You are Unregistered, please register to use all of the features of Homesteading Today!    
Homesteading Forum

Go Back   Homesteading Forum > General Homesteading Forums > Introductions

Introductions Where we get to know our new friends

Like Tree2Likes
  • 1 Post By FrankD
  • 1 Post By FrankD

LinkBack Thread Tools Rate Thread
Old 01/03/17, 10:26 AM
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 18
30 Second Elevator Pitch

Not quite sure how much or how little to say is the best way to introduce myself? I am legally retired, and over time have become extremely concerned about the future of our planet. This concern has motivated me to become a farmer and have a place where I can control the nutritional quality of the food, water and immediate environment. About 7 years ago, I started "Square Foot Gardening" in a raised bed growing mostly heirloom crops. This led me over to SARE, NRCS, and now the ARS.

About 3 years ago, I reclaimed some land at my home that had been taken over by Kudzu, Poison Ivy and Poison Oak, and proceeded to learn how to start soil restoration through in-depth research and my meager knowledge.

When I started it could be stated that I was no particular type gardener / farmer since previously I viewed all plants as two types- green or brown. Now I constantly test things in the different raised beds I have, but no longer follow the SFG soil mix approach - just raised bed. I started by wanting my approach to be organic, but as I gained knowledge and perspective I shifted to biologic farming as I am more concerned with the nutrition in the foods, not just the bulk, looks, quantity, or the latest buzz words. I will use what is best from both conventional and organic type farming to achieve my end result of nutritious food.

After considerable soul searching, I decided that I only want to actively grow vegetable and fruit crops, but no animals. I will also grow very specific grasses like Teff and Einkorn for seed to sell and for animals to graze possibly from another organic / biologic farmer through goods bartering. I will help feed feral animals on my farm that I intend to personally hunt for food (deer, turkey, duck, geese) , and prepare areas on my farm for them to forage.

I have been searching for over 3 years for a large enough track of land preferably in the Blue Ridge or Ozarks foothills, but I have had to expand that into Central America (Nicaragua & Honduras) . While I am still searching, I would like to put some of what I have learned into practice on a larger scale, but that is difficult as I don't want to intern around domesticated animals and most farmers grow both crops & animals. I hope to contribute to the forum and knowledge base.
Gracia likes this.
Reply With Quote
Old 01/11/17, 11:54 PM
Jen_Jen's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: West Virginia
Posts: 18
Nice to meet you, Frank. Your approach is fascinating to me.

For our part, we're choosing to avoid chemicals altogether. If we ever decide to put in an orchard, which I would like to do one day, we may find we can't, but for now, we're choosing completely organic. I've also started to become interested in researching what crops are native to our area and emphasizing those in our garden. There is so much to learn!

We're also opting not to add livestock to our homestead.

Jen M, WV
Reply With Quote
Old 01/14/17, 07:53 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 18
Hi Jen,

Congratulation on your 5 acre farm. I am sure you'll do great there.

yes, my approach is different. it is more about getting in tune with what is needed and the reality around us. this thinking and method started evolving while reading Graeme Sait's Nutrition Rules ebook. this led me to Albrecht's work on nutrition, then "Weeds Guardians of The Soil" and on to "Conquest of the Land Through Seven Thousand Years". All of these provided new insights.

It is amazing how wrong I use to think about pests, weeds, and the soil. I can't imagine how hard it is for a conventional long term farmer to come to grips with this new perspective and like I think differently.

I am trying a few new things in my gardens this year, specifically I have finely chopped leaves and cultivated them in for carbon. I am using a little more potash, direct from my fireplace. I wanted to try recycling some drywall (Gypsum) for the Calcium in it, but decided to try it first in the front yard on the grass after cutting aeration trenches with one of my Mantis tillers.

I have another area, next to a retention pond that I want to plant with some Ground Cherries, but before I do that I am going to early plant weeds there that I bought some seeds from another member, then cut them down before they seed and cultivate them back in as "Green Manure".

Another test this year will be using a (20:1) foilar spray on one garden that will be pasteurized urine (Urea). Read several reports that proved the value, plus USDA & EPA are both sponsoring many tests.

After almost a year, I was approved for Agriculture Research (ARS) to try and grow Brosimum Alicastrum in colder climates and also to breed it. This is pretty exciting to me.

If you want to research native plants to your area, use this link:
Native Plant Societies

I would also suggest that you either watch or download Lorraine Johnson's talk at the NANPS. It is really terrific.

As to your fruit trees, you might want to get some of the grafted apples (2,3 or 4 species on one tree) which cuts the latency of production from 5 years to under 2 in most cases. And they are not that expensive- under $100 typically per tree.
Jen_Jen likes this.
Reply With Quote
Old 01/16/17, 01:03 AM
Jen_Jen's Avatar
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: West Virginia
Posts: 18
Wow! Thanks for the tips! Very interesting stuff!

I only took possession of the property in February 2016, so we have a long way to go. We may end up moving to Western MA before we dig in too much. His family is up there. He's been in the DC area since the 90s (for college, then was married and divorced, then met me and stayed.) Since I have no family left down here, I figure it's his turn. I'm thinking that's at least 3 years out, though, so we definitely have time to experiment and learn.

Jen M, WV
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Second litter, second curveball! comicus Rabbits 13 02/07/14 09:43 AM
if the PM market was an elevator.... bee Current Events 14 03/01/12 12:12 PM
I have an elevator! brosil Homesteading Questions 2 09/10/08 01:34 PM
DIY elevator plans? Buffy in Dallas Homesteading Questions 24 04/30/07 10:21 AM
Parts for an older elevator? Rockin'B Shop Talk 6 01/24/07 01:08 AM

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:40 PM.