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Discussing all aspect of gardening.
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Fig Jam. 9.20.18
Barbara, I like the benefits you're getting from gardening. I get similar benefits.
I wasn't a farm boy, but my dad had about a half acre, where he kept a fairly large garden, and a huge patch of alfalfa that he fed to the rabbits he raised for food. That's probably where I got my liking for rabbit meat.
Spud, farm girl here and I too remember whole milk as a way of life. I also remember thinking the milk I drank at school in the little cartons as a treat as it didn't taste the same as raw milk at home.
At the time I didn't understand the value of the farm that supplied our family of eight with everything we needed to eat in addition to providing a living for us. My father supplied beef, veal, ham, eggs and chickens to local grocery store in addition to selling bulk milk and eggs. We had an orchard for fruit and extensive berry patches along with a huge garden for vegetables that were canned and frozen.
I thought of it as nothing but work as we all had our "chores", seven days a week and I was eager to leave when I did. Now I get misty-eyed when I remember those days,
Joan, Permaculture really didn't sit well with me when I first saw it - simply too messy, appeared disorganized, weedy, etc. Then after about the 3rd video/article I began to realize the value. Also, Sensei Fukuoka was all about reducing the work involved in the growing process, which makes total sense to me as I imagine next year I won't be able to do as much as I can this year ... and so on.
Randall, ..."As for growing your own potatoes vs. market, it's not the cost. It's the satisfaction and joy of self reliance--and gardening! Taste matters, too."
You are spot on with that statement. I live alone, have many food restrictions, have limited income, etc. It would definitely be cheaper for me to simply buy my food whether at farmer's market or grocery store. I haven't even begun to have a harvest and yet I already am reaping benefits; therapy for depression, exercise I can't get in a gym, entertainment with my little dog who "helps" me, peace and relaxation of hearing birdsong and sheer delight of rain as my plants recover from days of dry heat Along with hours spent reading books and online, and having the wonderful feeling that I'm helping in some small way a piece of earth become healthier.
Planted garlic in my smart pot today, and added compost to the veggie garden. Couldn't find organic at the grocery store, so just bought regular bulk kind, label said it was from Texas,Mexico. Not sure how it can be from both places. Only out 54 cents if it doesn't grow.
Barbara, I am enjoying your recommendations very much. Especially Masanobu Fukuoka. I wish I had heard of him before I pulled all those weeds that came up from my year of cancer dancing. His method makes sense, and I can make some little and big changes in my garden in response to his ideas. Permaculture is getting more fun every season.
I haven't been to Pocatello's Farmers' Market in about 2 years, so I'll try it again next season.
When I lived in a very small community 35 years ago, I got my milk fresh squeezed, unpasteurized and unhomogenized, from a dairy farmer just a half mile from me, and it was delicious. We could leave any size container and he would fill it at the next milking. It's probably against the law now.
I probably could have got most of my meat from local people there also, if I had asked around. One acquaintance said he had just butchered one of his young calves, and ask if I wanted the liver. Oh, wow! That fresh liver was one of the best things I've ever tasted! Store-bought liver is like cardboard in comparison.
I've had freshly butchered rabbit as well, with similar taste satisfaction. I just found the address of a rabbit farmer near here, and I plan on paying him a visit in the near future.
Here in the Northeast Kingdom, fortunate to live not far from Peaslee's Potato Farm. The spuds are tasty, fresh, and really inexpensive because, sold locally, there are no shipping costs added on.
Some farmers' markets are no better that supermarkets, I guess. Here in Vermont (Vermont has more farmers' markets per capita than any other state), ours are almost all excellent, although many are expensive, discouraging a lot of low-income shoppers. Several enterprising local farms also sell their produce (including meats) right at the farm, day in day out. Chandler Pond Farm, just three miles from me, is terrific.As for pruning fruit trees (apple, cherry, and pear especially) and highbush blueberries, it's definitely recommended for the trees' vigor, the size and health of the fruit, and even for appearance. The definitive resource on the subject is Lewis Hill's PRUNING SIMPLIFIED. He was a wonderful, wise, and pioneering gardener whose books remain highly regarded.
I haven't read anything about not pruning fruit trees, but I'm a strong believer that it's not necessary, unless you're doing it commercially. For one thing, pruned trees look horrible. And there's a plentiful supply of fruit w/o lopping off limbs. Besides, it's hard work. What do you do with the limbs? Never again, for me.
As for growing your own potatoes vs. market, it's not the cost. It's the satisfaction and joy of self reliance--and gardening! Taste matters, too.
Daniel, I agree with your reasons to grow spuds. If I had the room, I'd grow hundreds of pounds a year. Even with my very limited space, I plan on growing some next year.
Don, Farmers' Markets sound like a good deal in most places, but I've not been impressed with the one in my town. The prices seem to be about regular store prices, and the taste is no better.
Barbara, thanks for the link to the root pruning video. I had never heard of it before, but after watching several of them, it sounds like a much better way. I'm going to try it.
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