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  1. #31
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,391

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    Quote Originally Posted by smilingcat View Post
    kale chard lettuce money maker. cabbage broccoli parsnip almost money loser.
    best of luck! In my tiny garden plot, my best stuff so far has been shiso (which I think retails around here for about 50 cents a leaf - expensive enough that our favorite sushi place stopped using them as decoration on the sashimi platters and loved me dearly for bringing a handful of leaves to them very week) and snow peas. I've got sad broccoli out there right now… 1 floret on each plant , but I am kind of bad with plants. My garden will never be more than an amusement.
    Last edited by Eden; 01-04-2015 at 12:34 PM.
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

    visit my flickr stream http://flic.kr/ps/MMu5N

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    I'm in awe of your journey. Thanks for keeping us updated. Best of luck.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  3. #33
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,845
    Last October I did a bike ride that visited local farms, and at one of them I met a man who worked for a state agency that helps farmers figure out what to grow on their land. He was growing some herbs used in ethnic cuisines (amaranth was one, I think) along with cut flowers (well, flowers to be sold that way). Apparently it can be very profitable to grow cut flowers on small farms.

    The bike ride was in an area that I know well, but it wasn't until after that conversation that I started to notice all the greenhouses there. I'd never thought before about the decisions that farmers have to make about what to grow.

    Best of luck with the kale, chard and lettuce. I had kale once as a child, fresh from my great aunt's garden, and I hated it. I've avoided it since then, despite its popularity. What type of lettuce will you be growing?

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    Eden, do you plant shiso every year? I tried once and found it incredibly difficult to start ... but it's happy to re-seed itself year after year. For the last ten years or so I just choose a few volunteers and let them grow where they choose!
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,391
    I planted my shiso from starts that I got a local Asian grocery. It's the first year I've had it and it grew marvelously. I let it seed and I'm hoping next year I get some volunteers.
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

    visit my flickr stream http://flic.kr/ps/MMu5N

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Troutdale, OR
    Posts
    2,607
    shiso germination needs one odd trick. It needs repeated freezing and thawing. Put it in a freezer and let it freeze for several days. Take it out of the freezer into somewhere its cool (not warm) for few days and repeat this three or four times. This sort of mimics nature with its arrival of spring. After the fourth or fifth time of doing this, scatter the seeds in a pot filled with soil then add about 1/4" of soil on top and water well. And that is supposed to help with germination. I used to go dig up the volunteers I find in my yard.

    I find shiso germination to be almost as frustrating as parsnips. Parsnips has to be the worst in germination. And it must have the shortest viability.

    Never had luck with shiso when I tried in a flat or waited for the soil to warm in the spring time.

    Kinds of lettuce: buttercrunch bib, red iceberg, green oakleaf, merville de quatre, rogue d'hive, bronze mignoitte, tom thumb, pirat butterhead, antares leaf lettuce, blushed butter romain...Some solid green, solid pink or red, some speckled, some form tight head, some loose, some frilly and all are supposed to taste very yummy. I have tom thumb growing in the green house right now. It's only about 2 inches across. They need to be about 5 inches across.

    You can find these seeds at rareseeds,com, seedsavers.com, fedcoseeds.com, groworganics.com, Anniesheirloomseeds.com, Victoryseeds.com, territorialseeds and bountiful gardens. One really odd place I found was a place called mypatriotsupply.com.

    rareseeds.com is BakerCreekHierloom seeds company and its probably the best heirloom seed company around. Seedsavers exchange is a non-profit organization. Their goal is to save varieties from going extinct.

    To Oakleaf and Eden:

    I will be planting number of japanese ume trees so I can make pickled plum. Also will be planting sansho trees for sansho pepper. Plum and pepper will not be available for about a year or two. Sansho pepper would be easy to ship when they become available on my farm.

    Sansho trees are more like shrub and require may be four feet by four feet space. They are cold hardy so it should be quite okay in Seattle area. Soil doesn't have to be that great but it does need descent drainage. branches have nasty thorns so plant them underneath your windows. Burglers will have extra hard time. You can make tsukudani out of sansho pepper leaves and the husk of the seed pod IS the sansho pepper. Not the seed some grind the seed as well. And lastly, you do need a male and a female plant. You can get them at bayflora.com and onegreenworld.com. Latter is probably one of the best places to get trees. Another place is fourwindsnursery in California.

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    WA State
    Posts
    4,391
    Yum - I've had kinome on something that Kotaro used to make for us before he moved on to his own restaurant, but not often so I don't think it was easy to get. I'll bet you'll be a rare US source for it. I recall when the seed pods were nearly impossible to get here because of an import ban - they can carry citrus canker. The ban has been lifted, but all imported stuff has to be heat treated, so you'll be able to say yours is not.
    "Sharing the road means getting along, not getting ahead" - 1994 Washington State Driver's Guide

    visit my flickr stream http://flic.kr/ps/MMu5N

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Troutdale, OR
    Posts
    2,607
    My ever pragmatic (engineering side) won out again. I signed up for a small farms conference consisting of three sessions. Attendees can attend all three sessions but only one topic out of each session. Each session has about nine maybe twelve topics.

    First topic mentioned in each of the three session was how to have six figure income for small plots. Speaker is Jean-Martin Fortier. The person whose book I read cover to cover and duly impressed. I'm not a groupie but it would have been interesting to hear what he had to say and not just what he wrote. But alas, instead I signed up for other topics: Advanced Plant Disease Mgmt on organic veg. farm, impact of organic certification and coorperative farming...

    Whhooey! May be I'll still take the book and have him autograph it.

    It's not about kumba-ya or feel good thing. It's just business. So when do I have fun?? or get to play in the dirt??

    right now trying to figure out how to install over 900 feet (274m) of deer and critter fencing... It's over seven feet high (2.1m). Fencing will enclose in a rectangle an area of about one and a quarter acre. Inside it I need to mark out the rows/beds and the furrows. Mark out the location of trellis supports. install over 10000 feet (3000m) of drip lines (irrigation). ITS GOING TO BE FUN FUN FUN!

    Maybe its time I bought a flannel shirt. yuk yuk yuk... http://www.ehow.com/how_6199011_dres...farm-girl.html

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Troutdale, OR
    Posts
    2,607
    I dread trying to hook up an implement/tools to the tractor. It has a thing called a three point hitch. at each point is a pin that goes through the 3 arms/links on the tractor and through the holes in the implement. You can just imagine, trying to lineup the holes just right. What a nightmare...

    I have two working tractor a small one and a utility tractor. I managed to connect the wood chipper to the smaller one because it is much easier but when I tried to lift the wood chipper, the tractor front end lifted up. not a good sign. Wood chipper needs to go on my utility tractor. But it has maybe a 2000 pound tiller hooked to it. Thinking of how to disconnect it is making my stomach churn. then attach the 1000 pound wood chipper. After all said and done repeat the process in reverse. Have you ever tried to line up your car to less than a 1/10 inch? I can't budge either equipment to line it up.

    just some of the fun on the farm.

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    IL/FL
    Posts
    3,863
    Wish I was there to help you, I don't have a lot of skills, but that's one of them.

    A little tip, RVers use these thingys to help them line up a hitch, you can also use a one of the Orange flags on a pole like you see on the back of a bike trailer. http://t.harborfreight.com/magnetic-....google.com%2F

    Electra Townie 7D

  11. #41
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Western Canada-prairies, mountain & ocean
    Posts
    6,982
    smilingcat:

    Great to read of your farming adventures and stay safe. Are you the only person working the land or is someone else/partner helping you from time to time?

    That's great there are courses in your area.
    Maybe over time, you'll be able to hook up with an experienced farmer locally who can show you stuff/advise or swap some stuff/work with one another.

    My partner was a part-time weekend farmer for a decade. He had 100 acres about 90 km. outside of the city. He had /worked a full time paid job for an oil firm in the city. He is a civil engineer. So he took evening courses at the local university..which was about 70 km. (different direction from farm) outside of home city on animal husbandry since the university does have a top notch veterinary medicine program in Canada.

    His knowledge of farm machinery, farming came from a local older farmer that he befriended from down the road. This farmer was like a father-coach farmer to my partner. My partner in turn paid him for checking horses and cattle during the work wk., etc. Don't be embarrassed to ask for advice. People would rather have you safe than hurt. (My partner did nearly lose his leg when a piece equipment fell on him. He was by the tractor out in the field. Meanwhile his ex-wife was in farmhouse with their 2 young children. This is before the days of cellphones.)
    My Personal blog on cycling & other favourite passions.
    遙知馬力日久見人心 Over a long distance, you learn about the strength of your horse; over a long period of time, you get to know what’s in a person’s heart.

  12. #42
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    california
    Posts
    1,203
    Quote Originally Posted by smilingcat View Post
    I dread trying to hook up an implement/tools to the tractor. It has a thing called a three point hitch. at each point is a pin that goes through the 3 arms/links on the tractor and through the holes in the implement. You can just imagine, trying to lineup the holes just right. What a nightmare...

    I have two working tractor a small one and a utility tractor. I managed to connect the wood chipper to the smaller one because it is much easier but when I tried to lift the wood chipper, the tractor front end lifted up. not a good sign. Wood chipper needs to go on my utility tractor. But it has maybe a 2000 pound tiller hooked to it. Thinking of how to disconnect it is making my stomach churn. then attach the 1000 pound wood chipper. After all said and done repeat the process in reverse. Have you ever tried to line up your car to less than a 1/10 inch? I can't budge either equipment to line it up.

    just some of the fun on the farm.

    youtube is your friend ....it doesn't look easy though

    https://youtu.be/bSatF4QoqmI ....if that isn't your set up there are a number of other ones on youtube too
    ‘The negative feelings we all have can be addictive…just as the positive…it’s up to
    us to decide which ones we want to choose and feed”… Pema Chodron

  13. #43
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Troutdale, OR
    Posts
    2,607
    Quote Originally Posted by rebeccaC View Post
    youtube is your friend ....it doesn't look easy though

    https://youtu.be/bSatF4QoqmI ....if that isn't your set up there are a number of other ones on youtube too
    That! just about sums it up. Doesn't it look fun??And he has far more experience than me. I have a pry bar but I don't think it would help.

    And today, spent most of the day trying to figure out how to get a riding lawn mower out of blueberry patch. Rear tire is all twisted up and wrapped around the axle.
    Thought of lifting the mower out the blueberry patch with my utility tractor but I would have to flatten out few berry bushes. Besides, there are too many linkages that could get bent if I try to lift it up and out with the fork on my tractor. towing it out using a compact tractor might work but the cutting blade and the metal cover on the mower is firmly buried in the dirt.

    Managed to jack up the mower to remove the wheel but its rusted on and won't budge!! Make the repair at its current location in the berry patch. hmm oh the weather report says RAIN (at times heavy) for next several days!!

    then there are hoof prints where my garlic plants are planted. hooves are about 4" across and goes down about 2" to 3" into the dirt. Amazingly, it only destroyed about half a dozen garlic bulbs.

    Then there are things in the greenhouse. I feel like I'm just rearranging the chairs on the deck of Titanic... sigh...
    Last edited by smilingcat; 04-21-2015 at 02:51 PM.

  14. #44
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Troutdale, OR
    Posts
    2,607
    First Farmers Market of 2016 for us. Yayyy we are finished and in stupor tonight. First one of the year is tough because you forget your routine. And being so early in the season, we were trying to figure out what we have to sell. We were confused and still confused... Logistic gets to be a real headache. Feed dogs, walk dogs, feed cats breakfast then lunch. Feed 150+ chicken And we were away for almost 9 hours.

    What to sell was a pretty slim picking at my farm but we did manage to scrape together kale raab, baby kale, regular kale, swiss chard, wild arugula, few herbs but not many were interested in chervil (french parsley). And eggs. Weather was picture perfect, temp was mild and really couldn't have asked for a better day. Our animals may disagree though.

    whats for next week? don't know. I planned on having micro greens for today but its growth stalled for about 3 days this past week so it wasn't ready for today. It WILL BE READY TOMORROW, SUNDAY. Will it hold till next Saturday? probably not. Maybe radish will be ready? Tatsoi, bok choi and others will not be ready for another two weeks.

    Will I do this again? yes because I'm bit nutty and glutton for punishment. Besides, I get to enjoy things like baby greens, kale raab. Things you can't buy in regular grocery store.

  15. #45
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    IL/FL
    Posts
    3,863
    Can't wrap my head around having access to almost unlimited produce, that is so cool!

    Electra Townie 7D

 

 

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