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Home Garden Thread


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2022 Jul 30, 6:33pm   7,749 views  97 comments

by Patrick   ➕follow (55)   💰tip   ignore  

How many of you all have gardens at home? We have a planter box with some tomatoes, arugula, peppers, and random other things that sprout from the compost we add. We compost the scraps from everything edible, and that seems to include a lot of seeds. Even parts of potatoes have grown into full potato plants. We got a few beets somehow as well.

We used to have chickens and enjoyed their eggs, but the need to let them out and put them in again each day makes it hard to go on vacations.



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42   AmericanKulak   2023 Feb 1, 5:34pm  

We got a lonnnng way to go before young chicks say that. It won't be until the point they actually have to work and not have pretend jobs in an office, to the point milking cows and raising chickens is better. Talking 19th Century textile mill level at least.
47   HeadSet   2024 Jan 11, 2:07pm  

Patrick says





That "1945 - Americans grew 45% of their food in their backyard garden" quip cannot be right. Maybe that should be "1945 - people who had back yard gardens used those gardens to grow 45% of their food.
48   Misc   2024 Jan 11, 8:40pm  

In 1945, there were large swaths of America that didn't have access to fresh fruits and vegetables for months at a time.
49   NuttBoxer   2024 Jan 12, 9:33am  

My gramma probably grew more than that. People who lived through the Depression became kind of obsessed with food. She canned, and did a full garden.

You should remember farming was a majority activity in this country, that has slowly been eroded by banks. The world you live in now did not exist in 1945.
50   SunnyvaleCA   2024 Jan 12, 1:14pm  

NuttBoxer says


You should remember farming was a majority activity in this country, that has slowly been eroded by banks. The world you live in now did not exist in 1945.

I think the giant shift from 90% of the population being farmers to less than 10% was mostly due to mechanization, allowing a small number of people to produce a lot of food. My mother's "hobby" was farming — she wasted her entire life and the lives of all the kids until we fled the homestead. This was in central New Jersey, so at least it was possible to grow a variety of things in the summer without incurring 3x the cost just in water.
This is unlike here in the desert known as Silicon Valley.

I had a girlfriend who had some romantic nonsense idea about going back to farming. She wanted to buy a local "farm" and be self sufficient. I countered that we could buy non-perishable food and stockpile for way cheaper. There really needs to be some sort of month-long "camp" where people with such notions can go and work 16 hour days in the hot sun to see how much "fun" it is.
51   NuttBoxer   2024 Jan 12, 1:42pm  

SunnyvaleCA says

I think the giant shift from 90% of the population being farmers to less than 10% was mostly due to mechanization


Yes and no. It wasn't just the development of the tractor, but the need to finance it that broke the small community. Before the tractor the money a farmer made stayed in the community. But with the need to finance it flowed out to the banks and cities. But more importantly what was the result? Jobs moving out of the country, and people following. Food becoming mass produced, and poisonous. People becoming dependent on government over family and community.

If you engage in real farming, it will take some time, like any startup, but it doesn't have to be that hard if you use holistic practices to work with your ecosystem, not against it. And there is a LOT of money to be made supplying people with local, organic produce.
52   komputodo   2024 Jan 12, 8:15pm  

HeadSet says

That is what ketchup is for.
Yeah...salt in your diet only counts if you actually put in on from a salt shaker.
53   komputodo   2024 Jan 12, 8:16pm  

Patrick says

We have a planter box with some tomatoes, arugula,

great idea....life would be a bitch without my arugula.
54   NuttBoxer   2024 Jan 13, 8:07am  

komputodo says

Yeah...salt in your diet only counts if you actually put in on from a salt shaker.


We only salt when we cook, never after. If you taste while you're cooking, shouldn't have to salt after.
55   stereotomy   2024 Jan 13, 8:17am  

NuttBoxer says

SunnyvaleCA says


I think the giant shift from 90% of the population being farmers to less than 10% was mostly due to mechanization


Yes and no. It wasn't just the development of the tractor, but the need to finance it that broke the small community. Before the tractor the money a farmer made stayed in the community. But with the need to finance it flowed out to the banks and cities. But more importantly what was the result? Jobs moving out of the country, and people following. Food becoming mass produced, and poisonous. People becoming dependent on government over family and community.

If you engage in real farming, it will take some time, like any startup, but it doesn't have to be that hard if you use holistic practices to work with your ecosystem, not against it. And there is a LOT of money to be made supplying people with local, organic produce.

I buy large amounts (I have a teenage boy - 'nuff said) of grass-fed beef from a regional farmer in my state. He is not a traditional farmer; rather, he and his wife worked in NYC and finally understood what a toxic environment it was and still is. They bought a completely rundown farm, and are slowly building their business in CNY. It's really hard work - they look rail thin but have wiry muscles. They do the holistic methods, relying on the animals to replenish the soil after they have fed on it. I don't know how long they can keep it up, but I appreciate and support them as much as my family can.
56   komputodo   2024 Jan 13, 8:42am  

NuttBoxer says

We only salt when we cook, never after. If you taste while you're cooking, shouldn't have to salt after.

and if you have family members that prefer more salt than the other members or less salt, what happens then?
57   komputodo   2024 Jan 13, 8:45am  

NuttBoxer says

We only salt when we cook, never after. If you taste while you're cooking, shouldn't have to salt after.

You should know me by now...The joke was how people claim that they dont eat salt because they don't actually put in on their food from a salt shaker. Even though the food is already loaded with salt from the cook or from the factory.
58   rocketjoe79   2024 Jan 13, 8:58am  

Bd6r says


Squash, okra, peppers, watermelon, a few other things. Damned grasshoppers ate bean plants. Electric fence around so that armadillos would not dig up the garden.



Edit: this is on our farm.

Very nice farm!!

Yep, killed an armadillo on Florida survival training back in the day. Once I got the shell off, it's like skinning any other critter. We didn't know back then that they could carry leprosy. So if you get a 'dillo kill on that fence, wear gloves while skinning! I'd boil 'em with some creole rice, just to get every bit of any bacteria dead.
59   just_passing_through   2024 Jan 13, 11:16am  

komputodo says

they don't actually put in on their food from a salt shaker


First time I saw some mangy kid licking the salt shaker at a restaurant was the last time I used a salt shaker at a restaurant.
61   Patrick   2024 Jan 13, 2:21pm  

just_passing_through says

First time I saw some mangy kid licking the salt shaker at a restaurant was the last time I used a salt shaker at a restaurant.


When I saw a video of a homeless guy in SF washing his bare asshole in a public water fountain was when I decided not to drink from public water fountains anymore.
62   AmericanKulak   2024 Jan 13, 4:49pm  

Patrick says






Imagine more backyard chickens.

Funny, the antimeat globalists never talk about chickens or farm raised fish. Both are low tech, low emissions, and high ROI. Chickens and Tilapia eat both bugs and table/veggie waste. Keep a vermiculture compost bin going and seed-save and you have a trifecta.

Tilapia tanks poop feeds low nutrient plants like arugula. Lettuce provides roughage for you and the scraps go back to the fish and the worms and the chickens. The fish water gets changed, and it's dynamite for terrestrial plants cut with 'regular' water a bit. Fish bones go into the vermiculture pile along with the lettuce. The chickens eat the worms and veggie scraps. Chicken shit goes into the 'regular' compost pile. You have the chickens over the fallow parts of your garden so next season the soil is naturally fertilized, and you throw a loose layer of vermi- and regular- compost over it when you move the chickens. In the terrestrial garden you have higher need plants like corn and potatoes... and those scraps feed chickens and fish... And so forth.
63   Patrick   2024 Jan 13, 5:07pm  

Yes, that.

I've read that the fish ponds which are common in rural China are for carp which eat scraps and thereby provide fish for the table. Japanese Koi Ponds are an echo of that which is not about food.

We had chickens, some of which my wife hatched as the science teacher at an elementary school. They provided a lot of eggs, but we just let them live out their natural lives of seven years or so rather than eat them. One of them was distinctly smarter than the others:

https://patrick.net/post/1218214/2012-10-28-domino-the-genius-chicken

After they all died, we didn't get any more, because it's work to put them in the coop each night so that the raccoons don't eat them, and because it's sad to see them all die eventually. They're smarter than you might think, and they do care for each other in spite of the pecking order. When Domino died, we found another chicken sitting with her instead of going out to eat. Also, when we gave away the roosters after they became loud and aggressive, Domino called for them for days. It was hard to hear.
64   just_passing_through   2024 Jan 13, 7:27pm  

Patrick says

When I saw a video of a homeless guy in SF washing his bare asshole in a public water fountain was when I decided not to drink from public water fountains anymore.


Yeah, I think you posted that here on patnet. If not someone else did. I haven't used a public fountain since I was a kid. Nor swam in a public swimming pool except for a few years in my 30s at 24hr Fitness - before they let them go to shit and started building higher end clubs my lifetime pass wasn't good enough to get into.
65   just_passing_through   2024 Jan 13, 8:05pm  

@patrick how did the tobacco plants turn out?
66   Patrick   2024 Jan 13, 11:54pm  

@just_passing_through

Sadly, none of them ever grew very large, and then they all started dying. I'm not sure what I did wrong, but I think they're all dead now. When they started dying off, I planted some outdoors thinking it would help them, but we had heavy rain and I think that killed all of those as well.
67   NuttBoxer   2024 Jan 17, 7:10am  

komputodo says

and if you have family members that prefer more salt than the other members or less salt, what happens then?


My parents salt everything. They have to get our larger cooking salt dispenser and use that. Never had anyone complain about too much salt, probably because with our low salt intake, we taste flavor sooner than most.
68   NuttBoxer   2024 Jan 17, 7:13am  

komputodo says

You should know me by now...The joke was how people claim that they dont eat salt because they don't actually put in on their food from a salt shaker. Even though the food is already loaded with salt from the cook or from the factory.


Salt is what brings out flavor. Any diet that tells you to completely avoid salt is extreme. Our meat is from a farm in Lake Elsinore, nothing added unless we get some bacon.
69   NuttBoxer   2024 Jan 17, 7:17am  

Patrick says

Also, when we gave away the roosters after they became loud and aggressive, Domino called for them for days. It was hard to hear.


We used to walk by a community garden in Imperial Beach. They had some ducks, chickens, and at least one rooster. He was never loud or aggressive, but he did watch you the whole time.
70   Robert Sproul   2024 Jan 17, 7:54am  

I haven't read through this whole tread, but one reason to grow your own food is the dramatic decline in nutrient density. Some foods are literally half as nutritious as what our grandparents ate, because of artificial fertilizers and selecting for other qualities like storage and transport durability. I was eating a BUNCH of greens in smoothie form and felt real good about it until I learned that it was all hydroponically grown and nutritionally very poor. It is also one reason Americans are High Calorie-Malnourished on their processed food diets. Even if they try to eat a lot of Veg it is not adequate.
https://rodaleinstitute.org/why-organic/issues-and-priorities/nutrient-density/
71   Patrick   2024 Jan 17, 10:19am  

Anyone have advice for how to get rid of gophers?

We have a planter they cannot get into, at least not so far, but it's small. The larger part of the yard has a very busy gopher though, and it eats a lot of our plants.
72   zzyzzx   2024 Jan 17, 10:23am  

Patrick says

Anyone have advice for how to get rid of gophers?


Try an air rifle.
73   Robert Sproul   2024 Jan 17, 11:23am  

Patrick says

Anyone have advice for how to get rid of gophers?

I have used the good old Macabee for years. There is a knack to it, watch your fingers.


74   NuttBoxer   2024 Jan 17, 11:32am  

Gopher snakes. You can set traps as well, but that's obviously less holistic. Barn owl's might eat them. Although not sure if you'd see any of those in a city, even if you put out houses for them. Find out what they really like and plant that. The gopher where we were at ate my strawberry roots, but never the tomato or kale.
77   Blue   2024 Feb 16, 3:57pm  

komputodo says


Patrick says


We have a planter box with some tomatoes, arugula,

great idea....life would be a bitch without my arugula.


Growing lot of flower plants, they attract bees and birds. With extra fun with weeds ;) grow veggies and fruits, its a kind of fun-stuff too.
79   stereotomy   2024 Feb 21, 11:36pm  

For those in the northeast:

https://wrongdirectionfarm.com/

In the middle of East Bumblefuck (AKA Canajoharie) NY

The ground beef isn't quite as good as Burgundy Beef in TX:

https://www.burgundypasturebeef.com/

These guys dry age the meat before they grind it, and it tastes awesome. These guys are strictly for TX and near TX, otherwise shipping is a killer.

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