Friday, September 30, 2011

No Till Gardening

In my constant search for gardening help and how to's, I came across Ruth Stout. She came to gardening a little later in life, in her 50s. She worked hard at it and followed all the typical advice, tilling, planting, fertilizing, pesticides, watering, weeding, until one day she discovered that there was an easier way. She noticed that weeds seed themselves and sprout without any help. Perhaps vegetable gardening could be almost that simple. In 1944, she was waiting impatiently, again, for the plowman to come and prepare her gardening space, and decided..... not to.

She provided for her own food needs for several years, with year round gardening, without tilling or using pesticides or even watering. She mulched with hay throughout the garden, which released nitrogen into the soil, and maintained moisture.

The thought of not tilling or watering, honestly, baffles me. But, watching this video, I can hardly argue with the results. I certainly think a section of my garden will have to be a 'Stout' test run. I certainly have plenty of hay to start with after my haybale gardening this year.





She wrote numerous books on her gardening methods, and spoke to many gardening clubs and magazines.

For more information about Ruth Stout - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruth_Stout

Print Friendly and PDF

Friday, September 23, 2011

Another Goldmine of Info Found

http://www.simplebites.net/eat-well-spend-less-homemade-substitutes-for-grocery-staples

Great homemade recipes for ranch dressing, pizza sauce, mayonaise, yogurt, and more. I'm going to be going through and adding these to my cookbook.

And... while I am at it, I must remember to PRINT OUT my cookbook. I don't know how reliable my local grid is over the winter. I must prepare NOW before the power is out and we're stuck eating oats and crunchy rice.

Print Friendly and PDF

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Starting to feel like a Farmer

For the last couple of weeks... I have really started feeling like a farmer.



My garden is pathetic.  Tiny little plants poking their heads from my rock hard clay, struggling to survival.  I got spoiled rotten working the community gardens, tilled and disced, composted and tilled again each year before myself and other locals came to plant our seeds.  Those soils were sooooooo luscious and I had no idea.  But now, as I attempt to break my 'soil' on my own property, my shovel bounces back in that jarring, screech as if you hit a rock.  But its not a rock.  Just my lovely clay baked by the summer sun.


My son watching me work.



Of course, there are things I can do to improve this.  I have found some great local resources, and met some amazing and wonderful people.  I must admit, that every venture I have made since coming out here has been so uplifting.  Even when things fail, I still can step back and see so much good from each experience.

My goals right now are to collect some manure from some of my local farmers.  They seemed quite eager to share it. :)  Adding the fresh manure to my compost, and the aged to my garden areas, will take some labor for sure.  But the nitrogen and other nutrients will make such a huge difference.  I'm sure the results will be quite noticeable.

And we are hoping to get a rototiller before the month is out.  We're not sure if we will be getting a new or used one, and have been weighing the options.  Half jokingly, I find myself desiring a goat cultivator and harness.  Of course my goats are not trained and I only have pygmies.  They do make cultivators for the little guys and I picture it.  It goes well with my long skirts and baby sling and hand pumped well and wood fire cooking.

Oh I love my little goats.

Unfortunately, my husband does not.  I can't blame him.  In my deep love and infatuation I arranged with another goat lover to breed my girl.  My fellow goat enthusiast brought her handsome black pygmy buck to my home.



And as I oohed and ahhed over his shiny coat and long curled horns, he proceeded to scent my porch, my lawn, my car, and my husband.  The next 4 days he broke through our fence about 4 times a day, chased me around the house, beat on my neutered male goat, and didn't give my little female any rest from his advances.  My husband said he had to go.  It was around this time that my girl finally went into heat and was more accepting to this little black terror.  He seemed to calm down and left the children and I alone all day.  I shared this information with my husband, yes, in the hopes that this buck would be allowed to stay long enough to fulfill his duty.  My husband said "ok", in that, "I don't think this is a good idea but OK" way.   In my foolishness I heard what I wanted and did not call the goats owner to come and get him.



That night, my husband stood out by the chicken coop, relaxing in the evening sunshine and taking in the beautiful land that has been given to us by a good and loving God.

And the goat rammed him in the crotch.  He bucked, he huffed, he sprayed his stink and jumped up in furious displays of manhood against my husband.  I came out to find my husband lying on the ground, cursing.  He recovered himself quickly in the face of an angry goat with enormous horns and chased him away with the hose.  Water is a good deterrent for goats fortunately.  And I was on the phone with my fellow goat lover to pick up her boy.

Wish I Had A Picture. LOL



She shared my desire to see little goat babies, and we arranged to have my girl go to her farm while they did their business, which takes about a month.  My little neutered male is very lonely without her, but it won't be too long and she'll be back with a little extra something.

I was also gifted with a family of meat rabbits.  They are beautiful, soft, and pretty friendly.  I don't have a hutch built yet, but I keep them in my dog kennel at night and put them loose in my large fenced duck pond area to run loosely and free under the sun.



I love to see my homestead coming together.  I love seeing my chickens, ducks, rabbits and goats roaming freely over my yard, eating grass, playing and running.



Print Friendly and PDF

Print Friendly