Monthly Archives: October 2013

Grow Food in 5 Minutes a Day

Today during homeschool there was a question posed to my kids. Should we grow less food using organic methods or produce more food with non organic methods? So I asked them. What do you think? My oldest answered I think we should grow more, but my youngest said I think we should grow less. Guess who is my organic garden helper?   😉  So then I said, “Do you know that most of the corn and soybeans in the U.S arent grown for us to eat?? They are grown for animals. So given that information what do you think we should do? Eat less meat and grow more vegetables on that grain land or leave it. Both said to grow more vegetables.

That stirred a spirit in me. My tomatoes are sitting there peeled and awaiting jars for canning and here I am writing a post.  The reason why I am writing is to say that I believe the reason why we dont use more organic methods is because we need to produce more..why? because people are either A.) Lazy and dont want to take the time to plant a garden  B.) Dont know how to plant a garden or where to start or C.) Dont have “time” to plant.

I have decided to eliminate B and C today in this post. If you are just lazy well then quit reading because you wont do what I propose anyway. Go ahead and buy your food at your grocery store, not knowing who grew it or what they put on it..see ya!!

For the rest of you here is how you can grow your own food in 5 minutes a day. Everyone has 5 minutes. Just set your alarm earlier and you’re golden.

5 Min: Grab a potato out of your pantry. Place it in a bag in the dark for about a month or find a potato that already is starting to get eyes on it.

5 Min: Check on the potato once a week to see if eyes have formed. Once they have…

5 Min: Watch this youtube video so you know what we will be doing : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2637Ga0YUgM

5 Min:  Buy a 5 gallon bucket when you’re in town or a big planter and a couple bags of potting soil.

5 Min: Put at least 6 inches of soil in the bottom of the bucket and put it in your home in front of a window-preferably one that gets sun.

Next Day: Put the potato in your bucket- eye side up and then cover the rest with soil.

5 Min: Water just enough to keep the soil semi moist.

5 Min each day: Keep checking your plant to make sure the soil is semi moist.

5 Min: When your plant stem and leaves are about 6 inches above the soil, place more potting mix in until only 2 inches of leaves are above the soil.

The continuing days: Each day check your plant for semi moist soil-water accordingly, each time your leaves and stems are 6 inches above the soil- add more soil until only 2 inches are left above the soil. Continue this until your bucket is full of soil. Once your bucket is full of soil you just check and water accordingly until your plant dies. It will bloom pretty white flowers and then eventually die.

If you continue to plant new potatoes in new buckets about a month after each other, you will have potatoes all year. Reuse the soil eventually to save money. You might need fertilizer eventually but farms have free manure all the time. rabbit manure can be placed on top without burning your plant. Just use it sparingly. NO it doesnt stink.

Once your plant dies- 5 Min: plan a time SOON to take 20 minutes to work on potatoes

20 Min: place something on the ground outside or in a garage to catch all the soil and potatoes in the bucket, dump out the bucket, gather potatoes and place them in a box..still dirty- just brush off most of the dirt. Place them in a cool spot.

5 Min: Wash up a few potatoes and enjoy them for dinner!

Do not wash the potatoes until you are going to use them. Make sure they are not wet. If you need to, lay them out on newspaper for a day or so till the dirt is dry then brush them off and place them in a box.  That’s it!

Plants can grow in any place- apartments in the city, in the suburbs, or on the farm. Dont let not knowing stop you. Search you tube and when you get adventurous try this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cf2jW05TEwU . There is never an excuse why you cant grow your own food.

 

Happy Homesteading!!!   😀

 

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My Job with Farmer Joe

So Dollar general didnt let me quit. They wanted me to work 10 hours. Well I’ve officially put in my two week notice…Again. I have been working with a farmer for the past month or so. It has been very interesting. It has been a huge learning curve. My operation is all on one little acre. I have a CSA of 5 people and thats it. Farmer Joe is just a tad bigger.

Joe has probably 3 acres. 2 of which are totally full of vegetables.  He never sprays any pesticides or herbicides, yet he has hardly no bugs at all. His produce is like twice the size of mine. What is his secret??  Soil.  He told me everything that is wrong with your plants is soil based. Then he gave me a book to read, How to grow more Vegetables by John Jeavons.

I’ve learned so much that I am now going to incorporate into my garden. So let me tell you so that you can do it to yours as well. I guarantee it will help your garden grow. Now that your gardens are almost done, the best thing to do is find a good quality compost. Here close to my town, the recycle center makes compost. They charge $10 per yard. My garden with a heavy coating used about 1 yard. Once compost is spread on your soil, you want to add microbes. I havent looked into this yet and I’m not sure what he uses but you really dont have to if you dont want to. Just adding compost made a world of difference. I always put on my own stuff, but using another source proved to be extremely beneficial. The next thing to do is add some sea minerals. He buys Sea-90 Livestock trace minerals and puts on 6 lbs per 100 sq ft. He says this is essential for our soil because it is so depleted of trace minerals. After those three things have been applied he then tills the ground. After the ground is tilled, he plants a variety of cover crops.

Cover crops are important to every garden. Bare ground leaches away all the nutrients. The rain and snow keeps pushing it down into the soil. When you plant a cover crop the roots keep the nutrients up towards the surface and into the plant. Then over winter most of the plants die therefore releasing the nutrients onto the top of the soil. When you till in the spring you mix those nutrients back into the soil right at the top.

Farmer Joe recommends planting buckwheat for sure. I have and it is absolutely beautiful. It only takes a month to grow and flowers pretty white. Use it when you are waiting to plant new things or after crops are done for the year. It suppresses weeds really well because it grows so fast. A few others you can plant are oats. They are winter hardy as well as rye grass. He also plants Vetch and Daikon radishes. He said these are great for clay soils. As they grow they break up the ground allowing air and water into the soil. He recommends planting at least three mixed together because each has a different root depth and will pull up different minerals to the surface.

This guy knows what he is talking about. He sells at multiple markets and sells hundreds of dollars each week. He is big into fermenting and sells tons of it. He grows pretty much everything for his own ferments and grows year round in multiple hoop houses. Just looking at his garden is a wonder in itself. He is doing something right. As I learn more I will share what I learn. I just thought this would be helpful for all of you heading into fall.

Happy Homesteading!!   😀

Categories: Gardening, Homesteading | 3 Comments

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