Growing your own

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Re: Growing your own

Postby greenthumb » Thu Nov 07, 2013 12:07 am

Most of my food I can, except for the winter garden which consists of collards, chard, cabbage, lettuce, garlic, onions, diakon radish, beets, turnips, kale, carrots, oregano, and parsley. Instead of going to the store, I go out to the garden daily and pick what I want to eat. I love this freedom! Summer garden, tomatoes, potatoes, corn, peppers, beans, peas, green melons, squash, pumpkins, raspberries, apples, and all of the above winter crop which continues to grow through the seasons. I save the seeds when they go to seed and grow my next years garden. Growing my own food and preserving it is a full time job the constant work have gotten me back into shape and also healed some chronic health problems. I love our chickens, we have two roosters! I eat my hen's eggs, hatch their babies in incubators in the spring, and also kill and eat my chickens. My husband is a meat eater and I refuse to buy meat from the industrial grid for ethical and health reasons. I buy the rest of our meat from a local butcher who only buys meat from local small organic ranches. I know most Buddhist frown on killing, but I'm not a monk or nun and I figure the killing part of sila has to do with murder/rituals done by the Brahmins for profit rather than killing animals for food (very hot topic which I don't want to debate, I came to this view after years of struggle) Where I live I would have a very rough time growing enough protein rich foods to live totally off the grid, which is my goal. If our industrial food grid fails for what ever reason, I will need to eat what grows in my area. Plus buying food in my area supports local farmers and cuts down on energy expenditure. This year we raised and sold 60 pullets and I butchered and canned 40 roosters. Our established flock consists of 2 roosters, Buff Brahmas, and 11 hens, 2 older hens and the remaining hens are this years pullets. All our left over food waste and garden produce go to feed the chickens and this cuts back on the feed costs. This year I am trying to grow enough food to feed my chickens and my husband plus a family of four...I donate some of my food to our local food bank. Cool thing with chickens, all their poop goes into our garden which produces pumper crops! It's a beautiful cycle, nothing goes to waste and an age old relationship between domesticated animals and humans is respected.
Last edited by greenthumb on Thu Nov 07, 2013 3:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Growing your own

Postby SarathW » Thu Nov 07, 2013 3:00 am

Ben wrote:Hi Rui Sousa

I never had much luck with tomatoes either. However, I hope to have some luck this year. I purchased six seedlings from a hardware store and some of those I've kept indoors for about a month while the weather warms a little. I've also got about 100 seeds in a germination tray, but I'm concerned that it might be a bit late for them. The main issue I've had with tomatoes have been insects which have had a feast of the leaves or the crop. I'm not inclined to use pesticide.
Some years ago when i was living in Melboune, I had a vegetable garden in my backyard. I grew some 'heirloom' varieties of carrots which were great. Lots of unusual shapes and different coloured carrots from white to purple. Lots of flavour. Some were more woody then others - though that could have been the poor soil and trying to grow vegetables during a drought!
Yesterday I planted approx 32 potato seeds (kipfler and desiree), 3 golden nugget pumpkin seedlings, capsicum, chilli, eggplant and bok choi.
kind regards

Ben


Hi Ben
Three years since you post above reply. Do you have any luck with tomato?
Plant a marigold flower to repel insects.
Last year I had a good tomato crop. I froze them and still plenty left until next harvest.
Looks like I am going to have another good crop this year too!
:)
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Re: Growing your own

Postby Ben » Thu Nov 07, 2013 3:30 am

I'm glad to hear it Sarath.
I'm not sure what happened to last year's crop. My work contract finished before harvest so I don't know what was successful.
I haven't planted anything in my own yard because of its aspect. However, I might put n some melon seeds and see of they come up. I might also plant some pumpkins.
Kind regards,
Ben
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Re: Growing your own

Postby Kim OHara » Thu Nov 07, 2013 3:56 am

Ben wrote:I'm glad to hear it Sarath.
I'm not sure what happened to last year's crop. My work contract finished before harvest so I don't know what was successful.
I haven't planted anything in my own yard because of its aspect. However, I might put n some melon seeds and see of they come up. I might also plant some pumpkins.
Kind regards,
Ben

Ben,
I'm sure you can do that. In fact, I'm sure you can do far more than that.
My Greek neighbours in inner-city Melbourne - tiny concrete back yard with high walls all round except where their two storey house blocked the light - grew so much stuff they used to give away the surplus. Melons and zucchinis were trained all the way up the back of the house, while tomatoes, pumpkins, corn, spinach, lemons and heaps of other stuff grew in tubs and big pots. All it takes is time, energy and a willingness to learn.
Pro tip: find a middle-aged Greek or Italian immigrant and make friends!
Disclaimer: I don't actually do that much myself in spite of having far better conditions. I'm (very slowly) working on it, though.

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Re: Growing your own

Postby Ben » Thu Nov 07, 2013 5:55 am

Thanks, Kim.
Yeah, I used to have an elderly Greek gentleman as a friend and mentor when I lived in Yarraville. He turned his entire front and backyard into growing zones and he used to give me his surplus plums from some heritage variety that he planted in the 1950s. I should get back Into it and tame our block.
Kind regards,
Ben
"Only those who take to meditation with good intentions can be assured of success. With the development of the purity and the power of the mind backed by the insight into the ultimate truth of nature, one might be able to do a lot of things in the right direction for the benefit of mankind."

Sayagyi U Ba Khin


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Re: Growing your own

Postby greenthumb » Sat Nov 09, 2013 2:41 am

This years harvest wasn't as good as last year. I think my problem was I didn't water enough. However we grew enough food to avoid shopping for most of the winter. I have a pretty good winter gardening going, so no need to go to the store for fresh greens. We live up on the foothills of the Cascade range here in Oregon. It freezes, but not very hard. I don't use any pesticide except for Diatomaceous earth and tobacco tea I grow and brew myself. So I know who touched my food and what went into it, everything is organic and I feel so much healthier.

I found tending to my garden very much like meditating at home. I really don't want to weed or water most days, I feel the same way about sitting, but I do it because I like the independence growing my own food gives me. Meditation also gives me independence, I am not so pulled this way and that way by my feelings, it's not so easy to manipulate me and I can stand back and watch my thoughts, and emotions without falling into them all the time. Being middle aged also helps, getting older you just don't care so much about the little stuff that used to bother you. Plus gardening is a great workout too, no need to go to the gym.
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Re: Growing your own

Postby Ben » Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:55 am

Sounds great, Greenthumb!
I like the photo, too.
"Only those who take to meditation with good intentions can be assured of success. With the development of the purity and the power of the mind backed by the insight into the ultimate truth of nature, one might be able to do a lot of things in the right direction for the benefit of mankind."

Sayagyi U Ba Khin


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Re: Growing your own

Postby greenthumb » Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:00 am

@Ben thank you kindly. After 3 years of working a garden and eating totally organic, mostly veggies, very little meat, sugar or grains, my husband is the meat eater in the family. I can walk without pain. Prior to this I was in constant pain and refused to take medication after years of trying to find medicine that would help my pain/fatigue and heal the body. Nothing seemed to help except make me feel even worse. I wanted to see how much food I could grow, I am telling you, chicken poop is an amazing fertilizer! This has been one of the hardest, tedious, patience testing and also most joyful things I've experienced for a long time.
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Re: Growing your own

Postby Ben » Sat Nov 09, 2013 10:32 am

Thank Greenthumb.
I actually went on a whole foods plant based diet a few months ago. The scientific evidence of the health benefits of whole food plant based diet is becoming incontrovertible. It is also consistent with Buddhist ethics. As for growing your own, with me you are speaking to the converted.
Kind regards,
Ben
"Only those who take to meditation with good intentions can be assured of success. With the development of the purity and the power of the mind backed by the insight into the ultimate truth of nature, one might be able to do a lot of things in the right direction for the benefit of mankind."

Sayagyi U Ba Khin


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Re: Growing your own

Postby greenthumb » Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:19 pm

Thank you @Ben. I'm not preaching just sharing my recovery. My husband also has recovered his health and lost 20lbs on his organic whole food diet. I've had to struggle finding a compromise that both of us can enjoy. That's also been a growing experience. Since I was starting a dublicate thread I was directed to post on yours. I'm glad you also have found a way to health! This way of living close to the land and very simply has been a wonderful compliment to our Dhamma practice. Some beans I dried for next years garden. I did an edit and posted from my computer. Can't post pictures from my iphone, blasted thing is broken anyway ....sigh.
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Re: Growing your own

Postby Kim OHara » Sat Nov 09, 2013 10:03 pm

Inspiration for those not already growing their own: http://www.viralnova.com/lawn-garden/

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Re: Growing your own

Postby greenthumb » Sun Nov 10, 2013 2:58 am

@kim Ohara, That is so inspiring! Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could turn all our yards into gardens and share?
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Re: Growing your own

Postby greenthumb » Tue Nov 12, 2013 7:32 am

Some of my chicken's I have eleven and love them dearly. I eat their eggs, their poop grows the veggies we both eat. I hatch a bunch of eggs (120) in the spring and sell the babies to backyard gardeners. I have met some of the coolest people selling my pullets. If you haven't hugged a chicken you are truly missing a wonderful experience. This one is a Buff Brahma, a Cherry Egger is behind him. Buff Brahmas are one of the softest, fluffiest, chickens I've raised, like a feathered bowling ball, they are huge, very quiet, and super friendly, love a nice petting, and treats. I raise heritage chickens, most folk here in America had chickens before the industrialization of our farming grid. I'm part of a group trying to keep these domesticated breeds from going extinct.
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Re: Growing your own

Postby cooran » Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:18 am

Hello green thumb,

Pullets (female chickens) are fine, but what do you do with your male chickens (cockerels)?

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Re: Growing your own

Postby greenthumb » Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:20 am

@Cooran per the tradition of my culture and upbringing I butcher them.
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Re: Growing your own

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Nov 12, 2013 8:54 am

greenthumb wrote: . . . chickens . . .
Good mousers.

Don't watch if you like mice and are squimish.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.
"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Growing your own

Postby Ben » Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:21 am

greenthumb wrote:@Cooran per the tradition of my culture and upbringing I butcher them.


May I suggest you try a mycoprotein alternative to chicken.
http://www.quorn.com.au/Products/Quorn_Pieces_300g.aspx
It's very delicious and your chickens will love you for it.
Kind regards,
Ben
"Only those who take to meditation with good intentions can be assured of success. With the development of the purity and the power of the mind backed by the insight into the ultimate truth of nature, one might be able to do a lot of things in the right direction for the benefit of mankind."

Sayagyi U Ba Khin


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Re: Growing your own

Postby Sam Vara » Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:23 pm

Ben wrote:
greenthumb wrote:@Cooran per the tradition of my culture and upbringing I butcher them.


May I suggest you try a mycoprotein alternative to chicken.
http://www.quorn.com.au/Products/Quorn_Pieces_300g.aspx
It's very delicious and your chickens will love you for it.
Kind regards,
Ben


Good advice, but Quorn contains egg as a binding agent. Which still leaves the problem of what to do with the cockerels if someone keeps hens to lay eggs for the Quorn...
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Re: Growing your own

Postby Ben » Tue Nov 12, 2013 5:24 pm

Sam,
I would suggest keeping the flock cockerel free so as to eliminate the prospect of fertilized eggs, or not keeping chickens at all.
Kind regards,
Ben
"Only those who take to meditation with good intentions can be assured of success. With the development of the purity and the power of the mind backed by the insight into the ultimate truth of nature, one might be able to do a lot of things in the right direction for the benefit of mankind."

Sayagyi U Ba Khin


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Re: Growing your own

Postby greenthumb » Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:54 pm

@tilt, my chickens eat mice but have a hard time with squirrels that like to raid their nest from time to time. By the way I think you are really funny, wicked sense of humor! I saw a black helicopter today…hahaha

How many of us have the opportunity to know our food from seed/birth to in our belly? I truly love my chickens and all the plants I grow, we have an ancient symbiotic relationship, which I am honoring to the best of my ability. I take care of them and they take care of me. I don't want these beautiful animals and plants to go extinct and the genetically modified Cornish cross factory farmed birds and GMO plants become the only chicken, produce to exist. The poor cornish cross can't walk, because it's legs become deformed from fast muscle grown, it heart may blow up, it won't live past a year and has a very hard time reproducing, it reaches butcher weight in 7-8 weeks as opposed to 16-20 weeks for most heritage breeds. The factory raised chicken, spends all it's life in a factory with millions of other chickens who will never be able to chase bugs, breathe clean air, establish healthy pecking orders, know what the sun feels like or take a dust bath, while living on drugs to prevent infections and GMO foods.

My folk grew up in areas where there is no way they could live off plants and get proper proteins for the body to function correctly. I live in a similar environment. If our food grids go down for what ever reason, electrical grid fails, war, natural disaster, inflation caused by economic wars, or like Mao did to his people to control them, shut the centralized food grid down. My community can continue to feed its people. Most folk cannot survive without the super markets and that scares the heck out of me. The way we grow our food today goes against the laws of nature, breaks our ancient contracts with the domestic foods we eat and tend, makes us sick, sets us up to be controlled and manipulated. I am saying no to this psychopathic matrix and walking my own way. I researched all this while trying to figure out why I was getting so sick eating healthy whole foods, but weren't organic. Researching our food system totally freaked me out and I had to do something about my relationship with this dysfunctional system.

My primary goal has been to recover my health, which I have, I am pain free and move like I am 30 old instead of middle aged, I've suffered from a hyper immune system since my early 30s and was a very sensitive child, prone to illness. The midlife change women go through has been almost non existent for me these last 3 years. Before I started this project my endocrine system was going crazy and causes me all sorts of health and cognitive problems. My other goals are being met as well, I am eating what my local environment can grow without leaving a huge footprint, learning how to trade and barter, getting to know and establish relationship with my community, and preserving my culture while integrating what I've learned practicing Buddhism.

Most of the food and products we buy are built and grown by factory slave labor that does not return anything positive. I don't want to live this way.

May we all find health and happiness.
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