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Ginger

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Anyone ever heard of a man named Joel Salatin? He is from VA and I have been studying his livestock management practices for a while now...he is my favorite to listen to lecture! He is on youtube with Dr. Mercola...one of the few doctors who makes sense to me.

http://www.polyfacefarms.com/
 

Brent S

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I like some of the ideas they use, but I was a little turned off by the sales end of all their stuff. I guess it's a part of how they make a living, but I like people that share their knowledge for free better. As far as being efficient, it's not so difficult. My rabbits eat all the ugly produce from the garden, the chickens get anything the rabbits don't like. I use both of their droppings as fertilizer to produce more in the garden and greenhouse. I guess the main goal is don't waste anything. I still buy rabbit and chicken feed, but buy less than half of what I did when I started.
 

QuietH3art

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I like some of the ideas they use, but I was a little turned off by the sales end of all their stuff. I guess it's a part of how they make a living, but I like people that share their knowledge for free better. As far as being efficient, it's not so difficult. My rabbits eat all the ugly produce from the garden, the chickens get anything the rabbits don't like. I use both of their droppings as fertilizer to produce more in the garden and greenhouse. I guess the main goal is don't waste anything. I still buy rabbit and chicken feed, but buy less than half of what I did when I started.
Isn't that something, though, Brent? "Here's the most prudent/frugal way to do something and by the way, we've got this for sale!"
But honestly, I didn't watch the video and I don't have a problem with people trying to make a living.
I've often thought if I had a dollar for every time I taught someone genetics or nutrition when it comes to dog breeding, I'd be rich now. Maybe one day all of the good karma will come back to me, though, because I didn't get those dollars.

As far as livestock management, I do have to say "What is the big deal?" I put the goats and chickens (oh man I really miss my goats) out in the yard, bought them some feed, collect the eggs, collected the milk - and no I didn't need someone to show me how to milk them. I just figured it out. Yes, when you get into bigger stuff, there are issues with worming and vaccinations and stuff. It just doesn't seem like rocket science to me.
 

Brent S

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Isn't that something, though, Brent? "Here's the most prudent/frugal way to do something and by the way, we've got this for sale!"
But honestly, I didn't watch the video and I don't have a problem with people trying to make a living.
I've often thought if I had a dollar for every time I taught someone genetics or nutrition when it comes to dog breeding, I'd be rich now. Maybe one day all of the good karma will come back to me, though, because I didn't get those dollars.

As far as livestock management, I do have to say "What is the big deal?" I put the goats and chickens (oh man I really miss my goats) out in the yard, bought them some feed, collect the eggs, collected the milk - and no I didn't need someone to show me how to milk them. I just figured it out. Yes, when you get into bigger stuff, there are issues with worming and vaccinations and stuff. It just doesn't seem like rocket science to me.
Yes, everyone has to make a living, and at least he's selling something of a positive nature. I agree that you can learn most things either yourself or thru others that are willing to share their knowledge for free. I think most things are common sense anyways, like using the scraps from your garden as supplemental feed, or their waste to make the garden produce better. As far as karma goes, just knowing that you did something nice and good for others has allready made you a better person, which is far better than having riches anyways.
 

Ginger

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I am always open to studying anyone who talks about replacing top soil. There are videos on the Polyface Farm web site that can be watched I guess...that is a very big site and I have not been able to view all of it...and, yes this farm actually makes money, which is kind of strange to me...most farmers now a days are feeding their animals gmo crops by Monsanto and doing good to make $18,000/yr! I am not one of their customers although I have bought one of his books, used, for a whole five dollars on half.com. I guess I am just one of those weird humans who are more open to learning than most. I really like the chicken egg mobile tractor that follow the cows distributing the cow manure...I am into things that are scalable and movable. I like the concept of "grass fed". Sorry if I offended anyone! I will never know all I need/want to know about livestock management and if someone can show me good ideas that they have come up with I am always open to listening and learning.
 

Brent S

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I am always open to studying anyone who talks about replacing top soil. There are videos on the Polyface Farm web site that can be watched I guess...that is a very big site and I have not been able to view all of it...and, yes this farm actually makes money, which is kind of strange to me...most farmers now a days are feeding their animals gmo crops by Monsanto and doing good to make $18,000/yr! I am not one of their customers although I have bought one of his books, used, for a whole five dollars on half.com. I guess I am just one of those weird humans who are more open to learning than most. I really like the chicken egg mobile tractor that follow the cows distributing the cow manure...I am into things that are scalable and movable. I like the concept of "grass fed". Sorry if I offended anyone! I will never know all I need/want to know about livestock management and if someone can show me good ideas that they have come up with I am always open to listening and learning.
Please, don't misunderstand my intent. I think learning new ways to do something, especially more efficient is great. I too had heard really good things about his farm and website. I was just a little turned off when everything asked for a credit card. This was a long while back and it may even be different now. It's kind of like Dave Ramsey on the radio. I think he's an intelligent guy and like most of his debt free advice, but will I buy his books, no. I managed to get debt free by working my butt off, not by buying advice on how to do it. I have a chicken tractor that I can move around the yard, but I built it from materials that I had lying around. I think I had to buy the wheels, but I didn't buy anyone's plans to build it. There are times I will buy something to learn from, but with all the knowledge from all the people on this site, whom are happy to share freely, you can learn just about anything for homesteading and survival. I am semi retired now and have to be pretty careful with what income I have, so I am a huge believer in figure out a way to do it yourself. I don't consider myself a mechanic, but my riding mower broke yesterday, so I googled it. I removed the deck, found the problem was a broken spindle that holds one of the blades. I got it on amazon for 1/2 of what the part cost at the place I bought the mower from, and got it with free shipping. I really don't enjoy working on law mowers, but now I saved two hundred more dollars I can use towards other things I want. I try to be efficient not just with the gardening techniques but with every aspect of life. I am intrigued by what you said about the farm being profitable. That's a rare thing today, and I give him credit for being creative and finding things that have helped him do that.
I'm really glad you started this post as you made me think of something. Clyde has done an amazing job building and maintaining this website. Not only has it been very entertaining but I've learned many new things and broadened my perspectives on lots of things. I haven't donated or joined the VIP area up to now, but you 'got my wheels turning', and made me realize he deserves something for all that work. Thanks, Brent
 
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Ginger

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Please, don't misunderstand my intent. I think learning new ways to do something, especially more efficient is great. I too had heard really good things about his farm and website. I was just a little turned off when everything asked for a credit card. This was a long while back and it may even be different now. It's kind of like Dave Ramsey on the radio. I think he's an intelligent guy and like most of his debt free advice, but will I buy his books, no. I managed to get debt free by working my butt off, not by buying advice on how to do it. I have a chicken tractor that I can move around the yard, but I built it from materials that I had lying around. I think I had to buy the wheels, but I didn't buy anyone's plans to build it. There are times I will buy something to learn from, but with all the knowledge from all the people on this site, whom are happy to share freely, you can learn just about anything for homesteading and survival. I am semi retired now and have to be pretty careful with what income I have, so I am a huge believer in figure out a way to do it yourself. I don't consider myself a mechanic, but my riding mower broke yesterday, so I googled it. I removed the deck, found the problem was a broken spindle that holds one of the blades. I got it on amazon for 1/2 of what the part cost at the place I bought the mower from, and got it with free shipping. I really don't enjoy working on law mowers, but now I saved two hundred more dollars I can use towards other things I want. I try to be efficient not just with the gardening techniques but with every aspect of life. I am intrigued by what you said about the farm being profitable. That's a rare thing today, and I give him credit for being creative and finding things that have helped him do that.

I don't think I misunderstood what you intended...I have yet to spend more than a couple hundred dollars on "educational" materials since I quit vocational school at 20...I have a library card and access to the internet! I am also on a very tight budget and I save all my pennies! I guess I should have put a warning in the original post that this guy was out to make money but if you are willing to dig deep enough some of the info and blogs are fantastic...I bypass all that I want your money deal and use that as my "guideline" to other searches such as google, youtube, etc. I get very confused when closed minded people are convinced their way is the only way...or they have done something one way for so long there is no other way except what they know. Just because something is easy or obvious for one particular person doesn't mean it is easy or obvious to all of us. I also forget just how many late night hours I have put into researching this stuff...not many people are as geeky as I am. I read tech manuals like most people read fiction. I want to "marry" all this stuff I have learned...the permaculture, aquaponics, food forests, edible landscaping, water harvesting...all into whatever works best for the property and person.

I live in a residential neighborhood with zoning that does not allow me any livestock...not even my rabbits are legal, I know this because the county has already made me move them to the other property which is zoned for them. I am only allowed cats and dogs...well, I try to be a good civil servant and follow the law, I really do...but, if you have a small yard and you could have a couple chickens that zoning is okay with...wouldn't it be better to make one of those chicken tractor things yourself and follow that "grass fed" model with moving them for the top soil good they do instead of "quarantining" them to the same fenced area? Seems to me a chicken tractor is a lot easier to move with you than a chicken coop and fence? I have stationary rabbits and I have some on a tractor (which were made from scrounged materials and even my wheels were scavenged)...much much prefer the tractor! The stationary ones are great worm beds and compost for sure...but a lot more work! My rabbit tractor sits high enough I can leave them for days to build up poop, move it, rake out poop and within days that has just a bit more top soil on top of this GA clay! I never smell my tractor and some days I can smell the stationary cages...especially my "grow out" cages with babies! Man it doesn't take but a day or so and they stink! They pick a corner and pretty much all go in the same spot! I have installed 5 raised beds this year and last...I have a total of about $300 in all 5...I spent that on the first one! Not knowing any better...quite a bite...could not afford that kind of crazy! The next 4 came from scrounged materials and my own "homemade" dirt. I have learned a lot of useful stuff about pallets from youtube...they are kind of like tires...in abundant free supply and you can do some amazing things with them if you are truly willing to work!

Anyway, I do apologize to anyone I offended here...was just trying to give more city folks alternative ideas to their preps because good health must be first on the list! A chicken tractor could do a single bird except they do better with more than one...and I am convinced spreading as much top soil goodness as we can should be just as important...seeing the ground is where our food is supposed to come from anyway...not a factory. MRE's are only practical for short term usage...not to sustain health.
 

Ginger

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Here is a link to a youtube video filmed at Google with Joel Salatin...if you can listen to even the first two minutes...it tells you to buy local, they do not ship. Now, this book and several others have been available a very long time...two of them can be found at our Bartow county library. If you can watch the whole video, I would like to know what you think for sure!
 

Ginger

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I kind of also like the idea of being reproducible and sustainable and making money...most people are too closed minded to know you really can do and have it all!
 

QuietH3art

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I'm lazy. The idea of having to move that tractor around just makes me tired to think about it. So my chickens just run the yard. I know not everyone can do that, due to predators most likely. There are definitely negatives to doing it my way, for example, my chickens love to come up on my front porch and stare at me through the glass door. That part is funny. The negative part is that they poop there, too. I always have to keep the broom handy and watch my step when I leave my house. One of the positives is that I no longer have to weed-eat along my fence line. That must be where all the bugs congregate because that's definitely the chicken's favorite place to forage. The other fun thing for me is that every time I step outside, all 8 of them come running to me and they will follow me everywhere I go - it's like being a Pied Piper for chickens. They never know if I might have some leftovers to offer them or if I'm going to the shed to get them a scoop of feed. They love to follow me into the shed too because there's always a cricket or other bug for them to scavenge out of there. I spread diatomaceous earth around the edges of the shed, but the bugs still seem to get in there. I really should name my chickens - not that they are smart enough to recognize names - but I'm pretty sure at least two of my 4-month olds are roosters so I hesitate to give them all girl names - I paid for all hens. I've learned that chickens are pretty stupid, actually. Their little pea brains are focused solely on acquiring more food.

As far as the garden goes - I haven't had as much luck with my raised beds as simply planting into the ground. I had 3 cucumber plants in a raised bed that only produced a couple of cukes. Then I moved the plants to the ground in June - since then I've gotten over 100 cukes. Those 3 plants are still producing me at least 6 cukes a week. I never knew plants would continually produce. I thought you planted it, you harvested and then it was done.

Which reminds me of something I wanted to tell everyone. If you wash, dry then wrap your cukes, and just about all other veggies, in a paper towel, then put them in a zip loc baggie, they will last for weeks in your veggie drawer. I've had cukes wrapped like that for at least 3 weeks now and they still look like I just picked them. It works even better if you take a straw, stick it in the corner of the Ziploc and suck out the air before sealing it all the way. No air and towels to absorb the moisture is what keeps them fresh.

So yeah, I'm a trail and error kind of person. And maybe this year, I've just been lucky to get all the produce I have from my garden. I know there are many things I will do differently for next year's garden.
 

Gazrok

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The other fun thing for me is that every time I step outside, all 8 of them come running to me and they will follow me everywhere I go
They are funny that way, aren't they? Nice tip on the veggies, will definitely try that one.

I know not everyone can do that, due to predators most likely.
Yep, I'd lose my chickens pretty fast if doing that. They have a pretty decent coup though. Should get eggs any day now from them, they are just now at that age.
 

Ginger

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I have ducks...they are a trip and we are learning to truly enjoy the eggs...they made a wonderful chocolate cake (except I forgot to add vanilla)! Even fried and scrambled we are pleased! Cracking them is aggravating if you miss the first time...they are not near as forgiving once you get shells! They were beginning to get up on our back porch, bringing home two new puppies stopped that...they are not impressed with the puppies, the big dog can go nose to nose and they like her, they will follow her!

I learned a very expensive lesson with my first raised bed...just made the other four usable from the beginning that lesson did! I still struggle to get much to grow in the first raised bed, takes way too much maintenance for my taste now that I have 2 "wood core raised" beds and that has been amazing to watch! One was installed last fall and planted with blueberry and asparagus...a drunk stepped on one of my blueberry plants and I only planted two...not much blueberry this year...the asparagus has just taken off and been unbelievable! I planted 12 total asparagus and it just went crazy...never been watered one time except when I actually planted it. Wood core raised beds, known as hugelkultur beds in permaculture is a lot of work to set up...I did mine by myself...with a small electric tiller and a shovel...but now all I do is harvesting...haven't seen a weed...no watering...and it was planted less than a year ago! I learned about another man who produces citrus in the Alps...watched a lot of foreign movies with subtitles to study this Sepp Holzer from Austria...that is where the wood core came from and the fact that we had five HUGE pine trees we had taken down and I needed something to do with that wood...one thing lead to another, couple of exhausting experiments, a whole lot of research...pine has an awful lot of tannin, wasn't sure how that would play out with my growing...pine not really optimum but it was free and available! Here are some pictures...
20131008_124249.jpg 20131009_095015.jpg 20131010_122813.jpg
I don't have any recent pics with it planted...need to work on that!

Brent...I am so glad you brought up the VIP...I do not belong to any club or organization, have no religious beliefs other than you go to heaven or you don't, have never claimed a political affiliation, I vote the person and what I can learn about them not the party...will admit so far have only voted Republican, what that says don't know and really don't care. But, in todays time and age and going on's...this might actually be worth spending money on. I will follow up with becoming a VIP myself. I do belong to one other prepper site, I have mixed feelings about it some days...I really do need to find some locals and start this moving research I am so ready to move out of Atlanta!
 

Brent S

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I am always open to studying anyone who talks about replacing top soil. There are videos on the Polyface Farm web site that can be watched I guess...that is a very big site and I have not been able to view all of it...and, yes this farm actually makes money, which is kind of strange to me...most farmers now a days are feeding their animals gmo crops by Monsanto and doing good to make $18,000/yr! I am not one of their customers although I have bought one of his books, used, for a whole five dollars on half.com. I guess I am just one of those weird humans who are more open to learning than most. I really like the chicken egg mobile tractor that follow the cows distributing the cow manure...I am into things that are scalable and movable. I like the concept of "grass fed". Sorry if I offended anyone! I will never know all I need/want to know about livestock management and if someone can show me good ideas that they have come up with I am always open to listening and learning.
I'm lazy. The idea of having to move that tractor around just makes me tired to think about it. So my chickens just run the yard. I know not everyone can do that, due to predators most likely. There are definitely negatives to doing it my way, for example, my chickens love to come up on my front porch and stare at me through the glass door. That part is funny. The negative part is that they poop there, too. I always have to keep the broom handy and watch my step when I leave my house. One of the positives is that I no longer have to weed-eat along my fence line. That must be where all the bugs congregate because that's definitely the chicken's favorite place to forage. The other fun thing for me is that every time I step outside, all 8 of them come running to me and they will follow me everywhere I go - it's like being a Pied Piper for chickens. They never know if I might have some leftovers to offer them or if I'm going to the shed to get them a scoop of feed. They love to follow me into the shed too because there's always a cricket or other bug for them to scavenge out of there. I spread diatomaceous earth around the edges of the shed, but the bugs still seem to get in there. I really should name my chickens - not that they are smart enough to recognize names - but I'm pretty sure at least two of my 4-month olds are roosters so I hesitate to give them all girl names - I paid for all hens. I've learned that chickens are pretty stupid, actually. Their little pea brains are focused solely on acquiring more food.

As far as the garden goes - I haven't had as much luck with my raised beds as simply planting into the ground. I had 3 cucumber plants in a raised bed that only produced a couple of cukes. Then I moved the plants to the ground in June - since then I've gotten over 100 cukes. Those 3 plants are still producing me at least 6 cukes a week. I never knew plants would continually produce. I thought you planted it, you harvested and then it was done.

Which reminds me of something I wanted to tell everyone. If you wash, dry then wrap your cukes, and just about all other veggies, in a paper towel, then put them in a zip loc baggie, they will last for weeks in your veggie drawer. I've had cukes wrapped like that for at least 3 weeks now and they still look like I just picked them. It works even better if you take a straw, stick it in the corner of the Ziploc and suck out the air before sealing it all the way. No air and towels to absorb the moisture is what keeps them fresh.

So yeah, I'm a trail and error kind of person. And maybe this year, I've just been lucky to get all the produce I have from my garden. I know there are many things I will do differently for next year's garden.
even though I end up eating my birds, I want them to be happy and healthy right up to that point. I can't let them run all day but let them out in the late afternoon to forage, then they go home to roost at dusk. You mentioned the raised beds, one thing I learned was they need more water than the ground, as it just percolates thru quicker. My greenhouse is basically a 20x20' raised bed. I started adding clay and now it holds water really well. So far I've gotten better every year at gardening, but your dead on about each year being different. You've got to have mother natures cooperation.
 

Brent S

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I have ducks...they are a trip and we are learning to truly enjoy the eggs...they made a wonderful chocolate cake (except I forgot to add vanilla)! Even fried and scrambled we are pleased! Cracking them is aggravating if you miss the first time...they are not near as forgiving once you get shells! They were beginning to get up on our back porch, bringing home two new puppies stopped that...they are not impressed with the puppies, the big dog can go nose to nose and they like her, they will follow her!

I learned a very expensive lesson with my first raised bed...just made the other four usable from the beginning that lesson did! I still struggle to get much to grow in the first raised bed, takes way too much maintenance for my taste now that I have 2 "wood core raised" beds and that has been amazing to watch! One was installed last fall and planted with blueberry and asparagus...a drunk stepped on one of my blueberry plants and I only planted two...not much blueberry this year...the asparagus has just taken off and been unbelievable! I planted 12 total asparagus and it just went crazy...never been watered one time except when I actually planted it. Wood core raised beds, known as hugelkultur beds in permaculture is a lot of work to set up...I did mine by myself...with a small electric tiller and a shovel...but now all I do is harvesting...haven't seen a weed...no watering...and it was planted less than a year ago! I learned about another man who produces citrus in the Alps...watched a lot of foreign movies with subtitles to study this Sepp Holzer from Austria...that is where the wood core came from and the fact that we had five HUGE pine trees we had taken down and I needed something to do with that wood...one thing lead to another, couple of exhausting experiments, a whole lot of research...pine has an awful lot of tannin, wasn't sure how that would play out with my growing...pine not really optimum but it was free and available! Here are some pictures...
View attachment 3566 View attachment 3567 View attachment 3568
I don't have any recent pics with it planted...need to work on that!

Brent...I am so glad you brought up the VIP...I do not belong to any club or organization, have no religious beliefs other than you go to heaven or you don't, have never claimed a political affiliation, I vote the person and what I can learn about them not the party...will admit so far have only voted Republican, what that says don't know and really don't care. But, in todays time and age and going on's...this might actually be worth spending money on. I will follow up with becoming a VIP myself. I do belong to one other prepper site, I have mixed feelings about it some days...I really do need to find some locals and start this moving research I am so ready to move out of Atlanta!
Im hoping we get enough people here in Ga to have a group meeting one day. I did do the VIP thing today, and as you, am normally pretty hesitant to join any clubs or cults! The knowledge here is great, and I really doubt Clyde makes much off these memberships, but hope it at least covers the operating costs. By the way, I watched the first third of Joel's utube clip, my battery was dying or I would have finished it,,and will soon. I got a better impression of him this time around, and really liked the bit of corporations landscaping with edibles. I'll let you know when I finish.
 

Gazrok

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If the timing was right, I'd probably even trek it up for a GA meeting.

Originally, I was going to go the raised bed route (I'm not as young as I used to be), but I heard too many complaints about yield, so going old school on it.
 

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If the timing was right, I'd probably even trek it up for a GA meeting.

Originally, I was going to go the raised bed route (I'm not as young as I used to be), but I heard too many complaints about yield, so going old school on it.
Gaz, meeting or not, you and your family are welcome anytime. This is a great area for vacation, I could find someplace to put you up! In my greenhouse I trenched two walkways to work from without having to bend down. I'm not sure it was worth he effort, but is a lot easier on my back now (not during construction!).
 

Danil54grl

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I love the square foot gardening method. . . I don't have 'raised beds' but when I plant, I pile on my walk way dirt into my beds after I till. I make them 4' across and how ever long my bed is. That is just me though
 

Danil54grl

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It is always nice to expand ones knowledge Ginger! I love to learn from others and use or improve on what I am currently doing. He has some great ideas and maybe able to use them in the future. Never stop searching girl. . . always able to find things that can be useful one day. . .
 

Ginger

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I like this idea...more top soil building...I was thinking about following pigs with an egg mobile tractor...as long as you don't overload with the poop...I can imagine how fast the top soil would build. Looks like he does some transplanting...been meaning to research more of this!
 

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