Posts Tagged With: Kitchen garden

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

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.

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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

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.

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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

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