Godless in the garden


Godless in the garden

Discussing all aspect of gardening.

Location: Planet Earth
Members: 179
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Comment by Randall Smith on January 6, 2018 at 7:17am

Most farmers around here are die-hard Republicans with the "don't tread on me" philosophy. Yet, of course, they gladly accept government handouts.

Small, organic farms, like mine, don't qualify. What a rip. Your last sentence, Joan, speaks for us.

Comment by Joan Denoo on January 5, 2018 at 11:20pm

Agri-business and huge monoculture farming operations fail to meet the needs of the farmers, their families, and the communities they serve. Farmers need more than slogans and speeches, they need investments in their communities, research and technical assistance, diversity in styles of farming, and an emphasis on Permaculture as a farming option. 

It is highly unlikely farmers get these from the Farm Bureau or the Trump administration.

As President Trump Speaks to the Farm Bureau, Both Betray Farmers

President Trump and his agriculture secretary, Sonny Perdue, "delivered far more for agribusiness—the deep-pocketed corporations that buy, process, and trade farm commodities—than for the average farmer and farm worker."

President Trump in his first 100 days, proposed steep cuts to the US Department of Agriculture’s budget. It would impact

* technical assistance to farmers,

* funding to improve rural water systems, and

* food assistance programs that serve low-income rural residents.

Trump's uncompromising immigration bombast

* increased deportation actions,

* led to a shortage of farmworks, 

* affected farms from California to Michigan.

Trump threatened to walk away from the North American Free Trade Agreement, which American farmers like because it expanded markets for their grains, meat, and dairy products.

Trump's blustering, bullying tactics may end the agreements and threaten negotiations with Canada and Mexico. 

Many farmers feel abandoned and betrayed. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on January 5, 2018 at 6:34pm

High Altitude Gardening

My children share me for part of the year; during the winter months, I expect to be gardening a thousand feet higher than Denver, CO. It seems I'm not too old to learn new things. I want to grow herbs inside, 

I am new to this altitude, are there other who grow things in winter at this elevation? 

Comment by Joan Denoo on January 3, 2018 at 4:42pm

Ruth, not everyone harvests black soldier flies, some just throw some raw meat in a bucket with holes bored in the bottom or as Jotham Timothy Bessey suggested, "with 1/4 hardware cloth for a bottom." It is necessary to hang it suspended in air, perhaps on a tripod or from a roost. The flies lay their eggs on the carcass underneath a gunny sack and when the maggots crawl, they fall through the holes into the chicken yard. What maggots survive and grow into black soldier flies, they continue the life-cycle. 

Bring On The Soldier Flies!

Comment by Jotham Timothy Bessey on January 2, 2018 at 10:16pm

I don't think you have to freeze them. Just let the maggots hatch and put the container in for the chickens to eat them.

A piece of meat in a container with 1/4 hardware cloth for a bottom, a lot of the maggots will fall through to a second container, then you have a container with just maggots. easy harvest.

Speaking of which, think I will try that come spring. Thanks for the idea.

Comment by Randall Smith on January 2, 2018 at 7:22am

I'm glad I've already eaten, Ruth!

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on January 1, 2018 at 1:03pm

The second comment to this article suggests using pigs or black soldier flies instead of composting wastes. I thought you might want to comment on the practicality of that. It sounds like a lot of work to harvest maggots, freeze and grind them, to feed chickens. But such methods might become important when our food supply collapses.

Vegetarian-ism is fine, but in a northern context, it is difficult to ignore the role of meat. On my farm, I used to compost residual vegetable matter to build the soil. It takes a lot of effort and skill to do this well. Instead of composting, I now use animals – specifically pigs. They will eat just about anything left over in the garden and produce organic fertilizer in the process. They have a habit of digging, and are the best roto-tiller that you can imagine – without using any fossil fuels. There is a very beneficial role for small scale animal use in the right settings, ignoring this, and mandating a vegetarian diet in all circumstances is foolish.
In a similar approach, I raise black soldier flies, in self contained rearing houses on the property too. The larvae (fondly called maggots) will eat just about any organic waste as well. I feed them garden residuals plus any waste I can get my hands on from local restaurants (ie table scraps). They are a great alternative to composting – they make organic fertilizer as well, and if you harvest the maggots at just the right point, they are very useful. The maggots can be frozen (humane, chemical free way to kill them), and dried. Dried maggots run through a hammer mill and combined with a bit of appropriate vegetable matter can be pulverized into a very high quality fish food or chicken feed. This allows sustainable production of other appealing animal products. I prefer to eat chicken over maggots , thank you very much haha. Point is, we can use natural processes to our benefit, but some do involve animals (and insects).
Comment by Patricia on December 28, 2017 at 5:49pm

Yes, & we definitely need a snow pack. Rather than beginning our snow in Nov., it didn't start until Dec 17th with a dusting, & then nothing much until just the last couple of days. The neighbours are very good to help with blowering it out.

Comment by Idaho Spud on December 28, 2017 at 5:46pm

Good winter scene Patricia.

Comment by Patricia on December 28, 2017 at 5:42pm

Dec. 28/17


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