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Post  scruffyfeathers on 5/27/2015, 7:40 am

Hello everyone,


In introduction, I am a retired scruffy looking old gent that has taken on a project where I can use all sorts of help. Since retiring I have elected to raise chickens (layers) and start a small garden. Herein lies the rube. I have never done either.




History: I started out as a child and since then many things have gone horribly wrong. Having reached retirement age I suspect that is a testament that I have successfully rolled with the punches received along my life's path.
 



I have learned when to ask for assistance and this venture may require a lot of helpful advice. Kibitzers are more than welcomed.

I am looking forward to meeting new mentors.

Scruffy.

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Re: New Member

Post  Goosegirl on 5/27/2015, 8:25 am

welcome  Scruffy!  Congrats on retirement, survival to retirement, and embracing new adventures!  Search the forum with the upper left search box and you will find lots of info and stories of members with chickens.  As for the garden, do you have the All New Square Foot Gardening book?  There are 2 editions, one from 2006 and the newest from 2013.  Both give instructions for the backbone of the system:  Mel's Mix.  It is the perfect soilless gardening medium.  Even my Severe ADHD Squirrel Brain has been able to make this a success!!!  We look forward to hearing more from you, successes, failures (we all have them, and some are WHOPPERS - especially when weather is involved, or critters), pictures, comments, and life commentaries.

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Re: New Member

Post  AtlantaMarie on 5/27/2015, 9:23 am

Hello Scruffy!  Welcome from Buford, GA.

It would help us to know a little more specifically where you are in GA.  Are you in the southern part or northern part?  Do you know your Growing Area?  (If you look on the Home Page, you can see an area to find that info.)

+1 on all that GG says.  We're a gabby, friendly bunch.  Lots of advice to give and we all enjoy learning as well.

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Re: New Member

Post  Windmere on 5/27/2015, 12:04 pm

Welcome Scruffy!  I send greetings from Fayetteville, GA.  I think you will enjoy time spent here.  There are so many helpful folks here that offer great advice.  Please don't hesitate to ask any questions.  Enjoy your gardening endeavors!

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Re: New Member

Post  yolos on 5/27/2015, 12:40 pm

Welsom from Brooks, Ga.  Your zip code points me in the direction of your general location - around Griffin.  I used to work down there so I recognize the zip code.  We must be located pretty close together.

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Re: New Member

Post  sanderson on 5/27/2015, 1:42 pm

@AtlantaMarie wrote:Hello Scruffy!
+1 on all that GG says.  We're a gabby, friendly bunch.  Lots of advice to give and we all enjoy learning as well.
+1  Welcome to the Forum from California!  glad you\'re here We do quite a bit of kibitzing during the winter months, when the harvests are done and we can only dream of spring gardens. Since chickens seem to like garden trimmings, maybe start the garden this summer and add the chickens next spring?? The ANSFG book is an easy read. Feel free to ask questions before investing in the garden. We are here to help.

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Re: New Member

Post  Tilth on 5/27/2015, 5:04 pm

Scruffy, glad you\'re here 
 A lot of good gardeners with a lot of good info here. If you have a question, ask away. Someone here either has the answer or knows where to find it. If you have the answer to a question, post away. We all love to see pictures, so don't hesitate to post pictures of your successes and failures. We all have them. Congrats on retirement. Have fun and enjoy the forum. It is a great resource. If you don't see what you are looking for, use the search function. If you can't find it that way, ask and someone will steer you to the information.
And again, glad you\'re here

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Re: New Member

Post  momvet on 5/27/2015, 5:36 pm

Hi - I am new too. This is definitely the right place to be. I have learned SO much from these people. Don't be afraid to ask questions - you will get an answer!

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Glad to meet all of you

Post  scruffyfeathers on 5/27/2015, 10:50 pm

Thank you for the warm welcoming. We just moved to Griffin, Ga this past January. We are in a very Rural setting in the North East part of the county; actually, just a stone’s throw from Orchard Hills.

 

The land we purchased is virgin, never been tilled and primarily red clay. From day one I have been clearing the land for a garden, chicken range (run) and dog pens. We have 30 dogs (long story for another post). My wife, Brenda, is battling cancer and advanced COPD. If I can figure out how, I will post a picture of Pee Wee (our youngest pup) taking Brenda out for a ride in the woods.

 

The chest high weeds and scrub brush hid the hard red clay. The clay would not perk so Pee Wee and I brought in a couple of backhoes and dug down about two feet and amended the soil with some top soil from the woods. The PH samples we took were between 6.6 and 7.8.



We planted our first seeds on the 15th of May. With the long growing season down here I have decided just to plant without rhyme or reason in hopes of learning how the land would produce on its own without amendments (other than that from the woods). Next spring the real venture will take place. This should give me plenty of time to talk with y’all to explain my goals and to pick up some pointers.

 

Could someone please advise me as to which forum would be the most appropriate for posting threads in a series or several installments regarding my undertakings?



Again, thanks all for the warm welcome.



Scruffy.

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Re: New Member

Post  quiltbea on 5/27/2015, 10:57 pm

It looks like you might be Lower South so go to the Home page and check the listings and click on Lower South for Georgia.
I'm interested in the 30 dogs as well.  I'm a dog lover and at one time raised a few German shepherds many years ago.

I hope your wife's battle with the Big C is a winning one.  Some of my friends fought it and won so I wish the same for her. 

From the far north, I wish you well with your efforts.
glad you\'re here

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New Member

Post  scruffyfeathers on 5/27/2015, 11:28 pm

Thanks Quiltbea,

Brenda is doing much better. She has been fighting it since 2009.  The COPD is the primary culprit now.  Although there is no cure, her breathing has improved markedly since we moved into the country.   

With regards to the 30 dogs, we love them more than ourselves.  They want for nothing.  They are American Eskimo and Long Haired Doxies.  Before she got sick we inadvertantly started a rescue for strays and abused animals. Our heart was in the right place but it was a poorly planned venture.  In the beginning everything worked out well for us and the dogs.  We took in quite a few never even dreaming of our health going south and creating a challenge. 

Brenda has been disabled since 2009 and I had already closed my business (I was a general contractor) due to the construction decline and just focused on refurbishing section 8 homes.  Then that pond dried up so I went to work in a factory.  Money was getting very tight and it was not unusal for me to collect scrap metal to supplement our income to feed the dogs.  In March of 2014 I had a massive heart attack which forced me into early retirement. 

We contacted 23 rescue agencies for assistance but none were able to help.  We are still re-homing our little guys but it is a long and taxing chore as their ages range from 10 months to 8 years. 

We have no complaints.  They enrich our lives and we let them know they are the most precious members of our family.

I'd post some pictures but I have yet to figure out how to do that on this site.

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Re: New Member

Post  sanderson on 5/28/2015, 12:50 am


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Re: New Member

Post  Kelejan on 5/28/2015, 6:50 pm

scruffyfeathers, what a delightful board name. glad you\'re here from Kelejan happy hi from
Canada. :canada: and my dog Jazz, a little terrier mix with some Yorkie and other stuff in his ancestry.

I agree with sanderson, "Scruffy's Garden" that can be all about you and your project.
You can rename this thread straight away if you like.

You have many sides to your project and it would be good to keep them together, otherwise you would be starting too many threads.  If you browse through the site you will come across several threads that are mostly one-person threads as that suits the style of what that person is doing.  Especially good for people who have a huge project in front of them.  That way you can write about many things without worrying if you are in the right place and I think it would make things easy for the moderators etc to not have to re-place your writings because that topic did not suit the gardening section.

You can always jump in and say Hi! to other posters, whatever catches your fancy.
I am interested in how you cope with little money, as I am a frugal gardener and take great delight in getting something that someone throws away and making use of it, getting a bargain, finding free sources of compost and so on.  My latest is finding 23 huge comfrey bushes on waste ground which are great for adding to compost piles due to their deep roots which bring up minerals from the soil. I am in the middle of doing a second harvest.

Best wishes to your Brenda in her quest for health.  She has you and your dogs, and now, I hope, you have us.

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Re: New Member

Post  scruffyfeathers on 5/29/2015, 12:35 am

@Kelejan wrote:scruffyfeathers, what a delightful board name. glad you\'re here from Kelejan happy hi from
Canada. :canada: and my dog Jazz, a little terrier mix with some Yorkie and other stuff in his ancestry.

I agree with sanderson, "Scruffy's Garden" that can be all about you and your project.
You can rename this thread straight away if you like.

You have many sides to your project and it would be good to keep them together, otherwise you would be starting too many threads.  If you browse through the site you will come across several threads that are mostly one-person threads as that suits the style of what that person is doing.  Especially good for people who have a huge project in front of them.  That way you can write about many things without worrying if you are in the right place and I think it would make things easy for the moderators etc to not have to re-place your writings because that topic did not suit the gardening section.

You can always jump in and say Hi! to other posters, whatever catches your fancy.
I am interested in how you cope with little money, as I am a frugal gardener and take great delight in getting something that someone throws away and making use of it, getting a bargain, finding free sources of compost and so on.  My latest is finding 23 huge comfrey bushes on waste ground which are great for adding to compost piles due to their deep roots which bring up minerals from the soil. I am in the middle of doing a second harvest.

Best wishes to your Brenda in her quest for health.  She has you and your dogs, and now, I hope, you have us.
I am a bit scruffy looking and since Brenda and I have elected to raise chickens I suspect there will be days when I try to get into the house covered in feathers before Brenda spots me.  Anyway, that is how the "feathers" got added to my handle. 

Thank you for the information.  Yes, indeed I am looking for a way to post our adventures without starting multiple threads.  I am not sure I understood what you were explaining (at times I can be a bit slow on the draw) but I am sure I will get it eventually.  Hopfully sooner. I just finished a little story about going for our chickens.  We rescue dogs as well and we have many stories to tell.

Yes, money is tight, realistically, almost non-existant.  I am well read and a Jack of many trades so I barter as much as I can. 

We are very excited that we came across this site.  The people we have met thus far are proving to be a fantastic addition to our lives.

Brenda's health has actually improved since we have moved out here.  Her goal is to be able to get out into the big garden to putter about.  Right now I have brought some rather large planter tubs (for trees and shrubs that I obtained from a nursery for some plumbing and electrical work that I did) onto the back deck so she can have a little garden to tend too during the summer. 

Our thanks go out to you and everyone we have met and will soon meet.

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Re: New Member

Post  Marc Iverson on 5/29/2015, 7:18 pm

Welcome Scruffy! I hope you and Brenda enjoy your new home and your new gardening projects.

You may find that the DIY section is a good place for DIY discussion, and that if you want to share recipes, people will be much more likely to find them if you post them in the recipe section. So I wouldn't confine everything to one thread, if it were me. But you'll find the mix that you're comfortable with.

Before you get too deep into gardening, you would do well to think about what you are going to do to renew your soil. Buying compost can get very pricey very quickly, and make adding new beds to the garden a slow business. So you'll probably want to scope out a section of your yard for a nice compost pile or two(or however many you can stand!). You can buy a tumbler or this or that device, but that all costs money,and the old-fashioned way is free, even if it is a bit of work to turn the piles. But you don't necessarily have to turn them often.

If you haven't already, I would look up some of the composting threads here, and maybe even think about getting some worms growing in your garden. Improving soil is a project that never ends, and it's so fundamental to everything else from disease prevention to plant nutrition that you might as well start right away and right at the beginning!

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Re: New Member

Post  scruffyfeathers on 5/29/2015, 8:12 pm

@Marc Iverson wrote:Welcome Scruffy!  I hope you and Brenda enjoy your new home and your new gardening projects.

You may find that the DIY section is a good place for DIY discussion, and that if you want to share recipes, people will be much more likely to find them if you post them in the recipe section.  So I wouldn't confine everything to one thread, if it were me.  But you'll find the mix that you're comfortable with.

Before you get too deep into gardening, you would do well to think about what you are going to do to renew your soil.  Buying compost can get very pricey very quickly, and make adding new beds to the garden a slow business.  So you'll probably want to scope out a section of your yard for a nice compost pile or two(or however many you can stand!).  You can buy a tumbler or this or that device, but that all costs money,and the old-fashioned way is free, even if it is a bit of work to turn the piles.  But you don't necessarily have to turn them often.  

If you haven't already, I would look up some of the composting threads here, and maybe even think about getting some worms growing in your garden.  Improving soil is a project that never ends, and it's so fundamental to everything else from disease prevention to plant nutrition that you might as well start right away and right at the beginning!  


Thanks for the info Marc; very informative! I do not have a handle on what I am doing just yet. I understand there are a few basics and many refinements I will need to learn.

This is all new to me. The closest we have ever been to a garden was the produce department at Publix.

That having been said, I do read a lot to research my projects. Reading and hands on are two entirely different animals though.

The land I cleared had standing water and very soggy sections after a light rain. I marked the sections accordingly. Using a backhoe I dug down a minimum of two feet and as much as four feet in some places in order to get the site to perk. I mixed in some local lumas and sand to bust up the red clay. I used a transit for my final grading to create swells to channel the run off to the North East corner of my plot. Down the road I will sink an enclosed 1500 gallon recovery tank in that area to catch the runoff for watering during dry spells. While grading I did a “Worm Count” which proved to be rather low. As yet, I have not addressed this problem.

I have designed a 16 x 8 x 4 compost bin and I am currently in the process of building it. I have made arrangements with local stores to collect their discarded produce to give me a steady supply of organic material.

I have a gazillion ideas taking root in even the smallest cranial nooks and crannies within the lump sitting on my shoulders but I lack a specific plan. It appears I am in a boat full of bate with no pole to fish. That is why I signed up on this site hoping members, such as yourself, can set me off on the right path.

I don’t expect much this year but by next spring I trust SFG members will contribute considerably. I am a stranger in a strange land. You have no idea as to how much I am seriously counting on helpful information from you guys. Thanks for your input.

Scruffy.

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Re: New Member

Post  scruffyfeathers on 5/29/2015, 8:24 pm

@Goosegirl wrote:welcome  Scruffy!  Congrats on retirement, survival to retirement, and embracing new adventures!  Search the forum with the upper left search box and you will find lots of info and stories of members with chickens.  As for the garden, do you have the All New Square Foot Gardening book?  There are 2 editions, one from 2006 and the newest from 2013.  Both give instructions for the backbone of the system:  Mel's Mix.  It is the perfect soilless gardening medium.  Even my Severe ADHD Squirrel Brain has been able to make this a success!!!  We look forward to hearing more from you, successes, failures (we all have them, and some are WHOPPERS - especially when weather is involved, or critters), pictures, comments, and life commentaries.

Hey GG.  thanks for the warm welcome.  I have read several of your posts.  I believe I made a good choice by enlisting in SFG's Platoon.

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Re: New Member

Post  scruffyfeathers on 5/29/2015, 8:31 pm

@AtlantaMarie wrote:Hello Scruffy!  Welcome from Buford, GA.

It would help us to know a little more specifically where you are in GA.  Are you in the southern part or northern part?  Do you know your Growing Area?  (If you look on the Home Page, you can see an area to find that info.)

+1 on all that GG says.  We're a gabby, friendly bunch.  Lots of advice to give and we all enjoy learning as well.

I am in the north east section of spalding county.  It is rural out here.  I believe my growing section is 7.
 

Brenda, she who must be obeyed, insists I have diarrhea of the mouth so being surrounded by a gabby bunch of friends places me in a Heaven on Earth environment.

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Re: New Member

Post  scruffyfeathers on 5/29/2015, 8:35 pm

@Windmere wrote:Welcome Scruffy!  I send greetings from Fayetteville, GA.  I think you will enjoy time spent here.  There are so many helpful folks here that offer great advice.  Please don't hesitate to ask any questions.  Enjoy your gardening endeavors!

Very Happy  count on me being a bit of a Nuisance.  I am flying by the seat of my pantsd on this project so I will be asking many questions or at least reading many, many posts.  Oh, by the by, who owns that junk yard on 92 across from the citgo station?  I noticed most of the stuff is now gone.  has he moved?  I would love to pick through his treasures!

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Re: New Member

Post  scruffyfeathers on 5/29/2015, 8:41 pm

@yolos wrote:Welsom from Brooks, Ga.  Your zip code points me in the direction of your general location - around Griffin.  I used to work down there so I recognize the zip code.  We must be located pretty close together.

Yes, North East Griffin it is.  Near Orchard Hills.  Where is Brooks?.  I am currently looking for a small engine junk yard.  I am designing an asparagus picker and a small compost spreader.

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Re: New Member

Post  TCgardening on 5/29/2015, 8:48 pm

Hi Scruffy & welcome from the Fla Treasure Coast,
 WOW what a introduction!!
 We have had a number of rescue dogs, 2 current, but 30, just WOW.
I hope your wife is doing well, I had my dance with the devil and lived to tell it. A very hard road but it sounds like you have the spirit to persevere. My prayers are with her.
You are in the right place for the best gardening info and some great new on-line friends.
 Craig

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Re: New Member

Post  yolos on 5/29/2015, 9:17 pm

@scruffyfeathers wrote:
@yolos wrote:Welsom from Brooks, Ga.  Your zip code points me in the direction of your general location - around Griffin.  I used to work down there so I recognize the zip code.  We must be located pretty close together.

Yes, North East Griffin it is.  Near Orchard Hills.  Where is Brooks?.  I am currently looking for a small engine junk yard.  I am designing an asparagus picker and a small compost spreader.

Head out Hwy 16 towards Newnan.  About half way to Newnan is a little town called Senoia.  Brooks is about 5 miles Northeast of Senoia.  You have to take the back roads to get to downtown Brooks (1 block - Post Office, Fire Station, Elementary School).  I don't even know the names or all the roads leading into Brooks.

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Re: New Member

Post  Goosegirl on 5/29/2015, 10:30 pm

@scruffyfeathers wrote:
@Goosegirl wrote:welcome  Scruffy!  Congrats on retirement, ... We look forward to hearing more from you, successes, failures (we all have them, and some are WHOPPERS - especially when weather is involved, or critters), pictures, comments, and life commentaries.

Hey GG.  thanks for the warm welcome.  I have read several of your posts.  I believe I made a good choice by enlisting in SFG's Platoon.
Thanks for the kind words Scruffy.  We are one big poop-lovin' family and we are glad to have ya!

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Re: New Member

Post  scruffyfeathers on 5/30/2015, 6:57 am

@TCgardening wrote:Hi Scruffy & welcome from the Fla Treasure Coast,
 WOW what a introduction!!
 We have had a number of rescue dogs, 2 current, but 30, just WOW.
I hope your wife is doing well, I had my dance with the devil and lived to tell it. A very hard road but it sounds like you have the spirit to persevere. My prayers are with her.
You are in the right place for the best gardening info and some great new on-line friends.
 Craig

Hey TC,


We started out with two as well, then two more and what really added to the mix is when the housing bubble burst and foreclosures went through the roof in our neighborhood. Many people packed up and just left their animals in the back yard or the house itself. We even took in two cats (which didn't work out so well). Shocked



Neither Brenda nor I are easily discouraged and are quite adept at making lemonade out of lemons. We hope to someday turn that attribute into turning coal into diamonds where the payoff will hopefully be more lucrative. Very Happy


Looking forward to making friends and learning much on this site.

Scruffy.

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Re: New Member

Post  Windmere on 5/30/2015, 1:46 pm

@scruffyfeathers wrote:
@Windmere wrote:Welcome Scruffy!  I send greetings from Fayetteville, GA.  I think you will enjoy time spent here.  There are so many helpful folks here that offer great advice.  Please don't hesitate to ask any questions.  Enjoy your gardening endeavors!

Very Happy  count on me being a bit of a Nuisance.  I am flying by the seat of my pantsd on this project so I will be asking many questions or at least reading many, many posts.  Oh, by the by, who owns that junk yard on 92 across from the citgo station?  I noticed most of the stuff is now gone.  has he moved?  I would love to pick through his treasures!
Oh my, you do live close to me if you know about that place!  The owner of the junk yard passed away (from what the grapevines says).  I understand that his son/s now own it.  I think that place has been a sore spot of Fayette political types for years.  Its existence was grandfathered in because it's so old.  Otherwise, Fayette ordinances would have done away with it.  Given its spot, that real estate is very valuable indeed.

We have not seen anyone overseeing it (at least when we pass).  There is significantly less stuff there now though.  We've gotten a chuckle about the many toilets we've seen stationed there from time to time.  It makes us think of a scene from "The Help."

Windmere

Male Posts : 1425
Join date : 2013-02-26
Age : 47
Location : Fayetteville, GA - Zone 7B - 8A

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