GROWING VEGETABLES – BLOOD AND BONE IN THE COMPOST?

When I first heard  of adding a blood and bone meal to add to one’s compost I mentally gagged at the thought of what it may do to the vegetables I wanted to grow? We’ve all heard at one time or another that blood can become contaminated. How then can it be dug into our compost? The health implications made me shudder.

But I later learned that the blood is not used before it is dried, and the mixture of blood and bone is put through a steaming process to clean it. One can be assured then, that what you buy at the butchery is safe. I would, however, not recommend buying it from a butchery in a rural area where steaming facilities are not available. So there is no threat to one’s vegetable patch.

Because of its nitrogen fixing properties and its calcium and phosphorous nutrients. blood and bone mix is excellent for mixing into compost which will later be added to the soil in your vegetable garden. I would recommend, however, that you first have the soil tested for nutrient content. You don’t’ want, for instance, to have too much, for instance, as it will affect your vegetables and they may even die off.

The good news is – bone and blood m eliminates the need to buy fertilizer, and is probably cheaper.

The bottom line is – how can you best improve the soil in your vegetable garden AND save money? I can recommend Jonathan White’s article on composting. Here is an extract from his article on composting  –

“Do you consider composting as just another way to dispose of unwanted vegetable waste, pruned branches, twigs, grass and leaves? Whilst this may be a valid solution to deal with rubbish, composting can be valuable option when used in the right way.

“For instance, compost builds valuable nutrients that will feed the soil in which you grow vegetables that will in turn one day, feed you and your family.  I only use compost on my vegetable gardens.  Manage your vegetable garden using compost, and it will become an integral part of the whole food production system.  Creating compost is a way to collect nutrients in one form – waste – to turn it into another form – food.

“Most people throw away what is left over after preparing vegetables for a meal. In other words, they buy X amount of nutrients, take what they need for the moment, and discard the rest. That’s like throwing Dollars into the rubbish bin.

To “raise capital” on the discarded parts of the vegetables, put this “capital” to work in your vegetable garden. That way the nutrients will be used again and again without any cost to you.

“What a way to save money!

“Put differently:
Composting creates a nutrient cycle on our property.

“We are part of that cycle because we consume the nutrients when they are, for a brief time, in a useful form.  Then the discarded portion returns to the compost to slowly make their way into another useful form – then we consume them again.

“This cycle can continue indefinitely. Of course, some nutrients you will never see again. But with diligence you will be surprised how much compost you can create to generate more nutrients than you can recycle.

“My composting system is large because I have a few large vegetable gardens. I believe that the size of your vegetable garden should be determined by how much compost you can create, and not merely by the amount of space you have in your backyard.

“To run a rich, high yielding vegetable garden you need to have some sort of soil conditioning plan, and the best thing for your soil is a generous layer of good compost on the surface a few times per year. “

To read more, click on this link, COMPOSTING.

Categories: Agriculture, Blood and bone mix, Compost, ecology, Farming, Food, Food crisis, Food security, Growing, Mulch, Organic, Organic matter, Plant, Produce, seedlings, seeds, Self-seeding, Soil, Vegetable gardener, Vegetables, Veggie garden, Zero tillage | 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
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Despite this news, South Africa’s unemployed have a window of opportunity.
THEY CAN OBTAIN LAND

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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.

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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

IS GROWING VEGETABLES IN TYRES A HEALTH HAZARD? – THE ‘TRUTH’

Goodyear Tyre factory

Goodyear Tyres

I recall, while in junior grade at Riebeek College, Uitenhage, our class was taken on a tour of  the Goodyear Tyre factory. My one overriding reaction was to the smell of rubber; I wondered how the workers could bear to breathe the fumes.

Many years later the company’s workers went on strike and burned tyres in protest, as can be seen from the photo below. What chemicals were released into the atmosphere as the tyres went up in smoke?

Strikers burning tyres at Goodyear Tyre factory in Uitenhage

I like the idea of growing vegetables in tyres (American: tires).
Especially as it would settle the question of recycling them. (Unless of course, you’re a sculptor, or furniture designer, as you will see from the photos further down.) However, I came across two sites you may want to view: The 5400 Square Foot Homestead, and Environment and Human Health, Inc.

Instead of recommending the use of tyres in which to grow your vegetables successfully – and if you are keen on recycling those you see on the side of the road or when you dump your refuse – here are some uses for discarded tyres.

Tyre made into a pouffe

You’ll never slip off this seat

A modern toilet seat

Categories: Agriculture, chemicals, containers, eat, Farming, Food, Growing, healthy, Preparation, Recycle, Soil, Toxic, Toxins, Tyres, Vegetables | 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.

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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

GROWING VEGETABLES – TITLE DEEDS and GOD’S EARTH

box beds

Some of my readers may be surprised to see the word, “God” in a vegetable gardening/farming blog.
I like to refer to him as Yahweh (YHWH), simply because that is his name.

 But this does not explain why I’m mentioning him at all.

As you read the Old Covenant carefully you will soon pick up that mostly YHWH disciplined Israel by withholding the rain, which resulted in famine.

Parched river

As soon as YHWH touched the sky and the earth growing vegetables became impossible,
and the people of Israel cried out in response to his correction,
“Help! We’re dying,” and he answered,
“If you return to me I will return to you.”
There are many side issues we could engage in regarding this. But the question remains…

Not right!

Who owns the land on which to grow vegetables?

Land is a huge issue in many countries.

When the Olympics were held in China stories abounded of how the Chinese government moved people from the homes they owned, to make way to build the Olympic stadium.

How could their government do this them?

Despite having proof of ownership of dwellings, no Chinese person owns the land on which their homes are built.

The land, says the Chinese government, belongs to the State.

YHWH says otherwise. I believe Him.

Why?

Because earthquakes and volcanoes have a will of their own and can shake the living daylights out of both us, and our properties.

Earthquakes submit to a higher power

They know more about title deed than we do, and are no respecter of persons when they feel the urge to move.

Farming God’s Way addresses the land issue;
it is foundational to understanding how we steward it,
whether we own the title deeds or rent the land.

YWHW says in Leviticus 25:23,
The land shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine…”
In another place we read, “The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.

To give an example of his ownership, here’s an interesting anecdote:

A rural farmer who adhered to the Farming God’s Way model tells how a herd of elephants  ate everything in sight – excepting his crops of maize and beans which was in full view of the herd.  The reason?  The farmer and his family offered their land back to YHWH, and asked him to protect it. No need to place fetishes and conduct incantations to protect the land to ensure a successful yield. Rather offer it to the One to whom it ultimately belongs. Go to http://www.werthworx.wozaonlin.com (Articles to download) to read more farmers’ testimonies.

I can personally attest to the efficacy of offering the land back to its Creator – and the harvest of vegetables reaped.

In 2009 I trained a Chief in Kanyama Kingdom 74 kilometres from Mwinilunga, a town situated between the Angolan and Democratic Republic of Congo borders in Zambia. They embraced the Farming God’s Way model, committed the land to YHWH among other things, and today they are reaping harvests not seen in the entire history of farming in their territory. For further testimony to the power of committing the land back to YHWH, watch the video, The Pineapple Story at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYM-4mGYzzE . It is the testimony of Veteran Missionary to Irian Jaya, Indonesia, Otto Koning, of his battle with the very people to whom he had been sent to evangelise, and how they stole everything from him that they could lay their hands on. Eventually he committed the land to YHWH. Watch what happens. An abundance of vegetables, fruit, and much more.It is hilarious! But brings home the point: everything we have is because YHWH has provided it.

I’ve highlighted the foundation for maximum yield and best practice
to achieve the most nutritious crops.

Now let’s get down to basics.

As silly as it may feel to you, go over to your vegetable garden right now, or to where your vegetable/herb pot plants have been placed. Or if you have a plot of ground, take a drive to it and stand on the land.

Lift it up some of the soil to YHWH. Acknowledge in his presence that the earth and all that is in it belongs to Him, and commit the soil to him, expressing your intention to steward it according to his best practice which is ecologically sound.

Offer the soil to Yahweh

Categories: Agriculture, Anthills, Farming, Fertiliser, Food, Food crisis, God, Growing, Land, manure, Preparation, Soil, Title Deeds, Vegetables, Warning | Leave a comment

GROW VEGETABLES – IN LIGHT OF THE LOOMING FOOD CRISIS

We may read about the East Africa Drought CrisisGlobal Food Crisis 2010Looming Food Crisis to hit Afghanistan and Africa First, and articles about the imminent shortage of food in the world.
But for you who are reading this post right now,
the situation is much closer to home at the vegetable stall and in a shopping mall near to where you live.

Prices are sky high.

To give you an idea of price increases of canned vegetables – between November 2011 to date I bought 7 months worth of canned vegetables to take with me when I relocated to Mwinilunga. In November each can of vegetables cost R6.69 (that’s approx. 77c (USD). Today, 12 months later, the same can of vegetables costs R11.99. That is a R5.30 increase within a year(approx. USD1.39).

This is just one commodity. Purchase organically grown vegetables and the price escalates.

This blog is about growing your own vegetables.

I will provide you with three excellent vegetable growing models to do so from which you may choose.

The idea is to get you growing a nutritious resource in your back yard, or in strategically placed pots in your apartment or on the balcony. If you are blessed with a half acre or some hectares, even better.

Not only would I encourage you to begin growing your own vegetables for personal consumption – but the idea is also to create an opportunity for you to engage in community projects. I am greatly inspired by the Elkhart County Grassroots Hub, a blog that was introduced to me when I first started blogging myself. PLEASE visit this blog. There are wonderful related articles such as:

Let us not sit back and bewail rising prices.

Buy the best seed possible – ensure it is not contaminated

When we do begin to plant, let us do so with the best vegetable seed possible. Seed that has no trace of insecticide or pesticide, or has been organically modified in any way. It is essential – no…let me rather say, it is absolutely essential to read the small print on every packet of seed we buy. I guarantee without fear of contradiction, that the seed you buy has been treated with either insecticide or pesticides. Please read, “The Danger of Pesticides on Humans,” to gain a fuller understanding of this problem.

in 2011 I planned to relocate from Johannesburg to Mwinilunga, Zambia. The idea was to train poor subsistence farmers in the three models of farming being highlighted in this blog. The question was, where to purchase uncontaminated seed? Especially non-genetically modified seed?

Fortunately, during a visit to the Kensington Public Library near Rhodes Park in Johannesburg (South Africa), I met Tony Lopes, a permaculture vegetable gardener. He was been given permission to showcase this model of planting in the library grounds.

In discussion with him about where to source non-genetically modified seed he told me about a company called, Living Seeds. I’ve since learned about Seed Savers Exchange as well. These companies provide an inestimable service, ensuring that the vegetables you grow are insecticide and pesticide free – and that you remain healthy.

Read the small print
Next time you want to grow vegetables, read the small print, then do the right thing.

It’s time to act.

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see also:

http://www.facebook.com/colleen werth
http://www.werthworx.wozaonline.co.za
http://www.backthewaywecame.wordpress.com

Categories: Agriculture, Anthills, Farming, Fertiliser, Food, Food crisis, God, Growing, Land, manure, Preparation, Soil, Title Deeds, Vegetables, Warning | Leave a comment

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