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Hello from the cold part of AZ

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Hello from the cold part of AZ

Post  southland2 on 2/10/2011, 2:38 pm

Hello, I have been reading reading this forum for awhile. Took the plunge and registered. We just moved with our herd of goats out to 40 acres. We have to haul water here so we are thinking that the square foot gardening is really going to be an answer to our water issue. We use all chemical free nontoxic cleaners (I am chemically sensitive), so we thought that we should be fine using our gray water for the garden. We just got some worms, and we are getting ready to set up a compost bin area. Since our growing season is so short, we are going to set up a cold frame/hot bed (set down in manure for heat) to start our seedlings in. I just got my heirloom seed order and am very excited to get started!!
Anyway we do alot of our own things for ourselves. We make our own soap, lotion, cheeses, yogurt, etc... We try to be self-sufficient. We are really looking forward to this year!! Smile
Glad to meet you all and looking forward to getting know you!! Very Happy

Candy

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Re: Hello from the cold part of AZ

Post  Ceashels on 2/10/2011, 3:15 pm

Hi there and welcome.

I love the idea of self sufficiency. I'm planting luffa this year to encourage me to learn soap making skills. Wink I live in the suburbs so no goats for me but I am slowly learning cheese making.

-----
One day I'll get there.

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Re: Hello from the cold part of AZ

Post  quiltbea on 2/10/2011, 3:34 pm

Southland Candy,
You have the kind of life I wanted way back when. I was city-bred so it didn't happen but now at least I'm in the country and can SFG.
Its sounds like you have a good life.
Please be sure to post pictures of your ongoing plans this spring and summer. We all love to see pictures.
Good luck and welcome aboard from cold, snowy Maine.

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Re: Hello from the cold part of AZ

Post  Megan on 2/10/2011, 6:30 pm

Hi Candy, welcome to the forum! glad you\'re here

I sure wish we had space for goats. I absolutely adore goat cheese! I love the idea of self-sufficiency as well, and I wish you the very best of luck with your move....so exciting!

Please let us know how it goes with the worms (I'm interested in starting that, too), and how your box-building and garden planning goes. What sorts of seeds did you get? There are plenty of experienced folks here who are more than happy to help out if you have questions.

Happy gardening! flower

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Re: Hello from the cold part of AZ

Post  southland2 on 2/10/2011, 7:59 pm

Thank you all for the warm welcome. I appreciate it!! We have always just grown the basics~squash, zuchini, melons, lettuce, tomatoes and peppers. This year we are starting out with all heirloom seeds and we are going to try to start them ourselves in the cold frame/hot box. We want to start growing our own potatoes, onions and garlic too. We want to grow as much as we can so that we can preserve as much as possible. I love the flavor of home grown and home preserved foods so much better than commercial food. We are very hopeful for this year. Next week we will be hitting the garden places for our supplies, and we will start building. Very exciting I think.

Candy

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Re: Hello from the cold part of AZ

Post  WardinWake on 2/14/2011, 4:43 pm

@southland2 wrote:Hello, I have been reading reading this forum for awhile. Took the plunge and registered. We just moved with our herd of goats out to 40 acres. We have to haul water here so we are thinking that the square foot gardening is really going to be an answer to our water issue. We use all chemical free nontoxic cleaners (I am chemically sensitive), so we thought that we should be fine using our gray water for the garden. We just got some worms, and we are getting ready to set up a compost bin area. Since our growing season is so short, we are going to set up a cold frame/hot bed (set down in manure for heat) to start our seedlings in. I just got my heirloom seed order and am very excited to get started!!
Anyway we do alot of our own things for ourselves. We make our own soap, lotion, cheeses, yogurt, etc... We try to be self-sufficient. We are really looking forward to this year!! Smile
Glad to meet you all and looking forward to getting know you!! Very Happy

Candy

Welcome Candy: With 40 acres and goats you have the basics for a wonderful compost. Goat manure + grass/hay and leaves will give you at least 3 of the reccomended 5 or more sources for the blended compost that Mel reccomends for 1/3 of the mix for your Square Foot Garden. Keep your eyes open for free'bees to add such as horse or cow and your kitchen scraps as well. Almost anything goes into a good compost mix except from meat eaters so no "lions, tigers or bears, oh my".

God Bless, Ward and Mary.

WardinWake

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Re: Hello from the cold part of AZ

Post  southland2 on 2/15/2011, 12:32 am

I have been thinking about all of that too (the usefullness of goats). I have been busy reading up on what I can & what I cannot put into the compost pile. I am trying to learn this all as quickly as possible. All tidbits of info that can be passed my way is greatly appreciated! I am really excited about the fact that over the weekend we got our cold frame and our compost bin built. cheers Went and bought my seedling starters today and my first bag of Mel's mix!! Yaaay!!! Last week we ended up with a worm bin that we are trying to figure out how to take care of. Alot of info to learn in a short amount of time!! Good thing that I am a quick and studious learner. Very Happy

Candy

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Welcome

Post  ander217 on 2/15/2011, 8:25 am

Welcome to the forum, Candy. I loved reading your post.

Our daughter used to live in Phoenix and we've traveled all over your state. Every part of it is beautiful. I'm looking forward to hearing more about your garden, and hope to see some photos, too.

glad you\'re here

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Re: Hello from the cold part of AZ

Post  Lavender Debs on 2/15/2011, 9:58 am

Welcome! Am I ever glad you "finally" joined the forum.

My son works with a nurse who raises goats. I've been offered a truck load of goat poop (hasn't come yet). I know nothing about goats, are the droppings considered hot or are they more like rabbits and deer (I have had deer droppings from a local animal rehab, they were great). What can I expect?

You make soap? Awesome! One of my goals this year is to learn to make soap. Hopefully from the milk of said Goat nurse.

Deborah.... from the great wet north west.

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Re: Hello from the cold part of AZ

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 2/15/2011, 10:13 am

Welcome aboard.

I was hoping to hear more about the "cold part of AZ." Near Flagstaff, I assume? And, what is the typical length of a "short growing season?" Is there something less than zone 4 in AZ?

Just curious.

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Re: Hello from the cold part of AZ

Post  southland2 on 2/15/2011, 10:00 pm

Good evening all,
WardinWake, we don't have leaves here, we have evergreens (junipers). So would our horse and donkey manure and then our chicken house cleanup work as a couple more compost ingredients? We do have "wild" cow patties around from time to time also-it's open range around here. Wonder what the locals would think if they saw me out sneaking cow patties from the area?
LavenderDebs, we have always used goat manure right in our garden. It is not "hot" like other animal manures are. We have even sold goat manure, people want it badly for their yards and gardens. It is really worth something. I was really taken aback when I realized that were now poop sellers. That we deal in poop. Pretty funny really! I do make goat milk soap and lotion also. I love our goat milk supplies. That way I know what goes into them. Have you ever read the ingredients in stuff? Sometimes it just amazes me, like alcohol in lotion. Doesn't alcohol dry your skin? Then why would you put it into lotion? Mind boggling really!! I grew up in Oregon, so I know about being from the great north-wet!
Backyardbirdgardner, We are about 1 1/2 hours west of Flagstaff. We can see their SanFrancisco peaks from here. Beautiful sight!! Our growing season is from Mother's day until the end of October. We do not get fruit on our fruit trees because of the late frosts every year. We have given up on that, so we will start growing bush fruit. Hopefully we will get better results! We have to grow early tomatoes or we get very little to harvest. This year I am going to try an early black heirloom and see how that works.
Ceashells, I am planting Luffa also. I saw in a book where someone poured the soap into the middle of the Luffa, then you end up with soap filled luffa sections to scrub with. I want to try that. What a neat idea I think.
Megan, I think the worm bin is doing ok so far. It was dried out, frozen and a mess when we got it. I think they are in there working now though. We cleaned up the garbage out of the bin and gave them food and water. We can find them up at the surface working now. Another learning curve to master. Life just keeps us busy, huh?
Thank you all for your time and ecouragement. thanks


Candy

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Re: Hello from the cold part of AZ

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 2/16/2011, 12:09 am

Well, Candy, now you have me thinking I should go out and find those places around the place where the elk were bedded these last few days, and scoop some pellets for my compost pile. Too bad I didn't think of it last week when around 45 of the critters came through, there was lots of pellets, but I doubt much has survived the heavy rains this week. Thanks for the idea. Nonna, St. Helens, OR

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Re: Hello from the cold part of AZ

Post  Megan on 2/16/2011, 9:06 am

Hey Candy,

Glad to hear your worms are looking up (so to speak!)

I think your varied forms of critter poo would do fine towards different kinds of compost, so long as they are aged and not still "hot". (And wow, am I jealous. I need compost!)

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Re: Hello from the cold part of AZ

Post  Lavender Debs on 2/16/2011, 9:43 am

@southland2 wrote:snip.... we have always used goat manure right in our garden. It is not "hot" like other animal manures are. We have even sold goat manure, people want it badly for their yards and gardens. ...snip... I do make goat milk soap and lotion also. I love our goat milk supplies. That way I know what goes into them. Have you ever read the ingredients in stuff? ..... Mind boggling really!! I grew up in Oregon, so I know about being from the great north-wet!
...Candy
Thanks so much Candy! I'm glad the poo I'm getting is free.
@soaps, I've been using hand crafted soaps from Washington St's Lavender farms for years. It isn't just the alcohol, but the perfumes and strange chemicals too. Even the strongest scents from herbal oils do not hurt my head like perfume does. Not sure when I'll start, but am planning to learn sometime this year. Still need to get a few supplies and a place to keep them. Got a good book or web page to get me started or should I find a class?

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Re: Hello from the cold part of AZ

Post  southland2 on 2/16/2011, 10:29 am

Out collecting elk pellets!! Sounds like fun! My son and I were out finding old cow patties yesterday. We thought it was fun. My husband rolled his eyes at me this morning when I told him. Teehee. Oh well, at least my son and I had fun!! My son and I decided to start our compost pile yesterday. I was worried because we have no leaves around here for browns. We cleaned out every nook and cranny of the feed shed, all the old hay. We got alot!! We threw the chicken nesting box material in and our horse poo. We have about a third of a bin now. We made the pallet style bins. We still have all the little hay areas from around the place where the goats waste it and the goat manure to throw in. I am hoping we will have a full bin by the time we are done. How exciting!!

The best place to learn about soap is at http://www.millersoap.com/. You can spend weeks on here learning. I have printed out a bunch of her stuff and I keep it in notebooks. I learned how to make soap from this website, no one taught me. She does use perfume scents though. I get my scents in the form of essential oils at www.mountainroseherbs.com. I love making the cinnamon/orange scented soap!! For my soap recipe I use her "Tried and True" recipe and just use part of the water and replace the rest with my milk (more than half water and less than half milk~for your ratio). Be absolutely sure to put the milk in a glass type measurer and put it into the freezer until it forms ice on the top and sides a little, and do NOT add it to the lye water until the lye is cooled to about 90 degrees. This is one thing that she does not explain on her website. This is a really important step in making goat milk soap. Have fun checking out her website!! It is alot of fun, and has the answers for just about everything that you could think to ask!

Candy

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Re: Hello from the cold part of AZ

Post  quiltbea on 2/16/2011, 11:24 am

Don't forget that torn up or shredded newspapers are also a brown for the compost bin.

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Re: Hello from the cold part of AZ

Post  duhh on 2/16/2011, 12:12 pm

Sounds like you guys are getting things figured out! I look forward to hearing how things go. I lived in the Williams area for a few years, but never gardened while there. I am much better at conserving water now though! Having to haul it in makes you take way shorter showers and never leave the water running for no reason!
Will you be doing any grey water harvesting or rain barrels or anything to help out?

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Re: Hello from the cold part of AZ

Post  southland2 on 2/16/2011, 2:42 pm

Quiltbea~Shredded newspaper, Great idea. I forgot about that. I had read it, but then forgot it. Thank you for that reminder!!

Duhh~So you lived right up the hill from Ashfork. Well then you know exactly the climate and water issues that we deal with here. Yes we are doing grey water and water collection for garden water. We don't have it all set up yet, but we are getting things going quickly. The water issue is exactly why we are turning to the SFG idea, to conserve water. I am also hoping with our cold frame (that we are going to bury into a pile of horse manure to make it into a hotbox) to be able to extend our growing season. I am really looking forward to this growing season more than I have ever looked forward to a gardening time. I guess it is because I am learning so much, and how to apply it all. It also helps that my husband is getting excited, and that makes him so happy to be a helper. Plus I have ordered some wonderful heirloom seeds just for him that he is excited about getting to try out!

Candy

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Re: Hello from the cold part of AZ

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