Thursday, March 31, 2011

It should read the People of the United States of America VS Monsanto

But I will take what I can get. Honestly, I couldn't be happier with this news. A lawsuit was recently filed by 60 family farmers, seed businesses and organic agricultural organizations, & the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) against Monsanto Company challenging the chemical giant’s patents on genetically modified seed. I for one couldn't be happier as a home gardener supplying food to his family.

A copy of the lawsuit is here.

Farmers all over America, and the world have been screaming about these unethical, and unhealthy foods and chemicals. In fact, it is because of a lawsuit in Australia that Monsanto is trying to blame the farmer for air born pollen made by its genetically modified food.

Good luck finding healthy food this season if you aren't growing it yourself.

Wood stove & baking oven???

Permaculture is more then just about organic gardening methods that seem odd. It is also about doing things from the home, outwards that take care of the 3 basic principles. People share, Earth share, Earth care. Yeah I know, it sounds very 'hippie' to some of you, but Permaculture is very much about being practical for ourselves & that's something I want to show you.

I swung by the Cob Cottage website and saw someone had created wood stove baking oven / masonry heater that heats his under insulated home and keeps warmth even till morning now. The link is over at Hand Print Press.

Now personally, I would of gone a different way with the art, but I certainly applaud him for his ingenuity and creativity to make something so practical as well as useful.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Is that weather right?

I am at utterly confused at our local weather services. On many channels, radio, and internet you can get this weather report.

Current: Overcast
Wind: SW at 7 mph
Humidity: 76%

It's a bold face lie. It has been raining since before 6a.m. in Coquille. The storm actually stretches past Los Angeles, CA. So, anyone serious about gardening in any facet, I urge you to journal the weather and keep an eye on the changing patterns. You will be better off learning the cycles of our weather since the weather reporters can't even see through a window it seems at times.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Many thanks and sadness.

I am deeply thankful for the 1/2 ton truck full of manure once again from GG Ranch. I swung by there and pitched till my truck and heart was content. It was then re-pitched into my new compost bin once we got back to our happy little rainbow filled homestead. More carbon rich material was added to the compost and then it was covered with a tarp.

Which brings me to some sadness. The outdoor cob kitchen is being destroyed by the elements as we speak, on purpose. I am in the process of designing a new outdoor kitchen in a new location closer to the front door, kitchen, and cooking herbs. It will also allow me to flex my creative side with sculpting. So, it isn't all bad now is it? It is my own fault for not planning ahead of time as I should of. Don't let my mistake happen to you!

Stay green!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Salmon - Nettle Soup

Finding information on local food plants has been difficult to say the least. I know survival foods I recognize here from other parts of the US, but I am looking for indigenous plants to help the area along. So here is a video from that shows the use of local plant life and local fish into a delicious soup! I shared it so we can all learn about local foods prior to the Russians visiting the area.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Here is what I got started this week....

Here is the short list of what I planted this week.

  1. Halls Handy Almond
  2. Lewis Filbert
  3. 4 in 1 Asian Pears (Bartlett, Hosoui, Shinseiki, Chojuro)
  4. 4 in 1 Cherry (Bing, Lambert, Stella, Ranier)
  5. Heritage Everbearing raspberry
  6. Tulameen Spring raspberry
  7. Williamette Spring raspberry
  8. Marionberry
  9. Boysenberry
  10. Asparagus x3
  11. Rhubarb x5
  12. huckleberry x3
  13. Blue taters
  14. yukon gold taters
  15. red onion
  16. white onion
  17. New Zealand spinach x36
  18. Ching Chang Bok choy x12
  19. Green Cabbagex12

Raspberry should be kept away from both blackberries and from potatoes. Raspberry seems to have a negative effect on blackberries & potatoes near them.

I also started a biochar experiment thanks to the USDA. More information on this coming soon. Stay tuned!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Can Permaculture Work in an Urban Area???

Why yes, yes it certainly can! Times are changing, people want to be more self-sufficent and happy again, easy maintenance food forests and permaculture gardens are a way to do just that. Here is a link to "Milkwood" a permaculture food forest in the middle of Sydney, Australia. That is a densely populated city just like the city so nice they named it twice New York, New York in the US.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Love Garden

On Feb. 3rd, I started building a double mandala garden today in the only good clearing that gets enough light in summer. Currently the sun is low and obscuring much of the light, and some trees will also be removed near by the are blocking some of the light. I let the area be fallow for a year. I then marked off the circle with rope. I then proceeded to spread well composted but still rotting horse manure mixed with straw. (roughly 1/2 a ton) I know other things would be better but this is what I could afford. ((I.E. Free)) I also spread a years worth of charcoal from the ol' woodstove without the ashes. This all got tilled in a few hours ago and it already has gone from deep rich rusty colored clay to well, the picture speaks.

The fire was made with a mix of fir, Port Orford Cedar, & Alder. After it got to a coal period I added horse manure. It was interesting to watch the fire burn out of holes through the horse manure mixture (A local ranch supplied me with horse manure that was composted and mixed with straw, but was still fairly green and hot), reminded me of lava holes in Hawaii.

1/2 way through the one hour of smoldering the fire started getting big again under the manure I had put, so I completely covered it in horse manure mixture again. At the end of the hour, the fire was doused with a water innoculant I cooked up.

1st 5gal. container of water had:

2 TBSP of Unsulphered Molasses
5 TBSP of Bat guano
5 TBSP earthworm castings

2nd 5gal. container of water had:

5 TBSP of Bat guano
5 TBSP earthworm castings

2nd 5gal. container of water had:

5 TBSP of Bat guano
5 TBSP earthworm castings
& an 8' chopped Bull Whip Kelp ( Nereocystis) that was chopped, rinsed after 24 hours for 3 days, then soaked for 1 month & mixed up daily.

After the fire was doused with the above mixture, and spread out / raked out wards in a circle ((except for one wild area of the circle)). I then proceeded to till the soil to mix the char with the soil and get it in well everywhere.

Here I have the first 3 stakes laid out. They are 6'2" apart (Golden Mean Proportion). The green area to the upper right is an intentional 'wild area' I am leaving in the circle. The current plant you see growing there is Galanthus nivalis Far background also shows my blackberry fedge between my neighbor and I.

The 5th I worked on making mounds literally till the sun had set and made a beautiful sunset which is rare at this time of the year. While making mounds I couldn't believe how light the soil felt. It was a real pleasure to work with.

So the next morning I added more straw. It looked good. Even added a worm composter near the where the gate was going in. Pounded in stakes for chicken wire as well. I will admit I am now thinking of adding a 3.14' wide second fence line in as a "chicken moat" around the garden, however only the Future knows weather or not this will be done.

On the 7th my friend Norm came over and we agreed something was missing, and that was deer protection. It's not the best in the world, but I like it. This is the viewing towards the NW and where the sun rises to this area before arcing around to the south. Those trees are apple, cherry & pear trees I inherited a year ago w/ the property. They were in very poor condition & are much improved.

I started planting things I had to move right away like a really poorly pot bound yarrow, a honeysuckle & a few garlic. Snowpea, potatoes, sunchokes, horseradish, and more have already found its way into the "Love Garden." Crimson Clover has also been added as ground cover.

It is called the Love Garden for one exceedingly important reason. I ask anyone entering that they have love in his or her heart prior to entering the garden. Not unreasonable for a garden that sustains my family & I.

Lastly, it is my intention that these beds will be treated like "Hazlip Beds" as I call it. Which means that was the last tilling that the land will get so long as I am steward of this property. The micro-organisms that chemicals help kill make up for around 20% of the photosynthates that take place in the root exchange area. That's huge to take away from plants, let alone food plants that sustain us.