Are you planting more or less this year?

canuckistani(5b)February 25, 2009

I've been hearing that a lot of farmer's are being forced to cut back because they can't get enough credit for the coming season. Anyone hearing the same? Are people here planning on planting more or less this year? Is there any crop in particular people expect there to be a shortage of?

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During the late 1970s and early 1980s I bought 11 local farms that were or about to go into foreclosure and had the previous owners stay on and worked the land. There is 3400 acres planted each year. Each farm is independent from the others but have learned that labor sharing and cooperative ownership of equipment is cost saving. They have learned that it is better to operate debt free (owe no man nothing!). Each farm plants 1-2 different crops that they and the others need to maintain their livestock, the co-op has storage silos, dryers, grist mills and pelleting machine to produce their own feed from what they grow. They also do feed mixes for other local farmers cheaper than the local mills can. The surplus is only sold when the market is up and may times they make trades for their crop seeds, fertilizers...and other needs.

If groups of farmers around the country formed co-operatives with the goals of operating as one large farm instead of as little guys competing with the big corporations and each other they would prosper.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 12:04AM
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I am not a Farmer, not in that sense but I have increased my chicken flock and am greatly increasing my garden. I am planting all the usual stuff and am putting in more potatoes, sweet potatoes, lima beans and more greenbeans. This will all--well almost all will be for personal use--some I will share with my only neighbor who is elderly and some will go to the church and some to family. I want bee's like crazy, used to have them when I was a kid..I just have to many irons in the fire...maybe next year. I do have someone that will give me bees and houses and get me set up. But alas to much to do and so little time!!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 12:22AM
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More, definately lots more, but I am just a small farm and don't buy seed on credit. I use my speciality ornamental seed to trade for vegetable seed.

I want bees like crazy too! Nelda, make sure you use new hives for the bees. It is not legal in Canada to use second hand hives and you may have laws against it down there. There are just too many diseases and predators the inhabit older hives, especially the Langforth style (stacked box houses). Top Bar Hives are the way to go these days (Google it). Much cleaner and safer for the bees health.

I'm starting a new thread for Bees. Don't want to hijack this one :-)

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 6:29AM
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Running Trails, Well hurry up!!! Where is that new thread? LOL, LOL!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 6:38AM
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lol! I got sidetracked, sorry. It's there now:-)

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 10:17AM
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I am planting much more this year in the way of edible crops. I'm not a farmer either, and have really concentrated on ornamentals for the past several years. The economy is the driving force for me. I'm putting in a greenhouse, and considering adding some solar powered generators. I figure if I'm at least partly self-sufficient and the economy goes South, I'll be better off. If it improves according to the Prez's plan, then I can retire just that much sooner. Cheryl

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 10:33AM
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I'm not a commercial farmer either, but I'm planning on growing a few varieties of veggies and getting more chickens as well as a few ducks and geese. I have to cover crop part of my garden to keep out weeds this year, and I'm also going to try and grow some small patches of various grains. I'm also going with sugar beets for stock fodder.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 12:23PM
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Where do you get your seeds for the sugar beets?


    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 2:13PM
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dethride(7a / 6b GA)

I've been preparing for as much self-sufficiency as possible for over a decade. I'm starting more transplants today to have a better successive lettuce harvest, and may sell some to the local gourmet restaurants. More and more, I'm getting into open-pollinated varieties to save seed. It's good to see more "independent" seed companies sprouting(!) up and bringing back a greater diversity in food. Things like beet greens, english peas, and others will be a first for me and I hope to get some greater diversity on my table. Growing mache', minutina, cress, spinach, and other cold-season greens will extend our season well into the winter. I'd like to have something from the garden year-round.

I have two greenhouses in progress, and plan on expanding the coldframe "fleet". I was just down in the garden and it just looks too small! I plant just a third of an acre in four plots on a wretched hill which makes everything garden related take longer. On the plus side it's been organic for 30+ years.

Chickens are a natural progression on this path and I'm looking forward to the challenges as well as good clean meat and eggs. I'd love to have dairy goats or a miniature Jersey but it ain't in the cards until I get some help.

Definitely planting more this year! Our culture is strained to a breaking point and paradigms are changing. Food production is going to be a hot topic this summer and beyond.


    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 3:09PM
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How do you guys know when to plant what? I ordered a Southern States seed catalog and got it today. I can not believe that tomato seeds are $36 for 1/4 ounce!!!

Should I be heading over to the gardening forum to get help with what to plant and when or is it okay to post on here since I am planning on planting on my farm?

I plan to plant some gourd seeds for birdhouses, sunflower seeds for the chickens and I was considering a few stalks of corn but I know the deer will beat me to it. I love fresh collards but when my Mom grew hers they were a real pain to clean and that is WAYYYYY too much work for me.

What are your suggestions for a good starter garden? I plan to start planting in 2 months when I have some good compost. (All that poop I been adding to the compost bin TO BE SURE I should have some good compost in 2 months.) I do not plan to have a large garden just big enough to get my feet wet.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 6:37PM
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This was on one of my lists, theres a printable book:

This year we did birdhouse gourds as Christmas presents with my grandson & his buddy. They put their painted handprints in varying positions around the gourd. The base color was solid, handprints contrasted colors. The kids had a blast! The elders of the family received them, they went over very well!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 8:19PM
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nice book. I will print when I get to work tomorrow. I looked up my frost day 4/29. that is a long time to wait!!

The days seem to be flying by but at the same time it seems like spring is taking forever to get here!

I purchased some gourd seeds on ebay last year and they started then died. I planted them in March which probably explains why. hhhhhhhhhhhh I am such a newbie!!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 8:38PM
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To grow easy to clean greens, collards, spinach is before planting put newspaper down about 3-4 layers deep, wet it down good. Punch a hole the space you want your plants to grow apart and drop your seeds in the holes. This will keep the rain drops from splashing the soil up onto the greens-leaves.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 9:05PM
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islandmanmitch(z 8/9 FL)

I have added over a dozen new fruit tree to my orchard. I have expanded my home garden. If things work out I will be growing corn for farm income this year.
My brother and I jointly own a fallow piece of property. He has never planted a thing. He has never had an interest. Tomorrow he wants me to go to the property and help him with a planting plan. He wants to grow a home garden.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 11:03PM
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Mitch who is going to do the work on your brothers garden? LOL I bet he tries to get you to do most of the work. My sisters always suck me into stuff...

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 8:34PM
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islandmanmitch(z 8/9 FL)

You are probably right. Would I feel better about a stranger taking advantage of me? Naw. At least it is family getting the benefit of my sweat.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 1:07AM
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We are aiming to be more self sufficiant too.

Mersiepoo, have you looked into mangle beets for fodder?

Misjay2u, my mother used to wash turnip greens in the washing machine. I can induce my guys to eat cooked "greens" at all. I have to sneak them into a salad.

Mitch, is it nearby or will you have to drive a while to take care of it? If no one is going to be there to weed it maybe you could try sheet composting (lasagna gardening) or something similar to keep the work to a minimum. If I'm not out there every day, things tend to get out of hand for me quickly.

I have two large vegetable gardens. One is 1/3 of an acre and a new, unused one that is bit smaller. I'm going to grow a lot of chicken feed this year in the big one near the road, hoping that will keep the deer and resident groundhogs away. They usually stay in the back of the property. The squirrels and wild birds will be a problem. I am slowly working towards covering the whole 1/3 acre garden with cardboard and old hay/straw/leaves. I'll till between the rows in what is left and also in the other one, with the tractor, so things will be planted very far apart in there. Last year my garden was just wild with weeds taking over everywhere. I'm going to keep them out this year!!

In addition, I'm going to grow luffahs and decorative gourds on the deck railing this year. I want the luffahs to go with my soap.

I'm also hoping for a crop of apples for the chickens in the winter. This year the racoons are not going to steal them all! I need a big outdoor dog. I WANT a Great Pyranees - can't afford one yet. Do you think my 14 year old shi tzu/bichon could be induced to sleep out under the apple tree this fall? Hmmmm...probably not.

How do you keep a big farm dog out of the vegetable garden?

    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 5:42AM
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islandmanmitch(z 8/9 FL)

We went and looked at the field yesterday. He wants to use about three acres for a home garden. I tried to tell him he is biting off more than he can chew for his first garden. He is hardheaded.The field is about 15 minutes away. The truth is I will take my tractor over to the field and plow up the section he wants to use. Help him lay out and plant. Later I will bring my row crop cultivator out but otherwise all he will get from is free advice. Not being mean about it but I have my own rows to hoe.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 7:42AM
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3 ACRES???? That is not a home garden that is a farmers market planting.

If you plow it up, lay it out and plant not much left to do. Well atleast it is your brother and you can probably get some of the garden benefits.

Runningtrails...a washing machine? I assume you mean with just cold water & no soap? and do you put it in as a whole plant or separate the leaves? I think the idea seramas had was a little more painless. I haven't figured out if I am going to plant or not and if I do where.

I am bent on the idea of planting the gourds though and I like the idea of doing them on the deck railing. I was wondering how I was going to support them and that is an excellent idea.

I think of weeds like being the devil. You do all you can to keep them out but they manage to sneak in. You get aggressive with them and they hide behind good plants growing with them and by the time you figure out they are there they have planted their roots. They come in attractive varieties to trick you too. Just like we have to be aggressive and on our guard at all times to keep the devil from sneaking in our lives so to with weeds taking root in the garden.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2009 at 9:19AM
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We are planting more this year. We talked to our local food pantry and they told us that the seniors really love the fresh veggies. I imagine the food pantrys will have a greater demand this year due to layoffs so it would be great if everyone could plant some extra plants with the food pantries in mind. They really appreciate getting it!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 5:29PM
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I give my extra eggs to the Salvation Army Soup kitchen in town. I plan to give them a lot of produce this year too. They really do appreciate it.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2009 at 6:49AM
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