plants

GROWING VEGETABLES – AND GUINEA FOWL

Town brings in Guinea fowl to control tick population

I would never have believed that Guinea fowl could be useful around vegetable gardens.

There are only three things I know about Guinea fowl:

  1. They are pretty
  2. Initially, I had only seen them portrayed on quilts, pottery and toys
  3. Then in June 2012 I saw them “in the flesh” for the first time – and they were disciplining a recalcitrant member of their posse.

But at lunch with a friend at Ninos coffee shop one day I turned to Mary and said, “You are famous. Your veggie bathtub is on the internet.”

Johannesburg Zoo

This set off a discussion on vegetable gardening and pest control, and soon Mary was telling us that the Johannesburg Zoo keeps Guinea fowl to reduce the rat population and insects.

I was fascinated by this snippet. Rats can play havoc with your vegetable garden.
I know that lemon mint repels rats.
But this was the first time I had heard that Guinea fowl kill them.

Conversation turned to stopping snails in their tracks with coffee grounds and crushed eggshells, only to learn that Mary, having worked at the Johannesburg Zoo for 26 years, collected vegetable devouring snails from her garden and put them in a tub in her fridge freezer! As soon as she had a goodly amount, out came the tub of snails which she took to feed the birds at the zoo.

Back to vegetable gardens and Guinea fowl
You will be pleased to know that this bird is very useful in your garden.

  • It seldom, if ever, bothers your vegetables or flowers; living instead on insects and grasses.
  • They control deer ticks, wood ticks, grasshoppers, box elder bugs, flies crickets, and all other insects.
  • Apart from eating mice and small rats, their noisy call will actually discourage rodents.
  • They also kill snakes, and,
  • if you are security conscious, they will alert you to anything unusual going on, on your property (perhaps neighbours who may covet your vegetables in the deep of night?)

So, give it a thought – if you are struggling to control pests and insects in and around where you are growing vegetables, get yourself a posse of Guinea fowl.

You can actually train them to come when you call.

And if you have a problem with bees, hornets or wasps, all you have to do is show it where the insects congregate, and you’ll be able to move around your garden without fear of being stung – the Guinea fowl will do the rest.

A wonderful addition to your vegetable garden, don’t you think?

Categories: Agriculture, Birds, bugs, crickets, ecology, Farming, Food, Food crisis, Food security, Grasshoppers, Guinea Fowl, Insects, Nature, Nutriets, Organic, Pest, plants, Quality vegetables, seedlings, seeds, Self-seeding, Ticks, Vegetable gardener, Vegetables, Veggie garden, Zero tillage | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

GROWING VEGETABLES – eBOOK AND VIDEO PACKAGE

WHAT WILL YOU GET WHEN YOU PURCHASE THE FOOD4WEALTH eBOOK AND VIDEO PACKAGE?

  1. Firstly, Food4Wealth is a sustainable, ecological vegetable growing model, professionally produced by the environmental scientist, Jonathan White
  2. It is extremely easy to read and easy to understand.
  3. The Food4Wealth model will show you how to setup your own organic food garden completely.
  4. You will be taken through the entire process of growing your own vegetables in in a very small amount of space – for just a few hours effort. 
    • His Food4Wealth ebook contains 80 pages
    • and 60 minutes of videos.

The Key Principles of the Ecological Gardening Method

  1. Plant densely
  2. Plant a diversity of plants within a given area
  3. Get a good composting system set up and use the compost as a surface mulch on bare patches
  4. Allow some plants to go to seed
  5. Only interfere with the system when a single species of plant over-dominates and simply scratch out excess plants when they are small. 

His vegetable growing package also includes:

    • project plans
    • checklists
    • a maintenance plan
    • materials list
    • provides detailed tips, tricks and techniques to grow organic food successfully 
    • email support with all replies sent within 24 hours.

FREE REPORT:  “What is ecological gardening?” click here.

TO
PURCHASE
YOUR VERY OWN
eBOOK and SET OF VIDEOS
CLICK HERE.

Categories: Affordability, Agriculture, Bare patches, ecology, Economical, Farming, Food, Food crisis, Food security, Growing, Increased yields, Low maintenance, manure, Mulch, Nutriets, Organic, Pest, Plant, plants, Preparation, Produce, Save money, seedlings, seeds, Self-seeding, Vegetable gardener, Weeds, Zero Chemicals, Zero tillage | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

VEGETABLE GROWING – KEEP THE SOIL “ON THE GROUND”

Soil erosion

Is your vegetable garden’s soil frittering away through soil erosion?

Here is a shocking statistic – though soil erosion is a natural process, human activity accelerates soil loss up to 24 billion tonnes every year. [1]

This is even more concerning, especially as topsoil contains most of the soil’s nutrients and organic matter. As one author put it, “Soil erosion: it can run away with your farm.” [3] (or even your vegetable patch!)

Add to this, wind, and the speed at which rain drops hit the earth (4.5 to 19 mph), can you afford to turn your hand at vegetable gardening or farming if the soil just won’t lie down?

HOW TO KEEP THE SOIL IN YOUR GARDEN – ON THE GROUND

The short answer is – mulch your vegetable garden . (You knew that, didn’t you.)

But here is something you may not know – don’t dig over your soil.
You’re probably wondering,
“If I don’t dig over the soil, how will I plant the seed/seedlings?”

To answer this question let me first tell you about two microbial life forms in your vegetable patch:
1. Aerobic microherd – these are all microbes that absolutely need oxygen in order to survive.
2. Anaerobic microherd – these are all microbes that don’t need oxygen to survive, but may or may not use oxygen in their life cycles.

If you dig over the soil in your vegetable garden, the microbes assigned their place in life will be turned upside down, and will die. Aerobic and anaerobic microbes are there to help you grow your vegetables to their optimum potential by improving he soil’s health and texture.

Consequence of digging over your garden?
Bang! goes your attempt at growing vegetables.

The answer?
Don’t plough, don’t overturn the soil like our predecessors taught us.

Here’s what you do:

  • You dig only where you will place the seed or seedling – click here to see how it is done.

Mulching
I had a wonderful time in Mwinilunga (Zambia’s North West Province). In 2009 Chief Kanyama invited me to train 36 villagers in the Farming God’s Way method (or, Foundations for Farming). They had never heard of mulching. But as soon as they understood the value of retaining moisture and keeping the ground “on the ground,” they set to it with vigour, collecting straw and old maize stalks to cover the land. They are now reaping harvests not heard of in their farming history.

The Benefits of Mulching[4]
• Mulching is essential to the survival of your landscape during a drought. Mulch will reduce the amount of water that evaporates from your soil, greatly reducing your need to water your vegetable plants.

• …improves the quality of your soil by breaking up clay and allowing better water and air movement through the soil. Mulch provides nutrients to sandy soil and improves its ability to hold water.

• …acts as an insulating layer on top of soil, keeping it cooler in the summer.

• …keeps weeds down, and the weeds that do grow are much easier to pull.

So! Are you ready to grow vegetables successfully?

Let me know how this has made a difference to the health of your vegetables.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Acknowledgements

[1] http://www.envirothon.org/pdf/CG/using_the_USLE.pdf

[2] http://www2.kenyon.edu/projects/farmschool/types/soil.htmhttps://www.google.co.za/#hl=en&sclient=psy-ab&q=speed+at+which+rain+hits+the+soil&oq=speed+at+which+rain+hits+the+soil&gs_l

[3] http://faq.gardenweb.com/faq/lists/organic/2002114848008095.html

[4] http://www.ccwater.com/files/Drought101Mulch.pdf

Categories: Agriculture, ecology, Farming, Food, Food crisis, Food security, Growing, healthy, Increased yields, Mulch, Nutriets, Organic, Organic matter, Plant, plants, Preparation, Produce, Rain, seedlings, seeds, Self-seeding, Soil, Vegetable gardener, Vegetables, Veggie garden, Wind, Zero tillage | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

GROWING VEGETABLES – THE “COMPANION PLANTING” WAY

Margaret Roberts’ passion for growing vegetables and herbs is clearly evident in the way she writes in her book titled, “Companion Planting.”

Each herb and vegetable is introduced with a short history of the plant, its culinary, medicinal and pest repellent properties. She has trialed each and every entry in her many books, and pioneered organic methods before the word “organic” was ever coined.

There is so much to garner from her books.

The first book I bought I gave to a Chief in Kanyama, Mwinilunga District, Zambia. I could not do without my own copy for along, so, I bought another copy – and was robbed!.

So I bought a third copy.

As you can tell, I am passionate about growing vegetables the Companion Planting way. There is much information to be culled from it. For instance, I set up two Excel schedules: one reflected the medicinal properties of the herbs and the ailments it can either relieve or cure. The other dealt with herbs that could control pests.

Margaret Roberts also provides recipes for sprays to protect your vegetables and herbs, and provides references to herbs that break down compost.

In her book, “The Essential Margaret Roberts, my 100 Favourite herbs,” she outlines how to plan a herb garden, propagation of vegetables plants, and much-much more.

For more information on Margaret Roberts Herbal Centre, click here.

Categories: Agriculture, Companion planting, ecology, Farming, Food, Food security, Green manure, healthy, manure, Nutriets, Organic, Pest, Plant, plants, Preparation, Produce, Save money, seedlings, seeds, Self-seeding, Soil, Vegetables, Weeds | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ANSWER TO “WHY PLANT USING THE FOOD4WEALTH METHOD?”

Food4Wealth vegetable garden

WHY BUY THE FOOD4WEALTH PRODUCT?

It is the leading gardening information product

Food4Wealth is the leading information product in a new market of DIY’ers, families and retirees seeking to grow their own food.

The motivation for buying the Food4Wealth manual and videos is simple – there is an ever growing concern over

food security,
quality,
and affordability around the world.

Food4Wealth is a simple method explained in a way that any person can easily start growing their own food and take control of their food supply.

ANSWERS TO INCREASED YIELDS
Food4Wealth provides answers for a growing market of gardeners seeking new ways of solving the many problems they face in their gardens. Food4Wealth has helped hundreds of seasoned gardeners increase their yield and reduce their workload with fresh, innovative ideas.

ORGANICALLY GROWN PRODUCE vs ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION

People are creating more demand for organically grown products as commercial agriculture continues to contribute to large-scale environmental degradation.
Food4Wealth is the most environmentally and ecologically positive method of growing organic food.

Jonathan White

ABOUT THE FOOD4WEALTH AUTHOR

Jonathan White, an experienced, professional environmental scientist and gardener. Growing food has been his lifelong passion.

With over 20 years’ experience and personal research, Jonathan has developed a comprehensive package of techniques to allow gardeners to enjoy growing food in their plots with higher yields and less work.

His easy-to-understand style makes Food4Wealth perfect for beginners and advanced gardeners alike.

Childhood
He started his first vegetable garden in his parent’s backyard at the age of seven.
Most of his childhood was spent bare-footed in the Australian bush, where a deep love of the natural environment was born.

University

After finishing school –
he completed a Bachelor of Applied Science in Ecology and Natural Resources,
and later gained qualifications in Horticulture and Landscape Design.

It is little wonder that he has developed a system of growing food that incorporates his two disciplines: horticulture and ecology.

He has written and published
a number of books about in­door plants and interior landscaping and, currently teaches  a range of horticulture, landscape design and environmental science courses with Lifestyle Learning Direct, a well-respected adult education facility. In fact, he wrote their Garden Design and Landscaping Course and has helped hundreds of students graduate in a range of professional courses.

His main aim in life is to help people of all walks of life expe­rience the wonder and joy of living a simple, healthy life.

He lives with his wife and children on a small farm surrounded by a menagerie of animals, and of course, a flourishing Food­4Wealth plot.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
BOOKS BY JONATHAN WHITE

The Ecological Gardener
* Garden Design and Installation
* New gardens and existing garden makeovers
* Specialist in Native and Drought Tolerant Gardens
* General garden maintenance
* Fully Insured and easy to deal with
Qualifications: Degree in Ecology & Natural Resources.

 

Categories: Affordability, Agriculture, Ecologist, ecology, Economical, Farming, Food, Food crisis, Food security, Growing, healthy, Increased yields, Land, Organic, plants, Preparation, Quality vegetables, Save money, Vegetables, Wealth | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

GROWING VEGETABLES – A SUCCESS STORY (Part 1)

Maize fields

JULY 2009

(Farming God’s Way)

Double harvests in Chief Kanyama’s kingdom

“You should meet Chief Kanyama”, said my friend, Vincent when I told him about Farming God’s Way. “I’m sure he would want to hear about your program. But unfortunately, he’s already left the boma” [village].

What a pity, I thought. To train a chief and the poor in his village would be just the environment in which to showcase the effectiveness of the Farming God’s Way model of cropping. Disappointed that I had missed him I decided to take walk in the warm July sun, and directed my steps to the KwaKuwahi Lodge situated on the banks of the Lunga River.

Later, on my return to the boma, while thirstily downing two orange Fanta drinks one after the other on the Lido Restaurant verandah , I noticed four men approaching as if to pass by. They looked like an interesting group so I called out to them, and we spent some time chatting awhile. Just as they were about to go on their way a black Pajero drew up at the steps of the Lido’s veranda. Out of the vehicle stepped a tall, well-built Zambian man dressed in an orange-white-and-black Hawaian-type shirt, black trousers, and wearing a black cowboy hat.

“That’s Chief Kanyama”, whispered one of the four men, in hushed tones.

“Chief Kanyama!” I squeaked. “Are you sure?”

“Yes, he replied.”

Like a star-struck teenager I dashed up the stairs after him, and hearing my footsteps he turned to see who was behind him.

“Are you Chief Kanyama?” I asked. “Yes,” he replied, hesitantly, a bit bemused. I quickly introduced myself to him and asked whether he would be available that day, as I would like to tell him about Farming God’s Way. And graciously he agreed to a 16h30 appointment.

Later, after I had shared with him about Farming God’s way while we sat under a thatched gazebo he kept repeating something to his retainer (assistant) in the Lunda dialect (continue here).

Categories: Agriculture, ecology, Farming, Farming God's Way, Food, God, Growing, Land, Plant, plants, Poor, Produce, Vegetables | Leave a comment

ARE THERE PROBLEMS WITH TRADITIONAL VEGETABLE GARDENING?

PROBLEMS NEED SOLUTIONS

  • Traditional vegetable gardens require an enormous amount of hard work.
    It takes a lot of time, dedication and a year-round commitment
    to grow your own food the traditional way.
  • Then there are bare patches in your patch.
    To an ecologist, this is a niche space for colonizers …
    weeds…that deprive your vegetables of nutrients.
  • Not only do they deplete nutrients, but, it takes too much time
    to attend to weeding when you could be doing something else

HOWEVER, THERE IS A SOLUTION!

We must use a technique that combines –

PEST,  PLANT & SOIL ecology plus CROP MANAGEMENT into a method that addresses the causes of these problems. 

The technique must be efficient enough to be economically viable,
and produce enough food, per given area, to compete against traditional techniques. 

 

Jonathan White, an environmental scientist has been testing an ecologically-based method of growing food for several years.  This method promotes

  • zero tillage
  • zero chemicals
  • has minimal weeds, and
  • requires a fraction of the physical attention (when compared to traditional vegetable gardening).
  • It also produces several times more, per given area, and
  • provides food every single day of the year.

 

His ecologically-based garden mimics nature in such a way that the garden

  • looks and acts like a natural ecosystem.
  • Succession layering of plants (just as we see in natural ecosystems) offers natural pest management.
  • It also naturally eliminates the need for crop rotation
  • Naturally eliminates the need resting beds
  • Naturally eliminates the need for green manure crops

Soil management is addressed in a natural way – so the soil’s structure and fertility gets richer and richer, year after year.

Another benefit of this method is automatic regeneration through self-seeding. This occurs naturally as dormant seeds germinate, filling empty niche spaces with desirable plants, and not weeds.

Traditional gardeners need convincing. So here’s the deal:
This ecologically-based method requires such little human intervention you may become frustrated with not having much to do in your vegetable garden. There! I’ve said it. But it’s true. In this ecologically based method nature will take the reins, and in your experience you will find that nature’s ecological laws are one hundred per cent reliable.

This method of growing your vegetables takes away all the mysticism of being an expert.  It is so simple, any person, under any conditions, can do it.  

THIS LEADER IN VEGETABLE

GARDENING

…produces many times more food with a fraction of the effort.

BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY
FOR THE
UNEMPLOYED

In May 2011 fin24 reported: “South Africa’s latest unemployment figure [is the highest among] 61 [countries] surveyed by Bloomberg.”http://www.fin24.com/Economy/SA-unemployment-rate-among-worlds-highest-20110504

Despite this news, South Africa’s unemployed have a window of opportunity.
THEY CAN OBTAIN LAND

– AT NO COST –

from their rural authorities on which to grow their own vegetables; land that can turn their joblessness into a business opportunity to break the back of grinding poverty.

Should you choose to donate your Food4Wealth order to a worthy cause in South Africa or elsewhere,

YOUR PURCHASE

will kick-start a walk to freedom

for these “captives of unemployment”

DOUBLE BLESSING

TWO RECIPIENTS will benefit from A SINGLE PURCHASE

yourself, (or your beneficiary)
WerthWorx will receive a commission for referring the product.
(This will support their work among the poor in Mwinilunga , Zambia)
(see
http://www.werthworx.wozaonline.com )

TO PURCHASE

Click the link below to order via Clickbank

http://faa27-lv23t-l99gbijd3p0p5x.hop.clickbank.net/

 (Clickbank  tracks all Food4Wealth activity on the Web,
handles all payment processing, affiliate management and their payouts).

Download and print this FREE pamphlet on time-saving vegetable growing by clicking on the link below:

PROBLEMS WITH TRADITIONAL VEGGIE GARDENING

Categories: Agriculture, Bare patches, Blessing, Business opportunity, Clickbank, Commitment, Donate, Ecologist, Economical, Farming, Food, Food crisis, Green manure, Growing, healthy, Land, Nutriets, Pest, Plant, plants, Poor, Produce, rural authorities, Self-seeding, Soil, Time, Traditional gardening, Vegetables, Weeds, Zero Chemicals, Zero tillage | Leave a comment

GROWING VEGETABLES – BATHTUBS AND BATHWATER

A friend of mine grows spinach, cherry tomatoes and herbs in a recycled old claw foot bath three metres from her back door.

Planting vegetables in a bathtub

She lives in an old redbrick railway cottage with not much space in her backyard to grow vegetables, especially as two large trees tend to overshadow the yard. There are few places where the sun can flood seeds and seedlings with precious warmth.

So this bath became particularly useful as in the initial stages she could move it  around to access the best spot while it is still empty and light.

Just one question: would the plughole provide sufficient drainage? (just joking). Line the tub with gravel.

Inquire at your nearest nursery or hardware store for soil that would best ensure proper drainage. The most valuable element your vegetable bathtub will contain is compost and perhaps the addition of peat moss if you wish.

Mary takes recycling seriously. Next to her bathtub garden is a large green JoJjo tank with an inflow pipe connected to the  the gutter on the roof. This water is particularly useful to water her vegetable garden during the dry season.

Recycling bathwater
Given her penchant for recycling I’ve wondered whether bathwater could be used to water her vegetable garden?

With increased costs of water in cities and towns being so high, it was worth exploring the possibility, so I read through comments related to recyling bathwater on a several sites. Overwhelmingly gardeners’ experience reveals that soapy water (except anti-bacterial soap) does not damage your vegetable plants. Many comments claim that their vegetables actually thrive on it.

Personally, I give Margaret Roberts the benefit of the doubt. In her book, “Companion Planting“, she includes a number of recipes combining herbs, water and Sunlight Soap powder to use as sprays. They soapy element allows a concoction to stick to plants.

I would trust her judgement on this, as she has trialed these recipes over many years. (Margaret is listed in Who’s Who in South Africa, and a rose is named after her.)

Margaret Roberts’ book: Companion Planting

Categories: Agriculture, baths, containers, Food, Food crisis, Growing, healthy, planting in a bathtub, plants, Recycle, seedlings, seeds, Toxic, Vegetables, Warning | Leave a comment

VEGETABLE GARDENING – How small as can you go?

Smallest individual veggie garden?

Now I have seen everything.
A canvas shoe holder in which to plant vegetables (the canvas retains moisture to the benefit of the plant). What a great idea. Hang the shoe holder on the side of the house where the plants will get the most sun. It would be best to affix a thin structure behind the organiser to keep it away from the wall.

Plant vine tomatoes in a canvas bag

Alternatively, you may grow tomatoes in a canvas bag.

Vine Tomatoes

Garden Stakes
By far the tiniest space-saving option is to plant vine vegetables.
As soon as the plant reaches sufficient height, attach the vine to a stake (as few/many as your garden or balcony will allow).

Suggested vegetables:

  • pole beans,
  • vine cucumbers
  • vine tomatoes
  • vine squash

Trellise

Trellises & Pergolas
Another way to contain vegetable plants in a small space is to incorporate trellises and pergolas into your vegetable garden design plan.

Pergola

No matter what your choice – begin today.
Grow your own vegetables. If for no other reason than for your health’s sake.

And remember – buy living seed, seed uncontaminated by insecticides and pesticides. Avoid genetically modified seed, too. It is an absolute no-no.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Acknowledgements:
12 Savvy Small-Space Urban Gardening Designs & Ideas: http://webecoist.momtastic.com/2010/06/14/12-savvy-small-space-urban-gardening-designs-ideas/

Categories: Agriculture, containers, eat, Farming, Food, Food crisis, genetically modified, GMO, Growing, healthy, Land, Pergolas, plants, smallest, Toxic, Vegetables | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.