Friday, June 11, 2010
What fabulous comments from all you experienced gardeners/farmers concerning pest controls, poisons, organic, nutrient-dense foods, etc.
First, thank you all so very much! I am learning so much as I continue to explore and probe the options. I did go ahead and order a couple of biological products for bug control. We also have believed that our trace mineral complement was poor, so we decided to add some, along with the dolomitic lime.
Julia—(Island Home) I am captivated by your description of “nutrient-dense” pasture, food, etc. I knew some of what you described—that being the more vigorously the plant grows, the better it protects itself against pests. But I didn’t know why. I always thought it had to do with the speed at which the plant grew…making it more resistant because it grew MORE leaves, for example, so it out-paced the bugs simply by the strength. I had no idea “nutrient-dense” had anything to do with sugar content. Makes perfect sense, though. Our pastures are also “weedy”…called “forbes.” Our hay is mixed and we do not drench our animals. Again, poisons. We do not systematically “worm” as the chemical companies would like us to be “captive to.” We don’t worm dogs or farm animals. We have used hydrogen peroxide in all watering troughs to keep parasites such as mosquitoes non-existent. Bt would also do that, too, and without harm to the environment. Hydogen Peroxide at 35% will eradicate internal parasites on cows , sheep, goats, etc. using only one ounce per 100 gallons of water. You’ve given us a real threshold for further exploration. I wonder how we could get a refractometer reading on our garden veggies. The pastures, too. I’ve always felt the readings we obtained from the Soil Conservation service did not do the job. I continue to believe that. It’s the old 10-10-10 route.
Julia, canning chard pretty much changes the product completely. It’s not “fresh” greens because of the botulism potential. So, it’s a 90-minute pressure canner job. That is not to say it doesn’t taste good in winter when we are eating “what we canned.” It’s very tasty, but not at all a “fresh” green. Again, as you said, so a Google and you'll find the specific set of instructions for doing it. It's easy. Just time-consuming. But what else do we have except....time!
Barbara—(Folkways Notebook) I love the WAY you garden! But I’m terrorized by the thought of letting the weeds (in the garden) have their way for fear things too easily get out of hand. Perhaps I need to relax a bit! And I noted several refer to the Safer’s soap you metnioned. The rep at Southern Ag seemed to suggest that instead of Insecticidal soap, though, that we use 2-3 drops of either Dawn or Ivory, to a gallon of water. He said simply, “Bugs don’t’ like the taste and this doesn’t hurt the plant.” So, rather than insecticidal soap, he encouraged us to try that route first.. He also suggested an “old timey” method of getting the the biologicals to “stick” to the plant: CocaCola. Spraying with CC, he said, makes them sticky and the biological stays on the leaf. I’m a bit leery of that, myself….
Ruta—(Ruta’s Ramblings) You’re a naturally talented gardener girl, and once you get your own piece of veggie-growing ground, you’ll love every minute, you'll be the envy of everyone, and you'll feel so smug because you will have the best veggies around! Your flower garden is simply incredible! Do make the rounds as things are in bloom, now, to show us the full landscape view!!
Marlene--(Stitchin' By the Lake) Thanks for that testimonial regarding cotton and poisons! Goes to show us we need to pay attention and work as diligently as we can to make life better using wise solutions. I believe as the BP process is being unveiled, as the onion is peeled, we will learn more than we ever wanted, about shortcuts to profit. Much as I favor cotton and wool above synthetics, we need to match up Julia's methods (above) with a desire for non-oil-related fabrics.
Vicki—(Vicki Lane Mysteries) Thank you for getting us started on this path! This is where we want to go. Without meaning to be sexist, don't you all think it's about time to put women in charge???
LAST, BUT NOT LEAST--
We finally got our soaker hoses and got them assembled. We bought the soaker hose in bulk. 250 feet of hose, for which we then bought connections with which we can add or subtract a hose, and made up five 50-foot lengths . We watered all day yesterday with two soaker hoses and the plants have nearly doubled in size. The soaker hose is the cat’s meow. We’ve had them before, but they’d worn out and we had been “coping” with the old wasteful method. Now, we’re back on firm ground and we are, once again, being waterwise.
Again, thank you everyone! This has been great! Hate to be sounding naïve…but isn’t the Internet simply wonderful!!??
Finally, don't miss my second post for today! A feast for sore eyes coming up in a few minutes....!