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What will you do differently this year?

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Re: What will you do differently this year?

Post  Turan on 1/15/2013, 12:50 am

I also just planted half a pot of cilantro and half of mixed greens. Rolling Eyes
I need to go search for more info on pepper growing, doing that better is on my list for this year.

NO POTATOES. I say that every year and then plant a few. But this year I am planting rutabagas where I would other wise put potatoes. I grew them once before but did not take enough care or time or space for them.

The kids gave me auto vents to put in the cold frames and Santa gave me one more cold frame. So I will use those and move the hoops to keeping bugs from the broccoli.

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Re: What will you do differently this year?

Post  Turan on 1/15/2013, 2:08 pm

Turan wrote:
NO POTATOES. I say that every year and then plant a few. But this year I am planting rutabagas where I would other wise put potatoes.

Of course I could use a half rotted hay bale to plant the potatoes in. Or 2, stacked, pushing the chits between the flakes on the sides and top. Hay is more nutritious than straw.

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Re: What will you do differently this year?

Post  JK on 1/15/2013, 2:48 pm

This will be year two for me. I will be adding four 4x4 boxes. Growing all heirloom varietys. Just got the seeds in the mail today bounce I will be attempting to start everything from seed instead of spending extra on transplants from the nursery. I plan to water more often during the summer instead of saying its to hot to go water... Embarassed I plan to put alot more effort into my composting. I live in the woods so my browns are easy but my greens require some searching. Plan on trying one entire box of blue jade heirloom corn.

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Re: What will you do differently this year?

Post  CindiLou on 1/15/2013, 2:58 pm

I will get off my duff and water better! And make sure to start my WINTER garden MUCH sooner.
And can! I didn't do much canning last year.
I need to do that more instead of just letting the beds be used for stuff that is space wasting. For example last year I tried kidney beans. Um why? thinking Beans are cheap!
And go to the farmers market and buy veggies! They are nice and cheap here! And I can can lol..
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Re: What will you do differently this year?

Post  GWN on 1/16/2013, 11:13 am

With you there!!! Just planted a round pot with marigold seeds and an oblong herb pot with lettuce, spinach, and basil for a mini indoor garden just to satisfy the urge!
I have planted a scarlet runner by my kitchen sink just to watch it grow...
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Re: What will you do differently this year?

Post  GWN on 1/16/2013, 11:26 am


NO POTATOES.
TURAN... why no potatoes?
I have my whole potato crop down in the basement, and they seem to be doing well. I have been focusing on using up all of my mystery squashes, but now that you mention it I should be using up those potatoes.

Cindylou..... I really loved having the dried beans this year, even though they ARE cheap. It was fun in the fall to sit around breaking them open, and they ARE the easiest thing to preserve. and they then last for years.
PLUS they so high in protein, they substitute for meat. OKOK I will slowly get off my soap box and walk away.....
OH and this year I have heirloom exotic drying beans.... rock on
OK so I HAVE had a few extra cups of coffee today...
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Re: What will you do differently this year?

Post  CapeCoddess on 1/16/2013, 11:58 am

Right now I'm using my cupboard boxes as cold frames, but there is only about 4" of head space, so the plants end up touching the plexiglass window covers. This spring I will dig out some of the MM in order to give new seedlings more growing room.

CC
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Re: What will you do differently this year?

Post  Turan on 1/16/2013, 1:41 pm

GWN wrote: TURAN... why no potatoes?

Because this area has lots of good local grown potatoes. Sort of like CindyLou was saying, I need to focus my space on those things that are harder to get here, or expensive. Also I want to grow more eggplant and peppers and determinate tomatoes in my cold frames. The potatoes make the rotations much harder. Last, but not least, my DH tries to not eat potatoes because they are so high starch and he totally loves rutabagas as do I.

In a related topic (growing ones own starch) the family consensus was not to bother with sweet corn. They do not like modern sweet corn, it is too sweet and has no corn taste they tell me. Instead we are growing a bit of Painted Mountain field corn. We used to grow it ages ago, and would eat some ears green and then let the rest dry. I want to be able to throw a handful of whole kernels into my pot of beans to soak with the beans and then slow cook together. Trying to find whole, organic, non GMO, corn is incredibly difficult!


Experience tells me I will sneak a few fingerling potatoes in somewhere in some scheme. thinking

Are you going to try quinoa again?

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Re: What will you do differently this year?

Post  jillintx on 1/16/2013, 4:25 pm

I have three big changes for this year -

I finally bought a few shop lights for my seedlings. The seedlings were a week old when I set up the lights (this past weekend) and within ONE DAY I saw a difference.

I need to not plant the "sun lovers" in the mid afternoon-shaded beds...which means I'll be setting up a couple of new growing areas and using several buckets...which means my drip irrigation will need to be redone.

I will not let the grasshoppers win again. I've had bad grasshoppers for the past 2 years. Last year they leveled almost everything - they even ate my sunchokes down to stubby stalks! I tried using tulle to cover the fall garden...they chewed holes in the tulle to get in. I've heard guinea fowl and ducks are voracious...I'm willing to bring in a few if I have to. Twisted Evil

I guess I should add a #4...I will eat the kale, rather than just look at it and think how cool it looks and how healthy it must be. Smile
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Re: What will you do differently this year?

Post  Goosegirl on 1/16/2013, 4:30 pm

jillintx wrote: I've heard guinea fowl and ducks are voracious...I'm willing to bring in a few if I have to. Twisted Evil

If you are willing to bring in a few soldiers, you could try a few geese. VORACIOUS and will be great guards as well - territorial and will keep out some of the furry critters that raid (squirrels, coons, and such)

GG
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Re: What will you do differently this year?

Post  jillintx on 1/16/2013, 4:41 pm

Thanks GG - sounds like this could be a win/win! I'm not familiar with any birds other than chickens, and I'm down to just one old hen who tends to avoid the big hoppers. My biggest furry problem is with skunks that have decided to live under the barn...not sure what geese would think of those, but if they would get rid of skunks and grasshoppers I will set them up in a goose palace!
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Re: What will you do differently this year?

Post  GWN on 1/16/2013, 6:08 pm

Trying to find whole, organic, non GMO, corn is incredibly difficult!
I have never grown corn because of a colitis I have however this last year I found that I DID tolerate some.... so this year I am going to try it.
I have ordered Corn seeds from seed savers exchange, so KNOW that they will be non gmo
I got mandan bride, stow ells evergreen, and reids yellow dent. They are all heirlooms. and the mandan bride I am going to attempt to make corn flour out of. Turan check out seed savers exchange....
This is the year I AM going to try growing grains to make into flour, as I got a stone grinder last year.
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Re: What will you do differently this year?

Post  GWN on 1/16/2013, 6:13 pm

I guess I should add a #4...I will eat the kale, rather than just look at it and think how cool it looks and how healthy it must be.
Very Happy I find that kale can get away on you, especially when there is so much other stuff you are trying to make into dinners.
I tried to make Kale chips by using a dehydrator, and though everyone here raved about them, I did not like them, so I took the dried Kale chips and put them in the blender and then had a dry "herb" to sprinkle on other things.... GOOD way to use up Kale and get more of it in the winter.
Good luck with the grasshoppers. Do you find that they follow a cycle, some years almost non existent and others year over abundant?
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Re: What will you do differently this year?

Post  GWN on 1/16/2013, 8:15 pm

Just today as I got to the end of my dill in the spice cupboard I reminded myself that next year I intend to dry all of the extra basil, dill, oregano and thyme I have. It always seems that there is tons of it then and then this time of year it would be nice to have more

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Re: What will you do differently this year?

Post  littlejo on 1/16/2013, 9:09 pm

Turan wrote:
GWN wrote: TURAN... why no potatoes?

Because this area has lots of good local grown potatoes. Sort of like CindyLou was saying, I need to focus my space on those things that are harder to get here, or expensive. Also I want to grow more eggplant and peppers and determinate tomatoes in my cold frames. The potatoes make the rotations much harder. Last, but not least, my DH tries to not eat potatoes because they are so high starch and he totally loves rutabagas as do I.

In a related topic (growing ones own starch) the family consensus was not to bother with sweet corn. They do not like modern sweet corn, it is too sweet and has no corn taste they tell me. Instead we are growing a bit of Painted Mountain field corn. We used to grow it ages ago, and would eat some ears green and then let the rest dry. I want to be able to throw a handful of whole kernels into my pot of beans to soak with the beans and then slow cook together. Trying to find whole, organic, non GMO, corn is incredibly difficult!


Experience tells me I will sneak a few fingerling potatoes in somewhere in some scheme. thinking

Are you going to try quinoa again?
Turan, you might try these folks, you'll find no gmo, and they have seed, with descriptions of the types of corn, flour, eating, popcorn, etc. Jo
http://www.sandhillpreservation.com/
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Re: What will you do differently this year?

Post  Turan on 1/16/2013, 11:33 pm

Aw, jeez thanks, you guys. I did not mean I can not find seed for growing corn. I have a hard time finding non ground dried corn for cooking or milling myself. Hence the desire to grow some myself. I could buy whole or rolled corn at the feed store, but that is likely GMO and I do not even feed it to my chickens.

Painted Mountain corn was developed here in Montana by crossing a whole lot of native corns. It is a genetically diverse corn, so you should save seed to select for that which does best in your own micro climate. My kids and I did this a long time ago. It was part of teaching genetics and cooking and gardening. They had a Josefina cook book, need I say more Laughing

GWN, Stowells evergreen sweet corn is my favorite sweet corn, bar none. It needs too long a season and too much heat for here. I used to grow it in Southern California.

Littlejo, Thanks for the sandhill link. They have Golden lace Wyandotte chickens! Minimum order is 20, maybe I can find some one to split an order with Very Happy

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Re: What will you do differently this year?

Post  jillintx on 1/17/2013, 9:26 am

[quote="GWN"]
Good luck with the grasshoppers. Do you find that they follow a cycle, some years almost non existent and others year over abundant?

We haven't lived in this area long enough for me to see it, but I've heard that's what happens. I'm really looking forward to the non existent years! And thanks for the kale tip - I'll definitely try that.
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Re: What will you do differently this year?

Post  jkahn2eb on 1/17/2013, 10:17 am

I'll make 100% effort to find tasty eggplant dishes. It is my best producer in the desert summer and so far I've failed at the various recipes. Grilling seems to be the best. I know I need to let it soak in water/salt before cooking longer.

I plan to put up a permanent structure of wood beams to increase vertical gardening and hang shade cloth (instead of using flimsy, ugly PVC pipes)

Lastly, do a better job maintaining my irrigation system and watering cycles.
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Re: What will you do differently this year?

Post  Turan on 1/17/2013, 12:59 pm

Goosegirl wrote:
jillintx wrote: I've heard guinea fowl and ducks are voracious...I'm willing to bring in a few if I have to. Twisted Evil

If you are willing to bring in a few soldiers, you could try a few geese. VORACIOUS and will be great guards as well - territorial and will keep out some of the furry critters that raid (squirrels, coons, and such)

GG
Turkeys are pretty good at grasshopper hunting too.
But with all of these I find you have to fence off the vegetable garden from them, they LOVE seedlings and tomatoes! A bird perimeter patrol does pretty well here. Last couple years that has been chickens alone.

Turkeys are good grazers as well, but get real obnoxious when they mature. At least our have, makes butchering a relief in the fall. I gather that geese can make better pets if handled correctly as youngsters?

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Re: What will you do differently this year?

Post  Goosegirl on 1/17/2013, 1:52 pm

Turan wrote:
Goosegirl wrote:
jillintx wrote: I've heard guinea fowl and ducks are voracious...I'm willing to bring in a few if I have to. Twisted Evil

If you are willing to bring in a few soldiers, you could try a few geese. VORACIOUS and will be great guards as well - territorial and will keep out some of the furry critters that raid (squirrels, coons, and such)

GG
Turkeys are pretty good at grasshopper hunting too.
But with all of these I find you have to fence off the vegetable garden from them, they LOVE seedlings and tomatoes! A bird perimeter patrol does pretty well here. Last couple years that has been chickens alone.

Turkeys are good grazers as well, but get real obnoxious when they mature. At least our have, makes butchering a relief in the fall. I gather that geese can make better pets if handled correctly as youngsters?

Geese can be obnoxious as adults as well, so if you like a good roast goose.....
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Re: What will you do differently this year?

Post  Turan on 1/17/2013, 1:59 pm

Goosegirl wrote:
Geese can be obnoxious as adults as well, so if you like a good roast goose.....

drooling hungry drooling

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Re: What will you do differently this year?

Post  jillintx on 1/17/2013, 5:15 pm

I really appreciate the input about the bigger birds. I'll have to give the obnoxious factor a lot of thought...maybe I should just rig up a border patrol of chickens.

Thank you both!!
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Re: What will you do differently this year?

Post  CindiLou on 1/17/2013, 5:43 pm

GWN wrote:
Cindylou..... I really loved having the dried beans this year, even though they ARE cheap. It was fun in the fall to sit around breaking them open, and they ARE the easiest thing to preserve. and they then last for years.
PLUS they so high in protein, they substitute for meat.

I know gwen...but I am growing for me, my youngest daughter, my oldest daughter and her two little ones, and my cousin and her hubby that lost everything in a fire Nov 30th. So I just don't have room. Well, I would but I want to try cotton lol..Josh's fault! I have a mix of white, green, and brown bolls coming. With seeds and all. So I am going to try that for a fun project.

A 4x4 is going to be used that I tried blueberries in a couple of years ago. I will plant mammoth sunflowers in the back row and then plant a cotton seed in each square. The sunflower grows so fast I believe the cotton will grow fine in that square too. We will see. I am going to start the cotton as seedlings.

I know beans are great for you. I sneak them in wherever possible lol...hubby says he doesn't like lima beans, you never know where you can sneak them in lol..I do enjoy giving the family good stuff even when they don't know it!
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Re: What will you do differently this year?

Post  GWN on 1/17/2013, 9:26 pm


I know gwen...but I am growing for me, my youngest daughter, my oldest daughter and her two little ones, and my cousin and her hubby that lost everything in a fire Nov 30th. So I just don't have room. Well, I would but I want to try cotton lol..Josh's fault! I have a mix of white, green, and brown bolls coming. With seeds and all. So I am going to try that for a fun project.
Oh cindylou.... what a huge responsibility, and you are right, beans take up a lot of room. I love this forum, and love my SFG, however space is not an issue for me at all, you best to just ignore me.... Very Happy
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Re: What will you do differently this year?

Post  GWN on 1/17/2013, 9:29 pm

SHEESH. with all this talk of obnoxious geese and turkeys, I think I might just train my dog to hunt grasshoppers. He usually sits mystified at them pondering whether they are worthy of a chase..... or not..
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