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    Self-sustainability Gardening And Off-the-grid Too

    Floyd
    Floyd

    Posts : 4104
    Join date : 2010-04-16

    Self-sustainability Gardening And Off-the-grid Too Empty Self-sustainability Gardening And Off-the-grid Too

    Post  Floyd on Sun Jul 25, 2010 3:53 am

    Self-sustainability gardening and off-the-grid tools

    I've been accumulating this list for awhile now. Please feel free to add to it.

    Vortex Hand-crank blender
    http://www.rei.com/product/684259

    It's cheaper at: http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/...p;CS_010=82074

    A
    great kitchen tool for off-the-grid living. These blenders are great
    quality, will chop ice, blend smoothies and soaked beans for soup, etc.
    You can find them on Ebay much cheaper than the new REI model shown
    here.

    Lamp Wicking
    www.wickstore.com

    If you buy loose
    wicks on Ebay they cost a small fortune. Go direct to this
    manufacturer, and you can buy a 25 yard spool of 1" wicking for $10.61.
    The round wicking is also great.

    Denture Repair Kit
    www..ebay.com

    This
    Ebay'er sells very high quality denture repair kits. For under $25 you
    can get a full set of loose teeth along with adhesive components. The
    quality is first class. When you receive the teeth, you can match them
    up to your own and, if needed, return them right away for a free
    replacement with a new set that's a few shades lighter or darker, and a
    size bigger or smaller, to match your own. Now that's service! They also
    sell denture re-lining kits.

    Fresnel Lenses
    www..ebay.com

    If
    you're not familiar with Fresnel's, you'll want to read-up. This is an
    extremely affordable way to capture solar power for heating water,
    cooking, etc. They're not toys and you have to handle them super
    carefully – they'll start wood burning within seconds of focusing the
    lens, and will melt zinc and cement in less than a minute. You can also
    buy wallet-sized versions for emergency fire-starting. For less $130 you
    can buy one of the bigger lenses, which will boil water in seconds just
    by capturing and concentrating sun rays. They're amazing! This Ebay
    seller has great products and interesting videos embedded in his auction
    ads.

    SPOT AND LINEAR FRESNEL LENSES
    Both can be used for solar cooking and solar hot water heating.

    There
    are two basic types of Fresnel lenses, Linear and Spot. Both lenses
    look identical to the naked eye in terms of the circular Fresnel pattern
    but a Spot lens will always appear more transparent. Spot lenses
    produce a very small tight beam at optimal focal length and are
    generally more powerful size for size. Linear lenses produce a long flat
    beam ranging from 1 inch high by 3 inches wide up to 1" x 12".

    Linear Fresnel Lens Advantages:
    • Less chance of damaging equipment if liquid evaporates
    • Long beam can be spread the length of a pipe
    • Powers a Steam Engine slower but more safely
    Disadvantages:
    • More opaque due to physical nature, less light (power) transferred to project
    • Cannot be used for melting metals

    Spot Fresnel Lens Advantages:
    • High power heat transfer (available in Crystal Clear Acrylic perfection cutting)
    • Can be set to less of a focal length (ideal for cooking)
    • Melts copper and many other materials
    • Powers a Sterling Engine and Steam Engine
    Disadvantages:
    • Instant flame and work hazard
    • Equipment damage
    • Does not spread over a pipe surface evenly"


    The Ultra-compact Backpackers Grill
    www.wildernessdining.com

    These
    grills are just great. They're compact stainless steel, basically a
    complete grill set-up that fits into an 11.4" tube, 0.9" dia. Easy to
    set-up & clean, gives you 100 sq. in. grill surface for pots or food
    right on the grill. Take up no space in your backpack, and double as a
    self-defense tool. $29.99

    Misting Systems
    www.ebay.com

    Here's
    a great water misting system for gardens and people. If you're faced
    with bugging out in heavy-duty heat and you have a menopausal wife
    (lucky you), you'll want to have a good cooling system at the ready. You
    can hook this gear up to a gravity feed system, suspend it over your
    head, and stay wonderfully cool in a super-fine mist. And once the wife
    is cooled down, move the hose and keep your plants watered. This is
    particularly helpful if you're having to start an emergency garden under
    tough conditions. Getting tender seedlings to start is always tricky.
    If your food supply depends on them, it's crucial. This misting gear is
    the perfect water-regulation system. This Ebay'er sells complete sets,
    and also sells the plastic nozzles and T's so you can build your own.
    They're well made. $29.99

    "Seed to Seed" by Suzanne Ashworth
    www.seedsavers.org

    Seed
    Saving: You've stocked up on your heirloom seeds. Now you'll need to
    know how to save seed each year, and that's a bit of an art form. Here's
    a great book on keeping seed that's easy to follow yet very detailed.
    $24.95

    Heat Sealed Foil Barrier Packets
    www.seedsavers.org

    And
    here are some great heat-seal foil packets to store seed in. You can
    write on them, store in them, and they'll double as 'product packaging'
    so you can sell extra seed each year. 50 for $10

    Interesting article on storing seeds -- a formal approach. These guys also use the foil heat-seal packs. FWIW.

    www.naturebase.net

    www.ULine.com
    3.99 per pail
    1.09 per lid

    --Plastic Pails And Lids
    --Safely store or ship your products in these durable pails.
    --High density polyethylene construction withstands temperatures up to 180°F.
    --Stackable but easily separated due to tapered design.
    --FDA, USDA and NSF approved.

    They'll ship all over, but shipping can be spendy. Still, if you can't get the pails in your local area, this might help.
    www.uline.com

    SEARCH: pails

    ULINE
    carries the Vermiculite in 4-cubic-ft bags. We bought 5 bags tonite for
    $100 plus $8.75 taxes. It's what we use in the SQUARE FOOT GARDENING
    method. Wish we'd known earlier...coulda saved some money. Lowe's
    charges nearly $9.00, and that's for only 10 dry qrts.

    SEARCH: vermiculite

    The
    company also sells Carboys for water (and shelves to hold them) plus
    new containers for all sorts of food items. They are oriented to
    business packaging, but they do sell things like 1-gallon water jugs,
    etc.

    Check local health food stores for smaller quantities for wheat berries and other whole grains.

    For bulk

    www.honeyvillegrain.com

    www.waltonfeed.com

    BATTERIES:
    cgi.ebay.com

    This
    Ebay'er (batterymonster) has a great deal on rechargeable's. You can
    buy sets of 8 AA's, 2,600 mAh, for under $10. AND, they include four
    converter canisters that turn your AA's into D's. You just put two AA's
    in the canister and plug that into anything that needs a D battery.
    Viola! Bob's your Uncle (or your Aunt, if you come from a weird family).
    The converter cases are really sturdy and the metal contacts give you a
    good connection.


    CANNED BUTTER:

    There are plenty of
    US vendors selling New Zealand canned butter, but the costs to have it
    shipped across by someone like Survival Enterprises is steep… shipping
    is more than the case of butter.

    But here's a great alternative –
    can your own. You'll get the same consistency and taste of regular
    butter, and won't pay a dime more than the price of the butter (assuming
    you already have you Mason jars in stock).

    1. Use any butter
    that is on sale. Lesser quality butter requires more shaking (see #5
    below), but the results are the same as with the expensive brands.

    2.
    Heat pint jars in a 250 degree oven for 20 minutes, without rings or
    seals. One pound of butter slightly more than fills one pint jar, so if
    you melt 11 pounds of butter, heat 12 pint jars. A roasting pan works
    well for holding the pint jars while in the oven.

    3. While the
    jars are heating, melt butter slowly until it comes to a slow boil.
    Using a large spatula, stir the bottom of the pot often to keep the
    butter from scorching. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes at least: a
    good simmer time will lessen the amount of shaking required (see #5
    below). Place the lids in a small pot and bring to a boil, leaving the
    lids in simmering water until needed.

    4. Stirring the melted
    butter from the bottom to the top with a soup ladle or small pot with a
    handle, pour the melted butter carefully into heated jars through a
    canning jar funnel. Leave 3/4" of head space in the jar, which allows
    room for the shaking process.

    5. Carefully wipe off the top of
    the jars, then get a hot lid from the simmering water, add the lid and
    ring and tighten securely. Lids will seal as they cool. Once a few lids
    "ping," shake while the jars are still warm, but cool enough to handle
    easily, because the butter will separate and become foamy on top and
    white on the bottom. In a few minutes, shake again, and repeat until the
    butter retains the same consistency throughout the jar.

    6. At
    this point, while still slightly warm, put the jars into a refrigerator.
    While cooling and hardening, shake again, and the melted butter will
    then look like butter and become firm. This final shaking is very
    important! Check every 5 minutes and give the jars a little shake until
    they are hardened in the jar! Leave in the refrigerator for an hour.

    7.
    Canned butter should store for 3 years or longer on a cool, dark shelf.
    [It does last a long time. We have just used up the last of the butter
    we canned in 1999, and it was fine after 5 years.] Canned butter does
    not "melt" again when opened, so it does not need to be refrigerated
    upon opening, provided it is used within a reasonable length of time.

    A
    lovely glow seems to emanate from every jar. You will also be glowing
    with grateful satisfaction while placing this "sunshine in a jar" on
    your pantry shelves.

    You can buy butter on sale, then keep it frozen until you have enough for canning 2 or 3 batches of a dozen jars each.

    As for solar tracking...

    www.motherearthnews.com

    Click on the graphics icon to see the nuts and bolts of the system.

    A Tesla turbine

    www.phoenixnavigation.com

    Exploring the solar angle...

    All
    leading scientists agree that the hydrogen future depends on free
    energy systems -- wind, geothermal, hydro and solar being the best
    pollution-free sources of power. Since solar energy has the highest
    energy density of these, we are going to continue to focus on this 21st
    century energy source.

    As far as rechargeble batteries, look for
    Sanyo Eneloops...they're NiMH and of a low self discharge design...the
    problem of most rechargeble batteries is they're dead after a month or
    so...Eneloops hold the charge for a year...so far they are only
    available in AA size...coupled with a solar charger, you'll be set in
    emergencies...

    Non rechargeble lithium batteries like the AA,
    AAA, and Cr123 may seem expensive, but they have a greater capacity, low
    temperature performance, and long shelf life...recent ones have "use
    by" dates of 2021...order them online for best savings... btw the cr123
    size is for hi performance flashlight like surefires..


    Making your own soap...

    www.thefarm.org


    Steel Tent Stakes
    search www.ebay.com

    Tired
    of cheap, crummy tent stakes that bend, split or break? Here's a
    California manufacturer of super-excellent steel stakes. Then come in
    10", 12" and 14" lengths. They have a nice big nail head, and both a
    hook and ring that are welded to the spike. These babies will last you
    longer than whatever it is you're tying down.

    The Picklemeister
    www.wisementrading.com

    Scroll
    ¾ of the way down this webpage to see a great set-up for making pickled
    foods. The Picklemeister is a 1-gallon fermentation jar with an airlock
    fitting that forces the fermentation process. Instead of having to wait
    many months for good pickles, sauerkraut or pickled beets, you can
    produce them in a week. That means you can process large quantities of
    your garden produce, get it pickled, then re-can it.

    Soil pH Tester
    www.cspoutdoors.stores.yahoo.net

    Tools
    that guarantee your ability to produce a successful garden each year
    are worth their weight in gold. This Soil pH tester is a self-powered,
    'never dies' tool that eliminates the need to keep buying the cheap pH
    strip test kits each year. This is the professional model. You poke it
    into the soil a few inches and get an easy-to-see digital readout on the
    top of the unit. I love tools like this that never wear out and aren't
    dependent on a power source.

    Essential Oil Distillation:
    www.crucible.org

    It's
    hard for me to imagine going into a meltdown world without a good
    supply of Oregano Oil, one of the most potent natural antibiotics known
    to man. Oregano is very easy to grow, but extracting pure, potent oil
    from it is a lot more complicated. Buying it at the health food store is
    expensive… $30 for a 2 oz. bottle, where I am. Aside from
    growing/making my own, pure oils will be a great barter item in the days
    ahead. I think Oregano Oil will be especially valuable, because
    everyone's immune system is liable to get smacked due to anxiety. One
    solution is to buy your own steam distillation system. You could even
    get a little consortium of friends together to pitch in for one. My
    research led me to this as one of the best, most cost-effective units.
    If you're clever, and got an A+ in chemistry, you might be able to build
    your own based on the drawings here. ($399.00)

    The Water Bob:
    www.dehydrated-food.net

    Those
    of you who listen to the Armchair Survivalist show on Saturday are
    probably familiar with this item. It's basically like a water bed liner,
    shaped to fit in your bathtub. If you think you're about to get nailed
    by a storm that will result in losing water services (electric off,
    water main broken)… or if trouble hits, this will allow you to quickly
    dump your hot water tank into a clean and more accessible receptacle.
    The quality of the Water Bob bag is great and it's equipped with a good
    hose and pump system for filling, transferring and emptying. ($29.99)

    With
    a little work, this item can also double as a good means to move a lot
    of water overland. Here's one plan: nail a few heavy-duty skids together
    and attach two steel runners underneath (like a sled). Build a long box
    (roughly the same length & width as a bathtub) and secure that to
    the skids. Inside, line it with heavy Styrofoam or some cushioning
    material. Throw a couple wool blankets in the bottom, overlapping the
    sides. Now you can haul this apparatus to a stream or spring, put the
    Water Bob in the frame and fill it up. Tie it to your truck hitch or
    pull it by horse or other means, and you've got an easy way to transport
    100 gallons, store it, and use it as needed. If you need to move the
    Bob out of the box, just pick up the blankets, which should support it
    for transport to another spot indoors, or whatever. (Of course, water is
    very heavy (8.3 lbs/gallon), so you'll be needing lots of help to move
    one of these plastic whales.)

    Affordable Wind Turbine:
    www.alpinesurvival.com

    Instead
    of relying on a single alternative source of energy, our plan
    incorporates solar (regular panels and Fresnel lense) along with wind.
    If the day's sunny or stormy, we still pull down a good bit of energy
    into the battery bank. All the wind turbines I found were very
    expensive, but this one is really affordable, and high quality. Has a
    PLC controller that maximizes energy transfer to batteries, it's quiet,
    and easy to get a secure installation. The company has a whole range of
    more expensive models, too. ($725.00)

    Hand-crank Cellphone Charger:
    www.guardianangelpreparedness.com

    A
    battery-free, hand crank charger for your cell phone. While you may not
    keep your cellphones long after TSHTF, this could at least serve you
    well during your bugout trip. Murphy's Law being what it is, your cell
    phone battery will probably be run right down just about the time you
    have to hit the road. For me, this is a must-have item for cruising
    around in the bush. Crank for two minutes to get six minutes of talking
    time, and you can crank & chat endlessly. This is a good, durable
    unit, unlike some of the cheap-o hand-crank flashlights and radios,
    which have handles that break after the first dozen cranks. ($24.99)


    Food Grade Water Hose
    www.beprepared.com

    Not
    only is it unpleasant to have to drink water that tastes like an
    outdoor garden hose, it's not healthy. Most garden hoses are made from
    petroleum products. When they lie in the sun full of water, the
    contaminants seep into the water. Then your thirsty kid comes along and
    drinks it, or gives it to the dog. Not good. It's easy enough to just
    spray water until you've emptied the hose, but if you're in an emergency
    situation you won't want to waste all that water. Here's the solution.
    These food grade water hoses are 50 feet long, and are quite affordable
    compared to regular high quality garden hoses. ($25.95)


    Pocketknives, Bowie's, etc.
    search www.ebay.ca

    A
    pocketknife really durable that would fit (female) hand, hold a good
    edge, and be enjoyable to use is beautiful hand-made knife. The auction
    ad text is in German (seller is in Canada), but you can use this online
    translator to convert text to English www.translation2.paralink.com

    They're
    done in 200-layer Damask steel, in a beautiful 'wave' pattern.
    Super-well constructed. If you really track the auctions, you can pick
    one up for cheap. ($30 to $80)


    Flashlight 'Comparison Shopper' Reviews
    www.flashlightreviews.com

    This
    person has put together an excellent research website on flashlights.
    He obviously knows his stuff, and is a diligent user and tester. My
    favour fanny pak light is the Fenix P2D-CE. It's a little pricey at $45,
    but super-quality in every way. The next best comparable I've found to
    this model is the Dorcy Metalgear Luxeon, which is half the price, but
    missing many of the great features.


    Solar Battery and Cell Phone Charger
    www.cgi.ebay.com
    Seller's page (in case this auction is expired): www.ebay.com]

    Now
    that you've got a great flashlight in your BO bag, you'll want a way to
    keep those batteries charged. This is the nicest compact solar charger,
    charges two sizes of batteries – four each of AA's or AAA's, and it has
    an adapter cord for charging cell phones. Depending on your phone, you
    may need an adapter to get from this plug to your input, but they're
    available out there if you look around.

    This little solar charger
    folds open/closed so it's compact to carry. Has a hard case so you can
    jam it into your pack without worry. Has a blocking diode to prevent
    reverse flow and over-charge. Belt clip included. ($25.99)

    Clay pot "Kandle Heater"
    www.heatstick.com

    There's
    a lot of information about how the Kandle Heater works and how it's
    made at that page, where you can purchase them. Something new uses a
    light bulb as well, 90% of a light bulb's energy is produced as heat,
    and only 10% as light. So the Kandle Heater helps collect that heat as a
    supplementary source in your home.

    They were mentioning RVers
    using these heaters, that makes sense. Might be a good thing to have in
    the car too for an emergency although it is said the clay absorbs
    moisture which has to bake out before it's efficient and that it takes
    awhile for the moisture to burn out of the clay pots.


    Tents
    12' x 9' - STRAIGHT WALLS - SLEEPS 10 PEOPLE - 2 ROOMS $119.92
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll......N:IT&ih=023



    Biomass stoves boilers wind solar...local company, great service
    www.smartbuildingproducts.com


    GLOBAL SOLAR OVEN
    Bake,
    boil, or steam the natural way, plus... create all your favorite
    slow-cook recipes just like using a conventional crock pot while you're
    busy or away at work! Anything you can cook in a conventional gas or
    electric oven can be cooked in a Sun Oven.

    Simply set it in
    direct sunlight, point it the proper direction, place your meal inside
    the oven chamber, and The Global Sun Oven will provide a superior
    tasting repast – for FREE!!!

    The Sun Oven works even in subzero
    air temperatures, as long as the sun is out, the oven will capture the
    sun’s energy and cook as if it were a tropical day. The oven will heat
    up quicker on clear, low humidity days.

    How do his veggies grow? The no-dig way

    www.solardirect.com

    Self-sustaining aquaponic garden (grows fish, fruits and vegetables)

    There
    currently are about six such systems in the world. Organic farming uses
    aquaponics to grow talapia fish in tanks, recycles the fish water in
    long rectangular raised water filled flats encased in a wood frame about
    12 inches high, 30 feet long, filled with the circulating fish water
    that is then cleaned and recycled back into the fish tank(s). These
    raised water beds are covered with 2 inch steryo foam insulation panels
    cut to fit the water bed and with 3 to 4 inch holes cut into the panel
    in long rows. In each hole is place a small 3" or 4" by 2"(inch) basket
    filled with a special mixture of soil where the seed is planted. Within
    21 days one gets the most incredible lettuce, tomatoes, leeks,
    strawberries... all types of surface vegetables where the roots grow
    down into the fish water and get its nutrients for growth. Hydroponics
    does not need dirt or fertalizer and can be put almost anywhere. The
    whole system only takes about 50 gallons of water a day (about 5 toilet
    flushes worth of water total). The fish tank is covered with a shade
    fabric so there is no real evaporation there and the water beds are also
    covered. In the water beds are mosquito eating tiny fish to take care
    of that problem.

    This system is completely weed free. However,
    root crops still need dirt. Anyway, they are developing whole family
    systems would cost about 5k and includes training, materials and set-up.
    One could easily feed their family fish and fresh organic produce from
    their own backyard. This would also make a great school project where
    children learn about growing fish for food and organic aquaponic
    gardening. However, if one knows how to do this I think the cost would
    just be the supplies. A water tank for the fish can be made out of
    plywood done up as a box which is lined, which was the starter tank at
    their place.

    Info on this system is available from Tim Mann and Susanne Friend at kaimana@hawaiiantel.net


    Pat
    Marfisi carries alfalfa hay into his Hollywood Hills backyard, but
    there aren’t any animals to feed. It’s for his “no dig” vegetable
    garden.

    Pat Marfisi applies the low-water, layering technique to his Hollywood Hills plot and reaps an abundance of organic produce.

    By Lisa Boone, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
    June 12, 2008
    PAT
    MARFISI carries bales of alfalfa hay and straw into the center aisle of
    his Hollywood Hills vegetable garden and begins tearing off pieces of
    the stuff. He doesn't have any animals to feed, just his "no-dig"
    landscape: raised beds using lasagna-like layers of fodder, bone and
    blood meal and compost -- and remarkably little water.

    Now that
    Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has declared a statewide drought, Marfisi's
    300-square-foot patch seems more relevant than ever. It's his personal
    horticultural laboratory for a low-water, sustainable technique he
    learned working on organic farms in Australia last year.



    Photos: Creating a no-dig garden

    How to start a no-dig garden
    Since
    he began gardening in this fashion, he says, he has been "inundated"
    with food. With the exception of some recent losses to raccoons drawn to
    the soil's abundant grubs and earthworms, Marfisi's garden is thriving
    with beets, collard greens, chard, celery, tomatoes, chives, peppers,
    basil, chives, lettuces and leeks. He estimates he grows enough food to
    feed three people daily.

    When asked how much he waters, Marfisi
    shoves his hand deep beside some Swiss chard and pulls out moist,
    decomposed soil laced with remnants of straw. "I haven't watered in 10
    days," he says. "This is what I want people to know: You can have beauty
    and abundance without a lot of water."

    The retired Marfisi came
    upon the method while working as a volunteer farmhand Down Under, where
    the technique has been used since the 1977 paperback, "Esther Deans'
    Gardening Book: Growing Without Digging," promoted it as a solution to
    poor soil, rampant weeds, water shortages and costly food.

    "Today,
    L.A. faces a lot of the same issues," Marfisi says. "In addition, we
    have global warming from pollution, and home gardening is a significant
    way to reduce transportation cost and related pollution."

    He
    points out that noted food and science writer Michael Pollan, author of
    the recent "In Defense of Food," estimates that the distance traveled by
    food to the plate of an average American is 1,500 miles. "This number
    is 150 feet for most home gardeners," Marfisi says. "That is a huge
    reduction in transport cost and pollution."

    UNTIL HE had time for
    hands-on yard work, gardening was a passionate intellectual pursuit for
    Marfisi, who likes to sit for hours studying bugs with reference books
    in hand. But after leaving his job as a management consultant, he
    enrolled in UCLA Extension's horticulture program, which inspired him to
    dump water-hungry annuals and replace them with California natives.
    Then last year, Marfisi, who has a doctorate in economics, decided he
    wanted to become a farmer.

    At age 60, Marfisi became a WWOOFer --
    he joined World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms ( www.wwoof.org),
    an international cultural exchange program that provides organic farmers
    free labor in exchange for providing workers with food and lodging.

    The
    former consultant for big-name clients such as Sun- America thought it
    would be the ultimate work-study program to learn about sustainable
    farming and lifestyles.

    "The attraction was to get into the heart
    of the world of permaculture and biodynamics and experience it
    firsthand," he says. "Being retired, I had the time. I thought, 'I'm
    still healthy and strong.' I figured now is the time to do it." (He
    hopes to join WWOOF again next year in Costa Rica).

    He started on
    a farm in New Zealand. Moving to Australia, he eventually worked on
    farms in six cities in Tasmania, Southern Australia and the Northern
    Territory. His friends thought he was crazy.

    "Here is a guy who
    made the transition from corporate board rooms to the deserts of
    Australia and New Zealand to examine horticulture," friend Perry Parks
    says. "I couldn't get my head around it initially. At his age . . .
    hiring yourself off to various farms? Digging fence posts?" he says,
    chuckling.

    "But tracking him through his e-mail messages, it
    seemed to be a real change of pace and it took on a kind of a meditative
    quality. Everything seemed to be slower, simpler and clearer. He got a
    lot out of it. Now he's come back and put it into practice," Parks says.

    THOUGH
    there is some debate over the origins of the no-dig method -- Ruth
    Stout's "How to Have a Green Thumb Without an Aching Back," first
    published in 1955, and Masanobu ***uoka's "One Straw Revolution,"
    translated to English from Japanese in 1978, are other references -- one
    thing is certain: It is easy and it works.

    Veteran gardeners
    will say that the greatest amount of work in creating a successful
    vegetable garden goes into soil preparation. One of the best things
    about this sustainable alternative: You don't have to break your back
    digging and pulling roots.

    "It's a wonderful movement," says
    landscape designer and garden writer Rosalind Creasy, author of "The
    Complete Book of Edible Landscaping." "So many gardeners presume you
    have to start with a rototiller. That only destroys the soil structure
    and burns the organic matter."

    No-dig beds are created by
    layering organic materials above ground on newspaper. Marfisi starts
    with alfalfa hay (Deans recommends Lucerne hay, but it's hard to find
    locally), then straw and finally compost. Marfisi dusts the newspaper,
    alfalfa and straw with blood and bone meal. (Details in accompanying
    story). The layers then decompose, turning into a nutrient-rich mixture
    much like compost.

    Marfisi says no-dig is more efficient, water
    wise, because once a plant has a 10- to 12-inch root system, the layers
    of compost and straw keep moisture around the roots. And you can keep
    layering it over and over again as the organic matter breaks down.

    Aside
    from its looking a little messy, Creasy finds few negatives to no-dig.
    She does urge novice gardeners, however, to learn about soil nutrients
    that vegetables need. "You still have to fertilize," she says. "You
    still have to renew the nitrogen. Peas are legumes and they have
    nitrogen-mixing bacteria. Broccoli is a heavy feeder. You [also] have to
    think about crop rotation."

    Marfisi concedes that it is harder
    to get nitrogen and the acidity or alkalinity right in a fresh no-dig
    bed than in conventional soil. But once the organic matter has been in
    for two or three months and fertilizer is added, these imbalances seem
    to correct themselves, he says, and his harvests have been bountiful.

    It
    seems Marfisi was destined to become a locavore from an early age. He
    clearly remembers the first seeds he planted as a 7-year-old in
    Missouri. The simple act of pushing seeds into soil and waiting to see
    what happened was the beginning of a lifelong yearning that would haunt
    him until he retired.

    "I was blown away that seeds manufactured
    flowers," he says of discovering pink and orange zinnias weeks later.
    "Even to this day it still amazes me. . . . That picture remained in the
    back of my mind, while I was working 80 hours a week."

    Now vegetables provide that same fascination. "Reconnecting to earth is huge for people who are contemplating retirement."

    coffee can bread recipes | recipe goldmine bread recipes
    coffee can bread recipes, including a recipe for Can Can Date Nut Bread.

    www.recipegoldmine.com/ breadcoffeecan/breadcoffeecan.html

    Coffee Can Bread: Breads and Rolls Recipe
    Recipe
    for Coffee Can Bread, part of a collection of family breads and rolls
    recipes. This unique bread recipe is baked in coffee cans.

    homeparents.about.com/od/breadsandrolls/r/coffeecan.htm

    Coffee Can Bread - Pictures of Recipes For Families
    Photo of coffee can bread, part of a collection of family recipes from our forum.

    http://www.homeparents.about.com/lib...lphotoccan.htm
    Floyd
    Floyd

    Posts : 4104
    Join date : 2010-04-16

    Self-sustainability Gardening And Off-the-grid Too Empty Re: Self-sustainability Gardening And Off-the-grid Too

    Post  Floyd on Sun Jul 25, 2010 3:54 am

    More seeds for the garden: http://www.projectavalon.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1677

    From Baggywrinkle

    e are students of simplicity and seek solace in the methods of
    our fathers. In a world where children believe
    that eggs come from the store we struggle to relearn what
    an Amish child, or our great grandfathers took for granted.

    We do not limit ourselves to a culture, but seek the best
    that other cultures have to offer. This growing season the
    grandfathers of the first nation spoke to us and we tried -
    successfully - a three sisters garden. Food that we grow
    ourselves that will sustain us, as it sustained the ancestors
    for generations.

    http://www.nativetech.org/cornhusk/threesisters.html
    http://www.reneesgarden.com/articles/3sisters.html
    http://www.imrisk.com/threesisters/threesisters.htm
    http://digital.library.upenn.edu/wom...en/garden.html

    Suffering Succotash! The native grandfathers were very
    wise. They knew better than poor white redneck farmers
    how to eat the corn. The red neck may be a symptom of
    pellagra because the corn was not processed with lye.
    http://www.knowthelies.com/?q=node/2269

    On a small plot of land 100 ft by 100 ft it is possible to
    grow enough wheat to feed a small family. Using simple
    traditional hand tools which are inexpensive to buy, inexpensive
    to maintain and will last a life time. It is
    no different from growing grass and can be a bonding
    experience for a family, a neighborhood, or a community.

    Gene Logsdon's book Small-Scale Grain Raising
    is a treasure which should be in every permaculture library

    You may obtain a PDF copy of this treasure here.
    http://www.soilandhealth.org/copyfor...ookcode=030210

      Current date/time is Wed Apr 01, 2020 1:25 pm