar spinach and had to look it up.

Malabar spinach is Basella alba.

New Zealand spinach is Tetragonia tetragonioides.

Malabar might be a better choice for people in hot places but it's not drought tolerant (my problem here).

But as far as nutrition on the table ... Malabar is a mucilage (like my favorite purslane) so you're going to be getting some yummy stuff your body needs.

I think most people on an American diet don't get near enough Vitamin A and Vitamin B's.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on May 28, 2017, 08:34:17 PM
Spinach is definitely a spring & fall plant around here (zone 8a). But the nice thing is that the growing season is LONG.

Now that the weather is really heating up my okra seedlings are starting to riot. I'm looking forward to this.

Glad I didn't give up on them when the first few died - I think it was still too early in the season.

I think most people on an American diet don't get near enough Vitamin A and Vitamin B's.

Agreed. Or, heck, vitamin D!

I love that gardening makes sure I'm out in the sunshine a lot, even when I don't make the time to go on a walk.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on May 28, 2017, 09:27:05 PM

I wrote an article for Mother Earth News a long back that they never published, but it essentially was putting forth the concept that your farm, homestead, or garden is essentially a large solar collector.

Energy falls on your farm in the form of sunlight and your job is to make sure as much of that as possible is captured for your usage. Fruit trees capture sunlight and turn it into delicious sugars, gardens capture sunlight and turn it into nutrition, grass captures sunlight and turns it into forage for herding animals which in turn serve as meat batteries for that energy to be converted at the supper table.

It's one of the reasons I like the permaculture concepts. And yes, I have a little bit of a man crush on Sepp Holzer.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on May 29, 2017, 12:20:03 AM
Im with you on gardens / forests being "solar energy harvesting utilities." They basically turn photons into chemical energy, which can be turned into mechanical energy via consumption or combustion.

I am also huge on the idea of a "Permaculture food forest." I want all of my land to be covered with food producing trees, shrubs, vines, plants, groundcover, fungus, roots. This is why I do not harvest my sweet potatoes; I cut the slips and replant. I want nearly all of the groundcover in my forest to be sweet potato greens. Tomorrow I'll take some pictures of the trees I am working on.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on May 29, 2017, 12:57:24 AM
Aren't sweet potatoes vulnerable to frost? What happens when winter hits?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on May 29, 2017, 01:22:50 AM
The greens freeze and die, and new slips shoot up once its warmer.

Which is a couple weeks later XD. North Florida isn't known for brutal winters.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Yam on May 29, 2017, 09:40:47 AM
Our first week here I shot 3 of my neighbor's dogs who came to chase chickens. It did not endear me to the neighborhood, but the law was on my side.

My own dogs don't roam off our property and they keep the coyotes away. I don't even close up the coop anymore. The dogs keep raccoons and coyotes away just fine.

A shotgun and some good farm dogs makes up for a lot of security.

Not just from animal predators either. All rural property suffers from the meth epidemic. A house in the country is considered free shit for the roaming methheads and the only thing that gets through their drug-addled brains is a shotgun blast fired off in the dark.

But it does seem like there's a social media or network specifically for meth-criminals. You shoot a couple of times and word gets around that you WILL shoot and suddenly all the creeping prowlers at night disappear.

It's just part of agriculture in America now. You grow your organic strawberries, do what you can to improve soil fertility, and watch out for the tax man, code enforcement officers, and the meth heads. ALL of which will take something from you if they can.

That's pretty fucking malicious.

The law here specifically states that you're justified in killing someone else's dogs that are chasing or killing your livestock.  You can even put poison out, as long as you post a notice and remove the poison as soon as the threat is taken care of.

This is a pretty universal sort of ordinance in the United States, with minor details varying from state to state.  I suppose you could make the argument that it's a law from a bygone era that enables maliciousness...but what would your alternative be?

You could write a law that says, okay...only animal control or law enforcement officers can kill the dogs.  Problems:  What evidence constitutes sufficient cause?  Under what circumstances can the seizure/killing be done?  Who's going to pay for animal control to conduct a stakeout on your property to wait for those damn dogs to return?  Would you really want to be the cop who has to drive out into the boonies and demand that some probably well-armed hillbilly turn over his probably beloved animal based on some hearsay from the hillbilly on the next lot over?

You could write a law that says, okay...no dogs are getting killed, but the owner of the dog has to pay restitution.  Problems:  what constitutes ownership of a pack of roaming dogs?  How do you prove that A actually owns the dogs that did the damage, if A claims he doesn't?  How do you prove that those particular dogs did the damage? Assuming you can prove that, how do you make A actually pay up?  Folks in the country with money generally don't let their dogs roam around, so largely you're talking about trying to squeeze restitution money out of already borderline-destitute individuals.

I can't think of a more bureaucratic procedure that wouldn't cause more problems than the current set of codes.  I think it's pretty well circumscribed by the fact that people in general don't maliciously abuse other people's dogs (not saying that it doesn't happen, but it's not such a prevalent problem that dog-shooting is occurring willy-nilly regardless of justified circumstances).  If malicious dog-shooting were a widespread problem, then you could make an argument that the current evidentiary standard (i.e. "the shooter's word") is insufficient to achieve justice, and that an administrative procedure with stricter standards and oversight would be necessary.  Likewise, if revenge acts were a common aftermath of "shooter's word" dog killings, you could argue that an administrative procedure could ameliorate those negative consequences of unregulated dog killing. I don't think either of those problems is the case though.  In the United States, people generally understand that their neighbor is not out to get their dogs for no good reason and that therefore they deserve the benefit of the doubt when it comes to such matters.

Sure, you're legally in the right for shooting dogs that attack your chickens. Using that as the first resort likely means you're a malicious asshole though. I don't mean malicious as the legal term of art, I mean it in the sense that shooting someone's dogs for attacking what sounds like a few hobby chickens is a bit of a dick move.

No argument against the law or Miradus' right to shoot anything on his land harassing his animals. If Miradus was living off of his chicken business or if the dogs were repeat offenders, I wouldn't balk at his motive either.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on May 29, 2017, 09:45:24 AM
Have you tried Jerusalem Artichokes? Those things will completely takeover a raised bed and I never have to replant any. When I harvest them I always seem to miss enough to reseed next year's crop. :)

They are in the sunflower family and have a similar type flower on a high, tough stalk. I harvest the stalks and use them as seed markers for other plants next year. The root tubers are what you eat. They are sort of knobby and reddish brown. They have sort of a nutty, sunflower-seed flavor, but also very potato-ish. They are basically just a big, starchy tuber.

Very good and easy to grow. Confine them to a raised bed or they'll spread. They are very invasive.

We love them here, served up sliced and broiled in a pan with butter, salt and pepper, and garlic. But eat them on warm summer nights when you can open a window. They're not known as "farti-chokes" for nothing.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on May 29, 2017, 12:45:04 PM
Maaaan, I should have started a bed of sunchokes this year. I tried them when I lived in South florida and failed HARD; though I hear they are easy as hell to grow in north florida.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: FantasyWriter on May 29, 2017, 02:44:46 PM
A gardening thread on the GDB?
Yea, I don't need to Facebook anymore!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on May 29, 2017, 06:13:26 PM
It really took off. Armageddon people are pretty great.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on May 29, 2017, 10:36:16 PM

As a beekeeper, I keep a "bloom book" in which I record the bloom dates of everything in my area. From fruit trees to garden veggies to wildflowers.

On average, everything is 2 weeks late EXCEPT for peaches, which were two weeks early.

I can't explain that.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on May 29, 2017, 11:05:03 PM
That is -bizarre-.

I imagine, the main factors would be temperature and water, right?

Mir, I would be extremely pleased to see your data, along with your region.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 29, 2017, 11:30:07 PM
The peaches couldn't wait to get into my belly this year.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on May 30, 2017, 08:42:31 AM

As a beekeeper, I keep a "bloom book" in which I record the bloom dates of everything in my area. From fruit trees to garden veggies to wildflowers.

On average, everything is 2 weeks late EXCEPT for peaches, which were two weeks early.

I can't explain that.

Wow.  First, what a good idea.  And second... We had that early warm spell that caused everything to start budding out in late winter.  Then it got cold again.  I don't know if that was true for all the country but it was true in St Louis and Kentucky.  But I bet that's why things are late.  Very strange about the peaches though.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 30, 2017, 09:21:20 AM
More. Fucking. Rain. Gah.

We better not have a drought this year.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: FantasyWriter on May 30, 2017, 09:23:22 AM
Possibly a silly question, Miradus, but do you mark full moons in your log to keep up with the lunar cycle? Many people still garden by a lunar calendar, could POSSIBLY be as or more relevant than the day of the year.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on May 30, 2017, 09:32:48 AM
I got the idea from one of the books written by Langstroth himself. Great reading which earned a space on the bookshelf right next to Genetics of the Fowl. :)

So I don't want to copy the whole thing but here's a piece:

2017 4/28 bluebonnets
2017 5/10 Mexican hat
2017 5/13 Wild sunflowers

2016 4/22 bluebonnets
2016 4/22 Mexican hat
2016 5/03 Wild sunflowers

2015 4/26 bluebonnets
2015 4/18 Mexican hat
2016 4/26 Wild sunflowers

It's supposed to be a rough estimate of what is blooming at what time so you can keep up with the various honey flows. I don't have any clover here, but that was always the main honey flow when we lived up north.

The various microclimates in our valley make it weird as I'll see bluebonnets blooming 3 miles away on the highway for a week or more before they bloom here. We're down in a cold, low spot.

We live on a mesa about 40 miles east of Abilene, Texas. The "town" we're in is unincorporated and as of the 2010 census had 22 people. Until I brought a family of 7 here and upped the population by about a third. :)

It was warm, then chilly, and then warm again, then we had one night of a hard frost, which killed everything I'd planted. We could have used a much harder and longer frost though to cut back on the mosquito and fire ants.

I should start getting swarm calls any day now. Bee populations are high.

ETA: Lunar cycles? No, I never actually thought about that! I bet your best planting times would be governed by soil temperature, air temps, rain, and a lunar cycle.

It's weird that I track chicken parentage here but not something simple like the full moon. *slaps forehead*.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on May 30, 2017, 09:48:23 AM

So when we were trying to sell our farm here, everyone who came out to look at it, my wife said I just went all "crazy" talking to them. The realtor kept asking me to maybe go find somewhere else to be but I'm not letting someone else poke around through my stuff.

Each person or couple would show up, get out of their car and sort of stare around absently. I'd come over to give them the tour and you'd see it in the realtor's eyes. And I'd try to keep my mouth shut but invariably they'd ask some question which would get me going. I'm notorious for being a motormouth if you touch on history, agriculture, or a combination of the two. (Ask me how the potato brought Western civilization to democracy. I dare you.)

Most of the people who looked at the property just wanted "recreational land", which out here means a place to shoot everything that moves. They'd ask about a pecan tree I planted 5 years ago and I'd give them my theory on fruit and nut trees which would lead into a long diatribe about permaculture. And pretty soon they're backing away towards their car and the wife and our realtor are giving me "the look".

But one day this kid shows up (I say kid ... he's in his mid-thirties probably) and I'm showing him the pond. He asked if there's fish in it and I explain that yes, but not stocked. I explained how I methodically cull the bass because you can have like 5 bass or 100 crappie but you can't have both in a small ecosystem. And then I launched into how I don't know much about pond ecosystems but I'm trying to learn as it's part of my whole "be a good caretaker" mentality and how I think a healthy pond providing a lot of fish protein as well as water for your gardens is a perfect part of the elements of permaculture on a small farm.

His eyes light up at the word "permaculture" and suddenly we're talking about that and I'm showing him all what I've done with the garden. Even the humanure compost piles which freaked most people out, but he's asking all sorts of science questions about it.

It was like running into me, but a richer, more handsome me from 20 years ago. :)

He came very close to our asking price for the farm and we accepted it. Now we're planning our next move to an off-grid farm ... in Hawaii.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 30, 2017, 02:08:32 PM
Random stuff.

https://imgur.com/a/6ks4y
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on May 30, 2017, 02:23:29 PM
Great pics, boog. Everything looks healthy and happy.

Mir, I should start keeping a log of my fruit trees. My fig just started to bud. I'll probably prune it after a picture.

Woah, going tropical, huh? You know hawaii is insanely expensive, yeah? I'd suggest scoping out south florida. Low cost of living, similar climate, far from N. Korea ;).

my biggest tip for tropical garening is: pilfer seaweed from the beach. A five gallon bucket packed full every time you hit the beach is awesome fertilizer. a little saltwater never hurt, either.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on May 30, 2017, 03:08:55 PM
We're headed for the big island where land is cheap. You're looking at $15k for 3 acres in what's a very undeveloped area. The roads are bad and there's no public utilities available.

The median salary is $24k there so we ought to be okay. We took our grocery list from Walmart here in Texas and then used Walmart's online shopping thing to check the Walmart out there. We actually saved a little money. Just by the looking at it, I think if you go out there expecting to eat a mainland, white person's diet then you're going to find it's pretty expensive, but if we can eat like the locals do then we should be fine.

But the gardening climate is radically different there. It's going to be like starting over from scratch.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on May 30, 2017, 03:12:30 PM
Random stuff.

https://imgur.com/a/6ks4y

You got MAD LETTUCE goin' on.

Forgive me if this is too personal and intimate to ask ...

But do you hand pollinate your squash?

I've got plenty of bees to do it, but sometimes I use a rubber band to gently keep the bloom closed until I can pollinate it myself with a better plant. I only do this when I want to specifically save seed from one particular plant.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 30, 2017, 05:02:05 PM
Hahahaha.

I've been making sexy squash jokes all day.

These are all new varieties for me this year, actually, so I'm trialing them to see what I like. The only thing I've grown before is the straight neck summer squash.

That being said, I do initially hand pollinate them, especially if a female is open without a male nearby. However, I had a dude flower in the back too, and I had a ton of bees buzzing.

I'm not too concerned about their pollination this year due to the aforementioned and because I have so many squash plants that this stuff will be coming out of my ears... And I'm the only one who likes it.

I'll have to try the rubber band trick.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on May 30, 2017, 05:46:43 PM
I lightly grill the squash and then cover it with tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and spaghetti sauce.

Everyone eats it then.

ETA:

Oh, and if I have a surplus of some veggie that nobody else in the house likes, I declare "Food Appreciation Day". That's where all the snacks are forbidden until dinner rolls around and everyone is hungry as hell for anything that hits the table.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on May 30, 2017, 06:37:04 PM
5k an acre is what you'd pay for the best land around here, flattish with utilities and road access.  I don't think 5k is cheap at all! 

We got this 10 acres for 23k.  Power lines went right over one edge of the property, there's a road along one edge (a very tiny road but a road).  Water lines for city water run across our lowest acre.  It's steep land but it's not rocky (unusual here), and every inch of it will grow stuff like crazy.  I'm sure the prices in most of Appalachia are similar away from the main cities. 

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on May 30, 2017, 07:50:28 PM

Yeah, the cost of the land isn't stellar ... but it's not as expensive as I always thought Hawaii would be.

200 inches of rainfall a year on the eastern side of the island, 12 on the western side. Both sides have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. I'm going to head out around the 12th or so to pick out some land.

In the 1950's they carved out these vast subdivisions on paper and then were surprised that nobody actually bought them. They've been changing hands slowly since then and haven't really gone up in price. The big volcano scare a couple of years ago drove the price down even lower.

It's the wife's decision to move there, not particularly mine. I liked Oregon. :)

But ironically it's cheaper to move to Hawaii than Eugene.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on May 31, 2017, 04:26:33 PM
Heck yeah,.  Island life is awesome.   I thought it was just the Price that drew you.   I lived three years in a little cottage in a vineyard and olive grove in the Azores, we loved it.   I imagine the climate to be similar.  Might get hotter in Hawaii . 
On a personal note,  the septic guys are here!   Now hopefully we can get our water hooked up.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on May 31, 2017, 06:36:32 PM
Heck yeah,.  Island life is awesome.   I thought it was just the Price that drew you.   I lived three years in a little cottage in a vineyard and olive grove in the Azores, we loved it.   I imagine the climate to be similar.  Might get hotter in Hawaii . 
On a personal note,  the septic guys are here!   Now hopefully we can get our water hooked up.

On the big island you can apparently pick your climate by elevation. We're looking at various types ranging from hot to cool. I just find it weird to move to Hawaii and have to wear a sweater.

Man, when I still had a backhoe I made so much money putting in bootleg septic tanks. I told people, "I just dig holes. What you put in it is up to you." And then they'd give you measurements for a hole and when you got there they had a concrete septic tank sitting right beside it.

Those were the guys I wouldn't take a check from ... cash only.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on May 31, 2017, 07:15:52 PM
I had this plan... I was gonna catch rainwater and put in a diy septic system.  Bought all the PVC and two big totes for tanks.  Even bought a little excavator.  But in the end I guess we chickened out.  Mostly because we are old and I'm crippled up and none of that is going to get better.  We wimped out for the convenience of having water provided and then you gotta have the inspectors sign off on your septic.

This is pretty much the way I was doing it...
http://www.wikihow.com/Construct-a-Small-Septic-System
 (http://www.wikihow.com/Construct-a-Small-Septic-System)

I will probably still do this for our little guest cabin we're setting up for my daughter and her husband.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on May 31, 2017, 07:37:41 PM

It's all hard work. When we get to Hawaii, I'm just going to grunt and point and let my three teenage sons do all the lifting.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on May 31, 2017, 08:06:19 PM
Hahaha!  Brilliant!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on May 31, 2017, 08:22:35 PM

"Keep working, boys! We're not going to have internet again until we have a dry place to sleep! And when we're done, we'll hit the donut shop."

I know how to motivate.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on June 01, 2017, 02:04:44 AM
Make sure you fill your septic with water before you bury it, lest it collapse.

Shit, I need some sons to put to work.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 01, 2017, 07:55:20 AM
I cleared a tooooon of brush yesterday at my mom's house. It was all poison ivy and thorns and clears a hill up for planting my apple trees!

But I don't have a mulcher or chipper, and renting one is stupidly expensive.

So... Yeah.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 01, 2017, 08:13:47 AM
Make sure you fill your septic with water before you bury it, lest it collapse.

I don't think they did that, although I couldn't see the tank from my vantage on the front porch.  I didn't see a tanker truck.  I know you have to do it with the plastic ones.  This was a heavy duty concrete one, maybe it's not required.  I was surprised when I saw it coming up the hill, I didn't think people used those anymore.

Man, I got good dirt on this hill!  They dug down four feet for the leach lines without hitting rock.  That's a miracle.  And it wasn't red clay either, like I expected because we'd hit clay every time we dug.  A line of clay then good rich dirt.



Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 01, 2017, 08:36:16 AM

It's not required on the solid concrete ones. But you do have to be careful not to break the venting pipe (if your model has one). I've knocked a few of those loose.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on June 01, 2017, 11:02:04 AM
So I'm seeing this on two of my bean vines. The rest of the vine looks super healthy but there's a single section of leaf near the top that is curled up and dry. Do any of you know what is going on here? Should I be worried? (I'm worried!)

(http://i.imgur.com/xSAthUr.jpg)

Also there are tiny sugar ants crawling all over my plants. Leave them be or kill them with fire?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: stark on June 01, 2017, 11:11:14 AM
Boog-- I don't really know where you live, but I live in Omaha Nebraska, and it's not a huge city either. We have a community place where we can get mulch and compost and things like that. You might contact your local county offices and see if there's a county program or city or state program where you can pick up mulch or compost free.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 01, 2017, 11:27:50 AM
So I'm seeing this on two of my bean vines. The rest of the vine looks super healthy but there's a single section of leaf near the top that is curled up and dry. Do any of you know what is going on here? Should I be worried? (I'm worried!)


Also there are tiny sugar ants crawling all over my plants. Leave them be or kill them with fire?

Check and see if the stem is damaged somewhere near the dead leaves. The xylem may have been crimped or damaged in some way which is preventing transport of water and nutrients. Go ahead and use a clean pair of snippers to remove those dead leaves ABOVE the axil, if you can do it without harming the stem. Then I'd inspect the leaf for any signs of vascular damage.

You're actually hoping to see damage because if not, you may have a mosaic virus. If you got the beans (or any of your other plants) from a big nursery supply like Walmart or Home Depot, then they're just loaded with disease. A couple of years ago the single supplier who puts all the tomato plants in Home Depot had an outbreak of mosaic virus and they shipped them anyway, spreading the disease across much of the southeast and south. It was a huge deal. As far as I'm concerned, they should have been hanged from the nearest tree. Once a mosaic virus has infected your garden soil you almost never get rid of it.

Grow from seed that you saved or traded, don't buy plants. That's my advice to everyone. Greenhouse plant suppliers are not only known for spreading disease, but they aren't in the business of giving you healthy plants. They're in the business of selling plants who propagate seedlings well, not produce well.

A lot of the reason beginning gardeners give up is because they can't get the plants they bought from Walmart to thrive and they think they have a "black thumb" when it's the fault of the poor genetics of the plant.

Saving your seed gives you hardy, genetic stock that thrives in YOUR micro-climate.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 01, 2017, 11:30:14 AM

Oh, and leave the ants alone. They actively defend against grasshoppers and other worse plant predators.

Plus their presence in the soil means an enormous nitrogen boost.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on June 01, 2017, 12:07:02 PM
I grew these from seed! I was determined not to have anything in my garden that was greenhouse/warehouse grown.

... except I did put in a zucchini that was offered by the community garden, and lo and behold, it is the sickliest of all my plants.

Thanks for the advice, I'll do that - and those ants sure do love crawling around in my cucumber blossoms.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 01, 2017, 12:25:17 PM
Around here it's fire ants getting into the okra. They bore holes in the fruit and just climb inside and have a good old time. So you get stung when you pick it, and when you eat the okra you eat some fire ants too.

Doesn't happen every year. Not real sure what does or doesn't start that. Seems to be only in the wetter years. And they don't bother any other plants ... just the okra.

There's mice though that will burrow up from the ground into the side of a melon and hollow it out from the inside, living in a nice cozy burrow made out of food.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Brytta Léofa on June 01, 2017, 12:30:49 PM
I'm growing almost everything from seed this year. Broke down and bought a largish hybrid tomato and some purple basil because mine's so far behind the greenhouse stuff.

I don't know if this is a thing, but I've had big problems with zucchini plants being yellow/sickly/dead. This year I got me a bag of Miracle Grow and started using it on them. Lo, they are really happy.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on June 01, 2017, 12:36:21 PM
Make sure you fill your septic with water before you bury it, lest it collapse.

I don't think they did that, although I couldn't see the tank from my vantage on the front porch.  I didn't see a tanker truck.  I know you have to do it with the plastic ones.  This was a heavy duty concrete one, maybe it's not required.  I was surprised when I saw it coming up the hill, I didn't think people used those anymore.

Man, I got good dirt on this hill!  They dug down four feet for the leach lines without hitting rock.  That's a miracle.  And it wasn't red clay either, like I expected because we'd hit clay every time we dug.  A line of clay then good rich dirt.

Oh yeah. Thats only for fiberglass or plastic tanks. I figured, if you were doing it yourself, it would be the latter option.

Awww yeah brown gold, man. Pile up all the excavated dirt and throw a tarp over it so the bacteria dont die in the sunlight.
-
Delirium, I'm not familiar with your area or even very familiar with bean vines, but I dont like the look of it, so i would snip it.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 01, 2017, 01:53:45 PM

Have you ever done the math to see just how big your garden would have to be to sustain your entire family?

It's really kind of frightening.

It would take me about 4 raised beds at full production (4x16) to equal the calories that my crappie trap can pull in a single day.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on June 01, 2017, 02:16:35 PM
But we're not supposed to sustain ourselves with meat, Mir!

Damn, man. Im jealous of your pond. My elderly neighbor owns several acres of water of an old limestone quarry that is full of bass, catfish, crappie. He says I can fish in it, but only for catfish. The Bass and Crappie are his primary source of protein, when I dont take a buck down and give him some.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on June 01, 2017, 02:56:22 PM
I'm growing almost everything from seed this year. Broke down and bought a largish hybrid tomato and some purple basil because mine's so far behind the greenhouse stuff.

I don't know if this is a thing, but I've had big problems with zucchini plants being yellow/sickly/dead. This year I got me a bag of Miracle Grow and started using it on them. Lo, they are really happy.

Also make sure the zukes are getting enough water. Squash vines have shallow roots so tend to need frequent watering. :)

Hi!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Brytta Léofa on June 01, 2017, 03:21:08 PM
Also make sure the zukes are getting enough water. Squash vines have shallow roots so tend to need frequent watering. :)

Hi!

Ahhhhhh, good to know. They're also in pots on the deck this year, so they're getting more love (I mean water) than they did planted off in the hinterlands.

HI STRANGER ,,HOW IS THE ATLANTA
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 01, 2017, 03:21:40 PM
But we're not supposed to sustain ourselves with meat, Mir!

Damn, man. Im jealous of your pond. My elderly neighbor owns several acres of water of an old limestone quarry that is full of bass, catfish, crappie. He says I can fish in it, but only for catfish. The Bass and Crappie are his primary source of protein, when I dont take a buck down and give him some.

I almost spent 6 months in county 3 years ago because I shot at a buck out of season. One does not screw with the king's deer in Texas.

But the king doesn't lay claim to the crappie and they breed rapidly.

Later in the summer, you should try grasshoppers. Get them before they turn big and yellow (they have a bad taste then). You get out in the morning when it's still cool and they're not fast and you can put them in a Ziploc bag. Then I put the bag in the freezer to kill them. After that I remove the heads, legs, and wings and throw the little bodies into the frying pan with butter, garlic, and a lot of salt and chili powder.

They turn red like crawdad when you cook them and have no real flavor of their own, so they just taste like crunchy bits of salty onion with chili powder. "Free range" and "organic" too. :)

Your average grasshopper is about 20 grams of protein. They're pretty easy to catch in the mornings and you can put a pound or two in the bag every morning without ever seeing any noticeable difference in the population.

And the game warden won't threaten to throw you in jail for it either.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 01, 2017, 05:14:26 PM
Ah man ah man ah man....dang septic guy drove way far away from where he was supposed to be, right over my beehive.

We got it set back up, but two legs are broken and it's way out of square.  Making a new hive tonight.  Gonna let them settle down a bit and look inside tomorrow.  Dammit.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 01, 2017, 05:16:45 PM

Uh oh. A top bar hive?


Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 01, 2017, 05:39:44 PM
It's a horizontal langstroth.  Sort of a hybrid, horizontal like a top bar but uses regular langstroth frames.  Good for handicapped folks to work on.  Soooo...I hope the comb hasn't all cracked off.  Top bar would've been a total loss.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 01, 2017, 05:52:23 PM

Depends what type of comb it is.

If it's egg laying cells then it's a huge problem, but if it's honey then take the comb and put it on top of the hive. The sun will soften it and they'll eat it all and take it back inside to make more.

You just don't want to waste wax. It takes 20 pounds of honey to make 1 pound of wax. It's literally more valuable inside the hive than honey.

What type of bees do you have?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 01, 2017, 06:51:38 PM
Carniolan.  They're very patient and calm but today they were on the warpath of course.  I had such a wonderful queen, prolific and putting out remarkably gentle bees.  I hope that she is ok in there. 



Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 01, 2017, 06:58:22 PM

If there's eggs and she's hurt or killed, your hive will survive and even keep the same genetics. I've had to re-queen so many times. :(

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 01, 2017, 07:05:53 PM
There were lots of eggs week before last when I was last in there.  I was gonna do another inspection this week, but I didn't intend to do the kind of thorough inspection I will be doing now.  Dammit.



Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 01, 2017, 08:28:20 PM
Punch a motherfucker, Refugee. ;)

Also, brytta, squash are super heavy feeders. They're shit heads. I've never had trouble growing them in my good ol' Carolina clay, though.

Which reminds me - I figured out what to do with my excess zuke and squash fruits: My mom is a dietitian for DaVita and many of her patients are low income. Renal failure diets are ABSURDLY restrictive, but they can eat squash and zukes. So, on top of any extra berries I have this year, I'll be donating squash, too. :)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 01, 2017, 08:46:51 PM
There were lots of eggs week before last when I was last in there.  I was gonna do another inspection this week, but I didn't intend to do the kind of thorough inspection I will be doing now.  Dammit.

If you haven't seen this information, it's pretty good. I refer to this all the time.

http://www.bushfarms.com/beesmath.htm

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 01, 2017, 09:34:58 PM
Ah, excellent.  Thanks man!

Boog, we had the septic boss have his guys do some extra labor around the place while he had his equipment there, for free, in return for the hive.  Probably we came out ahead money wise, with what that kind of labor costs, but I'd rather have my hive. 



Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 02, 2017, 09:43:43 AM

Cut-and-come-again crops ... the best for a small garden. Our garden space is restricted at about a quarter acre. At one point I had it at a half acre but it was more than I could manage effectively. I cut down to a quarter acre and got the same production I did out of the half.

So I tend to not grow things like beans (which cost me a buck a pound and I can't taste the difference between my homegrown dried beans and storebought dried beans) or potatoes (also super cheap). At most I'll have a couple of those types of plants in my "experimental" area to see how they do and tinker around with their genetics.

The main staples are:

Chard, okra, tomatoes, squashes (yellow, zukes, butternut), and some peppers.

These produce in the same spot throughout the entire garden season. Things like carrots and onions produce a one-time crop and take just as much space as the other items.

For onions, I've entirely switched over to Egyptian Walking Onions as permaculture. They grow like grass, spread out to take over an area and dominate even weeds. They grow forever and put out babies like crazy. They don't produce a bulb but produce lots of spicy, intense greens that I chop up and put in everything that could benefit from an onion flavor.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on June 02, 2017, 03:22:31 PM
I've eaten grasshoppers on extended hikes. Fried and seasoned would be much more enjoyable than just toasted on a fire. I used to do something similar with anoles (small lizards) down in south florida. They are EVERYWHERE. You can amass pounds of lizards with a switch and a fishing-line slip-knot in less than an hour. I fried them in lard, s+p. good stuff. If you leave the head on, though, the teeth are kinda like sand.

Jesus. Six months? Our game warden doesnt even look twice at landowners feeding themselves, regardless of the time of year. That being said, He DESTROYS outsiders, especially on our around the river.

I'm gonna look into Egyptian walking onions. thanks for the tip.

That sucks about your hive, Refugee. I need to get into beekeeping in the future.


Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 02, 2017, 03:34:40 PM
https://imgur.com/a/e1UoW

With a surprise ending.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 02, 2017, 03:38:04 PM
https://imgur.com/a/e1UoW

With a surprise ending.

Japanese beetles making brand new Japanese beetles!

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 02, 2017, 04:12:00 PM
Is that what they are? I always thought stink bugs were Japanese beetles.

Ugh.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on June 02, 2017, 04:14:00 PM
Seeing that last picture gave me flashbacks of picking those ravenous bastards off the four-o-clocks I would tend at the corners of my dad's vegetable garden. I'd have a bucket of soapy water to drown them in.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 02, 2017, 04:29:28 PM

Kind of looks like one. They're a little beetle with a green shell. Kind of pretty, but they are extremely problematic. They used to eat my oregano down to nubs, but I don't have them here in Texas.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 02, 2017, 04:43:29 PM
Oh yep.

That's what they are.

Time for some neem oil. Bastards.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 02, 2017, 04:51:20 PM

Decoy plants, my sweet, sweet Boogmeister. You will never stay ahead of the ravenous green horde with neem oil or any other method.

Go to Walmart and buy some oregano plants and put them in pots off to the side of your main garden. When the beetles come in and start swarming them, let them do it. They will eat and fornicate and fornicate and eat in great masses over there and will not bother your other plants near as much.

There's other plants they like too, but I don't know them all. Oregano always worked for me. I planted big patches of it and didn't weed it or anything. It was my tribute to the Japanese Beetles who defeated me in glorious garden battle the year before.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 02, 2017, 04:54:39 PM
Fuck. Well, okay.

Is oregano invasive? I've never planted herbs much because, um, buying a tub full of 'em (whatever 'em is) is (usually) cheap. So, herbal knowledge is beyond me.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 02, 2017, 04:59:51 PM
Also, I was wondering what the fuck made my eggplant leaves look the way they did. They're not skeletonized completely, but they've fine hole punctures in 'em, all over the leaves.

Welp.

Fuck.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 02, 2017, 05:00:12 PM
It's not particularly invasive. I never had problems with it spreading in Illinois.

Of course then it was all lustily devoured by the beetle horde.

Google-fu some decoy plants for Japanese beetles and you mind find some you like better than oregano.

They huff neem oil like it's nothing and then go back to fornicating and eating. Seriously, that's all they do. Even chickens don't eat Japanese beetles because they taste so bad, and handpicking them you can fill a bucket in no time flat and not see any real decrease in number. Before I started using decoy plants they decimated all my other leafies and terrorized my grapevines.

I used to lay awake at night and swear I could hear them out there in the garden gnawing, gnawing, gnawing.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on June 02, 2017, 06:19:17 PM
I found that handpicking helped a lot as long as you kept up with it -  granted, we didn't live in texas, so I don't know what it's like out there, but in Maryland it wasn't too bad. I think handpicking and decoy plants in combo would work.

Boog, herbs are easy! If you're worried they'll spread too much (a legitimate concern), just plop a big plastic pot down (with drainage holes of course), fill it with potting soil, put it in bright sunlight, and let it go wild.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Lizzie on June 02, 2017, 07:02:24 PM
Stinkbug: (http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4126/5016184312_95717cd916_b.jpg)
Japanese beetle: (http://www.arbordoctor.net/beetle_20-_20Japanese_20Beetle_20_Popillia_20japonica__20_MO_2006_.jpg)

Stinkbug is around twice the size of a j. beetle (or larger - some can get as big as an American penny).

We have stinkbugs in the house, I usually just let them crawl onto a piece of paper, then bring the paper and the bug outside and flap the paper around a bit til the bug flies off and into the air. If you smush'em they have a very sharp cilantro-like smell, and they excrete that smell if they feel threatened.

On a sad note - most of my oregano is diseased this year, along with most of my lemon balm. It might be some kind of fungus? The leaves are all covered with tiny black spots, no particular pattern, and the spots aren't moving and don't rub off so it's definitely not a miniscule insect problem. It -might- just be a matter of overcrowding, since I pretty much let the herbs grow wild within the confines of the garden.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 02, 2017, 08:42:47 PM
Man, my homestead is having a run of bad luck!

We didn't get the replacement hive finished or the bees moved because this morning in the rabbitry we found this...

(http://www.dogwoodmists.com/Refugee/Coco 1.jpg)

That is clear jelly poops....in my most valuable, pedigreed, baby chocolate Rex doe's cage.

So the day has been spent isolating her, researching, frantically posting for help on Facebook groups, running to town to get medicine, and stuffing it in her face.  She was not very happy about that.  I don't think we're friends anymore!

Prognosis is not good.  Dammit.

Also, Japanese beetles are awful.  I helped a Portuguese agricultural college instructor working on his doctoral thesis on the Japanese beetles that were invading his island (because he had to do it in English so I was helping him with that).  So destructive!  My old man introduced them to me back in the 90s.  They were all over his grapevine, in pairs getting it on.  He said that's all they do, screw and eat.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 02, 2017, 09:02:52 PM

Sorry about your rabbit. I don't know what that condition means but it doesn't sound good.

We tried to raise some rabbits but failed miserably. Too hot, and domesticated rabbits just seem too crazy. :(
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 02, 2017, 09:15:19 PM
I have six.  Two are Rex and are pedigreed, a buck and a doe, still too young to breed.  Then I have two Californians, a huge buck and a young doe who is supposed to kindle tomorrowish with her first litter.  And then I have two meat mutt does, one of them should kindle in two days and the other is not quite old enough to breed yet.

None of them are crazy but the Rex are definitely friendlier.  Their owner took them each day and handled them from birth, and let her kids play with them too.  So they are more socialized. 

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on June 03, 2017, 03:20:10 AM
Refugee, it sounds like your rabbit has some kind of bacterial infection, preventing it from eating making it only poop mucus. Scary stuff. Theres a medicine in pet stores called Dri-tail that helped my Cuy when it was pooping feces + mucus.  That, and pepto. GOOD LUCK!

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 03, 2017, 08:29:04 AM
I gave her simethicone in case it's bloat, and Probios.  I pulled her pellets and left her with just hay, and a tablespoon of rolled oats on the advice of others.  I didn't see any droppings in the evening at all but she had had some of her water.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 03, 2017, 12:15:00 PM

Mad respect for your care of this animal.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on June 03, 2017, 12:46:38 PM
had to look simethicone up. That should comfort the critter, and hopefully the probios will overpower whatevver bacterial infection is in his gut. The hay and oats should help solidify the poop with fiber. Sounds like a good plan.

Whether or not the animal survives, you have to next look at /why/ it got an intestinal bacterial infection. Usually it is from fecal-oral contact, so it may have been shitting in its food bowl, or a mouse/rat could have payed the rabbit a visit and left some shit behind.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 03, 2017, 12:53:06 PM
It's something contagious.  Found two dead bunnies this morning.  My little pedigreed Rex buck and a young meat mutt doe.  They were fine last night.  The guy I bought four of them from had purchased a couple from a woman and those got sick and died just like this.  He bought them before I picked mine up but they didn't get sick until the week after.  He contacted someone else who had bought four from her and he had lost three in two weeks.  She obviously knows she has a problem and is unloading rabbits.

My first little sick doe is still alive, but I don't think she's doing as well as she was.  She did eat the oats and quite a bit of hay, and there were a few normal looking droppings.  That's hopeful!  But she was grinding her teeth, which is a sign of pain.

The three adult rabbits seem okay.  Eating enthusiastically and drinking.  Pooping.  One is due today, one is due in two days.  I am very concerned about the kits catching this crap.  But I don't know what to do.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on June 03, 2017, 01:58:00 PM
I'd buy a plastic tub for the kits, with different bedding and water for them and their mothers.

In Florida, we have "lemon laws," meaning that if a person sells a car or an animal to you, knowing it is defective/broken/sick/about to die then they are legally obligated to compensate you for the cost of the sold property and any subsequent costs incurred from the sale. Look into that stuff, man.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 03, 2017, 02:06:30 PM
I'm so sorry, Ref.

(http://i.imgur.com/hGSaluU.jpg)

My first tomato fruit! San Marzano.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 03, 2017, 06:41:47 PM
Okay. I also paid about $50 for a micro drip irrigation system for my mom's frontside. That's where my two lushes blackberry plants and 9 blueberry plants, as well as my pear trees, are hanging out. This system comes with everything, too: main line, hole punch, blah blah. The only thing I paid extra for was some additional t-joins and some soaker hose to use instead of the mini sprinkler; I don't like mini sprinklers because I feel like they'll rot shit real quick. The soaker hose is adjustable and can be placed around the base of every plant.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 03, 2017, 06:50:25 PM

Why so much on irrigation systems for a small plot garden? Are you not available to it very often?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on June 03, 2017, 06:57:33 PM
when I was a kid, my father had me lay out a long, matte garden hose through his rose garden and punch a hole near each bush with an awl. he'd turn the hose on once per day to water everything.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 03, 2017, 07:21:31 PM

Why so much on irrigation systems for a small plot garden? Are you not available to it very often?

I might go visit family this summer. I don't trust my mother to water anything while I'm gone. Also, I'll be using it on a split with the hose in the back hopefully next year! The drip out back needs an update. I've used the same shit for 5 years now and it's all beginning to break down.

But, anyway, ya. I don't live that close to my mom's house - it's a 15-25 minute drive to her place one way, though I usually pop by her place 3x during the week after I drop the kids off at their school which is in between my place and hers. It's just easier for me to put that on a timer than have to rely upon her for anything other than hooking up the hose to the drip tape out back.

Also, she doesn't realize that the pots, especially, need to be watered twice a day. They're on her hot ass porch and she waters them once, lightly, in the mornings.

Just trust me. If this was my own place - sure. I wouldn't mind it. But it's my mother's and she can not be relied upon for anything, especially when it comes to the garden.

Oh, and I also needed a backflow regulator, and this came with the kit. It's illegal to not have one, apparently, within city limits ... even though my mother has city water *and* a well ...

:/
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 03, 2017, 07:24:03 PM
I was just curious if you were particularly interested in irrigation systems or if there was a special need. Sounds like a special need. :)

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 03, 2017, 07:46:07 PM
Oh, I'm interested in irrigation because I really like the idea of water conservation.

But this is a special needs case, good god. I'm not having my birthday blueberry plants die (it's a frequent present from my family to buy me blueberry plants for my birthday, which I am a-okay with!) because they were left in my mother's stead.

Before anyone asks, yes, I'm always worried she'll leave my kids in a hot car, too, when she takes them. So, I call on the hour, usually, to make sure they're not being left. My 5 year old I don't worry about - he knows how to get out of cars. But my 4 year old is still sort of dumb in any sense that doesn't involve the countries, continents, states, or planets, so ...

;) I love my mother, but um. She's ... Well. She's my mom.

She also made me pay her $15 for using her water this month. Yeaaaaah.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on June 03, 2017, 08:02:01 PM
I'm enjoying the idea of a lone waterseller NPC in the wastes with 2 ravenous halfling guards, who fills any container for 15 sid.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 03, 2017, 08:17:32 PM
Name her Tammy.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 04, 2017, 06:49:15 PM
We moved frames from the hive that had been run over by a truck to a new hive this morning. 
(http://www.dogwoodmists.com/Refugee/crushed hive 2.jpg)

We did not find the queen but we were not very thorough, wanting to get them loaded in their new hive quickly.  They were very upset and we prefer not to use smoke at all.  There were still a strong number of bees, but there were a lot of empty cells in the frames.  The frames had fallen off their ledges and were all leaning and smashed together.  But still it was not as bad as it could have been and we were able to get them all settled in the new hive.  In a few days we will do a proper inspection and check for eggs and brood and maybe even find that queen!  It took the masters who came out to help us install them the first time three tries through to find her, even marked with a yellow dot.  So really what we want to find is brood.  Here you can see how the frames are all down off their ledges and leaning.

(http://www.dogwoodmists.com/Refugee/crushed hive.jpg)

My three adult rabbits still seem hunky dory and the one little doe who first got sick is hanging in there.  Maybe the medication has saved her.  She's not herself but she doesn't seem to be in pain.  The other two young ones died of course.  I'm expecting kits any moment now and I hope this germ does not kill them. 





Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on June 04, 2017, 07:28:35 PM
Aside from quarantining the kits separate from one another, I would consider doing a deep clean of the adults' pens.
I hope they all pull through!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 05, 2017, 08:25:25 AM
When I started beekeeping, I bought two full hives from a guy for $200. Found him on Craigslist. He was just an old beekeeper who was cutting down. (Most beekeepers are old. It's a dying profession.)

I really advise that everyone starting out has two hives. Bee behavior is complex and with two hives it's much easier to observe when something unusual is going on because it will rarely happen at the same time.

My main method of propagation has always been walk-away splits. But you have to know your area and what blooms. Beware of the dearth.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 05, 2017, 09:57:36 AM
I agree about the two hives and I planned on that.  But because my hive type was experimental, my own design taken from several examples online, and nobody around here had even heard of a horizontal Langstroth, the bee club talked me into just doing one to see how it works for me.

It was doing great until the septic guy's grandson decided to run over it with a big dually truck.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 05, 2017, 10:48:21 AM

How many frames does that thing hold?

I used to run with the 12 frame boxes but after a number of years I switched down to the 10. You can really feel the weight difference, even though it's only 2 frames.

From the picture, it looks like they're drawing propolis on the tops of those frames. That's a bad sign for such new equipment. Also, it looks like there are three openings available? You have one of them closed up and two that are open.

On a normal Langstroth, for a beginning colony, I will use reducers (don't buy them, just cut what you want to fit) to narrow the entrance down to 4". This gives the lower population a fighting chance against robbers.

When I was running with 30-50 hives, I always had at least one of them go robber on me. Probably several. I never did figure out what would flip that bit in their heads and cause them to do it. With one hive on your property it's not as big of a concern, but there could be wild bee populations (or a neighbor) that are coming to rob, and there's always wasps.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 05, 2017, 11:35:16 AM
They are building propolis because the hive was run over and broken and all the frames were off the ledges and dropped down to the bottom, and leaning together sideways like a house of cards tilted over.  Ugh.  Also they're building burr comb on top of the frames and other places because of the condition of the hive and the entire loss of any control of bee space.

Also most the frames are old and came with the bees, so there's some staining from old propolis.

I cut three openings because it's a 4' long hive.  44" actually.  My mentors from the local club recommended I only have two so I blocked one.  It holds 31 standard frames.  I cut it down from deep because of the weight.  This kind of hive has the benefits of the top bar hive while using standard Langstroth frames.  It is very good for handicapped people because it can be largely worked from a sitting position.  Theoretically.

Because the hive was compromised (the bottom screen was torn, the lid being a rectangle would no longer cover the squished hive at two corners, and one corner of the sides was separated about an inch...compromised is euphemistic lol), there were invaders and I have watched them fighting other bees and ants.  I am pretty concerned for the health of the colony.

Check this out...because the frames had dropped down so far and left a large space between the lid and the top of the frames, they started building comb on the lid.

(http://www.dogwoodmists.com/Refugee/lid comb.jpg)



Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 05, 2017, 12:05:49 PM

That's very aggressive of them to build so much comb so fast. Bodes very well for their genetics.

Propolis happens no matter what. And I've got a ton of equipment that has just various imperfections that the bees glue in place. It makes me crazy.  Dadant seems to be the worst about milling imperfections. Any gap of a millimeter or so that I can't detect in the assembly and the bees go nuts about sealing it in. Next thing you know I've got a frame I can't extract without tearing apart the whole hive.

I guess I'm not used to seeing comb that color either. Hives that are three years old or older have a lot darker comb but I almost always have cases of nosema going around. Not enough to have dead-outs but enough that I see some streaky comb.

Later you may decide to have "breeder hives" where you just harvest eggs and queen cells from them and use them for splits. In spring I am very active about taking apart the hives and looking for "peanuts", or the queen cells. After awhile you learn which hives are more prone to it and where to look. It's an important part of reducing the swarming process (which you will learn to hate) and lets you propagate hives with a vengeance. It's how I started with 2 and ended up with 68 at my peak production.

All my equipment and hives have gone to a friend now since I can't take them to Hawaii. When I get to the big island and set up the new homestead I'll start fresh with local genetics. Get some of that sweet, sweet tropical honey.

I wanted to be a beekeeper starting at age 7. I was working cattle with my father and a Brahma didn't like this little slip of a boy keeping her from her calf so she charged me. Slammed me against a fence and I was unconscious for nearly 20 minutes (a really long time to be unconscious). They took me to a children's hospital in Houston to do the 1970's equivalent of a brain scan to see if I had brain damage. My wife always joked that they must have missed it.

At the hospital there they had an observation hive, which is like a beehive cut in half and mounted on the outside of a window so you can look in and see the bees. I remember thinking it was the coolest shit in the world and fell in love with bees.

So now when I meet people who find out I'm a beekeeper, they always ask how I got started keeping bees. My wife always answers, "It's the brain damage."

She does not like bees. Mostly because she always gets stung. She'll be sitting on the porch and one will just fly up and sting her on the face. Meanwhile, I'm out in the beeyard elbow deep in a hive with no suit and no smoke and bees crawling all over me, but I don't usually get stung at all.

I don't suit up anymore except when I'm doing a complete teardown or a split. For hive inspections or frame pulls I don't bother. You learn to listen to their pitch to tell what sort of mood they're in and when the pitch changes you back away and relax for a few minutes until it settles back down. And so long as your motions are slow and gentle you won't typically squish one or excite them.

A beehive has sound to it. Normally I call it the "happy bee sound", which is about 20,000 happy little bees buzzing inside a wooden box and doing their thing. When they get triggered, usually by pheromones from a squished one or a stinger, then the sound changes as 20,000 little bees suddenly go on the alert.



Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 05, 2017, 12:47:42 PM
We scraped all the burr comb off the top of the frames when we moved them, and scraped all that new comb off the lid too.  We left it out there piled in the bottom of the old hive in hopes they could recycle it and it has been diminishing.

That's a very cool story about how you got started.  I've always been fascinated since I was a kid too.  Our little school library didn't have many books, but one was a big book on insects that I read about once a month.  We didn't have a TV and I was an only child, and it was 9/10 of a mile to the next house.  So I read a lot!  I also played a lot outside, I had a rich imagination and lots of animals to play with, don't want to give you the wrong idea, but I went through about 18 books a week average.  That insect book was incredible and I was fascinated with the bees and the ants.  My daughter got an ant farm when she was in 2nd grade.  Mostly it was mine...lol...

68!!  Wow!

We didn't use smoke yesterday and we each got stung just once.  We did suit up though.  I know that unhappy bee noise you mean, when we started pulling apart the frames that were leaning over on each other, the whole pile would shift and the noise got very different.  I know we killed a lot of bees too, but there just wasn't anything we could do.  I saw them carrying away bodies.

On the new hive we just cut two doors instead of cutting three and blocking off one.  They were doing fine with the two so I figured that was fine. 

I bet Hawaii bees make awesome honey!

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 05, 2017, 04:40:28 PM

Getting up to 68 is awesome and all, but I couldn't manage to get most of them through the 3 year barrier.

There's a hard point at which any problems you have in a hive will manifest in hive-death, and it's at about 3 years. It's little things which build up, like mites or chlorinated water or a bad nosema epidemic.

So it's very depressing when you lose like 20 hives over winter.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 05, 2017, 06:26:31 PM
That's terrible.  It would be depressing.  Three years huh?

Here's now much comb they had built on the lid since the accident last Thursday.  Actually there was a little more, this is several hours after we scraped it off and it has diminished.

(http://www.dogwoodmists.com/Refugee/extra comb.jpg)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 06, 2017, 10:19:50 AM

So I have four 12 volt marine batteries I use to power our cabin. There's eight 110 watt solar panels.

At full sun I can hope for 880 watts coming in, but that almost never happens due to the angle of the panels and some other factors. (Dust, angle, latitude)

Normally there's a power shortfall and so we've set up a regime of running the generator 2 hours every night to charge the batteries back up to full.

The size generator we have now costs roughly $0.90 per hour to run.

A brand new set of batteries costs $330 and, if maintained, will last about 8-12 months easy. (We squeezed 18 months out of the last set, but they started failing in winter where our power consumption is a lot lower.)

So here's where I was stupid ... I'm spending almost $700 per year in gasoline for the generator to save $330 in batteries.

Sometimes this shit just doesn't make sense until you put the math down on paper.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 06, 2017, 11:22:56 AM
Wow!  But it's good you figured it out!

My little girl bunny is still hanging in there, and making normal poops.  I have hope for her.  She has lost a lot of weight and I put her pellets back in.  I'm not sure if that's the right thing to do or not, but starving to death sucks too.   She's drinking water well and eating hay. 

My dog has a broken toe, the big dummy knocked a 2x6 over that was leaning against the porch.  I'm hoping that thing about bad luck coming in threes holds and we're done for awhile.  Vet said nothing to do but let it heal, and gave us Rimadyl.

The bees seem to be happy in their new home, at least from the outside.  They have decided to desert the comb I scraped off and left for them in the old hive base, after draining it of its contents.  I'd hoped they might make use of the wax.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 06, 2017, 12:59:51 PM

In my experience, prey animals are the hardest to tell when they're injured. A cow, sheep, or goat has to almost be at death's door before it will lay down and show that it's sick. Why? Because for millions of years that predators have been looking for a limp, the prey animals have been learning not to limp.

But eating is always a good sign. An animal that is eating and drinking water is feeling decent.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on June 06, 2017, 01:26:26 PM
When looking into a solar array, my main issue always came down to the battery. Too cheap a battery and you lose money with replacing it frequently. Too expensive a battery, and it practically negates savings. Your issue running the generator illustrates another hurdle when harvesting sunlight for electricity.

On a second thought: windmills are cool, but to buy a complete rig is +10k.

Glad to hear your critters are doing well, Refugee, save for your dog. I'm sure he'll be fine, though.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 06, 2017, 02:18:35 PM
First blackberry and handful of blueberries, Alapaha, of the year! Yum yum yum.

https://imgur.com/gallery/0RObJ
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 06, 2017, 10:26:37 PM
Looks awesome, Boog!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on June 06, 2017, 11:38:28 PM
Opposite to the problem I was having before, it's been muggy and rainy for the last few days.

I'm worried that my okra plants won't like all this moisture. :(
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 07, 2017, 07:40:22 AM

They don't mind the moisture but they desperately want heat. Lots of heat which we're not getting.

It's been almost chilly most days still, which is unusual. We should be seeing 100F days on a regular basis in June. Maybe that's still coming down the pipe, but it's late. It's in the 50F range at night and the days are only getting to 75-85F. Not great okra weather, but I'll take it.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 07, 2017, 09:23:32 AM
I think every single blackberry I have has verticillium wilt. :/ I thought maybe it was the weird temperatures and monsoon stretches of rain we'd been getting, but I'm not sure. I took pictures. Everything I read said there should be black rings in the stalks pulled, but I don't see any!

Oddly, my raspberries, which should be more prone, don't have any signs of wilting.

I'm gonna cry.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 07, 2017, 09:49:12 AM
Berry bushes are known for their extensive root systems. A pot just isn't going to give them that. If you're not seeing the black rings then either the problem hasn't advanced significantly or it's not really the problem.

My suspicion is that they're dropping foliage (wilt) because of limited resources in the pots, not because of a plant disease.


Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 07, 2017, 09:59:47 AM
All of my blackberries are in the ground. I only have 4 blueberries still in pots.

They all have the VF appearing problem. My issue is that the raspberries, also in the ground, as well as the blueberries I transplanted, aren't having these issues. The raspberries should be wilting. The black raspberry I have at home, bought from the same place as the blackberries, appears to be having the same symptoms.

All of the blackberries came from the same place. The raspberries (with the exception of the one in a pot at home) and blueberries did not.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 07, 2017, 10:09:07 AM

Is this the first year they've been transplanted?

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 07, 2017, 10:20:10 AM
I bought them as little baby, tissue cultured plants sent last year. I let them grow in their own medium for a few months and then planted them out maybe last summer or early fall. So, no. It's the first year two of them are fruiting though, the ones most afflicted by the wilting leaves.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 07, 2017, 10:28:18 AM
I'm sorry about your berry bushes, Boog.  Isn't there anything to be done?  Is it a season lost or does the plant have to be destroyed?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 07, 2017, 10:31:35 AM
Ah, that puts together the puzzle for me.

Fruiting is an enormous energy requirement. It's why the advice to not let trees and bushes fruit in the first 3 years is so prevalent. They need that energy for growth and root system establishment.

So one of two things is happening:

1. The fruiting bushes are putting too much energy into fruiting and not having enough left over to support foliage. (Assuming there is no phloem damage.)

2. There IS a disease or other problem and it has promoted early fruiting.

On #2, all plants respond to extreme stress by setting fruit. It's the plant's way of thinking, "Hey, I'm dying before my time ... better spread my seed before I go."

Even non-fruiting, basic grass (Poaceae, not Cannabis) responds this way. They respond to predator stress by intensifying their growth. Except for Johnson Grass which responds by producing cyanide. Haha, take that COW.

I think they just need a little more time in the ground to grow. "Tops die to support levels" is an old axiom in plant growing. I see it every year in my pecan trees.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 07, 2017, 10:41:36 AM

A neighbor down the road (Mexican immigrant with about 30 relatives on his property) had an orange tree until last year. It was huge, full size, but never produced in my 5 years here.

Citrus doesn't grow here. We're about 80 miles too far north and in a harsh microclimate up here on the mesa. This guy's English is really poor so my tree conversation with him was difficult, but best I could understand is that 15 years ago when he came to America he brought the sapling with him and planted it. 15 years ago we had milder winters here, combined with a couple of very unseasonable mild winters in a row, let that orange tree become established enough so when the harsh winters arrived it was large enough to withstand them. It's on the south side of his barn as well so was additionally protected. As far as I was aware, it was the only non-greenhoused citrus tree in the county.

But it did not produce. It would bloom too early and then suffer frost kills on the blooms.

But last year we had a longer-than-normal cold stretch that caused a late bloom past the normal for this orange tree, which let the blooms survive the late frosts. The tree produced like crazy.

It produced so much, in fact, that he propped up the sagging branches with a board. His undoing was that he let the tree fruit TOO MUCH.

A late summer windstorm when the branches were heavy with fruit snapped the tree off at its trunk, thus ending the life of what I had named "The Improbable Tree".

Unless Al Gore is right, this area will not see another citrus tree for a long, long time.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 07, 2017, 11:42:56 AM

Spamposting for the win. :)

You, Boog, young whippersnapper that you are, are a bit of a cultural icon in growing blackberries.

In my youth, NOBODY grew blackberries. Why would you? They were something you picked in the wild. Blackberries grew where you didn't grow other things. I remember picking entire baskets full in the woods that nobody ever planted. They just grew there wild. I hated blackberries and I hated picking them but there was no choice in picking them. We sold them to roadside stands (imagine that ... stopping by the organic farm stands and SELLING instead of BUYING) and we needed the money. Always needed the money growing up.

These days, there aren't many "wilds". They spray the roadside blackberry bundles with chemicals that make them probably more dangerous than smoking a pack a day. At least in my area, there's very little public land you can access where there's blackberry bushes.

So I think this is why so many younger people are planting them ... they don't have access to them anymore. With yesterday being the anniversary of D-Day, you hear a ton on the radio about Millenials this and Millenials that, mostly in the negative. The head of a big restaurant chain that's going under just publicly blamed Millenials for not eating out more. (My oldest son, a 20 year old, he mentioned in response to that how few Millenials have the MONEY for eating out in restuarants.)

So weirdly enough, your planting of blackberry bushes is a cultural response that your generation has to deal with that my generation never did.

The meeting of culture, history, and agriculture always fascinates me.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 07, 2017, 02:46:05 PM
Yeah. I don't have the money to eat out often, and if I do, it's like, uh, KFC. Haaaa.

https://imgur.com/gallery/KnMiK

Whatcha think, Miradus? Blackberries are at the bottom of the gallery.

I'm pleased with my tomatoes.

Something I don't have pictures of: I think I might toss my Lowe's bought peppers. They've been riddled with disease and look miserable. My other peppers, that I grew myself from seed, are doing GREAT. I just really wanted the gypsy peppers because they're so fucking cute. FML. I should know better.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 07, 2017, 03:01:00 PM

Looks like you're having a banner year in tomatoes. I like to see dark green leaves in my plants ... lots of nitrogen available in the soil.

Any plants you have that look diseased ... pull them and burn them. Don't wait for them to "get better". This early in the year you can get something else in that spot which might easily catch up and meanwhile the possible disease is spreading throughout your garden.

Pepper plants are always hit or miss with me. They have a much more narrow range of temperatures and soil conditions they like than I seem to be able to provide. I've got these Thai chili peppers I grow because they thrive without needing any maintenance, but they're way too hot for me to consume. I only grow like 2 plants but I save the seed every year. They're mostly medicinal. I scrape the lining of the peppers into some water and then give it to the chickens, cats, and dogs. The chickens don't care (birds have no receptors for capsaicin) but the dogs and cats think it's hellish. They just taste the water, start licking their lips, and look at me like, "What the hell is this? Did you know something is wrong with our water? Do something, human! You're the only one with thumbs!"
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 07, 2017, 03:09:33 PM
Yeah. I think I'll yank these fucking peppers. It makes me sad because I hate wasting money on stuff, but so it goes. I'll put some 60 day pepper plant seeds I have there instead and see if they do better.

I love bell peppers. I've just never been able to grow them. I might just put them in pots next year, or buy some smart pots and hook them up at mom's house with the drip I bought.

I'm excited about the tomatoes. I've had troubles with them every year, since it gets hot, cold, wet, dry all at once for NC. So if I even get ten this year, I'm satisfied!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 07, 2017, 03:14:53 PM
Ah, I just found the "more pictures" button.

Yeah, unfortunately that ring IS the wilt. It's a fungal colony infesting the xylem.

It may or may not kill the plant but you won't get much out of them. They'll spend their whole year's energy just trying to survive, never thriving. ALL of your Solanacae are going to be infected. It's sometimes just referred to (for tomatoes) as "the blight". Wet, cool weather makes it ten times worse.

The spores are in your area or maybe your soil. Nothing you can do about that. There's some organic treatments but they're just as bad as dumping fungicide on your food, in my opinion. Bromides mostly, and I think they throw off the soil composition pretty bad and linger in the soil forever. Get rid of those plants as fast as possible. Burn them. They're already shedding MORE pores and infecting more and more of your soil. The spores last ten years or more.

People love their heirloom plants, but the reality is people stopped growing those varieties because they were extremely susceptible to plant diseases ... such as this one.

I had this problem in Illinois and it was so bad I couldn't hardly grow any tomato plants at all. So I switched to Roma VF. That's a very flavorful tomato, an heirloom, and it's extremely resistant to the blight. Any seeds sold that have the "V" or "VF" are known to be resistant.

Welcome to gardening, where nature tries to starve you to death.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 07, 2017, 03:18:33 PM
Okay. I'll hack down the berries. And I'll send a salty email to Baker Creek, because nothing else was infected or is infected right now.

Fuck fuck fuck. I gotta get them out before they kill my raspberries!

Have you heard of solarization? What do you think about that?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 07, 2017, 03:23:28 PM
Also, my mulberries are doing well. Um. Thankfully, they're resistant, or nearly immune, to VF.

The berries are THANKFULLY far far away from my vegetable garden. I guess it's bonfire time next time I go to my mom's... Which will be tomorrow, I hope.

:( And I was so looking forward to blackberries this year.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 07, 2017, 03:29:50 PM
I've seen it mentioned but never tried it. When it was a problem for me I was always tracking around in other people's farms so I'd have tracked in the spores, but also they get blown in on the wind. The people I know who did it had troubles getting the heat to go deep enough. It also looks like a lot of labor and cost on the scale of gardening I have always done.

It might work in a closed loop system (such as your Musk-approved Martian colony) where you control all the soil elements, but here? I don't see how.

The blight is virtually unknown in my area since it's so hot and dry, but if the spores are in your soil at any depth then your plants are going to get infected. A tomato plant can send down a 9' taproot. Your best bet is to focus on resistant plants.

You're in an area that's always going to be prone to the blight. If you sterilize the soil to a depth of 10" then you've got DEAD soil down to 10". No helpful bacteria, the nitrogen will have burned off, and you'll have to depend on added compost to replenish, which probably will contain more spores. And your neighbor who is a bad gardener, buys 20 plants and when they get infected he just leaves them there to die without burning them? Every time the wind shifts he's contaminating your garden.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 07, 2017, 03:33:37 PM
Okay.

And yeah. Fungus and mold and everything is disgusting here.

I wanna move back to New York where it's so cold for 3/4 of the year that everything dies. The southeast is just a birth canal filled with blight.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 07, 2017, 03:45:16 PM

Heh. And the soil is bad. :) I used to live in Columbia, South Carolina and you had like 2" of real soil and everything below that was beach sand and decayed pine needles.

Have you considered doing the WWOOF thing on a farm in your area? You can probably find a couple within short driving distance. Let mom watch the kids for 2 days and go volunteer. You'll learn a lot about what does grow well in your area and various methods for doing stuff.

I used to think it was just a gimmick to get free farm labor, but a friend of mine had a rotating crew of about 7-8 WWOOFers who would come through and he asked me to teach a couple of classes to them. It was popular and the mostly younger crowd who would do that sort of thing were always hoping to start their own organic farms, so I felt like it was a good pay-it-forward sort of thing. A couple of them were interested in beekeeping so I taught them some about that in exchange for their labor. After that I felt much better about the program. The classes were popular enough that he expanded it to his customer base (his organic farm was one of those subscription deals .. CSA they call it) and each Saturday I'd have about 10-20 people in there learning about whatever the topic du jour was. I'd pass around a coffee can for donations for my time and usually pull in enough to treat the family for pizza. :)

Anyway, you could look into it if you're interested. Clearly I don't mind talking about gardening ( ;D ) but you could also benefit from some hands on and it would be fun, plus you'd meet like-minded people in your area. A lot of filthy hippies though. That's how I ended up meeting people in the Rainbow Family, some of which are the best human beings you'll ever meet and some which are just toxic and broken. Steer clear of young ones who usually don't have their shit pulled together yet and learn from the older ones who do.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on June 07, 2017, 07:05:28 PM
Some jerk let their dog dig and shit in my garden plot! The part that really gets me is it's 3 feet off the ground, so wtf?? Dog poop is NOT veggie garden fertilizer! And what if it had dug up one of my plants? Grr!

On the plus side, the green beans are producing well. Just wish more of the vines had survived.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 07, 2017, 08:00:17 PM
That sucks about your thoughtless visitor, Delirium.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 07, 2017, 09:47:15 PM
Oh, Del.

I hate people.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 08, 2017, 09:13:58 AM

The peaches are in the zone where they're ready to eat but the abscission layer has not yet withdrawn enough for them to be dropping from the tree.

From here on out it's a race between me and the birds to get those juicy, juicy peaches off the tree before they fall to the ground. Some must have already fallen because the chickens are loitering under the tree and giving hopeful looks skyward.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 08, 2017, 09:59:24 AM
RIP blackberries. :(

I harvested my first little zuke today. Its stem had been split, so I twirled it away from its plant. I'll probably cook it in a little bit of grapeseed oil later and munch on it.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Riev on June 08, 2017, 10:11:51 AM
Hello.

All you people make me wish I was smart enough, and had the time for, and the space for, and also owned my own land for, a garden.

That is all.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 08, 2017, 10:17:51 AM
Hello.

All you people make me wish I was smart enough, and had the time for, and the space for, and also owned my own land for, a garden.

That is all.

Everyone has a windowsill and room for a couple of potted plants.

Unless you have cats. You can either have potted plants or cats. You can't have both.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Riev on June 08, 2017, 10:19:40 AM
Hello.

All you people make me wish I was smart enough, and had the time for, and the space for, and also owned my own land for, a garden.

That is all.

Everyone has a windowsill and room for a couple of potted plants.

Unless you have cats. You can either have potted plants or cats. You can't have both.

Girlfriend has some potted plants, nothing edible. African violet, a few succulents. But she gets almost all her flowers from a family friend, who has some nice flowers but his greenhouse is a mess. And I swear that every plant she brings in, we have to leave outside and re-pot because it comes with every little black fly in the eastern hemisphere.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 08, 2017, 10:34:07 AM

Years ago when I worked in a real office, I sat in a near empty section of the building in a cubicle, near this big potted plant as tall as I am.

They always overwatered it and there were tons of mosquitoes and biting flies living in it.

Me and that plant completed an entire ecological loop. I swear, it's the only IT job I ever had where I needed to spray myself with OFF just to go into work.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on June 08, 2017, 03:31:15 PM
Harvested more green beans. Maybe I should succession plant these vines so I can keep harvesting until the frost kills them. How long do pole beans stay productive?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 08, 2017, 03:36:08 PM
Harvested more green beans. Maybe I should succession plant these vines so I can keep harvesting until the frost kills them. How long do pole beans stay productive?

"Pole beans" covers a lot of variety but they will usually produce all summer so long as you keep picking them before they start to harden. The plant thinks, "Oh no! Someone iz eatin' ma babies!" and makes more.


Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 08, 2017, 04:34:17 PM
Yup, yup.

I grew a couple of bush bean varieties that produce a crop for a couple weeks then go away, which is a-okay with me because ... they're kind of crowding everything right now. I can't even get into the bean swarm. :x
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 09, 2017, 08:19:16 AM
Boog, a woman on one of my homesteading groups on Facebook was asking for advice for eradicating bamboo.  Not much helpful was offered, but here are some to make you laugh!

1.   You have to sell and move, you can't get rid of it.
2.   Pandas you need a panda
3.   While I do not recommend the technique, I heard of a guy years ago who blasted it out with dynamite. LOL He got more than he bargained for and made a mess of the neighborhood.
4.   sell for fishing rods
5.  Nuclear weapons may be the only real option...
6.  Flame thrower to remove the top growth then salt the earth.... and just to hedge your bets hit the flame thrower again
7.  Once it starts spreading there is no way to stop it. Move far away now before it completely takes over your yard, home and eventually town.
8.   3 year old children they can tear up anything LoL
9.  Daisy Cutter, MOAB, and if those two can't do it thermonuclear tactical device
10.  Napalm
11.  Sounds like you've been bamboozled
12.   It all dies out between 33 and 66 years not every family at one time given..the cause is believed to be solar flairs..instead of putting up new shoots with leaves the stalks are coverd with flowers ...bearing seed tben dies
13.   Come her and take one of the gophers from my yard. They eat everything.......


A couple of possible good suggestions - cut it down and then cover with black plastic for awhile.  Ditch around it to contain and cut off any runners that poke into the ditch.  Cut it and paint each raw end with stump killer.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 09, 2017, 09:49:17 AM
I used to have problems with this one invasive taking over my garden (in Illinois). The first two years we were there I was constantly pulling this weed up and tossing it. But then it would land, take root, and grow again. You'd tear it into pieces and each piece would take root and live again. It was like the mythological hydra. I couldn't get rid of it.

So finally one day I took a specimen inside for Professor Google to look at. Turned out it was Purslane and it was listed as not only edible but highly delicious. So I tried some of this noxious, invasive weed on the USDA's most-wanted list.

It WAS delicious.

I started ripping out the beans and cucumbers that was competing with it. I encouraged it to grow.

The third year I was standing in my garden looking around and asking myself, "Where the hell did all that purslane go?"

I'd eradicated the invasive weed by eating too much of it. :(

Bamboo shoots are delicious and nutritious but hard to prepare. Still, I bet they're less difficult to prepare than they are to eradicate.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 09, 2017, 10:50:08 AM
It's not bamboo, Miradus. It's Japanese knotweed. Which looks like bamboo, but it is not bamboo and it is a shit head.

I laughed, Ref. Because ... it's true. Dynamite seems like a fun experiment. ;)

I'm probably going to machete it all back as far as I can on the property line and then dig a trench and put concrete in it to keep the rhizomes from their horizontal spread.

And someone had the nerve the other day to tell me that shit was pretty. I almost struck them with my shovel blade.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 09, 2017, 11:55:19 AM
Heh. I've never had to deal with Japanese knotweed. Not entirely sure I've ever seen it.

At least it's not triffids! Those are the worst.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 09, 2017, 05:22:05 PM
This happened!!

(http://www.dogwoodmists.com/Refugee/Bunnies.jpg)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 09, 2017, 06:01:49 PM
If they were all born okay then I want to cheer with you, but if they're all dead I want to comfort you.

But I can't tell from the picture. :(
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 09, 2017, 06:14:25 PM
:)
 
8 squeaky little wigglers.  All fine so far.  Not even a noticeable runt.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 09, 2017, 06:17:38 PM

Score!

Hassenpfeffer all round!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 09, 2017, 06:30:34 PM
Huzzah!
Biscuits and gravy and fried backstraps!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 09, 2017, 06:45:13 PM
Huzzah!
Biscuits and gravy and fried backstraps!

On paper, rabbits are just a really, really good source of protein for a small homestead. I just never could get them to kindle because of the heat.

Heck, those rabbits lived better than we did and they still wouldn't take. I swapped out three different males during our great rabbit experiment and I only saw babies ONE TIME, and their psycho mom ate them.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on June 09, 2017, 06:58:41 PM
I used to have problems with this one invasive taking over my garden (in Illinois). The first two years we were there I was constantly pulling this weed up and tossing it. But then it would land, take root, and grow again. You'd tear it into pieces and each piece would take root and live again. It was like the mythological hydra. I couldn't get rid of it.

So finally one day I took a specimen inside for Professor Google to look at. Turned out it was Purslane and it was listed as not only edible but highly delicious. So I tried some of this noxious, invasive weed on the USDA's most-wanted list.

It WAS delicious.

OMG, I took a look at professor google and this is the exact same weed I have been studiously ripping out of my garden bed!

I hope it comes back :(
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 09, 2017, 07:06:22 PM
It's delicious AND it has a lot of Omega-3 fatty acids!

Pound for pound it's almost as good as eating salmon!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 09, 2017, 07:51:09 PM
The ratio of pounds of food needed to produce pounds of meat is even better than pigs.  But you do have to have successful litters.  I read bucks can be rendered inviable for 6 months by a couple of 90 degree days. 

I'm putting frozen bottles of water in their cages on hot afternoons for them to snuggle with, and the rabbitry is entirely open, cages standing in a chain link kennel with a tarp over the top for shade and protection from the rain.  I'm thinking about running an extension cord out there and putting an oscillating fan in next week, when it's supposed to get well over 90. 

They'll eat their babies as a defense mechanism if startled by predators or loud noises.  Pretty much anything I guess, that makes them think they might be eaten and need to get rid of the bait-babies.  Peppercorn, the mama of these kits today, is my shyest, most easily scared rabbit but she is nearly two and has had several litters already.  I have hope.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 09, 2017, 07:54:33 PM

Mine had her babies on the wire instead of in her little nest so I was never quite sure if they were born dead and she ate them or if they were born alive and she ate them.

All I was able to tell was that when I went out that morning there was one dead, cold baby on the wire, some baby parts scattered around, and mama was happily chowing down on another.

All summer long we carried water battles and stuff out there. It was not fun.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 09, 2017, 08:01:08 PM
I saw this cool setup where a guy used like 10" PVC that led down from their cages and then teed horizontally and was buried deep enough under the ground to keep them cool.  They could retreat into the "burrow" when they wanted.  He had cleanouts in case he had to reach them down there.  Sounds pretty expensive but you could calculate it in your rabbitry costs and see if it would be worthwhile for you.  A handful of does and two bucks can make a lot of meat.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 09, 2017, 10:16:00 PM

We may try it again in the future. We're not really big meat eaters any more.

Except Whataburger.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 10, 2017, 02:21:06 PM
Beans! So many beans have been harvested today. I might've eaten my first zuke that I harvested the other day raw. Ahem.

And I get to garden in my bathing suit which is just as liberating as it is painful. Fucking squash prickles. ;)

I should take some pictures! But maybe I should put clothes on first. The neighbors have been loitering outside on their porch for a while, watching.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 10, 2017, 02:44:06 PM

The benefits of not having neighbors.

The peaches went from "almost ripe" to "rotting" sometime overnight. Now I've got to give away or eat about 3 bushels this weekend.

I could make jelly or something out of them but we never eat that stuff. So I'll just eat what I can and give away the rest.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 10, 2017, 03:14:36 PM
Dang.

I'd eat the shit out of some peach jelly.

Might I recommend making a sonker out of the peaches? It's a Mt. Airy specialty: deep dish cobbler with a sweet, thickened cream 'dip'.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 10, 2017, 03:29:46 PM
I can't really eat much at all that has a lot of sugar in it. :(

I've probably pushed it as it is eating these three peaches today.

I haven't went to a doctor or anything but I clearly have some sort of blood sugar problem. I'm fine if I don't eat anything with a lot of sugar, but if I have some (like a Peace Tea and a Reese's peanut butter cups) then I feel like crap and I piss every 2 minutes for the next 3 hours.

So I just try to not eat much of it.

The kids right now are devouring some vanilla ice cream with their peaches. My daughter is covered in juice from head to toe. I think I'm going to go throw her in the pond.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 10, 2017, 03:48:58 PM
https://imgur.com/gallery/kCYYs

My kids ate peas (that I didn't get pictures of!) and a lot of the beans that weren't in that blob I snapped.

I'm pretty excited about the tomatoes. I rarely get any fruits or flowers. I do need to stake them; I'm gonna try the Florida weave method this year because I'm cheap.

I wish I had peaches. Shit, I wish my pears would flower. Maybe next year.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 10, 2017, 03:56:20 PM
Also, Miradus, I have to watch my sugar, too. I'm on antibiotics diabetes meds right now because of my PCOS. Any time I eat a larger meal, or one doused with sugar, I'm immediately puking or otherwise. :(

Usually, though, it's the wheat carbs that are doing it, though. Fruit, I seem to be okay with so far.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 10, 2017, 04:06:59 PM

I don't know that I have anything spelled out with letters. I just know I feel like crap if I eat candy or cake or pie and thus I avoid it. I'm sure if I went to see a doctor they would give me a suitably scary prognosis and an expensive prescription.

Having thus been poisoned by civilization, I refuse to let civilization try to treat me. Especially when it appears I can solve the problem simply by moderating my eating habits.

So this morning a buddy came out and we cast nets into the pond. Caught some bass, and some hybrid bluegills and about a billion shiners. Everything went back as it was really just sort of an ecological survey for him but I'm impressed with the size and diversity of the edible biomass in there.

I am going to miss this place.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 10, 2017, 06:13:38 PM
If you think you might have blood sugar issues, I'd recommend getting a blood glucose test kit, you can get them for free.  Test yourself before you eat and two hours after you eat, and you can start getting a picture of what spikes you.  It's nothing to screw around with, blindness, kidney disease, heart disease, strokes, losing limbs.  If you can manage it intelligently without medicine then that's great!  But you need the right data upon which to base your decisions.

I was managing my diabetes with slow-acting insulin and diet.  Then a terrible bout with bronchitis last winter had doctors feeding me Prednisone, two rounds of it, which damaged me badly.  Now I have to take 3 shots of fast acting insulin during the day, a shot of slow at bedtime, a shot of Victoza in the afternoon, and Metformin twice a day.  That's 9 punctures a day counting glucose tests!  Thank God for the VA or I'd never be able to afford it.

I learned a lot by tracking my glucose readings against the numbers of carbs I took in, and I found that it wasn't just the carbs, but certain foods will spike me.  And you don't always feel odd.  So I recommend strongly gathering some individualized data on yourself, do some graphing, watch the trends, and don't take any of that !@#$%(@#$ Prednisone.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 10, 2017, 06:45:18 PM

I'll go get one of the kits then. Can't hurt.

I'm not really thinking there's anything wrong other than simply being in a 45 year old body that's been abused and not taken care of properly.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 10, 2017, 07:00:20 PM
Yeah that's when Type 2 gets us!  I wish to hell I had taken care of it earlier.  Now I can't hardly feel my feet at all, I have no balance and can't walk for falling over, I can't tell if my foot has really moved from the brake to the accelerator or not until I push it down...I can't recommend strongly enough to not dick around with it.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 10, 2017, 07:26:40 PM

Shit, man. That right there is enough to keep me on my diet.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 10, 2017, 07:36:25 PM
I'm just gonna munch on these here ...

Fuck. I left them at mom's. Oh well. She can take the beans into work on Monday with her for her dialysis patients.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 10, 2017, 08:14:23 PM

Shit, man. That right there is enough to keep me on my diet.

Excellent!  I have done my good deed for the day!  :)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 12, 2017, 10:20:11 AM
(http://www.dogwoodmists.com/Refugee/3 days old 8.jpg)

8 fat boisterous garrulous little black bunnies.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 12, 2017, 03:14:48 PM
Yay, Ref! I'm so happy for you!

I got my drip irrigation system in today. Finally.

Now, to hook it up.  :-[
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on June 13, 2017, 03:24:15 AM
LIFE! Congratz, man. Feed them well, let them grow fat, then feed your family.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 13, 2017, 06:59:27 AM
That's the plan!  I might keep one doe for a breeder because this litter's mother is such a great mother (she even did her first litter perfectly and that is rare), and she is nearly 2 now.

How did your irrigation system work out, Boog?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 13, 2017, 07:56:14 AM
It...

It would've been better if I wasn't trying to install it between the hours of 3 and 5pm (sunburn!), with my kids going loco inside my mom's house, thus forcing me to break and check on them every 5 minutes.

It was actually pretty simple and would've been easier sans children. They were stressing me the hell out. 8)

What does rabbit taste like?

Also, I kinda wanna buy a mushroom log kit after eating this really divine grilled cheese at the The Fresh Melt. Portabella, pepper, tomato, whatever cheese, so good.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 13, 2017, 11:04:44 AM
Rabbit is a very lean meat and mild.  You can use it in any chicken recipe but if for instance there's no sauce you will need to add fat (like bacon yum) so it's not too dry.  It does well in a crockpot too.  The best part is the tenderloin and it is very desirable so you breed for big broad backs.  My buck has amazing backstraps. 
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: FantasyWriter on June 13, 2017, 11:35:35 AM
Slow cooking is key with rabbit.  As Refugee stated, it makes a great chicken substitute and in all seriousness tastes pretty much the same.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 13, 2017, 06:21:31 PM
I'm amused that it tastes like chicken. I do wanna give it a try sometime.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on June 14, 2017, 02:34:13 PM
I tolerated the ants because they were pollinating my beans and squash.

UNTIL I REALIZED THAT THEY WERE ALSO FARMING APHIDS AND NOW THEY'RE EVERYWHERE

This. Is. War.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on June 14, 2017, 02:35:04 PM
On the bright side, the purslane came back. I'm letting it grow.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 14, 2017, 02:36:43 PM
I was cleaning off the green stakes I use to Florida weave my tomatoes and sliced my second to last toe on the right wide open on one of them because I'm a clutz.

(http://www.homedepot.com/catalog/productImages/400_compressed/6a/6afc62c4-9591-4aa6-ba92-ad20bca9f417_400_compressed.jpg)
Those fucking flanges.

I'm Swype typing this while I cry like a little baby because this is the crowning jewel of a god awful week, plus shark week is incoming, oh my god.

At least my tomatoes are growing well, I guess. I didn't get pictures of them because I was gonna stake them first.

I pray the metal rod doesn't fall over onto my maters while I'm stemming this blood.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 14, 2017, 02:39:14 PM
Yay about the purslane.

Have you tried putting in marigolds? It might be too late for that now, but I've had fewer aphid problems since interplanting marigolds everywhere I can fit them.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on June 14, 2017, 03:00:20 PM
I have a whole row of marigolds. :(
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 14, 2017, 03:27:15 PM
I did too! The row didn't help. I had to plug them in between plants to keep the aphids away and the ladybugs around.

Hrm. But your garden isn't huge! I'm not sure. I'm sorry. I fucking hate aphids.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 14, 2017, 04:42:35 PM
The marigolds only seem to have about a 14" radius around them where they actively repel. I had a huge problem trying to companion plant with them because the zukes crowd-killed the flowers and then the bugs crowd-killed the zukes.

I feel like my bug problem was just too severe.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on June 14, 2017, 04:48:31 PM
I've learned a lot this year and I'm excited for next year's garden. I'm going to train the squash upward on supports and companion plant marigolds. Two sides of the bed will have bean poles and provide afternoon shade to more fragile plants.

But I'm not sure what I will do with the rest of the space. Okra takes up a lot of space and would probably be happier further south. Maybe strawberries? I foresee lots of trellis making in my future. Gotta claim that vertical space.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: manipura on June 14, 2017, 05:01:02 PM
I tolerated the ants because they were pollinating my beans and squash.

UNTIL I REALIZED THAT THEY WERE ALSO FARMING APHIDS AND NOW THEY'RE EVERYWHERE

This. Is. War.

Though I feel like I finally won the squirrel war, the strawberries never really bounced back to 100% after having their roots dig out and munched on three times.  That, combined with the aphids made them depressing things struggling to thrive.  My feet have had a few too many issues with fire ants this year to want to deal with ants and aphids being besties around my plants.
I put the strawberry plants out of their misery and planted more spinach seeds instead.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on June 14, 2017, 06:06:53 PM
Spinach is always a good idea. I love spinach. And arugula. Mmm. I let my arugula bolt so I can save the seeds.

One of the bedroom windows gets enough sun that it *might* work to grow it there all year around.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 14, 2017, 06:49:49 PM
Almost losing my toe wasn't enough: I later snipped my finger while clipping beans.

I can't catch a break today. This week. Year, maybe, even. Except for the tomatoes. They're beautiful. I'll post pictures soon.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 14, 2017, 06:54:21 PM

Boog, you are the most dangerous gardener I have ever known.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 14, 2017, 07:18:33 PM
Probably just the clumsiest. 8) But I'll take dangerous. It sounds... Dangerous.

https://imgur.com/gallery/IvGAE

I have a couple zukes near ready but I didn't snap them. I've been giving most of my beans and zukes to my mother's dialysis patients for free since they're on limited income.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: chrisdcoulombe on June 14, 2017, 07:38:39 PM
I won't be harvesting anything for months where I live.   I set up a chicken run yesterday and am gonna finish setting up the coop today.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 14, 2017, 08:08:19 PM
I looked up from my computer this morning at breakfast and saw someone looking back at me.

(http://www.dogwoodmists.com/Refugee/morning visitor.jpg)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 15, 2017, 01:50:44 PM

103 F this weekend.

Fuck Texas.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 15, 2017, 02:38:40 PM
Holy cow, man...
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on June 15, 2017, 02:40:30 PM
Atlanta has hot summers but it has hot WET summers.

I'm glad I'm keeping everything off the ground so it doesn't start going moldy and gross.

I handpicked off a bunch of beetles and sprayed the shit out of the aphids with diluted dishwashing detergent.

Hopefully that'll help... considering it promptly poured down rain for 10-12 hours afterward.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 15, 2017, 02:43:10 PM

I'm pretty much done with the garden this year. I was doing too much other stuff to get ready for the big move and the weather was off during the normal planting season, so I got a handful of zuke and tomato plants in the ground.

And now those plants are still growing and dying from the heat.

I'll keep all the permaculture alive for the new owner to take possession of after the new year, but I'm not going to bust my ass doing the other stuff. I know I'll regret when things settle down not having done more, but I also will enjoy taking a season off.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 15, 2017, 05:24:44 PM
My mom's watering today. Thank goodness.

I'm still hobbling around. I tried to go to the gym today, but lol.

I told Mom to check the zuke outside, and if it was good, she could take it to her dialysis patients.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: FantasyWriter on June 15, 2017, 08:45:34 PM
When you buy merigolds as a pest deturrant, make sure the blossoms stink.  This advantage had been bread out of most varieties and nursuries, because most people want pretty flowers to smell good, or at least not stink.   Next year try finding some seeds from a reputable source that are specifically for pest deturrance.  (Assuming you didn't know this already) I tried merrigolds for three or four years before I found out I had wasted money and precious garden space. :(
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 15, 2017, 09:02:22 PM
I wasn't aware of that. I just grabbed some at the garden store and have been perpetuating the seeds for a few years. They don't smell particular strong at all.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 15, 2017, 09:27:57 PM
I didn't know that about the marigolds.  Thank you.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 15, 2017, 10:35:34 PM
Mine fucking reek. Hahaha.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on June 16, 2017, 02:28:52 AM
Im overdue.

http://imgur.com/a/d3Avi
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 16, 2017, 08:05:33 AM
Good looking dog, man.  I love how you have so much edible stuff growing.  And edible blue mushrooms?  What does it taste like?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 16, 2017, 10:17:15 AM

I've never even heard of sweet potato growing wild. Man, the fertility. Makes me wonder why humankind bother gardening at all when they could just wildcraft all that!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 16, 2017, 11:08:24 AM
Our desire to control everything is the answer.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on June 16, 2017, 11:54:35 AM
Thanks! He is a good boy, albeit a little aggro toward people outside of our pack, but that is how I want him.

The Indigo Milkcaps taste kinda like a portobello - kinda standard earthy mushroom flavor - but the texture is a bit more crumbly than rubbery. They are pretty as hell, though. I also have reishi mushrooms growing on every rotting tree in the woods, and that stuff is supposedly medicinal.
The Indigos grow on one section of my property, around the roots of some oaks. In the past, I've tried manually scattering pieces of a cap throughout the woods to try to spread it, but I think the other fungi's mycelium may be too prolific. I have tons of fungi around that I am not confident enough to identify, but one I am positive about, and it grows everywhere, is russala emitica, the vomit mushroom. You eat it, and you throw up. Not exactly what I'd prefer growing on my land.
So, with the spore-print I am taking, I will get a 5 gallon bucket, fill it with warm water, molasses, the spore print, and a handful of dirt. Let it sit 20 minutes to make the spores start going crazy. Dilute the spore-molasses water into 3 more 5 gallon buckets, then pour those into the humus throughout the woods. We'll see how that goes.

Mir, my sweet potato are not exactly wild, but that is my intention. About a year ago, I let local sweet potatoes chill in a casserole dish with water and let slips shoot up. I would cut them and shove them in the dirt randomly on my land. They pop up, get eaten/die, pop up a few feet over, etc.

The Indigo Milkcaps and those sweet potatoes are part of my plan to create a permaculture food forest.

Boog, you are right. My dream is a garden that I don't have to fuck with XD
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: FantasyWriter on June 16, 2017, 01:11:52 PM
My latest update. Super excited!!!
Living in an apartment with almost nowhere to go is driving me mad!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1832066110380604/?multi_permalinks=1870804683173413&notif_t=like&notif_id=1497629475606087

I have just signed a contract on my first lot in the middle of a bunch of City of Memphis/Shelby County owned abandoned properties (most of which I will be able to pick up for $50-$250 plus closing costs per lot). I was not planning to make a land purchase until this winter, but this opportunity presented itself and is only a few minutes delivery time from Downtown and Midtown restaurants. Most importantly Laura is onboard as well (or at least keeping her inner, screaming resistance quiet for the sake of my sanity and the pursuit of my dreams).
The first lot is in the middle of the wooded block on the left, and I should be able to claim most of that block by the end of the year. Booth wooded blocks are abandoned except for the houses on the southern road frontage. Most of the lots are already being sold for tax delinquency,and under a new Tennessee Law to fight urban blight, I can gain ownership of neglected privately-owned properties adjacent to my own after a year of maintaining them.
There is also an abandoned grocery store on the Southeast corner of the east block that has been abandoned and not paying its taxes since 2012, that may end up becoming a Kickstarter project after I speak with the warm, cuddly people in the tax assessors office about it. ;)
Been working on this for a couple weeks in my head and with the realtor I am buying the property from. I discussed it with Laura yesterday to get her okay with moving forward, so it is nice to finally get to talk about it out loud, and release all that stress from my system.
Wish me luck and fire off any questions!
(https://scontent.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t31.0-8/19242968_10155178843545837_8241574313749691848_o.jpg?oh=16cb5915af92744a96d729a9ec999a5d&oe=59D6CF11)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: FantasyWriter on June 16, 2017, 01:20:14 PM
Where are you living Refugee, if you don't mind saying?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on June 16, 2017, 01:21:50 PM
No shit! Nice! How much acreage are you grabbing?
I didn't quite understand what you mean by $50-$250 per lot...

btw if you are clearing land, dont haul out the wood that you cut down. ideally  you should let it rot and return fertility to the soil.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: FantasyWriter on June 16, 2017, 02:14:01 PM
Yeah, I'm a net zero wast man myself.

The small price for lots....
Most of these lots were abandoned 10+ years ago. There is no sign that there was ever any development.  I'm honestly not sure how much is "brush" and how much is legitimate forest, because it is so badly grown up. There is enough organic material on sight to fertilize an environmentally responsible farm for years to come with little to no input other than supplementing the living tractors' forage with a well-balanced feed.

If you aren't familiar with rotational grazing, here it is in short:
You establish a system of paddocks. Usually this is a grid system on pastureland, but in my case it will be more piecemeal.  I'll have to focus on the properties I am responsible for first or until I have most or all of the block.  Then I can make it more orderly.

1.  You put goats (or sheep) in a paddock A for two days to a week, depending on its size and the amount of "work" to be done.  They will strip the leaves from vines and brush and even eat some of the ruffage.  They will also eat down weeds, saplings and other small plants.
2.  The goats are moved to paddock B. for another two days to a week.  Pigs move into paddock B to eat some of what the goats left behind, blow, dug up roots, grubs, other pests and take out most of the remaining plants smaller than 2+ year old trees.
3.  The goats are moved to paddock C for the next amount of time.  The Pigs are moved into paddock B.  Fowl (chicken, turkeys, etc) are moved into paddock A to eat any remaining pests, plant matter, and break the parasite cycle by eating larva from the goat/pig poo.
4.  The goats are moved to paddock D. Pigs to paddock C.  Fowl to paddock B.  Paddock A is seeded (or not) and left to rest until grasses and other small plants have recovered, and eventually the goats make it back to paddock A through E, F, G, etc.

Long term, this would turn a sprawling mess of human-caused chaos into either a healthy forest or plains/pasture depending on what if any trees and other plants you chose to protect (or not) from the animals (or selectively harvest yourself).

After the land is returned to balance through a productive human controlled natural process (instead of energy and capital consuming clear-cutting and landscaping)  You could either continue the cycle and planting more selective fodder crops for the livestock (essentially creating a meat-producing farm), or you could move them onto the next project and turn that area into a food forest or more traditional garden-type farm.

Bonuses:
1. You just turned a massive amount of overgrown organic matter in to the riches, healthiest organic soil by the most natural process possible.
2. You were probably able to use the smaller, unwanted trees as building materials for your paddocks, chicken tractor, or at the very least a source of heat for winter.
3. You did all this by only feeding the animals 10-30% of their diet in grain or processed feed.
4. You are supplied eggs at no additional cost.
5. You only spent an average of a few minutes per day checking on/feeding/watering/rotating animal.
6. You saved weeks/year of backbreaking work just to have it grow back up again and start all over next year.
7. Your bacon/mutton/chevon/chickennugget seeds have matured and are ready to harvest or allowed to ripen even more and produce seeds for next year's planting.
8. Planting self-sewing or perennial fodder crops virtually eliminates feed inputs more each year.
9. Because the animals are constantly moving, they aren't hanging around their own waste long enough to cause the pest problems that lead to factory farms having to OD their animals on antibiotics that create superbugs like avian flu.
10. Bacon. Bacon is always a good reason to do anything.

After year two, if you choose to breed your livestock, the system actually stats producing income in addition to food when you sell younglings as feeder animals to other farmers/homesteaders. You have just created a self sufficient ecosystem and you just need to add water! (or God forbid harvest your own from the roofs of your animal shelters!)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on June 16, 2017, 02:16:45 PM
fifty bucks for a lot? What the hell? How large are the parcels?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: FantasyWriter on June 16, 2017, 02:44:56 PM
fifty bucks for a lot? What the hell? How large are the parcels?

The $50 are usually around 40 x 100 to double that. The west block is roughly 5 acres from my visual estimation of the map.
This was a neighborhood built in very small lots to help black people afford to own their own homes away from Memphis proper (which is now Downtown Memphis) post slavery/pre-Civil Rights Movement. Most of these lots are two to five 40'x100' "old" parcels. It is an industrial area now (ill post a wide shot shortly) There are too many homes still existing randomly throughout the area for a developer to want to mess with it (so it is useless to traditional commercial use) and it is too heavy in industry to be attractive to residential developers.  These lots have been abandoned for decades.  This extended neglect makes them absolutely perfect for pasture-forested raised livestock on the scale I am able and willing to do, and a horrible risk for anyone who can't actually get in and see what the property looks like (seriously, you can't even GET to my property right now because it was on a road that was never paved and can barely find now). I could probably pay for the costs of the land in about 5 years selling eggs and feeder pigs/goats.  That is not figuring in the grocery savings for my household of six.  Since I won't technically own most of the land for the first two years, I also avoid paying taxes on what I don't own.

I'll also be trying to contact the owners through this process and sending them low-ball offers. If I buy form them, I have to pay the back taxes, but decreases the probability of someone else buying the random lots that are still privately owned.

 Also, the county isn't trying to make a profit, they're trying to unload "blight" properties not bringing in taxes and turn them into taxable, attractive (or at least occupied) property. The lists of properties that Shelby County ownes is over 400 pages long with about 60 entries/page. that is a LOT of lossed tax revenue.  I hpoe that clears up your question about why they are so cheap. For reference, the lot I am buying form the realtor/owner is $2000 which is a little under half its appraised value.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: FantasyWriter on June 16, 2017, 02:50:37 PM
My $2000 lot is 100' x 106' for further reference.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on June 16, 2017, 02:54:47 PM
Dude, that is a great opportunity. Congratz on spotting it. I wish you the best working the land.

so, 50 bucks for a 40x100 lot. 4000sqft. 5 acres is a little over 200,000sqft. you could pick up 5 acres for less than 3 grand. holy fuck.

Added: $50 for 4000sqft, but $2000 for 10,000sqft? Thats odd.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 16, 2017, 03:10:59 PM
I don't wanna be shot or I would come help you develop that land. Hahahaha.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: FantasyWriter on June 16, 2017, 03:21:09 PM
Dude, that is a great opportunity. Congratz on spotting it. I wish you the best working the land.

so, 50 bucks for a 40x100 lot. 4000sqft. 5 acres is a little over 200,000sqft. you could pick up 5 acres for less than 3 grand. holy fuck.

Added: $50 for 4000sqft, but $2000 for 10,000sqft? Thats odd.

The $50 lots are from the government so that you pay taxes on the land.  The $2000 property is from a private owner who wants to unload his property at a profits from when he bought it (probably a $50 lot from the government). ;)

The $50 price has very little to do with the appraisal value/potential of the property, it has to do with how desperate they are to get rid of it, and how low they think they have to drop it to catch someone's interest. the $2000 price is from somone that knows/cares about the true value of the property, and then halfed it because it's a piece of shit property. :D
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: FantasyWriter on June 16, 2017, 03:34:48 PM
I don't wanna be shot or I would come help you develop that land. Hahahaha.

Sigh. I have -definitely- got to get my concealed carry permit now. :(
Worst case scenario, I improve the quality and look of the block as I collect it, decide the area isn't worth the risk, and sell it to a real developer who puts another truck depot on it. :(
Best case. I help make the neighborhood a little prettier, learn a lot, teach a lot, and have a successful startup.  I am just a few blocks south of the "g" in "gentrification" in the attached map and hoping that I can help it spread that way as well.

Also, I saw two rabbits running across the road the other day. :D

(http://68.media.tumblr.com/8083503802c6eb6415eccaf7aff20fd9/tumblr_n0soqqhX5s1s4df8ko1_1280.gif)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 16, 2017, 03:44:12 PM
I was ripping up weeds in the garden today and scared a rabbit away.

It made me squawk.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 16, 2017, 04:35:39 PM
Where are you living Refugee, if you don't mind saying?

Pulaski County, KY.

(http://www.dogwoodmists.com/Refugee/Deer on DV.jpg)

Sorry for the poor quality but I was in the truck rolling along the main drag here this morning...
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 16, 2017, 04:40:08 PM
I swear to God, there's a Pulaski -something- in almost every state!

I lived near Pulaski, NY, but they pronounced it Puh-lass-sky.

In Indiana, when I lived in that shithole, there was a Puh-lass-ski.

HOW DO YOU PRONOUNCE IT? This is important.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 16, 2017, 04:50:59 PM
You're right, that Pulaski guy was something else!  In Illinois he had his own special holiday.

I remember learning about him in 7th grade Kentucky History.  Well all I really remember is the picture of him on his horse with the funny helmet.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casimir_Pulaski (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casimir_Pulaski)

We pronounce it Pew-lass-key with the emphasis on the middle syllable.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 16, 2017, 05:15:30 PM
I was ripping up weeds in the garden today and scared a rabbit away.

It made me squawk.

Maybe it was a vorpal bunny.  Did you have your holy hand grenade?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on June 16, 2017, 08:21:19 PM
The boogbunny, with eyes of flame, came whiffling through the tulgey wood and burbled as it came.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 16, 2017, 09:14:00 PM
 ;D
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on June 17, 2017, 03:03:50 PM
Yo, everybody. I'm driving down south to my old lands, so I'll take some pictures of the quarter-acre tropical orchard I had going on.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 17, 2017, 03:09:46 PM
Yo, everybody. I'm driving down south to my old lands, so I'll take some pictures of the quarter-acre tropical orchard I had going on.

Tropical? Damn! How far south? :)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on June 17, 2017, 04:01:37 PM
Mangos, coconuts, and sugar-cane type tropical. :D
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 18, 2017, 09:29:28 AM
I've never lived anywhere I could grow anything tropical.

Soon ... so soon.

I postponed my trip to Hawaii for a couple of weeks while I have plenty of work but by July I'm heading out. I am very anxious to pick up land.

Meanwhile I'm rereading the works of Arthur Young. If you like the conjunction of history and agriculture, it's a must read.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on June 18, 2017, 12:25:56 PM
Could you recommend a particular work?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 18, 2017, 12:54:21 PM
Could you recommend a particular work?

Try View on the Agriculture of Oxfordshire.

These are old books in the public domain, but what I like about them is his views on soil fertility as the true wealth of the nation and legacy of a farmer to his sons.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 18, 2017, 04:34:09 PM
I think I snapped off the main branch of one of my tomatoes while trying to tie it today. Fuck.

We have had two big storms with high winds lately and a bunch of my stuff all kinda wept and fell over.

Sigh.

Oh, and one of my San Marzanos is catfaced. A catfaced fucking Roma. What the hell.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 18, 2017, 06:34:04 PM
Y'all have to help me find the Mammoth Blackberry to buy.

It's wilt resistant.

Let's do this TOGETHER.

(Literally, the only things I find about its existence are newspaper articles, lul.)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 18, 2017, 06:47:14 PM
Wow, search engines only turned up old ads for mammoth blackberries, like 1920ish.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: manipura on June 19, 2017, 01:43:24 AM
Not very good reviews, but is this them? (https://www.amazon.com/Thornless-Blackberry-delicious-nutritious-Perennial/dp/B01G9YVNKQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=lawn-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1497850461&sr=1-1&refinements=p_n_feature_three_browse-bin%3A2969337011#Ask)
 
The description of Cory's Thornless Mammoth Blackberries in some news article from 1916 seems to be pretty similar to these enormous things...
 
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71rSCBO9UeL._SL1001_.jpg)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: FantasyWriter on June 19, 2017, 07:56:42 AM
Non mine unfortunately, but this is another MS homesteader/vlogger whom I follow on youtube.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkQWgiBf-Yw&feature=push-u-sub&attr_tag=uwFF83GA4CiqOJHn-6
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 19, 2017, 08:16:44 AM
We can't stop here! This is bat country!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 19, 2017, 10:07:49 AM
Not very good reviews, but is this them? (https://www.amazon.com/Thornless-Blackberry-delicious-nutritious-Perennial/dp/B01G9YVNKQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=lawn-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1497850461&sr=1-1&refinements=p_n_feature_three_browse-bin%3A2969337011#Ask)
 
The description of Cory's Thornless Mammoth Blackberries in some news article from 1916 seems to be pretty similar to these enormous things...
 
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71rSCBO9UeL._SL1001_.jpg)

Cory's Thornless IS a wilt resistant variety. I hadn't found any of those either. And blackberries (berries/fruits in general) are hard to propagate from seed, I believe.

THE SEARCH IS ON NOW. *rolls up sleeves*
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on June 19, 2017, 03:30:06 PM
It's been raining almost every day so I barely have to do anything except watch for pests and harvest yummies.

I have mixed feelings about this. I love spending time out there, but there's not much to do now!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 19, 2017, 07:39:04 PM
Raining every day here too.  I'm annoyed because we can't get pipe laid up the hill when it's muddy, even with a 4wd tractor.  So we've got 500' of garden hose to come up to the cabin for now.

But the rain sure dumps down the heat for a bit and that's welcome.

Everyone was telling us that because of our steep hill, we'd have no pressure.  I did the math and was sure they were wrong.  But it just blew the side out of a brand new medium-duty garden hose.  I didn't expect -that-.

Time for a pressure reducer and a hose repair kit...
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on June 20, 2017, 12:03:51 AM
Pouring rain every day in florida, as well.

Does think link work, y'all?
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-rjoeAQKJNpSVU4Z1QtV082SGc


If so, It is my family's lot down south. When I visited, I harvested 10 coconuts, about 100 mangos of 3 different cultivars, tons of clippings.

The avocados and ackee are all too young to harvest. I was too late for the custard-apple. The Jackfruit tree is fruiting for the first time EVER. I am too early for the eggfruit tree. Too early for the Rambutan. Idk about the starfruit. I forget when that fruits. And there is one tree that makes these weird little green-yellow-orange-red fruits with a skin like a grape and a big seed, that has not yet fruited this year.

I'll go back in a couple months for avocados.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 20, 2017, 11:41:55 AM

You know what bothers me about South Florida?

LAWNS.

It's pretty much the only tropical growing climate in the continental United States. Every square inch of it ought to be devoted to tropical agriculture.

I freaked out looking at those pictures. There should be more of that!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on June 20, 2017, 11:48:11 AM
I'm with you. There are many lots in suburbia that look like that; most of them are owned by hispanic families or islanders, but not all. These trees (for the most part) were started by an old Jamaican man named Oroville about 20 years ago, but he has since passed.

Btw, I didnt mention, all of my sugar cane are dead. :(
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 20, 2017, 12:34:40 PM
I loooooove starfruit!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: FantasyWriter on June 20, 2017, 12:42:42 PM

You know what bothers me about South Florida?

LAWNS.

It's pretty much the only tropical growing climate in the continental United States. Every square inch of it ought to be devoted to tropical agriculture.

I freaked out looking at those pictures. There should be more of that!

Sic Ron Finley on them. :D
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 20, 2017, 02:49:59 PM
I think it's pissed...

(http://www.dogwoodmists.com/Refugee/pepper8b.png)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on June 20, 2017, 02:57:01 PM
Holy shit. That is an angry fucking bunny! hahaha.

(https://i.imgur.com/tCf4Q10.jpg)

I have a few more bags of mangos in the house. I am tweaking on fruit, guys.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 20, 2017, 04:00:44 PM
Maybe it's the Son of the Rabbit of Caerbannog.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 20, 2017, 05:52:23 PM
It's official. Besides the tomatoes I bought at Lowe's, and about 5 I planted on my own...

I have no idea what the rest of them are. Heh.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: FantasyWriter on June 20, 2017, 07:28:45 PM
I want to start doing this.... https://youtu.be/SqbY9M13ggg
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 20, 2017, 07:34:28 PM
What a great idea!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: FantasyWriter on June 21, 2017, 07:45:48 AM
I am SO BAD about not labling varieties.  Makes it that much more exciting and fun when you start getting fruit/veg, though!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on June 21, 2017, 10:02:09 AM

I keep meticulous records in a book about what is where. I'm a fanatic about it.

But then I lose the book.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 21, 2017, 04:41:08 PM
So, I just discovered a treasure trove of wild blackberries on the road near my mom's house.

And they all have the wilt, lolol.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: FantasyWriter on June 22, 2017, 07:50:00 AM
Someone was asking/concerened about the extremely low price of the county owned land I was talking about last week.  After further investigation, I know more about the process...

Once you find a property you want,  you put a bid in to the county at, over or under their asking price ($50, for this example).
With the bid, you give them a money order or cashiers check for the purchase price (a deposit for properties over $10,000) and a $200 processing and advertising fee.  They run a notice in the local paper for two days, stating the address and your bid amount.
Anyone who wants can put a counter offer in, and if anyone does, they auction the property off in a closed session with the people who put in bids/deposits (including the +$200).  You are given a full refund if they accept another bid.
So, it's a little more complicated and expensive than I originally though, but still advantageous if you can take advantage of the properties listed.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 22, 2017, 10:25:06 PM
Three cukes, four banana peppers.

I've probably harvested ... 20 lbs of beans by now, and maybe 3 or more of blueberries.

And maybe about 3 of strawberries - they're finally kicking it into high gear, w00t.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on June 22, 2017, 10:42:28 PM
So jealous. Next year I want strawberries for sure!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on June 22, 2017, 10:43:41 PM
I've probably harvested ... 20 lbs of beans by now, and maybe 3 or more of blueberries.

And maybe about 3 of strawberries - they're finally kicking it into high gear, w00t.

Ughhh thats hot.

Textual harvest porn. :D
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 23, 2017, 01:41:37 PM
(http://i.imgur.com/M90fVrD.jpg)

Beans - Contender, Blue Lake, Kentucky Bush, and Weekender French. The Weekender is probably my favorite.
Yellow Crookneck Squash
Ortolano di Faenza Zuke that became a little warped. It was buried under a pile of leaves and stuff, so it looks sickly, but it'll eat well. It's heavy, for being so malformed and ugly.

This is just from today! Plus a bowl full of blueberries that my children devoured instantaneously. They both fought and cried over it.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on June 23, 2017, 02:57:53 PM
Basil and greenbeans harvested.. it's been raining almost every day here. Okra is blooming, marigolds are flowering, and I've got several baby cukes growing on the vines. My poor struggling garden is finally taking off!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 23, 2017, 03:54:14 PM
I have a sad little basil plant that hangs out underneath a squash plant's shade.

It tastes kinda minty.

I don't recall which variety of basil I planted in that exact location.

Aren't cucumbers great!? They're so easy to grow. I don't think I've ever had a cucumber not germinate. My favorite variety is Dragon's Egg. It is SO FUCKING CUTE.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: FantasyWriter on June 23, 2017, 10:27:57 PM
I placed a bid on the second property in that block with the county.  There is one other person. If they drop out, it's mine for $173 total, closing included. Otherwise, he and I will have a private auction with a county official Monday. I will know by Monday, either way.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on June 24, 2017, 05:56:46 PM
Good luck, FW!

Decided to try to grow a few custard-apple trees. Pilfered a wheel-barrow of rich dirt from the quarry's edge, got it all muddy. Busted open a dried custard apple and got the seeds. threw a bunch into the pots. Lets see what happens.

Btw i love cats.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-rjoeAQKJNpS0VyV01OaEkzbkU
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 24, 2017, 09:36:51 PM
You guys grow things I never heard of.  I had to look them up!

Dragon's egg cucumbers!  Do they taste like usual cucumbers?

Good luck, FW.

Never saw anything like those custard apples.  Good luck with that.

My bunnies are just 2 weeks old and already getting out of the nest.  It had just been the same one at first.  But this morning four were out.  I think they are being dragged out by mama, unwilling to let go of her when she leaves.  So I turned the nest box on its side and they are all eight coming and going at will.  Poor mama can't get any rest.  I hope she realizes she can still climb up on top the nest box.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 24, 2017, 09:51:26 PM
I never get any rest, either. I feel the mama bunny's pain. Except ... I have far less children.

And yes! I think the Dragon's Egg cukes are a little sweeter and are less prone to the bitterness that a Straight Eight or Marketmore can give you.

I pulled a cuke with its prickles still on off the vine - it wasn't very big yet - and it still was bitter as I am. Blech.

They also grow well in containers, so long as you have a support system for them!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 25, 2017, 01:21:59 PM
Accidentally harvested my first tomato.

Chocolate Cherry F1. It was sweet, despite still being a little green!

I'll edit this post to put a link up in a lil bit.

Chocolate Cherry F1, 6/25/17 https://imgur.com/a/F1WfO
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: FantasyWriter on June 25, 2017, 03:22:56 PM
I let my brown russian cucumbers (what you are calling dragon egg, I think) get very large, and they were still nice and sweet.
 
I will definitely be growing them again once I have the space.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 25, 2017, 04:00:52 PM
Nope! Mine are all white. :)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 25, 2017, 04:14:40 PM
Oh, I think they changed the name of that hybrid because there was an heirloom named Chocolate Cherry. Heh.

Mine's actually Chocolate Sprinkles, I believe.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on June 26, 2017, 06:44:43 PM
(https://i.imgur.com/WFSwyJv.jpg)
Indigo Milkcap
(https://i.imgur.com/gWl0xGd.jpg)
Isn't that a pretty shade of blue?
(https://i.imgur.com/Klye2Xc.jpg)
So, I made rumtopf with some of the fruit I have on hand; the fruit that is ripening faster than I could eat. There is a liter of 100 proof rum in each jar. I wanted something seriously overproof, but the only other option at the liquor store in town was a 151 proof that was dark brown. No thanks.
Mango on the left, and coconut+strawberry on the right.
coke for size ref.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 27, 2017, 11:39:35 AM
Someone tried to extol Japanese beetle's existence on Facebook.

I might've gotten a thread shut down because I told her that while she was taking the moral high ground, the Japanese beetles would be laughing at her come the apocalypse when she saved them all only to end up starving because they ate all her fuckin' veggie plants.

Yeah. I'm sorry. They might be important to a Japanese ecosystem, but they're not here.

God, I hate people. Just stick me in a garden all day and night and I'll be happy.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 29, 2017, 04:50:18 PM
(http://i.imgur.com/VmtU2L6.jpg)

Lil harvest today. I want my bigger tomatoes to get some color. Wah.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: FantasyWriter on June 30, 2017, 08:15:53 AM
(https://scontent.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/19511285_10155224375620837_3894985794627023365_n.jpg?oh=cccdd38e9837a58fe69aac9a8573e7b4&oe=59C3F8A6)

Who need a few packs of seeds for next year?  I just got three and a half shopping backs backed full of seeds from Lowe's that we were going to throw away. Probably close to 500-600 packs, and I'll mail an envelope full to anyone who wants them.

I'll try to get them sorted and post a list of what I have sometime this weekend.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: FantasyWriter on June 30, 2017, 08:30:20 AM
Errr, next week, more likely, have to work all weekend.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 30, 2017, 08:55:44 AM
Me please!
 :o
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on June 30, 2017, 01:02:56 PM
Me me me me me me

Whatcha got?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on June 30, 2017, 01:28:34 PM
Awwww yisssss.

FW gots the goooods!

I'm good with anything suitable for zones 8a/b and 9a/b.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: FantasyWriter on June 30, 2017, 01:51:25 PM
Got some of everything. several varieties in many cases. Would you guys prefer surprise grab bags?
Peas, long beans, radishes, tomatoes, sweet peppers, chilis, corn, lettuces, spinish, kale (no mustard collar or turnips), melons squash pumpkins I think that covers about everything.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on June 30, 2017, 02:55:32 PM
yesplz
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: FantasyWriter on June 30, 2017, 03:00:05 PM
Send me your Addy in a PM, Melkor. (and anyone else who would prefer a surprise grab bag)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 30, 2017, 07:18:05 PM
If you have anything extra after all these kids, you know me! And you have my address, I think, still!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: FantasyWriter on June 30, 2017, 08:07:02 PM
I checked and I do.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on July 01, 2017, 08:56:28 AM

There is only one rum, and it's name is Myer's.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on July 04, 2017, 02:56:42 PM
(http://i.imgur.com/kBCMeT9.jpg)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on July 04, 2017, 03:00:23 PM
Mmm. Those are fine-lookin longbeans.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on July 07, 2017, 04:25:22 PM
Fucking squash vine borers.

I'm milky sporing everything next year.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on July 07, 2017, 06:26:28 PM
(http://i.imgur.com/1VtGMEJ.jpg)

(http://i.imgur.com/ixbLb7M.jpg)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on July 07, 2017, 07:03:16 PM
What is that?  The last one.  Little tomato?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on July 07, 2017, 09:04:37 PM
Indigo Rose!

It was okay. Tasted like a tomato. The other ones in the prior photo are much, much better.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on July 08, 2017, 01:44:10 PM
4 weeks old.

(http://www.dogwoodmists.com/Refugee/Babies 4 weeks old.jpg)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on July 08, 2017, 07:21:35 PM
The kids shouted, "JUDY!"

Maybe they've watched too much Zootopia.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on July 08, 2017, 08:19:40 PM
I had to google that...lol.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on July 08, 2017, 09:11:24 PM
You should watch the movie! It's super cute.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on July 08, 2017, 10:03:10 PM
*grimace*
I don't do much super-cute movie watching anymore!  That's one of the perqs of being between the times when your children are grown and the grandchildren arrive!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: FantasyWriter on July 11, 2017, 01:43:03 AM
Lightweight, low-shade row covers are awesome for squash borers, Boog.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on July 11, 2017, 01:51:39 AM
You should watch the movie! It's super cute.

That sloth killed me.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: FantasyWriter on July 11, 2017, 06:40:05 AM
Sorry that I haven't gotten the seed grab bags mailed out yet. On top of my two jobs and trying to get a fence line cleared on the new property, I've had a tooth dental abscess that has been giving me hell for three weeks which will be pulled today, thank God. I'll try to get around to it sorting and organizing my stash somehow this weekend if not before, and share the bounty.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on July 11, 2017, 08:23:17 AM
 8)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on July 12, 2017, 11:30:13 AM
Lightweight, low-shade row covers are awesome for squash borers, Boog.

This would work if I planted in rows! :( But I don't. I intensively plant polycultures so I don't have to crop rotate. :/ I might have to change that, though, because I know that this works, and it works on brassicas for slugs, too. I just don't have multiple beds - I have one medium sized bed.

I had NO idea what these bugs looked like. I glanced at one that was on a corn leaf and thought, "Huh. I've never seen your bitch ass before," and smacked it away.

IF I ONLY KNEW.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on July 14, 2017, 01:11:51 PM
What is this tree?  It is planted on the south edge of a small flat area that shows signs of having at one time had a settler's cabin or something.  It's quite a tall tree, over 50', the pictures don't do it justice.  The leaves look like catalpa but there's no beans, instead there are these pod things.

(http://www.dogwoodmists.com/Refugee/catalpa1.jpg)
(http://www.dogwoodmists.com/Refugee/catalpa2.jpg)
(http://www.dogwoodmists.com/Refugee/catalpa3.jpg)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on July 14, 2017, 01:43:24 PM
Looks like an Empress Tree to me, bud.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on July 14, 2017, 01:52:53 PM
I think you might be right.  Never heard of that.  Someone must've brought it in here years ago and planted it.  Nobody who comes here recognizes it.  It's a lovely huge spreading shade tree.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on July 14, 2017, 02:09:24 PM
Does the whole thing get covered in beautiful flowers? This is a trait of the empress tree.

It is an invasive ornamental in the US. Very pretty, though. And, as you said, a great shade-tree.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on July 14, 2017, 03:08:45 PM
Yes, very pretty.  I was reading that about it being invasive and I wonder why it's the only one of its kind there.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: manipura on July 14, 2017, 03:57:29 PM
Apparently some varieties of the tree are noninvasive.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on July 14, 2017, 04:23:22 PM
That would be lucky!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: FantasyWriter on July 15, 2017, 11:06:43 AM
Lightweight, low-shade row covers are awesome for squash borers, Boog.

This would work if I planted in rows! :( But I don't. I intensively plant polycultures so I don't have to crop rotate. :/ I might have to change that, though, because I know that this works, and it works on brassicas for slugs, too. I just don't have multiple beds - I have one medium sized bed.

I had NO idea what these bugs looked like. I glanced at one that was on a corn leaf and thought, "Huh. I've never seen your bitch ass before," and smacked it away.

IF I ONLY KNEW.

Will still work, just cover individual plants. ;)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on July 16, 2017, 07:24:58 PM
(http://www.dogwoodmists.com/Refugee/Holly babies.jpg)
First time mama, 10 fat little Californian babies.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on July 17, 2017, 04:11:08 AM
Yeah ref! Congratz on the healthy lookin litter.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on July 17, 2017, 04:45:56 PM
Lol a pot that i threw all of last year's native persimmon seeds in just shot up about 20 seedlings. score. I'm going to flood the pot so i can safely pull each seedling out of the slurry, then transplant them into cups.

After a heavy rain yesterday, I had sweet potato slips shooting up in like 10 places. I went to go cut them and plant them in other spots today.... 8 of em were gone. Motherfucking armadillos. They are fucking dead. I dont give a fuck that my woman named one Henry. They are dead.

*deep breath*

I cut the remaining slips and buried them in a portion of my property with decent soil that is growing a field of shepherd's needle. I think that might be my sweet potato patch. It is about 20'x20', except there is a big fucking boulder dead center in the ground. I need to get around to renting an earth mover.

My olive tree that I bought off a friend a year back is FINALLY showing new growth! I am so damn excited!

A couple loquat saplings that had died back to sticks are also showing growth!

Yesterday, I went to the local farmer's market and bought a White Malanga tuber (Taro), and a Cassava tuber(yuca, with 1 c, not 2), a few small brown potatos and I shoved them in the dirt.

Potatoes,Sweet potatoes, Yuca, Taro, the wild bullnettle.... 

I am going to be the root king. Fear me.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on July 17, 2017, 06:30:31 PM
Fucking POS lawnmower. WHAT DO YOU NEED?!?

Thats it. I'm buying a fucking Scythe.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on July 17, 2017, 07:17:33 PM
My mom's riding lawnmower has broken 10 times this year. 10 fucking times.

The guy she bought it from told her to contact him if she needed anything. She had her boyfriend bring it to him. He looked him up and down and said, "Don't ever come back here, n..."

So, it's been a terror ever since and keeps breaking.

Why not buy one of those old fashioned, scythey lawn mowers? Those are fun as fuck to push, and a bitch to clean. Mind your fingers.  ;D
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on July 17, 2017, 07:33:30 PM
Man, good luck with your lawn mower issues guys!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on July 17, 2017, 08:29:58 PM
Spark plug is good. Intake is good. Cleaned out the carb and the fuel lines. Replaced the gas and the oil.

Got it running for a solid 10 minutes to mow my front and sides of my lawn before it took a shit again. I think my issue may be with the float valve.

Prob gonna get a scythe anyway.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on July 17, 2017, 10:44:50 PM
ahem (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00004RA3F/ref=asc_df_B00004RA3F5080064/?tag=hyprod-20&creative=394997&creativeASIN=B00004RA3F&linkCode=df0&hvadid=198060922766&hvpos=1o1&hvnetw=g&hvrand=16640612061243500419&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9010943&hvtargid=pla-343143228714)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on July 17, 2017, 11:02:43 PM
I would buy a reel mower, but they cannot handle tall growth; using a scythe is almost cathartic, swaying back and fourth with little effort in a pendulous motion as you shuffle forward. Plus, with a scythe, all tall growth is easily harvested, meaning I could walk my ass out to a field i know of, harvest a ton of tall grass, tie it up, lug it home, and compost all of it.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on July 18, 2017, 12:06:53 AM
There is something delightful about taking a blade to something invasive. I look forward to using the machete on the bamboo every year.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on July 19, 2017, 07:19:44 PM
Disaster struck at work, so I will have to stay a little late and come in a little early for the rest of the week. Shrug, more money for me.

I just ordered a scythe with this money :)

Not the most expensive one I could find, but it should do fine. We shall see.
V excited. Back to work with thoughts of "swish, swish, swish" and a long pile of grass to my left.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on July 21, 2017, 08:26:27 PM
I fed my mother's boyfriend, ahahaha, a bunch of people from her church (I don't know how she passes it out there), ten of her patients and five coworkers with my garden.

The biggest hits are the unusual colored tomatoes (which renal patients shouldn't be eating, but some of them sneak them away, so I'm told) and the yard long beans. I'll definitely be growing the yard long beans next year, but man, I need to look up why ants that sting are all over them all the time! The zucchini and summer squash were really loved ... before the borers destroyed every fucking plant, plus a few of my cuke plants.

The Sweet Tangerine tomatoes have a great flavor but a lot of them tend to be watery, even though I do not overwater or even close to that; I put the drip on for a half hour (which sometimes doesn't even soak the ground) every other day or so. The Indigo Rose crack a lot at the shoulders, but it has a good, classic tomato flavor. The Garden Peach tomato is a novelty with its soft skin, but its flavor is sweetly bland -- it also seems to be very prone to EBR.

My favorite so far has been the hybrid cherry, Chocolate Sprinkles. Its plant size is manageable, it's healthy, and the fruit is tartly sweet. I'm tempted to try to de-hybridize it by saving a plethora of seeds this year and growing next year and isolating those that share parent characteristics over the years. :x
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on July 21, 2017, 08:36:50 PM
My okra plants are getting enormous.

It makes me happy.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on July 21, 2017, 09:40:55 PM
My fuckin' eggplant has FINALLY set flowers, but no fruit.

UGH.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on July 22, 2017, 04:23:22 PM
I'm praying for an Arctic winter so all these fucking bugs and their grubs die miserably chilly deaths.

Cucumber beetles, squash borers, tomato hornworms, cabbage moths, fuck off. -_-

At least my compost bin is doing well.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on July 22, 2017, 04:34:30 PM
Ducks are good for bugs without tearing up your plants like chickens do.  They are entertaining too, and not hard to keep in like the master bug catchers, guinea fowl.  They poop a lot though.  There's always something...
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on July 22, 2017, 07:20:01 PM
My mom won't let me have anything nice. :( LIKE FEATHERED PETS.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on July 23, 2017, 08:24:53 PM
Super strange:

On one side only of my garden, all the tomatoes I've planted, transplanted, or cloned, have double stems. Most of them are still too small to tell if their fruits will be double blossomed too, but there are two plants WITH fruit, and I've had double blossoms and bad cases of cat-facing on one, while the other doesn't and appears perfectly fine besides the double, not a sucker, stem.

It's so strange! All the other tomatoes are just fine on the other half of the garden. Also, they're all different varieties!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on July 24, 2017, 11:41:30 AM
8 survivors.  One got stepped on and one starved.  Pretty good for a first time mom.
(http://www.dogwoodmists.com/Refugee/8 days.png)

Here's my first litter.  They're about a month away from my freezer.  All 8 of those survived, but she was a very experienced doe.
(http://www.dogwoodmists.com/Refugee/growouts.png)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on July 24, 2017, 12:10:10 PM
Eek. Cute. I hope they're also scrumptious.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on July 24, 2017, 12:17:29 PM
They're adorable.

Then they turn into asshole teenagers which makes it easier to slaughter lol.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on July 24, 2017, 01:16:35 PM
Can I slaughter my kids when they become shitty teenagers?

Kidding.

...Kinda.

How do you do it? Killing them? I've seen someone yank a rabbit's skin off and sometimes it also guts it. I'm just curious as to how they're butchered. Since stress can make meat bitter, right? Rabbits ALWAYS seem stressed. Heh.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on July 24, 2017, 02:00:43 PM
[People who do not want to read about bunny executions should stop now]

Stress will make the meat taste not as good, so you avoid that as much as you can.  If you want to spend the money there are tools to make it easier.
https://theoriginalhopperpopper.com/Hopper_Popper/ (https://theoriginalhopperpopper.com/Hopper_Popper/)
http://www.bunnyrancher.com/store/p42/The_Ballista_-_Penetrating_Bolt_Gun_.html (http://www.bunnyrancher.com/store/p42/The_Ballista_-_Penetrating_Bolt_Gun_.html)

A lot of people like that Hopper Popper.  I was gonna buy the ballista but I've decided I don't want to spend the money yet.  Maybe next year.  This year's money goes to make basics work.  But I think that ballista would be good for someone like me who's crippled up and can't stand very long.

Some people shoot them in the head.  Set them down before a little pile of treats and just put the barrel there.  .22s have gotten hard to get though sometimes, so I don't want to do that.  A lot of folks use .22 pellets with an air rifle.  I'd be worried not to get the job done the first time and causing pain, so I'm leery of that.  I raise them clean and healthy and respected and I want to end them that way too.

Quite a few people hold them by the back feet and whack them in the head just so.  But if you do that wrong or they move at the right time, you will have to do it again and they will suffer.  So I won't do that.

Broomsticking is my choice for now.  Carry them and put them down someplace with some sunflower seeds or something, put a broomstick down over their neck, step on it and pull their back feet up at the same time.  No pain, no stress, instant death.  They don't know what is happening.

Then you cut off the head (if it is still attached, sometimes it's not, they're pretty fragile), and hang them up to drain, then skin.  The skin comes off easy compared to a lot of animals.  Should not have the guts come out at the same time IMO!  You want to keep good control of the guts so you don't get any of their contents on your meat.  Then you put the carcass in a cooler and go to the next one.

There's lots of videos on YouTube showing how to dispatch and butcher them.  It's really the best small-space, low-effort meat production you can do I think.  A way to make sure your food is ethically produced.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on July 24, 2017, 02:52:03 PM
I'll have to look it all up on YouTube.

I watched Joel Salatin killing chickens and I cried. Bunnies are slightly more obnoxious to.me than chickens, though, so I might have less attachment to them.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on July 24, 2017, 04:03:08 PM
When I was in 1st and 2nd grade I stayed before and after school with this lady who had a mean rooster.  I remember the rooster as about the same height as me, of course that's impossible, but that's how I remember it.  That thing would chase me any time it saw me and I was terrified of it.  I was the only kid on the place and I was the only thing it would attack that I remember!  Oh, I hated that rooster.

One day she decided to kill it and I was ecstatic.  We went up the hill to the woodshed and she laid its neck over a log and chopped off its head.  And that headless son of a bitch got up and chased me again!  I don't think my feet touched the ground all the way to the kitchen door, and I wouldn't go outside the rest of the day.

That's 50 years ago.  I remember it -clearly-.  Might be the scariest thing that ever happened to me before having children (nothing can terrify you like the shit that happens with your kids).

Chickens are assholes lol.

Next on my list to integrate into my homestead though.





Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on July 24, 2017, 04:35:08 PM
I missed out a lot in my 3 day ban. Happy to be back. I'm sticking to this gardening thread, now.

Boog, happy to hear you are feeding the peoples. I am almost positive your odd growth pattern is due to sunlight. When a plant will grow outwards (two stalks) instead of upwards (one stalk) it means they are getting enough sunlight, so they do not grow UP to reach for it. I bet the ones that grow outward get more hours of light than the ones that grow up. Test my hypothesis for me, okay? Just pop out on the hour one day and make a note of which ones have shade, it may come down to the very beginning and very end of the day, if they are out in the open.

Refugee, those are some fine little hoppers! Good for you! Not to tempt you, but their meat for the next month or 2 (how ever little there may be) is probably like butter..... Baby animals always taste the best. (evil, I know)

[look away if you do not want to read about animals being killed for the slaughter]

I really like that broomstick trick you mentioned, seems very smart. I wouldn't waste a .22 round on a domestic rabbit, though. All the small meat-animals I've ever put down/seen others put down have always been with a broken neck, either just pulling straight down while holding the legs (its what I would do with a rabbit), or swinging the animal in a circle, as is done with chickens and ducks.

I -hear- you on the mean rooster bit, though. I think there is something about young boys and getting into scraps with territorial roosters. They are so strong, and sharp! They really are velociraptors.

Waiting for my Taro and Yuca roots to shoot up some slips. Fingers crossed that they dont rot in the ground.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on July 24, 2017, 05:05:29 PM
Welcome back! 

Yeah, the BS with .22s the last year or so has really changed how I perceive their value.  And since it's primarily a training round, I'm a little paranoid about why it happened too.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on July 24, 2017, 05:09:22 PM
Florida's .22 shortage was from 2011-2014. We have plenty, now, but I still consider them ridiculously valuable.

Tell me something, other than MASSIVE game animals, what can you /not/ kill with a .22?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on July 24, 2017, 05:29:10 PM
Wellll....only massive game animals and maybe even them if you do it just right.

But it's a lot harder with my 10/22 than my SKS to kill anything bigger than a rabbit.


Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on July 24, 2017, 05:45:11 PM
oh, for sure, but its doable. this is where the value lies.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on July 24, 2017, 05:48:16 PM
I'll grant your point grudgingly but it's impractical.  You'd choose just about anything else.  Unless you're close enough to use a club.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on July 24, 2017, 05:51:18 PM
Of course. My round of choice for game bigger than turkey is the 7.62x54R.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on July 24, 2017, 06:09:19 PM
Sweet.  7.62×39mm is the biggest thing I have in rifles.  I want to get something bigger when I've got unbudgeted cash. 

But my SKS has a grenade launcher and a bayonet  :)  That's pretty cool.





Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on July 24, 2017, 06:43:00 PM
Bayonets are cool, for sure. The Mosins have that foot-long spike bayonet. Turns your rifle into a War Spear. :)

I had one I bought at 16 years old, had a gunsmith drill and tap the receiver and mount a scope to the side (because the bold and breach open UP, not to the side).

Unfortunately, my father sold it out from under me, one year. Long story. I've been meaning to replace it for a while.
They used to go for 90 bucks a rifle, until Cabellas and a few other retailers bought up hundreds of thousands of them some years back. Now, you can get a cheap one for 250, and a mint one for 350. Still very affordable for a sub-MOA rifle.
You can pick up big sardine-tins with ~500 rounds (they have corrosive primers) of ammo for less than 100 bucks, compare that to the price of a .308 round.
Maintenance is easy, but very stiff.

SKS are fine weapons, too.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on July 24, 2017, 06:56:56 PM
I like the SKS but I want something bigger for deer and in case a bear comes bothering my animals. 

I forgot, we have a .50 Hawken black powder.  That'd knock something big on its ass.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on July 24, 2017, 07:07:51 PM
Yeah, man. Go for the m91/30 Mosin Nagant. Best rifle ever made, IMO. Ivhevsk armory weapons are supposedly better than the Tula armory ones. you'll know them by the hammer and sickle within a triangle stamped onto the receiver; Tula is a star.

Hooooo boy, I bet that thing is fun. I've only fired a blackpowder rifle on two occasions, at the range. I've never hunted with one. I always feel like a colonial soldier when I see the puff of smoke in front of me :)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on July 24, 2017, 08:47:12 PM
I grew up shooting rifles and handguns. I'm not an amazing aim, but I'm alright. As a kid I would help my dad clean his hunting rifles and make bullets. Long story short, I've had tons of exposure and a decent amount of education.

.... but I do not like guns.

I can't explain it. It's just a visceral, "nope nope nope" reaction I get whenever I hold them and I'd just rather not.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on July 24, 2017, 09:00:03 PM
I suspect that comes from how you see them, and their purpose. I see them like I see a chainsaw, as a dangerous tool. You use a firearm to feed your family, or, in the worst of scenarios, protect your family.

My father sees them as weapons, but he saw many decades of combat.

I suppose if my relationship to firearms was one of recreation, I probably would think they were pretty dangerous for recreation, but not nearly as dangerous as an automobile.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on July 24, 2017, 09:49:01 PM
I'm fine with people not liking them.  They're pretty necessary if you are going to live out in the sticks though.  You can't count on anyone else to help you in time to do any good if your farm is beset by coyotes or meth heads.  Sometimes you need to put down an injured animal or shoot a copperhead.  And most of us use them to put food on the table.

I like them.  I don't have anything much good now but I have had fine firearms in the past and having them hang on my walls was like having fine art.  But they are things.  Like a nice car or a nice boat.  They don't have any soul or mind or anything.  They are just machines like the keyboard I'm using right now.  I can use that to hurt someone too but it's on me whether I do or not and really has nothing to do with the keyboard.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on July 25, 2017, 01:28:43 PM
Yeah I don't have anything against guns. I was more ruminating on the oddness of my visceral reaction to them. Obviously, I would be a terrible homesteader.

I'm losing the battle for my green beans, the leaves are all going rusty-looking. But my okra plants are making up the difference. A couple monster pods escaped my notice until they were longer than my hand but yet somehow they're still tender. Fried okra tonight!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on July 25, 2017, 01:52:35 PM
When I fry okra, i use beer in my batter, makes it puff up when you fry it. :)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on July 25, 2017, 05:50:03 PM
Fruitworms. Hornworms. Anything other than earthworms can rot in hell.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on July 31, 2017, 10:37:36 PM
Yo everyone, lets all take pictures of a cross-section of the soils we are working with, either your bed, your lawn, your land, whatever. Take an angled stab with your shovel, trowel or hori and bend upward to expose the soil for a picture.

I'll take mine in the next couple of days.

....Rate my soil thread.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on July 31, 2017, 11:51:01 PM
Mine's horrid! I've had less than a year to do anything with it.

I have gross red clay. :(
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on August 01, 2017, 12:09:57 AM
Mine's horrid! I've had less than a year to do anything with it.

I have gross red clay. :(
But I think it sounds interesting, and I will do it.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on August 01, 2017, 12:47:24 AM
Boog, no worries! The NE portion of my property has horrible rocky limestone soil, where as the south is a deliciously thick forest loam. I just wanna see other soil profiles in the world! It'll be fun.

Yeah, Ref!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Cind on August 01, 2017, 05:28:46 AM
Our green beans are dead. So are our cucumbers. Planting them in bunny poo did wonders. Bunnies give you cheap fertilizer if you're ever interested in raising some for your gardening. Also I love my bunny. When I come up and say "Bunny!" he hops around his little cage with energy.

We have comparables to prove it. One set of green beans with bunny poo was green, poofy and good. The other was a moderate green and not too poofy. Its too late for pictures.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on August 01, 2017, 01:08:32 PM
Bunny poop is golden.  You don't even have to let it cure before using it like you do other poops.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on August 02, 2017, 02:13:52 PM
https://imgur.com/a/LNpob
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on August 02, 2017, 03:01:45 PM
Boog! There is a lot of good organic material inside your red clay! Looks fertile to me.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on August 02, 2017, 03:17:46 PM
That was the good half of the garden. I lasagna gardened it over last winter until this spring! I put cardboard down, gotten from the boys' father's job, then dumped a bunch of soil and compost and dead leaves and manure on top.

It did a lot better than the other half of the garden which only rotted for about, well, half the time.

But I tried hard! Lasagna gardening is cool. I'd love to try core gardening next year, but that means I gotta find someone with cheap or free straw. Or hay. Whichever one doesn't have seeds.

Or some dead logs. Hrm. That's probably more likely as we need to get a couple of trees out of my mom's yard.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on August 02, 2017, 03:57:43 PM
Yeah that looks pretty good all right!  I forgot about this little project, I'll try to get to it today.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on August 02, 2017, 04:17:50 PM
I need some more poop for the winter.

Lololol
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on August 02, 2017, 07:43:32 PM
Stupidest thing I read today.  On a meat rabbit group on FB...

Is it all right to breed brother and sister?
Answer:  Would you screw your brother?  It's not really moral.

OMG.  What a stupid answer.  It's rabbits....

Sometimes I just want to punch someone in the nose. 

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on August 02, 2017, 07:50:51 PM
Heh. Leave it to FB for the stupid.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on August 02, 2017, 08:27:30 PM
Seriously....rabbit morals...

The answer of course is all about genetics.  If you're going to eat 100% of the offspring, it's fine, but if you want to keep any for breeding, it's problematic because of the likelihood of undesirable traits.  Better to breed parent/offspring than full siblings to perpetuate traits you like. 



Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on August 02, 2017, 08:36:16 PM
It's okay. I made a vegan super angry because I asked him what my nut/wheat/soy allergic kid was supposed to eat for protein.

Fuck Facebook some days.

Though these two cute guys added me on Facebook and that was nice. And they're humans and not bots, lolol

Back to gardening though. I'm hoping that smaller yellow tom will go orange, because I BELIEVE it is supposed to be an Orange Russolini tomato. And they're so so good.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on August 03, 2017, 01:24:36 PM
Last fall we had about 5 acres bulldozed.  It was mostly covered with 6yo pine, and what wasn't was tangled up with blackberry briars of the same age.

We spread it kind of heavy with Kentucky 32 tall fescue.

Everything we cleared and seeded is now covered with ragweed.  Thriving, waist high, thickly growing ragweed.  It's as if our bags of seed were full of ragweed seed instead of grass seed.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on August 03, 2017, 01:41:22 PM
Do goats eat ragweed?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on August 03, 2017, 01:50:02 PM
I will never plant grass ever again. I'd rather just have a yard full of dead leaves and mulch. There's so much maintenance when it comes to a lawn and I am -not- that girl.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on August 03, 2017, 01:55:06 PM

Ragweed is a ruderal species, bud. If you cleared stuff, it's GOING to come in. The ragweed seed was probably waiting in the soil already. Some species, their seed can sit in the soil for over 90 years waiting for the ground to be cleared so it can sprout.

My current plant problem I'm working on is the Albizia tree. I need to have some sort of plan in place for when I clear to build our house, otherwise I'm going to see nothing but Albizia everywhere, making me not so good of a new neighbor.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on August 03, 2017, 03:12:55 PM
We declared war against it and the rough cut mower is hooked up to the ATV ready to go when the rains permit.

I've never seen this stuff grow like this.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on August 05, 2017, 09:08:58 PM
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B-rjoeAQKJNpS0xvTFJJNG92THM?usp=sharing

Took a bunch of pictures today. Many are of mushrooms that popped up affter the last few days of rain.
I took pictures of dirt on different portions of my land. North east is rocky limestone. North is clay. Central is good dirt. Lawn is fertile sand. A few pictures of the dog, as well. There are a couple pictures of a chunk of semi-open land on the NE portion of my lot, where my native persimmon tree grows (in the bad, limestone soil) So I transplanted 12 persimmon seedlings straight into the tilled up rocky dirt in that field. It just may turn into my persimmon orchard. :)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on August 05, 2017, 09:37:32 PM
I have some baby shrooms growing in my garden. Not too many since a lot of it is full sun, but...

And those mutant double stems are in the shadiest part of the garden. Fack.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on August 06, 2017, 03:06:20 PM
Fava beans, spinach, peas, lettuce, and cabbages going in today!

I want to buy some beet seeds. I think I might.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on August 06, 2017, 04:21:02 PM
https://imgur.com/a/aa0mn

a little more concise
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on August 06, 2017, 06:08:29 PM
https://imgur.com/a/KqLWY

I bought beet seeds. And some more pea seeds. And broccoli and cauliflower.

I planted some favas, peas, broccoli, beets, radishes, parsnips, and cauliflower today. And the phlox.

I planted some favas about 4-5 days ago and they're already sprouting. Super happy about that! Apparently you can make a mock hummus with them, so I'm down to try.

I'm fucking pooped.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on August 13, 2017, 07:52:30 PM
(https://i.imgur.com/PbGMSn8.jpg)
Dug up some of my white sweet potatoes. I'll eat a few, replant a few. Speaking of replanting...

(https://i.imgur.com/YusD2eE.jpg)
I think I am going to cut all of my sweet potato vines and slips off and plant this ~1.5 acre easement. Its a ways off through the woods, so I wont be tending this patch. It will be interesting to see how it fares.


Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on August 13, 2017, 08:12:48 PM
Some of those potatoes are obscene. Rofl.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on August 13, 2017, 10:04:58 PM
Lol, totally.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on August 13, 2017, 11:31:49 PM
If now is the season for late blight, it's here and it is decimating my crop.

Ugh. Only the strong survive. Knocked a few tomato varieties off my list for next year at least.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on August 13, 2017, 11:38:55 PM
Plant diseases suck. Pull the sick bits and burn them. Good luck.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on August 14, 2017, 09:12:11 AM
If now is the season for late blight, it's here and it is decimating my crop.

Ugh. Only the strong survive. Knocked a few tomato varieties off my list for next year at least.

It's not just the varieties but also how you are planting them and tending to them, most likely.

When we lived in blight infested Illinois I had to separate my plants by a distance of 2". Also I took care to wash my hands and tools when I moved from one bed to another to limit the spread. And finally, when watering, pour gently at the base of the plant, not splashing it about with the garden hose. The spores are in the soil and when you splash the soil it spreads them up to the leaves.

Pull ANY infected plants at the earliest signs and burn them.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on August 14, 2017, 02:28:58 PM
Yeah. I planted them a little too closely together. I'm always mindful of cross contamination, though, and I do rinse my tools every time I move from plant to plant. I should probably bring alcohol out with me.

I'll plant them wider next year. But these plants were very poor to begin with and I don't care for the tomatoes produced.

Oh! And I used drip tape, so there's no splashing. It's gotten cool (WEIRDLY) and has been very wet and moist lately though, so they haven't been able to dry out either. :/ Poor guys.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on August 14, 2017, 07:18:40 PM
(https://i.imgur.com/mfzQz1m.jpg)

The vines. I cut them into ~10 inch lengths and planted them everywhere. easily over 100 in all.

(https://i.imgur.com/E1iS2wO.jpg)

Turrible picture, but some of the vines are visible.

(https://i.imgur.com/irgZsuI.jpg)

mockernuts and a mockernut hickory

(https://i.imgur.com/zSiyraM.jpg)

muscadines.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on August 14, 2017, 09:11:41 PM
Oh, bleh. I hate muscadines. So much. *shudder*
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on August 14, 2017, 09:31:01 PM
The forest provides; who am I to be picky, ya know?

I recently started throwing new growth of shepherd's needle in with some spinach for salads. Kinda bitter, but not a bad green. I wonder how it will cook down with some cream.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on August 15, 2017, 11:11:11 AM
You can be picky. I'll eat nearly anything, but the tough skin and the smell of muscadines makes me absolutely queasy.

I'm gonna plant some mache when it gets chillier out. It's been a cool August so far. I'm waiting for September to strike back with a melting vengeance.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on August 15, 2017, 11:25:14 AM
Yeah. I planted them a little too closely together. I'm always mindful of cross contamination, though, and I do rinse my tools every time I move from plant to plant. I should probably bring alcohol out with me.

I'll plant them wider next year. But these plants were very poor to begin with and I don't care for the tomatoes produced.

Oh! And I used drip tape, so there's no splashing. It's gotten cool (WEIRDLY) and has been very wet and moist lately though, so they haven't been able to dry out either. :/ Poor guys.

Yeah, there's not much you can do in that weather. I had an old woman tell me once the blight was caused by my smoking in the garden. She was insistent that the blight was spread off of tobacco plants. So different gardeners vary in their level of "intervention".

I have not had the blight once here in West Texas, but there's no cool, wet days except in winter. Our bigger problems with tomatoes comes with the heat. The pollen liquefies at greater than 94 degrees F and it can hit that by 9am.

In November when I get to our new home I'll have to see which varieties work well in the wet heat. Year round growing season. Ooo raaa.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on August 15, 2017, 12:05:59 PM
Mortgage Lifter's done well. The hybrids I bought (as much as I LOATHE hybrids) have done well, too -- Chocolate Sprinkles and Indigo Rose.

San Marzano, Sweet Tangerine, Hillbilly all haven't fared so well. Weird on the latter, because it's meant for the wet heat.

My Debbie Blackburns and Anna Russians JUST NOW put out flowers, even though the latter is supposedly a 60-75 day tomato. I'm hoping to get a few before frost so I can save the seeds. :/

My cukes and squash have all been borered or beetled this year. I taped some of their stems up and the new ones I put out are doing well. I harvested a lil squashling the other day and I'm considering making a pie.

I'm looking forward to my fall garden. I want to ask a friend to borrow his chickens for a little while to let them eat the grubs before I turn it (mostly) to rest for the winter.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on August 15, 2017, 12:21:00 PM

Don't hate on hybrids. Every "heirloom" started out as a hybrid that consistently bred true.

I took hybrids and make my own "heirlooms". I call one the "Lunchtimer". It's little cherry tomatoes with the flavor and consistency of a Roma. Very prolific but smallish fruit and thrives on very little water.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on August 15, 2017, 12:33:32 PM
Remember these cuties?
(http://www.dogwoodmists.com/Refugee/8 days.png)

This is 3 weeks later.
(http://www.dogwoodmists.com/Refugee/holly baby 2.jpg)

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on August 15, 2017, 12:45:07 PM
Those rabbits are growing like weeds, man!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on August 15, 2017, 12:51:17 PM

Don't hate on hybrids. Every "heirloom" started out as a hybrid that consistently bred true.

I took hybrids and make my own "heirlooms". I call one the "Lunchtimer". It's little cherry tomatoes with the flavor and consistency of a Roma. Very prolific but smallish fruit and thrives on very little water.

You're right. I'm just not sure I have time to isolate the correct traits through trial and error. Stability is useful for me right now.

Some farm in CA DID stabilize Early Girl and renamed it Dirty Girl. I'm intrigued by it and might try to purchase seeds next year.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on August 15, 2017, 01:09:19 PM

The simple way to do it is to just keep gardening year after year and save seed from the plants that you like.

If you do that then you're guaranteed to have plants which thrive under BOOG'S hand, not some California based plant breeder's hand. Also plants which are going to thrive in YOUR microclimate, in your soil, etc.

I have done it by keeping charts of chromosomal traits and also the simple "just save the seed from the plants I like" and now I much prefer the simple method. It's guaranteed to improve your seed stock for your specific garden.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on August 15, 2017, 01:38:04 PM
Yeah! I've been saving some. So, we'll see. And hope.

Question though -- now that I've got you here. My pepper seeds went brown. Is that normal? I don't know how to save pepper seeds. Never have. But the fruit I harvested them from was very small.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on August 15, 2017, 01:51:54 PM
Yeah! I've been saving some. So, we'll see. And hope.

Question though -- now that I've got you here. My pepper seeds went brown. Is that normal? I don't know how to save pepper seeds. Never have. But the fruit I harvested them from was very small.

Which kind of pepper?

But no, they must have oxidized. They MIGHT be viable but it's not the kind of seed you want to save and risk.

Take a little ribbon or piece of yarn and tie it around the fruit you wish to save seed from and then let it completely ripen on the plant. If it falls off that's fine because the abscission layer will have withdrawn to allow that to happen, but when it falls off you want to grab it up, not let it sit out in the garden (mostly because something else will eat it).

I have little glass bottles I keep my saved seed in. Don't use plastic as it will attract moisture.

So I take the seed I'm going to save and I put it in the jar, but I keep at least 3 to 5 seeds out and wrap them in a moist paper towel for a few days. If the seed is viable, they'll germinate. If not, then you've got time to pick a different fruit.

Turning brown isn't a huge problem in itself, I think, as it just means you didn't dry the seed very carefully (maybe you can't in your environment) and some of the pepper's natural juices oxidized (like a peeled apple will oxidize). With peppers, I let the seed dry inside the husk rather than any other complex method. Then I just crush the whole husk and pick out the seeds.

Keep the seed bottles in your garage or some other place that isn't climate controlled. You don't want them getting too hot, but you want them to go through regular hot and cold cycles. For a lot of plants, that hot and cold cycle triggers internal seed activity to ready them for sprouting in the spring.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on August 15, 2017, 01:59:54 PM
Those rabbits are growing like weeds, man!
I'm really happy with this litter.  Broad backs, broad rumps.  Gonna be good eating there!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on August 15, 2017, 02:01:50 PM
They were bell peppers. Just some random variety I'd bought. The last time I tried to keep a bell pepper on the plant, it ... rotted. :/ It didn't fall off. It just rotted and molded while still attached. Ugh. Bells are such a bitch.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on August 15, 2017, 02:10:21 PM

Yeah, they're pretty fragile. And you may have had a variety which really requires a hothouse and a controlled climate.

It may be easier at some times of the year for you to save seed than others. I don't know your climate.

Mine is like living inside of a giant food dehydrator for 90% of the year.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on August 15, 2017, 02:25:39 PM
Traded an acquaintance a couple young loquat trees for:

Arrowroot plants and several roots.
(https://i.imgur.com/3KoMZta.jpg)

Call me root-king.
(https://i.imgur.com/BWtDMID.jpg)

A bunch of seeds from his Everglades Tomato bush.
(https://i.imgur.com/kMDO6nf.jpg)

Red Malabar Spinach seeds.
(https://i.imgur.com/vel4Qzng.jpg)

Got the arrowroot planted today.
I need to shell out and buy some homogeneous topsoil to baby the spinach in some partial shade. I have to look up glades tomatoes. From what I hear, they are easy to grow, and perfectly suited for florida's soil.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on August 15, 2017, 02:46:48 PM
Those berries you call spinach sure look like pokeberries to me.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on August 15, 2017, 03:08:59 PM
Oh, for sure they do.

photo from google
(http://fafard.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/IMG_9382.jpg)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on August 15, 2017, 03:35:57 PM
Wow!  I'd swear it was poke from the berries, but the plant is all wrong.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on August 15, 2017, 04:09:05 PM

They looked to me sort of like those berries that show up when you let asparagus go to seed.

I've had New Zealand spinach, but never Malabar spinach.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on August 15, 2017, 07:06:28 PM
Apparently red malabar does very well in north florida.  I'll get a proper bed down this weekend.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on August 16, 2017, 09:10:57 AM

One of the issues I have with my family is that a lot of the things I like to grow (and eat) are things they don't like. My wife, otherwise a very healthy person who deadlifts 195, will not eat anything green and leafy. Ever.

So I have to try and balance out our garden fare with stuff that grows well where I'm at, and that everyone will eat. It's difficult.

It will be somewhat easier here in November when we hit Puna. They have some really cool farmer's markets and it's customary to bring food or fruit you've grown to barter with. So bring in a handful of something and go home with some dragonfruit. :)

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on August 16, 2017, 10:52:34 AM
That's cool!

I do not deadlift 195. Maybe someday, heh, after this (what seems eternal) cut.

My kids will eat almost anything out of the garden ... except nightshades. They don't like bell peppers, tomatoes, or eggplant. But they love some potatoes. I just refuse to grow potatoes because they're not that expensive in the store. Maybe I'll try someday, but I don't have the space for it either, really.

But kale? They will snap a kale plant in half and eat all the leaves if you let them. They love peas, beans, anything cruciferous.

On a side note, I wish my mom would let me keep chickens at her place. :/ But she won't. She also, lol, started charging me for her water bill every month. I hate to tell her, but my little drip for 30 minutes maybe 3 times a week isn't costing her what she thinks it's costing her. *eyeroll*
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on August 16, 2017, 11:05:07 AM

She's 46 years old too. She just said "fuck old age" and went hardcore weights. She's been at it about a year and a half now.

Bok choy is one thing they'll consume a lot of in a soup. We make this bastardized "General Tso's chicken" recipe where I throw in broccoli, bok choy, and whatever other veg I have available. It's more like Corporal Tso.

Asian recipes are where it's at for us. It allows us to bypass the traditional wheat diet which some of us have problems with, and still get the heat and flavor we all want. Plus, dinnertime here is SEVEN PEOPLE, 3 of which are adults and 2 are teenage boys. So we use our "cowboy wok" which is an old plow disk cooker a friend of mine made for us. I can stir fry about 10 pounds of meat and veggies on it at one time.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on August 16, 2017, 11:12:57 AM
She's right for the weights. It'll help prevent osteoporosis, too! I've been doing less weights and a little more cardio lately because I've been on a cut and I haven't been hitting my protein like I should be.

I only have 2 boys and I'm already worried they'll eat me out of house and home because ... they already do.

I think I have some bok choy seeds left. I'll give them a go and see if I can't get them to try some.

We all love Asian food. I just have to mind recipes that call for peanut oil or any nuts. :/ Eldest is allergic to nearly everything under the sun.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on August 16, 2017, 11:19:29 AM

We use coconut oil for most everything, and sometimes add in some bacon grease for flavor. Peanut oil is just crazy expensive for the amounts we use.

Before you plant, go down to the Asian market or a decent grocer and buy a mix of veg and serve it up a couple of different ways. No point planting it if everyone doesn't like it. When we were "more poor" people were pretty cool with eating whatever showed up on the table, but as our income came back we started branching out and now I've got a bunch of picky eaters again.


Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on August 16, 2017, 11:41:47 AM
I'll give that a go. Our Asian grocery store is kinda far away (about 25 minutes) but it is cheap as dirt.

I'll also keep on with coconut oil, then. Dr. Rhonda Patrick loves it and to be honest, I'm not sure we can really trust the AHA saying that it's suddenly the reason for increased heart disease. I mean, coconut oil hasn't been that popular for that long.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on August 16, 2017, 11:42:15 AM
Here's some motivation for growing potatoes.  Potatoes internalize the pesticides that are used for them and you don't get rid of it by washing or peeling.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on August 16, 2017, 11:55:10 AM

AND the potato is responsible for democracy!

https://books.google.com/books/about/The_History_and_Social_Influence_of_the.html?id=EV4YE_0RsywC

This book is a must read.

After the first time I read it, I almost went out and got a tattoo of a potato. Except I already have a tattoo that everyone looks at and says, "What the fuck is that?"



Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on August 16, 2017, 12:06:20 PM
I'll take a look at that book.

I recall learning that the buffalo is responsible for the USA's rapid westward expansion.

Regarding oil: I keep lard, olive oil, and butter on hand. I've never even tried coconut oil, though I hear about it all the time in health circles.

Mir, thats awesome about your wife.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on August 16, 2017, 12:15:43 PM


She's pretty awesome. She'd have to be to put up with me.

She's after me every day to work out more, and I just do about 30 minutes of body weight stuff and call it good. I lack whatever obsessive gene flips and has a person get serious about something. I don't really get serious about things. Even things I should be serious about.

I buy into her logic though. Most of the problems of "old age" are simply problems of lack of maintenance, lifestyle choices, and poor eating. I'm coming to believe that largely.

Do I have some joint problems that are just never going to heal? Sure. But stronger muscles takes the stress off those joints and I do feel better when I'm doing it. Worse when I'm not.


Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on August 17, 2017, 01:46:10 AM
For sure, man. Fleet engines can put on millions of miles. Objects in motion. Ya know.

PT is good for everyone, at any age. My father is still active and siring children in his late 60's, despite a multitude of wounds sustained over his 34 year military career. He maintains his health through regular exercise.

It has been a solid... 4 years, since I've lifted. Now that my position is not so physically demanding, I need to start again.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on August 20, 2017, 05:56:52 PM
(https://i.imgur.com/Beh1mVz.jpg)

Roadside free wood score.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Strongheart on August 20, 2017, 09:20:57 PM
Lucky!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on August 20, 2017, 10:15:23 PM
Ah nice, Melkor!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on August 23, 2017, 12:37:01 PM
Gonna butcher our first litter of rabbits this week, probably.  8 rabbits but I'm gonna keep one with white toes because it's a nice gene that I want to work with. 

I won't post pictures here because I don't want someone to have a coronary by accidentally stumbling upon them, but I'll put up a link and you can check it out if you're interested in rookie butchering practices.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on August 23, 2017, 02:18:42 PM
A friend gave me a mega shit ton of deer. I've heard it can taste funny. Do you guys have any tricks? Or deer recipes?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on August 23, 2017, 02:23:21 PM
The funny taste is if it wasn't properly handled and quickly handled after killing.  Also it's lean, so you have to consider adding fats in some cases.  Good luck!

Here's some good looking recipes.
http://outdoorchannel.com/article.aspx?id=35296 (http://outdoorchannel.com/article.aspx?id=35296)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Strongheart on August 23, 2017, 02:36:37 PM
Venison is good and all, but it is just a little too gamy for my taste.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on August 23, 2017, 02:46:29 PM
A friend of mine has a dad who makes the best deer chili but she doesn't talk to him anymore so she can't get the recipe and it makes me teh sad. :(
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on August 23, 2017, 02:48:20 PM
A friend gave me a mega shit ton of deer. I've heard it can taste funny. Do you guys have any tricks? Or deer recipes?

venison is fucking delicious if you handle and cook it right. what cuts do you have?

if you have a backstrap, throw that shit in a crockpot with some onions and carrots and olive oil and worstershire sauce for like 8 hours. If you have steaks, depending on the cut you can treat it a lot like beef. Otherwise just chop that shit up and make some venison stew or some chili.

source: my dad hunts deer and I used to get a freezer full of venison every fall.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on August 23, 2017, 03:26:15 PM
I'll have to ask. I don't recall at all. It was just, 'want some deer,' and I said, 'fuck yes I do.'

I've never hunted a thing in my life. Heh. Well. Rabbits. But that's more, shrieking at them while wagging my garden shovel in their direction.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Jihelu on August 23, 2017, 03:30:39 PM
I'll have to ask. I don't recall at all. It was just, 'want some deer,' and I said, 'fuck yes I do.'

I've never hunted a thing in my life. Heh. Well. Rabbits. But that's more, shrieking at them while wagging my garden shovel in their direction.
That's basically how you hunt larger animals, just louder screaming and bigger shovels.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Strongheart on August 23, 2017, 05:38:23 PM
Louder screaming after you put the big game down, of course.

While I said I don't enjoy venison that much, I think it was just a bad cut of steak. I have had some delicious venison before. Elk Chorizo, sautéed with onions and chiles, layered with cheese, salsa & roasted jalapeño crema wrapped in a flour tortilla... yum.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on August 25, 2017, 08:02:11 PM
I love my horticulture professor. I took this Soils class to get it out of the way thinking it'd be a bit dull and it's actually fascinating.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on August 25, 2017, 09:59:44 PM
Soil is amazing!

Are you just taking it as an elective?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on August 25, 2017, 10:42:44 PM
Nope, it's part of my horticulture major, I just didn't need to take it first. It was gonna be ornamental plant ID, but that would have meant not being able to see the eclipse. Yes, I based choice of classes on the eclipse. But I think I chose wisely after all.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on August 25, 2017, 11:16:16 PM
Oh! What are you intending to do with your degree when you're finished?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on August 26, 2017, 12:42:59 AM
I have absolutely no idea. Park conservation or greenhouse or botanical garden? There's a lot to choose from. I'm gonna feel it out as I go. As long as I'm not sitting behind a desk from 9-5.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on August 26, 2017, 03:05:06 PM
Cool! I wish you luck. I need to decide upon a major before next semester, heh.

I just ate some of my Anne Golden Raspberries. They've been in the ground for a year now... And they seem to be wilt resistant.

They are SO DELICIOUS. And when they go a little pink they're even better. Oh my god.

No pictures because they were consumed in milliseconds.

Also, a wasp planted eggs in a hornworm today! I'll take a picture. I'm so excited to be assisting with an ecosystem.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on August 26, 2017, 03:34:38 PM
Also, one of my ground cherries sprouted from seed I threw in the ground!!! Fuck yes!!!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on August 26, 2017, 05:05:55 PM
Cool Boog!  Congratulations!

I'm getting 8 adult hens and the world's ugliest roo for free tomorrow evening.  My uncle is not doing well and doesn't want to have to tend to them through the winter.  So we are busting our asses trying to get a coop cobbled out of what we have laying around.  I'll post pictures in a couple of days.



Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on August 26, 2017, 05:43:31 PM
https://imgur.com/a/m6spo

I love nature.

Except stinging nettles. They can rot. My fingers are all swollen from being stung, heh.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on August 26, 2017, 05:46:48 PM
Cool Boog!  Congratulations!

I'm getting 8 adult hens and the world's ugliest roo for free tomorrow evening.  My uncle is not doing well and doesn't want to have to tend to them through the winter.  So we are busting our asses trying to get a coop cobbled out of what we have laying around.  I'll post pictures in a couple of days.
[/quote

Oh, honey.ndo the winters get cold there? I wish I had something I could send you. My mom refused to let me have chickens at her place. I can't wait to buy my own house and get some fucking chickens. I already have the breeds I want picked out.

Take a picture of the ugly roo if time allows?!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on August 26, 2017, 06:14:21 PM
One of our regulars on this thread is in Texas, right?  They okay?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on August 26, 2017, 09:03:48 PM
Miradus has already moved to Hawaii, I believe?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on August 26, 2017, 09:25:47 PM
Ah, good timing then.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on August 26, 2017, 09:41:38 PM
No doubt!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on August 26, 2017, 11:12:38 PM
Cool Boog!  Congratulations!

I'm getting 8 adult hens and the world's ugliest roo for free tomorrow evening.  My uncle is not doing well and doesn't want to have to tend to them through the winter.  So we are busting our asses trying to get a coop cobbled out of what we have laying around.  I'll post pictures in a couple of days.

Oh, honey.ndo the winters get cold there? I wish I had something I could send you. My mom refused to let me have chickens at her place. I can't wait to buy my own house and get some fucking chickens. I already have the breeds I want picked out.


Take a picture of the ugly roo if time allows?!
I will certainly take a pic of him!

Winters do get cold here.  Not like, say, Chicago, but we get several snows.  The old addage is, you get one rabbit-tracker snow for each foggy morning in August.  If that holds true this year, there will be about 30 snows deep enough to track a rabbit in because every morning has been foggy.  That seems unlikely, when I was a kid I'd count these and there were usually between 10 and 16 rabbit-trackers every year, seems like.

Other signs are how high hornets build their nests in trees, and how much black is on the woolly worm.  I've not seen either a hornets' nest or a woolly worm (woolly bear caterpillar) this year so I can't prognosticate reliably.

 ;D



Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: manipura on August 26, 2017, 11:13:47 PM
Pretty sure Miradus said he wasn't heading to Hawaii until November.  And he's about 350 miles from the coast.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on August 27, 2017, 12:19:06 AM
Ref and them fancy, learned words. ;)

Oh! Well. I thought he'd mentioned something about Hawaii-specific trees, so I thought maybe he went early. I give up on keeping track of anything these days. Mom brain.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Cind on August 27, 2017, 05:52:01 AM
The green beans and cucumbers may be dead, but we get a ton of pears every year.

We picked okra, pears and grapes today (the ratio of green to purple is about 10:1) and we're like rich folks now because we've been eating so much okra. We didn't plant a huge amount, but the eatable portion is growing very fast on the stalk. We're filling the gallon jug about every three days.

The chestnut tree is growing huge chestnuts, but I don't know how to touch those things without hurting my hands. They are green now, the young vaguely yellow green of unripe things.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on August 27, 2017, 07:34:43 AM
Pretty sure Miradus said he wasn't heading to Hawaii until November.  And he's about 350 miles from the coast.
He should be okay then, right?  They were saying counties a hundred miles inland would get swamped.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: manipura on August 27, 2017, 10:16:43 AM
I expect he would be fine, if he is where I think he is. 
There's a strong possibility of storm winds being really far-reaching, and some rain would probably follow, but my guess is he's far enough west that it's not a dire concern for his area.

They had concerns that once the eye got as close to the San Antonio area as it was going to get and it looped back around, that it would go out over the gulf again before getting closer to Houston. 

But it keeps changing, as weather tends to do.

Edit (to stay more on topic) : I'm worried that all this will take a toll on my poor plants.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on August 27, 2017, 11:23:31 AM

I'm surprised that anyone was concerned.

We're still in Texas. Not going to Hawaii until November

Only the outer edges of the storm reached us, dropping a little rain but cooling it off pretty dramatically. It's 75 degrees here today. I'm wearing a flannel shirt.

My family in Galveston evacuated to North Texas to avoid the flooding. My family in North Texas evacuated to Mexico to avoid the family from Galveston.



Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on August 27, 2017, 11:38:20 AM
Texas is a great big honking place, I know, but I wasn't sure where you were, Miradus.  Glad you're ok.

We're supposed to be getting storms all next week from the 'cane, here in KY.  But I'm high on a hill so no flooding concerns for me.  Though we can get trapped in here when the gullies overflow.  Which doesn't bother me at all.  I'll stay here with my rabbits and hens and ugly rooster and be fine.

Gonna get a cow or two in spring, and maybe some feeder pigs.  I think I might be able to sell two or three pigs at the end of the year and make up for what it costs for one I keep to butcher.



Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on August 27, 2017, 11:53:16 AM
Some rain and cooler temperatures sounds delicious to me.

I think it's been too hot out for any of my fall seeds to sprout. Except for the radishes, but then, you don't have to do much for radishes except give them a little shade in the too-hot weather. I do have some eggplant that've finally started to mature. They're a long, skinny green variety. My mom was worried it was some sort of weird, mutant weed because it's the only eggplant that survived and it's in a row alongside a bunch of pepper plants, LOL.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on August 27, 2017, 11:58:57 AM
My hog experiment didn't go well economically.

The cost for feeding him and having him butchered brought the meat to $3.12 per pound, at a time when pork sausage was $2.08 per pound.

IF your farm and gardens are overproducing then a hog is a good investment, but if you have to buy corn then I found it was cheaper to just buy sausage from the packing plant.

Deer is a far better meat investment, AND I don't get emotionally attached to them like I did my hog (he was a sweetheart). Either someone else fed them (deer) from a feeder, or they gained their meat weight from living off the land.

The only meat we regularly consume now is fish, and not a lot of it. I know some of you are going to want to revoke my "man card" but I began to have issues with killing rabbits, deer, hogs, lambs, goats for food. I didn't want to end a life anymore to sustain mine.

Not a vegetarian as I still enjoy the occasional cheeseburger, but I just don't eat a lot of meat and I don't raise any at all anymore.

For deer meat, stew it with tomatoes in a tomato based sauce (chili). If you eat it a lot you don't notice the gamey taste, but if you only eat a little bit every hunting season then the gamey taste will stand out. It's the "preferred" flavor for a lot of people, but if the only meat you ever eat is bland chicken and pork and feedlot beef (bleh) then the gamey will really stand out. A tomato based stew or chili will really cover up that taste and even enhance it.

The only parts of the deer I really looked forward to are the heart, liver, and backstrap.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Marc on August 27, 2017, 12:11:17 PM
Have to hit that localvore/foodie/farmers market crowd.  We raised five Berkshire/large black crosses this year which, after organic grain and usda slaughter/butcher ran us close to $4/lbs hanging weight.  We get $12/lbs for sausage and $14/lbs for chops and while it sounds okay, anything less wouldn't be worth the time.

Food for profit or fiscal advantage is hard.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on August 27, 2017, 12:20:34 PM

That wealthy foodie market doesn't exist here. Maybe 3 hours away in Austin it does, but not out here in the sticks.

Not only do people think organic is for filthy commies, they wouldn't have the money to pay for it if they did.

Meth, welfare, and social security are the income sources here. Walmart is about the only place left for food.

This is what happens when the oil money leaves an area. The landscape looks like the set of "Borderlands 2".

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on August 27, 2017, 12:29:43 PM
I started to save my first tomato seeds yesterday. :O

Black cherries really are fucking delicious like everyone says and it was the healthiest and tallest of all the plants (probably around 8 ft tall if I would've had a stake tall enough for it, but I staked it up to about 5.5 and then let it drape back down and secured it to a t-post), and some Mortgage Lifters because they were so phenomenally beautiful and they have a classic tomato taste.

I yanked one of my Anna Russians off a suffering plant yesterday; the plant is so fucking wispy and delicate, but I wanted it. I had had a Jaune Flamme set aside for seed saving, but mom gave it to someone, so nyeh.

The peppers really did much better than they have in previous years. IN previous years, I've always either a) bought starts from the farmer's market that die really quickly, or b) bought pepper plants from Lowe's/HD. I started mine indoors, crowded them together, and put them in the shade of some tomatoes against the really harsh and hot afternoon light and they did soooo much better than other years. But now, some of them are starting to rot ON the plant (and they're not ripe!), so I don't know if I can save their seed. :/
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on August 27, 2017, 12:43:16 PM
I have about 5 acres of woodlands, I figured I'd let the pigs loose in there and they could enjoy themselves.  I thought I'd feed them leftover dairy a lot, because we can't even use half a cow's worth of milk with the 2 of us.  Fencing that wood is a real expense, the fencing is ancient and cobbled together and not at all pig-worthy.  So I might not do it.

I'm talking myself out of having much of a garden.  I've always liked working with the animals a lot more than the gardening, and when you don't have much flat land at all, that makes it more problematic.  And it's hard on old crippled up folks.  But there's just so much animal work you can do with 10 acres of steep land too.

I might rotate pigs over the land and let the buggers root up the cursed blackberry briars.  That'd pay for themselves right there.



Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on August 27, 2017, 01:02:04 PM


Even with a fence, I had a hard time keeping Sir Francis Bacon in his damned pen. They're smarter than a dog and 400 pounds of determined hog requires almost a maximum security prison.

He'd get out almost every night and I'd lure him back inside his pen with his favorite snack ... spicy pork rinds.

So I know "Frank" wouldn't have been upset that we ate him. He'd have said, "I know, dude. I'm fucking tasty. I get it."

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on August 27, 2017, 01:12:39 PM

Boog, I'm not sure why so much of your stuff rots on the vine. That's not normal.

It's possible that the place you have your garden is too shady and after watering it just stays wet all day and doesn't dry out.

There are plenty of plant diseases which will cause premature rot in nightshades (peppers) but I'd find it unusual that you're having so much problems with disease unless you went to a really unsavory nursery.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on August 27, 2017, 03:30:21 PM
It's been a very wet and moist summer. The only things that are in the shade are, weirdly enough, my tomatoes, which seem to thrive away from the terrible sun and the humidity and all that. The peppers are in full sun for 8 hours and the ground has been very dry. Yesterday it was bone dry and it made me wince.

I'm not sure either. NC is kind of a haven for fungal growth and mold, though.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Marc on August 27, 2017, 04:12:56 PM
Electric fence is your friend.  It's a psychological barrier so you need to train pigs to it when they are small and you can contain them easy.  Pigs rush forward when scared so you want them trained to the fence before you rely on it.  We used a room in the barn for the piglets, split the room with a hot fence and put food on the farside.  Couple shocks and they dont try again.  Can accomplish the same thing with cattle panels for an enclosure.

We run a double line of maxi-shock for the perimeter and use two Premier 100' pig netting for temporary paddocks and don't have any issues with escapes.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on August 27, 2017, 05:01:27 PM
Electric fence is your friend.  It's a psychological barrier so you need to train pigs to it when they are small and you can contain them easy.  Pigs rush forward when scared so you want them trained to the fence before you rely on it.  We used a room in the barn for the piglets, split the room with a hot fence and put food on the farside.  Couple shocks and they dont try again.  Can accomplish the same thing with cattle panels for an enclosure.

We run a double line of maxi-shock for the perimeter and use two Premier 100' pig netting for temporary paddocks and don't have any issues with escapes.
I'd read about that technique and plan to use it, I'm grateful to hear about your own experience.  I'd thought you needed to use ribbon, the pigs can see the Maxishock?  What is your advice about energizers?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on August 27, 2017, 05:10:47 PM
I've heard about the electric fence thing. Most of the people I know who raise hogs utilize some version of that method.

I just didn't have the power available to do it off grid. I used a combination of cattle panels and logs to effectively barricade the hog in. It would work for a little while and then he'd figure out a new way.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Marc on August 27, 2017, 05:25:35 PM
I would recommend

https://www.premier1supplies.com/p/premier-prs-100-solar-energizer-kit (https://www.premier1supplies.com/p/premier-prs-100-solar-energizer-kit)

For any small, mobile, or off grid situation.  Plenty of juice for Shorter pig/sheep/goat fences and all solar.

I use a Speedrite 3000. (3 joules) to energize a 15 acre perimeter (about 5000') and use a power link to jump to paddock fencing/netting like the double line maxi and pig netting.  Poultry netting tends to drag and ground out (no solid vertical stays) so we use the PRS100 there to keep everything else at 8k/V through the Speedrite.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Marc on August 27, 2017, 05:30:59 PM
My experience is you only really need ribbon for horses.  Pigs see the maxi fine, just need to walk your fence  regularly (like every day) to make sure they don't bury your bottom line by pushing dirt over it.

Even then, if you've trained them to the line, they should stay inside.  They don't know when it's weak.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on August 27, 2017, 08:09:40 PM
Thanks for the advice!  Very helpful.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on August 28, 2017, 09:54:22 AM
He'd be a pretty rooster if he wasn't a Turken.  His feathers are gorgeous.  I just think he's ludicrous looking lol.  He thinks he's something else though, he was busy at his hens as soon as we turned them loose.

(http://www.dogwoodmists.com/Refugee/Roo 1.jpg)
(http://www.dogwoodmists.com/Refugee/roo 2.jpg)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on August 29, 2017, 09:18:52 AM
It's ridiculous how excited I was this morning to find an egg.
 :)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on August 29, 2017, 09:27:02 AM

Heh. Getting farm eggs is pretty cool.

That's like 100 free calories.

Our hens are mostly old. Only a few of the 20 or so are younger than 2 years. So they lay about 1 egg every 3 days. If I confine them to the coop area we get about 8 eggs a day or so, but I almost never confine them. If not confined, they lay their eggs in weird spots like bushes or cactus patches scattered around the farm. Every day is an Easter egg hunt around here.

One of the things that freaked me out first about free range eggs was how yellow the yolks are. I didn't grow up with chickens. We got our first hens about 15 years ago and I knew nothing about them. It actually took some getting used to, eating those eggs, because the flavor is so strong.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on August 29, 2017, 09:41:23 AM
Mmmm.  Free range eggs are the best!  But I grew up with them so I am biased.  They are good for you though.

I'm keeping them locked up for a couple of days so they don't head back over the hill to their old place.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on August 29, 2017, 09:42:55 AM
Old hens are not much good eating but you can make good broth from them, if they are freeloading.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on August 29, 2017, 09:56:20 AM
Old hens are not much good eating but you can make good broth from them, if they are freeloading.

Nah. They range up under the cabin and eat scorpions, thus reducing the overall scorpion population IN the cabin. I don't feed them except in the worst of winter so they're not hurting me in any way. They've got a lot of useful activity they do other than lay eggs. Plus, some of the older ones will find a clutch of eggs and sit them, hatching out new chicks maybe twice a year. Young hens don't seem to do it very often.

We've got one guinea cock from a group of ten I acquired a few years ago. He's insane and loud.


Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on August 29, 2017, 10:01:26 AM
We have deer ticks terrible here.  I want to get a bunch of guineas.  My grandparents had them when I was a kid but we never did.  Ticks weren't much around here back then, and not these deer ticks that are making people sick.  They eat us up now, we were pulling off several every day until August, and we have had to get shots two years running from getting sick.  Guineas are a pain in the ass but they eat ticks better than anything, people say.  I talked to Sam my closest neighbor about them, because they do wander and I didn't want to annoy my excellent neighbor.  He says bring them on, he hates ticks too!



Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on August 29, 2017, 10:06:37 AM

We don't have too much of a tick population but we do get fleas in the wet part of the year sometimes. We take those garlic supplements ... the little capsules filled with garlic oil. You're supposed to take one a day but we bump it to 3 a day. Your sweat will smell like garlic, but you won't notice after a day or so and no bloodsucking parasites at all will bother you.

If you have to go into town, the garlic sweat will also help secure your personal space.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Marc on August 29, 2017, 10:20:32 AM
Old roosters and hens come out great in a pressure cooker or slow cooked ala coc au vin (or however you spell it).  Still stringy, you can get them damn tender with only minimal effort.  I recommend chopping the resulting meat fine so you don't need a whole roll of floss.  Chicken soup, enchiladas etc.  We raise a lot of meat birds and the market demands young, fat semi-disgusting Cornish/rangers.  That said, we look forward to the flavor burst of the older birds.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Marc on August 29, 2017, 10:21:26 AM
Turkeys eat a lot of ticks too.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on August 29, 2017, 10:51:23 AM

It's so rare I eat an old hen. We haven't done it in years and years. I can pick up a rotisserie chicken in town for $4 that's already cooked and in a bag as opposed to going through the effort to kill, gut, and pluck the old hen.

So old hens usually go in the compost pile but I'll let them run up till their last days when they die naturally. On the few occasions we've cooked them I boiled them until the meat came off the bone, then threw all the meat into the food processor and added it to tortilla soup. Flavor's not bad, but it's a lot of work for very little meat. Old layers probably yield less than 2 pounds of meat.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on August 29, 2017, 12:55:16 PM
Turkeys eat a lot of ticks too.
I never heard that.  I might try to raise a couple of turkeys next year. 

There's a lot of wild turkeys around here, I mean a -lot-, and folks claim it's them and the burst in the deer population that causes this infestation of ticks. 

I have 3 eggs today, the first day with my flock of 7 hens.  And one broken one.  So more than half laid the first day after their traumatic move so I think that's pretty good. 

My dear old uncle packed 8 big hens and a roo in a little 24" square wire cage and threw them in the back of his side by side.  We met him on the way to his house, with two XXlarge dog crates in the back of our truck, which was the plan but he decided to do it different.  So we turned around and followed him back to our place.  One nice hen died on the trip when the cage rolled over and her head was out, broke her neck.  My uncle, who is a big sweetheart and already sad about giving away his chickens, was broken up about that.  Poor old thing.



Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on August 29, 2017, 01:01:55 PM

I've had hens shut down for days after a move or any sort of upsetting incident, so to get almost a 50% lay rate isn't bad at all.

That's a really ugly roo though. I mean, yeesh.

Do you have a copy of "Genetics of the Fowl"? It's pretty essential to a breeding operation. It tells you who carries the genetics for various traits such as egg laying and plumage.

A couple of the traits I really wanted to breed for I could never isolate and they weren't in any book I ever found. For instance, good mothering instincts. The best mother hens I ever found were little Banties. They're useless in every other regard but if you stick them in front of a clutch of eggs, they'll sit, successfully hatch, and generally do very well at raising their chicks. I keep a couple of Banties just for that.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on August 29, 2017, 01:19:55 PM
He is so ugly!  ROFL.  We've named him Leatherneck.  He wants to be badass but he's still not sure of us.  We don't have any kids here so I'm ok with that to a point.  I watched him for a couple of hours today while we were working on the rabbits and the coop.  He's very protective of his girls, and he finds food and calls them over.  I think he'll be a good roo. 

I planned on leaving the eggs on the counter in an unwashed condition but that turned out to be too much to ask from the Los Angeles born and raised half of the team so yet one more thing taking up space in the fridge.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on August 29, 2017, 01:59:40 PM
Don't be too okay with it. He'll bide his time and catch you in the eye when you're bending over in the coop one day.

Leatherneck? That's generous. :)

I saw his picture and immediately named him "Pecker Head".
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on August 29, 2017, 02:07:44 PM
Peckerhead.  Hahah...I like that better.  We will have to see what sticks.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on August 29, 2017, 03:30:34 PM

We've always started with a bunch of roosters and then culled down to just one and a backup rooster.

The traits I look for are nonaggression towards people (particularly children) but also gentleness with the hens. I despise those rapist roosters who just tear up the hens. If the hens don't like the rooster and spend all their time getting away from him, then he's not doing his job.

His job, biologically, is more than just to provide half the chromosomes. His job is to take one for the team if danger comes around.

We had one rooster who was just outstanding. One day all the chickens were in the back pasture and a hawk came swooping in. All the chickens, including the other roosters, ran for cover, but this rooster stood in the middle of the field, flapping his wings at the hawk and letting out that "danger" cry that roosters will give. He did not break and run until the very last of his hens had made it to cover and then he took off.

We named him "Horatius" after the old Roman hero and he stuck around for four years before his boldness put him in an early grave (against a fox). But he had many offspring, three of which are the roosters in my current flock.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Riev on August 29, 2017, 03:48:44 PM

We've always started with a bunch of roosters and then culled down to just one and a backup rooster.

The traits I look for are nonaggression towards people (particularly children) but also gentleness with the hens. I despise those rapist roosters who just tear up the hens. If the hens don't like the rooster and spend all their time getting away from him, then he's not doing his job.

This is exactly how my family chose their latest rooster. Went from four to one, in the end, because the others were either tearing up the hens or trying to chase cars and people who came to pick apples and such. Bastards sure are good at getting out of a cage.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on August 29, 2017, 04:13:23 PM
He's funny.  He was standing there looking over his kingdom and a big buff girl snuck up behind him and pecked him in the ass.  He squawked and whirled around, they looked at each other a moment and then he puffed up his feathers, what few he has, and she got all submissive, then he went back to keeping watch.  I laughed my ass off at them.



Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on August 29, 2017, 04:15:32 PM
Chickens are just hilarious. You don't hardly need television with them around.

So when a dominant rooster has a group of hens, they stick pretty close to him, but if they wander off ... they may find themselves the recipient of an unwanted mating.  But if the dominant rooster, if he sees or hears that going on, he will run right the fuck over and knock it off.

We had this one rooster who controlled about half the flock and two other roosters who just sort of milled around and got what they could. At the time we also had ducks.

Dominant rooster, he hears a squabble and he runs over to the side of the barn where he's certain that Sneaky Pete is having a go with one of his ladies ... but he skids to a stop as he is confronted by the sight of Sneaky Pete having a go at one of the ducks! Not just any duck either ... it's one of the male ducks!

So the dominant rooster just sort of backs off, turns his back on the whole ugly picture of another rooster forcibly mating with a male duck, and walks off clucking to himself.

We've got several roosters now, and they have trouble with the guinea cock. It's not that the guinea is that much bigger than they are, it's just that he's 100 times as aggressive.

The guinea cock screws who he wants to, when he wants to, and there's nothing any of the roosters can do about it. One day, the guinea decides to help himself to some cross species loving and jumps on a hen. Immediately one of the other roosters comes over to intervene and break it up. The guinea starts squawking and making all sorts of racket, chases that rooster all over the yard, pins him to the ground, and then mates with HIM. Several times. Slowly.

The other roosters just sort of walked away like, "We didn't see nothing, man. All good."
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on August 29, 2017, 05:40:17 PM
ROFL.  I laughed so hard I about choked on my supper...
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on August 30, 2017, 09:40:03 AM
I ended up with 4 whole eggs and one broken yesterday.  Peckerhead got up in the nest and I blame him for the broken one. 

The rooster crowing in the morning somehow makes everything seem perfect on our little homestead, and I find the contented busy murmur of the hens to be calming and peaceful.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on August 30, 2017, 09:50:49 AM

I know exactly how you feel. A farm just isn't a farm without chickens.

Our roosters crow at all hours but it never wakes me up. The hens do their little thing and I don't have too many problems from them at all.

Normally this time of year I'd be opening up the garden and letting the hens in there to peck and scratch at the ground. The tall plants are too much for them to damage but by getting in the leaf litter and dirt and hunting for grubs, they massively reduce next year's pest problem.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on August 30, 2017, 09:55:07 AM
I'm gonna do that too.  Did you ever have ducks?  I hear you can let ducks in with the young tender plants and they won't scratch them up of course, but they will devour slugs and caterpillars.  We never had ducks when I was growing up, except for a couple of days one Easter when I bought some ducklings at the five and dime  (eyeroll).  They didn't last long.  I'm thinking of getting some, but I'm concerned they might ruin the ecosystem of my little pond.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on August 30, 2017, 10:13:44 AM

One year in Illinois we bought ducks. Started with 15 and 5 turkeys but we lost a couple of ducks and all but one turkey while they were still young.

Ducks are pretty cool. Little communists. They go everywhere and do everything in a group. We had one male who thought he was the leader. Whenever they were going to move somewhere they'd all line up and start moving and he'd quack and run over in front pompously like he was the boss. Except when the line veered off going somewhere else he'd then quack and run over to get in front of it again. We named him "Senator".

I've never had a slug problem anywhere we've lived so I didn't use ducks for that. We just really love to eat duck. I've heard they will help seal a pond with their feces but I don't think they'd eat enough for a standard sized pond to be disrupted too heavily. We didn't have a pond when we had ducks so I can't speak to that. There are wild ducks in my pond now and they haven't disrupted anything. There's usually four or five down there whenever I walk down for a swim. Ducks will crap all over your porch far worse than chickens.

The one turkey who survived was one of those black and white heritage breeds. He didn't know he was a turkey since all the other turkeys died. He thought he was a duck. We named him Napoleon. He would walk around with the ducks and try to line up with them, but they all seemed to know how to do duck things and he didn't so he was always slightly behind the curve. And when all the ducks would get into the little kiddie wading pool we bought for them, he'd wade in too and instead of swimming around happily, he'd stand there kneedeep in the water and shiver, probably thinking, "I'm the worst duck ever."

Napoleon finally came into his full maleness as a turkey and started to do the mating display of spreading out all his feathers to attract a female. He'd walk over to the ducks and display and they'd say "meh". He'd go over to the chickens and display and they'd say "meh". He even displayed to the cats and they would say "meh". Poor Napoleon couldn't get no action. One day my wife is sitting on the porch and he walks over to her and displays. She says, "Look, I'm open minded, but not THAT open minded. That turkey has got to go."

So we set a date for Napoleon to become a turkey dinner just before Thanksgiving. I wasn't terribly excited about it. I liked Napoleon. But two days before his scheduled date, Napoleon makes a break for the fence and soars majestically (for a turkey) into the forest which bordered our property. It was about 1400 acres of forest preserve where nobody lived or hunted.

I never saw Napoleon again, but the next spring at the edge of the woods a wild mama turkey hen came out of the treeline one morning at dawn, and following along behind her were three black and white turkey chicks. So whatever Napoleon's ultimate fate was, he found at least one lady who did not say "meh".


Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: solera on August 30, 2017, 03:08:46 PM
I ended up with 4 whole eggs and one broken yesterday.  Peckerhead got up in the nest and I blame him for the broken one. 



That would be a death sentence at my place.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on August 30, 2017, 03:10:19 PM
Good for Napoleon!!!
Haha!

We have a hen who is a talented escape artist.  We noticed her yesterday patrolling the perimeter.  This morning she got out of the pen and was wandering around.  She dug out under the fence like a dog.  Peckerhead was beside himself.  We shooed her back in and filled up her hole.  We are going to name her Hilts after Steve McQueen's character in The Great Escape.

My little pond is only about 20' across and it's not very deep, you can see the bottom when it's not muddy.  It has water year round, but I don't know what's feeding it.  Runoff for sure but there has to be an underground ooze or something.  It has bullfrogs and plants and waterbugs, that's about it.  It's precariously perched on the side of the hill and I keep expecting it to just go away in the dry times, but it stays there and stays full.  I think two or three ducks could do okay but they sure do shit a lot and they might eat my bullfrogs, and then what would I have lol?!  I imagine I will try them someday.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on August 30, 2017, 03:11:23 PM
I ended up with 4 whole eggs and one broken yesterday.  Peckerhead got up in the nest and I blame him for the broken one. 



That would be a death sentence at my place.
If it keeps happening, it will be at mine too.  I saw him in the nest today and an old girl pushed her head under him and levered him out.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on August 30, 2017, 03:56:53 PM

He may be trying to eat the eggs. Got to watch him and maybe try to get out there faster and bring in the eggs. A lot of hens will make a ruckus after they laid an egg that you'll get to recognize.

Sometimes the hens break eggs when they scuffle over a favored nesting spot. There will be 5 nest boxes and they all will try to shove into the same one. They each have their own time to lay and if someone is "eggstipated" and doesn't lay fast enough, someone else will shove their way in and try to lay as well. That's when eggs get broken a lot of times.

Chickens remind me so much of people. I love how when they're out foraging, each of them keeps one eye on the ground and the other eye on every other chicken. If one hen finds something good, they all run over to try to take it from her.

Just like people.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on August 30, 2017, 05:32:30 PM
I hated chickens growing up.  We didn't feed them, except in wintertime we might throw them some shelled corn or some stale cornbread.  We didn't have a coop either, they roosted in one of the barns over the hay.  They'd poop on your head, they'd poop on everything you had to touch to do your chores.  Once one pooped in a 2-gallon bucket of milk I was trying to carry to the house.  As the only kid, it was of course my job to gather the eggs.  Since we didn't provide any place for them to stay, they would just lay wherever.  So I had to look here and there and find the nests.  Then you didn't know how long the eggs in the nest had been there.  Sometimes something nasty would slip out of them when you broke them.  Sometimes you'd step on a nest of eggs that had been covered up by straw or hay in some ancient time and man, would it stink!  Sometimes I'd be goofing off and forget about the eggs in my coat pocket and smush them.  Ugh.

When it came time for the year's butchering, though, that was fun.  I'd get to chase them and try to catch them, I always thought that was a blast.  I was too little to wring their necks the way my parents did so I'd stand on their heads and pull.  My mom would clean them and set them in a tub of water while she worked on the next one, and I would arrange them around like headless buddies with their "arms" around each other's shoulders, and poke them in the throat, and they would make sounds, and I'd pretend they were singing.  I'd get in trouble if I got caught doing it though, because of the danger of breaking the crop.

Once we couldn't catch this one old roo and my mom got so angry she got my dad's shotgun and shot at him.  I don't remember if she got him or not.  But I remember the sunlight through the multitude of holes looking up at the barn roof.  She didn't think that one through!

I always enjoyed the chicks.  If we had some without a mother I'd be in charge of raising them.  We never had a heater of any sort for them so I dunno how it ever worked out.  Must've been a tougher kind of bird than the modern fowl.  We'd lock them in a shed and I'd lay down newspaper, and bring them crumbled up cornbread and sand and water.  (We ate cornbread 2 meals a day every day.  White bread from the store (we called it light bread) was a treat like candy).  When they got feathers I'd let them loose.

I guess I didn't really hate chickens lol.  I've just always said it.  I have a lot of fun memories of them.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on August 30, 2017, 06:05:52 PM

We had sheep and cattle growing up. Never chickens and never a garden.

My parent had odd ideas about both.

In West Texas, there's a sort of rancher caste. Having cows and sheep makes you a rancher and distinguished.

Having a garden and chickens makes you poor, or worse ... black and poor.

Just one of those weird cultural things out here. Which is too bad because I like to think I would have learned early about chickens and gardening. But most of what I learned about sheep and cattle needed to be "relearned" anyway, so I guess not.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Hauwke on August 30, 2017, 06:14:40 PM
I had ducks when I was little, filthy creatures.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on August 30, 2017, 06:32:17 PM
Sheep and cattle together is hard for me to wrap my mind around.  It is the myth here that you cannot do both, you are a sheep farmer (which is not very respected at all) or you are a cattle farmer.  Because cows just have front teeth on the bottom of their mouths, and they have to have long enough grass to catch between their tongues and teeth to tear it off.  Sheep, with their sharp little front teeth, eat the grass down far too short for tongue tearing.  So sheep starve the cows to death. 

That's what I was taught when I was a kid but I know that's not exactly true, especially about the tongue part, because Vo Ag in high school... still, you hardly ever hear of people running both.

Interestingly enough, the concept around here was that only people too poor to have cows would have sheep.

I realize you weren't running them together, you must've had enough land to rotate them. 
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on August 30, 2017, 07:07:06 PM
The sheep versus cattle issue was more about fencing than grazing.

The reality is sheep and cattle are EXCELLENT together. They both prefer different plants, so there's not a lot of competition so long as there's rotational grazing and you have enough space for them.

Plus, the parasites (which live in the grass and wait to be ingested) for one don't affect the other. If a cattle gutworm is eaten by a sheep, it simply dies, and vice versa.

So you get increased production and a natural parasite reduction.

But most ranchers don't pay a lot of attention to that. All the time out here I see herds on way too small of pasture and they've eaten it down to bare dirt. Horse owners are the worst about this.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on August 30, 2017, 07:17:05 PM
The sheep vs cattle thing in the west might have been about fencing but not here, because the cattle are fenced in the same as the sheep.

In the west on the big ranges the "devil wire" would tear up cattle.



Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on August 30, 2017, 07:18:26 PM
Although, come to think of it, the only place I've ever seen huge herds of sheep is the Mojave Desert, and dogs and men drove them across that god-forsaken land just like cattle used to be moved.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on September 01, 2017, 05:54:21 PM
We ate our first eggs from our chickens tonight for supper while Harvey pissed on the cabin.  They were so good!  So much better than storebought, and so much more filling.  We had them with sausage, biscuits and sausage gravy.  Oh man, what a great meal on a dreary day.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Strongheart on September 01, 2017, 09:16:05 PM
Refugee, you're making me hungry as fuck. Love a homegrown meal! :]
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on September 04, 2017, 01:23:18 PM
If you'd like to see the awesome buck my neighbor took down on his property on the first day of bow season, check it out.  If the sight of a magnificent animal killed is going to upset you, don't click the link.  :)

www.dogwoodmists.com/Refugee/Sams Buck.jpg (http://www.dogwoodmists.com/Refugee/Sams Buck.jpg)



Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on September 09, 2017, 06:11:21 PM
I mean to start keeping goats or chickens, but for now, I am focusing on the garden.

So, my usual MO is to keep growing what will be a thriving permaculture food-forest. Well, I decided to change it up and try out a few proper plots of veggies. I ripped up a patch of shepherd's needle, burned it all along with some wood, spread the burning coals across the whole surface of the garden. Then I laid out a soil mix of my soil, compost, and loam from the woods into 2 25'x2' beds ofRadishes, 1 18'x2' bed of White Carrots, and 1 20'x2' bed of Basil and Chinese chives.

https://imgur.com/a/9rpVG

I really hope Irma doesnt kill them all.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on September 09, 2017, 07:34:31 PM
How close are you to the coast, Melkor?  Good luck to you and your family, and your plethora of plants.

We killed and butchered the first rabbit today.  We just did one at first so we could take our time with it.  At the last minute I decided to do Daniel Salatin's method and whack it on the head to stun it, then slit the throat.  Man, was that a mistake.  The poor thing came to and started screaming.  Sounded like a stuck pig.  Echoed through the hollers.  We ended up broomsticking the poor thing, which was the whole plan in the beginning.  Stupid stupid mistake.  I've been kicking myself all afternoon.  A rough experience that won't be repeated.  We don't want them to be scared or feel pain!

The butchering itself went smoothly and quickly.  Easy.  But I only got 3 lb 2 oz dressed weight, from a 13 week old rabbit.  I had expected a pound more out of this particular mutt doe paired with my big-ass Californian buck.  Maybe it was the heat of summer.  It's brining now and soon will be in the freezer.  Tomorrow we mean to get the rest of the bucks at least.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on September 09, 2017, 09:16:12 PM
Thanks, Ref. I am a solid 60 miles from the gulf, on relatively high land for florida standards. Impossible for my land to flood with the quarries so close.

Sucks about your blunder; I know that was no fun. That being said, it is amazing how fast those critters grow. I heard Kim Jong Il had a plan to breed giant rabbits in order to solve world hunger.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on September 09, 2017, 10:48:51 PM
What should I plant for fall?

My community garden has a terrible powdery mildew problem so I'm hesitant to plant anything that's susceptible.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on September 10, 2017, 03:04:13 AM
Find some fungal-resistant beets to plant :)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on September 10, 2017, 03:23:53 AM
Peas, favas, lettuce, mache, collards if you like them, brassicas.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on September 10, 2017, 10:24:29 AM
Sheep and cattle together is hard for me to wrap my mind around.  It is the myth here that you cannot do both, you are a sheep farmer (which is not very respected at all) or you are a cattle farmer.  Because cows just have front teeth on the bottom of their mouths, and they have to have long enough grass to catch between their tongues and teeth to tear it off.  Sheep, with their sharp little front teeth, eat the grass down far too short for tongue tearing.  So sheep starve the cows to death. 

That's what I was taught when I was a kid but I know that's not exactly true, especially about the tongue part, because Vo Ag in high school... still, you hardly ever hear of people running both.

Interestingly enough, the concept around here was that only people too poor to have cows would have sheep.

I realize you weren't running them together, you must've had enough land to rotate them.

Way back in the day, a very young me was in the military and my job was to teach pilots and aircrew survival in the wilderness.

As part of a phase of training, we would teach them how to dispatch, clean, and cook wild game such as rabbits. We would take cages out tamed rabbits out in the field and each day someone in the class had to kill it and that was their dinner. (A rabbit split amongst 8 people does not go far.)

This one crew I had, there was a young woman pilot who just HAD to prove she was as awesome as the men. When it came time to do anything, SHE wanted to be the one to do it. Fine. So she goes to kill the rabbit in the manner you described (which was the way we taught). Only her first whack misses the back of the rabbit's head and thunks it in the back, breaking its back. I was holding the thing, and she swung so wildly and with such force that it knocked the rabbit flying out of my hand.

It landed on the ground and started screaming. A rabbit's scream is just horrible to hear. She looked around, frantic, and then rushed over with her stick and just started beating it on the ground. So she's sending up clouds of dust and the rabbit is screaming and the stick is thudding and everyone is watching and I had no idea what to do to intervene. But soon the rabbit ceased screaming and shortly after she stopped whacking it. She stood there panting, a spot of blood on her face, and all the other pilots (and me) just stared at her in shock.

I couldn't butcher it. I don't think it had a single intact bone in its body.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on September 10, 2017, 10:42:35 AM
Holy cow... *shudders*  What a haunting experience that would have been. 

Thankfully we had prepared for the cervical dislocation (broomsticking) method, and we kept our heads and took that route, but it was troubling.









Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on September 10, 2017, 03:54:05 PM
Ugh. Thats rough. Probably a horrible experience for her, too.

The talk of the Ag hierarchy is definitely true.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on September 10, 2017, 04:38:03 PM
The talk of the Ag hierarchy is definitely true.
Elaborate please.  What do you mean?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on September 10, 2017, 04:53:06 PM
There is a kind of status in florida when it comes to your place on the Ag ladder. The lowest-rung would be non-producers and the highest would be .... Adam's Ranch. lol.
It is hard to put into words, (I'm pretty torn up right now. Hurricane partying) but the castes in agriculture are discernible. A few random entries on the line i could think of right now are: chickens>family gardens>fruit trees>other fowl>goats>bulk plots of veg>pigs>tree farms>Orchards>monoculture commodity farm>specialty husbandry (Ostrich, gator, etc.), beef.

I think it has something to do with the amount of money required to start production.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on September 10, 2017, 05:47:13 PM
My son-in-law's family has a fernery in Florida.  They grow ferns for florists.  Pretty big business sounds like.  The land is worth more than a million bucks but it's worth it to keep growing ferns on it.  Kind of blows my mind.

This hurricane is not going to be good for ferneries I think.  Lots of shade cloth and such involved.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on September 10, 2017, 07:21:03 PM
Oh man. Flower and ornamental farming is huge money. I hope they come out alright.
Powers out. Saving my phone and electricity for emergencies. Talk to y'all in a few days. Gonna go abuse my liver now :D
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on September 11, 2017, 05:48:34 PM
The trees danced and the wind whistled. No damage over here, even to the baby radishes. My white carrots and my basil both sprouted. The storm was rather mjld by the time it hit me. Family down south got it much worse. Just waiting on the electric company to maybe save the meat in my freezer. Eating the fridge now.  Back on topic: I am thinking of felling ~12 trees to make sunlightvfor more of these linear beds. Not sure yet. I like these trees.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on September 11, 2017, 07:44:42 PM
Glad to hear you came through it okay, Melkor. 

Maybe you can keep the trees and grow more too.  There's a lot of articles online about agroforestry.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on September 12, 2017, 06:33:06 PM
Damn dog got out of the yard and chased the chickens.  They scattered all over the place.  We've found 5, but we're still missing 3.  No bodies so far.  Dammit.

Edited to add - They all came home at dusk.  Whew! 



Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on September 13, 2017, 08:11:05 PM
Heh. Good hens. Its a lucky thing your dog resisted his predatory instincts.

Still no power, along with thousands others. Stores are barren. I imagine times like these must be terrible for the ill-prepared.
I grilled a ton of meat today, rather than let it spoil. I have about 20lb more in the freezer that is still frozen solid.

My garden is doing well. The chinese chives, the basil, the white satin carrots all sprouted, and the radishes are growing like weeds.

I havr about 3 or 4 more days of plumbing and gardening water in 5 gallon buckets. I'll need to make a water-walk soon.
I'm having a little too much fun.


So, it seems i live in a climate where i could potentially grow baobab trees. What do you guys think? Slowly phase out my oaks and replace them with baobabs.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on September 14, 2017, 08:54:03 AM
He is a Gordon Setter.  We saw him with one pinned to the ground in his mouth.  He has no training as a gun dog but he has a very soft mouth, as you want with a bird dog, and I think that is the instinct that probably saved the birds.  He was crazy joyful chasing them around...

I don't know much about baobabs.  Are your oaks big?

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on September 15, 2017, 10:32:52 AM
Solid black woolly worm, and spoons in the persimmon seeds.  More signs for a bad winter.  The local expert (he actually has had a newspaper column since I was a kid in the weekly newspaper) says 8 rabbit-tracker snows by foggy mornings in August he counted.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on September 15, 2017, 01:56:56 PM
I decided to do compost and cover crop this fall instead of try for a vegetable garden.

I'm hoping that by spring my soil will be in a much better place.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on September 16, 2017, 11:34:37 AM
My power is back on. :)

Work has been super accommodating in many ways; they sent everyone home with a cooked turkey yesterday.

I changed my mind about the baobabs, I think. I may grow just one or two. I love my oaks; they are very tall, though not terribly old. There are a few that might be over 100 years, but not 200. I'll post a few tree pics soon.

Ref, just the other day I thought to myself that there are way more acorns growing rn on my trees than last year. I expect a harsh winter.

Delirium, are you going to use grass?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on September 16, 2017, 11:42:07 AM
I thought about winter rye but I have a raised bed and that could be a pain in the ass. I'm going to try out a mix with clovers, hairy vetch, mustard, collard, radishes, winter peas. I'll turn them all under before they start seeding out.

If that fails I can always plant some buckwheat?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on September 16, 2017, 01:59:04 PM

Ref, just the other day I thought to myself that there are way more acorns growing rn on my trees than last year. I expect a harsh winter.

I learned when researching whether to run pigs in my woods that oaks don't drop acorns every year.  I never paid attention to it.  Here's an interesting read on it.
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/jul/04/mystery-of-the-mast-years (https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/jul/04/mystery-of-the-mast-years)

When the dog scattered the chickens, we were chasing one old girl into the woods and found what might be a year round spring!  Fern covered and everything.  What a treasure that will be if it is.  We need to clear out so we can get in there and follow it.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on September 16, 2017, 07:06:23 PM
Deer love winter peas. We put plots of that down out in the woods for em, but they dont crowd out weeds as well as a rye.

Hmmm. Interesting. It makes sense that such long-lived lifeforms would have cycles.

I still think the coming winter will be a bitter one. The other night the temperature got down to the low 70s which is bizarre for Florida in september. That, and the last winter was incredibly mild.

edited to add: Thats awesome, ref. you should get one of those free mail-in water tests from home depot and take a look at the water.

https://imgur.com/a/v3KEA
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on September 17, 2017, 09:08:32 AM
All the old folklore signs around here say a bad winter.  But the Old Farmer's Almanac says otherwise, a lot of cold rain and less snow than usual.  Frankly I like snow better than cold rain if I have to be out in it.

Huh, Melkor, I am slightly surprised there are deer in Florida.  Are you feeding them for hunting or are you being altruistic?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on September 17, 2017, 12:37:34 PM
I'm hoping for a hard winter, because the bugs this year were atrocious, due to the mild, and incredibly warm winter we had here in NC. I've never dealt with such insect pests! It's bad, usually, but this was like apocalyptic.

I'm still harvesting little bits of peas and my favas are growing well. We don't usually have a hard frost until November, so I'm tempted to plant out some mini heads of cabbage, but I just don't know!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on September 17, 2017, 03:53:26 PM
My only concern with a harsh winter is how much frost sticks to the plants. I have a few trees that are not frost hardy, but I planted them in protected areas, so we'll see on that.

Lol Ref. They are for hunting. The last plot i put down was on a friend's property, near his tree-stand. Trail-cam sees how often and what time they run through to graze.

But yeah, deer run throughout the whole of florida. Florida's hunting scene is decent; Deer, hog, gator, turkey, small-game, small-fowl, python, and even bears.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on September 17, 2017, 09:14:50 PM
There are at least cuddly things to put around trees these days to keep them warmer. Hell, I'll knit them a scarf. ;) In reality, however, I'm meaning there are plastic shields to keep them insulated, blankets, hell, even white sheets.

I haven't planted any tropical trees. I don't want to plant anything too permanent until I buy my own house.

I am really debating on gardening next year because the bamboo is spreading... Everywhere. I'm really despairing about it.

I found a huge main root that couldn't even be snipped with shears, it was so tough, when I was laying out the square foot pea row. The root was about a half foot down into the ground and I thought it was a rock at first. :/

I'm going to have to till deeply into the ground when it gets cooler out (it's still 85° outside), and fill the trench I excavate with cement after all.

My mother, as much as I hate it, has been yanking as much bamboo shoots as she can and then has been dropping Roundup into the holes. She hasn't done it in my garden, but I get weird with it around my kids, so...

Anyway. I also helped clear her hill in spring. It's now filled again and overgrown with poison ivy, knotwood saplings, crawling, thorny vines, and a riot of other kankshit.

Ugh.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on September 17, 2017, 11:38:40 PM
I'm not huge on glyphosate either, but if your bamboo is as terrible as it sounds, I would say its worth it. Buy a big jug and spray the bamboo every other day until it is dead. IIRC, Glyphosate is supposed to break down in soil within ~2 weeks.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on September 18, 2017, 08:57:56 AM
It is -everywhere- and it's making me miserable.

My mom thought about buying a huge jug to kill everything on her hill, too, because no matter how much we hack it down, it just keeps coming back.

Her mistakes in home buying are definitely lessons for me. I'm going to buy as much of a cleared out property as I can and if anything looks like bamboo/knotwood, I will refuse to buy the home. >_>

I'll take pictures the next time I'm over at her place. UGH.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on September 24, 2017, 03:45:10 PM
Ten little Barred Plymouth Rock chicks, straight run.  I found out after I got home that you can sex this breed by the spots on their heads, and the color of their legs.  So I have three roosters and seven pullets.  I would have chosen two roos out of ten so that worked out pretty good considering.

(http://www.dogwoodmists.com/Refugee/barred rock 9 23 17 a.jpg)
(http://www.dogwoodmists.com/Refugee/barred rock 9 23 17 c.jpg)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: solera on September 24, 2017, 05:19:52 PM
Once we bought a batch of various purebred eggs (about 5 of each) . We found the barred rocks got picked on by their peers. In the end. for one reason or another, none of them lived to be old.
My favourite breed was the Ancona. They're a light,  good egg layer.
But more important, their flecking was carried through the whole flock and we got some very pretty hens  to look at.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on September 24, 2017, 05:40:40 PM
Barred rocks are very docile.  Do you think that's why?  Or maybe the pattern was attractive for pecking?

I have one barred rock in my mature flock and she is the alpha hen.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on September 24, 2017, 06:54:16 PM
My father always lets his roos fight it out for breeding privileges, and eats the loser. Its crude, but it is a good way of making sure the guardian of the hens is the strongest fighter.

You're gonna be crankin out protein, ref. Good work.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on September 24, 2017, 07:36:38 PM
My father always lets his roos fight it out for breeding privileges, and eats the loser. Its crude, but it is a good way of making sure the guardian of the hens is the strongest fighter.

You're gonna be crankin out protein, ref. Good work.
That's my plan too.  If these three males make it to breeding age, they and Peckerhead can decide who goes in the pot.  I might keep two roos, since I would have potentially 14 hens, which might be enough for two roos and might not, depending.  Usually you want ten hens to a roo to keep them from being idiots. 

You know I'm thinking about pigs next spring.  Now I'm considering American Guinea Hogs.  We don't need a whole big pig's worth of meat.  And I think we could handle the butchering of a six month old AGH ourselves, which would save a lot of money.  Also it'd be easier to deal with a smaller boar and keep one ourselves, instead of trying to find a boar to take the sows to or trying to deal with artificial insemination.  So instead of buying feeders every spring we could raise our own.  AGH are great foragers too.  The problem will be finding some nearby!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on September 25, 2017, 01:49:34 AM
ahaaa. Peckerhead FTW.

Man those guinea hogs are popular down here. You know they eat snakes and rats, right?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: ShaLeah on September 25, 2017, 10:40:36 AM
I planted raspberry and blackberry things last year, they're still here this year but only one of them looks like it'll fruit. The other one is really tall but the leaves on the bottom are like gone. I think it's sick.

I'll post pictures when I get home.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on September 25, 2017, 12:38:50 PM
ahaaa. Peckerhead FTW.

Man those guinea hogs are popular down here. You know they eat snakes and rats, right?

Pigs are generally awesome!  IF you don't keep them penned up in nasty tiny pens like we did when I was a kid.  I will either let them have the roam of my woods if I can get it adequately fenced, or rotate them over my cleared land and let them eradicate the cursed blackberries.  I could plant good grass behind them.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on September 25, 2017, 02:54:22 PM
Thats why I want goats, man. Fuck this creeping poison ivy down here in Florida. I dont want to have to eat poison ivy my whole life just so I can walk barefoot in the woods.

Pigs are great. I've never raised a pig and had to butcher it, though. I feel like it would hit me pretty hard in the feels, because they are so affectionate. Florida is overrun with feral hogs, anyway, though not in my immediate area. Too many farmers with rifles keeping the population in check. ;)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on September 25, 2017, 04:17:00 PM
Goats would be perfect for my property, since all but 1 acre are on a 20% slope!  But I have never been around them.  Everyone I know says they are miserable to try to keep enclosed.  Pigs are hard too, but at least I grew up with pigs and know about them.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on September 25, 2017, 06:22:38 PM
I'd suggest doing a little reading on goats on the homestead. Also, if you're unfamiliar with goat's milk, I'd give it a try. It is pretty tasty.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on September 25, 2017, 07:00:19 PM
I've never tasted goat's milk.  It's something I should do, for sure.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Marc on September 25, 2017, 07:18:22 PM
I always heard goat milk was "weird".

I always heard that goats are escape artists.  The ol' "how do you tell if a fence is goat proof?  Throw a bucket of water at it.  If any gets through it ain't goat proof."

Now we keep a pair of Saanen's for milk.  They are some of the gentlest creatures I've ever been around until they try to head butt the dog.  We use premier1 electro netting and a solar energizer for them. Refer to my previous posts for specifics.

They never escape.  We let them wander free when we move them across the pasture and they just follow us around.  Get kids and touch them and hand feed them.

Goat milk is also great.  Fresh it's really no different from raw cows milk.  I find the flavor changes come from age.  Not necessarily "bad" just goatie!

They also eat a lot but don't expect them to brush hog anything as thick as your pinky.  Up here that means established blackberries and multaflora rose survive the goats (and the pigs for that matter).
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on September 25, 2017, 07:42:34 PM
Last summer I bush hogged the blackberries with a rough cut mower towed behind a Honda Foreman.  They were 7 years old, most of them were probably 20' tall, arced over and all tangled.  It was a horrible chore.  Tore the crap out of my face and neck and arms and hands through denim and leather, no matter what I wore.  The entire hillside was either 7 year old pine or blackberry briars.  I would say 3 acres solid with blackberry brambles.  They come back every spring of course, I figure pigs can root up the rhizomes for me.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on September 25, 2017, 11:26:10 PM
If the roots are deprived of sunlight for too long due to their foliage being repeatedly eaten, they will die in the ground.

I need a few goats, but my budget is perfectly balanced right now; no room for goats.  Not responsibly, at least.

Picked up a bunch of bags full of leaf-litter from the dump, spread em out on the NE corner of my lot, where the soil turns rocky. A bunch of the persimmon seedlings I planted there didn't survive. 3 did.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on September 26, 2017, 09:44:23 AM
If the roots are deprived of sunlight for too long due to their foliage being repeatedly eaten, they will die in the ground.

One would think so.  But theory and reality often diverge.  Otherwise we wouldn't have such terrible issues with blackberry and bamboo infestations, and we do.



Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on September 26, 2017, 10:07:30 AM
I would argue that the issue in this case is consistency. A few days of sugar from new leaves is probably enough to sustain the roots for a couple weeks longer, or long enough to shoot out new leaves.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Hauwke on September 26, 2017, 05:43:14 PM
One time a few years back, our back yard was -riddled- with weeds and prickly plants of all sorts. So we got a bobcat in and dug the whole lot up, dropping it all by about an inch.

We then reseeded the yard with a few types of grass and spent the next 6~ months weeding it because apparently an inch of top soil wasnt enough. But! After all that weeding my mums backyard was gorgeous and had super soft lawn.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on October 02, 2017, 04:15:10 PM
My rooster isn't an asshole, but someone posted this and it cracked me up so I thought I'd share.

(http://www.dogwoodmists.com/Refugee/rehab.jpg)

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on October 02, 2017, 04:31:38 PM
My rooster isn't an asshole, but someone posted this and it cracked me up so I thought I'd share.

(http://www.dogwoodmists.com/Refugee/rehab.jpg)

Heh. Shitty hen rehab, too.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on October 02, 2017, 08:08:11 PM
too right. gotta cook that rooster meat low n slow to get it real tender.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on October 03, 2017, 06:45:02 PM
10 new little pink rabbits this morning.  This girl had ten the last time too, but it was her first litter and two died.  That's still pretty awesome for a first litter. 

I have two bucks (not counting growouts who will be killed and never breed).  One is 2 years old, a monster Californian with amazing backstraps he passes on, the other is a pedigreed Rex who got laid for the first time today.  I put my most experienced doe in with him to teach him the ropes.  It was hilarious.  He was -very- enthusiastic.  But didn't quite understand what he was supposed to do.  He tried her from the side, from the front, she just sat there and I swear, rolled her eyes.  (OK maybe not but you could tell that was how she felt).  Finally he got it figured out and he has the funniest fall offs.  Kinda squeaks and throws himself over with a thump.  Hilarious.  He tried very hard to block us from taking her out of his cage. 
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Hauwke on October 03, 2017, 07:57:06 PM
That doe sounds like the most patient critter ever, im sure getting humped in the ribs is an unpleasent experience.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on October 04, 2017, 03:31:46 AM
ayyy. Mazel tov on the new litter, ref.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on October 12, 2017, 05:59:52 PM
(https://i.imgur.com/X0phXe5.jpg)

took longer to harvest than I thought, but they are growing nicely.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on October 14, 2017, 11:34:53 AM
Looking good!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on October 14, 2017, 11:43:37 AM
Thanks, Ref.

By the way, it is persimmon season! I just bought 40lbs of Fuyu off a buddy with an orchard down in Jonesville. Fuyu persimmons are my favorite fruit by far.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on October 15, 2017, 02:45:50 PM
40 lbs!  Jam?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on October 15, 2017, 03:31:56 PM
lmao no. I've been eating like 5 or 6 a day. my girlfriend eats 2 or 3 a day. When they are under-ripe, they are like a crisp apple. When they are ripe, they are like a tomato made of sugar lol. I'll probably give 5-10lbs out to friends, too.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on October 17, 2017, 10:28:26 AM
First frost this morning.  Brrr.  Rabbits are feisty and the chickens don't give a damn.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on October 17, 2017, 12:31:46 PM
Got a cool-snap over here today, too. It was in the high 60's here in north Florida, this morning. Summer has finally ended.

The arch of the sun now never makes contact with my house without touching the tree canopy. Prepare for my electric bill to plummet. Haaaaaaa!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on October 17, 2017, 07:45:48 PM
Nice!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: stark on October 25, 2017, 07:14:07 AM
Tonight we are supposed to get our first real frost. My gosh, that means, time to winterize the camper, and bring in the plants from the screened-in porch. I used to have nearly a hundred or more plants and after becoming disabled and bed-ridden, lost all of them because my family doesn't really share my hobbies. So, this year, to celebrate weaning off pain meds and trying to reclaim my life a little, I bought a few plants. So today I'll drag the wheelchair to the porch, repot my three little plants, and then bring them indoors. I know, three plants doesn't seem like a lot, but the idea of working on my potting table makes me think I"ll be worn out soon.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on October 25, 2017, 12:03:59 PM
Stark, thats fucking awesome. Congratz on making those efforts to, as you said, reclaim your life. Tend your life as you tend the plants.
My father spent a good chunk of the 90's asleep on the couch, after breaking his back in Bosnia. That, and his multitude of other injuries from a lifetime in infantry meant his doctors kept him seriously doped up (Though for good reason. Pain.)
He wasn't able to break the spell until we moved to Florida, where the weather did not hurt him as much. Florida is also where he found a terrific pain mgmt doctor who hated opiates with passion.
My point is, I understand what an obstacle overcoming dependence on pain meds is, and I think your first step of 1000 miles being getting 3 plants is a wonderful one. props.

<edited to add:>
Btw! What kinda plants did you/will you buy?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: stark on October 25, 2017, 04:15:44 PM
Don't laugh, I picked three plants that need the least amount of attention, because plants thrive on neglect and just a tiny bit of water. One spider plant and two littler plants that are versions of a jade plant, a succulent. I also have five parrots, so I have to make sure I have plants that don't invite chewing.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on October 25, 2017, 05:24:53 PM
I bet you would also enjoy golden pothos. Very easy to maintain and propagate. If it gets leggy just snip half the vine off, stick it in the soil, and viola, it'll root.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on October 26, 2017, 01:46:27 AM
They sound like suitable choices to me!

You should look into bonzais. super interesting.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: stark on October 26, 2017, 10:36:11 AM
Good idea Delirium, I've had those before and didn't have any trouble with them! No bonsai for me Melkor. True story: I bought a miniature Japanese maple tree for a few hundred dollars fifteen years ago, with plans to grow it in a huge pot inside the house. As luck would have it, I was doing a little bit of landscaping in the backyard and found a really nice Russian willow and put it into a raised bed because I knew that anything willow means wild uncontrollable growth, but not as bad as mulberry, however, it's very close. While doing this, I realized the area was pretty sheltered and if I mulched it in really well and maybe covered it, the little Japanese maple (which was supposedly as tall as it would get at three-four feet high) would make it through cold Nebraska winters. Well, it got a little bigger, but nothing you'd really notice. Then I became disabled about four and a half years ago, and three years of that I was on enough pain meds to keep me mostly sleeping 20+ hours a day. So about a year ago I started waking up more and working with biofeedback to kick the pain killers, and one day I looked out into my back yard, whining about how nobody aside from myself cared. I saw that my raspberry bushes were gone (probably mowed down by the kid that was hired to mow the yard), my holly bush was gone, my magnolia tree was just a stump, but the willow was really doing okay. Then, I saw it, my mind didn't register it at first because it didn't fit into my memory, but my little miniature dwarf Japanese maple was a thirty five foot tree. Seriously. No more little things that require attention to stay little. Trees, like children, grow up, and unless you are there to work with it and keep on top of it, BAM! You got big trees.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on October 26, 2017, 11:51:10 AM
HAHAHA!

That tree must have been so happy, though.

"NUTRIENTS!!!!" *Proceeds to shoot into the sky*
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on November 06, 2017, 03:42:20 PM
(https://i.imgur.com/RwOBNEG.jpg)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on November 09, 2017, 07:49:24 AM
Hive mind can you help me identify the proper name for this plant? It grows/feels a lot like wandering jew but is a tropical. I'm a little obsessed with it but can't seem to find/ID it on Google.

(https://i.imgur.com/xPIMNAH_d.jpg?maxwidth=640&shape=thumb&fidelity=medium)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on November 09, 2017, 11:44:50 AM
Rhoeo groundcover, maybe. From mexico, and grows in florida, so tropical, too.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on November 09, 2017, 02:33:36 PM
You're good! Rhoeo spathacea. Boom. ID'd.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on November 09, 2017, 10:12:44 PM
*finger-guns*  ;)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on November 09, 2017, 11:13:08 PM
I took 7 of my growouts to a guy who wanted to buy one to beef up his breeding herd, which was smaller framed than he wanted.  He liked mine so much he bought 3!  Two does for $20 each and a buck for $15.  He even butchered out the remaining 4 for us for free.  On the way home I stopped to return a battery charger I'd borrowed from someone, and that guy bought one of the butchered rabbits for $10.  I cut him a deal because he's my sweetheart of an uncle.  He's going to tell others I will sell rabbits too.  So altogether a nice rabbit day. 

I also gave the rabbit guy one of my barred rock rooster chicks who is about 10 weeks old now.  He is trying to develop his own meat breed of chicken that grows big and fast but isn't so mutant it can't breed or walk without breaking legs...He wanted a barred roo to try to make his chicks easy to sex (you can do that with barred chickens, the males and females are obvious at hatching).  He planned to destroy the baby roos, but instead he is going to give me all I want for free.  I can raise them to eat, and give him the information on age and weight to help him with his breeding project.  Score!

Got my bees moved over into a better hive for the winter.  I hadn't looked at them for awhile and I was dismayed to find they were already mostly out of stores.  So I am feeding them already.  My queen was still alive and doing her queen things, I was glad to see, but the colony was much diminished from the last time I looked in on them.  I hope they make it through the winter.



Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on November 27, 2017, 12:44:12 AM
Fingers crossed for your bees, ref. What are they mainly getting their sugar from up there in your neck of the woods? Clover? Bees in florida mainly feed off of wildflowers and various palms.

So, I pulled one of my carrots to check growth... super small, but tasty. I am deficient on sunlight, because I live in dense woods, especially now that the sun never getss from behind my trees.

This spring, I am going to focus on super invasive perennial crops, and keep tending to the fruit trees.

Weather update. The dry season is here, and it is finally dipping into the mid 40s at night, so I stoke the fireplace up some nights, other nights I cant be bothered, so I crank on the central air. Florida made me so soft to the cold.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on December 01, 2017, 10:52:29 AM
There is a succession of flowering plants that contribute to the nectar flow, including blackberries (finally a use for the cursed things) and clover.  It's over in late summer.  I'm feeding them syrup and I'm going to start with candy.  I'm concerned there's not enough of them to keep themselves warm.  I guess they never recovered from the guy running them over with the truck.

We've had some night freezes already.  It makes taking care of the rabbits more burdensome.  The nozzles on the bottles freeze, so we have gone to filling crocks for them.  You have to carry warm water out and bang out the ice to refill the crocks.  It's still getting above freezing during the daytime even for the coldest days, but that's about to change. 

I still have all the little chicks I bought (except the one I gave away).  I didn't expect them all to survive.  They've been free ranging for about a month.  They have kept themselves separate from the big chickens, but some of them are now starting to venture into the woods with the big girls.  They're even allowed on the lower roost in the coop now.  Until recently they would be chased off, even though all the big chickens were on the top roost,  and were all huddling up on top of the nesting boxes.  The chicks are nearly as big as the grown chickens now so it will be interesting to see how Peckerhead accepts the young roo.

Here's a funny chicken story.  We have two ceramic eggs in a nesting box to encourage the hens to lay there instead of the woods.  We had been getting zero eggs for awhile and wondered if they were laying in the woods.  One of the ceramic eggs disappeared!  We looked all over the place for it.  I envisioned a snake with a bellyache...  Well, in a couple of days, it showed back up!  WTF!  And a fine real egg with it.  Ever since, we've had one egg to gather every day.  The ceramic egg mystery is still unsolved.

Coyotes are closing in.  It was not unusual to hear one or two of them during the summer, but now it's a pack of them and they are very close.  The 12 gauge and the SKS are loaded and hanging by the bed.

I'm hoping to add a couple of feeder pigs and a bottle calf or two to the homestead in spring.  I enjoy working with the animals more than gardening, I always have, so I am going to focus more on providing our protein and use the farmer's market for most the vegetables, though I would like to explore growing beets and other food to offset the cost of animal feed.

My hands are getting so cold now on butchering days that I am cutting myself up.  Most the time I don't realize I do it until I thaw, but last time I heard/felt the blade scrape along the bone of my knuckle.  Unpleasant...  So we are going to hang a hook in the kitchen for butchering in winter before I lose a finger.  We'll kill rabbits outside and bring them inside for cleaning.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on December 15, 2017, 01:38:50 AM
I'm developing a habit of adopting sick plants to nurse them back to health. Otherwise they'll just get trashed and I hate that idea, but it's getting kind of ridiculous and I've already brought home four 'orphans'

I think I enjoy the challenge, and so far I have a 100% success rate; three orchids, two with mealybugs and root rot, and one with such terrible root rot there was only a leaf and no healthy roots left by the time I was done trimming. I repotted and babied them. All three are now putting out new leaves and roots. The single-leaf survivor took quite a while but I finally noticed a new leaf starting earlier today. Yay!

Then a peace rose with a terrible infection of black spot and fungus gnats. I had to prune it down to bare branches and repot it and take it indoors under a grow light, but now I have three new branch nubs, one of which is developing very nicely. Here's hoping.

Neem oil is a goddamn workhorse. Even if it does stink. Copper fungicide for the black spot and then regular applications of neem oil. Shit is effective.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on December 15, 2017, 02:04:17 AM
What is neem oil?

I know I can google it, but I'd rather hear it from you. lol.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on December 15, 2017, 02:31:13 AM
It's a horticultural oil you can get at nearly any decent garden center. It's an organic way to control/combat tons of pests, fungi and diseases while also not harming beneficial bugs or earthworms etc. The only sort-of drawback is that if you use it outside, you have to spray it on either super early in the morning or in the evening after the sun goes down. That way it has time to dry before the sun hits the foliage full force. I learned this the hard way by absolutely frying my green bean leaves in an attempt to get rid of some bugs one afternoon. Well I got rid of the bugs but I also got rid of most of my green bean leaves. And it's a bit stinky but the smell dissipates pretty quickly.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: RogueGunslinger on December 18, 2017, 08:37:56 AM
Neem is great but definitely read up on proper use. Its not something you want to eat, for instance.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on December 18, 2017, 08:53:57 PM
Neem didn't do shit for me this year. I was depressed. I had an okay haul, but the amount of work I put in versus what I got was really disappointing.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on December 20, 2017, 02:26:51 PM
Off topic, but my garden needs no work for the winter, and I wanted to show off.

I forged these knives as christmas gifts. my first time doing any serious smithing. Very happy with the results.

(https://i.imgur.com/NLveZMD.jpg)

I wanted the karambits to be nearly identical in shape, but that didnt happen, lol.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on December 23, 2017, 08:44:06 PM
Awesome knives!  What do you forge them from?

I made a deal for next year to provide 10 young rabbits a month for a guy who sells to restaurants.  It's not much but it will more than cover my rabbitry costs.  I provide them live and he butchers in an approved mobile facility.  He says if it takes off he might ask for more.  As he wants the kits at 8 weeks old, they can stay with mama until it's time to take them off, so I don't have to invest in more cages or anything.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on December 30, 2017, 08:55:56 PM
The two karambits came from a single rusty lawnmower blade i found in the woods. The bigger one came from a thick flat bar I picked up a while back working construction. No sense letting a good chunk of steel be thrown out.

Dude! Supplying chefs is great money! Congrats on the hookup.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on January 02, 2018, 04:13:47 PM
It's colder than a witch's tit!  I can remember my old man saying that when I was a kid.

The water is 30" underground so we still have water so far, but every day the temperature doesn't rise above freezing the frost line gets lower...

I really don't want to go back to hauling water.  It wasn't fun in the sweltering spring, it sure won't be fun in the freezing of January.

Our little cabin is well insulated in the main area and we are not suffering.  Our bedroom, however, is not insulated at all.  We put plastic over the walls and ceiling to cut down on the draft which helped.  We had been keeping the dog's water in there but we had to move it to the main part of the cabin because it was freezing solid.  We have an electric blanket on the bed so it's nice once you get warmed up.  Memory foam pillows are like laying down on a board, lol, until your body heat gets them warm.  Electric blankets don't seem to affect them.  Nobody wants to get up in the night to go pee!  But at our age neither of us sleeps through the night anymore.  I like the heated toilet seat though!

The nipples on the rabbit water bottles freezes in no time so we have moved to crocks for the winter.  They freeze too but we dip them in warm water we carry out and the ice comes out.  We're having to do that three times a day.  All the rabbits have nesting boxes with hay in them to burrow in.  But some choose to eat the hay instead.  They all seem to be doing just fine.  The two bucks, oddly enough, made the nicest nests and keep them cleanest.

The chickens all seem to be taking it in stride.  No real change to their behavior except when there is snow on the ground.  They are not fans.  The old ones stayed in the coop.  The young ones didn't know what it was.  They ran out like they always do, then freaked out and ran back to the little brooder area we used to keep them in when they were tiny, and crowded around in that.  Odd.  Maybe they hoped for the heater lol.

We spend our days dozing in the living room and talking about what we will do in spring.  I'm hoping to add one or two bottle calves and a couple of Kunekune pigs, and expanding the rabbitry so we can unstack the cages.  The bottom ones are hard for us to work with.

How are you guys doing in winter?







Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on January 02, 2018, 05:22:04 PM
Tend to my indoor plants and pout until April.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on January 04, 2018, 12:33:37 AM
I have the worst winter sunburn I've ever had. :)

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on January 04, 2018, 08:08:00 AM
Ha!  Miradus!  Rub it in why don't you?  :P
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on January 05, 2018, 12:57:54 AM
To be fair, I can see that it snowed up on top of Mauna Loa. We had a freak cold spell here that had everyone scrambling for hoodies. Dropped down to 58F. My neighbor lost some avocado off of his trees. And I think I got about a 30 minute reprieve from the mosquito that night. Normally it's an all-you-can-drink buffet up in here.

I saw some people walking around wearing those white tube things on their feet, it was so cold. Oh yeah. I think we used to call those "socks". :)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on January 05, 2018, 05:44:20 PM
Haha!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on January 06, 2018, 08:21:14 PM

I bought an avocado tree that is supposed to fruit in the winter, and a lychee tree which is supposed to produce most of the year.

I also started cutting boards for the raised bed garden, moving giant chunks of lava rock, and scraping out some space to put the beds. I should be actually able to plant something by the end of next week. Earlier if I start stuff off in pots.

Some guerilla marijuana grower was nice enough to leave me about 30 pots hidden in the underbrush. His grow operation was probably ten years ago, based on the rot on the posts but the pots are fine.

Now that the bungalow is up and stable, it's gardening time!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on January 06, 2018, 08:30:14 PM
Lucky. I still have a month and a half before the last frost.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on January 07, 2018, 02:09:24 PM
As hard as it is, this life in the winter, there is a beauty and a dignity to the hills that touches me for some reason I can't understand.  The trees are bare, the grass is brown or gone altogether.  The chickens are freeloading.  Our little cabin can't quite keep up when the temperature gets down below 10F.  My face hurts when I go outside.

But there is something that reminds me of a raggedy kid thumping through the woods or riding a horse at breakneck speed through the fields, or tromping down a gravel road with a thumb out, hoping to pile in the back of a pickup for a ride to the general store.  It makes me think of grandmothers and Christmases and little houses crammed full of aunts and uncles and cousins, so full we were lucky to find a place on the floor near the potbellied coal stove to sit and eat wondrous things that came out of woodburning stoves.  Barns full of hay, tobacco barns empty, money in the bank.  Going out to milk the cows in the frozen darkness.  I remember the voices and laughter of people gone, more than any time.  I don't know why.

Maybe you can't hear the whispers when there are leaves on the trees.  But you can hear them now.  "Welcome home".

(http://www.dogwoodmists.com/Refugee/Cumberland Falls.jpg)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on January 07, 2018, 02:14:49 PM
Beautiful, Ref.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on January 07, 2018, 02:48:14 PM
Thanks.  The picture is a river that runs through my county, taken yesterday, though the falls is in the next county over.

My grandfather (with 150 years worth of greats) floated down that river on a raft, with his cousin and his old aunt, and everything he owned.  They grounded the raft at the top of the falls and carried everything down, trip after trip, then let the raft go over the falls and swam out and caught it, and loaded it back up.  A few miles farther downriver they cut out a homestead.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on January 07, 2018, 06:10:06 PM

You know, the world you and I had is pretty much gone. That's one of the reasons I didn't mind so much leaving the mainland for Hawaii. It didn't feel like I was in the Texas I grew up in ... it felt like that Texas was a corpse in the room. Now I'm in a new place with no old reminders.

Beautiful photo though. I've always liked those snowy woods days.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on January 07, 2018, 07:51:05 PM
Go deep enough into the woods, and the modern world disappears.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on January 07, 2018, 08:29:02 PM

You know, the world you and I had is pretty much gone. That's one of the reasons I didn't mind so much leaving the mainland for Hawaii. It didn't feel like I was in the Texas I grew up in ... it felt like that Texas was a corpse in the room. Now I'm in a new place with no old reminders.

Beautiful photo though. I've always liked those snowy woods days.

It is pretty much gone.  But there's not that much left of me either so I've made my peace with it.  I feel blessed to have lived so free, it had already faded away a lot by the 60s and 70s when I was growing up.

My cousin, about 12 years younger than me, made a habit of buying up every farm around here that went on sale after the owners would die.  He ended up with a lot of land.  He made a hunting preserve and had exotic animals and a deer rehab.  He said he wanted to preserve it the way it is.  Now he moved to town last year and it's all for sale.  He's asking far, far too much for it for it to be used farming.  He says if he can't get his millions this way he will break it up into lots and piecemeal it out.  My wonderful view falls over a lot of it.  Right now I can only see one other house when the leaves are off the trees like now.  He's gonna ruin that.  I would like to kick his little ass.  On the other hand, I can't fault the guy for making a fortune for himself and his wife and kid.  Just feels a little like he lied.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on January 08, 2018, 01:09:24 PM

I grew up on a 3,000 acre ranch in Texas. My great-grandfather homesteaded it back during the bad old days of the Comancheria. It was left to my father, the only one of my grandfather's 14 children who were agriculturally minded. He ran it into the ground and the bank took it. When I was 16 there wasn't any place left for us and we had to move to the city where he took a job in a factory.

Now there's natural gas wells and two subdivisions all over the forests I used to play in as a child. The air smells and they moved my grandmother's grave to put in a convenience store. That family cemetery had been used since my great-grandfather's day but my grandmother was the only one there I knew. I don't know where they sent all the remains to or if they just shoved them aside to put in gas tanks.

No mud, no lotus. I've got a beautiful life now and the past stays in the past.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on January 08, 2018, 03:38:50 PM
Ah man, that sucks.  Really sucks.  I understand your statement about the corpse of Texas.

My mom ran off about a month before my 14th birthday and my old man took to drinking and acting the fool, and one day priced the farm when he was drunk and someone took him up on it.  He was heartbroken but he wouldn't go back on his word, so it was gone.  I spent my high school years moving between kin around here and I could not wait to get out.  I went the day after my 17th birthday and started the process to join the Navy.  That was 40 years ago.  I spent a lot of those years determined to go back and buy that farm we'd lost.  I was angry and bitter and it felt like something I had to do to overcome all the shit that had happened that I was so pissed about.  Then one day, somewhere in my early 30s, that need was just gone, along with the anger and blame from all those years ago.  If it was possible to buy that farm, I wouldn't want it.  It's not possible because they broke it up into parcels and sold it off like that.  But I don't care anymore.  I would rather have my little hillside farm with the tiny cabin.

Maybe you're the pioneer that your descendants a century from now will tell the stories about.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on January 08, 2018, 04:53:03 PM
Yeah, I spent many a year fantasizing about making enough money and buying back the farm my father had lost, but one day chance brought me back to that area and I saw what had become of it. I could hear my great-grandfather's voice clearly saying, "If you ever get that much money, go somewhere else."

Here's the day one photo of our worksite here in Hawaii.

(https://i.imgur.com/swzxnOj.jpg)

Now where the Green Growler was parked (the ugly truck), there's a 16'x16' bungalow. Walls are still unpainted and I haven't put all the windows or doors in, and the roofing material didn't show up on time so the roof is a big carport tarp, but it's dry inside and comfortable. The mission was to arrive early and get the jungle cleared out and build a small house for us to live in while we build the big house. My 17 year old and I got the house built in 8 days. Now we're just getting the finishing touches on before the rest of the family arrives on Friday. I'm stoked.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on January 09, 2018, 08:28:26 PM
That's such an awesome experience your kids are gonna share with you.  Unusual in this day and age.  Are you totally off grid?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on January 09, 2018, 08:44:50 PM
This is the third house we've built, but the first once the 11 year old and 17 year old boys have been able to help me with. The oldest (22) has done both of the other ones but he's not here for this one. They get in Friday though. Can't wait for them to see it.

Off-grid is mostly the way of life here. There's some grid available but it usually comes with a huge surcharge so most people skip it. The electric company took the cost of putting in poles and everything else and attached it to the land but then a court made them stop. So they attached it as a "hook up fee". So if you want electricity, you've got to pay their hook up fee, which includes the cost of putting in the poles back in the 80's plus interest. But then so many people went off grid to avoid paying that, they started adding up the cost per street and attaching it to anyone who would pay. Oh, you want to be on grid and you're the only one on your road who is? That's $12,000 please.

So solar is a big deal now. Most people go with that. Even businesses and such in town have rooftops covered in panels. And there's stores all over you can walk in and get your equipment.

Water is problematic in that they can't run underground pipes because of the lava rock. So everyone uses rooftop collection. Plus there's natural springs all over the island that the government has tapped. You drive up and there's a row of faucets where fresh spring water is free and available to you. Fill up any size jug you want. So I go up there every couple of days right now and get 20 gallons and bring it back. Other people are there filling up anything from 800 gallon tanks to 40 mason jars. Whatever they have, really. Poverty is all over the island. About 40% of the population in my area doesn't work and doesn't have a vehicle, so you see entire families hitchhiking into town.

I'm on Verizon 4g right now for internet, but I hope next week to be able to get satellite. Tried to get radio internet last Saturday but the jungle here is too thick. Couldn't get a signal out.

The bungalow is in the dry, mostly. The roofing material is delayed by 3 weeks ... everything is always out of stock here and takes 3-6 weeks to arrive by boat. So big carport tarp will hold out the rain until then. Needs painting and I have 3 more sides to put windows in after the tarp comes off. Then I'll put a big porch off the front and two sides and that's where we'll live until the big house is built sometime this coming year.

(https://i.imgur.com/kpnJoSf.jpg)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on January 09, 2018, 09:04:49 PM
What will you do with it after the big house is built? Workshop?

This is all very fun to read about/watch, props to you for being able & willing to live off grid.

I like my creature comforts a little too much.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on January 09, 2018, 09:47:31 PM
It will be my office and the guest house after that, but also should any of my older sons manage to find a wife it could be their starter home. It's small, but I've seen people live in worse and small can be cozy.

Off grid isn't all that bad. The only creature comforts I have to do without are air conditioning and hot water on demand. We still manage our nightly Netflix show with dinner (a family tradition) and we have a fridge and cold drinks on hand. Nothing really that we're losing out on. But here we should be able to manage a solar hot water heater where in Texas we couldn't. Plus the climate just isn't that bad compared to our Texas life so the lack of air conditioning won't be a problem. I do like me a little fan though and I use one of those Ryobi ones with the rechargeable batteries.

And whenever I get to thinking we're roughing it too much, I call for an ice cream break and we run to Pahoa (home of the flakiest hippies on the planet) for a cone and a milkshake. Life is good. :)

Pahoa really is the weirdest place I've ever been to. There's a small nasty element which has moved in which is mostly just deadbeat pot smokers after handouts, but the regular pot smoking hippies seem to be slowly driving them back out. Hassling people is just a big no-no. If someone wants to give you some money or a ride then that's cool, but walking up to tourists and demanding they give you some money is a big problem that the locals really aren't going to stand for very long. They've already just about had enough. I haven't been hassled to much extent. The panhandlers tend to go after people who look a little more well-heeled than I do.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on January 09, 2018, 11:46:58 PM
We had planned to live just that way and build up a house from scratch, but we assessed our situation realistically, finally, after I had spent a couple of years drafting a house plan and costing out the supplies to the last nail...and decided to start with a ready built shed because we're old and we can't do what we think we can lol.  And if we get hurt, stuff just doesn't heal anymore.

I was unhappy with the decision at first but I am glad we did it that way now.  Everything takes longer to do than you expect.  I don't know if we would've had a dried in house by winter.  This way we were living in it from day one.

We hauled water in 50 gallon drums for several months until we could get water to the edge of the property.  I had all the plans for building a rain catchment system and I've still got 2 unused 300 gallon tanks out there, but again we chickened out.  We laid the pipe, about 600', with a homemade subsoiler my old man had welded up when I was a kid.  No telling how many feet of pipe that thing has laid, everyone for miles around borrows it.  We just went through a fierce unrelenting cold snap and nothing froze, so it did a good job!

We had a Zodi camping shower for hot water for several months, then we got an Eccotemp L5 which we attached to the cabin.  We're still using that.  It's fine but we want something with more throughput eventually.  When the water is icy like it is now, you have to really diminish the flow to get it steamy hot.  In the summer it did fantastic.

Our big accomplishment this week has been the installation of a real full sized cooktop.  We've been using a small 1000w hotplate for 8 months which couldn't quite boil 3 cups of water.  This is very awesome!

We use Verizon 4G for internet too.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on January 10, 2018, 01:10:12 AM
Almost every winter we'd have a cold snap and something would break. I won't miss that. :(

For cooking we used a regular gas stove that I modified to run on propane. It wouldn't burn super clean but it was fine.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on January 11, 2018, 08:49:58 AM
Yesterday the temperature was a record high.  I was outside working in a tee shirt.  Today is supposed to be the same, except with rain.  Tomorrow a winter storm is coming. 

They say the temperature could drop 30 degrees in an hour.  I'm nearly 60 and I can't remember ever having heard that before.

It's gonna be nasty because it's going to be raining when that happens.  So we expect a layer of ice before the snow.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on January 13, 2018, 01:17:22 AM
Its hot again in florida, too. I think I'll pull up my carrots, soon.

So, there are these seeds that I want super badly for the spring. They are perennial cucumbers from India, but I cant have them sent to florida, because they are so successful here, they tend to spread so they are banned.

I've heard Indian families grow them, here, but the few Indians I know know of the veggies (err, fruits), but do not grow them.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on January 13, 2018, 01:19:36 PM
Yo everybody, pray for Miradus' safety. Ballistic missile warnings for Hawaii. Not sure if it is legit or not, but the warnings did go out.

(https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DTcKW_PUQAAp7Zt.jpg)



Edit: Update 20 minutes later.
"NOT A DRILL"
jk it was a drill.

Thats ridiculous, but a really good turn of events.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on January 13, 2018, 02:48:42 PM
They've been having missile tests/disaster alerts for monthly drills in Hawaii ever since the threats escalated from Un.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on January 13, 2018, 02:58:59 PM
Yeah, but those all have been announced in advance as to not cause a panic. And I am certain that none of those said "NOT A DRILL"
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on January 13, 2018, 04:24:18 PM
(http://www.dogwoodmists.com/Refugee/Dad 1-13-18 snow.jpg)

That's my 81-year-old old man feeding his cows.  You can see them coming around the corner of the old house.  It's about a half-mile from his house.  It was down around 10F this morning. 
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on January 13, 2018, 04:31:42 PM
great pic, ref. Stuff like that is great to have, especially for your kids and grandkids.

(https://i.imgur.com/vo6oS9e.jpg)

pulled up a few white satin carrots. a lot of them are undersized, as i goofed the spacing. They taste super sweet, though.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on January 13, 2018, 08:21:54 PM

We survived. :)

Some idiot at the emergency facility pressed the wrong button and it send out that message. THIS IS NOT A DRILL and it freaked people the hell out.

I mean, right the hell out. People were throwing themselves on the floor, crashing their cars, gas stations locked their doors and shut off their pumps ... I have never seen such sights.

My wife and I were out at Home Depot at the time. She's pretty chill. We fist bumped and said, "It's been awesome."

Then 12 minutes go by and there's nothing. No flash. No boom. I'm like, "Yo, someone want to reopen register 4 please?"

It took them about 30 minutes to start sending out "false alarm" messages. I have heard, but I have no way of confirming, that at least one guy killed his whole family and himself rather than let them suffer nuclear hellfire ... but that came from some guy at the convenience store so ... grain of salt.

I don't know what we'd actually do here ... there's nothing even remotely resembling a bomb shelter near me and no way to get to it in 12 minutes anyway. We're not prepared, we're not set up to withstand it in our little plywood shack, and realistically we generally feel that going out in a big flash of light isn't really the worst way you could possibly go. Compare it to any number of relatives I've watched die over the course of a year or so to terminal illnesses. Plus, we'd all go at once.

Life is impermanent anyway. I'd like to enjoy it as long as I can but not through any amount of bullshit can I prolong it.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on January 13, 2018, 10:59:30 PM
I can't imagine how it would feel to get that alarm, and then how enraged I would be to find out the government had just screwed up.  After the initial relief I guess.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on January 13, 2018, 11:04:28 PM
(http://www.dogwoodmists.com/Refugee/Hawaii.jpg)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on January 13, 2018, 11:14:29 PM
Hahaaaa.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on January 14, 2018, 07:29:50 PM
Things are pretty hilarious around here anyway.

On the end of our road some drunk ran over a stop sign. Flattened it. The next day Hawaiian road crew came out and duct taped the sign to a nearby tree. Yeah, ok. That's fixed. :)

Ken's House of Pancakes was PACKED this morning for breakfast, and so were all the church parking lots. This is how Hawaii rediscovers religion.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on January 24, 2018, 04:36:35 PM
I turned in the cover crop to let it stew for a few weeks until planting time. It felt so good to be digging around in the dirt. Can't wait for March to roll around.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on January 25, 2018, 06:23:00 PM
I have a cocoa tree to plant, some sort of vanilla bean orchid, a lychee tree, an avocado tree, and a big, bushy palm.

If it ever stops raining. :)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on January 27, 2018, 08:30:58 AM
Man that vanilla bean is a good idea, stuff's going through the roof.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on January 27, 2018, 01:24:42 PM

I am really not sure if this is an orchid which smells like vanilla or an actual vanilla bean plant. I bought it from this guy who sells plants out of his yard and he didn't have the scientific name of the plant on it anywhere. Plus he's Malaysian so English very bad. :(

The example he showed me is a climbing vine so I think it's the actual orchid that produces the vanilla flavor. We shall have to see in the fullness of plant time.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on January 27, 2018, 08:01:32 PM
Man that vanilla bean is a good idea, stuff's going through the roof.

Yep. My favorite tea changed flavor profiles because the company couldn't get as many vanilla beans in as they were from Madagascar.

If I had the climate, or a greenhouse, I'd be growing the plants, along with saffron crocuses. O_O
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on January 27, 2018, 08:13:29 PM
I went to Keaau this morning for malasadas and the local high school had a stand where they were selling some plants they'd started. Unfortunately all that was left by the time I got there were eggplants, but I bought a couple and started them off to the side of the cabin. They're currently getting thoroughly rained on.

I really only like eggplant when it's stir-fried or baked stuffed with mozzarella and parmesan. But hey, it's growing time so let's grow.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on January 28, 2018, 12:12:25 AM
Hmm.  I have several old sliding glass door panels that someone was giving away.  I thought I might use them to make a little greenhouse sometime.  Maybe I will try to grow some vanilla beans.

You remember my poor struggling hive of bees I've been telling the saga of.  I was pretty afraid they wouldn't make it though winter.  Today there were bees flying in and out of the hive!  It's been warm for a couple of days.  I'm so pleased with them.  I doubt there was a thousand of them left in November when I did the last inspection.  Hang in there girls!  Spring is coming!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on January 28, 2018, 05:24:19 PM
Went to the Puna farmer's market and bought a Hibiscus plant and a Hawaiian pepper plant. The pepper plant is supposed to grow like crazy but it puts out these super-small little red peppers. Like thumbnail size peppers. I tasted one, however, and gah, it's super hot.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on January 28, 2018, 08:26:59 PM
Throw a bunch of those little peppers in a bottle with some salt and malt vinegar. Yum.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on January 29, 2018, 06:20:19 PM

Would you use any other spices with those? Like maybe a garlic clove or something?

Pretty much anything in malt vinegar is super tasty. A spicy version of that would be great.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on January 30, 2018, 07:23:37 PM

My neighbor and I were discussing compost and she complained that she never can get it to start breaking down. She showed me her pile which was one of those little tumbling barrels you get at the hardware store.

I don't know why they sell those. Have any of you ever gotten them to work?

I'm a nut about compost, even keeping logs of the internal temperature of the pile with specialty thermometers. It's probably the simplest process in all of agriculture ... keep piling on organic material and the pile will start to pop when it reaches the right mass and moisture content. I don't even bother turning the piles. Just let them break down naturally.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on January 30, 2018, 08:29:38 PM
Our community garden theoretically has a compost heap but nobody actually knows how to do compost so it's completely fucking useless and I'm sick of trying to dig through it and take out the trash because it's a disgusting, neverending, thankless job. I'm talking taking out doggie bags of yes, dog shit, and plastic trash bags just tossed right in, like yes ma'am, those whole foods fruit rinds sure would be fine in the compost pile. IF YOU TOOK THEM OUT OF THE PLASTIC BAG YOU IDIOT.

Maybe I'll be That Person again and write an angry note on the chalk board...
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on January 30, 2018, 09:12:58 PM
Plastic bags WILL compost since they're made of petroleum (basically just carbon, the same as a leaf) but it takes an extremely hot, large pile and a long, long time.

What always tickles me is the people who are sticklers for "no bones or meat". Heh. I've composted entire dead cows. Let the pile sit for about two years and all you have left is a few teeth which you can sift out when you spread it.

Best way to start a pile once you've got the right carbon ratio? Piss on it. Literally. High nitrogen content, some beneficial bacteria, and moisture content to get everything kicked off.

When it comes to composting, I never met a trace mineral I didn't like. I DO worry a bit about salt accumulation from human waste but theoretically that would take decades and a lot of it is going to be subsumed by the growing cycle of your vegetables.

Wider variety of biological material in your compost = more minerals = healthier plants = tastier, more nutritious veggies.

But I would be annoyed at those schmucks who throw their garbage in there too. Point out to them that you can compost an entire human being in less than a year and only have to pick out the teeth. Maybe that'll get your point across.



Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on January 30, 2018, 09:42:04 PM
(https://68.media.tumblr.com/d773447dcff1edc0a40730be729fea64/tumblr_nzpr2uqFN11rp0vkjo1_500.gif)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on January 30, 2018, 09:50:42 PM
I also don't have a whole lot of years or a particularly large area to compost (we're talking a 2x4 foot fenced in spot), as this is an apartment complex.

So generally things that break down quickly, aren't terribly offensive on the smell ratio, and can be used within a season are better.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on January 30, 2018, 11:16:50 PM
Hmmm. That limits you to really stuff like coffee grounds and leafy greens.

Often a lot of muni dumps have a composting program where you can get green material shredded up and at least partially composted. You could check into those programs. Especially if you got a buddy with a pickup truck.

I haven't lived in an apartment in like 35+ years so I don't really know what the limitations there are.

Stack the compost tall and turn it often for faster composting. Just be really careful of the heat. One problem I often see is that compost piles get too hot if they have unlimited water and then they burn out all the nitrogen you're hoping to get from them. Nitrogen WANTS to be in the atmosphere, not the soil or in plants. You have to take great lengths to trap it where you can use it.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on January 30, 2018, 11:23:04 PM
Yeah, and there isn't even a pitchfork to turn it with, and mostly it's just heaped with yanked up plants not even partially torn up (as well as aformentioned plastic bags of trash). So you're probably getting a better idea of why I decided "to hell with you" for this particular pile.

I'm somewhat tempted to try and talk to the lead who runs the community garden program and see if anything can be done (i.e., educating the other gardeners, or perhaps putting up a "what to add & what NOT to add to the compost pile" sign) but seeing as they have trouble providing even basic supplies like, oh gee, a pitchfork for compost turning or a working nozzle for the hoses, my hopes aren't high. And anything I put into the little shed either goes missing or gets broken within a few months, so I'm done donating my own supplies.

This community garden is populated by a bunch of yuppie soccer moms whose idea of gardening is to go to Home Depot, grab a flat of tomatoes and basil, and watch them wilt over the summer.

I can't wait until I'm done with school and we can start hunting for a house where I can have my own backyard setup.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on January 30, 2018, 11:26:40 PM
... that said, I am super glad that I have even this little spot to work with. I've done a lot to improve the soil in my plot (initially it was just rocky, clayey trash dirt dumped in a 3x3x4 raised bed and just.. terrible quality soil) and I've added big pots around it for some extra container gardening, so I'm looking forward to seeing what I can pull off this summer.

Suck it, soccer moms.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on January 31, 2018, 01:25:57 PM

Would you use any other spices with those? Like maybe a garlic clove or something?

Pretty much anything in malt vinegar is super tasty. A spicy version of that would be great.

Man, anything with essential oils will change the flavor profile. Cloves, Alspice, Oregano, Basil.

A personal recommendation would be dried shiitake mushrooms, or bonito-flakes, for the glutamic acid (umami).

Del, that sucks you have to share your garden with inconsiderate people. I would love to see what you'd do on your own piece of earth.

I have a few different compost areas. One is for veggie scraps, one is for branches and rotting wood, and one is a massive pit in the woods that all of my paper, cardboard, and cat-litter goes.

I mulch with shredded wood and oak-leaf litter, so that all composts live in the garden.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on January 31, 2018, 02:12:11 PM
Ok, I'll experiment with different flavors once this bush gets to producing. I'm going to pick up a couple more of them. They're a very pretty edible to have scattered around. Next year shoot me a PM with your address and I'll send you a bottle. :)

We compost humanure here with composting toilets. Been doing that about 8 years. So long as you keep the carbon ratio high there's no stink. And in Texas it would break down in about a year. Here in Hawaii it ought to break down in just two months, but I'll still keep it out of the garden for a year. That's what the Humanure Handbook recommends to kill any pathogens.

Every cut, scrape, or puncture here in the tropics ends up infected at least a little bit. I need to boost my immune system!

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on February 01, 2018, 03:18:17 AM
Will do, man ;)

About the infected cuts: the same thing happened to me when I moved from California to Florida as a child. The native flora of bacteria is so different, your body is not used to it. As a feral kid, I would stop bleeding cuts by rubbing dirt into them, and never had an issue until I moved to Florida, where my nicks and cuts would get red and puffy. A couple months of rubbing the local sand into the cuts inoculated me.
Also, get some local raw milk. Teach your immune system that you're living somewhere new by exposing it to everything.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on February 01, 2018, 02:37:20 PM
There's a lot of little hassles, but the way my day starts is not one of them. I grab a pop-tart or something and a cup of coffee and my wife and I go to the "beach". It's not a swimming beach. There's fishing there, but mostly it's steep cliffs overlooking the water. About a mile from my house on the main road.

(https://i.imgur.com/btIkEpX.jpg)

Yesterday I planted my lychee tree and an avocado tree and today it's raining so they're getting watered in. To plant trees here, you come along where the bulldozer ripped the lava rock, remove one or more giant chunks of rock, and then put the tree in the hole and fill it up with dirt. The rock layer is about 30' deep, with another rock layer beneath it. Top soil in my area ranges from about 4" to a half inch. I could scrape all the soil off my one acre here and not fill a large pot with it.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on February 02, 2018, 09:46:28 AM
Wow that's a beautiful start to a day!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on February 02, 2018, 01:01:31 PM
That lava flow is wild.

Wow that's a beautiful start to a day!

I second that.

Happy for you, Mir.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on February 02, 2018, 02:00:52 PM

Thanks. It is pretty cool. Sometimes we see sea turtles or whales.

A little ways over from where I live, someone has a showplace garden ... not like a community garden but rather just a big garden spot where you can come tour or book parties and such. They sell veggies too, so I went and looked to find out what they're growing and get ideas for my own garden.

Looks like it's the normal fare I'm used to, but they had their tomato plants under shade cloth. Said the plants will burn in the tropical sun.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on February 04, 2018, 07:17:16 PM
Planted a Tahitian Lime tree and a Texas Flame grapefruit tree. And got a couple of porch plants. :)

ETA:

Oh, and I met a fellow gardener who lives a little ways down my street! I commented on the nice-looking tomato bed I could see from the road and he laughed and took me back to show me his garden. Turned out it was 10 nice plants of OG Kush. Heh. Well, gardening is gardening.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on February 04, 2018, 07:22:00 PM
There's kiwi vine rootballs for sale and I'm super tempted to set up a space for them but I have no way of telling which are male and which are female and evidently they won't fruit without both...

So it's not really worth it :(
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on February 05, 2018, 05:16:55 PM
Take the gamble and grow them long enough to sex. If you dont get a hetero pair, sell one, and buy another!

Ah, I didn't mention. I had some plant deaths this winter. My Avocado tree froze to the ground, my Japanese persimmon just flat out died, and the leaves froze off my mango tree. We'll see if the mango keeps kicking.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on February 05, 2018, 05:44:19 PM
My peace rose was recovering great, putting out new shoots and even tried to produce a rosebud (which I snipped off to encourage it to focus on leaves), but then suddenly it just wilted and keeled over. Still can't figure out what happened. Indoors, no temp changes, no watering changes.

It might have been copper toxicity from the fungicide - I could have measured the dosage wrong.

Poor thing.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on February 05, 2018, 05:59:36 PM
My peace rose was recovering great, putting out new shoots and even tried to produce a rosebud (which I snipped off to encourage it to focus on leaves), but then suddenly it just wilted and keeled over. Still can't figure out what happened. Indoors, no temp changes, no watering changes.

It might have been copper toxicity from the fungicide - I could have measured the dosage wrong.

Poor thing.

If it just wilted and keeled over, there many have been a problem in the phloem. Copper toxicity usually results in browned and spotted leaves before death. But you've got to be careful with fungicides and such.

I'd get those kiwis if you want kiwis. Plant 5 or so and you've got at least a good shot of getting a male. And you probably only need one male for every five or ten females anyway.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on February 05, 2018, 07:10:17 PM
If I owned property I'd do that in a heartbeat. But I don't want to plop down a bunch of money trying to sex kiwi vines when I live in an apartment complex with a soccer mom community garden. :-\

I'm staving off any impulse buys by plotting out ways to maximize (and vertical-ize) my garden plot.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on February 05, 2018, 07:23:46 PM
Ah, I hear ya.

I'm going the opposite way. I keep impulse buying all these things and then I just plop them down wherever. I need to stop and think about the future.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on February 11, 2018, 12:22:40 PM
I have 9 does that are (hopefully) preggers.

9.  Some are coming due this week and some are due next month.

2 of them are pedigreed Rex pet quality and I hope to sell those other than for meat.

5 of them are first timers.  I overbred to make sure I can meet my 10 rabbit a month delivery to the restaurant guy.  First timers often mess up and lose their litters in one stupid way or another.

But imagine if they all do great and I have 9 huge litters?  Ha!

All my first timer does had a great mama who was wonderful with her first litter.

Also I have too many roosters.  There will be a rooster murder this week if all goes as planned.  Peckerhead is not fond of them bothering his ladies.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on February 11, 2018, 01:22:22 PM

There's a guy just down the road from me who has this huge chicken area. All these little houses and cages and chickens walking all over. But when I slowed down to look one day, I noticed they were all roosters. No hens anywhere. Just maybe 40 roosters out there.

Clearly he's involved in cockfighting, and I had to stop and reconsider my position on that. I have heard there's a spectrum there ... not everyone fights their roosters to a cruel death. But plenty do die. And roosters fight each other if they see other roosters so it's not like it's alien to their nature. This guy does seem to love his roosters and they're well taken care of, so at the end of the day, is it worse than those caged hens who lay eggs all their life after having their beaks removed? Or the roosters who get electrocuted internally for KFC?

Learning to evaluate different cultures on their own merit here.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on February 11, 2018, 02:24:10 PM
I'm feeling pretty defeated. I don't know if I'll garden this year. It'll have to be at my mom's again because the house I was looking at - well It ended up being shit. And my mom has that fungus in her yard that just rapes everything, so I dunno. It just seems kinda pointless to slave over something that's not gonna do well.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on February 11, 2018, 02:29:21 PM
My father raises fighting cocks on his island in the Philippines. You're right, they wont always fight their birds to the death, but a few losses earn them a 1 way trip to the crock-pot. Honestly, I think its fair.  These animals are well-fed and have the opportunity to breed before their deaths, given they fight well. Infinitely more humane than keeping clipped/maimed/drugged birds in tiny cages, producing until they die. After all, Cocks fight on their own for dominance and breeding rights.


Boog, why not build some raised beds and control the soil with fungicide?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on February 11, 2018, 02:31:26 PM
Raised beds are expensive as fuck, and I did sort of a bedless raised bed last year (no wood, but I lasagna'd everything) and it didn't change much. Everything simply rots down here.

I don't think that this particular infection is treatable through most means. Miradus would know more. My blackberries were so fucking amazing and poof, like that, they were infected. Oh, and I think they might've gotten to my blueberries which ARE in pots, too. I'm not sure if it was them changing leaf color or if it was the vascular infection, but, welp. :/

I will fucking shriek and burn things if they got my blueberries. Y'all have no idea, lol.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on February 11, 2018, 05:45:49 PM

Sometimes when I've had trouble with a particular plant, I switch to a different variety and keep trying. Eventually you'll catch on a variety which is resistant to whatever problem element is in the environment. Frustrating when that might take 2-3 years to prove out, but that's gardening.

Did you wash your hands thoroughly each time you went from plant to plant? If not, you would have carried spores into your pots. That doesn't mean they'll all die, but I bet the fungus is present in all locations now.

I priced out a raised bed using cinder blocks. I feel like everything will just rot to pieces here too. $240 gets me a 12'x4' bed that's 32" high and it will last virtually forever.

I'll just add one every payday until I have filled up the garden area, I suppose. Need to sit and think on this though because once those beds are mortared in ... they're in to stay. :)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on February 11, 2018, 05:52:15 PM
Using cinderblocks is a great idea. Low cost and far sturdier than using lumber.

Plus with cinderblocks you have all kinds of space for pest-devouring spiders and lizards to hide!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Lizzie on February 11, 2018, 06:14:14 PM
Reading some of these sad stories of crop/plant/community garden failure/trouble is another reason I'm grateful for my organic flowering aromatic perennial herb garden. Organic to the point where - I don't water it, or fertilize it, and generally, I don't even plant it. The squirrels bring me all kinds of presents - including an awesome crop of melissa officinalis (lemon balm) that mingles with my yearly bumper crop of oregano (a few different varieties that have wilded on the east side of the garden). I had black leaf peppermint growing for a couple of years courtesy of the squirrels, but the spearmint overtook it and killed it off.

There's a ground-vine miniature raspberry/strawberry-kind of thing I saw growing wild at a friend's farm, I'm tempted to try and find a place that actually sells it so I can groom a corner by my fence to grow it.

My rule: I plant it once, water it once, feed it once. If Nature wants it dead, it'll die. If Nature wants it alive, I'll harvest it when it's ready. Other than that, I leave it alone.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on February 11, 2018, 06:22:18 PM
Just in case I was misunderstood (I don't think I was, but just in case), we're going to kill and butcher the extra roos, not let them fight.  They'd probably prefer to be allowed to fight it out.  We are going to try to keep one in addition to Peckerhead, because we don't know how old Peckerhead is and we need a roo to protect the flock.  Peckerhead is a wonderful rooster, he's kept them safe for a long time in a hostile environment.

But the damn roos are raping the hens so often that they tear up their backs, 4 roos for 16 hens is way too many for the poor girls.  And it's all about the hens for our purpose.  It's kind of funny to watch Peckerhead put the boys in their place but it's time for them to go into the rooster rehabilitation facility.

(http://www.dogwoodmists.com/Refugee/rehab.jpg)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on February 11, 2018, 06:28:38 PM
You could always start working on raising capon.... ;D

Perennial herbs are generally pretty low maintenance if you don't care about trying to maximize output.

I'm going pretty heavy on herbs this year myself, because I realized how obscenely easy it is to dry and store them when I have excess. I cook a lot, and I make liberal use of seasonings, so it will save me money in the long run.

I'm even going to plant catnip so I can dry it and make toys, because that's how crazy cat ladies roll.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on February 11, 2018, 06:51:07 PM
The only herb I really work on is rosemary because of the huge different in taste. I sometimes do a little cilantro but I'm the only one who likes it so more than one plant goes to waste.

I'm a garden meddler though. I work pretty intensively in trying to shift the genetics from year to year and get new strains that are more tailored to what *I* want. So pretty much every day I'm out there doing something. The only things I leave alone are fruit trees. Of which I've planted a lot this year so far.

Avocado, grapefruit, lime, cherry, lychee ... mmmm. All the crap I've never been able to grow before.

I've been told if I get a prescription for marijuana usage here I can grow 5 plants for my own use. THEN the fun experimentation will start.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Lizzie on February 11, 2018, 07:00:46 PM
Mine's not just herbs - I call it an herb garden because it's mostly herbs. Three varieties of mint (including catnip). The lemon balm, an italian oregano, greek oregano, and wild oregano. French lavender, lavendin, winter savory, lemon thyme, echinacea, some weird thing that doesn't have a smell but looks like green lace covering the garden surface and I have to pull it back so it doesn't overtake everything else, but it's pretty so I let it grow til it starts looking like a threat every year, and - oddly enough - three asiatic lillies. The squirrels keep trying to plant maple trees in the garden too but I eventually yank out the saplings while they're small enough to pull by hand.  One year I also had a mudwasp nest under the oregano. I discovered it while harvesting a batch for drying. Ouch.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on February 11, 2018, 10:20:44 PM

Sometimes when I've had trouble with a particular plant, I switch to a different variety and keep trying. Eventually you'll catch on a variety which is resistant to whatever problem element is in the environment. Frustrating when that might take 2-3 years to prove out, but that's gardening.

Did you wash your hands thoroughly each time you went from plant to plant? If not, you would have carried spores into your pots. That doesn't mean they'll all die, but I bet the fungus is present in all locations now.

I priced out a raised bed using cinder blocks. I feel like everything will just rot to pieces here too. $240 gets me a 12'x4' bed that's 32" high and it will last virtually forever.

I'll just add one every payday until I have filled up the garden area, I suppose. Need to sit and think on this though because once those beds are mortared in ... they're in to stay. :)

I was super cautious about cross contamination. I just feel like it's hopeless and the wilt coupled with my mother's invasive bamboo? It just makes me want to wait until I get my own place.

Which is also another thing! I can't put cinderblocks down if I'm not gonna be living in the place. I don't intend on ever living at my mother's home. She got it for a good price, and it's in an okay area, but that yard, and those neighbors, nope.

Maybe I'll just grow some herbs this year, and some easy to grow veggies like peas and stuff. :( Buh.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on February 11, 2018, 10:58:04 PM

Yeah, if it's not a good spot then it's not a good spot.

Container gardening? I've done that before and you can actually get a pretty decent yield.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on February 11, 2018, 11:44:02 PM
I might. I have containers here at the house. I just hate having to water them 3 times a day! I have an automatic system at my mom's. Maybe I'll plop it all out there.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on February 11, 2018, 11:51:52 PM
I might. I have containers here at the house. I just hate having to water them 3 times a day! I have an automatic system at my mom's. Maybe I'll plop it all out there.

I used some dripline and empty 2 liter bottles turned upside down. It was enough to keep the soil damp throughout about a 2 day period, if you have at least a gallon of soil. Give it a good soak and then set up the dripline for when you're not attending it.

You can either order dripline online or get it from a really good gardening center. I got mine from a grower's supply shop that probably ended up putting me on a watch list. But hey, some great basement tomato.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on February 12, 2018, 12:03:03 AM
HEH. I got my setup from one of those places too, though this was less of THAT watchlist than another.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Cind on February 12, 2018, 02:29:32 AM
We got new chickens! They're being quarantined in the coop for a few days because they are wild and were caught by our neighbor dogcatcher, to whom we had given a rooster once. They're all hens! We're trying to show them that the food is here so they don't run off, since there are coyotes around and some neighborhood dogs run free.

Our first chicken, a lovely ginger named Rosie, has been occasionally bossing them and otherwise ignoring them. She is a laying magnet, and they're brown eggs, too. She lays once every day, hates our cat, and loves our dog.

Unfortunately, the presence of Rosie and the others kind of destroys our possibility of growing green beans, and the tomatoes that regrow themselves every year are probably going to lose their fruit to them as well. Here's to hoping, since Rosie tends to prefer hashbrowns to tomatoes. I'm going to call it a blessing, since green beans are a lot of work.

We have a patch down the road, though, where we can grow mountains of okra in peace. We didn't grow any soil-restoring crops in the meantime and I don't know if okra sucks out the nutrients, so hopefully its as tasty as it was last year.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on February 12, 2018, 06:16:09 AM
Free hens!  That's great!  My first 8 were free too.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on February 12, 2018, 09:21:00 AM
Okra is a heavy feeder. No reason you can't toss some fertilizer and/or compost down though. Pretty inexpensive to buy if you don't have some on hand.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on February 12, 2018, 12:48:36 PM

Okra is indeed a heavy feeder, and deeprooted too. If the soil was good to begin with (hardly any is anymore in America) then you probably wouldn't notice a production decline until about 3 years in. If you start with bad soil you might only ever wonder why the plants never thrived.

Bad soil is the bugaboo of gardeners everywhere. Particularly beginners.

They buy a bag of topsoil from the garden center and think they're good. But what happened was that for 100 years some guy grew corn and depleted his soil nutrients on his big farm, only adding back the requisite NPK. Then he died and his kids who had moved to the city didn't want his farm, so it got sold to developers. What's the first thing developers do when they buy an old farm? They scrape off all the topsoil. It gets sold to the companies whose bags you buy at the garden center. And then ultimately sold back to the people in the developed housing area where the farm originally stood. Crazy, huh?

But the soil was bad when it went into the bag and it's bad when it comes out. Not harmful, but it's just got no useful nutrients left in it.

Compost is really good. Fertilizer I'm 'meh' about. Because it's almost always NPK only. Nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Great. Plants need those, but what about the trace copper which gives tomato such a great flavor? Or manganese? Or zinc?

Compost is good. Composted manure is REALLY good. Composted human manure and you're returning your soil back to Garden of Eden standards.

But for deep feeders like okra, sprinkling it on the ground isn't good enough. Most of that nitrogen burns off and returns to the atmosphere. You want to use a spade and work it deep into the soil before you plant. If you've already planted and can't do that this year, then make a manure tea.

I found a link for you:

https://www.thespruce.com/using-manure-tea-in-the-garden-2539481

Manure tea puts water soluble nitrogen and other nutrients from the manure straight down into the ground ... mostly. You lose a lot less of it than just sprinkling the stuff on the top of the ground.

I have videos online of me standing in an okra patch where the plants are taller than I am. And I was harvesting 3-5 pounds A DAY from about 8 plants total. I love okra, that renegade slave plant brought from West Africa. Mmmm mmmm.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Lizzie on February 12, 2018, 03:21:19 PM
She has hens. She doesn't have to spend a dime on manure. Hens. Chicken-shit. Nitrogen-rich, all natural free manure. Also is excellent for keeping grubs out of the soil, which also means it's great for mole/vole-prevention.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on February 12, 2018, 03:39:21 PM
I want to make my own compost tea something fierce. I might try. I haven't checked the bin in a while, but last I did, things were rotting and earthy smelling and yum.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on February 12, 2018, 03:59:41 PM
She has hens. She doesn't have to spend a dime on manure. Hens. Chicken-shit. Nitrogen-rich, all natural free manure. Also is excellent for keeping grubs out of the soil, which also means it's great for mole/vole-prevention.

MOSTLY.

Chicken manure is too high in nitrogen to put directly on your plants. It'll burn up the root systems. Got to break it down into compost first, or let it sit on the surface for a winter to have some of that nitrogen burn off back into the atmosphere.

I'd skip compost tea ... compost is good for its own purposes. I'd drive out to the country where you see a horse barn or cow pasture and gather up some dried flops. (May need to ask first, but nobody I've ever asked told me that no I couldn't take their horse/cow shit.)

Buy a five gallon Home Depot bucket with a lid, fill it half up with the dried flops and half with UNCHLORINATED water. (Chlorine is the devil.) Let it sit for about 3 weeks in the shade. The lid should be on there to keep something from falling in but don't seal it or instead of manure tea you'll have a fermented mess. (You are aiming for all the ingredients in the manure to leach out into the water, not to make shit kombucha.)

When it comes to shit, I prefer the shit of mammalian grazers rather than avians. Particularly if those hens are penned up and eating only scratch grains or corn. The grazers pick up all sorts of trace minerals that the hens may not. The hens are great at concentrating nitrogen, but I am not sure they are distributing the trace minerals needs for, say, proper root growth or stem support.

There is far more to healthy soil than NPK.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on February 12, 2018, 04:15:46 PM
For the casual/apartment gardener, though, I'd argue there's nothing wrong with storebought compost.

If you were investing in your own soil on your own property, now that's different.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on February 12, 2018, 04:21:19 PM
For the casual/apartment gardener, though, I'd argue there's nothing wrong with storebought compost.

If you were investing in your own soil on your own property, now that's different.

It takes me about 12 months to have compost ready, so yeah, I see nothing wrong with starting off with storebought either. But be careful what you're buying. Compost isn't all equal. Often it's composted mushroom mulch or something that may not be very good. It needs to have started out as green matter.

Often you can get compost from muni dumps. It's worth calling to ask, particularly if you have a friend with a truck.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Cind on February 13, 2018, 02:35:05 AM
That manure tea sounds good. Last year we just took our rabbit's year's worth of droppings and turned it beneath the soil before planting green beans. Those were the most flavorful beans I've ever had, but it makes sense that straight droppings might not be the most efficient. Although, honestly, I eat storebought just like everyone else most of the time and turning in straight droppings seemed to work just fine.

Our tomato plants are older than sin. They just keep coming back, giving relatively good tomatoes considering we don't do anything to them. There's a few pepper plants mixed in there, not sure if that's for the benefit of the soil or not, probably not.

Our rabbit cage is specially designed, its high off the ground with a net bottom at the level the rabbit lives on, so you just move the box whenever you want to get at the droppings. Its just the one rabbit, but jesus he makes a lot of fertilizer. We originally got him because my dad wanted cheap fertilizer, and the cost for feed compared to the poop you get is better than buying it at the store.

Kind of makes me want to take care of a few potted plants. Like, you know, one flower and two vegetables or something. Often those plants seem to outgrow their pots though, especially if you take care of them right. Because of my mental thingies, I'm basically free from responsibilities (I would probably spend several hours buying, planting, mulching and taking care of a damn plant and then forget to water it the next day, then forever) but I'd still kind of like to take care of one. (Heh, kind of reminds me, somewhat recently I logged in, in a relatively dangerous situation, and forgot about the fact that I was logged in for three hours.)

Its that time of year--- they're sending us gardening magazines. "Thumb-sized berries!" "Beautiful, stunning flowers!" "Thrives all year long!" That's a bunch of shit and you know it. Still... I wonder if me and my family could grow something together this year. Something less labor-intensive and damaging to the soil than okra. Every other year or so we'd plant something, right, in the 'big field' that is ours (there's several fields and patches that belong to different people,) I think usually we just fill the field with squash. I have the sneaking suspicion that the soil hasn't been regenerated, or regenerated that much, I do kind of got the gardening bug now, and we live in Georgia, so it'll be pretty soon we can plant something. Its already too warm for jackets.

Question: Can you plant anything during the Alaskan summer?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on February 13, 2018, 12:26:30 PM
Decided I'm going to turn an old water-heater into a compost tea silo.

Time to bust out the angle grinder.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on February 13, 2018, 01:11:29 PM
Soil temperature monitoring is key to getting out there early. They make these 2' soil thermometers and I just shove one into a raised bed and leave it there year round. Every time I'm in the garden (3-4 times per day) I'm looking at it. In the spring, I start monitoring it for what I want to plant.

Here, I found a chart for you. Save this one ... very useful.

(https://www.gardeners.com/on/demandware.static/-/Library-Sites-SharedLibrary/default/dw7ae44911/Articles/Gardening/Content/9029-chart.jpg)

That's essentially the temps required for a seed of that type to germinate. I absolutely dislike starting plants indoors in pots. Between the weakness of not having a good taproot and transplant shock, about 15 days into the growing season the plants I start later in the actual beds have caught up with the early ones I started in pots when I tried to steal a march on the gardening season.

There's other tricks you can do to get the soil to warm up faster. Covering up your beds with black plastic is one of them, but I have never felt they were very successful. Yes, the seeds will germinate faster and plants will start, but it takes a certain level of ambient temperature for the plants to "pop". They'll burn up all their seed energy (the gift from the parent plant) and it still won't be warm enough to really grow well.

I experimented with all these tricks when I lived in Illinois and was growing for the farmer's market. You really only make money with tomatoes twice a year ... if you're the first person to have fresh tomatoes at the market, and the last. In the middle of the summer, everyone has tomatoes coming out of their ears. So I worked all sorts of gardening magic to try and get those first tomatoes. From tarping my beds to specialized grow lights set up in the basement.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on February 13, 2018, 02:45:18 PM
Rabbit poop is like gardening gold.  You can dump it right on the garden without aging.  We've been dumping the trays on our fruit trees all winter (because they're closest to the rabbitry and who wants to cart that stuff around in the cold?), and even though everything is still brown and sleeping, there is green grass around the fruit trees!  I guess it warmed things up a bit too.  We do have quite a bit of it and we're adding the urine too.

An interesting rabbit thing happened.  I put a virgin doe in with my buck a month ago and it didn't seem like they got it done.  No fall offs.  Old Charlie gave it his best but seemed frustrated the whole time.  So I did a little trick to get her in the mood a week later and he got three fall offs bang bang bang.  Thing is....went out there this morning and little Petunia had pulled off amazing amounts of fur to try to make a nest.  Quickly we gave her some hay and she immediately built a fine little nest, but if she kindles today, that means ol' Charlie got the job done without any fall offs the first time.  Veerrrrry interesting!  It's possible for rabbit does to have two pregnancies at once though it rarely works out with two sets of living kits, so there's that to think about too.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Cind on February 14, 2018, 05:48:52 AM
That's a good chart, thanks. I am a little tired of squash. Watermelons are kind of a pain in the ass, though, we usually don't pick them at the right moment. There are a couple of ways to tell that they're good to pick, but then, they often aren't when you pick them, I think?

Charlie might be too old, but that would be a shame, I like to think they're just too fumbly and awkward around each other.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on February 14, 2018, 06:38:12 AM
I was worried about Charlie being too old too.  But she had 7 wiggly squeaking kits yesterday.  So having to have a fall-off to impregnate is a myth I guess.  All but 2 of the does I have bred are bred to Charlie, I hope he's doing great!  (well, 2 of them have kindled already, one 2 days ago had 9 kits, 7 alive, and one yesterday had 7, so I guess he must be doing ok). 

I have another, younger buck but he's a Rex and not so very big and meaty as Charlie.  I use him for my Rex does.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on February 14, 2018, 09:59:20 AM
That's a good chart, thanks. I am a little tired of squash. Watermelons are kind of a pain in the ass, though, we usually don't pick them at the right moment. There are a couple of ways to tell that they're good to pick, but then, they often aren't when you pick them, I think?

Charlie might be too old, but that would be a shame, I like to think they're just too fumbly and awkward around each other.

The best way I've found to tell if a watermelon is ready is by the spoon leaf. If it and its corresponding tendril are withering, your watermelon is like 95% of the time poifect.

I don't knock on watermelons, that's just a myth. And the yellow spot thing is a myth too if you're like me and you roll your watermelons over so all the sides get some sun. And, also, some watermelons don't have green skin and have yellow rinds instead, so how the fuck would you tell then?

Spoon leaves, mon freres.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on February 14, 2018, 11:04:52 AM
About to start volunteering at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Pretty fucking stoked. It is one step closer to where I want to be.

It is fucking gorgeous there and I get to play in the dirt, what more could I possibly ask for?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on February 14, 2018, 11:46:47 AM
That's awesome!  The botanical gardens in St. Louis gave all sorts of gardening classes, I bet Atlanta does too.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on February 14, 2018, 11:59:04 AM
Well, it's my hope to get a full-time gig there someday, so volunteering there is a foot in the door.

The whole place is stunning, but their orchid greenhouse in particular is just out of this world.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on February 14, 2018, 01:17:55 PM
That's awesome! I'd love to go do something like that but I don't work well with other people. (Who'd have guessed?)

There's orchids that just bloom here in the ditches. They're all over the place. All the trouble that goes into keeping them alive (and I struggled for years to keep them going on the mainland) but here? They're just trash flowers.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on February 14, 2018, 01:22:53 PM
Del, good luck landing that job. That would be amazing.

Mir, lava rocks are a recommended substrate for many orchids. Your island is basically made for them. :)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on February 14, 2018, 01:33:21 PM

Heh. It's surreal here.

Yesterday I got a sledgehammer and a metal bar out of my toolbox. My wife says, "What are you about to do?"

Me: "Plant a tree."

You've essentially got to chisel out a hole in the rock to put dirt in.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on February 14, 2018, 01:42:36 PM
Were I in your position, my new punishment of choice for my sons would be breakin rocks :D

Hard work is the best form of punishment, because it is productive. My father made me dig.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on February 14, 2018, 02:04:36 PM
Were I in your position, my new punishment of choice for my sons would be breakin rocks :D

Hard work is the best form of punishment, because it is productive. My father made me dig.

Heh. I don't do that. Mostly because my father did that to me.

I'd get in trouble and have to clean out the barn or some other awful ranch chore. But then other times I wouldn't be in trouble at all and I STILL had to clean out the barn or some other awful ranch chore. So the lines between what was normal life and what was punishment were blurred in my mind. And for many a year into my adulthood, I saw hard work AS punishment and avoided it.

A certain amount of hard work is required for being alive and if you learn to enjoy it for its own sake then it's not as awful. Right now, with the exception of the two teenagers, the kids see me heading out with some tools and they suddenly glue themselves to my hip with "What you doing, Daddy?" "Going to plant a tree. Want to help?" "Sure!"

To get the two teenagers to get involved, the internet has to mysteriously break. They'll then yawn, open their eyes, wander out onto the porch, and look for something to do. I break the internet a lot.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on February 14, 2018, 02:29:50 PM
Hahahahaha. Dad-skills.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: X-D on February 15, 2018, 03:49:15 AM
Here in Arkansas, my property, very rocky. When I was putting in my septic it was backhoe, which handled even the rocks up to 1000lbs, but the bigger ones meant explosives...WEEEEEE...that was fun.

As to garden. First, set up electric fence, put hogs inside, go out every day for a week picking up the rocks they root up. Think of something to build with all the rocks. Move hogs to next section, put chickens in first section...wait a week, nicely conditioned and fertilized soil. Move bottom electric wire to 6 inches from ground, move top wire to 6  foot above ground, leave other two wires at 18 and 28 inches. Now garden protected from rabbits, deer, the darn pushy horses, chickens, guinea fowl and whatever else is around that wants my tasty veggies. Well, will not stop the wild hogs...but I have a better answer for that in .303 .308 .30-06 .45 .50 etc. Them be some darn tasty pigs.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on February 15, 2018, 01:29:15 PM
Arkansas be known for the efficacy of dem hogs. :)

Here the big island is only 300,000 years old. There's no soil. Nowhere. Well, not exactly true in that there are a few rare places, I hear tell, that have been untouched by lava flows. But the area I'm in has been criss-crossed a half dozen times over the past two centuries, so there's a 12' layer of rock going one way, and an 8' layer going another, and other layers even deeper than that. The property next door has a collapsed lava tube on it which means there's probably lava tubes under mine too. Up further west from me, maybe 15 miles up the mountain, people complain that their ground is "hot", meaning active lava flowing beneath it. Well, yeah, brah. You live in a town called "Volcano" and your main industry is tourists coming to peer down into the glowing crater that is Kilauea. The ground may be occasionally hot. :)

Soil happens though and there's a couple of spots on my property where you had a couple of inches of it. And there's another spot where I threw a coconut and it sprouted in a brushpile, sending out roots into the decaying ferns and sparse soil to find the rock. Go, coconut, go.

Everyone likes coconut trees, but they're generally just a menace. Nobody likes a 4 pound weight dropping off from 30' up to hit your windshield, your picnic table, or your head.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on February 15, 2018, 01:47:09 PM
Oh, Mir. idk if I mentioned it before, I probably did, but its worth it. Harvest buckets of seaweed for your compost pile one five-gallon bucket at a time. Thats good stuff, man.

X-D, thats super smart using the hogs to do some work for you. I've never kept hogs, yet, so thanks for that tip. My land has a ton of limestone in the soil, but a forest has since sprouted up, so the topsoil is lovely.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: X-D on February 16, 2018, 12:04:42 AM
You would be amazed the number and size of rocks a couple hogs will root up every day. Long as you make sure to remove them so they do not get covered back up, you can have a 50'x50' area clear of major rocks to about a foot deep in a week. Although, this year I am having them clear a 30x40 section then the 30x40 section next to it. And I am not kidding about thinking of things to build either...I have so many piles of rocks and boulders to use up...eesh.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Cind on February 16, 2018, 03:39:45 AM
We have mini-pigs that require less feed than normal pigs if people are thinking of getting a few to root, but they're expensive to buy because they're considered a pet, and sometimes you have to stay home all day because someone drove from Atlanta to look at your piglets and not buy any. But at $80-$160 a piglet, with 3-5 piglets a batch, they pay for themselves fairly good, at half or less the cost of feed, I think, of normal pigs, especially those kinds that grow into huge dinosaurs. They may not root deep enough, I'm not sure but they do root pretty good, especially Mr. Bacon. He just spends -all day- rooting and turning over his water bucket if it hasn't been turned over yet.

If you find yourself with mini-pigs of both genders and end up having piglets you want to get rid of, I'll just say that both genders are in demand, the smaller the better, girls are a bit more in demand than boys, and special colors like partially white ones and deerskin ones will sell first. The deerskin more, I think, but you will want to explain to the buyer that they will turn grey after a year. We've had a few that look like dalmations on their lower halves (the partially white ones). The genetics of color tend to vary with the parents, just because the parents are pure black doesn't mean they won't have colorful children, so you can experiment and see which fathers and mothers produce the rare colors in their offsprings.

People who come to see them are far more variable in their opinions and whether they will buy, its quite funny sometimes. When you hold the piglets with your bare hands, they squeal. If you stuff them in your jacket or in a blanket, they tend to be quiet and allow you to hold them. Mini-pigs tend to attach to one person and may do so early, so 'training' them by holding them for a while every day may not be the best if you're trying to sell them.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on February 16, 2018, 08:38:39 AM
Aren't mini pigs just starved versions of regular pigs? I know teacup pigs are.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on February 16, 2018, 12:24:31 PM
My friend had his rabbitry attacked by large dogs in broad daylight.  They flung themselves at the door until the latch bent, he had a latch like you use on a bathroom stall.  They then broke into some cages, and in other cages they bit at the toes and feet and left rabbits crippled that had to be killed.  He lost 20 rabbits and several cages.  Killed all his lovely pedigreed stock.  He caught one of the dogs and chained it but it got loose.  The cops and Animal Control won't even come out, just told him to keep the pictures and try to find out himself whose dogs they were.  Guy's left with only 2 breeding age does and no bucks, and a bunch of growouts.

I'm gonna find ways to make mine stronger.  It's just inside one of those chainlink dog kennels.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on February 16, 2018, 01:06:45 PM
That's terrible :(

My grandpa used to raise rabbits as well, and one time I just fell in love with a little black bunny, so I convinced my dad to let me have it as a pet. He wouldn't let me keep it inside, so he built a hutch for it... and then a week later the dogs from the farmer down the road got at it. I was... not happy.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on February 16, 2018, 02:08:20 PM
My friend had his rabbitry attacked by large dogs in broad daylight.  They flung themselves at the door until the latch bent, he had a latch like you use on a bathroom stall.  They then broke into some cages, and in other cages they bit at the toes and feet and left rabbits crippled that had to be killed.  He lost 20 rabbits and several cages.  Killed all his lovely pedigreed stock.  He caught one of the dogs and chained it but it got loose.  The cops and Animal Control won't even come out, just told him to keep the pictures and try to find out himself whose dogs they were.  Guy's left with only 2 breeding age does and no bucks, and a bunch of growouts.

I'm gonna find ways to make mine stronger.  It's just inside one of those chainlink dog kennels.

That's why guns.

I remember everyone on this forum mocked me when I mentioned I had to shoot a neighbor's dog, but then stories like this happen and everyone is all "so sad".

Farmers in rural areas have guns for a freakin' reason. If it's not someone else's dogs, it's feral dogs that have been dumped, or coyotes or wolves. Heck, our goat pen got attacked by a black bear. By the time I got out there the bear had hightailed it but the dogs just about tried to climb up the wall to hide on the porch roof.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on February 16, 2018, 03:27:36 PM
Fuck, that sucks. Ready your shotgun, Ref. Also sucks to have to put some dogs down, but they are predators when they are not controlled. No different than a coyote, save for their larger size, and stupidity.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on February 16, 2018, 06:17:35 PM
Yep, we've got a 12ga, a .22, and an SKS loaded and hanging by the bed.  I'm gonna put a camera that looks out to the barn area I think, so if we hear anything going on we can see quickly what's needed.  We have one that looks out the driveway and it's pretty awesome.  They're so cheap now for decent ones. 

Definitely gonna beef up my rabbitry and especially my chicken coop, which is just plastic tarp over 4" woven wire.  I am surprised nothing got the chickens over the winter.  Good ol' Peckerhead has kept them safe.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on February 16, 2018, 06:23:56 PM
Man, Peckerhead is a star. There really is no replacement for a tough rooster.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on February 16, 2018, 07:13:03 PM
He's awesome.  Just this week he gave a squawk and all the flock ran full speed under a 20' trailer we have parked back behind the cabin.  I looked around and up above a hawk was circling.  It's neat to see that.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on February 16, 2018, 09:24:09 PM
We had a rooster once that, when a hawk circled above, he stood in the center of the field calling his alarm cry while all his hens ran to safety in the barn. He didn't break and run until the very last hen had made it to cover.

We named him Horatius after that famous Roman, a notorious ground-stander.

Horatius the Rooster unfortunately met his fate at the hands of a fox who was unimpressed with his bravery.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on February 16, 2018, 10:31:43 PM
If that hawk decided to swoop down, I bet Peckerhead would have fought to the death for his hens.

Noble Horatius died protecting his flock. Good bird.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: X-D on February 16, 2018, 11:01:18 PM
Lots of stray dogs around here. Oddly, I have had no problems with any of them, Oh, they come by but cause no problems and it is amusing to see the old mare lead the two younger ones to chase them off. The one dog problem I had sadly was not a stray but a pair of dogs of the neighbor. And really only one of the two...the second dog was just along for the ride. Massive dog, Great Pyrenees, first night guinea making noise, go out with 20g loaded with #8 target loads, shoot dog, Non-lethal BTW...specially at 20 yards, stings at most. Dogs run away...I go back in. Next night, guinea fowl making even more noise. Go out with 20g this time loaded with #6 high brass, still non-lethal round to a dog that size, but this time the pellets gonna stick. So, next two nights dog free. Thinking problem solved and I did not have to kill a dog. On 3rd day, sitting at the computer and see out the window, pair of dogs passing silently heading directly for the chickens. This time I grab a different gun. Go out and the great Pyrenees is ramming the coop, literally breaking the wire from the staples. This time it was a .303 through the heart, she dropped in place. Now, I hate killing dogs, I especially hate killing a dog and it being the owners fault for not controlling or training it. But that last time, she had killed one chicken, broke the leg of another and a 3rd was gone (turned out the Americana was the only smart one and made a break and hid under the horse trailer for the next 4 hours. Still I lost 2 very good laying hens. And once the dog kills chickens it will always kill chickens and you only have the one choice.

It was very hard to keep civil when I drove the bodies over to neighbor I assure you...and of course he was not happy about losing a $500 dog and having to explain it to his daughter and wife. But they, as anybody around farm/ranch country knows, anything that threatens livestock is a pest and subject to removal, usually by use of lead. I'm still pissed about having to kill a dog.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on February 16, 2018, 11:23:08 PM
You gave the dog more chances than most would. Sucks, but it is what it is.

Btw, was it an Enfield you used?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: X-D on February 16, 2018, 11:41:17 PM
Yes...Enfield mkIII .303 british, great gun, no scope on it and I am very good with it under 200 yards...being iron sights it is my preferred large vermin rifle as I can acquire my target quickly, unlike the scoped rifles.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on February 17, 2018, 12:02:00 AM
My brother had a no. 4 mk1 that he had scoped. I loved the action on that weapon, but daaammmnnnn new ammunition was pricey.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: X-D on February 17, 2018, 12:08:41 AM
Yes...though ammo is actually becoming more common I am running federal in mine like $1.05 per round 180grs softnose.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Cind on February 17, 2018, 12:53:21 AM
Aren't mini pigs just starved versions of regular pigs? I know teacup pigs are.

They are actually smaller, about half-size. They're like regular pigs though, in that they constantly look for ways to get out and mess with everything they have in their pen.

Its like that around here, too. People raise rabbits and chickens and pigs, sometimes goats and the occasional meat cow. Nothing has tried to get at the small dogs, but we know there's a possum with its eye on the neighbor's last chicken. (They used to have 8-9, but something got them all, one by one, and they never found out what it was.) The people who are raising more than one or two chickens tend to acquire a firearm after a while. The funny thing is that its more for wild hogs, than coyotes and loose dogs. I know the guy down the road has quite a collection. He's retired with a side business of raising rabbits. They're beautiful creatures, although I'm fairly certain they're meat rabbits. Some of them have that fluffy hair you tend to associate with the image of angora rabbits.

One guy across the street spent good money on a purebred watchdog of some sort, to look after his herd of high-end goats. It was not socialized as a puppy, and simply raised to do a particular job. I thought all dogs had a play-in-the-mud childhood and were trained a little later.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Cind on February 18, 2018, 05:17:34 AM
The thing with wild hogs is that they're large and unpredictable. You can't perform certain behaviors, like bluffing or standing your ground or making noise, to ensure a certain reaction from a hog. They'll charge you as easily as they would run away. Coyotes run away fine, except that one rabid coyote we saw in our yard one time. He got himself a lead sandwich. I'm sure things could get bad enough for the coyotes that they will feel the need to try to get at our chickens anyway. We live in the sticks, but not the sticks sticks. Amazon.com still delivers to our house, and the coyotes' numbers have been dwindling due to encroachment.

Snakes are a fairly bad problem when its warm, which is nearly all the time. Worst in the summer, I think. I know of a specific huge diamondback which travels along the road of a certain hunting path. Most of our bullets are reserved for venomous snakes, which we shoot without quarter.

That was a bit of a derail! Well, sort of. Raising bunnies almost always ensures visits from snakes. Keep your hutches closed. (I'm not trying to convince gun-haters to change their ways. I was just explaining that firearms are something of a necessity where we are.)

I was originally going to say that we have talked about it, and have decided to plant okra.

If you ever feel like getting a coyote or coyote mix, a lot of states have banned them I think, and you really don't know how tame dogs are until you try to keep one of their wilder cousins. Overall, I think its a bad idea. I'm not sure about keeping wild hogs. I think people do it. The meat would certainly be tasty. Wait, I remember, we had a female once. Pepper. She kept breaking out of her pen and the first thing she'd do is chase the chickens, and my dad got tired of it and shot her eventually.

The ribs were enormous. They didn't tell me until I was halfway through eating that it was Pepper, but she hadn't really been a pet-pet, so.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on February 18, 2018, 10:54:23 AM
Hnnnng gimme those rattlesnake skins, Cindddddddd.

They make a gorgeous backing for a bow.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: X-D on February 18, 2018, 04:23:06 PM
Eat the snakes I kill...And I don't kill non-venom snakes, we have some real beauties in kings and such here.

We have rattlers here, have not seen one. To date, killed 2 cotton and 1 copper...and I would not have bothered them but they were in the wood pile.

Suppose now I have to start saving skins for Melkor. Both pretty snakes.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on February 18, 2018, 04:33:01 PM
Eat the snakes I kill...And I don't kill non-venom snakes, we have some real beauties in kings and such here.

We have rattlers here, have not seen one. To date, killed 2 cotton and 1 copper...and I would not have bothered them but they were in the wood pile.

Suppose now I have to start saving skins for Melkor. Both pretty snakes.
Heyy man that would be awesome if you saved me some skins. Easiest way to preserve a fresh snakeskin is to lay it flat on a board, scale-side down, and staple the edges to the board. Let it dry a few days. I've heard of people rinsing it with saline. I've also heard of people putting glycerin on it.
When I was a kid in South Florida, water-moccasins (cottonmouths. a pit-viper) were everywhere. That is a snake that is born aggro, and will chase you just to bite you.
In north-florida, I've seen a few coral-snakes on my property, but that is one of the most chill, non-aggro snakes I've encountered. They just run. So I dont bother them. That being said... That red-yellow-black stripe pattern would look pretty badass.....

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: X-D on February 18, 2018, 05:13:00 PM
Never had a problem with water mocs, find them to be pretty calm unless you between them and the water. That being said, still a danger to people and livestock and pets so....bird shot to the head at close range.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on February 18, 2018, 06:17:05 PM
We have copperheads here routinely, but our pack of feral cats kills them for us, the darlings.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Brytta Léofa on February 19, 2018, 10:10:55 PM
I can't wait until I'm done with school and we can start hunting for a house where I can have my own backyard setup.

If you guys are the right combination of handy, doughty, and neighborly, I think there are good deals on various-degrees-of-wrecked Craftsman houses in the Vine City / English Avenue area.

It's the rinth right next to the arena!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on February 20, 2018, 03:27:30 PM
I'll tuck it onto the list. Right now it's about two years off, so we have time.

It's been unseasonably warm (even for Georgia) and the monthly forecast has daily temps in the 60s or higher, so I said screw it, I'm going to go ahead and plant a row of spinach. I'll plant a succession of one row each week and keep track of how they do, for science. I also planted three (out of my many) tomato seeds and covered them with a mini greenhouse made out of a clear plastic takeout container. I just want to see if I can get them to sprout and survive this early.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on February 21, 2018, 12:40:44 PM
I'll tuck it onto the list. Right now it's about two years off, so we have time.

It's been unseasonably warm (even for Georgia) and the monthly forecast has daily temps in the 60s or higher, so I said screw it, I'm going to go ahead and plant a row of spinach. I'll plant a succession of one row each week and keep track of how they do, for science. I also planted three (out of my many) tomato seeds and covered them with a mini greenhouse made out of a clear plastic takeout container. I just want to see if I can get them to sprout and survive this early.

You should be able to. My friend in northern Illinois would just put pots with tomato plants back behind his woodstove around February and they'd sprout in the dark back there because of the warmth.

There's an inheritance of energy from the mother plant contained within the seed. Getting the seed to sprout and consume that inheritance isn't too hard ... it's just a matter of moisture and temperature. The inheritance is meant to be spent until the young plant has put out its first true leaves (not the cotyledon it used to break through the soil).

The problem comes in after the inheritance is spent but the temps aren't warm enough for that specific plant to begin soil consumption and photosynthesis. They just won't transfer nutrients until they reach their target temp. Won't do it. Can't do it. So you can get them to sprout and get up to about six inches high, maybe two sets of leaves, but then they just hold there until it warms up or they die.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on February 21, 2018, 06:02:44 PM
I went ahead and planted my carrots and herb bed too (catnip, lemon balm, basil, lavender, mint in a pot) because damn, it's in the mid-70s and even if the temps drop in March/April it's extremely unlikely it'll get to the frost/freezing point. So they might get kind of a slow start, but they'll live - and if temps start dipping too low I can always set up a makeshift greenhouse.

I'll be a good girl and wait until march for the rest of the veggies though. ::)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on February 26, 2018, 02:10:18 PM
Miradus, in particular, do you think something like this might be able to decimate verticilium or other soil diseases?

https://www.soilbalancepro.com/microbe-matters/2017/09/18/what-are-plant-probiotics/

I thought about tossing as much in the way of good bacteria that I could into the soil, to see if it'd help, but I dunno if it's an investment that I want to make on a property that isn't my own.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on February 26, 2018, 02:52:39 PM
Spinach and basil happily sprouting.

I'll wait until April to plant the okra though. Starting it in march last year did not go well.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on February 26, 2018, 03:07:54 PM
I can't ever seem to harvest spinach here before it bolts.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on February 26, 2018, 03:11:37 PM
I'm trying a variety meant to resist bolting. Bloomsdale long standing.

https://www.burpee.com/vegetables/spinach/spinach-bloomsdale-long-standing-prod000894.html

We eat a lot of spinach. I'm succession planting it so I can hopefully continually harvest fresh spinach until it gets too hot.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on February 26, 2018, 03:14:20 PM
Also it does well in containers. You could even get a cheap plastic tub, drill holes in the bottom, fill it with dirt and grow spinach on your porch/wherever you have enough sun to get away with it? That way you don't have to go to your mom's.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on February 26, 2018, 03:25:19 PM
Miradus, in particular, do you think something like this might be able to decimate verticilium or other soil diseases?

https://www.soilbalancepro.com/microbe-matters/2017/09/18/what-are-plant-probiotics/

I thought about tossing as much in the way of good bacteria that I could into the soil, to see if it'd help, but I dunno if it's an investment that I want to make on a property that isn't my own.

Good bacteria in the soil compete with bad bacteria, so if you're doing something to help the good bacteria, you're beating the bad. It's like a little war going on down there.

Building up soil, however, is a long term process. I mean YEARS before you start seeing huge results. Does it need to be done on property that isn't my own? Sure. In fact, it was one of the selling points I told the potential new owners about when I sold my farm in Texas. Hey, buddy, I've improved the soil over here in the garden through sustainable, permaculture methods. You did? Awesome! But truth be told, most of them looked at me like they could care less ... but the guy who bought the property DID care and it was a selling point to him. And from a hippy-dippy standpoint, you're doing the whole "aloha aina" thing. The land doesn't belong to you and me, we hold it in trust for the future. So improving the soil is GOOD KARMA.

However I wouldn't spend any CASH on it. Cash is hard to come by, as much for me as for you. But there's a lot of ways to improve that soil that doesn't cost you money. Composting is one major way. There are no fast solutions, fast shortcuts. Damage done over generations takes generations to improve.

Switching gears, I like spinach, but I have a hard time growing it. In Texas you had about a 3 week window in which you could grow it where it was neither too hot nor too cold, and the cutworms would demolish it faster than it could grow. So I switched from growing regular spinach to New Zealand Spinach. It's a permanent plant, produces year round (except for dormancy in winter) and could handle both heat and frost. Nutritionally it's better than regular spinach, but I don't eat salads (except poke). I use spinach and turnip greens only as pot herbs in soups and stews.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on February 26, 2018, 09:32:49 PM
Gonna take the step into broiler chicks this week.  The brooder's set up and waiting under the kitchen table.  I'd've had them today but Tractor Supply's shipment hadn't come in on time.  Last time I bought from TSC only two chicks turned out to be what they claimed they were, out of 10.  But it's kind of hard to mistake little chunky Cornish Cross chicks for anything else.

Gonna make a tractor hoop house out of cattle panels and move them every day to avoid the nasty mess they make.  Along these lines
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7-OK4vjkF4 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7-OK4vjkF4)

Planning to restrict their feed after the first week or so, and let them out of the tractor daily to get a little foraging in an area fenced with portable fencing, so they don't turn into big fat lumps that can't do anything but sit in their own shit.  And murder them all at about 8 weeks.  Just gonna start with 10, see how it goes, then get 10 more and keep it on until we have enough in the freezer.

That's the plan.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: X-D on February 26, 2018, 10:20:06 PM
Heh, just waiting for eggs to hatch...incubator half full, only hatching 48.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on February 26, 2018, 10:21:24 PM
Heh, just waiting for eggs to hatch...incubator half full, only hatching 48.

Do you candle yours?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: X-D on February 26, 2018, 10:32:11 PM
yes...had to switch out a few...but still, all should hatch within a few days of each other, which will be nice.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on February 26, 2018, 10:46:16 PM
Meat birds, or layers?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: X-D on February 26, 2018, 11:27:28 PM
Combo...barred and reds and Ameraucana. Well, the last is just for the eggs and they are pets, immune to getting ate...smart and dam funny...come home from work and 4 hawk looking light chickens fly over the fence and lead the horses to you. 3 are blue ameraucana. The leader is the oldest, named Stuffing, and easily the smartest....the other three are Nugget, Crispy and of course Parm.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on February 26, 2018, 11:50:44 PM
I really want some black australorps, when I have my own place! Hubba.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on February 27, 2018, 07:22:06 AM
I have several Black Australorps.  That's what most my "barred rocks" from TSC turned out to be.  Which was cool because that's really what I had hoped to get anyway.  They have just started laying, and they are doing great at it.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on February 27, 2018, 07:23:50 AM
I just think they're wonderful birds. Tell me how they do when they get further along!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on February 27, 2018, 10:16:48 AM
The two little roosters that collaborate to get laid are Black Australorps.  They're quite clever.  I swear one keeps watch while the other catches a hen off alone, then after he's done they switch jobs.  Rocky beats both their asses though, until Peckerhead comes and whips his.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on February 27, 2018, 12:20:03 PM
Your tales recounted of chickens make me feel like there's a hole in my life that I'm in desperate need of filling.

inb4trolls:

(https://media3.giphy.com/media/ToMjGpMhVjTvjX5nLs4/giphy.gif)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on February 27, 2018, 12:56:36 PM
The two little roosters that collaborate to get laid are Black Australorps.  They're quite clever.  I swear one keeps watch while the other catches a hen off alone, then after he's done they switch jobs.  Rocky beats both their asses though, until Peckerhead comes and whips his.

Chickens are better than TV.

We had a guinea, the last survivor of about 10 that someone gave us. Coyotes made off with most before they were grown but one male survived into adulthood. This super-hardy, tough bird who took no crap. But he didn't seem to realize he was a different species than chickens.

He would mate with the hens, and they'd let him. He didn't have to chase them down. Of course no fertilization can go on there, but he'd still do it. One day a would-be dominant rooster caught him at it and ran over to knock him off.

The guinea jumped up, beat the heck out of the rooster, then pinned him down and mated with HIM.

The rooster got up when it was done, shook himself off, and sort of staggered away. The two or three sub-dominant roosters just stood there watching the guinea like, "nah, man, it's cool, we're cool."

I don't recall any more roosters messing with that guinea after that.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: X-D on February 27, 2018, 01:10:38 PM
So, Stuffing was in a group of 6 chicks my wife got some years back when we lived in AZ. They were about half grown and my wife always felt everybody needed outdoor air and sun. Not realizing that chickens can handle heat as long as they have shade and water. I come home from work and ask where the chickens are, answer, outside...You do realize it is 105 outside right? I go out and the cage has well, 6 dead chickens sorta in a pile. I start pulling them out, I get 3 out, very dead, next 2 were very nearly dead started moving one and out pops the little Ameraucana. perfectly fine using the bodies of the others for shade. Wife did manage to nurse one of the other chickens back, which truly amazed me. Although she is smaller then the rest of the chickens in the current flock she is top of the pecking order and has survived dog attack by flying out and hiding under the horse trailer, hawk attack by hiding under a horse. Comes to the door and pecks at it till left in if too snowy out (she hates snow). Will sit quite happily on lap getting petted for hours.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on February 27, 2018, 02:24:39 PM
I had a friend that had a very small flock, a handful of hens and two roosters.  One rooster was always trying so hard to get some lovin' but the other rooster was vigilant and ruthless.  One day one of the hens died and my friend saw it laying in the yard and went to get a bag to put it in.  When he came back he saw the lovelorn rooster happily screwing the dead hen.  He finally got himself some lol.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on February 27, 2018, 02:29:39 PM
I had a friend that had a very small flock, a handful of hens and two roosters.  One rooster was always trying so hard to get some lovin' but the other rooster was vigilant and ruthless.  One day one of the hens died and my friend saw it laying in the yard and went to get a bag to put it in.  When he came back he saw the lovelorn rooster happily screwing the dead hen.  He finally got himself some lol.

Roosters don't care. :)

Look at how big their testicles are when you butcher them. They're huge. YUGE. A rooster is essentially a pair of testicles with legs. Everything you see visually about a rooster is just the transport mechanism for rooster sperm.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on February 27, 2018, 03:26:11 PM
Right?  Hahaha!

When my old uncle brought over his flock, my first chickens here, he had crammed 9 of them in a 2x2 dog crate and put it in the back of his UTV.  Then it turned over and one of them had its neck trapped and broken.  So when we turned them loose in the strange coop they were understandably freaked out.  Old Peckerhead was running around oh my God oh my God what just happened where are we oh my God we're all gonna die come here wench bang bang bang oh my God...

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on February 27, 2018, 03:38:26 PM
When I first started raising chickens, I had the misguided advice to clip their wings so they can't fly. I wasn't willing to clip the bone and permanently maim them, so I was doing the wing-feather method.

I caught this one hen and held her down and was reaching for the leg band I used to mark the ones I'd already done, when this rooster runs over and tries to mate with the hen I'm holding down.

I'm like, "Dude, wtf! I'm not your rooster rape buddy. Get the hell out of here!"

I don't know if he just saw an opportunity or if he thought, "Oh heck yeah, man-person! This is going to be MUCH more efficient with you holding them all down!"
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on February 27, 2018, 10:23:03 PM

Dude took his chicken on a bike ride and stopped off for some groceries.

Puna district, man. It's not your regular brand of crazy.

(https://i.imgur.com/yxbONWa.jpg)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on February 28, 2018, 08:23:32 AM
Hahaha!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on March 02, 2018, 11:02:50 PM
Well, damn.  My bees did not make it.  They made it to the first warm spell, but then it froze again and I guess they weren't strong enough for it.  I was awfully proud of them, they had a rough row to hoe, what with having their first hive smushed by a big duelly truck.  They never seemed to thrive after that, but they hung in there, and I'd been feeding them since November.  But alas.  The strangeness in February got them.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on March 02, 2018, 11:21:28 PM
:( :( :(
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on March 05, 2018, 02:28:12 AM
Ah man I'm so pissed.  Someone stole a bunch of my dad's round bales.  Now he doesn't know if he has enough to finish out the winter's feed before the grazing gets good.  He barely clears a profit on his beef every year anyway, if he has to buy hay it will hurt him.  It's infuriating because the poor old man is 82 and still makes his own hay, it's about all he can manage to still do farming, and they stole it from him.  The worst part is that he thinks he knows who it is, and he won't tell the law, and he won't tell me.  He's going to try to catch them himself, and I'm worried he'll get hurt or end up shooting someone.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on March 05, 2018, 02:32:39 AM
Aw fuck, man. I'm sorry. Any tracks coming away from where the bales were?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on March 05, 2018, 09:04:55 AM
Nothing you can make any sense of, unfortunately.   >:(
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Marc on March 05, 2018, 09:06:23 AM
Jesus fuck.  Round bales?  That’s a seriously mechanized theft.

That’s also some low down piss poor neighborliness.

Might I suggest a wildlife motion camera?  Not so expensive these days and then YOU don’t need your dad to share/Explain/tell who did it.  Since round bales require a tractor/truck/skid steer you’ll know who it is if they try it again.

Condolences though.  Farm thieves/worst thieves.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on March 05, 2018, 11:50:48 AM
Nothing you can make any sense of, unfortunately.   >:(

You dont need a print of the treads, but a measurement from wheel to wheel is incredibly helpful, especially if they used a tractor.

Or, dually tracks are easy to make out.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on March 05, 2018, 01:56:53 PM

He probably does know who did it. In those little rural communities, you tend to know who the thieves are.

We've always kept everything close to the house so we can hear if someone is out there trying to steal it. Law enforcement is not going to be enthused about hunting down hay bales and unless you caught someone in the act they won't usually even investigate. I've had people (kids) shoot my sheep with rifles from the road for fun. Another time some illegals tried to steal a milk cow. I caught them in the barn trying to get a halter on her. They were like, "Oh, how much for your cow?" Fuck you and your thieving self at 2am.

The new way in rural America is that you keep an eye on it or it's gone. Maybe that's the old way too. My grandfather had plenty of stories. The law ends where the blacktop does.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on March 05, 2018, 06:43:33 PM

Might I suggest a wildlife motion camera?  Not so expensive these days and then YOU don’t need your dad to share/Explain/tell who did it.  Since round bales require a tractor/truck/skid steer you’ll know who it is if they try it again.


What a good idea, I never thought of that.

I grew up with a kid who is now a sheriff, genuine good guy, I told him about it and that my dad might be getting ready to get into trouble, he says he'll keep a closer eye on the place.  There's just so much he can do though.

I'm gonna make a point of driving by more often too.  There's a stand of cedar between his house and the hay just high enough to block his view, I noticed today.  Cursed cedars.  Gotta keep constant war on them.

The meth heads are the problem around here.  Meth and pain pills.  First time I've heard of hay being stolen though.  ATVs, farm equipment, and livestock is usually what you hear about.  But those round bales are worth $30 and up apiece, and utterly untraceable, I guess it's a pretty good thing to steal if you've got a truck and a way to load it.  And pretty much everyone around here does.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Cind on March 08, 2018, 05:40:59 AM
Funny thing, the dogcatcher down the street who gave us those five hens and rooster who were probably all family has found another half dozen -that look exactly the same.- I like to think the whole family's in there now.

I wasn't really sure about keeping the roosters because you have your nice roosters, and then you have the type that plucks the feathers off of the hens because there's not enough other males to fight. I think we have two or three now. All still teenagers, except Rosie, our original. She is a laying machine. One girl from the new two batches lays, and the egg is white and smaller, not everyday.

We're not sure yet if any of the roosters are problems yet, like I said they're still kids.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on March 08, 2018, 05:59:46 AM
(http://www.dogwoodmists.com/Refugee/rehab.jpg)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on March 14, 2018, 03:17:01 PM
Any other cheap suggestions besides cement blocks for raised beds? I'm not sure my mother would appreciate a garden of cinderblocks.

I might go the container route on a drip this year if only to not have to deal wtih the headache of soil diseases.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on March 14, 2018, 03:42:42 PM
That's probably the cheapest and you could paint them to make them look better.  And move them when you're done with them.

We're just using logs we clear off the land we're using but I don't think that's an option for you.  They're pine so they will rot in a couple of years but what the heck, they're free, long, and straight.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: X-D on March 14, 2018, 06:21:34 PM
Eggs in incubators, Mallard, wood duck, two types of game hens, americauna, reds, barred rock, candled, all look good, about 8 days to go. (Ducks and chickens not in same incubator). 27 total living kits born to 4 does. Two new winesap apple trees planted, 4 celeste figs, 2 winter plums. Horseradish, ginger, parsnips, 3 types of onions, garlic all planted. Will finish planting tomorrow. Oh, and corned beef done curing in 2 days....20 lbs total, how much should I freeze and how much should I smoke into pastrami?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on March 14, 2018, 09:41:12 PM
You've got it goin on, man!

Freeze 2lbs, smoke 2lbs, and invite Melkor over for a 16lbs-of-corned-beef party :D
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Cind on March 16, 2018, 06:35:25 AM
Eggs in incubators, Mallard, wood duck, two types of game hens, americauna, reds, barred rock, candled, all look good, about 8 days to go. (Ducks and chickens not in same incubator). 27 total living kits born to 4 does. Two new winesap apple trees planted, 4 celeste figs, 2 winter plums. Horseradish, ginger, parsnips, 3 types of onions, garlic all planted. Will finish planting tomorrow. Oh, and corned beef done curing in 2 days....20 lbs total, how much should I freeze and how much should I smoke into pastrami?

I'm so jealous!

I kind of want those little potted herbs you set in your kitchen and use whenever you need them but wouldn't they be plucked clean in a few days?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on March 18, 2018, 04:32:05 PM
Has anyone grown rapini? Apparently, you can grow it in Hawaii, so maybe that means I'll be able to grow broccoli here.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: path on March 18, 2018, 05:01:23 PM
I'm just about to plant some big pots full of lettuce and swiss chard! I keep them close to the door to scare the little animals away and control their water.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on March 18, 2018, 05:54:02 PM
Has anyone grown rapini? Apparently, you can grow it in Hawaii, so maybe that means I'll be able to grow broccoli here.

Never even heard of that, but it looks yummy!

Down here in florida, Malabar Spinach and Collards grow best, in terms of green leafy veggies.

I'm sure Miradus would like to know that they grow in hawaii, so I'll tell him. He was banned.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: X-D on March 18, 2018, 09:29:36 PM
It all became pastrami. And all the leafy veggies now planted with around a 10x10 section left to plant, I am thinking Cucumbers.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on March 18, 2018, 10:42:02 PM
Awesome, X-D

What kind of pests do you get in your area?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: X-D on March 18, 2018, 11:58:06 PM
Well, bug wise, the normal ones. Other types to gardens is rabbits, deer, raccoons. Now to the raccoons, Not a big deal, most of them in my area have found there way into my freezer or if too old became dog and hog food over the last couple years. As to the other two, Well, a large number of rabbits have as well, but no way to make a dent in them so, the garden is fenced with 2 foot of chicken wire buried 6 inches deep then 3 strands of electric fence above that, the bottom strand being even with the chicken wire but 4 inches outside, anything climbing has to hit it and the top strand is 6' up. running 3 Joule 10k volts...which is a hefty jolt. Now, I know that deer can clear 6' no problem, you need 8' to stop them. But they usually try to go under first. They also test fences and will walk around looking for a simple way through increasing the odds of getting nailed. And if all else fails I will be moving some of the solar lighting over there allowing for the .303 option of garden protection. Last year the plants did not have much of a bug problem other then the tomato worms on the tomatos. The wasps did lay eggs in them and killed them but not before they did a bunch of damage, so this year I will be dusting. Oh, and built and placed 4 swarm boxes this weekend...so, keeping fingers crossed for free bees. If that does not work I will do it the old fashioned way, put up a bee feeder and follow them home.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Cind on March 19, 2018, 03:47:51 AM
We're thinking about getting a hive. I sort of want it down at the orchard, where our clumsy excitable dog won't knock it over and where all the fruit trees and grapevines are. For me, its more about the pollination than the honey. I'm not an expert, but I assume having a hive in your orchard can do it wonders.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Cind on March 19, 2018, 03:58:28 AM
Our cat is unfortunately gone. They tend not to have a good lifespan around here, and we're already getting signs of mice in the workshop.

When our cat was a kitten, he and his sister survived a coyote attack that took their mother and three siblings. Our previous two cats before this one had survived so long, in my opinion, mainly because they were female and did not leave the area that much (male cats tend to go roaming more and farther, I believe.) Its just coyotes and pigs out there, with the occasional bobcat, but to a normal cat, that's pretty dangerous.

He had a good life, I loved that cat. I wish there was some way we could make life for our cats safer, but that's just the way it is out here.

We may end up letting those chickens out of the coop and allow them to roam around. The way chickens' minds work, I'd be surprised if they didn't lay eggs in that coop and either roost there or in a nearby tree. Or 'trees.' They may still think of themselves as two separate flocks. That coop is a little too small for that many chickens now. But we want to convince them that this is where the food is.

The eggs are really piling up.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on March 19, 2018, 11:23:24 AM
Good luck on the bees, guys. I would love to have some, but now is not the time for me.

I'm sorry to hear about your cat, Cind. :(

Owls and Coyotes get the cats and small dogs around here, but my doggo keeps everything off my property. I have two cats, myself. No problems yet. You're going to get a couple new cats, right?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: X-D on March 19, 2018, 05:43:06 PM
There is a pair of hawks nesting on my property this year...I am debating on how I feel about that, They are big enough to take the yorkie or Chihuahua...chickens, ducks etc. They have not bothered the guinea yet though. I suppose I will keep an eye on the situation for now, but if I deem them a threat they will become hog food.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on March 19, 2018, 09:45:29 PM
Yeah. Gotta do what you gotta do. I'd consider taking out the nest with some birdshot while they're not around. See if they relocate elsewhere.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: X-D on March 20, 2018, 08:44:30 PM
Some of the eggs are chirping.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on March 21, 2018, 02:35:43 PM
Oh exciting, you will have to post pics for us.

A friend of mine got some free silver-laced wyandotte eggs thrown in with an order he made, so he's promised those chicks to me when they hatch.  He's working on a specific breeding plan for color and production and they don't fit.  So cool.  Brooder's all set up and waiting.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: X-D on March 21, 2018, 11:32:30 PM
Two of the game hens are out. Was funny, one started chirping yesterday, pip like this morning, made it out of shell around 28 hours after chirping. Second one never chirped, never pip'd, got half zippered, gave a push, top of shell flies off like 6 inches, chick pops out of shell all in like 10 minutes. Not a patient bird. I will likely post pics if I ever get unlazy enough to find a host.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Cind on March 22, 2018, 02:45:06 AM
We will probably get one or two, and then the other will run off on purpose in a week. It would be kind of nice to have a pair though.

One of the chickens in the coop is definitely a rooster, so we may have chicks someday.

I'm going to look up how you can tell there's a chick inside with a flashlight.

They're not that old and are not laying-heavy breeds like Rosie but we took out four eggs today. We kind of know now, that we're going to be drowning in eggs soon and that there's nothing we can do about it.

We've decided to keep them in the coop, even though its the size of a small bathroom and they number about twelve or thirteen now. There's tons of perch space so there's some vertical room, but I like them, I babytalk them and I kind of think about the space they have sometimes. The thing is, Dad doesn't want them to bother him while he's working and we don't want to accidentally run one over with the car.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Grapes on March 22, 2018, 02:58:56 AM
No such thing as too many eggs, boil them and eat a lot of eggs... or sell them to some kind of free-range, non-gmo health nut, there's a market for that, and I hear it pays well.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Cind on March 22, 2018, 03:03:33 AM
No such thing as too many eggs

There is never any such thing! The neighbors are not getting any.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Marc on March 22, 2018, 08:53:59 AM
@X-D:  what are you using for an incubator?  Macgyver it or something commercial?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: X-D on March 22, 2018, 06:24:26 PM
Well, I was going to macgyver it with an old cooler. But I was at Atwoods and the Farm inovations deluxe digital incubator with egg turner for under $100 out the door, holds 41 eggs.....So...I got 2. 40 watt unit, nice and quiet humidity monitor, temp, day counter. Sorta hard to beat that deal. Also, so far 4 game birds and 1 leghorn 3 barred rocks hatched. The big eggs and blue eggs taking longer...still a couple more days before the ducks think about it.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Grapes on March 22, 2018, 08:40:39 PM
I wonder how my landlord would feel if I started hatching chicks in my apartment. Hmmm. He'd probably throw me out with the eggs and say, "Yolks on YOU!"
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on March 24, 2018, 08:07:29 PM
Got all of my seeds ordered. I am very excited for this year's garden.

Wildflower mix
California Poppies
Southern Collard Greens
Tokyo long bunching onions
Florida High Bush Eggplants
Orient Express Eggplants
White Icicle Radishes
Everglades Tomatoes
Perennial Cucumber
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on March 24, 2018, 08:09:18 PM
Sproutlings are holding on but not really thriving. Probably won't until April. Curse this variable weather.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on March 25, 2018, 12:04:34 PM
I hear ya. We had another cold snap a few days ago; not freezing, but close. I'm glad I didnt start any seedlings yet.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on March 26, 2018, 03:55:11 PM
It was more of an experiment than anything else. I'm honestly surprised they're holding on.

The spinach and carrots are doing great though!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: chrisdcoulombe on March 27, 2018, 07:35:42 AM
I don't even bother planting till june where I live.  Except potatoes.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Cind on March 27, 2018, 10:08:23 AM
Apparently there is a bear around now. First thing everyone asks: "Is bear meat any good?" Those who know say "Yes, it is a delicacy." So, I'm kind of worried, because we have a closed coop full of Chick-Fil-A and pens of pork, but also excited, because we're probably going to get a cut at some point. Also a bit sad, because I know that bear's going to die if it doesn't go back where it came from.

We know its a bear because it tore metal corn feeders in the woods off their hinges and left claw marks of the requisite size on the trees nearby. I'm thinking its some bright-eyed young, small black bear, helping to quell the recent explosion in pig population.

Turkey season here now. We usually don't partake. We do accept deer sausage sometimes with thanks and cinnamon buns. My mom makes some mean cinnamon rolls. Its kind of sweet they go to the trouble of having the sausage processed first. About half the time its the sausage, occasionally its loin or something.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on March 27, 2018, 11:43:30 AM
Bear meat is enjoyable in a stew, or a pot-roast. You dont really want to cook it like a steak because you HAVE TO cook it well-done if you dont want trichinosis.

I'm jealous of the guy who gets the pelt.

We have black bears in my county, but I've never seen them, nor have I seen bear-sign. i'd see bear scat and markings in the California mountains fairly regularly, which, as a kid, meant I turned around and went back the way I came. I didn't have much confidence in my mossberg .22 fending off a bear, and I wasn't too hot on the idea of rolling into a ball on the ground and letting it bat me around until it was bored.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Grapes on March 27, 2018, 08:50:42 PM
Using a .22 on a bear? That's so counter-productive it hurts my brain. Bears are very tough so very hard to put down, it's best not to fuss about with smaller firearms with them because you're just going to piss them off, very successfully. Likely wise to know the signs a bear has been through and turn back, though it's not like they're all that aggressive if they aren't, say, grizzlies, or polar bears.

That said, stew? I've been fascinated by the chicken discussion thus far, but had nothing to contribute, so just enjoyed reading, but I would like to know how bear stew tastes.

ETA: People get up in arms about certain dog breeds, a bear is like, 20 times more dangerous, even if it's a small bear. I've never been attacked by wildlife, but there were instances in my life where it may have been a conceivable outcome that I would be, as I liked to crawl through the wilderness and sneak around. Never seen a bear in the wild, but I do live with a healthy fear of big cats, I grew up with a half-bobcat, loved that cat, but I doubt the whole real deal would end well.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on March 28, 2018, 02:46:14 AM
Yeah, thats what I said. As a 7 year old, I only had a mossberg .22lr. Thats what I brought with me into the woods, and I knew it wouldnt do much to a bear, so if I saw bear-sign, I'd turn around and go back the way I came. If my brothers were with me, however, we'd proceed. They were 4 and 6 years older than be, so they had better weapons. I remember one time we were out in the woods a few miles down the mountain and we crossed paths with a feral stallion. That was scary as fuck. It was presenting, staring straight at us and punching the ground with one of its front hooves. I was a little kid, and I was too scared to even aim my rifle, but my brothers did, and we all walked backwards. Legit terrifying how massive it was, but the unpredictability was the worst part. I had bad dreams about feral horses a couple times afterwards.

I remember bear tasting like strong, fishy venison. Not that bad, tbh. My family got a bunch of bear meat from our family friends who lived on the reservation. We didn't hunt bear.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Grapes on March 29, 2018, 07:29:49 AM
Sounds smart, fucking with a bear is typically unwise, and as we've already gone over, unless you're insanely lucky, you're not going to stop a bear with a .22, you're also not going to stop a mountain lion with one, but for, completely different reasons.

ETA: Ideslly for a big cat you'd want something full auto that you could spray, or a shotgun. big cats are predators, and are not a joke, they also move very quickly.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: X-D on March 30, 2018, 12:11:49 AM
You can stop anything on this side of the world with a good .22 and hot ammo. And not by being lucky. a 36-40 grain .22 round moving at least 1200fps will go through any skull in north America. The problem is not the gun or the round it is the user and the situation. 

Also, Bear are just as fast...in that situation, close up big cat, bear, moose etc, a shotgun or semi-auto rifle not good at all. You really want a good pistol, wheel gun or semi. .44, 10mm, .357mag .357 sig, .45 long colt etc.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Melkor on April 03, 2018, 12:08:43 PM
Just weeded, partially tilled (not all the beds), and planted. Icicle radishes, Collard greens, japanese bunching onions, and a few artichoke seeds a buddy gave me.

I also started my tomatoes in pots.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on April 11, 2018, 10:23:42 PM
I have to plant my last 2 apple trees this Saturday, spring fertilize the trees and blueberries, weed the garden, and plant on a smaller scale this year.

Hoooopefully, I'll have my own space next year, so I won't have to fuck with my mother's house, her terrible soil, and her Japanese knotwood infestation.

Also, a friend of a friend has a farm and said he might have work for me this summer. Ayeeeeee.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on April 12, 2018, 10:05:46 AM
Well, it's been a rough spring on the homestead.  The constant flipping back and forth from warm days to freezing temperatures seems to have been pretty harmful.  We lost 5 litters of rabbits and can't meet our contract delivery for May.  Four of them were first time moms and you expect trouble but the other was my best, most experienced doe.  The bees had made it in some unknown numbers until March, you could hear them buzzing and I didn't want to open the hive to check and waste their warmth, but they are dead now.  I'm concerned about the trees in the orchard.  We'll have to wait and see how well they handled freezing after budding.

Having said that, it's sunny and warm and supposed to be 80 tomorrow and I hope the freezes are over.  I've three large litters of bunnies in the rabbitry, born this week.  The chickens are enthusiastic about spring and we have eggs coming out our ears.  My cousin is selling off his many farms around us and has a huge barn full of stuff his company has collected tearing down old buildings that he's looking to get rid of, including a lot of free lumber he offered us.  I may have a new chicken coop in the near future!

Sometimes you just have to knuckle down, buckle down, and hold on.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: X-D on April 12, 2018, 05:38:04 PM
In my case, rabbits all fine, only thing damaged by frost was the figs, and even that was maybe 20 leaves on each tree, they had just started putting them out so they should be fine. Plums had plenty of leaves but frost did not bother them at all, Apples just now opening buds so they are good. Having issues with my Ameraucana hybrids. Only 1 of 5 has survived hatching so far...and even with it I had to intervene...silly thing looks just like furby...without ears. Issue seems to be that the hybrid is Barred rock rooster...So, big chicken little egg. They simply do not have enough room for air so pip WAY early and start to dry out and have other issues. So, gonna see what I can get from the rest already in incubation, pull the Rock out and put the road island in, smaller chicken, hopefully smaller chicks. Ooohh, and my horseradish is coming up, I am so happy. Two of the older red hens are done laying...so, they got caged for fattening...but one died on its own. A bit annoying, chickens are for humans not hogs...oh well, hogs did not complain. Besides, they converting chicken into bacon so I still win.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on April 13, 2018, 03:50:52 PM
Looking at a nice little house on 5 acres that's still only 10 minutes away from town (groceries/gas), and 15 from work. Cross your fingers and toes for me and the boys, please!

After our last adventure into the mountains a couple of weeks ago, we all agreed that we want a couple of goats. :x
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: X-D on April 13, 2018, 07:28:40 PM
Good Luck, 5 acres is a reasonable chunk, 5 of my 15 is cleared for grazing and supports the 3 horses with no problems, I am going to move the fence though so 2 acres of woods is available to the animals as well.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on April 13, 2018, 07:49:20 PM
I don't really have a desire for horses! I never have. I fell off of one when I was 13 and I just ... meh. Cows, though? Pigs. Sheep! Goats. Something. I'd take whatever I could get ... plus chickens. 8)

I would love more land, but shit around here's expensive. I've been considering building my own home, too, mostly because building + land seems to be cheaper or equal to the houses upon paltry sums of land that you could otherwise buy.

Anyone have experience here with building their own? :O
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: X-D on April 13, 2018, 08:41:46 PM
I was not saying to get horses, I was just saying it is enough to support some, and when you consider that they are very inefficient then you can support greater numbers of more efficient animals.

I am in the process of building own house, 36x36x12. 70% done, should have it completed by late summer. Looks like I will have around 22-25K into it when done. Will have cedar siding and hardwood inside, floor and walls. Luckily I have a sawmill about 5 miles away where I can get cedar off cuts for $20 a ton and hardwood for $15. So, including price of diesel...Oh and blades for planer and nails, I will be siding it for around $200. (half done now and have like $100 in). Got metal roof, roof joists, screws, nails, 2"x6"x12' studs at auction for $2200.

Oh, auctions can be your friend. Got glass for windows, 50 36"x36" sheets (way more then need but will use rest for greenhouse) Wood stove with pipe for $200, tractor with front loader and backhoe and brush hog for $1800...sure, built in 1956, but it works.

Looks like I was right about the chickens, amauricana just hatched, father is road island red, popped out just fine....2 more pipped, see how they do.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on April 13, 2018, 10:30:24 PM
We're building our own but we started with a 12x40 shed that was brought to our land.  We've been living in it as we finished it, and added onto it.  This was a quick way to have a dried in shelter and it cost about $8k.

That close to town you might have codes against it though.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on April 14, 2018, 01:24:55 AM
Oh, I was musing in reply about the horses. I didn't mean to suggest you'd suggested having any. :) they're just one farm animal I've never had a sort of kinship with.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: X-D on April 14, 2018, 03:13:52 AM
Mine are like big funny dogs.

And I live like 20 minutes or so from city, far enough out to not have to worry about building codes. WEEEEE!!!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Cind on April 14, 2018, 05:33:42 AM
We (the neighborhood) tend not to raise anything bigger than goats out here, if that, mostly because they eat a lot more than they give back. An E3 (or maybe E4, but he drives trucks now) purchased Jersey male calves and raised them for a while in order to get them butchered and have some homegrown burger. Because he had a full-time job and they were still young, his girlfriend did most of the work, and then they broke up and I think he was forced to have them slaughtered before he really wanted to, but I vaguely remember us getting some ground meat for burger-making. It was good stuff.

The calves were a straight, warm medium brown, a couple had those big white spots between their eyes. Their mothers were crossed with a different breed, I think. It was to make the calves smaller and the birth easier since the mothers were having their firsts. And then you don't need many males in professional farming so they were a lot cheaper, and the female calves were expensive enough to him (and to me, as I recall, I asked because I thought that a farm of cows would be cool) to not consider getting one and raising them as a family unit.

That guy still rents a trailer here, even though no one ever sees him. He's like a ghost.

No word on the bear yet. It is possible the bear is smart, scared and/or has learned a fear of people. He may be a 'catch-and-release,' where wildlife officials catch a troublemaking bear and then release them in a new area with lots of barking dogs, firecrackers and pellet guns. The point is to cement a fear of people in the bear.

Its only been a month without the cat and there's persistent signs of mice around the property. Ugh. We're kind of waiting for someone to offer a kitten, since its only a matter of time. Wild cats here are a permanent and populous member of the wildlife, so if your female is not spayed they will end up with kittens.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on April 14, 2018, 05:45:41 PM
Helped my mother move a tree's worth of wood to outside her garage. Planted the last two apple trees. Planted two mulberries. Dug up the irises she hated. Fertilized and trimmed everything. Blueberries are blooming and the bees are buzzing away!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on April 14, 2018, 05:50:29 PM
Oh oh oh. And my pink lemonade blueberries have finally set blooms!!!!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on April 17, 2018, 10:04:30 AM
Triple posting and IDGAF:

I'd planted this blueberry plant about 3 or 4 years ago and it NEVER set flowers. Last year, I transplanted all of my blueberries from our community plot to my mother's house (5 fucking plants, and they were so god damn heavy) and HARK, these fuckers finally have blooms on them! Yay. It's some Lowe's bought variety, so it's nothing special like my other blueberry plants, but I'm really excited! I have a lot of flowers set, and when the weather's been warm, there's a nice handful of honeybees buzzing around the blueberries and apple trees.

I'll link to the images in a bit. It's too cold to mulch or do anything outside right nowwww. The two apples I transplanted are going through a bit of transplant shock, I think, but they still have a few blooms on them, and where the petals have fallen, their reproductive organs are still hanging out for all to see! Such exhibitionists, these dang apple trees.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: X-D on April 17, 2018, 08:16:36 PM
Figs already showing recovery (weee!) 6 horse radish coming up...badass, should be able to harvest some this fall. Finished rooster pen today, started chicken tractors. Trying to figure out the issue with the wood ducks, the female does not seem to like the nest box...Guess I will get a log and auger it out...maybe she will like that. 10 chicken eggs hatched over weekend, 6 were amauricana hybrid and Road Island, so, confirmed on issue. Weighed hogs. Gilt 214lbs, sow 228lbs so, 4 more weeks. My sister and woman got the hogs thinking they had gotten 2 sow and only need find a boar....Had to hold gilt up and point it at them giving them shit about not seeing penis. So, will be slaughtering both next month...try again for breeding stock in fall.
Rabbits will be dropping again next week. Two weeks till first 15 pullets move outside. No swarms so far, but it has been cold. Wild squirrels/rabbits/doves getting it on....I am happy for them....will make for a good season. :)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on April 17, 2018, 09:25:06 PM
I've found some 7 and 8 acre bits of land. One of them has a functioning home, the other has only a 2 bedroom.

They're really well priced, too, soooo.

The 5 acre didn't pan out. It is a canyon of a ravine with woods and trees shared by 2 other families, wtf.

I'm looking at a 1.2 acre house nearby anyway, because you can do enough with an acre and also, it has an in ground pool. >_> <_<

I'm gonna try to reupload my pictures of my apple and blueberry blossoms. It isn't going well for whatever frigging reason. Ugh, I hate imgur.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: X-D on April 17, 2018, 09:33:03 PM
1 acre is actually really small once you have a house on it, not to mention neighbers tend to complain about all kinds of stupid shit.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on April 17, 2018, 09:42:24 PM
Yeah. Honestly, I want something more like the 7 or 8, so I'm fingers crossed that these places don't suck like the last. The one place has 3 bedrooms but only 1 bathroom, eesh. Maybe I'll build an outhouse, though my youngest won't use his great uncle's because he's scared he'll fall in ... 8)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: X-D on April 17, 2018, 09:46:18 PM
If you have boys they can go help out the compost heap  70% of the time ;)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on April 17, 2018, 09:47:53 PM
It's true! I only have two, but they poop enough for about 5 girls. ;)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on April 18, 2018, 03:27:51 PM
I love the 8 acres! Neighbors are close enough where if I had an emergency I'd be okay, but they're far enough away that they won't report me to CPS when I have to yell to get my kids' attention because they're absorbed in whatever they're doing at the time, rofl.

The 7 acre house is too far out there, away from schools and work and civilization in general. And there are houses ... on the 7 acres that supposedly go with the listing?

 :o :o :o

I potted up my Scarlet Strawberries, and my hybrids to replace the ones that died this winter that I bought from Lowe's. I really do like Quinault and Ozark Beauty -- they've proven themselves worthy enough to have a place in my garden forever. They wouldn't have died if I would've brought the plants in! But I didn't know it was gonna snow 5 times this year.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on April 28, 2018, 02:16:19 PM
ANTS >:(

AAAAAANNNNTS >:( >:( >:(

They're eating away at my sproutlings. I've twice put out ant traps and diatomaceous earth but they just keep coming.

Last year they had a massive aphid farm going on.

I guess I'm going to war.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: X-D on April 28, 2018, 09:14:30 PM
Ooohh, thanks for reminding me, I need to dust like everything. Cannot forget that. Well, Plant wise, everything survived all the silly weather, Figs took a hit but coming back strong, Plums and Beets laughed at the frost, Apples and horseradish were just like FUCK YOU...NOT COMING OUT TILL SURE IT IS SAFE!!!! Now going crazy, one apple keeps wanting to waste energy on flowers....snip snip, stop it little tree.

Was going to slaughter the gilt tomorrow but woman is sick and dealing with a 260lbs hog by myself...nah. So, he gets 1-2 weeks more...sucks because likely be close to 300lbs and the sow could be around 350 by the time I get to her. So instead, finish chicken tractor and move 15 pullets to it.

Gotta deal with the hogs soon because of cost, past 250lbs and you are starting to head towards the losing end of value along with the darn things being so cute they might become pets and you can't eat your pets.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Brytta Léofa on May 01, 2018, 01:43:52 AM
Whoa, I hope you get your acreage, boog!

I just got an offer accepted on 6 acres near town with a crazy fantastic view of Mount Adams (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Adams_(Washington)). Now I've got three weeks to get it surveyed, assessed for septic, etc. Unlike a lot of land around here, most of it isn't unusably steep (though, I mean, I'm not gonna garden 6 acres anyway). It's a really pretty piece of ground.

They're eating away at my sproutlings. I've twice put out ant traps and diatomaceous earth but they just keep coming.

Glugh. Ants wrecked my beans last year. I sprayed them with water (to knock 'em off) and/or castile soap (to bother 'em), but
probably not consistently enough to matter.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on May 05, 2018, 08:47:49 PM
Ants -are- useful for aphids, though. They eat 'em.

Ecosystems are such interesting things.

And I hear you, X-D. I can probably kill a shitty fucking chicken, because let's face it, they're miniature dinosaurs and some can be assholes, but I don't think I could slaughter a pig or a cow on my own. I'd probably have to hire someone to do that for me.

Deer, though? Yeah. I'll shoot a fucking deer. After what they did to my melons (in b4 boob jokes) a few years in a row, I could kill any grown deer I see.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on May 05, 2018, 09:48:27 PM
Ants farm aphids.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Cind on May 06, 2018, 04:12:10 AM
Deer, though? Yeah. I'll shoot a fucking deer. After what they did to my melons (in b4 boob jokes) a few years in a row, I could kill any grown deer I see.

The eternal problem we have is pigs, partly because you can't shoot the goddamn pigs on government-owned land, which I guess makes sense, but we only drove through to the park _once_ and saw maybe a dozen baby pigs and their two mamas. Adorable family, but I don't want the world to be razed to the ground.

People come here to hunt from florida, or go to florida from here to fish. Deer numbers had dropped one year, so they banned the shooting of females. I was young then and thought, seems like they'd try to let males live too a little, since they are pretty rare generally. Everyone wants to shoot a big buck. But the female ban worked, and the next year the deer were plentiful.

You can lay down corn and hunt over it here, our neighbor has taken to dumping a little corn across the street from his house, close to the road. Since you can't shoot in the direction of the road, I think he likes watching for them. That's a fine idea.

The ecosystem never seems perfectly balanced, I imagine that's normal, but am not sure. This year, the overpopulated sector is squirrels. They are _everywhere._

Still having rat problems. We caught a _huge_ rat in a trap that we are setting every night, as we don't have a kitten yet. That rat would have ate a kitten. I still get freaked out thinking about how big it was. We'd originally set the trap because the hinges of the cat food container (back when we had a cat last) were being pulled off every night. The night camera caught a possum eating the food. We caught the possum on the third night, after catching rats the first and second night. Man, I really wish we had a cat. I don't even care if it isn't nice.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Cind on May 19, 2018, 09:58:08 PM
We got an old man cat from the neighbor, we call him our neighbor although he lives about five miles down the road after the asphalt ends. He keeps in touch with humanity.

The cat set up shop on the scooter in the workshop and never sees the sun. That's fine with me, as long as he keeps the rats away, which he will do with his mere presence. I think he is too old to go do active things. Our previous cat was a young man, and the comparison is sharper. He's a sweet cat, and likes us a lot.

It is raining, and we are grateful. Got a couple rows of okra down the street.

About half of our hens went missing and I was a little worried, but then one of them showed back up with a butter-yellow, baby chick with a black stripe down its back. It was so cute and beautiful! New life really is wondrous. We're assuming the rest are brooding as well. Biscuit, one broody hen on a shelf outside that I'd been feeding and watering, went missing along with her egg today, after a long period of incubation. Like the first mother, we assume she is hiding her chick from society.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on June 06, 2018, 07:24:30 AM
Anybody ever hear anything from Miradus?  Been wondering about his family with this volcano news.  I can't remember just which island he was on.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Hauwke on June 06, 2018, 07:36:36 AM
Pretty sure he posted the other day.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Cind on June 06, 2018, 08:34:09 AM
The chickens are reproducing quite a bit now, a black hen has one, the oldest I mentioned, Biscuit, a grey hen, has about seven or eight, another has around ten, and another has five-ish. At least, we think so. The hens have tended to vanish for a long time before showing back up with chicks, and even then they stick to the far edges of the property.

I'm sure most of the predators in the woods know that we're stocked up better than an Ihop but we're hoping some of them make it. The presence of the cats likely deters rats and cats, and our dog would deter the coyotes. Been a lot of snakes around, though. We killed a rattler and threw a rat snake into the woods recently in the past few days, been more before that.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on June 07, 2018, 05:23:22 PM
Unimpressed with bush beans vs pole beans. Definitely going back to pole beans next year. My pole beans kept producing well into fall. These bush beans are already peaking and it's only June!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 10, 2018, 12:13:46 AM
Yeah. Successive planting is best with bush beans so you have a steady crop when they slow down their production. I don't have time for that kind of shit. Planting every week in the spring to extend bush beans' growing season? Don't make me laugh.

The tastiest and most prolific beans I've grown so far were those Chinese Yard Long Noodle beans I grew last year. Flavorful and huge and resistant to the shitty diseases down here.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: X-D on June 14, 2018, 12:55:36 AM
One nice thing about Arkansas over AZ on the gardening front. Bumble bees. Never saw any in AZ, and without them, Tomato yields suffer greatly...specially if you are too lazy to go out and pollinate by hand. Plenty of Bumble bees here, tomatos doing great. Harvesting squash and cucumbers for a week now. Have to harvest some chickens and rabbits and ducks this weekend. Named the two ducks that we are keeping. The male is Fat-duckMcFloppyfeet and the female is MsQuacksalot (Any time I get out of sight she ramps up the noise) Keeping Floppyfeet because He takes no shit from any of the other animals and protects the other ducklings while liking people and the female because she likes people (and is not related to Floppyfeet) It is funny watching a 2/3 grown duckling chasing roosters and dogs and horses around...well, he chases after the horses, who just stand there and look at him of course.

Speaking of horses, No mules from when they went in season this time, the Dominant Mare wanted to kill the male donkey from down the road. Next time they in season gonna get the one from across the street, I think they are more familier with each other.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 14, 2018, 08:25:22 AM
Oh! We are putting in an offer at the eight acres.

Truth be told, here is forty acres about 45 minutes a way that's Id love to have, but... Ah, well. 8)

We will see how this goes, first!

X-D -- is it turkeys and chickens you can't keep together? I thought someone ate someone else when it came to the farm birds.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: PriestlySiren on June 14, 2018, 10:38:17 AM
I have the opposite of a green thumb. My dad and grandfather both do gardens, but I managed to kill my knock-out roses. Lol
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Delirium on June 14, 2018, 11:14:46 AM
Roses can be finnicky. And they're prone to disease.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 14, 2018, 01:22:47 PM
Yep. They're a PITA, which is why there are so many hybrid varieties.

They are super susceptible to wilt and other fungi. They're related to blackberries and raspberries, and all of the shit they can die from is, well, related. :/
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: X-D on June 14, 2018, 08:20:18 PM
Eight acres will be plenty for you to take care of I assure you, 45 acres would be if you were thinking commercial IMO. Well, I do not know for sure...I would assume turkeys and chickens because chickens and ducks/geese are enough different to mostly ignore each other. While turkeys and chickens are much more alike and Chickens are downright aggressive. Like, we have what are essentially 3 different flocks, couple weeks ago a pullet from one flock got mixed in with a different flock, in only one day that pullet lost all the skin from the top of its head all the way down the back of the neck to the wings. It is in the freezer now.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 15, 2018, 12:19:58 PM
Yeah. The house on the 45 acres is nicer, though. But it's like an hour away from everything, and that's not a preference for most people (besides me, because I fuckin' hate people). I'm gonna really have to put work into this house that's on the 8 -- but it's at a really good spot, close to town and amenities, and beyond that, the highway is semi-close to it, and with how much construction's been going on lately, I think it'll be an area that people will want to invest in, too.

I kinda wanna start a food forest, where there are fruit trees and bushes that just sprawl everywhere, and people can come and pick stuff. Something low maintenance. Heh.

Where's M and the other M when you need to consult them!?
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 15, 2018, 04:43:15 PM
The house doesn't have ac, but it's solid in its old age. We could make more than half our money back if we sold even half of the land, so!

Signing the papers now to make the offer!  ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Cind on June 18, 2018, 08:08:48 AM
One time we had around five turkeys, five chickens, two ducks and two geese. The ducks and geese always hung out together, as did the turks and chickens. In terms of friendliness to humans, it was turkeys, chickens, geese and ducks, in that order, with the ducks not caring whether we lived or died. The turkeys were practically sweet, especially this one beige female. Unfortunately a group of loose dogs attacked them and left most of them dead during a short period where we didn't have a dog at our house. But, when you have livestock you learn to deal with the deaths.

We got rid of the two roosters we had mixed with our hens, though at least half of the babies are still here. We learned that one of the roosters was a psychopathic killer and he had been the reason that the other rooster no longer had a tail. Our princess hen, Rosie, was being pecked bloody all over her head and one of her eyes and we found out, and he's no longer with us. I would have shot that rooster myself if I'd known he was responsible for that.

Despite the stories you hear, there are good roosters--- but be prepared for bad ones, too, especially if you notice some missing feathers.

We put in one of our male minipigs with a male and a female--- and he went right up to the resident male and started messing with him. The resident male beat him up for a whole day, and now he's pretty messed up, even though he started it. On most days the animals are fun to watch. I mean, we know the boys will beat each other up if penned together, but pigs are smart and crafty and are one of the few animals smart enough to want to sneak out, so they ended up together.

The eldest chick is about half-grown now and I'm kind of rooting for him or her. I want some of them to make it.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on June 30, 2018, 04:47:42 PM
4 acres, but it's a little pricier because the house is in tip top shape, and it comes with outbuildings, a coop, and an already well tended soil bed?

Or 12 acres, with the possibility of a shack in dire need of repair, nearly half the price of 4 acres, 10 minutes closer, but fuck, it needs to be manicured and mowed down.

Thoughts?

Also, I hope the house that I wanted falls into a fucking sinkhole and takes those dumb, racist fucks down with it.  8)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on July 04, 2018, 11:56:09 PM
I'd go for the land, you can always build on to a house but you're stuck with your land.  Ours hadn't been tended in 8 years and the unforested 5 acres was covered with 15' pine and clotted knots of blackberries.  Cost 800 to get the pines dozed off, and the brambles were finally driven back after a long and bloody battle. Our weapon was a Honda Foreman pulling a Swisher rough cut mower.  Thing would cut anything you could force the ATV over, I ran it over pines up to about an inch in diameter.

We took the plunge into guinea fowl in hopes they will cut down on the ticks!  We bought ten little keets who were about a week old.  They are pretty big now, about ready to go outside, and already very noisy!  I hope to train them to come to a coop at night, I've got a plan.  We'll see.  I talked to my only close neighbor and he has ticks too, so he said if they end up there he's good with it.  It will be interesting.  They are way stupid compared to chicken chicks, I swear.  They remind me of the ravenous bugblatter beast of Traal.  When I move the heater plate, for instance, they still run to the old spot to hide as if it is still there to crawl under.  It takes a couple of days for them to reprogram.  And man, when I changed their little red plastic feeder out for a big silver metal one, they nearly starved because they were terrified of it.  I'd grab them and dip their beaks, I put their old feeder beside it, I did everything I could think of.  It took three days for them to start eating from it, and then they were back to devouring.  They eat like meat chickens...

They crack me up though.  When they get scared they run to the corner of their bin and start a guinea Coriolis effect.  The ones on the outside will duck down to leg level and push into the center then pop up, forcing the others outward, then those do the same thing, and so on.  This is their main survival skill.  Sacrifice your sibling!  Like that old joke about how I don't have to outrun a bear that's chasing us, I just have to outrun my companion.

They don't stink up the kitchen as bad as chicks did by this age, which is pretty cool.  But they have learned to fly, which complicates caring for them!





Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Cind on July 08, 2018, 03:08:40 AM
Turkeys are a fun breed to raise, some of them are sweet.

I remember we had a blue heavyset breed male called Shy, who would let the hens eat first.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on July 10, 2018, 11:59:05 AM
A murderer has come in the night to my coop the last three nights.  Each night it pulled the head off a hen and last night it got my best rooster too.  RIP Peckerhead, you badass rooster.  I'm gonna miss you.  Young Rocky will have to take care of your girls.  He's much more handsome but nowhere near as tough as you were.
(http://www.dogwoodmists.com/Refugee/roo%202.jpg)

We had a trap out but it just took the bait.  Pretty sure it's at least one raccoon reaching in and trying to pull the chickens out of the coop.  Probably reached in the side of the trap to get the salmon I had in there too.  Son of a bitch.

My neighbor's bringing up a trailcam for us tonight and I'm working on making the trap less easily thwarted, and trying to make the coop more secure.  But dammit.

https://youtu.be/R5yCwN7wymc (https://youtu.be/R5yCwN7wymc)

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on July 10, 2018, 07:37:43 PM
Ugh. I'm sorry, Ref. I've been planning on having cats whenever I get a place. Would they thwart a raccoon? But then again, they might eat the chickens themselves. Fuck.

On that front, the 12 acres is -shit-. And I mean shit. It'd take forever to clear. We don't have a truck.

There's 8 acres, but man, this house is -rough- as fuck. We can do a lot of this labor ourselves, but some of this shit is just... bananas.

If you're interested, PM me and I'll send you a link so you can laugh at how god awful this house is on 8.

However, the 8 is mostly cleared, sooooooooo...

I don't know. I guess we might wait until fall/winter to see if any new houses crop up for the spring market. House hunting is just really fucking discouraging.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on July 11, 2018, 02:33:11 AM

Ref, head or leg removal is coon behavior. Guaranteed. It'll keep coming back until all your chickens are dead. Just like you'd keep returning to the place which hands out free, delicious cheeseburgers.

Boog, it's a thousand times easier to clear land than it is to repair a broken down house. Some houses are to the point where it'd be easier to burn them down, bulldoze the site, start over.

You could pay some good ol' boys $300 to come in with a brush hog and have 10 or so acres cleared in a weekend.

I downsized from 10 acres in the desert to 1 acre in the jungle and I'm already losing out to the constant growth creeping up to the house. I feel like if I take a Saturday afternoon nap, the Banyan will get me.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on July 11, 2018, 08:29:54 PM
Yeah, choose based on the land.   You can put a trailer on it or build a small cabin or fix up the house, but the land is the thing.  It's really the whole reason you're there.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on July 11, 2018, 11:28:05 PM
You guys'll laugh.

The 12 acres is owned by my old polisci professor from when I was in middle college -- it's this thing where you can take college courses while still being in high school here in NC. I believe he's the head of that department at the college now!

But apparently, he and his wife are slumlords. They're well known by our realtor as being pieces of shit who own a ton of properties but never hired anyone for maintenance, so they let everything they have turn to dust. It's crazy, because you'd think, coming where they come from, they'd take pride in the properties they own, but ... newp.

We went out there and we don't even know if there's a building there. We looked all over what property we could get through and to and there was -nada-, besides a run down and crumbling concrete-block slapped together one car garage.

And y'know, we'd do the trailer thing, or live in something tiny, but it's hard with the kids. They destroy every fucking thing, and I mean -everything-.

The house on 8 isn't as bad as it looks online -- they really could've slapped a fresh coat of paint on the rooms and put in cheap carpeting and saved themselves a bit of money -- and they lowered the price again about 10k. There's also a second house that's in need of some minor repairs on the property that we could rent, or maybe airbnb or WWOOF, possibly.

Otherwise, it looks like anything over 8 isn't really a possibility in this area.

I'd LOVE to go to southern Virginia, but there isn't shit there, and it'd be an hour drive to ... everything. I don't even think they have an elementary school near any of the houses we were looking at in Virginia, lol, though my search was cursory at best.

Bleh. This all is a fuckin' mess.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on July 12, 2018, 08:39:11 AM
Got the son of a bitch.

(http://www.dogwoodmists.com/Refugee/Raccoon.jpg)

Game cam took 162 pics last night and I didn't see any others, so hopefully it was a loner.  I got a buddy who has champion coon dogs and he says he can make use of a live coon, but if he doesn't come get him, my 10/22 hasn't been blooded yet.

Lost 5 chickens in 4 consecutive nights.

We used salmon for bait the first two nights, second night we wired it down.  Sucker got the bait both times.  This time we used marshmallows!  Piled some in and also stuck a couple up from the bottom so they were kind of half trapped.  The gamecam shows him going halfway in the trap, then back out, circling around.  He didn't want to step on the pressure plate.  What a clever creature.  But marshmallows were too much for him.



Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on July 12, 2018, 09:59:33 AM
Boog, nothing for an hour's drive sounds like a selling point to me.  But if it doesn't to you, don't do it!  It's not for everyone.  Just like I was miserable in my 2 story, 4 br suburban house.  There are places that aren't served by schools in the US but I doubt very much VA has any.  Kids might have to ride buses quite awhile though.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on July 12, 2018, 11:24:13 AM
Also Boog, I forgot to answer you about the cat keeping away coons.  A coon will flat tear up a big hound if it gets cornered, even kill them sometimes.  They prefer to run and climb than fight, but I think maybe a cat would be viewed as food, being about the same size as a chicken or rabbit. 

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on July 12, 2018, 02:04:05 PM
I don't have anything for scale in that picture but it looks like a smallish coon. His knowledge of the pressure plate leads me to believe he's been trapped before and released.

A lot of city people do that. They catch their problem coons, drive them out into the country and release them ... where they become some other farmer's problem. Only now that new farmer has to deal with a better-educated coon. Those things are so damned smart.

Raccoons will kill for sport. I've had them get inside a chicken coop and kill thirty birds and eat none of them. I think all the birds running around just triggers their prey instinct. Even a small barking dog will usually keep them away from your place. They know that a barking dog means people and people are their main concern. They'll run off and hide and wait for the dog and you to go back to sleep.

Never heard of them messing with cats but I've seen them tear up a lot of dogs when they got cornered. My father was an avid coon hunter and I went out many a night as a young lad into the dark to hunt with him. I wasn't a big fan. An eight year old needs his sleep. :)

In the 70's though we'd get $30 for the pelt. We'd take pelts to the grocery store in town by the train tracks and if they were in good shape a man would buy them. If we had enough, and I'd not been an ass about being woke up for the hunting, I'd get a fresh donut which a lady made in the store. Which for a kid who never got store food, was a BIG DEAL. So in my primitive little country head, I still associate killing a coon with a tasty donut. :)



Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on July 12, 2018, 02:32:30 PM
It is a small coon.  The cage is 15"x15".

I also think relocating trouble is just dumping my problem on someone else.  I understand the motivation, you get to pretend you did something good instead of taking on the necessary unpleasant task of dispatching an animal.  But really you just skate out of your responsibility and make someone else do it for you.  I bet you're right about it having been trapped before.  Someone's "humanitarian" behavior cost me five chickens being pulled apart while still alive.

Thirty bucks, wow.  Tanned?  It was five bucks here in the 70s!  Fifty bucks for a pair of wolf ears.  I don't remember other prices, I never got into it, but I remember my Uncle Jim was about the best hunter and trapper in these parts and he'd talk about all that.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on July 12, 2018, 02:49:58 PM

We'd sell coon pelts, deer hides, and beaver pelts. I remember $30 as a standout price but I'd be hard pressed to say for sure now that you mention it that it wasn't the beaver instead of the coon. There was a bounty on coyotes (we didn't have wolf problems) but they were too wary of us. They wouldn't get close enough to shoot.

There weren't a lot of other trappers in our area, as I recall. The railroad had come through and most of the rural people went to jobs there, or they drove an hour to work at the prison. My father was kind of a holdout in that regard, clinging to an older way of life. Prices kept going up, knowledge got lost, and by the time the mid 80's rolled around we'd lost the ranch and moved to the city where he got a job in a factory.

I used to entertain fantasies of making enough money someday to buy back the ranch. My grandfather had bought it with money he'd saved through WW2, and my father had lost it. Before that my family had been sharecroppers. I'm here to tell you that it wasn't just black people who picked cotton in the south. My grandmother drug my father through the cotton fields as she picked, the infant on a blanket tied to her ankles as she crawled along harvesting.

But Google Earth photos of the land show that the 500 or so acres has been parted out into 2 acre lots and built up as a subdivision. There's a convenience store now where my grandmother was buried. I don't know what they did with the body ... probably one of my aunts (her sisters) would know.

The march of progress.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on July 12, 2018, 05:21:27 PM
Same with our farm.  My mother split when I was just about 14 and then took my old man to court for money, and he had to sell off all his stock and gear, and he got depressed and drunk one night and priced the land to some guy and lost it.  He was broken up about it when he sobered up, but wouldn't go back on his word.  60k for 150 acres along a big Kentucky creek.  I was terribly upset about that and for many years I was determined to get it back.  Then they parceled it into large nice lots along the creek and sold it for $500k.  Burned down our lovely old farmhouse and built ugly modern houses.  Paved the gravel road that ran for 9/10 of a mile to the next house...Ah well.

I'd rather have my tiny cabin on my 10 acres at this point in my life anyway.  Coons and all.  Kinda miss the creek though.

$30 sounds better for beaver than coon, I think you must be right.  Coons are so plentiful.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on July 12, 2018, 06:01:02 PM
Boog, nothing for an hour's drive sounds like a selling point to me.  But if it doesn't to you, don't do it!  It's not for everyone.  Just like I was miserable in my 2 story, 4 br suburban house.  There are places that aren't served by schools in the US but I doubt very much VA has any.  Kids might have to ride buses quite awhile though.

It sounds great to me too, but not to the dude. Maybe we will work up to that. I think we might try to flip this place. And when the kids get older, maybe we can move somewhere else! Or maybe before then. I dunno.

Signing the papers for an offer on the eight. I adored the house on four, but I dunno that we could wait for the people to get back to us about the twelve. And the twelve is in city limits so it would've probably been a pain to keep animals with the ordinances and shit.

I'm glad you got that raccoon. I love possums, heh, but I hate raccoons. Trashy, rabies infested fuckers.

RIP Peckerhead!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on July 12, 2018, 06:03:59 PM
Good luck Boog!!!  Let us know how it goes!

I got all homesick writing that last post and found this video of the creek.  It starts about half a mile past my old farm but it's very much the same.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01cCWDd5k_A (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01cCWDd5k_A)
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on July 13, 2018, 12:36:28 PM

Everyone's got pineapple plants. They're everywhere. They line driveways, are almost ornamentals in front of houses, and even grow wild in spots somehow.

But not me. Mine keep dying back. You're supposed to just cut the green top off of a pineapple you eat and then plant it in the soil. I do that, but then it dies. I've FINALLY got one plant out of about two dozen I've started which is putting out new green and looks to be thriving. I had to plant it in a 25 gallon grow pot with some high dollar soil to get it that far. Stinkin' pineapples.

I've got tomatoes running wild now, but my zucchini plants are old and not producing. I've never seen a squash plant get old. Always before the squash bugs would kill them. It's heartbreaking for me to uproot a healthy plant with thick, green foliage simply because it's no longer producing buds for fruit. Even weirder to garden somewhere that vegetable plants die of old age rather than the frost, drought, or insect predation.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on July 13, 2018, 08:25:03 PM
I wish I could have a pineapple plant. But then, nobody likes pineapple except for me. I guess nobody's into fruit trying to eat their tongues like me, eheheheh.

I wish you luck on the pineapple endeavor. Everything here dies prematurely of disease. If I had something die purely of old age I'd WTF.

Um! Good news. Our offer was accepted. :) So as soon as financing's approved, we'll begin due diligence. Fingers crossed we don't find something terribly unsavory.  :-[
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on July 13, 2018, 08:32:53 PM
Good luck Boog!!!  Let us know how it goes!

I got all homesick writing that last post and found this video of the creek.  It starts about half a mile past my old farm but it's very much the same.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01cCWDd5k_A (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01cCWDd5k_A)

I feel you, Ref. I will never forgive my grandmother, who is quite a shady character, honestly, for selling the house we had on Lorton Lake for HALF of her asking price.

(https://static.panoramio.com.storage.googleapis.com/photos/large/24900834.jpg)
(https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/3c/82/a4/3c82a402e98c3e4f9734ed3c5f7cbe46.jpg)

I will always maintain that upstate NY is some of the most, if not the most, gorgeous country in all the United States. I can't believe what she did, and why she did it. She legit sold it out from under our feet ... while we were still living there!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on July 13, 2018, 09:16:36 PM
Ah, beautiful, Boog.

Congratulations on your offer being accepted!  Good luck!  Exciting and scary all at the same time!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on July 13, 2018, 10:08:50 PM
It's fucking frightening. Luckily this house is older, 1954, and it's really solid. There's just a lot of cosmetic work to be done to the thing. Painting is easy enough, and we'll put down carpet and rugs until we can get some time, and a lil extra cash, to put the hardwood in ourselves.

It is really exciting. AND really scary.

Do any of you guys have recommendations on books to read? I definitely want to get some small livestock, probably goats, and chickens, and maybe land ducks, but I dunno where to start. I can grow the fuck out of some food, it's just the animal bit I'm not familiar with.

Except for my cute puppers who's already housebroken and knows a bazillion commands. ^_^_^;

Thanks, Ref. I'd smooch ya if I could.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on July 13, 2018, 10:40:27 PM
Congrats! But damn. If you'd asked in December I could have sent you BOXES of books on homesteading and livestock. I ended up just hauling them to the library rather than pay the freight to Hawaii.

Storey's Guides are a pretty good start. If (like me) you're really interested in chicken genetics, a book called "Genetics of the Fowl" by Norton Creek Press is an awesome read.

I am a cult follower of John Seymour. "The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It"

If you want, PM me your Amazon account and I'll drop you a copy through them as a housewarming gift.

This is a Boog adventure of which I heartily approve. It changes your life, your children's life, and impacts your family legacy for generations to come.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on July 13, 2018, 11:01:45 PM
There are some Facebook groups that are great for learning stuff.  People ask questions and I learn a lot from reading the answers to those.  Plus they're free.  These are all useful to people doing this on a small scale.

Homesteads and Sustainability
5 Acre Living
Chicken Keeping 101
Homesteading
Backyard Meat Rabbits
Chickens Chickens - Yard Bird Central
Backyard Meat Chickens
Backyard Ducks
Backyard Turkeys and Guinea Fowl

These are people really doing it, some are new and some are old hands.  You will see pictures of necropsies of sick animals, butchering, etc., so keep that in mind.  Very educational.  There are many more that I follow but these are the most useful and active.

You have people who see their animals as pets and people like me who see them more as farm animals, and sometimes the two butt heads.  No farmer would take a $20 rabbit to the vet, for instance...it isn't financially smart.  If he can't fix it he'll cull it.  But a pet owner definitely would take it to the vet.  So you will see people advising for culling, and people advising for more expensive solutions, and sometimes they get ornery with each other.  But you can just scroll on by...

You can find groups on any other animals you're interested in.  I've followed groups on pigs and goats in the past, and various breeds of cattle in the past, and also groups on gardening.

BTW, rabbit poop is crazy good fertilizer.  Holy cow.  We basically planted in rabbit poop this year and my garden has gone crazy.  We planted 3 rows in my dad's garden too, and he's cared for that garden and fertilized and done all sorts of things, and it's nowhere near as riotous growth as my rabbit poop garden.  You don't have to let it age either, like other forms of manure.

Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: boog on July 29, 2018, 09:19:23 PM
It didn't happen. Super discouraged. Onto the next, I guess. :(

That said, those groups are super helpful, and Miradus, I'll definitely hit you up when we find a place. I figure at this rate we'll just wait until next spring when houses flood the market again.

Anyway, onto some nature news: I have this random tomato growing at my mother's. In the grass. Right beside her car port. It finally got heavy enough/tall enough to stake it to one of the car port posts and it looks like it's a bicolored mater! I'll shove the pictures in this thread soon.

I'll be saving these seeds for sure. It's thriving in terrible soil, surrounded by weeds, with minimal disease thus far. Excellent!
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Miradus on July 29, 2018, 09:44:23 PM
Some of the BEST shit that has ever happened to me, Boog, is some shit I wanted desperately that I didn't get.

Don't want to stop reading books on this. Keep your fire burning by reading. 5 acres and Independence is a go-to book for inspiration.
Title: Re: Gardening/Horticulture/Agriculture Thread
Post by: Refugee on July 29, 2018, 10:34:29 PM
Sorry to hear it Boog.  But maybe what you find next will be even better!  I'd keep looking if I was you instead of waiting for spring.  It'd sure be nice to put some work in on your garden space before winter, for instance.  Also nice to have the winter to get your unpacking and cleaning and setting up done when you don't have to worry about outdoor chores.  If you can find something you like anyway!